Tag Archives: 9.50 out of 10

Anger is a Gift, by Mark Oshiro

26 Oct
Illustrated cover for _Anger is a Gift_, with a young Black man facing away from the viewer and into the streets and buildings and smoggy pavements of a city. The seal of the Schneider Family Book Award is off to the side, and below that, "A beautiful and brutal debut" quote by Adam Sivera (author of, _They both die at the end_)

I bought this book on release, intending to read it soon after, and then life (and the world) got in the way.

Reader beware: this is a very hard book to read, because the line between fiction and reality is blurred. The cover quote that calls it “beautiful and brutal” is on the money. It is a story of love and loss and survival, of systemic racism and the routine police violence that kills hundreds of Black and Brown people in the U.S. every year.

Hundreds. Every year.

To say nothing of the many more people they wound every year, often leaving them disabled for life.

All with impunity.

Also, the protagonist is a gay teenage boy, with queer friends of all flavors, so if you have a problem with young people who do not fit a cis hetero binary, don’t bother reading further.

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The Right Sort of Man, by Allison Montclair

29 Jul
Cover for THE RIGHT SORT OF MAN; watercolor-type illustration; silhouette of a woman wearing a two-piece suit, period appropriate for 1940s, skirt below the knees. Background is a slightly blurry five-stories building

Spurred by this review by the lovely Kay, I finally read my ARC of this novel, the first title in the Sparks and Bainbridge series.

Reader beware: loss, trauma, mental health issues, alcoholism (mostly off page), and more threat of violence than actual violence. One of the protagonists is having an affair with a married man.

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Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

30 May
Blonde white woman wearing a wedding dress with the veil flipped over to the back of her head, holding the skirt up a bit as she starts walking towards a petal-strewn stone bridge in the background, while looking towards the camera over her shoulder; her expression showing trepidation and anticipation in equal measure

A coupe of months ago, I finally read Cold-Hearted Rake, the first title in the Ravenels series of historical romances set in the mid- to late 1870s, and enjoyed it enough to dive into the rest of the series, which I pretty much devoured.

As I’m still struggling to read new-to-me stories, I dived into the series again, and well, here we are.

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Strong Wine, by A.J. Demas

4 Mar
Cover for Strong Wine, where a short haired man in a short Roman-ish tunic holds up another man, who has long black hair and is wearing a long tunic, in an embrace. It's nighttime and there are two swords on the foreground.

What a wonderful conclusion to the Sword Dance trilogy! As I said last week, I read Saffron Alley and Strong Wine literally back-to-back, then read them again when I was writing my reviews. Yes, they are that good. And by the by, am I glad I did not have to wait between books!

Reader beware: xenophobia, transphobia (one of the leads is a formerly enslaved eunuch–not by choice–and non-binary–entirely by choice), homophobia (the other lead is a bisexual man), a bit of violence, and some graphic sex on page.

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