The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid | a beautiful novel that did not disappoint!

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Afbeeldingsresultaat voor The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

read in March 2018

format: hardcover

This is a spoiler-free review!


Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


I was incredibly nervous to pick up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Everyone who has read this novel loved it and I was convinced I was going to love it as well, which is exactly why I was terrified to pick it up: what if I don’t enjoy it as much as I expect to? I shouldn’t have been worried though because it absolutely lived up to the hype!

I was actually not in the mood to read when I picked this up. But I thought “if there’s one book that’s going to get me out of a slump, it’s this one”, and I wasn’t wrong: I devoured this entire novel in one sitting! I definitely plan on re-reading it someday.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is about movie star Evelyn Hugo – daughter of Cuban immigrants – who decides to tell her life’s story to Monique, a biracial journalist. I was so invested in Evelyn’s story that I forgot about why she chose Monique. Towards the end I thought I had figured it out, but I was wrong. I never saw the reveal coming and I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes because I was so amazed! This isn’t a mystery novel, but Taylor Jenkins Reid surely has the capacity to write one.

When I reviewed Maybe In Another Life by this author, I mentioned that she did a wonderful job writing characters who are flawed and complex, who are far from perfect but you care about them nonetheless. That’s the case in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as well. This solidifies that I certainly want to read everything Taylor Jenkins Reid writes.

I was only 35 pages in when I realised I love these characters, Evelyn in particular. She is a no-bullshit woman. She knows she’s beautiful and desirable and she uses that to her own advantage. Her rise to stardom was not easy. She faced racism – she hides her Cuban heritage in every way possible – and sexism. She knows she has done bad things, but she doesn’t regret the decisions she made. In another writer’s hands Evelyn could’ve been an easy character to dislike and judge, which is probably the reason why I love this book so much. I know Evelyn is extremely flawed, but I f*cking love her nonetheless.

The bisexual representation meant so much to be. It was relatable and I loved reading about a woman who realises she is bisexual as an adult. The love interest is lesbian and two male secondary characters are gay. The queerphobia – often internalised – was sometimes hard to read, but it was necessary: it’s historically accurate and it explains the decisions the characters made. That said I don’t think this book was perfect (e.g. the conversations about Stonewall only mention gay men and no trans women), but overall the good outweighs the bad and I would recommend this novel!

content and trigger warning for (warning: contains spoilers!!!): ableist language (e.g. m*ron), blackmailing, smoking, cancer, mentions of drugs, alcoholism, suicide, sexual assault, statutory rape, sex scenes (fairly explicit), slut-shaming, sexism, abortion, cheating, child abuse, domestic violence,  anti-gay slurs, (internalised) queerphobia, racism, deathly car accident, deaths

I am so relieved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo didn’t disappoint! It certainly deserves the praise it has received. I plan on reading this again, as well as the author’s other work. I would absolutely recommend this gorgeous, fast-paced novel about flawed characters! ❤


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recommendation: Far From You

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Afbeeldingsresultaat voor far from you tess sharpeFar From You

by Tess Sharpe

read in September 2017

format: paperback

spoiler-free review!

“But my heart isn’t simple or straightforward. It’s a complicated mess of wants and needs, boys and girls: soft, rough, and everything in between, an ever-shifting precipice from which to fall.

I was nervous to pick up Far From You. I expected to love it, so I didn’t want to end up feeling disappointed. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case: I absolutely loved it!

This novel is raw. Sophie, the protagonist, is flawed, but I admired her and understood her actions. Far From You deals with many serious topics such as drug addiction and murder, and I loved that Sophie’s personality and behaviour reflected that.

The storyline is non-linear. Every chapter is followed by a flashback. Those were definitely intriguing, but sometimes confusing at the same time because they weren’t in a chronological order. Still, it was nice we got to know the characters more that way and I certainly understand why the author included them. They were very nice additions, though do pay attention to the time-line while reading.

Sophie is bisexual and Mina is a lesbian. There’s somewhat of a love triangle in here, but I didn’t mind. It felt very natural and it was very beautifully done: “If it hadn’t been for her, it would have been you.” Don’t worry, though, this author is bisexual and as a bisexual reader, I can tell you that these relationships didn’t rely on any harmful biphobic tropes.

Unfortunately, it took me almost two weeks to finish this novel. It’s not the book’s fault, but mine, because I haven’t been feeling well lately. But because of the abundance of characters, I was very confused at times. It was especially difficult to keep track of all the male characters with generic names such as Kyle, Adam, Jack, etc.

Before I read this novel, I wasn’t aware that it was a YA mystery. I thought the mystery was well done and I only guessed about one chapter before the reveal who was responsible for the crimes. Having said that, I would primarily recommend Far From You for the representation. Sophie is a drug-addict. She is disabled and has experienced chronic pain ever since being in a car accident. I prefer character-driven novels, so Far From You was everything I wanted.

content and trigger warnings for internalised queerphobia, drug addiction, murder, chronic pain, ableist language (such as cr*zy), d*ke, kidnapping and being drugged against your will, car crash

Far From You is an intriguing Young Adult mystery, but I especially loved Sophie’s journey. I’m very glad this novel didn’t disappoint me and I’m already looking forward to Tess Sharpe’s 2018 book releases.


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unpopular opinion: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

by Mackenzi Lee

read in August 2017

format: audiobook

spoiler-free review

It’s unpopular opinion time, again. I was very surprised to see the huge amount of five star reviews for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, not because I think “how can anyone love this book?” but rather that there are so few people who didn’t love this. It’s almost making me afraid to post my review.

If I dislike the main character, there’s a big chance I won’t like the book. And Monty never grew on me. He was supposed to be funny, but he was such a fool and constantly got himself in trouble. He uses a lot of ableist language such as ‘imbecile’ and ‘simpleton’, jokes about suicide (“I’d slit my wrists if…”) and he is so oblivious to his white (and rich) privilege.

Percy, Monty’s love interest, is a man of colour and even Monty refers to him with the N-word. It’s historically accurate, but I didn’t like how there was so much racism in this book which usually went challenged, but only rarely – if ever – by our protagonist. I had the feeling the racism was there to further the white character’s development. But, as a white person, I could be completely wrong about that.

Furthermore, this novel also deals with homophobia, abuse, islamophobia, epilepsy and alcoholism. I usually like it when books deal with serious topics, but none were fleshed out. They were there and were sometimes discussed, but that’s as far as it went.

Obviously, I didn’t love Monty. I really liked Percy and Felicity though, so I will most likely pick up The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, which is set to be released in 2018.

Besides not being fond of the protagonist, I didn’t care about the plot either. I would’ve liked them touring around Europe, but instead, we got an over-the-top and unrealistic plot that resembled fantasy more than historical fiction. I just didn’t care about it. If this novel had been more character-driven, I’m certain I would’ve enjoyed this more.

I was very afraid they were going to magically cure an illness. Spoiler alert, but that’s thankfully not how it goes. But it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t like Monty. He really wanted to cure Percy’s epilepsy instead of just being there for him, and I wasn’t a fan of that.

To be honest, I wasn’t planning on reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, mainly because I’m not that interested in women writing M/M romances. But everyone was loving this novel, so I decided to give it a shot. The very first chapter was already hella queer, so how do people still refuse to mention that this book features a M/M relationship?

Unfortunately, however, I didn’t love the bisexual representation. Monty kind of slut-shames the woman he was going to sleep with (“Isn’t it scandalous what we’re doing”, ““She was just a whore”), yet he himself was rather promiscuous. He has had many partners and flirts with almost everyone he encounters. Which is fine, but I don’t like how naturally, it’s the bisexual character who’s like this. Maybe I’m too critical when it comes to bi representation, but I’m tired of almost every bisexual person being portrayed like this. It really hurts.

Because I didn’t like the protagonist nor the plot, I didn’t love The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue as much as other readers seem to. Though the author attempted to include diversity, I wasn’t fond of the execution. In summary, I just didn’t care about this novel…


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Beauty Queens review

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beauty queens.pngBeauty Queens

by Libba Bray

read in September 2017

format: audiobook

review contains minor spoilers!

“Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world?

If you are interested in reading Beauty Queens, I’d definitely suggest listening to the audiobook. It’s narrated by the author herself and it’s probably the best one I’ve ever listened to. Each character had a very distinct voice and special sound effects were used. I’m afraid I have to admit that if I had picked up a physical copy instead, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this book as much as I did. The footnotes and commercial breaks were very original, but might have been annoying in a physical copy.

Beauty Queens is a satire that tackles themes such as feminism and racism by exploring characters that seem stereotypical at first. There’s a lot of dark humour in here that could be considered offensive, but that’s the way the author wanted to show how e.g. sexist our society is.

I really hadn’t expected this novel to offer so much social commentary, but I loved it. There was also a lot more diversity than I had assumed: Shanti is Indian-American, Nicole is black, Petra is a transgender girl, Jennifer is a lesbian and Sosie is hearing impaired (and bisexual).

Unfortunately, that’s where my issues with this novel come in. Sosie appears to be bisexual or pansexual, but of course her sexual orientation isn’t labelled, because only ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ exist… *eye-roll* Furthermore, I feel a bit queer-baited by the F/F romance. Though this book takes place on an island with only female beauty contestants, the M/F romances were far more present than the F/F one.

While reading, I noticed some red flags when it came to the transgender representation. I am cisgender, so I could be completely wrong about my observation. I searched for reviews by transgender individuals, but couldn’t find any. Petra, the transgender character, is described as having big hands and a deep voice. She is dead-named multiple times, forced to reveal she’s trans and then goes on to say she isn’t a girl yet because she hasn’t had the surgery yet. Having those surgeries is not a requirement! You are still a girl if you want to be one, no matter what your body looks like. In the acknowledgements, the author thanks trans people who helped her write this story, but calls them ‘transgendered’.

Even if I’m wrong about the harmful trans representation, there is still a lot of transphobia in this novel, to show that some girls weren’t comfortable with Petra at first, but learn to see her as one of their own. Though that’s probably realistic, that narrative could hurt trans readers.

My interest wavered once the male characters arrived on the island. Besides the seemingly mandatory M/F romances, it didn’t add anything to the story for me.

CW/TW for sexism, racism, transphobia, etc.

Beauty Queens is a satire inspired by Lord of the Flies, which explores many themes such as sexism and racism. The audiobook is terrific, I would absolutely recommend it! Unfortunately, I wasn’t too pleased with the queer representation.


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book chat: 5 overused bi tropes

overused bi tropes.pngHello, my fellow book lovers. Today, I’m going to talk about something I care about very much. As a bisexual reader, I’m constantly searching for more novels featuring characters I can relate to. Unfortunately, I’ve also encountered a lot of bisexual representation I wasn’t pleased with in films, TV-shows and books.

There are a certain amount of (possibly harmful) tropes that keep occurring, especially when the representation isn’t #OwnVoices. This isn’t going to be a super extensive list. Trust me, there are even more negative bi tropes out there. I won’t always go into detail as to why a trope is harmful. A quick Google search will inform you on that. Neither do I speak for all bisexual people. I’m only talking about MY experiences, as a bisexual reader and viewer. If you  identify as bi, your opinions are always welcome. If I said something harmful, please let me know and I’ll change it ASAP.

I chose not to include examples of each trope, as each bi person might respond differently to representation. Some books that really hurt me, are praised by other bisexuals. And that’s fine, as long as my pain isn’t erased. Still, because I don’t want to start any unnecessary arguments, I will mainly discuss the tropes, instead of the books, films or TV-shows in which they occur.

Some of these tropes aren’t limited to bisexuality, but like I said, I only want to talk about my experiences as a bi person.

I feel like everyone knows that the cheating bi trope is one of the most overused and harmful ones, yet it’s still EVERYWHERE. Bisexual people aren’t greedy. We aren’t torn between being with a male or female lover. Which reinforces the binary, but that’s a discussion for another day. I don’t care how good the romance is, when you have a bisexual character that cheats on their partner, I will not like the representation.

overrused_trope_2There’s a lot of bisexual representation that is never actually confirmed. “I don’t like labels” is code for “I’m bisexual” in media. I’m not happy with that kind of representation. Why are people scared to use the B-word ? When I came out to a friend of mine, I was afraid to use the word! I was like “yeah, I also like girls, not just boys…”, because they might not be familiar with the word and there are so many stereotypes attached to the label.

Especially in TV-shows, there are a lot of queer characters that never use a label. Personally, I find labels important in fiction. Otherwise, how can I be sure whether I can relate to a character? Are they gay? Are they bisexual? Are they pansexual? … Furthermore, I don’t consider such representation canon. But once again, that’s a whole other conversation for another time.

overrused_trope_3.pngThis trope isn’t harmful, but in my opinion, it is overused. This bisexual character is always the product of a non-bisexual writer. This character is extravagant, has a lot of casual sex, is super open to anyone about their sexuality and is just so different from everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with such characters, but I can’t relate to them. That’s why I prefer #OwnVoices bi rep. Give me bi characters like Grace from How To Make a Wish and Jordan from Noteworthy. I don’t look different. I don’t act different. I’m a very boring person. Yet those extravagant bisexual characters are… characters to me. They’re people you might find in London or New York. Of course there are real bi people out there who are exactly like that, but there are a lot of us who aren’t. And I’d like to see us represented as well.

overrused_trope_4Some people, and they’re not always allocishet, can’t fathom that 1) sexuality is fluid and 2) just because someone isn’t allocishet, doesn’t mean they act any differently. Yet in so many book reviews, you will see surprised reactions that range from “character X was straight, but now he’s gay???!!!” to “I feel like the sexuality was just added for the sake of diversity, it came out of nowhere”. Reading reviews like that is exhausting and infuriating. But I do have to admit that some allocishet authors use their characters’ sexual orientations as a plot twist. Like I said, there doesn’t have to be any build-up, the characters shouldn’t have to act differently, but when half of your readers are surprised, maybe you should’ve handled it differently.

overrused_trope_5.pngWhen your only queer – in this case bisexual – character is a very unlikeable or even a villainous character, I think we have a problem. A problem that would disappear altogether if you include other queer characters who aren’t evil. Yes, queer people can be bad people. But when we’re starving for non-harmful or any representation and that’s how we’re portrayed, I rather wouldn’t be portrayed at all.


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review: When Dimple met Rishi

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when dimple met rishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi

by Sandhya Menon

read in July 2017

format: hardcover

spoiler-free review!

I really wanted and expected to love When Dimple Met Rishi. I’m so sorry I didn’t. I’m disappointed this book didn’t make me feel giddy, didn’t make me laugh more than once or twice…

I liked reading about their culture, but if it had been about the competition a tad bit more, I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. But unfortunately, the romance was the main focus and at the end of the day, allocishet romances are not my cup of tea. I absolutely want to give them a chance when they’re diverse, but when the romance takes up 90 percent of the novel, it’s difficult for me to enjoy such a book. Dimple and Rishi attend a summer program in which they have to create an app, but we don’t find out any of the other groups’ ideas! If you enjoy romances, I’d suggest picking this book up, but don’t do it because the competition appeals to you, because you will end up feeling disappointed.

However, that wasn’t my main issue with this novel. I try to pay attention to ableist language, but in When Dimple Met Rishi, it would’ve been impossible not to notice anyway. I’ve only seen one reviewer mention the ableism in their review and I’m very disappointed. Because there are so, so many examples of ableist languages throughout the entire novel. Here are only a couple of examples:
“He was dressed pretty sanely for a psychotic attacker” [when Dimple thinks Rishi is a stalker]
“My parents are so deranged.”
“You’re driving me insane”.
“She’s depressed because…” Depression is a mental illness. It’s not the same as being sad! Smoothing things over with your boyfriend after a fight wouldn’t cure your depression, sweetie.
There is so much more where that came from. I wish I owned this as an e-book so I could search how often cr*zy was used. Therefore, I’m wary to pick up any of Menon’s future novels.

Sometimes, this book tried to tackle misogyny coming from men, but unfortunately, there was an unnecessary amount of animosity between the female characters. Besides Dimple, there are only two other girls at the summer program, who couldn’t be more different from Dimple and there’s a ton of drama surrounding them. Dimple had only met Isabelle and she already thought things like “a girl like Isabelle”, of course in a negative way. Throughout the entire novel, they never attempt to get to know each other better. Celia is looking fabulous and Dimple thinks “I wish I could hate her”. WHY? Why can’t female characters support each other?! Why do I have to read about such pettiness?!

At a certain point, Celia says she had a girlfriend last summer, but it was nothing serious. At first I was very excited to read about a bisexual or pansexual female character, but it might as well been a typo, because it’s never brought up again. Furthermore, if Celia is indeed queer, I don’t like how her sexuality is portrayed. She cheats on her partner and her relationship with a girl was “nothing serious”, implying that bisexuality is a phase. Unfortunately, I’m very familiar with reading such portrayals of bisexuality, and I wish non-bi authors would stop including my sexual orientation if they’re only going to rely on stereotypes.

The way Dimple discussed money really hurts me. She acts as if she’s poor, but her parents paid $1.000 for a camp just so she could meet her future husband. My mom doesn’t even have $1.000. Because she compares herself to Rishi who is rich, she thinks of money quite often. Reading that hurts, because it’s not even an issue for her!

Finally, I’m going to discuss the romance. Like I said, allocishet romances are not my cup of tea. However, that’s just my opinion, so I think there are plenty of people who will enjoy this novel. Having said that, there are some things about the romance I didn’t love.
First of all, I don’t think it’s romantic to push your partners boundaries. I understood the idea; Dimple and Rishi wanted each other to pursue their dreams, but I don’t like how they’re making the other person do things they specifically said they didn’t want to do. For instance, there’s a scene at a party where Dimple pressures Rishi into eating a brownie. He really didn’t want to because he was afraid it might contain drugs, but he did it because of her.
Secondly, I really don’t like how sex is portrayed in Young Adult. Penetration is always the first step for allocishet couples in YA and of course, it’s always perfect and painless. Which is, as far as I know, completely unrealistic. The first time doesn’t necessarily have to hurt, but the girl has to be prepared, if you know what I mean. But no, in YA, they just go right in there, because no other forms of sex exist.

Obviously, I had my issues with this novel. Having said that: y’all are so obvious. Why are the most liked reviews on Goodreads the most negative ones, which of course don’t even touch upon the ableism in this book? I know: racism. People just love hating on diverse books just because they’re diverse. I really hope people don’t interpret my review as “trolling”, because I absolutely expected to love this novel and do have some issues with.

Because I hadn’t expected the allocishet romance to be such a prominent part of the story, I didn’t enjoy When Dimple Met Rishi as much as I had expected. On top of that, I have some serious concerns, such as the ableist language. If you enjoy reading romances, I would recommend this novel, but please be aware of the ableism, portrayal of bisexuality, etc.

I wanted to include reviews from Indians or Indian-Americans who talked about the representation in this novel, but I couldn’t find any people who clearly stated in their reviews they’re Indians or Indian-Americans right away, but I haven’t heard any complaints when it comes to that portrayal. Besides, this novel is #OwnVoices.


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5 books with bisexual characters on my TBR


Today I am going to talk about five books on my TBR featuring bisexual characters. Naturally there are more, but I decided to narrow this down to five. Because I am bisexual, I try to read as many books representing me as possible. I’ve – unfortunately – noticed a big difference between #OwnVoices books and authors who don’t identify as bisexual. I think all of the books I am going to mention below are #OwnVoices, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

These are in no particular order. I won’t go into detail much, as I like to go into books without knowing much.

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27 Hours by Tristina Wright

This book is set to be released in October and I am so excited to read it! Apparently, it’s filled with diverse characters and Tristina Wright is a wonderful person, so I already know I am going to love this, even though I am generally not a fan of sci-fi.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

I also follow Tess Sharpe on Twitter and she seems like a wonderful person. I’ve been putting it off because it sounds like a very intense book and with my mental illnesses, I’m trying to stay clear from that for the time being, but I do want to read Far From You soon! As hard as such books can be to read, I generally love them as well.

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

I know NOTHING about this book, but it has received so much praise, I have to buy a copy soon!

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Before this book was released, everyone seemed to have read it already! It’s a F/F retelling of The Little Mermaid, which is one of my favourite fairytale!

I have to warn you though: This book might be harmful if you’re non-binary/ genderqueer/ genderfluid, so please do some research if you’re interested in reading this.

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

I can’t believe I still haven’t read any of Lacour’s books yet! What am I doing with my life? I already own Everything Leads to You and I recently ordered a hardcover copy of We Are Okay, so I should pick one of her books up soon!

So these are some books featuring bisexual characters on my TBR. Feel free to recommend me some more books, preferably #OwnVoices!


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Ramona Blue review: thoughts from a bisexual reviewer

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ramona blue.pngRamona Blue

by Julie Murphy

read in June 2017

format: hardcover

This review contains minor spoilers!

When the blurb of Ramona Blue was released, it caused a lot of controversy. Just have a look at the reviews on this website. I for one was very excited to read a book about a girl who thought she was a lesbian, but later learnt she was bi. Unfortunately, that’s not what Ramona Blue is about. Though this is written by a bisexual author and she says on social media that Ramona is bisexual, it is never once stated in the book that she is. That’s my main issue with this book and I’ll get into that later.

Let’s start with the things I did like. I love how the author mentioned every character’s skin colour. Often, authors only mention the skin colours of characters that aren’t white, so this was a nice change. Among the cast of characters, there’s a lot of diversity: gay, biracial, a character with two moms, etc. And I really appreciated Freddie telling Ramona how sneaking onto private property isn’t fun when you’re a black kid, because that’s how you get shot.

Unfortunately, I have many issues with this book. I don’t speak for all bisexuals, but I want to be honest and share how much this book has hurt me. If other bisexuals did enjoy this book, that’s totally fine. I just didn’t.

It honestly baffles me that this book is written by a bisexual woman, because throughout the book, I had the feeling as if it wasn’t considered a valid sexuality. As if Ramona was now straight and no longer gay, or that she was still a lesbian, but her boyfriend was an exception. The author has shared on social media that this character is indeed bisexual, so why wasn’t that included in the book? Why do I have to read this “I don’t like labels” bullshit instead? At one point, the phrase “Even straight people are a little bit gay” is used. That’s so biphobic! BI PEOPLE EXIST! That sentence went unchallenged, so I can only assume the author agrees with that.

Freddie is very ignorant when it comes to Ramona’s sexuality. She sometimes gets a bit annoyed with him, but overall, she always feels as if she was the one who shouldn’t have snapped and “at least he’s trying”. Reading this book was therefore very hard for me. I understand why the author would include homophobia because it does exist, but for it to go unchallenged… That’s not okay.

Therefore, I couldn’t excuse the things Freddie said and did. Because Ramona didn’t call him out, he didn’t exactly change. Naturally, I couldn’t root for their relationship, which is a huge part of what this story is about. Am I supposed to excuse his homophobia because he doesn’t have any gay friends? Hell no.

Freddie was the one who initiated the first kiss with Ramona. As far as he knew, she was a lesbian. Of course sexuality can be fluid, but it should’ve been her who took that first step, not him. She told him she was gay, yet he still kissed her. Do I have to point out how wrong that is?

Obviously, I wasn’t a fan of Freddie. Which sucks, because I liked him at first. But I just can’t excuse his behaviour. Like Ramona told him months ago that she didn’t want to get a senior page in the yearbook, so he bought it for her as a surprise. He’s pushing her to do things she doesn’t want to do, but she thought it was sweet and kind. She lets him get away with everything!

Moving on from their relationship, I have some other issues as well. As a Young Adult author, I believe you are responsible for teenagers. It’s good that Freddie used a condom and the sex was definitely consensual, but he went in there without any “prep” beforehand and I just cringed.

Furthermore, the word “crazy” is used an awful lot and at one point, Ramona says “I’m a human being. I think about sex”. I found that quite acephobic.

A common theme in many books is a character who doesn’t want to go to college, but does go in the end because “it’s the only way to turn their lives around”. I find that harmful, because not everyone gets a scholarship, because it doesn’t work out for everybody. You are not a failure if you decide not to go to college, so we should see this more often in fiction!

I have even more issues with this book, but I’ll end this here. I’m so very disappointed in this book and I know people will disagree with me, but I cannot help how I feel. I never expected a bisexual author to make me feel so invalid, but here we are…

Unfortunately, reading Ramona Blue was a hurtful experience, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Yes, this book has received positive reviews, but I wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt like I did.


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review: History is All You Left Me


history is all you left me.pngHistory is All You Left Me

by Adam Silvera

read in April 2017

format: paperback

spoiler-free review!

I read History is All You Left Me back in April, so I have to write this review based on the notes I took back then. I apologise that this review won’t be as thorough as usual.

I was very excited to read this book. I haven’t read More Happy Than Normal by Adam Silvera yet, but I follow this author on Twitter and his other books are on my TBR.

It’s very hard to review this book so long after having actually read it, because my notes only include negative things. But I must have enjoyed it, because I rated it four stars. Looking back on History is All You Left Me, it wasn’t an easy read. It deals with a lot of serious topics such as death, grieving etc. and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. From what I’ve gathered, Silvera’s other books have similar themes and those are definitely books I tend to enjoy. But please do be aware that his books may include triggering material.

But because this book deals with such heavy topics, I was very invested. When characters made questionable decisions, you really felt for them, but also made me go “Why Griffin, Why??!!”. On top of that, there is a mystery that is only revealed at the end of the book, and I never would have guessed it!

I love that the gay and OCD representation are #OwnVoices and there is also a side character who is black and a minor character who’s in a wheelchair. But the bisexual rep isn’t and I could definitely tell. That’s my main issue with this book. When Theo says he’s bisexual, Griffin says some biphobic things. Instead of calling him out, Theo re-assures Griffin that he would never cheat on him. At the end of the book, there’s a character who says he doesn’t like labels, but Griffin immediately refers to that character as gay. Because “I don’t like labels” is often used to refer to people who are bisexual, I found this biphobic as well. Just because a man is attracted to other men, doesn’t mean he is gay. This bi-erasure definitely hurt. I’m very disappointed that I keep coming across similar depictions of bisexual characters when that representation isn’t #OwnVoices.

I enjoyed History is All You Left Me, but since it deals with an abundance of heavy topics, I’d suggest reading some more reviews beforehand to make sure it doesn’t include any material that might be triggering for you. I’m very disappointed with the biphobia, but I am willing to give Silvera another chance and do plan to pick up his other books in the future.


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review: Queens of Geek


queens of geek.pngQueens of Geek

by Jen Wilde

read in April 2017

format: paperback

spoiler-free review!

Queens of Geek is a perfect book. There’s nothing I disliked about it. At first glance, this novel might seem predictable, but it absolutely wasn’t. I would recommend this quick and fun read to everyone!

First of all, this book is so diverse. Taylor is fat, has anxiety and is autistic. I very much related to her insecurities and anxiety. Charlie, the other protagonist, is bisexual and Chinese Australian. The way she describes her bisexuality is probably the most relatable portrayal I’ve read so far! It’s exactly like my experience. Alyssa is a queer woman of colour and (I think) Jamie is Latinx.

It’s very hard for me to like male characters and M/F romances. But Jamie blew me away. I absolutely loved him. I was even rooting for him and Taylor to get together. That is so unlike me! I always have a hard time thinking of book boyfriends, but if Jamie were a couple years older, he’d definitely be on my list!

Normally, I’m not a fan of geek culture. Though I’m probably a geek myself, I can’t stand them most of the time: “I’m so awkward because I read comic books and like superheroes, no one else at school understands me. Girls are fake fans, because they only watch it because of the hot actors.”. Thankfully, Queens of Geek was not at all like this.

I love it when authors don’t shy away from topics such as fatphobia and misogyny. I think it says a lot about the author, so I definitely want to read more books written by Jen Wilde.

If you’re doing Diversity Bingo like me, this book qualifies for bisexual MC (own voices), neuro-diverse MC (own voices), MC with an under-represented body, LGBTQIA+ MC of colour and MC with an invisible disability.

conclusion: Queens of Geek is one of the most relatable books I have ever read. On top of that, it is diverse and fast-paced. I would recommend everyone to pick up a copy if you haven’t yet!


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