Title: The Love Hypothesis

Author: Laura Steven

Pages: 297 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing

The Blurb

An LGBT romantic comedy with a twist from the Comedy Women in Print prize winner Laura Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay. A hilarious love story with bite, for fans of Sex Education, Booksmart, Becky Albertalli’s Love, Simon and Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Physics genius Caro Kerber-Murphy knows she’s smart. With straight As and a college scholarship already in the bag, she’s meeting her two dads’ colossal expectations and then some. But there’s one test she’s never quite been able to ace: love. And when, in a particularly desperate moment, Caro discovers a (definitely questionable) scientific breakthrough that promises to make you irresistible to everyone around you, she wonders if this could be the key.

What happens next will change everything Caro thought she knew about chemistry – in the lab and in love. Is hot guy Haruki with her of his own free will? Are her feelings for her best friend Keiko some sort of side-effect? Will her dog, Sirius, ever stop humping her leg?

The Review

So in high school I was pretty nerdy. I didn’t mind and to be fair people didn’t make anything of it. It was at a time when being nerdy wasn’t considered the cook cache that it is nowadays. I worked in the library, I was slightly chubby and I had flaming red hair. I was – what some people would ironically call – a catch. The reason I am giving you this potted history is because if I had been told during my formative years that  I could take a pill that would make people be attracted to me then hell yes I would have done it. No questions asked.

This is the same for protagonist Caro Kerber-Murphy. She doesn’t feel like she compares to her two best friends who are interesting and beautiful. She fails to get noticed. If she were a colour it would be beige. Ecru at a push. When she finds an advert for a medically approved drug that can make people fall in love with you she jumps on it. Little does she realise that the consequences can be quite damaging.

I really enjoyed reading about Caro and her friends. I loved the inner turmoil that she goes through and how she really just wants to be noticed. I love how Steven used her back story to justify the way she was feeling without ramming it down the reader’s throats. Steven has shown in The Love Hypothesis and in her previous books how she trusts her readers to be able to understand things without spelling them out. As a reader, I appreciate that.

The Love Hypothesis also makes you remember just what falling in love for the first time feels like. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that you can finish in one sitting.

The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Steven (@LauraSteven) please visit www.laura-steven.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing (@EgmontUK) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

Title: The Black Flamingo

Author: Dean Atta

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

The Blurb

This is not about being ready, it’s not even about being fierce, or fearless, IT’S ABOUT BEING FREE.

Michael waits in the stage wings, wearing a pink wig, pink fluffy coat and black heels.

One more step will see him illuminated by spotlight.

He has been on a journey of bravery to get here, and he is almost ready to show himself to the world in bold colours …

Can he emerge as The Black Flamingo?

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The Black Flamingo is a really lovely and engaging story about figuring out who you are. It is the coming of age story of Michael who we watch from early childhood coming to understand who he is: a young gay black man.

Some of those adjectives seem like they shouldn’t be focused on however they are important in the telling of his story. It is how he is perceived as being both black and also as being gay. Not just how society sees him but also how he sees himself.

The Black Flamingo is a gorgeous story told totally through verse. You become captivated by the story telling but also by the beautiful illustrations that accompany the story.

This is definitely a book for those who have struggled to come to terms with an aspect of their lives. It helps create empathy and understanding.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta is available now.

For more information regarding Dean Atta (@DeanAtta) please visit his Twitter page.

 

Title: Only Mostly Devastated

Author: Sophie Gonzales

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press/Hachette Children’s Group/Hodder Children’s Books

The Blurb

Ollie and Will were a summer fling; now they’re classmates. But only one of them is out…SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets a modern-day, queer re-imagining of GREASE.

It was the very last Wednesday of August when I realized Disney had been lying to me about Happily Ever Afters. Because, you see, I was four days into mine, and my prince was nowhere to be found.

“Please don’t lose contact. I need to see you again,” he’d said. So why was I here, banging my head against a metaphorical wall, weighing up the pros and cons of sending another message? This wasn’t a big deal. It was just a guy texting another guy. A guy who knew all my biggest secrets, and had Seen. Me. Naked™. A guy who’d convinced me he really, really liked me. A guy who’d better have been abducted by goddamn aliens…

When Ollie meets Will over the summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairy-tale ending.

A family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country – Will’s school – and Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, a basketball jock and, well, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie isn’t going to pine after a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

With the noisy drama of their friends as the backdrop – from ambitious Juliette and frosty Lara, to big-hearted Darnell and king-jock Matt – Ollie has a decision to make.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right?

The Review

Only Mostly Devastated is a warm, funny, sweet book about young love and feeling the need to hide who you truly are. The blurb describes it as a modern day telling of Grease and it couldn’t be more accurate. With our protagonist Ollie we see the story from the eyes of Sandra-Dee…except he is a little bit emo and a boy and gay.

Undercurrent to the love story you have a tale of finding your tribe. Ollie is in a new school in a completely different state and he is struggling to find his place. Throw on top of that another story of a sick relative and you really do feel that Ollie has too much going on for someone so young.

I really rate Only Mostly Devastated. It is a book that deals with difficult issues but also gives you the feel good factor. The writing style is easy and you don’t feel like you are being challenged by reading it but feel like you are one of Ollie’s gang of friends, going through things alongside him.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales is available now.

For more information regarding Sophie Gonzales (@sgonzalesauthor) please visit www.sophiegonzalesbooks.com.

For more information regarding St Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachettechildrens.co.uk.

For more information regarding Hodder Children’s Books (@HoddereBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

 

Title: Queerleaders

Author: MB Guel

Pages: 148 Pages

Publisher: Bella Books

The Blurb

“Mack snuck a look over her shoulder at the cheerleaders just as Veronica took her place at the top of the pyramid. Time seemed to slow as Veronica  swung her long, blond ponytail over her shoulder, pompoms high in the air…”

Mackenzie is used to being different from other kids—and to being bullied for not fitting into the rigid social expectations of her Catholic high school. Luckily, Mack’s best friend Lila has her back so school isn’t the total hell it could be. But it’s pretty damn close.

Until something very mysterious happens—Mack becomes a cheerleader magnet. Even she has a hard time believing it. And Lila is not too happy about her friend’s sudden popularity with the cool kids.

Is Mack being set up for an epic fail? Or is she finally headed for acceptance–and maybe even romance…

The Review

Oh Queerleaders is a great story.

I love LGBT fiction. I love YA fiction. Put those hands together and you have Queerleaders. The story of Mack and how she is forced to come out by the arrogant and narrow-minded bullies in her school and how she manages to lose herself and find herself all at once.

It is a story of friendship and a story of self discovery. Mack is shown to be a warts and all brilliant protagonist whose downfall is due to her own indulgence and greed but gosh I loved her.

If you love stories of the LGBT variety and you want something completely heart-warming then Queerleaders is the book for you.

Queerleaders by MB Guel is available now.

For more information regarding MB Guel (@MB_Guel) please visit her Twitter page.

Title: City of Girls

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Pages: 470 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Blurb

The blazingly brilliant new novel from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the international bestseller Eat Pray Love: a glittering coming-of-age epic stitched across the fabric of a lost New York.

The Review

This sumptuous tale is a lot more than the story of a debutante discovering herself. It is about the social changes in society; the development of a city; the change in time and attitudes. It is a love letter to the past and a recognition of just how magical life can be.

City of Girls is the first book in a very long time that has managed to provide the wow factor for me. The character of Vivian is shown with such unashamed honesty. We see every facet of her character – the good, the bad, and the ugly. She is an unforgettable heroine.

For me, City of Girls belongs to that rare breed of book. The one that you desperately do not want to end but cannot stop yourself from reading because you have to know what happens.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is available now.

For more information regarding Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz) please visit www.ElizabethGilbert.com.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.