Contemporaries Everyone Should Read // Mini Reviews // Queens of Geek, Dress Codes, & Brave Enough

Apparently it’s been a long while since I actually published some book reviews? And I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I feel VERY behind! Then I got very distracted writing my post about my anticipated autumn releases … and these reviews just got shuffled around AGAIN.

But my anticipated releases post is hecka long and NO WHERE NEAR DONE writing because there are SO MANY GREAT books to write about. I’ve been writing it for an hour and it’s only 1/5 done??? This is going to take the rest of the weekend. #thisisinsane

…Trying to write about so many new books…

Anyway, so I decided to back up and come finish this post, so you’re welcome! Because if you’re looking for some A) lighthearted (maybe not?) B) Diverse C) #ownvoices reads,,,, then I’ve got three GREAT books.

I read this book at the very beginning of the summer and I’m finally getting around to writing an actual review? I would be disappointed with myself about being so behind BUT I’m just happy that I’m actual writing this review, haha! 

Charlie is a Youtube star and a rising film actor – so it’s no surprise that’s she heading to Comic Con. Taylor is also heading to Comic Con, but unlike her best friend, Charlie, she doesn’t want to stand out from the giant crowds. 

Charlie isn’t just signing movie posters, she’s also recovering from a nasty breakup with her jerk of an ex. And when she runs into her long-time crush, and Youtube star, Alyssa Huntington, she realizes she may not be the only one with a crush. 

Taylor is working super hard to enjoy Comic Con and hang below the radar. BUT when her closest friend encourages her to join a contest in her favorite fandom, Taylor may just have a chance to try standing out. 

So this book was really short but it was so full of amazing diverse rep! I mean, the discussion on autism was absolutely incredible. It was definitely the very FIRST book I’ve ever read that covered Autism in such a healthy way.

And oh my goodness, the NERDS! I loved the Comic Con atmosphere for the book setting and all the fangirling, and fandom culture. I’ve been wanting to go to vidcon and this book just cemented that goal, haha! (Also, please let me go to afterparty)

My face geeking out all about the fandom nerdiness. 

And I cannot talk about this book without mentioning the bisexual rep! Charlie is bisexual and is coming to terms with her own feelings and how the world sees her. There’s definitely some biphobic characters and I LOVED how Charlie stands up her herself. 

Me, clapping for Charlie standing up for herself. 

So, if you’re looking for a short, happy read, Queens of Geek is FOR YOU! (Yes, this is the lighthearted read rec for today)

OH MY GOODNESS…apparently I haven’t done an official review for this book? WELL HERE I AM TO FIX THIS PROBLEM.

Billie McCaffrey is the small-town preacher’s daughter which means lots of rules, lots of gossip and lots of questions. Billie loves hanging out with her small circle of friends and causing lots of trouble. 

Since Billie has always been a tomboy, she keeps running into her town, her friends, and her family putting labels on her sexuality. But Billie doesn’t want labels. Billie does WANT to save her town’s beloved Corn Dolly Festival and experience love on her own terms. 

Ok, so this book was deep and so rich? Because it addressed gender-questioning in a beautiful way and I really resonated with our main character’s questioning AND all the expectations she experienced in her life.

Also, it was super realistic and felt so true! The small town, filled with both prejudice and acceptance. The surprises around the corner, the strict parents and goofy teenage kids just being friends and hanging out. Also, pick up trucks. (Because this is the South)

The story centers around Billie and her friends trying to save the annual Corn Dolly Festival. Each year, the festival committee chooses a “corn dolly lady” recipient, rewarding the Best Woman™️ in the town with a corn dolly. In-between trying to save the festival from closing, Billie and her friends work on election the right person to win this years corn dolly.
I love how both of the plots worked together to address ‘being a lady’ and society’s expectations. It was just so good, guys!

(and yes, this was both a very happy and super diverse read)

Me screaming about Dress Codes for the next 10 years.

Oh, wow, wow, wow. This book is intense, and good, and so powerful. For some reason, no one told me it’s an own voices story? And even though I didn’t know that while reading it, I could certainly tell as I was reading it that the author has experience with this particular topic.

CW/TW – Cancer, drug addiction and use. 

Cason is a ballerina. And not just any ballerina. The prima dancer for Atlanta Ballet. The entire dancing world is in front of her, but she starts feeling a consistent pain in her knee. That knee pain won’t go away and might come in the way of the most important audition in her life.

Davis is a former cancer patient and a recovering drug addict. He’s fighting to stay away from drugs, and part of that fight is volunteering in a cancer ward.

The main characters are incredible! Cason and Davis are both strong individuals with compelling stories that taught me so much. The way Cason dealt with her cancer diagnosis, her depression and wanting to overcome the diagnosis, it was so real.
And Davis fighting his drug addiction was overwhelmingly incredible. I mean, the pain, the mental fight was intense. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire book, cheering for Davis to keep fighting.

Now, some of the side characters were super annoying or plain stereotyping. Cason’s mom and Davis’ ex-girlfriend were both very frustrating to read through. I’m sure there’s people like that in real life but it felt a bit forced and unreal to this story.

My face while reading through some of the weird character moments. 

Overall, I enjoyed this story a great deal. One of my close family members was diagnosed with Cancer this spring, and seeing Cason and her mom deal with the cancer diagnosis and treatment was super helpful to understanding what the people I love are going through. The emotions of the diagnosis and response just resonated so well.

Also, the cover? SUCH BEAUTY.

ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

(Also, no, this book is not lighthearted and might actually be too much and make you cry. But it is #ownvoices and so rich!)

I did something totally different today when writing this reviews. (Did you notice????)

Anyway, I wrote my own book synopsis’s instead of just copy and pasting from Goodreads. I feel like an official book blogger™️ now.  (even though I brand myself as a being creative blogger?) (which is a thing I totally made up, so yes, it probably makes no sense) 

All that to say, I super appreciate people who can actually write book synopsis paragraphs. Because it is HARD. How to describe an amazing book in just 100 words? This is difficult.

lets chat

 Do you enjoy lighthearted or tear-jerking reads more? What contemporary reads have you read lately? Do you ever get behind writing reviews? 

Is it easier to write full reviews or mini-reviews? Which do you prefer? 

Also, it release weekend for To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, so if you haven’t – check out my book review and BE SURE TO WATCH IT ON NETFLIX! (I already have, and yes, it’s adorable and really good!

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13 Comments

  1. August 18, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    Wonderful reviews! I’ve had my eye on Queens of Geek for a while, I’m definitely reading it soon after your review!

  2. emmareadstoomuch
    August 18, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    ugh YES perfect for the end of contemporary szn. love this post!!!

    • August 21, 2018 / 2:05 pm

      YASS! Summer belongs to contemporary! Thanks so much!

  3. August 19, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    I love this post! *adds all these books to my TBR* Also, I’m really excited for your anticipated autumn releases post now, that sounds really exciting. 😉 YES, I just watched the Lara Jean movie today, and loved it! Now I want to reread the books because the movie was adorable but I remember the books being even more adorable.

    • August 21, 2018 / 2:06 pm

      Here I am to make your TBR pile an absolute mountain! And I just published my fall releases, so go grow your TBR, hehehe!
      And Lara Jean’s movie is so perfect and cute and adorable!!!

  4. August 20, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    YES TO ALL OF THESE BOOKS I NEED TO READ EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST c: c:
    *reaches for them*

  5. August 22, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    Contemporary books are my good-to when I’m looking for something lighthearted to read. I haven’t read any of these, but they are going on my TBR list so that I can remedy that! Great reviews! 😀

  6. Ilsen Leon
    September 9, 2018 / 10:07 am

    I like to say that I’m for both tear jerkers and lighthearted but I like feeling emotional and having my soul crushed so I go for tearjerkers but a fun light hearted read is also great. I usually don’t get behind on reviews and I think I prefer full blown reviews to write but I love reading both mini and full length reviews! Great reviews! I haven’t read any of these but I definitely want to soon!

Drop some knowledge!