F/F Friday/// Tarnished Are The Stars

¬†THE SEMESTER IS FINALLY OVER I’M FREEEE I also have some good personal news; since I did well at JC this semester I can go to state in January. There’s been a lot of setbacks, but it looks like I’ve cleared them. I won’t entirely believe it until I have my own apartment and am going to class. If you want to help, I’d appropriate any $3 or more Ko-fi donations¬†here

On to the good gay content!

Tarnished Are The Stars by Rosiee Thor,  Rep: F/F, AroAce

¬†The girls don’t meet until halfway through, but you can see how they’d complement and clash. Anna would do anything to help people with Tarnish- a heart disease that requires illegal tech to stay alive. She’s the Technician, an outlaw that tends to mechanical hearts called TICCERS. Her grandfather’s the town’s doctor, and she would’ve been one too, if she hadn’t accidentally amputated a limb, scarring her for life.

¬†Nathaniel, the Commissioner’s son, is determined to prove himself to his father by catching the Technician.¬† He’s convinced that his father must love him deep down if he broke his own law to provide him a TICCER. But what if the Technician has answers to the things he’s been too ashamed to ask?¬†

Eliza is a spy for the queen, determined to win the Queen’s favour and be made heir. She’s been engaged to Nathaniel, the queen’s grandson, as a ruse to spy on the Commissioner and speed op Earth Adjacent’s terraforming process.

This is an #Ownvoices book, and¬†@RosieeThor is a great place to go for queer advocacy. Her book is probably the first book I’ve read because of following them on twitter.

F/F Friday: Amelia Westlake Was Never Here

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¬†I hope you like a new thing I’m trying out! F/F Fridays will showcase F/F books of all genres, hopefully showing that F/F books are plentiful when you look for them. Please comment a recommendation for this series!¬†

Amelia Westlake was a rare 10/12, suffering only where some characters seem flat. They are teenagers and they act their age, but especially Harriet, don’t seem to grow, or if they do grow, it’s for a sudden plot twist rather than an emotional process we see.¬†

 And I started off a great book with a horrible into.

¬†Amelia Westlake is fictional. She’s a force for good in a not-good private school- their Olympic winning coach is a serial sexual harasser. The girls are too afraid to say anything- except for Will, who’s got such a bad reputation that no one takes her seriously. But Harriet might be into some school rebellion- so long as it remains anonymous and doesn’t ruin her good name.¬†

Will isn’t so much a bad girl as one who knows the rules are ridiculous and thus chooses not to follow them. The whole point of A.W. is to expose the various injustices that go on at the school. Harriet, on the other hand, believes that following the rules can lead to good things- whether it’s in school or with her really demanding girlfriend. She’s really the weak one- the one who thinks she does good things but can’t stand on her own.

Harriet is involved in a pragma relationship- a relationship that exists for social advantages like a good tennis teammate or homework help. The girl-who’s name I don’t remember- literally threatens to break up because an elite tennis player needs a teammate and only relents because Harriet offers help with a speech. For the love of love, THIS KIND OF RELATIONSHIP IS BAD AND ABUSIVE. I believe it was written to portray it as such, but it’s not properly addressed as such.

¬†I think I put it off for so long because I thought it would be traumatic, with the whole predator thing. And the coach is bad, but not so horrifically bad that it’s personally triggering. His actions are more like inappropriate comments and ogling- he goes into the girls locker room! But no one gets raped, which is what I was scared of. I’d say this is a trigger warning for sexual harassment and low level sexual assault.¬†

¬†This was probably the best F/F books I’ve yet to read. The other contender, Everything Leads To You, had a really slow start, but a fantastic ending. Amelia had good moments throughout the book, with the scheming, the carrying out the schemes, and the enemies-to-lovers gay angst.¬†

I know it didn’t sound like I enjoyed it, but it’s been a while and I promise I did. the perils of blogging in college…

 

My Best Friend Made Me Read The Book Of Joy?!

One of my best friends made me read the Book Of Joy. And he’s still my best friend, so it wasn’t as terrible as the name suggests. or I just have no other friends. A bit of both.

 The Book Of Joy has three authors; the 13th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams. The Dalai Lama is a simple monk. Tutu is his best friend and a Christian, and Abrams is the founder of Idea Architects, a media company for visionaries like these two and Stephen Hawking. 

They talk about compassion. They talk about letting go of the bad and breathing in the good. Acknowledging other’s suffering so that you don’t feel alone in your own suffering. Gratitude. And experiencing the journey without a strong tie to the end.

If the goal is noble, your commitment to the goal should not be contingent on your ability to attain  it, and in pursuit of our goal, we must release our rigid assumptions about how we must achieve it

This passage was short, but it’s the one that called to me the most. No one person has total control over an outcome. Any number of things, from weather, to car crashes, to organizational miscommunication can change the outcome. Maybe you can do as you planned at another time, maybe carry it out in a different way, or scrap it altogether and do something else. But you keep going, and the important thing is what you learned on your journey.¬†

Gratitude 

¬†They talk about gratitude in a very Yo mama way; be grateful to have a house. If you don’t have a house, be grateful for the food, if you have no food, be grateful to see another day. As a homeless person, I didn’t really find this offensive, especially since the DL had to flee his palace because the Chinese were attacking it. Don’t ask me to explain it because everything I know about Tibet I learned from this book.

¬†It really did fill me with gratitude. Gratitude for the people who took care of my pets since I don’t have a place I can care for them in, gratitude for the friend that went through a hard time but made it out, gratitude for the brother that gave me this book in the first place.

It’s really an amazing book, life-changing for some. I did have an issue with the constant use of “he or she” instead of the more inclusive “they” and it pulled me out of a few passages.

Have you read The Book Of Joy? What were your favourite passages?

Yuri On Ice Memes///College Problems

I’ve recently received some devastating news college-wise, so I thought it was a good time to get out the good gay memes.YVYRespo

Basically, I was under the impression that my admission would be dependent on the grades in my current classes at a community college. They even notified me of what my financial aid would be. But now they’re saying I don’t meet a few requirements and need to take at least one more semester at JC. It’s been really confusing because multiple people have told me different things throughout the entirety of my journey back to a 4 year.¬†

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A lot of people are offering suggestions as what to do. I could move near my 4 year and take classes at their community college. It would limit miscommunication and hopefully give me a clearer path back. I could stay in my hometown and take classes at our local JC, which is what I’ve been doing. It’s cheaper and I get more emotional support. I could forgo the college thing and look for a journalism program or internship that may lead into a career. It’s a lot to consider.

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I’m really tired of it all. My reasons for going to a 4 year have changed. My family is one of those college-or-die types, and most journalists in magazines have an education, Master’s recommended. So I went fresh out of high school, misguidedly thinking I was straight, to a nice but not prestigious college a 6 hour drive from my hometown. I got various kinds of sick, so I left.¬†

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 I started taking local JC classes because of FASFA problems that prevented me from returning to my 4-year. It was around $250 out of pocket, which I paid for with money I was earning at a tree planting organization. Alas, work, mental health, and school did not work at the time, so I withdrew from psychology,  quit my job a month in, and failed history but passed logic. This is the semester my denial is based on. I had a 1.0 GPA.

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So yeah. I’m going to focus on doing well in my current two classes, Bio and Comm. It should be over in about a month. I know that if I’m going to take classes, I need to register soon.¬†

¬†Thanks for listening. If I’m giving advice, it’s try to be realistic about what you can handle. And be absolutely sure as to what your college requirements are before attempting to fulfill them. Talk to a person at the school, that knows what they’re talking about.

And maybe donate to my ko-fi

End Of The Year Book Tag!

Books You Started This Year And Need To Finish 

I just officially DNF’d a few books because of this question. Tom Gordon wasn’t doing it for me, I wasn’t scared enough and there really isn’t a plot, just an endlessly trapped in the woods. I also DNF’d Keep Faith because the first few stories were triggering for me. I might go back to Spark Your Career In Magazines, but it is out of date, so I’m not in a hurry.

But there are some books from back when I first went to college in 2017. The Zookeeper’s Wife, The Hidden Life Of Trees, and The Definitive Guide To Handwriting Analysis all had to be returned to the library before leaving town. I’ve had an LOTR box forever but never read beyond The Fellowship, and my last attempt ended in October of 2017. I’m not sure why, I guess I just got caught up in college. Al Jazeera English was an interesting book I started for a Journalism class, but only read 36%. I picked up Deadline Artists during winter break and didn’t finish before I went back.

None of these were this year, they’ve just been on my Currently-Reading shelf for a while.

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Autumnal Book To Transition Into The End Of The Year

I feel like I’m a little late for this one. Had I done it earlier I would’ve said Wayward Son or Frankly In Love. I read Wayward Son in October and haven’t gotten around to Frankly In Love. Frankly seems like a September or February book to me, so I might put it off until at least after I move. The fires in CA delayed my apartment hunting for a bit, so I’m not actually sure when it will be, but hopefully before January so I can go to school in person.¬†

But back to the question. Out Of Salem is a zombie book, so it fits spooky fall. I want to read it soon, but I have some books I promised some friends I’d read, so let’s see if I can make this in the last week of this month.

3 Books You Want To Read Before The End Of The Year

Girls Of Snow And Glass is a Snow White retelling where Snow White falls for her Wicked Stepmother. So this could also fit with autumnal reads. Dragon Pearl is an Asian inspired Rick Riordan imprint book with a non-binary character. We Contain Multitudes is gay. I mean, duh, but it’s all I know about it. I think someone has depression, but I could be wrong.

Anticipated New Release 

I think everything coming out this year already came out. October was a busy month with Wayward Son, Never Tilting World, Now Entering Adamsville, and others. The Guinevere Deception came out earlier this month. I am curious about Reverie by Ryan la Sala, and that comes out December 3rd. 

2020 Reading Plans 

Hopefully the move goes well. If it does, I know that I’m moving to a place that doesn’t have the greatest library collection, so I’ve been stashing a small collection to tide me over until I figure something out.¬†

Frankly In Love, Grimm Lovelies, 100 Years Of Solitude, Stiff, Last Bus To Everland, Murder Under The Bridge, and Slayer all included. It does concern me that there are more heterosexual books than I’d like. But then, my reading goal, should things work out, is probably going to be lower because I’d be busy with school. I’ll keep applying for queer ARCs, exchange books with friends, or break down and buy things. And by “things” I mean some food and books.

I’m also aware that my small college town library is a branch of a hopefully bigger library, but I rarely went anywhere that wasn’t walkable and I didn’t figure out their request system. I do want to check out the other library, but if I move where I want it probably won’t become a regular thing.¬†

What are your reading plans for the end of 2019? Any for 2020? 

The Power Of Diverse Stories

I have been busy with midterms, so I haven’t been posting as often, but now I am a 92% richer, bio grades wise. Monetary, I’m still pretty poor.¬†

But I am here to talk about my Comms class, not my bio class. I am currently taking Interpersonal Communications, about how the way we talk differs in different settings and with different people. I initially signed up for it because I thought it would meet my public speaking requirement, but now I’m not sure. Regardless, the class is fascinating.

We were assigned to watch¬†Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, The Danger Of The Single Story.

 

 

¬†She explains the need for diversity by explaining the effect the opposite of diversity has; a life where everything’s whitewashed. Where every story is about the white girl in pigtails drinking ginger beer. I have no idea what ginger beer is, but i’m sure it’s horrible.

 When we do not know someone, and do not care to obtain information about them from multiple sources, we see them as the story we do know about them. The story can be true, but not be a complete picture. Do you really think Middle Earth is plagued only by a ring, a Dark Lord, some orcs, and 60 years ago, a dragon? Perhaps you know of the necromancer. But Middle Earth is more than those things. 

¬†Actually, Middle Earth canon is pretty big, bigger than the stories the media writes about immigrants, African-Americans, and other minorities. Even well-intentioned media can’t cover every story. And there are well-intentioned media, I’m in school to be a journalist, I know. Some people won’t share their stories because it could put them in danger. Some people like privacy. But most of the time, there are hundreds of stories for dozens of time slots, and there are stories that are more likely to be bought and consumed than others.

¬†In the case of books, it’s more likely to be a straight white man in it. and because it’s the norm, it has stayed the norm. More diverse stories are being published all the time, but only recently. And POC authors still hear from white publishers “I couldn’t connect with the story.” In queer media, the gay white boy from a middle-class family is the norm, instead of the black trans women that threw the bricks at Stonewall.

What can you do? Buy and request diverse books from the library. Spread it on your social media platforms. Leave reviews everywhere, from Goodreads to Amazon. Demand these books, and don’t give up. We’re diversifying already, but we need to continue to push until schools assign diverse books on a regular basis, until everyone can see themselves and others represented.¬†

 

 

Lesbian Necromancers and Other Queer-O-Lanterns

 

I had a hard time with the first chapter of Gideon The Ninth, but it’s gone significantly upwards. Gideon and Harrow of the necromantic Ninth House hate each others guts. Not entirely sure why harrow hates Gideon yet, but she’s been keeping Gideon locked up against her will, despite Gideon being a trained fighter for the House. Gid wants to go join the army, a different army, but a certain someone is keeping her away.¬†

This is supposed to be a hate-to-love, so I’m thrilled. The cover also scared my grown friend, so bonus for taking it around to terrorize him everywhere.¬†

This is the favourite books of one of my favourite booktubers, Rhiannon @¬†Crescent Moon Reads.¬†They’re a non-binary slytherin witch that started the Enby Book Club with Jesse @¬†Bowties and Books. The last book of the month was The Black Tides Of Heaven, an Asian inspired fantasy centered around twins of a dictator working from within and outside of their society. I did have a problem with their being not a lot of emotional depth or an explanation of why the mother is so bad. It’s also very gay; their society raises children as gender-neutral until they choose to confirm their gender.

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Also here’s some books with asexual characters on my TBR!

Tarnished Are The Stars¬†by Rosiee Thor- this book is literally everywhere on my timeline so if you haven’t seen this before- we follow very different ppl my friend. There’s an f/f romance between a girl with an illegal clockwork heart and an assassin after the ace boy after clockwork heart girl.¬†

I- read the description on goodreads if that’s confusing. I want to read it cause it’s ace, and enemies to friends, and f/f.

Beyond The Black Door¬†by AM Strickland- Apparently has a biromantic asexual villain and If I don’t love them I will die. I mean, I’ll die anyway eventually, but I want to die having read good rep of myself. It’s about ppl who can walk into other’s souls, like a garden, while they sleep. Kamai’s mum told her never to open the black door that follows them everywhere, into every soul. So she, of course, opens it. The description doesn’t say why they walk through souls, or if it’s even consensual, so that’s what I’m most secondly exited about.

Their Troublesome Crush¬†by Xan West- I might actually be more into the poly rep than the demi rep. Ernest and Nora are submissives to a shared partner, who’s currently having a big birthday while they are starting to realize that they might be into each other. There’s also fat, disabled, and trans rep that I am here for.¬†

Happy Halloween! Have you read, or are planning to read any of these books? What are your spooky reading plans?!