Young Adult

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters

3 Stars
Reviewed by Naomi

Official Synopsis:When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too? 

Alix loves Swanee. Everyone knows it. Love is the reason she abandoned her best friend. Love is the reason she breaks rules and is in a rocky relationship with her parents. Their love is real. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. It’s forever. Well, it was supposed to be forever and then Swanee died. 

Swanee’s death does a lot to Alix, because suddenly she’s alone. No clubs, no after school activities and no friends. Swanee was everything and in a blink of an eye, Alix lost everything. So, when a text comes into Swanee’s phone from mysterious LT claiming to love Swanee forever, Alix loses it. She has to know who this LT is. She becomes obsesses. She does the unthinkable and texts LT as Swanee. But, she knows that’s not good enough. She has to know more. So, she goes and meets LT and it changes her entire world forever.

I’m torn about this book. It’s a love story and I honestly don’t think it should have been, because it’s just stronger as a coming of age novel. Alix does what many of us do when we’re young. She loses herself completely in her first love. When that love is taken away she can’t function and when she realized that her love had secrets, devastating, world shattering secrets, she has to learn to rebuild herself.

I wish that she could have rebuilt herself alone. I wish that she could have clung to her family and friendship, over love. And, considering who her new love interest is, I just couldn’t buy it. 

I feel Julie Anne Peters wanted to tell young people that their first love isn’t everything. That they shouldn’t get all caught up in romance and lose themselves in the relationship, but then Alix just loses herself in yet another friendship. The message is confusing and really undermines the progress Alix makes in the wake of Swanee’s death.

I will say that the lgbt aspect of the book is done well. Because, it’s just a normal teen relationship. The fact that they’re lesbians, that they’re young gay women doesn’t shake the world. Their love is normal, because all love is normal. Swanee could have been named Jake and it would have been the same exact story. Love is love and I think this novel is really good at highlighting this.

At the end of the day this book isn’t awful. My own preferences on what I wish the story was, is why it’s only a 3, but I think many of you will really enjoy it.

For more info: Goodreads page and author website. 

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Upcoming Releases: June 2015, part 1

All of these books are released on June 2nd.

10/? aesthetics

→ Rose Hathaway

“Ah, my daughter,ʺ he said. ʺEighteen, and already youʹve been accused of murder, aided felons, and acquired a death count higher than most guardians will ever see.ʺ He paused. ʺI couldnʹt be prouder.”

A great list that includes Aya, from Kristen Simmons’ The Glass Arrow!

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Ok, if you can, please do yourself a favour and buy a ticket for the cinema screening of this movie! “Cirkeln” or “The Circle” is a movie about some very different youths who find out they have some rather special talents, and someone or something is trying to kill them all off if they don’t manage to stop it. If you liked “The Craft”, or enjoyed reading “The Mortal Instruments”, please give this movie a shot! It is soooo worth it!

Alex Is Reading....BOOKS FULL OF PRIDE!!

Woo hoo! It’s the first day of June! That means two things. One: it is now allowed to be hot and humid and sun-boilingly summery outside. (Hence, it is raining and cold.)

Two: it is PRIDE MONTH. The Booksmith will be celebrating Pride Month with a lovely display of selected LGBT+ titles from around the store–but there are a few (a lot!) of good books that are just not going to fit. 
You don’t want to miss any of the good stuff! So here is a guide to great LGBT+ titles for kids and young adults that you can find on our shelves (or in our online store) every day.




~*~*~*~SO MANY GOOD LGBT+ BOOKS~*~*~*~
for kids and young adults


PICTURE BOOKS

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall - Red says “red” on the wrapper, but he always seems to come out more…blue? How is he supposed to be happy when everyone expects him to be something he’s not? If this story seems like it might be about a transgender crayon, that’s because it totally is. (And yes, it also carries a universal message of being true to yourself.)
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Laura Cornell - The picture book classic is back in print with all new bright, lush, kid-friendly watercolor illustrations. You can also find Newman’s books Mommy, Mama, and Me and Daddy, Papa, and Me in the board book section.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer - It’s bring your mother to school day, but Stella has two fathers. What will she do? BRING THEM INSTEAD!
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole - The last of our picture books about same-sex parents, featuring world famous penguins. We don’t have to talk about gay parenting via penguins anymore, but this book is still sweet as anything and lovely to look at.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case - A gender nonconforming little boy celebrates the wonders of his beautiful wardrobe.
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas -Famous real-life transgender girl Jazz Jennings shares her life with young readers.

INTERMEDIATE FICTION
Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle - Two autobiographical novels about a small-town gay boy who ran away to the big city to fulfill his Broadway dreams.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky - Sixth-grader Grayson doesn’t feel like the boy everyone thinks she is–but she’s smart enough to know that people won’t be happy when they find out. She decides, despite her fears, to try out for the female lead in the class play. This may prove once and for all who she can trust and who she can’t, but it will also prove that Grayson can stay true to herself no matter what.
And be on the lookout in August for George by Alex Gino. George, too, wants to show her colors on the stage as part of coming out in real life, but her voice and her story are all her own.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION & NONFICTION
Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge and Mark Bieschke - (Nonfiction) Everyone starts figuring things out somewhere, and there is no rule that says you can’t have help. 
Rethinking Normal by Katie Rain Hill - (Nonfiction) You might think that the small town of Okay, Oklahoma is not the best place for a teenager to come out as a trans girl. And you would be right. But Katie Rain Hill did it anyway. Now she’s a trans rights activist, a college student, and the author of this candid, charming memoir, chock full of personality and personal truth.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - OH. MY. GOSH. THIS. BOOK. It’s a little about blackmail and quite a bit about coming out (WITHOUT IT BEING A DISASTER!!!), a lot about friendship, and SO MUCH about being a big old high school nerd who likes theatre and Doctor Who and falls in glorious, goofy, miraculous love with a boy you (maybe) haven’t even met.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - A plane full of pageant contestants crashes on a not-so-deserted island and takes on the patriarchy. Among the survivors: at least one lesbian, and the most fabulous trans girl of all time. Acerbic, meta, and weird as heck.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg - Sometimes you get tired of being The Gay Kid, so when you move to a new school, you come out as…straight. The question is, how’s the payoff? Is it better to have the (not always very awesome) spotlight on you, or to hide a crucial part of who you are all the time, in front of everybody? 
(Also check out Konigsberg’s new book, The Porcupine of Truth, which involves missing relatives, dying deadbeat dads, paper porkers that determine your destiny, and a new best friend who is, alas, a very cool lesbian recently rendered homeless by a not so accepting family.)
There are so many more! Anything by David Levithan, and Amy will certainly recommend you Jandy Nelson’s award-winning I’ll Give You the Sun–new stuff comes out all the time and we’re happy to share it with you.

From all over the Booksmith, happy June and happy reading!







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Paper Towns — Prologue

Once upon a time, I caved in to tumblr peer pressure and read a John Green novel. It was The Fault in Our Stars, and I liked it, though I didn’t find it as mind-blowing as I’d been promised. In particular, I found that the appeal waned with time, and turned sour and I discovered a few layers of terribleness hidden underneath.

It came to light when I caved in to peer pressure again and read another book, Looking for Alaska, which I promptly hated. And then the TFIOS movie happened and cemented my hatred from John Green’s writing.

Mind you, I actually like him and respect him as a person. He’s doing some good things on the Internet and I love his Crash Course series. I just don’t like his writing whatsoever.

Which brings us to present day. Another of his books is being adapted, and I like to read the book version before I watch the movie. But…I don’t think I can read through another one of his books without a healthy dose of snark. I know I couldn’t make it through more than one chapter of Will Grayson, Will Grayson because I didn’t have my computer nearby to liveblog it.

So, without further ado…this is Paper Towns.

Keep reading

I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses and omg it was so good! Sexy, romantic fantasy at its finest! Maas once again brings action, love and full on emotion with new heroine Feyre and her attraction to smoldering fairy, Tomlin. Humans and fairies don’t mix, but Feyre’s crossing all sorts of boundaries as she battles love and the dreaded curse threatening her home and family. If you love ToG, you’ll adore this!