The Midnight Gardner by R.G. Thomas

Penny’s Rating: B It’s been a while since I read a YA fairy-tale that I really enjoyed. This is a super-cute quick read, that just happens to have an inter-species (Gnome/Human) age appropriate romance. This is also book one in a series: The Town of Superstition, so if you want to read something that doesn’t end on a to be continued cliffhanger, this is not that book. There are going to be three in the series, and if you read, you’re going to want to read all of them, and you’ll have to wait for them to come out. Like I have to now. Thomas has successfully created a modern-day fairy-tale, that ties together witches, werewolves, dragons, garden gnomes, with one very unusual small town. There were twists and turns that I didn’t expect in this book, and given that the book is written with young teens in mind, I find that incredibly refreshing. So many LGBTQIA YA fiction novels often fall into those tragic archetypes of familial rejection, rebellion, tragedy, prejudice, or angst. I’m not knocking that at all – we all learn from tragedy and pain, but sometimes that is not what we need. Sometimes we need the fairy-tale. Sometimes, we need simple, clear-cut,…

Love Spell by Mia Kerick
Book Reviews , Grade B Reviews , LGBTQUIA , Young Adult / November 29, 2015

Penny’s Rating: ~ B ~ Do not, I repeat, do not, get your love/ dating advice from a magazine. I spent most of this book going “No Chance, don’t listen to the article, Chance, just be yourself!” That is ultimately the awkwardly painful lesson of this book. Be true to yourself, because that is what others are drawn to. Yelling at fictional characters is very therapeutic for me. Chance Cesar, the utterly fabulous gender-fluid, MC of our story decides to take dating advice from an online article to with the heart of his crush. Chance couldn’t have possibly picked worse advice to follow. Being yourself is not always easy. Especially when who you are doesn’t fit into a nice neat little box. Which, most of us don’t, not really, but when you are a kid, and questioning where you fit on the gender spectrum, it sure doesn’t seem that way. It seems like you are the ONLY one who is different in a sea of normal peers. It is also matdatorbs (yes, really) that you learn a whole new vocabulary to participate in this world. I have to admit the vocab threw me for a bit, but it was true…

Carry The Ocean Blog Tour

~Penny’s Rating: A ~ I completely adored this book. Wow. Really wow. It’s well done and gushy and romantic and real. This book surprised me. Okay, for regular readers of this blog, it’s no secret that I am a huge Heidi Cullinan fangirl. I am, and I totally admit it. I love her adult fiction, but I’ve viewed her ventures into new adult with a bit of trepidation, because as a reader, I no longer knew what I was going to get. They’ve been great though. I should not have been worried at all! The Love Lessons series is amazing, and Cullinan has another winner here with Carry the Ocean. Cullinan has created a different world for the Roosevelt series,  and it’s definitely one worth exploring. One thing I wasn’t expecting was to personally relate so well with the MC’s. Here’s the thing, I’ve been Jeremey and I’ve been Emmet. We all have and are to some degree or another.  I’ve experienced depression, and that was the part I expected to relate to on a personal level.  What I didn’t expect was how much I learned about but myself from Emmet.  I am not autistic,  but I score on the very high-end…

Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!!!

~Penny’s Rating: A ~ So. Many. Feels. Yes, this is a love story – and the romance side of Heidi Cullinan’s latest “new adult” novel Fever Pitch is awesome, and adorable. It’s even angsty and intense. We get to see Walter and Kelly again, and think about the songs in Frozen, and there are a Capella singing groups up the wazoo! More than all of that, this book is about doing what you love. Do what you love. It’s never that simple or easy is it? But there is hope, and this book reminded me of what I love. What I love is music. Singing. I am a vocalist, a performer, an artist, a writer, masquerading as an office manager.  No matter how good I am at my job, it feels like a half-life. This book is like my young adulthood. I went to a conservatory at a university, and I feel like I got to re-live a bit of that with this book. The love of music, the passion, and utter joy that Cullinan’s character’s experience through their artistry, I feel like Cullinan captured it perfectly. I miss singing every damn day. I really do. So much that it’s a physical…

John Goode’s Tales from Foster High Series

Penny’s Rating for the Series: A+ ~I’ve been meaning to write something about this series for a while. Since the tale of Foster High is now finished, I thought it was time. By the way, this whole post is basically going to be a love letter to author John Goode, combined with me rehashing my own coming of age, so if you want to skip it, I understand, but seriously, these books are awesome, and you should read them. I would  love to see copies of these in every junior high and high school library, because there are some kids out there that need to read this stuff. Like maybe they will not kill themselves if they read them, or maybe they’ll realize that they have the power to make things better, make a difference, change the world. It does get better. These books make me want to be better. Not magically bright and sunny, with rainbows and unicorns better, but be a better person. Expect more from myself, better. Do better. Take a stand, kick some ass, change the world, better. Not many books do that. I wish that this series had existed when I was in high school….