Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Graphic Novel · Review

Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Ever since I saw the review for Blue Is the Warmest Color on From Isi, I wanted to read it. Before this, I only saw the movie listed on Netflix. I checked the book out from the library and enjoyed it. In a colorless world, Clementine, a high school junior, has a family, friends, and a boyfriend she can’t reciprocate feelings for. She breaks up with him. Her gay friend takes her out to a gay bar where she meets Emma, the confident art student with blue hair. This event starts Clementine on the path of self-discovery and love. Narrated in diary entries, this graphic novel is a love story about two women in France in the ’90s.

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Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, and her radio evangelist father has been supportive. All of that changes when he remarries and they move to conservative Rome, Georgia. He asks her to do the impossible: to lie low for her senior year. After she reluctantly agrees, she falls for Mary Carlson, the sister of her new friend. She doesn’t want to break the promise to her dad, even if Mary might return her feelings. Maybe. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown, shows characters openly being themselves and ties faith into loving everyone.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Mini Reviews: ‘Piecing Me Together,’ ‘Seven Deadlies,’ and ‘Beijing Doll’

It’s time for another set of mini reviews. I’m reviewing three realistic fiction novels today: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, Seven Deadlies: A Cautionary Tale by Gigi Levangie, and Beijing Doll by Chun Sue. I hope these reviews will help you find an interesting book to read. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson Publisher: Bloomsbury… Continue reading Mini Reviews: ‘Piecing Me Together,’ ‘Seven Deadlies,’ and ‘Beijing Doll’

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Graphic Novel · Review

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

One day in a programming class in Flagstaff, Arizona, a guest speaker visits to get the girls in the class to play as female characters in Coarsegold Online. Anda Bridge decides to play the game and quickly levels up in her guild by killing gold farmers for money. She meets a gold farmer, a person who illegally collects rare items and sells them to other players, from China and learns that life isn’t easy for everyone. In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and illustrated by Jen Wang, examines a culture clash, workers’ rights, and a black market.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza Mirk is a famous author of a webcomic, Monstrous Sea, but everyone only knows her as LadyConstellation. She is perfectly happy in her anonymous world with her online friends, her monsters, and her loving-but-confused family. All of this changes when the biggest Monstrous Sea fan transfers to her high school and tries to bring her into the real world. Francesca Zappia’s Eliza and Her Monsters depicts an introverted high schooler, with a few privileges, learns how to balance her needs and interests and how to interact with people off the internet.

Children's Literature · Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke | ARC Review

I received this Advanced Reader Copy from a friend. I am aware that the hardcover came out in March, but I forgot it was on my shelf until a couple of weeks ago.

Liv Spark is transgender and is entering sixth grade at a private school. This would be fine, except that this school is the only middle school that requires uniforms and girls can only wear skirts. Worse for Liv is that he hasn’t shared with anyone why exactly this rule bothers him.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Graphic Novel · Review

Shoplifter by Michael Cho

I picked up Michael Cho’s Shoplifter because I was interested in a story about an English major – five years out of college – who realizes that she has only been writing copy for an advertising and that won’t change if she continues down this path. That is an interesting premise. Sadly, the story falls short of interesting.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

About two months ago, I said something to my mom about wanting someone to write a YA book with a girl who either is in JROTC or at least wants to join the military. The universe answered, and I found Rites of Passage, by Joy N. Hensley, at the library a week later. Sam McKenna took the last dare that her brother gave her before he died: she joined the first class of girls at Denmark Military Academy. She expected the physical requirements, like push ups and mud crawls, and some hate for being one of the first female students at the school, but she didn’t expect how much some of the boys want her gone.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Riley Cavanaugh, the child of a conservative congressman, is gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and some days as a girl. Now Riley is starting over at a public school and dealing with the congressman’s campaign. A therapist recommends Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent, and Riley creates one under the name Alix. The blog goes viral. Alix/Riley will have to make a decision: abandon the blog or come out and risk everything. Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin, describes one experience of being gender fluid and shows.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Graphic Novel · Review

Wandering Son, Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

At the threshold of puberty, two fifth graders, Shuichi Nitori and Yoshino Takatsuki, live with loving families and are well-liked by their classmates, but they share a secret. Nitori is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. As they try to figure out their gender identities and places in the world, they have to deal with their peers’ reactions. Wandering Son, Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako is a coming-of-age manga about two transgender kids and the exploration of gender.