Cemetery Boys Review

Hi all,
I’m a bit late with this review as I said I would post in on Tuesday. Life as always getting on the way. I know I mentioned it in my instagram, but I’ll also mention it here, I have been dealing with some medical issues, nothing too bad nothing covid related, but things that have meant all my mental energy has gone to either worrying about those issues or trying to take care of myself.
I am getting better, so I find the best thing to relax myself is to escape to wonderful books like the one below 🙂


Cemetery Boys

by Aiden Thomas

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Publisher: Swoon Reads

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is a gay trans boy
*diverse cast of latinx, haitian representation, cuban representation, puerto rican representation, colombian representation, trans representation
*so latinx! latinx food, found families, latinx myths
*sensitively and respectfully deals with day to day transphobia
*strong themes of acceptance in a family and community that’s very traditional, about being queer in a traditional setting
*mystery story that deals with latinx traditions, Dia de Muertos


cw: misgendering, gender dysphoria, transphobia, depictions of death, violence death, mentions family abuse, rituals/sacrifices

Cemetery Boys tells the story of Yadriel, a brujo who wants his traditional Latinx family who is struggling to accept his true gender. He becomes determined to prove himself to them, so with the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual by himself. But when he finds out his cousin was murdered, now his focus is on finding who murdered him and his ghost.
That night though he ends up summoning the ghost of Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy. Julian can’t remember what happened the night he died, he is set on finding out what happened and tying up loose ends before Julian helps him cross. Yadriel decides to help him, knowing that by helping him he might get his family acceptance. But will it be easy for Yadriel to let Julian leave?

How can I start explaining how much I loved this book? First of all, I have to say Cemetery Boys was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, we all know those can go either way, but this one I’m happy to say it blew my expectations. I got even more than I expected and a story so filled with love and ultimately acceptance.
Yadriel is an amazing main character, his voice is so easy to relate and so easy to love from the first moment you meet him. I loved how determined he was to prove himself, to be a force of good, and so full of love and magic.
Maritza as the sidekick, best friend, is someone I wish I had next to me, she’s fierce and wonderful, and I loved her connection to her magic (no spoilers here so I won’t tell you what).
Yadriel’s family dynamics were interesting, because while you could see the love from everyone from his abuela to his aunts, and everyone who surrounded him, but it was also enveloped in a lot of hurt and a lot of having to swallow those moments where your family is the most toxic thing. This is an experience that most queer latinx people (and others who have this sort of connection and this tight-knit family) will have and feel so deeply. Your family can be your source of support, comfort and love, but it can also be the single force who hurts you and makes you have scars.
This was one aspect of the book that had my heart in my throat because I can easily relate.

The book was so full of latinx characters, had so much latinx representation, I could feel it embedded in Latinx myths and traditions, which made it feel more mine than anything. I think the only thing I would have liked to see more it’s more influence from other cultures, it was nice to hear of the Cuban grandmother or Maritza who had a Haitian father (and I think a Puerto Rican mother?). But at the same time I would’ve liked to have seen aspects of those cultures since I think we didn’t really get much of that.

Can I also gush about Julian? There’s so much to say about him because he’s the perfect counterpart to Yadriel, but also as a characters he’s so loveable, he’s prone to outburts and is a total hothead, but he cares so deeply. I mean how could you not fall for him right away. His and Yadriel’s dynamic is so cute, because Yadriel would prefer to hide away and Julian pushes him so much, and talks so much. They have so many banter-y moments, but also serious ones where you can see how each of them have been hurt by the world and would prefer to hide those in whatever way they can. I loved reading the progress of their relationship.

The setting and the pace of the book were perfect, it gave enough time to explore the day to day life of Yadriel and Maritza, like dealing with school but magical enough that it didn’t feel slow, or like something wasn’t happening.

This book in general had so many funny, sweet moments but also little heart-wrenching moments. That said, this book does fall more into the light-hearted side of fantasy because even when it presents instances of misgendering or gender dysphoria it does in a very respectful, sensitive way, it ultimately does it in a way where hopefully you’ll be able to engage and be able to take those moments with little harm. And more than anything this book ends with so much hope and love. Also I will just mention the last few pages of the book? I was crying of joy, I read the last line and closed the book and I felt so full.

Overall, Cemetery Boys is a fantastic magical read about a trans boy on his road to acceptance by himself and his family. It blends perfectly romcom moments, fantasy, mystery, real life (sometimes awful situations) with love and family and community.


Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans, Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Their debut novel, CEMETERY BOYS, was published on September 1st, 2020.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


We Unleash the Merciless Storm Review

Hi all!
I kinda went into a slump this weekend, not reading wise because i’ve been reading non stop every free time I have, but I couldn’t for the life of me write one word for this review or the other. So today, as promised on my twitter will be a double review day.
The second book review will be A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos, it will be posted later on the afternoon (my time BST)


We Unleash the Merciless Storm

by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Genre: YA, Dystopian
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: February 25th, 2020

Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.
Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers. She spent years undercover, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of a civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.
There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*continues the story where We Set The Dark On Fire left it off but different POV
*MC grew up as a La Voz soldier, one of the best
*sapphic couple
* choosing between love and a rebellion
* deals with the human side of a revolution
*making difficult decisions between trusting blindly or questioning your role models


cw: mentions of torture, death, graphic injuries, mentions of drowning, violence, blood

We Unleash the Merciless Storm picks up where We Set the Dark on Fire left off. Carmen is badly hurt, running away from Dani and the Garcia family.
Carmen is back at La Voz, knowing full well her decisions and actions will be questioned, especially her relationship with Dani. She has to hide how attached she became to Dani, or how not objective she can be about the situation.
When El Buitre, the leader of the La Voz along with the suspicious Ari start to make decision on Dani’s life, Carmen will have to decide between the rebellion he grew up in and she’s loyal to and the woman she fell in love.

Honestly, this book was hard to get through, I wanted so bad to like it, especially since the first book had so many interesting aspects and social commentary, while this book tried to continue, for me it fell short.
I was expecting intriguing things from Carmen’s voice as on the first book she seems so full of mystery and secrets. That ended up being my first disappointment, her inner dialogue felt repetitive, that at times I just wanted something, anything to happen. I’m usually a sucker for pining but the way her thoughts were written, i didn’t really feel that longing or aching that I usually love from pining.
The resolution of the conflict (confronting/fighting against Mateo and his regime) and the plot twist (bad guy infiltrates the rebellion) felt like such a let down, after making the stakes so high, I expected something with the same kind of intensity.
I did enjoy Carmen and Dani’s interactions together but they weren’t enough for me to love this book, or have to stop myself from pausing reading every so often.
Overall, it was an okay book but that didn’t really add much to the worldbuilding or explore more their dystopian situation. I’m disappointed.


Tehlor Kay Mejia is a YA author and poet at home in the wild woods and alpine meadows of Southern Oregon. When she’s not writing, you can find her plucking at her guitar, stealing rosemary sprigs from overgrown gardens, or trying to make the perfect vegan tamale. She is active in the Latinx lit community, and passionate about representation for marginalized teens in media. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @tehlorkay.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Each of Us a Desert Review

Hi all!
Third day of Latinx Heritage Month and a bit of a late post today.
Today is book review day!

I recently had the opportunity to read Each of Us a Desert before it was released, and of course I enjoyed every second of reading it and ended up loving it. It’s easily one of my faves I’ve read this year. I also had the honour and joy to interview Mark Oshiro (Thanks to Colored Pages Blog Tour). It was my first author interview ever! and he was amazing and so insightful with his answers. If you haven’t read that, I really think you should, it even includes 10 songs you might put on a playlist for when you read this book 🙂


Each of Us a Desert

by Mark Oshiro

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
Release Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book:
* enemies to lovers, slow-ish burn f/f relationship
*set in a fantasy apocalyptic desert landscape
* prose is so lyrical and beautiful, unapologetic use of spanish
* fantasy story that deals with issues about self-discovery, finding your place in the world, overcoming fear
*touches on themes of religion, beliefs, colonisation, community, destiny
*engaging world building system! powers as something that can be harmful


cw: descriptions of death, injuries, graphic violence, animal deaths, emotional abuse and domestic abuse, nightmares, grief, addiction to alcohol, child abuse, trauma

Each of Us is a Desert tells the story of Xochitl, a cuentista, who is destined thanks to her powers to wander the desert alone, speaking the troubled stories of her village to the dusty dunes. She finds only the blessed stars and some mysterious lines of poetry as her companion. But what she really desiers is to have someone to share her heart with, someone that might understand her and where she can tell her story.
When her wish is granted with the cold but beautiful daughter of her village’s murderous conqueror, Emilia. She will find herself on a magical journey across the desert. This journey will have Xochitl and Emilia discovering that their spirits are kindred and their hears can match. But there’s nightmare-like terrors everywhere and they will have to find ways to survive them. And maybe, Xochitl will finally come to figure out what her destined path really is and means in this world.

The first thing that captured me about this book was the writing, the prose of this book is basically poetry, it’s magical, it’ll take you in and then you find yourself hours later near the last page and you don’t know here time went. No really, it’s seriously captivating and magical!
Xochitl is an interesting character as when you meet her, she has dreams and hopes but at the same time she feels tied down by the expectations her powers, and her destiny because of her powers, tie her.
I loved the little poems she finds in the desert. This is where I think I should mention that if you’re not a spanish speaker you will find little words here and there in spanish. And the poems especially are presented first in spanish but they include the english translation. This use of spanish that is so unapologetic, not in cursive, had my emotions all over the place.
If you read Mark’s interview he had a very insightful way of talking about this decision, but I won’t go too much into that here.

I mentioned Xochitl being a cuentista, for a bit more information, in this fantasy world it means she has the ability to retain and almost take into herself the story her village tells her. She takes them into herself and then releases them into Solis, their god, allowing the person to feel relieved and unburdened by the story. Now while Xochitl does forget their stories, it is draining and she tends to feel sick afterwards. I mention this especially because this story has an interesting way of making aspects like stories into a kind of material reality. The same could be said with the nightmares but I won’t spoil with that.
This story has magical all around and it’s always in a kind of physical and material way, but when I say magical it’s not all happy, this book is brutally honest with its portrayal of surviving. So do expect to be shocked sometimes and watch out for those CWs I mentioned above.

That being said, what I loved about this book is how much hope and love it has, it’s honestly brutal at times, it can be tragic, it’s thought provoking, heart-wrenching, honest, but ultimately it’s about challenging your beliefs in the search for happiness. At the end of this book it left me with a strong impression of community, finding yourself in a community and love.

I want to say so much about Emilia, but it’s hard to say a lot without spoiling. I will say, the way their relationship unfolds is so organic and beautiful, you might be left wanting to know more about them and about Emilia.

Overall, Desert is a magical book that will take you on a journey of self-discovery through Xochitl’s search for freedom and discovering her place in a community (and love).


It’s really hard to talk about this book because I always end up getting a bit emotional over it. I hope my review wasn’t too all over the place and I somehow, in between all the rambling, convinced you to pick up this book.

Anyways! Next up in the schedule is the Review of Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez. Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for letting me be a part of the blog tour, and you can expect my post on the 19th!

Until then,

Each of Us a Desert Blog Tour Interview

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is special for a number of reasons, one this is a Blog Tour stop celebrating Mark Oshiro’s Each of Us a Desert, this Tour was organised by Colored Pages Tours. Second, as this is my tour stop date I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Mark Oshiro. And third, this is my first ever author interview, which I was a bit nervous about but you’ll see how amazing Mark’s answers were. This made it so much better to anticipate and enjoy today’s post.


Each of Us a Desert

by Mark Oshiro

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
Release Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Click the image for more about the Blog Tour and the Tour Schedule

1-Each of Us a Desert is a book that explores the power of stories, our responsibilities to our community, sacrifice, and questioning belief systems in a very poetic and magical way. Were these themes and topics you knew you wanted to write about since the beginning?

You know, one of the best things about doing interviews for this book is getting to answer questions like this because I get to say ABSOLUTELY THE HELL NOT. If it seems like I had it all together from the beginning, then I have SUCCEEDED. The first draft of Each of Us a Desert was incredibly different from the version that the world will get to read. I was listening to Holly Black talk recently, and she said something to the effect of how we often have to write the wrong thing to find the right thing, and that’s absolutely what happened here. My first attempt at Xochitl’s story was about poverty, migration, and oppressive systems. It was tonally such a different book, too! But from that draft, I started figuring out all the various pieces of Xo’s story: the religion of Solís; las cuentistas; Xochitl’s rebellion.  

2- Xochitl is a wonderful main character. The book is very much centred on her journey of self-discovery, her search for freedom and understanding her place. What was the most important thing about writing her journey and why?

Once I figured out her story, I wanted to write a character who felt nothing like Moss from Anger is A Gift. Actually, I’d say that was a motivating factor for practically every part of the process: I didn’t want to repeat myself. So where Moss is a character who is surrounded by this incredible support system, I designed Xochitl’s life so she was terribly alone. A lot of the emotion of that came from my own upbringing as a closeted queer teen in a desert-adjacent town. But more than anything else, I wanted her to be an unapologetically selfish character. Her story is about reclamation! And so, right from the first page, I tell the reader what they’re in for when Xochitl says that she’s not sorry.

3- I loved the diverse cast that surrounds Xochitl, but in a non-spoilery fashion, I do want to ask about Emilia, as she’s an interesting contrast to Xochitl. What inspired you to write her?

Right, it’s hard to talk about her without spoiling the book! That being said, I’ve been fairly open about how the book is enemies-to-lovers, one of my favorite tropes OF ALL TIME. I wish I could also tell you that Emilia popped out of my mind fully formed, but like with literally all of the book, I wrote it wrong before I wrote it right. Emilia didn’t even exist until the second rewrite. (Yeah, I had to rewrite the entire book twice before I got it. THIS BOOK WAS VERY HARD.) It was my editor at Tor Teen, Miriam Weinberg, who said that Xochitl’s journey was missing something. In particular, she wondered if it would be better if she had someone along with her who was the same age so that there could be an interesting dynamic to work off of. Admittedly, I was stumped. Xochitl’s journey felt so singular to me, so how could I possibly add someone to it?

If you’ve read the Acknowledgements, you know the actual inspiration for Emilia’s arc and how it intersects with Xochitl’s. (No spoilers for that, either!) But I’ll say this: this book—and writing Emilia in particular—was an immense challenge. I felt like I was using muscles I’d not used ever. So I loved that I developed Emilia’s character by thinking of someone else’s arc and designing an intricate path so that they could meet. That’s not something I’ve ever done, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

4- As a Latinx person myself, I loved the unapologetic use of non-italicized Spanish intermixed in most sentences. Was that a conscious decision you made when writing, to not translate those words or phrases?

Thank you!!! That’s all absolutely conscious and intentional. Every bit of it! As the fantasy aspect of the world took shape, I loved being able to imagine if Spanish was a language in another world. Obviously, the majority of the book is written in English, but I loved toying with the idea of it being told in Spanglish. I think non-fluent or casually fluent readers can figure out what most of it says through context clues, but I also wanted the text to give it the respect you often see in traditional fantasy novels with imagined languages.

One very cool thing I got to do with it was in las poemas, which Xochitl finds buried throughout the desert on her journey north. Right after I turned in the draft that had them in it, I had asked my editor if it was possible to treat the poems like a religious text. I’d written them all in Spanish, so there were no context clues at all for a reader to translate them. I remember going to mass and having those bilingual Bibles in the pews, and so I floated the idea of the text having the Spanish poem and the English translation side by side. The team LOVED it, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the book.

5- One of the most notable aspects of Each of Us a Desert is the style of writing and the poetic atmosphere that transports the reader ever so effortlessly. Are there any previous works that you admire that inspired you?

While there are no direct references like there were in Anger is A Gift, my biggest inspiration was the work of Sandra Cisneros. Her writing has left a huge impression on me and gotten me to rethink how prose and poetry can live alongside one another. The other main influences on the book are Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

6- Whenever I finish a book, I always have one or two impressions. Your book, for example, left me feeling a sense of community and love. What would you want people to take away from Each of Us a Desert?

Oh, wow, that’s powerful. And I totally see why you came to that conclusion! I like writing about community mainly because I grew up as a teenager who didn’t feel they had one. Much of Anger is a power fantasy for me; it was me imagining what it was like to have a supportive mother or a bunch of queer friends in high school. Desert is a little closer to my actual experience, and thus, it’s about Xochitl finding community (and love!) by leaving home. Which is a very scary thing! I certainly had friends in high school, many who I deeply appreciate, but I needed to get away from my hometown to really find myself and to fall in love for the first time.

I’d also add that I hope people leave Desert feeling a new understanding of power. Xochitl has a magical power, but I tried to subvert the notion that magical powers are inherently good, joyous things for a character. Instead, I wanted her to come into her own and choose what to do with her cuentista ability. That choice and sense of agency is so integral to her journey!

7- And the last question, do you have a song(s) that for you best describes the mood(s) of the book? Or did you have a specific song(s) that you listened to while writing the book?

Oh, I love this question! So, music is actually my TRUE love in this world, and in another life, I’d be in a band and touring the world. Music deeply, deeply informs my writing process; I cannot actually write in silence! I’ve either got music blasting in the background or in my headphones at all times. That means I have INCREDIBLY intricate playlists that I use during each project. I have mood-based ones for when I need to be in a certain mood while writing a scene. (I’ve got a SAD SONGS playlist, an ANGRY playlist, and a romance one, for example.) So it’s hard to pick a single song for the whole book because there’s a patchwork of music that went into this.

That being said, here are 10 songs that featured quite heavily in multiple playlists and also have thematic and aesthetic ties to the novel:

“No Light No Light” – Florence + The Machine
“Queen of Peace” – Florence + The Machine

“Travelin’ Far” – Murder By Death
“Fuego” – Murder By Death
“End of the Line” – Murder by Death
“She” – Laura Mvula
“Close to You” – Rihanna
“You’ll Find a Way” – Santigold
“Death Is The Road To Awe / Together We Will Live Forever” – Clint Mansell
“Dejanos en Paz” – Los Crudos


Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), an MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world. 

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Thank you so much to Mark Oshiro for these amazingly insightful answers. I’m sure I’m not the only adding some of those songs to a playlist for when I reread this book.
My review will be posted closer to the date of the book’s release when I hopefully can finally organise all my thoughts. But to finish off here is a little moodboard I created:

I hope you’ll give this book a try and go pre-order in any of the links posted above.

Harbor review

Today is the day! Here is my review of Harbor, Book 1 review can be found here and book 2 here.


Harbor (Beards and Bondage #3)

by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Genre: Adult romance
Release Date: June 30th, 2020

Betrayed and set adrift…
Months before she’s set to walk down the aisle, assistant district attorney Brooklyn Lewis suffers an unthinkable loss. It’s bad enough her fiancé is violently taken from her, but along with her grief she must also process the fact that the man of her dreams was unfaithful. Friends and family want to see her heal, but Brooklyn doesn’t know how to move on from trauma and deception until she discovers she’s not the only one broken by this tragedy.
A light in the storm…
Attorney Vaughn Coleman and his partner Chris Shaw have also lost the love of their lives, who was found lifeless in the same bed as Brooklyn’s fiancé, taken from them by the same killer.
Unmoored by grief, Brooklyn, Chris, and Vaughn fall into a relationship that both fulfills them and threatens to pull them under the waves of guilt, but they soon realize it may take the love of three people to bring their battered ships back to shore.

GOODREADS AMAZON THE RIPPED BODICE | IBOOKS


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*polyam relationship, polyam romance, Black MCs
* slight bsdm, Dom/sub relationship, sexually fluidity
*tattooed man-of-few-words Dom hero/fluid heart of gold sub hero/sensitive, honest, plus-sized (sub) heroine
*when your SO cheats and dies and you meet the SO who was also cheated on?
* discussions of grief, cheating, betrayal, lies, secrets, feeling ‘enough’ or feeling ‘too much for someone’, guilt
*honest adult conversations, healthy relationships, communication is important!


CW cheating, past trauma, coming out, death, police interactions/involvement, graphic sex, DP, MFM where the men interact

I had the absolute pleasure of reading an ARC of this book, hence all the rereading and reviewing of the 2 previous. Thank you to Rebekah for that! This was a joy to read!

Now, Harbor has three protagonists with three different POVs. The story starts when Brooklyn finds out her fiance was not only cheating on her but was found in bed lifeless next to someone else. She not only has to deal with grief over his death but a betrayal she didn’t see coming. Vaughn and his partner Chris Shaw find themselves in the same position, not only did they lose the love of their lives and the one who seemed to fill the space in between them, she was being unfaithful. The three protagonists now have to deal with insecurities such as ‘maybe we were too much’ ‘was I not enough?’.
These three meet and fall into a relationship that is both emotional, pushing their boundaries specially with Brooklyn being new to the D/s dynamic, and for the two men it will mean being honest and learning to open up to a new person.

First thing I have to comment about this book is that, while I did expect the explosive chemistry between the three and the hot sex scenes, I actually didn’t expect it to be so intense and emotional, and also to represent the best ways a healthy relationship can be. The three characters discuss not only about consent within their triad relationship, but the way their relationship slowly blossoms was beautiful to read. I especially loved that the book didn’t shy away from dealing with the grief and the grief of betrayal, of losing someone with no chance to ever being able to confront them about their lies or their cheating. Each character dealt with grief differently but that’s something I thought made each character feel well fleshed out and distinct. And all the discussion and being honest and frank with each other was kind of a breath of fresh air, although I do admit now I my real life expectations have gone up so much.

The three main characters of this book are Brooklyn, the gorgeous plus-sized attorney who after being cheated and being left like this by the man she thought would marry just wants to love and be loved. Shaw, the tattooed woodworker who has issues opening up and now even more. And last but not least, Vaughn, the perfect heart of gold too much love he can’t contain gentle attorney. Together they start building this beautiful relationship with BDSM flavour that is honest, cute, healthy and beautiful, even given the circumstances that they met.

I do have to mention the sex scenes, I havent read many polyam relationships (which I think I need to fix that asap) so I wasn’t too sure what to expect but all their scenes were just steamy steamy hot. If you’re not into polyam or bdsm, I would say this book is probably not for you.

Overall, it’s easy to see why this book is five stars for me. The themes of the story were handled beautifully, the characters were charming and funny and worked so well together.


I planned on taking a break from reviewing until maybe at least 2 days or three, but I started Mexican Gothic today and I can already tell I’ll have so many comments to make about that book 🙂

Finding Joy Review

Finding Joy

by Adriana Herrera

Genre: Adult romance
Release Date: June 22nd, 2020

As his twenty-sixth birthday approaches, Desta Joy Walker finds himself in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the one place he’s been actively avoiding most of his life. For Desta, the East African capital encompasses some of the happiest and saddest parts of his life—his first home and the place where his father died. When an unavoidable work obligation lands him there for twelve weeks, he may finally have a chance for the closure he so desperately needs. What Desta never expected was to catch a glimpse of his future as he reconnects with the beautiful country and his family’s past.
Elias Fikru has never met an opportunity he hasn’t seized. Except, of course, for the life-changing one, he’s stubbornly ignored for the past nine months. He’d be a fool not to accept the chance to pursue his doctoral studies in the U.S., but saying yes means leaving his homeland, and Elias isn’t ready to make that commitment.
Meeting Desta, the Dominican-American emergency relief worker with the easy smile and sad eyes, makes Elias want things he’s never envisioned for himself. Rediscovering his country through Desta’s eyes emboldens Elias to reach for a future where he can be open about every part of himself. But when something threatens the future that’s within their grasp, Elias and Desta must put it all on the line for love.

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*gay interracial romance! HEA! low angst! co-workers to friends to lovers
*MC is Dominican-American brown man, LI is Ethiopian.
*feel good slowish-burn sweet romance between two men that’s all about communication, soo much chemistry, sweet sexy times, banter
*discussions of (healthy) relationships, sexuality, being gay in a country where it’s not safe
*issues about family expectations, complicated decisions about the future/leaving your homeland, family dynamics, family death, reconnecting with second homes
*Set in Ethiopia, all about Ethiopian food, culture, lovely descriptions about Addis Ababa and some rural areas.


Finding Joy tells the story of Desta Joy who finds himself going back to his first home, the place where his parents met, fell in love and, sadly where his dad died. Ethiopia for Desta is a place that’s connected to him in ways he can’t explain and a place that hopefully will help bring him closure. While reconnecting with Ethiopia, the food, the culture, the landscapes, he plans to decide his future, one that may be opposite to what he believes his mom wants for him. But this worktrip soon changes when he meets and spends time with Elias, a fellow co-worker that soon becomes a friend. Even more, when he can’t deny his attraction, he keeps daydreaming about Elias and his heart can’t stop fluttering when he gets near him, this wasn’t in the plans.
For Elias, being gay in a country where it’s not well seen or accepted is something he has to deal with, Ethiopia is his homeland, he has an obligation to it and his family. But meeting Desta, Elias starts to rethink his commitment to staying. And maybe, start to slowly realise he could be somewhere he can be open about himself, even if it’s outside of his country and away from his family.

Now, I’m sure you all know how much I gush about Adriana’s writing, if you don’t then just know that I’m already biased to whatever she writes, but her writing in this book kept tugging on my heartstrings, I admit I cried and got teary eyed a time or two and by the time I finished my heart felt full.

Even though this book was very much rooted in reality, it still kept a feel good aspect to it that made their story, from co-workers to friends to lovers, heart-warming, sweet and well done. The story felt real, honest and beautiful. The descriptions of the Ethiopian sceneries, food and customs added to this. It’s not everyday we get to read a love story betweeen an interracial (no white MC or LI) set somewhere outside of Europe or US that feels respectful and kind of a love letter to the country.

While Desta was very much the MC with everything being from his POV, Elias and the cast of characters were all well fleshed out. By the end, I felt like I knew both of them, especially the way Elias would react to Desta and viceversa. I haven’t mentioned the sexy times, but those were *insert fans self gif* good. I mean it helped that we had the slowburn and their scorching chemistry so that their first kiss, first time together felt soo satisfying.

Overall, Desta and Elias’ love story unfolded beautifully, it was slow burn, with the perfect amount of banter and sexy. They were that sweet couple that tell you their story and you can’t stop saying ‘awww’. I can’t recommend this book enough.


Thank you to Adriana for allowing me to read an ARC of book before it was released! I do admit to rereading it when it was released also, just because.

Let’s talk about love Review

Let’s talk about love Review

by Claire Kann

Genre: YA romance
Release Date: January 23rd, 2018
Publisher: Square Fish

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood. 

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
* MC biromantic asexual black woman
* LI is a japanese-american man
* honest and actually good ace exploration and being a college student
* discussing being ace, sexuality, issues with friends, family dynamics, family expectations, therapy
* sweet romance kind of a slow-burn romance story
* coworkers to friends to lovers


cw aphobia, racism, alcohol use

Let’s Talk about Love tells the story of Alice, a black college student who after confessing she’s asexual finds herself without a girlfriend. Maybe dating is nor her thing, she decides thinking that she may never be able to find someone who will understand not wanting to have sex, or understand that her love, her passion will probably never involve sexual attraction. But then, she meets her new co-worker, Takumi, and now she can’t stop thinking about him and the feelings he produces in her. Takumi also doesn’t help with his attempts at friendly interactions with her, he seems determined to talk to her. Now, Alice has to try to figure out how he fits in her life, in her plans, or if he can even fit in her plans.

Although this book focuses on issues surrounding sexuality, relationships and other serious topics, Let’s talk about love still reads as a feel-good story, conflict happens, some heart breaking conversations but it still holds on to a light atmosphere.
Alice, our main character isn’t perfect by any means, but she’s in some ways relatable, she’s trying to figure things out, and she might confrontation because sometimes it’s easier to avoid than to face things head on. But I loved her friends, her family, they weren’t perfect either but they love her, support her and most of all try to see things their way.

There’s very little ace representation in books, very little in YA books, so this book was a pleasant surprise. Not only because of how much I related to her struggles but the conversations about what being ace means and what love ultimately is. No spoilers but that conversation about love, intimacy between Takumi and Alice was one of the best things I have ever read.

Overall, I loved this book for the honest representation, how easy it was to read and mstly for the un-romanticised portrayal of being a college student and friendship and family dynamics.


June TBR

Hi all
A bit late on my June TBR but, since I want to be accountable for what I read and review, I’m putting here my list of books to read this month.

As I mentioned before this month’s book list will focus on Black queer books from Black authors (mostly queer).

YA = Pink; Adult = Yellow; Non-fiction= Purple
💛Gay; 🧡Lesbian; 💙Trans; ❤️Queer; 💚Bi; 🖤Ace; 💜= Demi


🖤Let’s talk about Love by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💛Running with Lions by Julian Winters

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💚Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

🧡Clap When you Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

*Disclaimer: I’m cheating because I’ve actually read this last month, but I want to include it so I would remember to review it.

💚Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.
Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

🧡This is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow

It doesn’t matter what the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is this year.
Who cares that’s it’s fifteen grand? Who cares about a gig opening for one of the greatest bands to ever play this town?
Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning Sun City. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Jules haven’t been in it. And ever since Hanna left — well, there hasn’t been a band.
It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now — and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship. No contest can change that. Right?
But like the lyrics of a song you used to play on repeat, there’s no forgetting a best friend. And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge — to ignore the past, in order to jumpstart the future — will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💛His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington

NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.
Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.
Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary… until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe… marriage. He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.
Amazon / BookDepository

❤️All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💚You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💙Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet is here to hunt a monster.
Are you brave enough to look?
There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question-How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound

💚💜The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Amazon / BookDepository / IndieBound


Next post will be dedicated to a list of Queer Black Romance novels to read (this month and ever).

Camp Blog Tour Review

Camp

by Lev A. C. Rosen

Genre: YA romance
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Click the image for more about the tour

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*that (lgbt+) summer camp book you’ve been waiting for, full of misunderstandings and that supposedly perfect plan to get your crush
*gay jewish MC/half-korean gay jewish LI
* honest discussion of queer identities and their complexities
* touches on issues of toxic masculinity, body image
* all the lgbt+ representation!! cast is full of diversity, bffs are a middle Eastern gay Jewish, demi lesbian, also includes Afro-Brazilian-American, Black trans, nonbinary side character, etc etc
* ‘just be yourself’ positive message


cw: transphobia, homophobia, brief mentions of gender and body dysphoria, use of the word ‘f*gg*t’ (in an insulting/negative way)

Every year, Randy goes to Camp Outland to spend his summers, however this year is different he has devised a plan to finally get his crush, Hudson. He used to be very feminine, not into sports, painting his nails, loving musicals and participating in theatre, but not this year. But to get Hudson, he has bulked up, ignored his interests and dressed more straight, more masculine. He’s determined to act as ‘Del’, someone completely the opposite of who he is, but as long as he gets his crush to love him, the plan is all that matters.

I have to admit I didn’t expect to be as hooked into this story as I was. As soon as you read about his plan, you know it won’t turn out well, this can’t turn out well. I mean changing yourself to fit the perfect image your potential boyfriend has of you, that has disaster written all over it.
His friends also agree this can only spell heartbreak for Randy (or Del) but he’s determined, so they support him and help him in their own way. And it even works, he finds himself wooing Hudson but how prepared is he to conform to an ideal for his perfect guy. Will it be worth it?

There were two overall things I really loved about this book, one was the rom-com feel it had to it, you already knew the plan was going to work but how it developed from there was what really caught my attention. There’s just so much that was unpacked, heavy themes of sexuality, identity, masc/femme, family dynamics/issues, reactions to coming out. All of this was explored and more when two boys started seeing each other. It was done in a beautifully honest way that honestly I think it’s something I lack the words to describe well. This was what set apart this book from others to me.

Second thing was, I loved the summer camp setting, I’ve always been a fan of summer camp movies, so this brought a bit of nostalgia when reading. I loved the secret meetings in the middle of the night, the well-known makeout spots, the schedule, the friends and campfires with marshmallow.

Overall, I thought this book was the perfect combination of funny teen romance with some angsty moments, some sweet moments, even some sexy moments. But all this while getting into and discussing some heavy themes surrounding what it means to be lgbt+, perception and identity. As well as being safe to express yourself or not.


Thank you to FFBC for the chance to participate in this blog tour.
And don’t forget to take part in the giveaway for 1 of 2 copies of Camp (US only).

10 (light-hearted) Romance Manga List

Thanks to Linda reminding me of one of my favourite romance mangas, I decided to re-read some of those (and ended up ordering some because I have no self-control). Since these at some point in time have been my comfort reads I thought I would share so everyone can also spend a few hours or days being comforted by these light romances.

All these mangas are generally light-hearted, there’s no age gaps (don’t even get me started on how much I dislike student/teacher romance or high school student/grown man), there’s some angst in these but no love triangle and more importantly no sexual assault or rape (another trope I need mangas to get over).

Disclaimer: Some of these mangas have been licensed, for those I will put official links you can buy the volumes, for those that haven’t I won’t be putting up links but they’re easily found through google (*wink wink*)


1. Kimi ni Todoke

Kuronuma Sawako is completely misunderstood by her classmates. Her timid and sweet demeanor is often mistaken for malicious behavior. This is due to her resemblance to the ghost girl from “The Ring,” which has led her peers to give her the nickname Sadako. Longing to make friends and live a normal life, she is naturally drawn to Kazehaya Shouta, the most popular guy in class, whose “100% refreshing” personality earns him great admiration from Sawako. So when Kazehaya starts talking to her, maybe there is hope for the friendships Sawako has always longed for. Maybe…there is even a little hope for some romance in her
future.

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

Disclaimer: This is a very famous manga/anime, it doesn’t start as cheerful or light but as the story progresses and you see how Sawako starts to open up it gets less sad, it is still very light-hearted and even those times were you are almost crying you will end up smiling. It’s a little bit of a slowburn so take your time.

2. Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom into You)

Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and awaits the day she gets a love confession that sends her heart aflutter with bubbles and hearts, and yet when a junior high classmate confesses his feelings to her…she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity that she’s inspired to ask her for help.
But when the next person to confess to Yuu is Nanami herself, has her shoujo romance finally begun?

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

3. Kase-san series

Yui Yamada has always been a shy girl, keeping to her small circle of friends and fulfilling her duties as the “Plant Appointee” by greenifying the school. Yet, one day, she ends up crossing paths with the track and field team’s ace, Tomoka Kase. Kase is outgoing and athletic, while Yamada has never played sports or participated in a club
However, despite being polar opposites, the pair soon find themselves becoming closer.
With lots to learn about relationships, and each other, will their feelings bloom into something more?

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

4. Takane no Hana Nara Ochitekoi!!

Shiraishi Kouta has the brains and the looks, both handsome and smart. He’s the most popular guy at school. And as the prince of the school, there is no girl who can resist his charm, every girl at school falls in love with him… or so he thought, until the badass, cool lofty flower, Kurokawa Kaori, fails to fall for his charms. But what happens when it turns out Kurokawa is even better at playing a prince than he is? Just who exactly is supposed to be falling for who!! Now, instead of making Kurokawa fall for him, he ends up falling for her. A falling-in-love comedy by a new author, sure to make boys squeal!

[Crunchyroll]

5. Seven Days: Monday → Sunday

It is rumored that Touji Seryou, one of the more popular boys at school, will go out with whoever asks him out on a Monday morning. On this particular Monday morning, Yuzuru Shino, Seryou’s senpai at the archery club decides on a whim, and well-aware of Seryou’s reputation, to ask him to go out. Thinking that it will be treated as a joke, they’re both guys after all, imagine Shino’s surprise when Seryou takes him up on the offer! The catch, though, Seryou by the end of the week breaks up with that person. In essence, Seryou is a lover with a one-week expiration date. But will Shino prove to be the exception to that rule? 

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

6. Omairi desu yo

Miza Yuuji is the so-called “beautiful priest” of Uguisuzaka Shopping District, loved and respected by all not only for his skills as a Buddhist priest but for his demure demeanor and kind air. While he professes to have pledged himself to the cloth, vowing to remain unmarried and celibate for life… he’s harbored a crush on his best friend Saburou since middle school. Now that Saburou’s back in town, taking over his parents’ tofu shop after an eight-year absence, Yuuji must deal with feelings he thought he’d long since moved past—and that’s when he gets drunk one evening in Saburou’s presence.

[not licensed]

7. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii

GAMES OVER ROMANCE.
Narumi Momose has had it rough: Every boyfriend she’s had dumped her once they found out she was an otaku, so she’s gone to great lengths to hide it. When a chance meeting at her new job with childhood friend, fellow otaku, and now coworker Hirotaka Nifuji almost gets her secret outed at work, she comes up with a plan to make sure he never speaks up. But he comes up with a counter-proposal: Why doesn’t she just date him instead? In love, there are no save points.

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

Disclaimer: this is one of my favourite manga, I would even recommend the anime, it’s that good and funny! Both couples are cute in their own way and there;s little angst, very much comedy intended and silly.

8. Merry Checker

By day, Shiomi is just any ordinary office worker. At night, he becomes Shio, a sarcastic blogger who keeps an online diary with thousands of visits. Other than that, he lives a lonely life, perfect for a grumpy guy like him. Everything changes when he meets Miya in one of the meetings, the fashionable character for whom half the blogosphere sighs. Shio and her colleagues are surprised to discover that Miya is not the giddy young woman they had imagined, but a man of almost two meters of peace, love and good feelings. That night, Shio ends up sleeping at Miya’s house. What he doesn’t know is that his new friend has been reading his diary for years and what he feels for him is, perhaps, more than admiration. To his surprise, Shio doesn’t dislike noticing it. Can the curmudgeon costume be removed at last?

[Licensed in spanish]

9. Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi

The story of an annoying Senpai and his Kouhai.

Igarashi Futuba is a hardworking young office lady. Her new job, however, would be great if her senpai, Takeda Harui wasn’t so incredibly annoying! Takeda annoys her constantly! Futuba hate his laugh, she hates how big he is, and she really hates that he treats her like a little kid. Just because Futuba is short and looks younger doesn’t make her a kid, and yet she finds herself growing closer to him. And just because she spends so much time with Takeda doesn’t mean she sees him as anything but an annoying senpai… or does she?!

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle / Pixiv]

10. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Shirayuki is Tanbarun’s friendly neighborhood herbalist, whose unique red hair ends up drawing unwanted attention from the vain prince of Tanbarun, Raji Shenazard. Faced with the unattractive proposition to become his concubine, Shirayuki chops off her hair and flees the country overnight. In her journey deep into the forest, she encounters Zen Wistalia, the prince of the neighboring country of Clarines. When Zen takes a bite out of a poisoned apple that Prince Raji sends in order to recapture Shirayuki, she expertly uses the herbs at her disposal to cure him. Together with Zen and his two friends, Kiki and Mitsuhide, Shirayuki travels to Clarines, where she aims to make a life for herself as an apothecary of the royal court. As Zen slowly begins to mean more to her than the prince of her new country, the two of them must learn to work together toward their respective dreams despite the difference in status.

[Amazon / bookdepository / Comixology / Kindle]

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

The boy of her dreams…is a girl’s manga artist?!
To the eyes of high school student Chiyo Sakura, classmate Umetarou Nozaki–brawny of build and brusque of tongue–is a dreamboat! When Chiyo finally works up the courage to tell Nozaki how she feels about him, she knows rejection is on the table…but getting recruited as a manga-ka’s assistant?! Never in a million years!
But for someone who makes a living drawing sweet girly romances, Nozaki-kun is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to matters of the heart in reality. And so Chiyo’s daily life of manga making and heartache begins!

[Yen Press]

Disclaimer: Now, although this manga (former webcomic) is about romance there’s not really a romance plot driving the story, it’s more about comedy than the couples getting together. It’s still a very silly and word the read manga.

Hana to Hoshi

Hanai is a junior higher and the best at table tennis. She’s never lost, and she’s won many tournaments, but after some freshman she’s never heard of beats her like it was nothing, she starts losing every game after that and she can’t get rid of that feeling of defeat. Now it’s her first day of high school and she’s decided to quit table tennis and live an ordinary high school life, but on the first day, she runs into the very girl that first defeated her. It turns out that she’s also quit table tennis, but this girl always has a cold expression on her face and Hanai can’t help but feel that this girl is always looking down on her and trying to mess up her perfect high school life. One day the girl falls asleep in class, and Hanai reaches over to wake her up. As she does so, the girl, still half asleep, looks up at her with a smile and almost kisses her. The girl later tells Hanai that she was having a dream about her, but Hanai coldly brushes it off thinking she’s just messing with her and walks away – as the girl behind her looks down while blushing

Sayonara, Itoshi no My Friend 

Tatsuo Andou is a makeup artist for a fashion photographer. Every day he has to see how models fawn over the new hairstylist, Haga Hajime. To tell the truth, he is and tired of this. One such morning, he comes across one of the models running out of Haga’s room with tears in her eyes. He can’t help himself and has a long talk with Haga about how rude and antisocial he is. But that’s when Tatsuo realizes, Haga doesn’t really know how to treat others. More importantly it seems he doesn’t even have a single friend – until now? Tatsuo is determined to show Haga how to be friends, even when Haga isn’t too interested. But what is that feeling? He thinks Haga is cute? He wants to kiss him? Maybe he’s not just interested in being Haga’s friend.


This was a fun list to make – I might make a webcomic/webtoon part 2 list, I mean don’t we all want to talk about Heartstopper and Lore Olympus?

Until next time,