[Book Recs] Summer Lovin’

Lately I’ve been in the mood for some beach reads — it seems like many of my friends are as well, so here are some of the summer romances, and summery contemporary books, I enjoyed or look forward to reading! (As a side note, many of these will be queer recs because that’s who I am as a person what I tend to read and love.)

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The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag

Apparently I somehow missed this Pride book tag in my search earlier this month, but luckily I was tagged by the creator, V @ The Sassy Library Fox! As always, I’m going to make things more challenging for myself — this time, by not repeating any of the books I used for my (original) Read the Rainbow tag.

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[Review] The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

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[Book Recs] Queer Retellings

With so many books with awesome LGBTQIA+ representation, I know my indecisiveness would make it impossible to make recommendation posts if I didn’t further narrow down the criteria. (Last year for Pride I shared some of my favorite books with Bisexual/ Pansexual Protagonists and with Demisexual/ Grayace Protagonists.)

Today I bring you six retellings with queer central characters, because I love a good retelling; in the hands of a talented author, it’s a brilliant opportunity to explore how different facets of the characters’ identity — i.e., sexual and/or romantic orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity — affect their beliefs, behavior, and the story they lead.

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[ORIGINAL] Read the Rainbow Tag

Happy Pride Month, friends! While planning this month’s posts I went looking for Pride-themed book tags and only found a couple, so today I’m bringing you an original set of prompts that I hope you’ll enjoy, regardless of whether you identify as LGBTQIA+ (including questioning, that’s completely valid) or are “just” an ally. 

This tag is based on the Progress Pride Flag (shown in the post header) and the meanings of different rose colors (as compiled from multiple sources), because why not?

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[Review] One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn’t believe in much. She doesn’t believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn’t believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that.

But then, there’s Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane.

All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one — namely, displaced in time from the 1970s — she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

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[Review] Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in … Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind — she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.

Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

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[Review] Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides — namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? 

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