They're Mini! REVIEWS!

So ... I think I've been having the opposite of a reading slump lately. A reading lift? A reading sit-up-straight? 


Whatever it is, I'm liking it. I read a book in a day! And then kept doing that! (I know some of you guys do this most of the time. I see you with your 300 book Goodreads goals. But hush. Some of us are mere mortals and get excited about that sort of thing)

So, since these two books were wholly awesome and I'm - ever so sadly - not going to get the time to review them in full, I present you with ... MINI REVIEWS!

*confetti cannon and manic cheers*

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.
Judging by the Goodreads comments, it's kind of obligatory to read this book in about ten seconds flat. Because it's ... well, it has this amazing balance between being fluffy and entertaining and easy to read, and being serious enough to feel like it matters. Very few books have that. It's so refreshing to see an LGBT+ book that isn't just about coming out - it's also about changing friendships, about the way a new relationship blossoms, and families being about the weirdest, most brilliant relationships you can get sometimes.

There's also an awful lot of behind-the-scenes drama-kid hijinks, which ... well, you guys know how much I love theatre. Not to mention that I pretty much fell in love with Blue from his emails despite the fact that I'm pretty much the polar opposite of a gay dude.

GAH! READ THE DARN BOOK ALREADY, WOULD YOU?

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.
If Holocaust lit is done in a halfway decent fashion, then I'm going to like it, but this was just particularly special to me. Maybe it was something about Hanneke, the girl who tried not to get involved with anything for fear of her own safety,  deciding to risk her life to find someone she'd never even heard of, let alone met? How it showed the Dutch people, in such desperate times, still finding ways to be brave and make a difference? Or the way it made so clear what you see on the outside of a person is rarely what's on the inside - whether what you don't see is worse or better?

Actually, I do know. It was the attention to detail, the planning, the fact that the story fit so seamlessly with the true history of the Dutch occupation. I've seen many beautiful books set in the Holocaust that sacrifice historical accuracy - or at least make the setting and its characters as vague as possible - in order to create that beauty, which is understandable. But because this book was so real, I could relate to it. I've been to Amsterdam and seen the Hollandsche Schouwburg, and every time I read about it on the pages of this book it felt like I was back there. When Hesse described the masses crammed into that room, knocked half dead with the stench of excrement and sweat and fear, I knew they'd existed beyond my imagination. It was such a powerful experience, and ... well, I'd like to thank the author for giving me that with her writing, with characters that were so alive it was like I was talking to them directly.

In the comments: Have you guys read either of these books? What did you think? Do you have anything to recommend me that's similar?
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2 comments:

  1. I LOVED Simon! I'm always paranoid I'm going to offend someone by saying it, because that's not at all my intention, but it was also nice to read an LGBT book that wasn't entirely about coming out/the struggles of being gay. I think the genre needs more pure fluff like this. Straight couples have endless amounts of adorabley fluffy romance, so it was refreshing for the same to ring true for a gay couple.

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    1. SIMON SIMON SIMON. Yes, I loved the fluffiness - but some fluffy books just feel pointless and I was so glad that this didn't. Comparative titles are rarely spot on, but it did really remind me of Fangirl because of that.

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