by Anna Birch
Do you like enemies to lovers, sapphic romance, sapphic enemies to lovers, amazing writing, and the “we love each other online and know each other in real life without knowing each other’s identities” trope?
Well, if so, I sincerely recommend I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch.
In real life, Iliana and Rhodes hate each other a lot — 2 physical altercat
ions a lot — and their hatred for each other only increases when they find out they’ll be competing for the same scholarship to an elite art school. Online, however, I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are madly in love and planning to meet up at the competition. When the worlds collide, they have to figure out whether they can like each other in person as much as they like each other online.
Review: This is SO underrated. This book had wonderful writing and a super cute romance. The enemies to lovers part was also wonderfully done and the tension — the yearning — oh my. My heart… it couldn’t handle it. If you’re not convinced by that, here is a quote guaranteed to make you want to read this book: “She closes the distance between us in a handful of long, sweeping strides — one moment she’s standing at the doorway and the next, her breath ruffles my hair. I flinch. She doesn’t hit me, though: she simply lifts my chin so I have no other choice but to look her in the eyes. Her skin against mine, even in this small way, stands my arm hair on end. Everything in her burning: her eyes, her face, her spirit.”
WOW. The tension, the writing- beautiful *chef’s kiss*. I rated this book 4 / 5 stars and I definitely recommend it!
Make sure to check the trigger warnings!
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Heartstopper Vol. Two
by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper Vol. Two picks up where Heartstopper Vol. One left off. Charlie and Nick are slowly discovering that their bond may be more than friendship.
As Charlie discovers who he is, and who his friends are, Nick grapples with his mental illness and his love for Charlie.
Together, they share the small things in life that equal the big picture. And in each other they find a love worth sharing.
A beautiful second installment in the Heartstopper series, Alice Oseman has created a story about love, friendship and finding yourself.
Heartstopper Vol. One
by Alice Oseman
Charlie and Nick could not be more different. Charlie, an openly gay, anxious teen has spent the last year avoiding bullies and dealing with being outed at school. Nick is a soft hearted jock who just happens to be the star of the school rugby team.
Nick and Charlie do not know each other, at least not yet. As Charlie learns more about Nick and gets to know him, he discovers that there may be something there that’s bigger than friendship.
Meanwhile, Nick thinks he’s chasing after something that’s impossible. Little does he know that Charlie may be exactly what he’s looking for.
A beautiful and heartfelt romance, Heartstopper Vol. One is the book version of the heart eye emoji.
Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callender
Felix Love wants love. He’s never been in love and has always wondered why it seems so easy for everyone else to find that perfect someone.
After an anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages and posting his deadname along with a picture of him before he transitioned, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. Little does he know that his revenge plan will land him in a love triangle.
Not only will navigating these feelings be a journey, but Felix will begin to discover that the most important journey is figuring out how he feels about himself.
Felix Ever After is a feel good inspiring novel about relationships, finding love and redefining the love you deserve.
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We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour
Marin believes that you need a lot in life, until she just picks up and leaves for New York City without speaking to anyone. Marin is convinced that running is the only answer to a tragedy she is unwilling to face and unwilling to talk about.
Now, alone in New York City, Marin realizes that she has not spoken to anyone from her hometown since she left. And although she has tried her best to forget, sometimes ignoring a situation only makes it worse.
In the cold, Marin sits alone in her dorm room, waiting for her best friend Mabel to visit her. She will finally have to confront her past and the loneliness that has made room in her heart.
We Are Okay is an emotionally intense and moving novel, and is an own voices read. With complex and introspective characters, We Are Okay will question how someone should face their own past.
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Six Impossible Things
Dan Cereill (pronounced “surreal” not “cereal”) has his world turned upside down in an instant with a new house, new school, a newly out of the closet father, a family who has just declared bankruptcy, a mother with a failing business, and the most amazing girl right next door. Despite all this, Dan tries his hardest to fit in, make new friends, and repeatedly reminds people of the proper pronunciation of his last name. In efforts to try to cope with the situation that Dan has found himself in, he creates a list of six things he deems impossible to happen. Narrated by a nerdy, funny, and smart teenager who is just trying to get through the rest of high school undetected and without being a total loser.
I thought this was refreshing to read a romance novel written entirely from a male perspective. Not to mention the amazingly funny and nerdy writing done by the writer. I found it nearly impossible to peel my eyes from the pages due to the suspense and the always changing plot. Never a dull moment when reading this book and is a great young adult romance novel about the struggles of family, high school, and finding love. -Melanie G.
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Beckett Gaines, a gay teen living in South Carolina, has his world turned upside-down by a jock in this laugh-out-loud novel that’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets The Parent Trap.
The Golden Girls-loving, out-and-proud choir nerd growing up in the “ass-crack of the Bible belt.”
The Golden Boy, star quarterback with a slick veneer facing uncomfortable truths about himself and his past.
When Beck’s emotionally fragile dad starts dating the recently single (and supposedly lesbian) mom of former bully, Jaxon Parker, Beck is not having it. Jax isn’t happy about the situation either, holding out hope that his moms will reunite and restore the only stable home he’s ever known. Putting aside past differences, the boys plot to derail the budding romance between their parents at their conservative hometown’s first-ever Rainbow Prom. Hearts will be broken, new romance will bloom, but nothing will go down the way Beck and Jax have planned.
In his hilarious and provocative debut, Greg Howard examines the challenges of growing up different in a small southern town through the lens of colorful and unforgettable characters who stay with you long after the last drop of sweet tea.
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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon is penpals with Blue, but he does not know their real identity. Blue and Simon talk about life and all their little mishaps in life, without any personal details, so they can’t figure out who the other is. He starts to suspect who his pen-pal/secret admirer is and when they get to know each other better all he wants to do is know who Blue really is, even though Blue is strongly opposed to it.
When a fellow student at their high school finds an email between them, he begins blackmailing Simon to help him get a date with his friend Abby or else he will spill the emails. Simon feels there is no choice but to obey. Every major event will make you rethink how you thought the story would play out. A heartfelt story of blackmail, pen pals, friendship, and the struggles of life.
You won’t want to put this book down and the characters have been written as relatable and realistic. Becky Albertalli’s beautifully written plot is comparable to those of many teen’s struggles and therefore makes the overall story take you through every page in a way that makes it seem as if you are in the story too. An emotional rollercoaster and by the end, you will be wishing for more.
I would recommend this book to most people, this plot will have you hanging off every word not wanting to take a break. Warning: you may have the urge to eat Oreos and Reese’s pieces while you read! Also even after reading, I still do not completely understand the connection to the Homo Sapiens Agenda even though it is mentioned somewhat throughout the book. A very quick read but a moderately sized book for teens and up, as the information sometimes needs an understanding of the subject matter. – Zoe P.
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Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep-sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. However, Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane does not know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. At Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
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A cappella just got a makeover.
Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.
In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.
Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.
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