Thursday, 30 June 2016

NEW VIDEO: LGBTQIA+ Books I Own



Hey guys!

Here is my new video for you, where I talk about all of the LGBTQIA+ books that I own, and why I think you should own them too. 

Here are the books I mention:

  1. Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
  2. Carol by Patricia Highsmith
  3. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  4. The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
  5. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
  6. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
  7. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
  8. All of the Above by Juno Dawson

I will start sharing all of the videos that I post onto my blog as well, except for if I'm travelling on the days they upload, where I may not be able to directly link them.

Enjoy this video, and the next one is coming so soon!




Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Secret Projects and Life Update



Hey everyone!

I haven't written a chatty blog post in a while and so I thought I would update you on a few things going on in my life. 

My university results just came through for first year and it looks like I have the grades to be able to transfer for second year! It is a new chapter in my life and I can't wait to feel more in control.

As well as this, I have had some pretty awesome book review requests and offers recently. I was kind enough to be given a book about asexuality (review and author guest post to come soon!) which is something SO RARE in literature and so I'm excited to read that, and I have been promised another book which I don't want to talk about yet because it will ruin my secret little project that I'm planning around it.

Don't worry though, you won't have to wait tooooo long to find out what the project is, but it will totally depend on when I receive the book and when I can book a certain something. Here's a clue: it will be going on my youtube channel!

So I'm extremely excited for what's going on in my blog life right now, and its a shame it isn't my career, because I genuinely put so much time and effort into my book stuff.

Also, I got snapchat! Add me, my username is @book.fangirling

My snapchat is so you can keep more up to date with me daily instead of, like, having to wait a few days for a blog post or a week for a new video. I thought it would be cool, so add me if you want to keep in touch! I usually have it active from 10:00am-9:00pm British time.

That's all for now, but I will keep you updated on the secret project, and hopefully it will all work out.

There's a brand new post tomorrow, so look forward to that!

See you soon!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Look Past by Eric Devine



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Look Past by Eric Devine.

INFORMATION

Title: Look Past
Author: Eric Devine
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: 4th October 2016

Format Available: Hardcover
Original Language: English
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Mystery/Thriller Fiction


DESCRIPTION

Someone brutally murdered Mary Mathison, daughter of a prominent and very conservative local pastor. Whoever it was is now taunting Avery, a transgender boy, with disturbing messages, claiming that Mary's murder was revenge for her relationship with Avery. 
The killer's demands are simple and horrific: Avery must repent for changing his gender identity, or he will be the next one killed.
Can Avery deny who he is to catch Mary s killer? Or will sacrificing himself be the ultimate betrayal?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

Oh my God. I seriously cannot wait for this book.

You guys know that I love a good crime thriller, and if this ain't one, then I don't know what is. On top of this, there is a transgender main character, and they aren't the one who has been killed!

Transgender people almost never get representation in books and other forms of media, because they are a minority in society that people just don't seem to even think about representing. And it was honestly very hard for me to even find a new release for this year that was about a transgender protagonist - I wanted to represent as many different identities during the month of June in Pride Month, and it took me a long time to find this book. So, there is still a lot of work to be done in this respect, but it is books like this one that are helping the cause for more representation.

I know this isn't exactly a positive book for transgender people, but it actually sounds like it will highlight the problem of harassment of transgender people within society. This in turn will contribute to helping others in society understand what they are doing wrong and teach them to accept transgender members of society, because they are normal people too.

Therefore, I can't wait for this book, because I have never yet read a single book with a transgender character in it, and I am hoping to expand my library very soon to correct this matter.

If you are transgender - be proud! We love you and support you, and you are valid.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Purple Prose by Kate Harrad



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Purple Prose by Kate Harrad.

INFORMATION

Title: Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain
Author: Kate Harrad and others 
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Thorntree Press
Release Date: 1st September 2016
Format Available: Paperback 
Original Language: English
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction


DESCRIPTION

"Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain" is the first of its kind: a book written for and by bisexuals in the UK. This accessible collection of interviews, essays, poems and commentary explores topics such as definitions of bisexuality, intersections of bisexuality with other identities, stereotypes and biphobia, being bisexual at work, teenage bisexuality and bisexuality through the years, the media's approach to bisexual celebrities, and fictional bisexual characters. 

Filled with raw, honest, first-person accounts as well as comments from leading bisexual activists in the UK, this is the book you'll buy for your friend who's just come out to you as bi-curious, or for your parents who think your bisexuality is weird or a phase, or for yourself, because you know you re bi but you don t know where to go or what to do about it."

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

As someone who is friends with a few bisexual people (at least a few that I currently know of), this book will be revolutionary for not only them, but for the people around them who do not understand their identity.

I love that this book is written by a range of bisexual authors, so you are getting many different points of view, and therefore you'll always find something in the book that you can relate to or understand, whether you are a bisexual person or someone in your life is bisexual and you want to understand them a bit more.

This also sounds interesting because it talks about bisexuality in relation to other identities within the LGBTQIA+ community, and so it reinforces the fact that bisexuality is 100% real.

Since I am not bisexual myself, that doesn't really matter when it comes to this book. I can't wait for this book because I am always looking to be educated about gender and sexuality, and this can help me with that!

So for my bisexual friends, this post is for you. I'm proud to know you and you should be proud to be who you are!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Review: Binge by Tyler Oakley



Title: Binge
Author: Tyler Oakley 
Cover Artist: John Vairo and Koury Angelo 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 20th October 2015
Genre: Autobiography
Page Count: 304
Original Language: English
Format Read: Hardcover
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


Blurb

For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the internet, Tyler Oakley has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: he experienced a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; he had a fashion stand-off with the White House secret service; he crashed a car in front of his entire high school in his fast food restaurant server's uniform; he projectile vomited while bartering with a grandmother. 

With millions of fans clamouring for more Tyler Oakley, he delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with trademark flair in Binge.

First Page



Review


*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 

There was absolutely nothing I didn't like about this book.

Tyler Oakley is my new queen, and I shall bow down.

This is such a painfully honest book. He didn't need to share all of this with us, and yet he did. It is equally hilarious and tragic, but ultimately human.

I don't always find YouTuber books quite this entertaining, but Tyler was destined to write this book, and I was destined to read it and feel inspired. This is about binging on the good and the bad in life, and how each kind of binge can have consequences. But he reminds us to ultimately binge on the good in life, because you can never have too much sweetness.

It is safe to say that I binged on this book, and it was one of the most indulgent pieces that I've read in a long time. Every joke was perfectly written, but do you know what? They weren't even jokes that were forced out of needing to hit a target word count - they were things he would naturally say, all jotted down in this book. And each one-liner was hilarious!

I finished this book craving more. Only 300 pages? I want a whole candy store full of The Chronicles of Oakley and I want to buy these imaginary books so much that my mouth is practically watering whilst I write this sentence.

On this rare occasion, I declare that I cannot fault in this book. I cannot find a single word that isn't relevant or a photo that doesn't evoke any emotion. Even if you have no idea who Tyler is before reading this, you'll finish the book and always remember his name. This will get you hooked, so just go ahead and binge.

A perfect book deserves a perfect score. 5/5 from me, and can we get a thrown for Tyler? All hail the queen.





About the author:

Tyler Oakley is a pop-culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and one of the most prominent LGBTQIA+ voices on YouTube. As well as his channel, he has his own Podcast called Psychobabble, has been on tour sharing his funny stories, and now has a new job working for Ellen as a social media correspondent, which is a job currently in the works. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd.

INFORMATION

Title: Straight Jacket: How to be Gay and Happy
Author: Matthew Todd
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release Date: 16th June 2016

Format Available: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Original Language: English
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Non-Fiction


DESCRIPTION


Written by Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude, the UK's best-selling gay magazine, Straight Jacket is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family. Part memoir, part ground-breaking polemic, it looks beneath the shiny facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be – and if not, why not? 

In an attempt to find the answers to this and many other difficult questions, Matthew Todd explores why statistics show a disproportionate number of gay people suffer from mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and why significant numbers experience difficulty in sustaining meaningful relationships. Bracingly honest, and drawing on his own experience, he breaks the silence surrounding a number of painful issues, explaining: 

· how growing up in the closet can overwhelm the gay child with a deep sense of shame that can leave young people with perilously low self-worth and a powerfully negative body image
· how many gay men overcompensate for childhood shame by pursuing unobtainable perfection, aspiring to have perfect bodies, boyfriends and lives
· how gay culture, so often centred around alcohol, drugs, quick sex and even quicker wit, exacerbates the problem, and what we can all do to make things better

Meticulously researched, courageous and life-affirming, Straight Jacket offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues. It also recognizes that this is a watershed moment, a piercing wake-up-call-to-arms for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people – and helping older people to transform their experience and finally get the lives they really want.


WHY I CAN'T WAIT

I feel like this is going to be a super important book, because society has this view of gay people that is not beginning to shift anytime soon, and we need to begin a conversation which no one has the chance to back out from. However uncomfortable this topic makes you feel, I think this is going to be one of the books that forces you to reassess your image of the LGBT community and be educated on the reason why certain stereotypes are visible in the world.

Because at the end of the day, the LGBT community cannot control the way they are, and many of these stereotypes (for example, the stereotype that gay men are obsessed with their looks) have explanations.

I applaud Matthew for this book, because he is including a wide range of the community in this book. So, he isn't just speaking on behalf of cis white and young gay men, but LGBT people of all ages. More importantly, this book is also written more specifically for those people outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, in order to educate and build tolerance.

All in all, I think this is a very important book for the community, and this is why I cannot wait!


Monday, 6 June 2016

Review: You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan



Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Cover Artist: Meryl Sussman Levavi
Publisher: Macmillan 
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Genre: LGBTQIA+ YA Fiction
Page Count: 256
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: N/A
Movie Adaptation: N/A 

Where you can buy it:  AmazonThe Book DepositoryWaterstonesBarnes and NobleEbay


Blurb

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

First Page


Review


*SPOILER ALERT: This review does not assume you have read the book* 

I read this books for World Book Night back in April, and I absolutely loved it.

This is a book about two people who do not save each other, but come along for the ride whilst they save themselves, and it all happens over the course of one week. It is a very interesting commentary on friendship, and about how you can know someone better in one week than you can having known them for a while lifetime. This book focuses on the struggles of love, loss, and finding where you belong. 

It is a dual narrative, which essentially means that the main characters, Kate and Mark, shared the narrative space, and each new chapter swapped narrative perspectives. I personally really liked this set up as for this novel it was better to have two first person points of view instead of having a third voice telling two personal stories. This helped to structure the novel and I really appreciated the set up.

I loved how this book wasn't about being gay, but about other issues such as identity, autonomy, the future... even if you aren't part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you can take something from this book. 

There was also an interesting twist in the book that involves what really happened the night that Mark and Kate became friends, and we as readers only find out what really happened at the same time that the rest of their school does, so I felt really involved in this book because I was treated as someone to hide a secret from, despite having been let in to the rest of Mark and Kate's lives. 

And this isn't a spoiler, but can we just talk about how NO GAY PEOPLE DIED OR HAD SEVERE INJURY/ HEARTBREAK THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF THE BOOK? I'm all for crushing those western media stereotypes!

Overall, it was a great little read that I raced through in one sitting, and got more addictive as I read on. It is a story about hope and warmth, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to expand their LGBTQIA+ shelves. It is a great example of what LGBT literature can be, and therefore I give it 5/5 cups of tea!




About the authors:

David Levithan is an American author and editor. His first book, Boy Meets Boy, was published in 2003. He has written numerous works featuring strong male gay characters, most notably Boy Meets Boy and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss ListNina LaCour is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels published by Dutton Books: Hold StillThe Disenchantments, and Everything Leads to You

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Buffering by Hannah Hart




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly spot hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine and is meant to showcase the books that a blogger is anticipating in the next couple of months. Today I'm going to be talking about Buffering by Hannah Hart.

INFORMATION

Title: Buffering
Author: Hannah Hart
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Release Date: 18th October 2016
Format Available: Hardcover
Original Language: English
Genre: Autobiographical Essays


DESCRIPTION

Hello, my darlings! I am incredibly pleased to present BUFFERING: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded!
As a big fan of memoirs, I wanted to try my hand at writing about the events of my life that deserve a little more consideration than can be accomplished in 140-characters or a 6-minute vlog. Now on the cusp of turning 30, I'm ready to expose some parts of my life that I haven't shared before. Before, it was all about privacy, process and time. And now the time has come! I'm ready to put myself out there, for you.
I'm a little nervous about all these vulnerable words going into the world, these tales about my love life, the wrestling I've done with faith, how I feel about sex and my family and myself. I've had a lot of trials, a lot of errors, but also a lot of passion. Here's the thing--I've always found comfort in the stories shared by others, so I hope my stories, now that I feel ready to tell them, will bring you some comfort too.
And when you read this book please remember: Buffering is just the time it takes to process.
Enjoy! 
Love, 
Hannah

WHY I CAN'T WAIT

Well, for a start its Hannah Hart. Who doesn't love this girl?

In all seriousness, Hannah Hart means a lot to me personally. She is such a positive person despite not having the most positive of upbringings, and is so full of love that she constantly looks like its about to burst out of her in every new video she uploads to her channel.

You always feel safe on her channel, and she invites you into her home each week, whether that is into her kitchen or into her deepest thoughts and feelings. As well as cooking whilst slightly tipsy and entertaining us with her humour, she does frequent charity work with her own Have a Hart Day campaign, which helps people all over America in various situations and cases.

So as she is someone I really admire, I'm excited for her book, because I can't wait to understand her that little bit more.

I respect her tremendously, and I will definitely be buying this book. Also, I hope she goes on a book tour in the UK, because I would love to meet her!

Is anyone else excited for Hannah's book?