i couldn’t help but smile

Meet Cute Diary – Emery Lee

LGBTQ+, own voices, young adult, fiction.

Rating 10/10

A young man by the name of Noah, has a Diary that is a collection of stories that has inspired his following. A troll wants to expose Noah’s stories as fictional. Noah knows these are fictional because he doesn’t have the courage to follow his own romance advice. That is when Drew comes in and they begin to fake date. Both Noah and Drew realize that they can’t continue the fake it tells you make it.

This was so heartwarming and loved this novel. We need more novels that shares the LGBTQ+ experiences and more of those voices. I need to see more of this on shelves to help teens feel that they are not alone, and they are loved. I feel adults can read this and understand as well as relate. I loved the unique writing style the author has to offer with a mix of using text messages. I feel that the youth can easier relate when there are elements that they are familiar with. Love the book and can’t wait to see this on the shelves. I would want a physical copy to reread over and over rather than an e-book.



The Last Time We Met – Maggie Brown & Leni Hanson

Romance, LGBTQ+, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Merritt returns from being apart of doctors without boarders and at the airport, a blast from the past is there. Austen, her musician crush fling is there and what is horrible is that she didn’t recognize Merritt. Austen denied but she knew very well who this mysterious woman is. Their paths cross once more at a Gala. They slowly get to know each other, and love doesn’t keep them apart. A romance blossoming that proves that they were meant to be together.

I loved this novel. I thought the slow burn was perfect and was expecting for one or the other to come forward with their feelings. The writing is beautiful, and the characters felt realistic. I love the fact that this wasn’t just erotic smut, and it was more about the characters interactions and feelings. The novel moves at a slow pace which made the romance a rather slow burn. I occasionally read slow burns, but not often enough. I want to read more of this genre and would be very much interested in reading more from this author.

loved the trope that was used… so cute

Whisper Me a Love Song – Eku Takeshima

Manga, romance, LGBTQ+, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Himari is a high school freshman attending the school’s band performance when she listens to the lead singer sing. In that moment, she falls in love with the lead singer and goes to tell the lead singer about her feelings. Yuri, the lead singer of the band, can’t believe she wasn’t the only one. Both fell in love at first sight.

This manga shares how it is like to fall in love at first sight. Realistically speaking there are so many types of love and this manga gives insight of that. This was sweet, and I certainly loved the characters. The artwork is beautiful and unbelievably detailed. I would want to find more of the series because I am deeply invested.

i need to read the next book lol

Ten Count: 2 – Rihito Takarai

Romance, manga, LGBTQ+, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Shirotani is still struggling with his germaphobia and Kurose wants to help him. What doesn’t help is that Kurose had fallen in love with Shirotani but understands if he doesn’t feel the same way. He becomes worried when he gets a phone call from Shirotani’s workplace asking what is happening and such. Kurose explains Shirotani’s condition and tells them its highly unlikely he will be able to get ahold of Shirotani. When he does, he puts himself forward and tells Shirotani his feelings and shows him what he means. Shirotani slowly becomes more accustomed and admits he has feelings for Kurose.

This was sweet and loved how supportive Kurose was with Shirotani. I feel that this manga’s pacing is perfect because of the slow burn aspect. The artwork is good, and the plot is great. However, there is some erotic art within so be careful of whose around while one is reading this manga. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this manga series because I want to know if Kurose and Shirotani become a thing without spoilers. I want to go on that discovery myself.

falling apart, coming together

My Ex-Life – Stephen McCauley

LGBTQ+, relationships, family life, divorce, Fiction.

Rating 8/10

David’s life starts falling apart as well as his ex-wife, Julie, is falling apart as well. Julie calls him to come help her with not only her life but with her daughter’s educational life and future. Her to be ex-husband wants her to sell the house, but she wants the house. David settles his business and flies out to assist her. As time flies, they reconnect like the best friends they were, even reminiscing the good days. Julie’s daughter, Mandy, was fired from her job and her acquaintance who keeps offering her a job gives her an opportunity. Except Mandy thinks that this opportunity wasn’t any better than her previous job. All of them must face life and take one day at a time.

My boyfriend and I were book shopping and came across this book in the “exceptional value” section at our local Barnes and Nobles bookstore. He found it first and read the synopsis and he told me about it. I had my attention turned to the novel. I was intrigued to read and wanted to get the book, so I did. After reading I found myself feeling that this book was going to be slow and boring, but I was half wrong. It’s slow but a good read. I love the interrelationships between all the characters as well as a meaningful plot. I found myself smiling and tearing up throughout the novel. However, I was expecting one plot, but instead, got another which I don’t mind. This novel shows how daily life challenges us and we must persist. I do recommend this novel for those who are looking for a slow yet intriguing book. This novel is great if one is wanting a quick read or wanting to slowly enjoy a novel before bed.

worst chosen one ever!

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Young Adult, LGBTQ+, fantasy, romance, wizards, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one and he is always reminded of that. The Mage has always been his guardian for a long time, preparing as well as protecting Simon from the Humdrum. Simon has a vampire wizard roommate who has the hots for him. Simon’s girlfriend breaks up with him. Baz’s (Simon’s roommate) mother visits Simon to tell him to warn Baz that her killer is on the loose. It takes a team effort to make it through the final year at Watford. In the midst of the madness and chaos, romance blooms between Baz and Simon.

I heard good reviews about this novel and decided to check it out. I like this book. It has a lot of witchcraft and elements of romance. It’s a lot to unpack to read because there is a lot of different perspectives to the narrative that help explain further of what’s going on. My favorite was the roommate having the hots for Simon. I swear that he was being a douche to him because they’re fated to be enemies. I was happily wrong. Although I do like plot twists because they always tend to keep the reader and or audience on their toes, unsuspecting of what may or may not happen. I would recommend this novel for sure.

Blossoming Romance

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up

Story and Art – Kodama Naoko

Manga, romance, contemporary, LGBTQ+, fiction.

Rating 9.5/10

Morimoto is being harassed by her parents to settle down with a husband, but Morimoto doesn’t want that life just yet. She’s enjoying being happily single and committed to her job. Her friend, Hana, offers to be fake married to her to help Morimoto not be harassed by her parents. Morimoto agrees to do this plan and the plan works. Only thing is that Hana must live with Morimoto for a while. Morimoto doesn’t mind until she finds herself craving Hana’s company. Morimoto starts to fall for Hana slowly and they decide to work on their relationship.

My boyfriend and I were looking for manga to read and he picked up this one to show me. At first, I thought that this manga was going to be some horrible romance comedy. Turns out, this one was very sweet, and very heart felt[KS1] . I enjoyed the sweet message that the manga left for the reader to find. I won’t say what the message is because that would spoil the ending. Overall, this manga surprised me in a lot of ways and opened my mind about reading manga. Not all manga is actiony and or science fiction, they can have contemporary storylines. I will continue to broaden my search for more variety of forms of literature.