Showing posts with label f/f romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label f/f romance. Show all posts

Thursday, May 4, 2017

If You Loved That, You'll Love This - F/F Edition with Julia Ember + GIVEAWAY Win The Seafarer's Kiss + $25

I’ve seen a few Twitter threads over the last few days asking for f/f YA in certain genres. I also hear from straight readers who are new to LGBTQ lit, that they’re not sure which books would be the best gateway for them. I love recommending books and hooking readers up with a book that will speak to them, whether the book is mine or not. 

In this post, I’m going to cover f/f YA that has been released in the last couple of years, paired with heterosexual or m/m YA books that I also enjoyed. Most of these books are #ownvoices representation. 



IF YOU LOVED: ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer
YOU'LL LOVE: NOT YOUR SIDEKICK by C.B. Lee

Why? I read Artemis Fowl when I was 12, and it still holds a place in my heart. It’s witty, fast-paced, laugh out loud funny, with a teen villain as the main character. NOT YOUR SIDEKICK is on the MG end of the YA spectrum, so I think it’s a perfect step up for readers who loved ARTEMIS. Like ARTEMIS FOWL, NOT YOUR SIDEKICK has an endearingly funny protagonist, who is trying to carve out a place for herself. Although Jess isn’t a villain, she does come into contact with a whole host of them. When I first read NOT YOUR SIDEKICK last year, I described it as queer Despicable Me meets ARTEMIS FOWL. I still believe that to be true. If you want an adorable, clean YA story about heroes and villains, that will make you laugh, this book is for you. Goodreads | Amazon


IF YOU LOVED: THE ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers
YOU'LL LOVE: ASSASSINS: DISCORD by Erica Cameron

Why? Okay, I am embarrassingly obsessed with assassin novels. If it’s a YA book published in the last five years, and it features a female assassin, there’s a good chance that I’ve read it and loved it. I had a lot of options for comparison titles for this book. As far as I know, ASSASSINS: DISCORD is the only f/f assassins book out there. 

I chose ASSASSIN'S HEART as the comparison for several reasons. The first, is that both books feature crime families locked in epic rivalries. There’s a little bit of a murderous Romeo and Juliet feel to both novels. The other reason, is as much as I love some of the other assassins books out there, many of them are ‘problematic favs’ of mine that I know feature some terrible representation. I can’t use those books in post with a clear conscience. ASSASSIN'S HEART was a great book that I did not find to be problematic. I can recommend both of these books without reservations. Goodreads | Amazon


IF YOU LOVED: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi
YOU'LL LOVE: OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

Why? Both of these books are lyrically written, diverse, sweeping fantasies that centre the romance as a prominent part of the plot. I loved Roshani Chokshi’s world-building. It was rich and textured. The romance she developed between Maya and Amar was also swoon-worthy. I felt the same way about OF FIRE AND STARS. The writing in this book was truly beautiful. The world felt sumptuous, decadent and full. The romance progressed slowly and tenderly. If you want a true fantasy romance, this one is for you. Goodreads | Amazon


IF YOU LOVED: ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
YOU'LL LOVE: GRRRLS ON THE SIDE by Carrie Pack

Why? GRRRLS ON THE SIDE has a very distinctly late 80s/early 90s feel to it. It focuses on the Riot Grrrl feminist movement in the early 90s that spurred on a lot of feminist developments. The reason I liken it to ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE is first for the era, but also the focus of the story for both main characters is on coming to understand themselves. Both novels have a strong narrative voice, slow burn queer romances, and focus on self-discovery. Grrrls on the Side will be released in June 2017. Goodreads | Amazon


IF YOU LOVED: ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE by Tamora Pierce or CROWN DUEL by Sherwood Smith
YOU'LL LOVE: MARIAN by Ella Lyons

Why? MARIAN has a very classic, adventure fantasy feel. Like both ALANNA and CROWN DUEL, it centres a badass female character who learns to defy the gender norms in her society. It’s written in a similar, fast-paced 3rd person style, and the story is very plot-driven. There also isn’t a heavy focus on magic or mythical creatures. The romance in the story is on-page, and there is enough content to fuel the shippers, but romance is not the focus of this story. We’re here for Marian's story and her development. It is also the start of a series. Goodreads | Amazon



* * *

Julia Ember is a polyamorous, bisexual writer and native of Chicago who now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Seafarer’s Kiss is her second novel and was influenced by her postgraduate work in medieval literature at The University of St. Andrews. Her first novel, Unicorn Tracks was published by Harmony Ink Press.
Website | Twitter | Facebook

* * *


THE SEAFARER’S KISS, out on May 4th 2017 with Interlude Press

"Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, ninet
een-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolk’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies."
Interlude | Amazon | B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's a f/f version of a popular m/f book you enjoyed and would recommend?




Connect with The Bookavid!

Continue Reading...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

[Review] Assassins: Discord (Assassins #1) - Erica Cameron: Girls Who Like Girls, Murder, and Action, Baby!

In ASSASSINS: DISCORD, assassin Kindra who has been raised to follow the rules, starts rebelling.

What intrigued me: f/f. Enough said.


Fast-paced action-style writing

I was really excited for ASSASSINS: DISCORD. I really really wanted this to succeed, because of the winning combination - fast-paced action + assassination + lady-loving ladies? 
Who doesn't need this in their lives? Unfortunately it was the writing style at the end of the day that irked me the most. 

The way the reader gets thrown into the story isn't written elegantly enough to make it that kind of smooth action-filled, thrilling story ASSASSINS: DISCORD wants to be. It definitely is written like an action movie - cut scenes, lots of different scenery, no time wasted. Murder, car chases, walking away from explosions, spying - you'll find all of that in this book. That's all without exception a great thing, however combined with the writing it doesn't translate very well in my opinion.

I had tremendous problems even establishing the characters, even understanding what is going on and why it is going on. I went in blind without reading the blurb, which I really don't recommend you do. You're going to want to cling to every little bit of information you can find without spoiling the novel for yourself, because ASSASSINS: DISCORD doesn't waste time explaining anything. It simply reads like the second book in a trilogy. I actually went back and checked because I was afraid I had accidentally picked up the second book instead of the first.  

Very plot-driven

A fantastic asset of ASSASSINS: DISCORD is the representation. You'll find characters of many different sexualities in here and also a cheeky little f/f romance that I won't say too much about, only that I enjoyed  that but that we got tremendously. At times I was hoping that the author went more for it, and really really pursued that romance. However, this is a plot-driven book and that's really minor criticism.

But again, I have to criticize a bit; because this is so fast-paced the characters are lacking slightly. From the start I couldn't really identify with anyone or even get attached to anyone, simply because they aren't really introduced. Of course this will also then have an impact on how you perceive the romantic subplot, and how you read this story. 

ASSASSINS: DISCORD is a really really fast, quick book. Sometimes you have to be careful, because it may overtake you.


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Sure. ASSASSINS: DISCORD is the read for people who like their thrillers diverse and their ladies loving ladies. It gains a lot of sympathy points with that and really makes me turn a blind eye to the couple of issues I had with it. You will, too.



Additional Info

Published: September 5th 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing / Triton Books
Genre: YA / Thriller

Synopsis:
"Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks rank for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for."(Source: Goodreads)



What's your favorite assassin book?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

[Review] Unicorn Tracks - Julia Ember: Safari, Conspiracies, and Hunting




In UNICORN TRACKS Mnemba and tourist Kara are determined to find out who is hunting down unicorns and sawing off their horns.

What intrigued me: Unicorns and lesbians. Everything I want in life.

Fresh, creative, and fun

The world building is reminiscent of South East African culture, and absolutely spot on. I really enjoyed seeing concepts and setting we don't usually get in fantasy novels and I found them to be very realistic as well. I especially noticed how uncanny Ember's unique approach is - I can't name a single stereotype that I've seen before, this is truly a 100% fresh read with a great concept. From the descriptions, to the writing, to the animals featured, this is so refreshing and new! 

The Nazwimbe savanna is full of mythological animals that tourists from other countries are seeking out for fun. They are all incorporated believably, some with their own little backstories, some without, and I really enjoyed it. I feared that the concept of unicorns would come across as little dorky and strange, but Ember makes it truly feel like an adventurous, fun story. I absolutely loved reading about manticores, phoenixes, and many other mythological creatures you don't often encounter in novels. 

Too Short & too Dense, but worth the read!

The majority of UNICORN TRACKS deals with what's happening to the unicorns, and I do think that it all got resolved way too quickly. While I do like the approach, the idea behind all of it (which is also a very realistic one), the mystery is just missing. Or simply resolved too early. I wanted to guess with the characters, but you won't do that for long because UNICORN TRACKS is written incredibly densely. 

A lot happens in these 180 pages, but in my opinion, squeezing all of it down to this low page count doesn't do the story justice. Especially the lovely f/f romance which is so sweet and tender, could have benefited from a higher page count. Even though Mnemba and Kara's interactions feel genuine and painstakingly adorable, their relationship almost feels instant-love-y because UNICORN TRACKS is so short. 

In general this is my biggest problem with the novel - the density and the low page count make it harder to read than it deserves. The story is great, the characters are great, but it deserves to be longer, have more descriptions added, and even the occasional filler. 


Rating:

★★★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

UNICORN TRACKS is an incredibly fresh story, with a seldom before seen setting that you don't want to miss. A must-read for fans of f/f and original fantasy.



Additional Info

Published: April 21st 2016
Pages: 180
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: YA / High Fantasy
ISBN: 9781634768788

Synopsis:
"After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge. "
(Source: Goodreads)

Can you recommend some African-inspired fantasy?

Continue Reading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...