As You Walk On By — Julian Winters Penguin Group Viking Penguin Random House Audio — André Santana LGBTQIA, Young Adult January 17, 2023 336 pages — 9 hrs 49 min 5 ⭐️
Thank you to @prhaudio and @vikingbooks and @netgalley for the #gifted audiobook.
Summary: Theo’s friends dare him to ask his crush to prom. What can go wrong? At a party, Theo finally gets up his nerve only to find out his crush has a boyfriend. He takes refuge in an empty bedroom and slowly, others who are also avoiding the party join him. They make a misfit group but they are just what Theo needs.
💭 This immediately reminded me of The Breakfast Club so the book blurb was spot on! In that movie I loved all the quirky characters and it was exactly the same here. It was hard not to fall in love with Theo. He is a layered, dynamic character who is trying to find his place with his family and his friends. This new group is just what he needs. All are struggling with something of their own and the support they show each other is what we all should strive for in our relationships.
The dialogue was fun and relevant and the representation and lessons in this book are not to be missed. The characters stayed with me a long time after I finished reading.
Mistakes Were Made — Meryl Wilsner St. Martin’s Press — Macmillan Audio 352 pages — 12 hours Romance, LGBTQIA October 11, 2022 2.5 ⭐️
Thank you to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for the #gifted digital ARC.
Summary: Cassie met an older woman, Erin, at a bar and they had a frisky encounter. What Cassie didn’t know was that Erin was her friend’s mom. They both knew that they needed to stay away from each other, but the pull was too strong, and they ended up sneaking around hoping Parker didn’t find out.
💭 The opening scenes were hot. Very hot. I was excited to see how this forbidden relationship played out. I was disappointed. For more than half the book, all we knew was how much Cassie and Erin missed/wanted each other and how worried they both were about Parker finding out. Interspersed with this was one sex scene after another. Don’t get me wrong, sex scenes can be fun, but when there is no depth to the characters, no character development at all, it just makes it… porn.
The only thing that semi-saved this book for me was the last quarter after Parker did find out. It was only then that we got to learn a little bit about Erin and Cassie, apart from their carnal desires. I really liked what we learned about both characters, but I wish we had gotten that insight earlier.
This book is for you if you love open door romance and don’t care about the characters.
Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and @netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.
Dahlia is looking to reinvent herself as a contestant on the popular cooking competition show, Chef’s Special. But she meets London, who is also a competitor and like no one she’s ever met before. When they announce their pronouns on national TV, London’s focus is pulled while trying to manage their family and the internet trolls that feel the need to comment. Dahlia and London grow closer and become support for each other as well as competitors.
Cooking competition shows are a favorite of mine, so it was fun to hear about the recipes and the fails/successes with the food and judging.
This is the first novel I’ve read with a nonbinary character and I loved it. I hope it becomes more commonplace. While there is transphobia and misgendering as a content warning, I love the way it was addressed in the story. Neither Dahlia and London were heteronormative and it was a refreshing take to see the interaction as the main story. The diversity in the cast of characters was phenomenal.