Is Love the Answer? A Manga Review

Is love the answer or is it the question? The standalone manga Is Love the Answer? by Uta Isaki explores what love and sex mean for college-age Chika in this coming-of-age tale featuring aromantic asexual representation.

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Planning Perfect: A Book Review of an Ace YA Novel

Planning Perfect by Haley Neil delivers Jewish biromantic ace-spectrum representation in this new sapphic young adult novel about a perfectionist teenager planning her mother’s wedding.

Sixteen-year-old Felicity Becker is passionate about event planning, so when her mother gets engaged at the end of Felicity’s junior year, the wedding planning automatically becomes Felicity’s summer project. While her mom marches to the beat of her own drum, Felicity is determined to coordinate the “perfect” wedding in just a few months. Fortunately, Felicity’s long distance friend Nancy from queer camp last year has an apple orchard that would be an ideal wedding location. Thus, Felicity, her mom, and her mom’s fiancé pack their bags and visit Vermont for the summer, lodging at Nancy’s family’s guest house at the orchard.

As Felicity and Nancy spend more time together, feelings begin to simmer. But Felicity wonders how a relationship with Nancy would even work. Moreover, as the pressure builds to get this wedding planned perfectly, Felicity pushes herself harder and harder. At what cost is perfection achieved, and is something even perfection if it’s methodically and excruciatingly planned instead of spontaneously and presently experienced?

In this blog post, I break down my thoughts on Planning Perfect.

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The Summer of Bitter and Sweet: A Book Review

Although ice cream is a delicious and refreshing way to solve many issues, it can only do so much for the problems of Lou in The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson, a new YA novel with ace representation.

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Loveless: A Book Review

Perhaps you know Alice Oseman for her recently adapted comic series Heartstopper or her hit novel Radio Silence, but have you heard of Loveless?

Officially the “tenth” installment in the Oseman-verse (the universe in which Oseman’s stories take place), but perfectly comprehensible as a standalone, Loveless is a coming-of-age contemporary young adult novel in which narrator Georgia reflects on her first year of university and how she comes to understand herself as being asexual and aromantic.

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Nothing Burns as Bright as You: A Book Review

Told in verse, the newly-released young adult contemporary Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk tells of first love, complicated friend/relationships, and emotional gravity.

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Ophelia After All: A Book Review

To the tune of “It was Agatha, all along!” I keep singing, “It was O-phelia, after all!”

All right, all right, now that you’ve cringed at me, I have some things to say about the newly released young adult novel Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie!

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Almost American Girl: A Book Review

Almost American Girl shares the experiences of author Robin Ha as she and her mother abruptly moved from Seoul to Alabama when she was fourteen years old. Rendered in comic, this memoir is another expertly crafted voice to add to the archive of this medium.

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Carrie Pilby: A Book Review

This book review is intended for readers who have already read Carrie Pilby or for people who haven’t read Carrie Pilby but would rather just read my book review about it! Which is all to say that there are spoilers ahead!

Carrie Pilby, by Caren Lissner, is a novel about a 19-year-old young woman living in New York City. Having skipped three grades and graduated Harvard at age eighteen, she is now a lonely genius living by herself, as afforded by her father who works abroad; although she is financially well-off and intellectually gifted, Carrie has no friends and a slew of self-imposed morally rigid rules. In an attempt to improve her social capabilities, her therapist Dr. Petrov gives Carrie a list of five things to do, including go on a date and celebrate New Year’s Eve. Throughout the novel, Carrie acquires a few strange friends from her part-time legal proofreading job, and another few from local spots. Ultimately, Carrie begins to realize her own hypocrisies as life reveals its complexities, moral ambiguities, and hidden pleasures.

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