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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Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers: A Disappointed Book Review

Described as “Knives Out meets Kim’s Convenience,” Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers is Jesse Q. Sutanto’s latest novel. Sutanto is also the author of Dial A for Aunties, which I read and enjoyed a few years ago, among a handful of other youth and adult works.

In this cozy mystery novel, Vera Wong is a widowed sixty-year-old woman living alone and running a teahouse in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Unfortunately, her teahouse doesn’t see many customers—–until one day, she walks in to discover a dead body! Even though the police think there’s nothing suspicious about the scene, Vera knows it in her gut that they have a murder on their hands, and if the police won’t see it her way, she’ll just have to find the killer on her own. When Vera’s teahouse starts seeing new faces popping up after the murder, her suspect list starts to grow, but so does her heart.

Having read and loved Dial A for Aunties, I was hoping for an easy homerun with this. So it saddens me to say it, but this book was disappointing.

I’ll tell you all about my thoughts (spoiler-free) in this review.

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Wayfarers Series Book Review

A long, long time ahead of us in a galaxy maybe not so far away, the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers takes place. This four-book science fiction series is not one to miss for lovers of the genre, and an ideal introduction for those seeking a gateway into space.

In this blog post, I review all four books, including characters, themes, and plots, and I do not include any spoilers. The books discussed here are The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, Record of a Spaceborn Few, and The Galaxy, and the Ground Within.

Keep reading to nab your ticket to the stars above!

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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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You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty: A Book Review

Right now is the perfect time to read You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi—-the newly released romance novel opens on Memorial Day weekend, features queer main characters, and embodies the essence of what they call “hot girl summer.”

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The Office of Historical Corrections: A Book Review

Ever since I finished reading The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans earlier this month, I have continued to think about it. Comprised of a series of short stories and a novella by the same name as the collection, this literary work is astounding and expertly crafted.

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Bookish Brains Issue 17

Letter from the editor:

Greetings, dear readers! April was my first full month in the youth services department at the library I work at, so I have been reading a lot of children’s literature! I also got to lead two storytime sessions for preschoolers, which was a lot of fun. My first theme was Flowers, and my second theme was Gardening. Let me know if you’d be interested in me sharing my storytime plans with you!

April is also National Poetry Month, so this month I read a couple books written in verse. Altogether, I read 22 books this month, 14 of which were picture books. I’ve been busy!

This edition contains eight book reviews and a list of awesome upcoming book releases to look forward to next month.

Hoping you are having a lovely spring so far and wishing you a gorgeous May.


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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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