Contemporary

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Maya Aziz is Indian, Muslim, and American. She is also crushing on a non-Muslim classmate and dreaming of going away to film school one day, both of which are far from what her parents expect from her. The first part of the book focuses on Maya’s inner conflict, and are mostly cute as her relationship with Phil (her crush) progresses, and she gets to know Kareem, the guy that her parents would approve of. When I read this I knew that some of my Muslim friends are going to hate this book, because while Maya is Muslim, she isn’t exactly devout. Continue reading “Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed”

Contemporary

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

I originally gave this book a 5-star rating on GoodReads, which I only give to books that either (1) completely blew me away, which doesn’t happen that often, or (2) affected me in a very personal way, which happens more often. Obviously, I have this 5 stars because of reason no.2, but after having a LONG time to think about it, I’ve re-rated it with 3 stars, which to me means that I like it okay.

This epistolary novel is about two best friends who go to college on opposite sides of the country (for some reason that is never explained). Told in a series of texts and emails between Ava and Gen, the book pretty much chronicles their first year in college… where a lot of things happened, and yet not a lot of things happened.

Verdict: To be honest, I both loved and hated reading it – on the one hand, Ava has anxiety and OCD and I related to the anxiety bit, and all the ways it affected her college experience. On the other hand, Ava also said a lot of transphobic and biphobic things in her texts/emails that Gen calls her out on (which is good), but she never learns (which is bad). And Gen. I don’t know. I’m just tired of the trope of bi/pansexual characters sleeping with everyone, and I’m equally tired of the whole college = lots of drinking and sex and drugs thing. I guess if that’s your thing, you’d like this book? As for me, my favourite YA book set in college is still Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin.

Note: I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Comics

The Backstagers Vol. 1 & 2 by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh

The Backstagers Vol. 1: Rebels Without Applause by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh

This comic was marketed as “Lumberjanes for boys”, and I love Lumberjanes, so of course I wanted to read it straight away. The story centers around Jory, a new student at an all-boys private school – a fact that freaks him out not only because he’s transferring around a time where most people would have already fallen into their own cliques, but also because an all-boys school would be full of BOYS. He ends up joining the backstage crew, who immediately took him in as one of their own, and discovers that backstage is a place of very literal magic (and danger!) Continue reading “The Backstagers Vol. 1 & 2 by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh”