Books

Book 603: Don’t Be Cruel (#3 & #4) – Yonezou Nekota

When I returned Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) to the library, I was pleasantly surprised they had this one on the shelf so I grabbed it. Sadly, it’s the last one I think the library has, but I haven’t looked at all the digital options yet.

This one was much more to my taste than the first two volumes. It was much more loving and nurturing and much less focused on blackmail and rape/sex. There were still a few blush-inducing scenes, but they were more loving and caring than in the first anthology. I was able to successfully read this without closing it and quickly putting it in my bag.

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Books

Book 602: Don’t Be Cruel (#1 & #2) – Yonezou Nekota

Similar to Tableau Numéro 20, I found this on Grace’s Books Without Any Pictures. This one, however, is much more sexually explicit than the other. It jumps in pretty quick with hands down pants and what is basically a rape scene within the first 20-30 pages.

I’m not sure how much I liked it because of this change and the subject matter. If I’m honest, I think I prefer the non-explicit sexual tension and love that was portrayed in Tableau Numéro 20 versus this explicit blackmail. I was honestly surprised the library had this after I started reading it. It was in the general “Graphic Novels” section and not teen, so maybe that’s how they don’t get in too much trouble?

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Books

Book 599: Fence Vol. 2 (Fence #2) – C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, and Joana LaFuente

Still not quite doing it for me. It’s interesting and a fun quick read, but it’s just not as good as the Bob’s Burgers comics I’ve been reading (here and here) or even the wonderful Check, Please!

For me, this series will be 100 times more powerful once it’s all released and it can be put into one compendium. The amount of time between my reading of Volume 1 and this one, and the time until Volume 3 is released will be too far.

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Books

Book 591: Fence Vol. 1 (Fence #1) – C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, and Joana LaFuente

This one has been on my radar for a while, but it jumped up after someone posted the NPR article/review about Fence Vol. 2 on Facebook. I only read the first portion because I didn’t want to ruin anything in this volume or the next, so be warned!

Fence, Vol. 1 is the first four chapters of Pacat’s comic and it’s hard to say how much I liked it. I really enjoyed the illustration style of this and the story kept me engaged, but I’m realizing that I may be more of a graphic novel fan than a comic fan. That this was four issues and felt like it didn’t really get anywhere (even though it totally did) was problematic for my reading.

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Books

Book 580: Freak Show – James St. James

Wow – there’s a lot to take in from this book and I’m glad I read it even though it definitely took me for a bit of a spin. And even though it took a while for me to get used to the writing, the characters, and the flamboyancy, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Unlike other young adult LGBT+ novels—emphasis on “G” (Out of the Pocket, Autoboyography, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Geography ClubBoy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing, etc.), this book has a character who doesn’t happen to be gay, who isn’t some jock that likes guys. Billy Boyd is loud and proud, even if he doesn’t quite know how to define himself just yet.

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Books

Book 579: Geography Club (Russel Middlebrook #1) – Brent Hartinger

This book is definitely a bit dated, but still worth the read. Basically if this book and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli were merged it’d be perfect. And really, to be fair, Simon is an updated version of this down to the meeting online and ultimately meeting in person.

I think this book hit me a little stronger than Simon because it was written back when I was just finishing high school and I could relate to so much of it more so than the tech heavy (hello school Tumblr) “reboot” of the story. I mean chatrooms? YES! I remember going to the public library with my best friend after school so we could use the computers to chat with strangers online. It was crazy.

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Books

Book 571: Just Julian (Romeo & Julian #2) – Markus Harwood-Jones

I started Romeo for Real the morning after I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I finished before I got to work. That afternoon on the bus home I read this one and finished it before bed. Not only are these short works, but they are hi/lo novels that are designed for reluctant readers with easier language and fast paced as I found out when I got them from NetGalley*

It’s hard to separate this from Romeo for Real because they are the same story from opposite perspectives. I wouldn’t usually be mad at a decision to write like this, but the fact that they are separated into two books is frustrating. Neither book can stand on its own without leaving SO many questions unanswered and even together the two books don’t have enough character development to make them worth it.

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