What I Read on Vacation

Last month I spent a couple of weeks in Maui. After a really stressful and chaotic year, it was really nice to have some time that I could dedicate to getting back  to the things I love in a beautiful place. I did a lot of writing, including finishing the first draft of The Witch’s Patron and chapter 46 through 53 of The Star and the Ocean. The beach is good for the ol’ creative muscles.

The beach is also good for reading, of which I did also quite a bit of! I thought it might be fun to do a quick run down of the titles I finished while I was on vacay.

#1: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I technically started this one at home but flew through the second half on a beach chair in Wailea. Ari & Dante is widely considered to be the required reading of LGBTQ+ YA and it did not disappoint. Thought-provoking and moving, this story deals with coming out, coming of age, race, family, and friendship. It won’t necessarily break your heart but it will give you a lot of feelings.

#2: All The Rage

I snagged Kindle edition of this Courtney Summers title when it went on sale knowing very little about it up front. All I really knew was I had come to follow Courtney on Twitter and wanted to check out her stuff. For anyone thinking of picking up All The Rage, understand that it comes with a very serious content warning for rape. All The Rage is heavy and unapologetic but in a way that respects the main character’s journey and that also feels very necessary. This one made me think a lot about bodily autonomy, who we are in relation to the things have happened for us, and whether or not the kids are alright (it also gave me some good food for thought regarding May and her story in TSATO).

#4: All Our Pretty Songs

Last year I read Sarah McCarry’s About a Girl because of its f/f pairing. What I didn’t realize was that it was actually the last book in a trilogy – womp, womp. I loved it though, so I decided to start at the beginning. I would happily drown in McCarry’s writing until the end of time. I’m obsessed with the romantically dark and gritty world of Aurora, Jack, and our nameless main character. All Our Pretty Songs is perfect for fans of Francesca Lia Block.

#5: Station Eleven

Another one I technically started before vacation, I picked Station Eleven up in an airport once, read a quarter of it, and then got distracted by other things. I’m glad I went back to this one though. Despite it being a nightmare scenario to me, I love stories about survival in a post-apocalyptic world. This one is all at once dark and hopeful and I appreciated the non-linear story. The way the different character’s stories weave together is masterful and I loved the idea of art surviving the end of the world.

#6: Wet Nails

I need more short stories like this in my life! Light and affirming, Wet Nails has some of my favourite things: women, sex, and Old Hollywood! I love the fantastical plot, the thoughtful conversations, and (of course) the sex. Bi representation at its best! Also shout-out to Shira for including a bunch of related recommendations at the end of the book!

#7: Off Pitch

While technically not finished, my friend Brianna won NaNoWriMo last year with this fun f/f romance. Cute and sexy, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to compliment the fluff, smut, and drama. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be cheering for Addie and Gabby right from the start!

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