Quick Reviews of Fiction eBooks #3

It being Pride month caused my local library to showcase a range of Queer novels in their online BorrowBox (similar to Libby / Overdrive) and I thought I’d better get in on the reading! I’ve been consuming these pretty quickly as eBooks so they aren’t really worthy of their own big review. Here are my quick thoughts on some.

The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom
Allison L Bitz

Bridget’s voice is going to take her places – the first stop being Richard James Academy on her way to Broadway. Her Achilles heel is music theory… and it’s stopped her from getting into the right program. Challenged to not use her voice for the semester, Bridget falls in love with the wrong people, discovers just how selfish she is, and is just her whole huge self. This a quick, cute read about a protagonist who isn’t fat-shamed, just musical-theatre-shamed! Similar novel: Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell

On the Subject of Unmentionable Things
Julia Walton

Phoebe is a straight-A student who loves writing. It’s just that a lot of her writing is a secret because she writes an informational site about sex education. When it seems like her identity will be revealed, Phoebe isn’t sure what to do – does anyone else spend as much time thinking about sexual health as she does?

I loved this book! It’s a female version of Jack of Hearts (and other parts). It’s good to see that ~5 years on, sex ed in schools is still useless, but that teens are getting a bit more comfortable about talking about their problems / knowing how to google the answers. A resource such as Phoebe’s blog is something that is still so important, particularly as our understanding of sex, sexualities, genders and diversity continues to evolve.

Freya Hart is not a Puzzle
Meabh Collins

Freya’s diagnosis of autism is something she doesn’t want to share with anyone. Her parents think that she’s starving herself, or just being odd some of the time – they don’t get why she’s odd. Surely being diagnosed with a problem means that it will go away? Freya doesn’t have (m)any friends and she struggles despite making a list of things not to do wrong. I really empathised with this book and appreciated its next nuanced take on autism in women. The more I read, the more I recognise traits in people I know (and myself). Trying to fit in, yet never fitting in, is hard, and autistic teens will probably love reading this novel.

Boy Queen
George Lester

Robin knows exactly what he’s going to do next – go to drama college and become a dancer. When his plans don’t pan out, Robin sees a year of misery waiting for him as he waits to audition for his dream. But then Robin goes to a drag show, and it turns out his drama might need a different stage!

Aw, this was another cute novel. There were plenty of stereotypes including the asshat homophobic fling, the cute new gay guy crush and a standard straight best friend (and less standard second best friend). The idea of painting on a face was fascinating to me, because I’ve never had much time for makeup. But Drag is really an art – and this novel does a great job of showing it as a profession that takes talent, not just bitching (cue RuPaul Drag Race).

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