Book Reviews

Every other week I release a book review. You can find a list of here of past weeks, and sign up for the newsletter to receive them in your email as they come out!

 

CONTEMPORARY

Cherrington Academy by Rebecca Caffery
A coming-of-age novel following transfer student Logan Shields on his escape from homophobic bullies and neglectful parents to the private boarding school, Cherrington Academy.

Hark by John R Gordon
A profound and vibrant foray into America’s shared dark past, told from the perspective of a teenage, interracial gay couple as they grapple with the complexities of racism in their dying Southern town.

Keeping Creed by Shaun Holt
A quirky military romance novel centering around Samuel Creed and Tessa Holt, whose teenage years were molded by tragedy. Finding their way to each other gives Tessa the prince she never knew she wanted, and Creed the reason he needs to always return home.

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan
A contemporary short story collection that traverses the complexities of human contact (both the existence and absence) through the lens of Irish and American characters, each story a unique stone that builds a foundation of complex experiences that are both familiar and idiosyncratic.

 

FLASH FICTION & MICROFICTION:

Creativity Brewing by Kevin Barrick
A flash fiction anthology filled with nuanced metaphor, a swath of genres, and emotionality that drips into every single word.

Tiny Tales, by Jana Jenkins
A series of bite-sized stories that range in genre, but all of which leave you with an aftertaste that lingers.

 

NON-FICTION:

Grief and Self-Care, by Kathleen Sullivan
Grief and Self-Care by Kathleen Sullivan is a succinct and insightful guide for how to effectively take care of your needs in the midst of grief, whether it be grief from the loss of a loved one, a divorce, onset of disability, or other debilitating change.

 

POETRY:

Thrive, by JJ Eden
A collection of short stories and poetry that takes our deepest questions and fears about life and lays them bare in verse and parable.

Where Darkness Meets Light, by Sabrine Elouali
A poetry collection centering around the difficult experience of mental illness including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

ROMANCE

Stay by Ash Knight
A heartwarming gay romance featuring a main character on the autistic spectrum, and a beautiful example of what a deep, communicative relationship can be between two very different people, even after the experience of severe trauma.

Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham
A slow-burn contemporary romance with tangible, idiosyncratic characters and messy, complex relationships that tackles real-world issues and questions the norms we have established around our culture of coming out.

 

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, PARANORMAL & SPECULATIVE FICTION

Ensoulment by Nick Askew
A genre-bending debut that defies traditional plot tropes and formats, pulling no punches as it blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

Tom Woolberson and the School for Watchers by K.J. Brookes
A supernatural fantasy series that will charm you with its world and characters, enrich your day with its knowledge and wonder, and shock you with the true-to-life darkness that exists within us all.

The Roots That Clutch by A.E. Bross
The first book in a series centered around found family, the struggle for survival and independence, and what it ultimately means to love someone knowing that doing so can lead to loss and heartbreak.

Elemental by Whitney Hill
An urban fantasy based in North Carolina with an elemental sylph private eye main character, filled with supernatural intrigue that kept me guessing.

The Sigil by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville
The first part of a dark urban fantasy duology with a gay protagonist, that tackles questions such as the morality of segregation of societies, the effect of the cult of excellence on our youth, and how the bonds of found family can overcome any obstacle.

Just A Little Wicked, edited by Lily Luchesi
A massive paranormal and urban fantasy anthology of short stories and novel teasers that centers around the mystery and mayhem of witches and mages.

Kana the Stray by C.C. Luckey
A fantasy and science fiction novel following Kana Kobayashi as she tries to navigate her way through a world dominated by talking animals known as the Kingdom in order to find her way home.

Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson
A dark, queer fantasy debut that balances an intriguing plot, striking and diverse characters, and a whirlwind gay romance all on the backs of a protagonist that is endearingly… average.

Fated by Lila Mina
A genre-bending mixture of historical and modern settings, LGBTQ+ polyamorous relationships, and divine intervention by myth and deities create a unique blend of true to life and arcane trials that leaves the reader breathless page after page.

The Crowman by David Rae
An ethereal dark fantasy with a striking cast of flawed characters, immaculate world-building, and a swirling miasma of a plot that left me guessing until the very last word.

The Pyre Starter, by Jaimie N. Schock
Full of heartfelt dialogue, engaging action scenes, introspection on what family means and what lengths we’ll go to in order to protect the ones we love.

Under New Suns by Skullgate Media
An anthology written and illustrated by over twenty authors and illustrators, detailing an epic space opera told in the form of star maps, illustrations, comics, poetry, flash fiction, short stories, verse, and even a stage play.

Shelta’s Songbook by Leia Talon
A whimsical introduction to the Roots and Stars series of novels, comprised of short stories, love letters and songs, that spans the lifetimes of Shelta Raine, the main character in the story who travels through time.