Summary: Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose. The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down. Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart. Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.
Review: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved Adler’s Cool for the Summer, so I was excited to read another one of her books. Home Field Advantage follows Jack and Amber, who both get their own chapters. Amber is a cheerleader in a small town. She has hopes to become captain next year when she’s a senior. Enter Jack, and she transfers in to be the school’s new quarterback. Now as if the fact that she’s a girl isn’t going to make things hard enough, the last quarterback died and their fellow students practically worship his memory. So, obviously, the cheerleader and the quarterback get romantically involved. But Amber’s not out, so there are lots of complications. I liked the characters because they were real. They made mistakes and didn’t always consider possible consequences, but they make amends and they do their best to be better in the future. The friendships were easy to root for. I love small queer friend groups that turn into found family. I’m not super into sports, so that was lost on me. Though I do want to mention that Jack’s love for the game really showed through. She uprooted half her family and changed everything for this thing that she loves. Adler did a great job showing the reader that passion. If you like sports romance, this book is for you. If you like sapphic books, this book is for you. If you like both of those things, then you should definitely add this one to your list.
The only thing August Pfeiffer hates more than algebra is living in a vampire town. Located at a nexus of mystical energy fields, Fulton Heights is practically an electromagnet for supernatural drama. And when a mysterious (and annoyingly hot) vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie suddenly finds himself at the center of it. An ancient and terrible power is returning to the earthly realm, and somehow Auggie seems to be the only one who can stop it. Review: The Fell of the Dark is a book that I knew I wanted to read from the cover alone. I also knew I wanted to read it because it’s about a queer teen and vampires. Those are definitely topics I’m always down for. I didn’t really read the synopsis before I went into the story and it so much more than I was expecting. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I was absolutely blown away.
We follow August (or Auggie), who is a gay teen in a very small town that’s close to a Nexus (which is great for magic and not so great for regular humans). So, running into vampires after sundown is a real issue in this town. August runs into one outside of his school one day after staying to work in the art room. Jude tells August that he’s special. Jude tells him about things he knows is happening or will happen to August. But August is very wary of vampires, he’s been trained to be aware of what vampires are capable of. And August doesn’t believe anything that Jude tells him, until a week or so later.
This story moves very quickly, but there’s also a lot of players. I’m not going to talk about all the players and I really don’t want to go into too much detail about what actually happens because I think the best part of this reading experience was not really knowing anything about the story and putting the pieces together as I read. The story had some really interesting historical aspects to it that I enjoyed. I also just genuinely liked all of the characters and the way the story worked out for August.
Overall, this was such a well written and involved story. The only thing I didn’t like was that the rules of magic and vampires weren’t totally clear. There were more than just vampires in this story. People that had the ability to use magic linked to the elements were also a big part of the story, but there were some of these people that were also vampires and it either wasn’t explained or just totally went over my head. Despite this one small thing, I loved this book. I loved the characters, the interesting and unusual romance, the friendships, the supernatural aspects, and I even loved that there was a bit of politics between the different vampire factions. I definitely recommend this book for those looking for spooky queer stories to read this October. I will definitely be picking up more of this author’s books.
In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Anna-Marie McLemore.
Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.
Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers. She spent years undercover, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of a civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.
There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be? Review: We Unleash the Merciless Storm was a great ending for the story of Dani and Carmen and the world they live in. I realize that I didn’t really explain much in my review of the first book (read it here if you feel like it). I’m going to spoil a few things from the first book, so please don’t continue this review if you don’t want spoilers for We Set the Dark on Fire (just know I absolutely loved both books and they’re super gay and you should read them.) This story takes place in a world where the inner island and outer island are at odds. In the first book, Dani and Carmen are both just finishing school. They end up married with Dani as the Primera and Carmen as the Segunda. The man they marry is high up in Medio’s government. Which is great as both girls are working for the resistance organization that goes by La Voz. La Voz is working to bring down the Median government which basically is just run by the wealthy people on the island and leaves the rest to live in poverty. So much more happens in this story, but that was a quick overview.
One of the best things about this book was that, unlike the first book which was entirely from Dani’s perspective, this story is told by Carmen. I loved this because there was so much that was unknown about Carmen with where the first book ended. I really loved getting to know her history. Carmen also really struggled between her feelings for Dani and coming back to a home that she doesn’t totally recognize anymore. At the end of book one, Carmen is taken back to La Voz home base and that’s where this book starts. Carmen has been gone from La Voz for several years while she was deep undercover going to school to become a Segunda. So, when she comes back, she doesn’t totally recognize the La Voz that was her home before she left. Her best friend, Alex, is angry with her. And there’s someone new, someone, that is whispering into the Vulture’s ear. The Vulture is the leader of La Voz, but he isn’t acting like the leader that Carmen knows him to be. I loved the mystery of the ending which I’m not going to say anything further about because of spoilers. I also really enjoyed the conclusion in general. I would have liked to have gotten a ‘ten years later’ or something, but I was still satisfied with the ending. I really enjoyed all of the parts with Carmen and Dani reuniting, but also Carmen’s journey to get to Dani and find out what was going on was just as good. As much as I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Dani until a decent way through the story, I think the anticipation of her and Carmen reuniting is what got me through.
Overall, I loved this book and I wish more people talked about this series. The world is fascinating and diverse. The relationship is queer and I’m so obsessed with it. There are wonderful friendships and a found family. I just think this is a great book and a great series.
In a Sweden wracked by war and haunted by folk stories so dark they can only be spoken of in whispers, Helvig has been raised by her brigand father to steal whatever treasure catches her eye. When her men ambush a girl on the road with hair pale as death and a raven perched on her shoulder, Helvig cannot resist bringing home a truly unique prize: a genuine witch.
Drawn irresistibly into the other woman’s web, Helvig soon learns of Gerda’s reason for walking the icy border roads alone: to find the Queen who lives at the top of the world and kill her. Anyone else would be smart enough not to believe a children’s story, but Helvig is plagued by enchantments of her own, and she struggles to guard the sins of her past while growing closer to Gerda.
As Christmastide gives way to the thin-veiled days when ghosts are at their most vengeful, the two women find themselves on a journey through forest and Samiland to a final confrontation that will either redeem them or destroy them entirely. Review: Robbergirl was sent to me by the author to read and review honestly. I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. The setting was so interesting, which is funny for me because I don’t like the snow or winter. But this snow-covered story was perfect for this tale. We follow Helvig who is the princess of thieves. She is confident and strong, but also shows that she can be vulnerable and make mistakes. I really enjoyed learning more about her. She’s in charge of a gang of misfit thieves, trying to teach them and guide them. I thought the group dynamic was fun and I really would have been happy to see more of it. I also was happy with the father/daughter relationship that we saw. I thought it was a great part of the story to see her father accept her for who she is and make sure she knew how much he loved her regardless of who she loves.
Enter Gerda. I thought the mystery that surrounded her for a solid part of the book made her that much more interesting. The suspense of finding out what her history was and where her future motivations were was definitely something that kept me interested in the story. I delighted in the romance between Gerda and Helvig. I would love to see more of them in the future. I think the romance was probably my favorite part of the story after the creepy/atmospheric parts. The two girls were both just a little timid and that made their first kiss that much sweeter. I was definitely cheering them on the whole time.
My favorite part of Robbergirl was the myth and folklore involved. I’m not overly familiar with folklore from this setting (Sweden). I thought it was very interesting to learn about the many different things you really don’t want to find in the woods. These potentially spooky things really grabbed my attention and left me wanting more.
Overall I flew through this story and enjoyed every page of it. I will definitely be reading S.T. Gibson’s other book, Odd Spirits, and continuing to lookout for her future writings. Robbergirl was the wintertime creepy queer romance I didn’t know I needed.