[Play Review] The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer

The Normal Heart

Larry Kramer

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

Breakdown is as follows:

Actual rating is both…
3.75 Stars (mostly due to the unremarkable writing)

and 5 stars (for the incredible, heartbreaking tragedy that can’t even be described as a “story,” for it effected too many lives, brings rage to my heart some thirty years later, and tore apart a man who was simply trying to be the voice of a denied people)

Thus, to be fair, it gets a rounded 4 stars so we’re even.

Give us a summary.

(From Goodreads)
THE NORMAL HEART is the explosive drama about our most terrifying and troubling medical crisis today: the AIDS epidemic. It tells the story of very private lives caught up in the heart-rendering ordeal of suffering and doom – an ordeal that was largely ignored for reasons of politics and majority morality.

Filled with power, anger, and intelligence, Larry Kramer’s riveting play dramatizes what actualy happened from the time of the disease’s discovery to the present, and points a moral j’accuse in many directions. His passionate indictment of government, the media, and the public for refusing to deal with a national plague is electrifying theater – a play that finally breaks through the conspiracy of silence with a shout of stunning impact. As Douglas Watt summed it up in his review for the New York Daily News,THE NORMAL HEART is “an angry, unremitting and gripping piece of political theater. You are bound to come away moved.”

What did you think of this play?

Now, I want to say something about this understandably powerful play – I think… seeing it would have been more beneficial and successful an endeavor than simply reading it. Watching the actors put on the performance of a lifetime and searing into your eyes, your mind, your… very soul the profound impact of a government turning its back on its own people, simply because of their sexuality or social-economic backgrounds. Realizing that had they done something sooner, helped – people sooner… much of the tragedy of AIDS would not have spread so quickly or so staggeringly throughout the U.S.; a country supposedly in the height of First World privilege.

I was über curious about this play from the moment I heard Mark Ruffalo would be making a movie from a play of the same name. I can’t say I ever heard about it prior to that (which – I know – is a tragedy all in itself) but I’m thankful to have been able to read this and have the events through this play now part of my life.

I try not to read books about the HIV-AIDS epidemic (or the horrors of black slavery, or the Holocaust, or native american “relocation”), not because I want to close my eyes to the situation, but because I am too acutely aware of exactly what is going on. Sometimes, to have to relive it again and again in books sometimes more appalling than one might expect, is just too much.

This play has that sort of effect on you. You read it, and suddenly you are there in 1981, and you live through that four year period of utter hell. You see a government… a free, representative democracy, a “by the people, for the people” government…literally fuck everyone over by ignoring the cries of their gay citizens, by refusing to be involved with the gay cancer, by default… aiding in the spread of the disease. The overall writing might have been mediocre, but – let me tell you – the message was loud and clear.

My heart goes out to Ned, who feels like he hasn’t done enough; to Dr. Brookner who’s righteous anger mirrors my own so clearly; to all the men, women, and others of varying genders who suffered because their voices weren’t heard. We hear you. Even if it took thirty years – gods… we hear you.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Sure does~ Although it was specifically read for the 2015 Play On Reading Challenge, it also fits these challenges as well:

Would you recommend this book?

ohyeahIf for no other reason than to educate yourself on a topic very often pushed under the rug. As I said before, the writing itself could use some work, but the message definitely outweighs the faults in this one.

So, GET TO IT!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Published: October 29, 1985 (by Plume)
Format: PDF
Pages: 128
Genre & Themes: Play, Theatre, Queer, LGBT,
QUILTBAG, Drama, AIDS epidemic, American
History, Politics, Human Rights, Activism,
Closeted Gays, Morality (Or The Lack Thereof)
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: jcc rochester. Click here.
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (79),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 Play On Reading Challenge2015 LGBT Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

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Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

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About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

[Book Review] Re-creation by Dusk Peterson

Re-creation

(Part of The Three Lands universe)

Dusk Peterson

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from GoodReads)
“He could not leave this room without his father’s permission. And he could not imagine going to his father and saying, ‘Please let me go gather moss so that my slave can have a proper New Year for once.'”

What can you give a slave who, by law, can own nothing? That is the question faced by Peter, the teenage heir to the throne of an empire. Despite his father’s desire that the imperial heir maintain a formal distance from servants, Peter finds himself drawn in friendship to the younger boy who serves as his slave.

But a shocking revelation on the eve of the New Year forces Peter to confront his own motives for keeping the slave close by. And that in turn will help him understand the deeper meaning of the gift-giving festival.

This coming-of-age novelette on gender and sexual identity is a holiday tale that can be read on its own or as a side story in The Three Lands, a fantasy series on friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

What did you think of the book?

Huh.

This is yet another unexpectedly awesome read by Dusk Peterson. I think, moreso than the themes he likes to write about, it’s the way in which he tells stories, the characters, the… the real meat of the message being told that I like—that I LOVE.

I found this particular story very… endearing. Most probably because the characters were so young and yet so “wise beyond their years;” in particular Andrew, who most assuredly grew up far too soon during his harsh time as a slave. I found this a very thoughtful and critical piece, something that can easily be turned into a prequel or starter for a series.

If there are more books being made (or have already been made) I would very much want to read them.

NOW.

I am unabashedly curious as to where their complex relationship will take them, and furthermore to the reform and possible deconstruction of unjust and cruel societal hierarchies, magistrates, and laws that could occur once Peter (the other boy) becomes the new Chara.

Or might not.

One thing I would like to make very clear… is that this book is in no way considered M/M romance, but more M/M friendship. I don’t know if in the rest of the series (ya know, when they’re actually older) if they ever become more than “just friends,” but even if they do not… the relationship between the two is truly enthralling to watch unfold.

I think that in today’s more – ehem –”accepting” society, far too many people are far too quick to jump to the conclusion that just because the story revolves around two guys who are close, that they must be banging each other. This story could certainly disprove this belief, yet show that a friendship story is just as captivating and endearing as any M/M romance.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

I get the impression that if there are other stories in this universe, those might be a bit graphic and violent… but this story was without anything too remarkably disturbing. At least in graphic detail, at any rate.

Is it available to read for free? Where can I purchase it?

It’s actually a free ebook, so you can download it from any of these sources here:

Gumroad | AR | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yup! A whole bunch. xD

Would you recommend this book?

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I’d think so. Even to those unfamilar with the rest of the series. I mean, I really enjoyed it, and I didn’t have the slightest idea it was part of a series. The story works well as a stand-alone, and I think the story behind these two young boys would definitely make the reader want to pick up the rest of the series to read what happens to them as they get older (and what already happened to them to lead them to the point where they meet in Re-creation).

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press
Publication Date: December 2013
Format: ebook
Pages: est. 58
Genre / Themes: Romance, Gender
Study, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Coming
of Age, Historical Fiction, Sex, Nudity,
Friendship (Male Friendship), Gender & Sexual
Identity & Study, Fantasy, Betrayal, War,
Peace, Warring Nations, Holiday Short,
Holiday Celebration, Master And Slave (non-
sexual), Social Injustice, Social Hierarchy,
POC (Person/People of Color)
Age: Young Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Index From Author’s Website
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (18),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
Readathon Day 2015, 2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,

[Book Review] When Ryan Came Back

21874749When Ryan Came Back

Devon McCormack

What rating would you give it?
3/3.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Steven’s life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.

Ryan tells Steven that he didn’t kill himself. He believes he was murdered and that his death is linked to an article he was working on for the school paper. Steven sets out to solve the mystery, but as the story unfolds, so does Ryan’s secret life of sex with guys and depression. Steven realizes suicide is more plausible than Ryan’s conspiracy theory, but he struggles to convince Ryan of the real cause of his death. And despite revelations of his friend’s closeted life, he must face the truth that Ryan doesn’t—and never will—love him.

What did you think of the book?

My actual rating is around a 3, maybe 3.5 stars because it was okay, even if it wasn’t the greatest. I doubt I’ll ever forget it, but I probably won’t be reading it again anytime soon.

Overall, this book was alright. A sort of typical angsty teen-mystery thing with a “gay twist,” if that’s what you want to call it. I doubt I’d recommend it to anyone, unless they were really, REALLY curious. The ridiculously slow parts in the middle and beginning as well as that abrupt and rushed ending really didn’t help it any, so frankly I’m not that impressed.

However, it wasn’t a bad book. The writing was decent enough, and the story – though not particularly original – was interesting enough as well. I think I probably wanted more than just a teen melodrama, but as a YA book, I suppose it’s to be expected. (I haven’t really read too many YA books that don’t seem to focus on that, as though it’s the only thing to being a teenager. But whatever. Moving right along.) I was VERY happy with the outcome of the ending though – even if it was abrupt. I sort of wished we had gotten the chance to see more of that instead of all the other seemingly pointless run-around.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Not particu—WELL. I’d only say, be prepared for some really, really pointless filler action. You will read through areas that are solely there to fill pages. Mark my words. :/

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yup! For a whole bunch~ xD

Would you recommend this book?

Ehhh….

maybe

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: October 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 230
Genre & Themes: Love, Love Beyond The Grave,
M/M Romance, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI,
Paranormal, Ghosts & Spirits, Suicide, Murder,
Mystery, YA, Contemporary, Crazy Adults and
Equally Crazy Teens, Jealousy, Young/Old
Relationship & Sex, Mention of Underage Sex,
Mental Health Issues, High School Politics
Age: Young Adult (YA)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provide by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (8),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge2015 NetGalley & Edelweiss
Reading Challenge
Ethereal 2015,

[Webcomic Review] 14 Nights (COMPLETE)

v1frontcover14 Nights

Kristina Stipetic

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

This story is about a guy who is afraid of sex.

What did you think of the book?

So… the story is about a guy who is afraid of sex.

But trust me, it’s about so much more than that. This is a brilliant piece of fiction and artistry – both in the storytelling and the art – that has captivated me for over x years. I have been following this strange, and yet poignant tale from its first pages and can honestly say I am happy with the final results.

Unusual characters in an unusual story with an equally unusual ending. My only “problem,” you could say, is that Lucian is not so much afraid of sex, as he is just uninterested in it and lacks the desire for it. I mean, yes – to an extent, he is genuinely afraid of the idea of having sex with someone else. You can see that clearly in the nightmarish dreams he has so often through the pages. But it’s much more than that. Lucian is asexual, or some spectrum thereof. Probably aromantic. I’m not going to speculate further since titles aren’t used in the comic. Nevertheless, the story circles around this topic and the relationship he eventually builds with Nikita, a man who loves him and whom he too loves just as much.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Because of the obvious nature of the content: nudity, sex, cursing, and some horror-esque graphic imagery.

Is it available to read for free? Where can I purchase it?

The answer to both questions is right here.

You can read it for free here! Just click the link.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yup! A whole bunch. xD

Would you recommend this book?

YES-YES

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Self-published (I believe…)
Publication Date: (Completed) May 2014
Format: electronic, webcomic
Pages: 128
Genre: Webcomic, Romance, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Asexual, Disabled /
Handicap Main Characters, Contemporary
Fiction, Comic / Graphic Novel, Sex, Nudity,
Surrealism
Age: Young Adult / New Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: CLICK HERE
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (18),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,

[Mini Review] Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

21413938Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?

Pretty good considering. Any time I get to read an anthology or collection where half to 3/4 of the compiled stories I like is a sheer miracle! This one fits the bill so 4 stars! A fun and delightful weekend read! :3

Would you recommend this book?

I would definitely recommend, because there can never be enough queer fairytales out there!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: December 2014
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 264
Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance,
F/F Romance, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA,
Fairytales,
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

 

Omorphi by C. Kennedy

I’ve been interested in this book for some time now, but I just haven’t gotten around to buying it. Anyone know where I can pick up a dirt-cheap copy somewhere? XD

Fabulous Fictions

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Action

Themes: High School, Abuse, Bullying

Queer Level: Gay & Queer Main Characters; Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

What an exciting, heartbreaking, powerful, and motivating story this turned out to be! Omorphi a long one, but it’s so consumable and I’d happily read hundreds of pages more if given the opportunity. This story is guaranteed to pull at your emotions while it boldly tackles the heavy topic of abuse …yet is surprisingly hopeful, despite this.

The tension and drama build up as details are revealed. It sort of plays out like a mystery in a way. …It certainly has the depth of one! The foundation is strong and the results make for a gripping read. The information itself is paced out very evenly – enough that you are constantly asking questions but…

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10 Fantasy and SF Books with QUILTBAG Themes

I feel it important to state that the books compiled for many of my booklists are not necessarily personal recommendations, as I often have not read them all myself. Unless stated as personal favs, or as reviewed material, just presume the books I share are simply intriguing titles I’d like to read or that I’ve recently found and decided to share with you based on the theme, topic, or (most likely) my own random spur of the moment decision.

If anyone has actually read the titles, let me know! Comment or share your opinion. I’d love to hear what you have to say~ 🙂

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan (YA, Fantasy)

Book description: Ten short stories about bisexual, half-Asian warlock Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices trilogies.

The Culling by Steven dos Santos (YA, SciFi)

Book description: Recruitment Day is here…if you fail, a loved one will die

For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother.

Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even if it means sacrificing the lives of other Recruits’ loved ones. What Lucky isn’t prepared for is his undeniable attraction to the handsome, rebellious Digory Tycho. While Lucky and Digory train together, their relationship grows. But daring to care for another Recruit in a world where love is used as the ultimate weapon is extremely dangerous. As Lucky soon learns, the consequences can be deadly…

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (SciFi)

Book description: Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender–or both–this is a broad gulf indeed.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (Fantasy, Parallel Novel)

Book description: The Wicked Years continue in Gregory Maguire’s Son of a Witch—the heroic saga of the hapless yet determined young man who may or may not be the offspring of the fabled Wicked Witch of the West. A New York Times bestseller like its predecessor, the remarkable Wicked, Son of a Witch follows the boy Liir on his dark odyssey across an ingeniously re-imagined and nearly unrecognizable Land of Oz—a journey that will take him deep into the bowels of the Emerald City, lately abandoned by the Wizard, and into the jaws of dragons. At once a grim fairy tale and an uplifting adventure, Son of a Witch is a true wonder.

The Elemental Logic series (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic, Air Logic) by Laurie J. Marks (Fantasy)

Book description: The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks is set in the world of Shaftal. The series tells the story of Shaftal in four separate but chronological novels. Book 3, Water Logic, is published by Small Beer Press and released June, 2007.

Fire. Earth. Water. Air.

These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of intuition, healing, joy, and truth. But now Shaftal has been overrun, and the ancient logic of the land is being replaced by the logic of hatred.

Hero by Perry Moore (YA, Fantasy Superhero)

Book description: The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.

Cloud Atlas by David Moore (Fantasy, SciFi)

Review From Publisher’s Weekly: At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell’s third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell’s previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author’s stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume’s most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician’s effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell’s ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the “novel as puzzle” will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.

Pantomime by Laura Lam (Fantasy)

Book description: R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera  is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Fantasy)

Book description: A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (YA, Fantasy)

Book description: India Morgan Phelps-Imp to her friends-is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth-or from something far, far stranger…

Shadowman by Melissa Scott (SciFi)

Book description: In the far future, human culture has developed five distinctive genders due to the effects of a drug easing sickness from faster-than-light travel. But on the planet Hara, where society is increasingly instability, caught between hard-liner traditions and the realities of life, only male and female genders are legal, and the “odd-bodied” population are forced to pass as one or the other. Warreven Stiller, a lawyer and an intersexed person, is an advocate for those who have violated Haran taboos. When Hara regains contact with the Concord worlds, Warreven finds a larger role in breaking the long-standing role society has forced on “him,” but the search for personal identity becomes a battleground of political intrigue and cultural clash.


These look pretty interesting (some of which I’ve already started or finished reading!) Ahhh~ So many books! So little time!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

This one sounds like a real treat! I remember when I was fifteen, even before that age, and felt exactly as in this review by Booklist:
“When Aristotle and Dante meet, in the summer of 1987, they are 15-year-olds existing in “the universe between boys and men.””

This could be a real keeper!

Everyday Adventure

First Published: 21st of February 2012
Length: 359 pages
Rating: 5 stars

20140409-140733.jpg

Summary:

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

My Review:
This could be one of my favourite books of the year so far. it has taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this book and…

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[Booklist] 15 Favourite Anthologies

 

1. Bending The Landscape (themed series: “Fantasy”, “Horror”, and “Science Fiction”) e.b. Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel
2. The Best of Horror of the Year (annual) e.b. Ellen Datlow
3.The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (annual) e.b. Paula Guran
4. The Weird: A Compedium of Strange and Dark Stories e.b. Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
5. The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (annual) e.b. Rich Horton
6. High Risk e.b. Amy Scholder & Ira Silverberg
7. Stories: All New Tales e.b. Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio
8. Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous e.b. Tim Marquitz
9. Doubletakes e.b. T. C. Boyle
10. The Best American Nonrequired Reading (annual) e.b. Dave Eggers
11. A Constellation of Cats e.b. Denise Little
12. Men Undressed: Women Writers On The Male Sexual Experience e.b. Stacy Bierlein, Gina Frangello, Cris Mazza, and Kat Meads
13. Supernatural Noir e.b. Ellen Datlow
14. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction e.b. Richard Bausch
15. Tokyo Stories: A Literary Stroll translated & e.b. Lawrence Rogers