Friday, 17 August 2018

I'M MOVING | Goodbye Jessticulates, hello!


So something I've been thinking of doing for a while is moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and today I finally took the leap with not only moving to WordPress but in buying my domain name and become!

Thank you so much to everyone who has read, followed and commented on this blog over the years, I really appreciate it, and if you're still interested in following me please on head over to my new blog. I'll be posting the same kind of things - I'm still a book nerd, I'm just moving house - with perhaps some extra posts about travel and working in the publishing industry and general life stuff, as I'm hoping my new home will give me the kick up the butt I need to get back into the swing of blogging regularly.

I'm never going to turn blogging into a chore. It's a hobby and I do it for fun when I can, and I'm not going to kick myself if I don't update my new blog every week because there are bigger things to worry about, but I love being part of the book blogging community and I feel like WordPress is the better site for where I'd like my blog to go. It's much easier to follow and leave comments, particularly for fellow WordPress users, and I'm really excited to blog.

So thank you again for reading and following this blog, and I hope you'll join me over on!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

N.E.W.Ts Readathon | Week #2 Update

Has it really been a week already? I managed to read three books for the N.E.W.Ts Readathon in the first week, something I haven't quite managed this week, so this past week feels as though it's flown by!

Like last week I'm going to list my progress below and then briefly chat about my past week of reading. If you're unfamiliar with this readathon, which is running throughout August, you can check out Book Roast's introduction video here.

Ancient Runes

  1. Read a book set in the past Riddle of the Runes by Janina Ramirez
  2. Read an ancient book on your shelves that you haven't yet read
  3. Read a translated book
  1. Read a book of at least 300 pages The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Read a book that ends on an even numbered page Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton
  3. Read a book that's not a first in a series
  1. Read a book with magic in it The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  2. Read a book with a cover that charmed you
  3. Read a book that you think will leave a mark
History of Magic
  1. Read a book that you think would fit right in at Hogwarts Library
  2. Read a book that was published at least 5 years ago
  3. Read a book that's at least 400 pages long
Last week I mentioned that I was struggling to start History of Magic and, as you can see, I still haven't - oops! I've read Bree Barton's Heart of Thorns since last week which I mentioned in my previous post, I was thinking of using it for my A in History of Magic because the cover reminded me of Devil's Snare, and unfortunately I didn't like it as much as I hoped to. I've reviewed it here if you're interested!

In the end, as it ended on an even numbered page, I decided to put it towards my E in Arithmancy rather than my A in History of Magic. After finishing The Obelisk Gate I really wanted to carry on with the series and read The Stone Sky which I can put towards my O in Arithmancy, so I needed to get my E in the subject, and once I get my O in Arithmancy I've 'passed' - the main goal of the readathon is to get at least one O and one A in two separate subjects.

Like I said last week I know it's just a readathon and it's just a bit of fun, but it'll genuinely ease things up for me if I can get an O under my belt and then I can take my time with all the other books I'd like to try and read before the end of the month. I'm about a third of the way through The Stone Sky now, and really enjoying it, so I'm hoping to have that one finished soon and then Arithmancy is done!

My goals for the rest of the month are to get an O in Charms, reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, and to get Es in Ancient Runes and History of Magic. In a perfect world I'd get Os in all four subjects, but I don't think I'm going to have the time and I'm planning to buddy read Spinning Silver with my friend Natalie @ A Sea Change this month so I need to get to it soon.

To get my E in Ancient Runes I'm planning to read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, which I've been meaning to read for years, and for History of Magic I still need to choose a book to get my A. At the moment I think I might go for Circe by Madeline Miller, which funnily enough I mentioned I wasn't in the mood for last week as it was originally on my Charms TBR, but as Circe is considered one of fiction's first witches I think it's only fitting that a book about her would be in the Hogwarts library and considering its Ancient Greek setting, I'd like to try and read Circe before the autumn comes around.

With any luck I'll get a good way through The Stone Sky tonight and I'll be back next week with another update! How's your reading going?

Monday, 13 August 2018

Review | Riddle of the Runes by Janina Ramirez

by Janina Ramirez

My Rating: 

Alva rushes through the trees in the dead of night with her sniffer wolf, Fen. Being out alone when there's a kidnapper on the loose is reckless, but if she ever wants to be an investigator like her Uncle Magnus, she'll need to be first to the crime scene. But what Alva discovers raises more questions than it answers, drawing her into a dangerous search for truth, and for treasure.

I received a copy of Riddle of the Runes from Oxford University Press in exchange for an honest review.

I'm a big fan of Janina Ramirez, she's such an enthusiastic historian and her documentaries are always excellent, so when I heard she'd turned her hand to fiction to take the fun and fascination of history to a younger audience I knew I had to see for myself what it was like. I got in touch with Oxford University Press and they very kindly sent a copy out to me to review.

Riddle of the Runes is set in the 8th century, I believe in Denmark, and follows twelve year old Alva who longs to solve mysteries like her Uncle Magnus. In her Viking community justice can be brutal, but Alva's uncle preaches a justice system that involves seeking clues and proof, even if it goes against what appears to be a sign from one of the Norse gods, and Alva is eager to learn from her uncle in her beloved father's absence. When some mysterious Englishmen appear, claiming to have lost precious treasure that seems to have ties to Alva's missing father, only to then go missing themselves, it's up to Alva and her uncle to solve the mystery.

More than anything this book is a fantastic introduction to the Viking era, particularly for children (though I imagine a lot of adults could learn a thing or two, too) and I appreciated that while Ramirez didn't shy away from how brutal these communities could be, she didn't look at them through the eyes of someone from the 21st century who would consider them brutal. We see this community and culture through Alva's eyes, it's her community and her culture, so while it's very different to how we live now it's never treated as wrong or degraded in any way. I could see this book sparking a real interest in this era of history for a lot of children, and I hope schools up and down the country put it in their libraries.

Having said that I do think Ramirez is still finding her feet as a novelist, which is to be expected when this is her debut. Teaching children a lesson or encouraging their interest in history is brilliant, but I think there were times when the writing and the story suffered so Ramirez could fit in a fact; she's still learning how to balance the fact with the fiction.

My only real complaint would be that I would have liked more of Alva's mother, Brianna. I thought it was strange that she was referred to as Brianna throughout the novel when, though it is in third person, the story is from Alva's point of view. She referred to her as 'mother' when she spoke, so why not refer to her as 'mother' in the description, too? Children aren't idiots, they'd be able to figure out who she was - especially as there's a character list with accompanying illustrations at the beginning of the book, so they wouldn't be confused if Alva referred to her as 'mother' while Magnus called her by her name.

I was also surprised to discover that Alva's mother was Irish, thus Alva's red hair, and that she was once an Irish princess who left Ireland to be with Alva's father. I understand this is a children's book and I'm probably just being a history snob, but I guess we're just going to gloss over the fact that many Irish princesses were taken as slaves against their will during this era? Alva's mother and father clearly love each other so there doesn't seem to be anything sinister going on, but I'm surprised this was a choice Ramirez chose to make to perhaps bring up the Vikings' ties to Ireland.

All that aside, this is a very sweet debut with a lot of heart. Ramirez is clearly passionate about her subject and I look forward to seeing what Alva does next.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Review | Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

by Bree Barton

My Rating: 

Mia Rose wants only one thing: revenge against the Gwyrach—feared, reviled, and magical women—who killed her mother. After years training under her father’s infamous Hunters, Mia is ready. She will scour the four kingdoms, find her mother’s murderer, and enact the Hunters’ Creed: heart for a heart, life for a life.

But when Mia is thrust into the last role she ever wanted—promised wife to the future king—she plots a daring escape. On her wedding night, Mia discovers something she never imagined: She may be a Huntress, but she’s also a Gwyrach. As the truth comes to light, Mia must untangle the secrets of her own past. Now if she wants to survive, Mia must learn to trust her heart . . . even if it kills her.

WARNING: This review will contain some mild spoilers, so if you haven't read this yet and you want to read it knowing absolutely nothing, it's best to come back to this review later.

I'll be honest and say Heart of Thorns isn't usually the kind of book I'd go for. This might sound strange; fair enough it's only just this year in particular that I've been rediscovering my love for high fantasy and, let's be honest, who am I to say no to a book that's basically about witches and empowering women? And yet, for the most part, I can usually tell from a book's blurb whether I'm going to like it or not, and if I'd read this book's blurb in a shop I probably wouldn't have picked it up.

This is a very long-winded way of me saying that I received this in a Fairyloot box (guiltily, I'm usually way more interested in the stuff in those boxes rather than the book), and I took it as a sign to step out of my comfort zone and read the kind of YA I've been avoiding for a while because I usually don't like it. And, as you can probably tell from my rating, I didn't love this one.

The thing is I didn't hate it by any means either, and I think with a bit more editing and a few changes here and there I would have liked it, but as it wore on there were things that just grated on me.

Glas Ddir is one of four kingdoms in this world, a kingdom that has shut itself off from the other three and is ruled by an evil king who loves the power he has over women in particular. That's pretty much all we know about him, he's your generic evil king and he's there to do his job. Mia Rose is the daughter of the leader of the king's Hunters, a group of men (and one woman) who hunt Gwyrach. Essentially, Gwyrach are witches and in this kingdom all women could potentially be one, so they're forced to wear gloves at all times so they can't use their power.

Three years previously Mia's beloved mother was killed by a Gwyrach and she dreams of finding the woman who killed her and seeking her revenge; she longs to be a Huntress more than anything else. Her father has other plans, and the story opens with Mia preparing to marry the heir to Glas Ddir, Prince Quin. Soon enough, though, Mia discovers that she's a Gwyrach herself and she and Quin are forced to flee Glas Ddir. From then on Mia struggles with her feelings of being the kind of person she hates, and also discovers her mother wasn't exactly who she thought she was either.

Now there are some great things in this book. Firstly, the king is very proud of his 'Hall of Hands', a room in the palace full of the left hands of women he has captured accused of being a Gwyrach. Before he kills them he saws off their left hand, and there are some genuinely gut-wrenching moments of Mia realising just how small some of those hands are, and that a lot of the people her father and the king have killed were just children.

I also loved that Mia's mother was a complex woman, and I loved that Mia had to come to terms with the fact that her mother was her own person - she wasn't just 'mother' - and as such there were many parts of her that Mia knew nothing about. I think at some point growing up we all have that moment of 'oh, you're also a flawed human being' when we look at our parents.

There's also a feminist streak to this book; women being persecuted for using magic (something that has actually happened in our history) is always going to have something of a feminist vibe and I did like some of the discussions of how a partiarchy had made Mia believe that women with power were evil. That being said, sometimes I felt like I was getting beaten about the head a bit with the whole 'women have it rough' thing. 

I mean, I feel you, I'm also a woman and I know firsthand just how important feminism is, but I just wasn't always a fan of how it was handled here. Particularly as one character claims women were first able to do magic because of some trauma they experienced, such as sexual assault, but I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of a woman having to go through such a horrific ordeal to become powerful. I dunno, I'm sure that's not what the book or the author was saying but I think there was some clumsy wording throughout the novel that would have been so much better with a bit of editing.

(Also, fantasy worlds are whole new worlds - why do they all have to be run by a partiarchy?)

I found Mia herself pretty annoying throughout the novel, and while I really appreciate that Barton wrote this flawed heroine who has to unlearn what she's been told, she still just got on my nerves. Beyond her I didn't find any of the characters particularly memorable - in fact I had to look up Quin's name earlier because I realised I remembered him best as 'the prince' in my head, and even now that I've reminded myself that he was called Quin it somehow doesn't seem right.

Quin himself was fairly interesting. Yet again, he's the generic 'prince who disagrees with his evil father but is powerless to stop him', but he's also bisexual, and it's always nice to see more bisexuals in YA, but there were a few times I couldn't help rolling my eyes whenever Mia described his 'sculpted muscles' or 'golden curls' or the various ways she described his eyes. I can always tell I'm reading YA by how many descriptions of eyes I've been given. It was especially strange to have this much description when there was zero chemistry between him and Mia.

The big problem I had with him, and this is where that spoiler comes in, is we're told Quin's father discovered he was bisexual when he discovered him secretly meeting his music teacher after dark. As punishment, the king mutilated this poor boy and made Quin watch and then kicked him out of the palace to beg on the streets. Mia later discovers that a beggar the two of them meet when they escape the castle, who Quin pauses to take food from (which he later criticises for being mouldy - how ungrateful) was Quin's music teacher and Quin knew this. Now I understand that seeing him being hurt like that would make Quin terrified of his father and make him not want to meet with his lover anymore for fear of being the reason he was hurt even more, but something in me was really annoyed that while Quin got to move on with Mia this poor boy was left with nothing, living on mouldy bread.

In fact this is one of two LGBT+ romances in this book that have a tragic ending, and I'm really bored of LGBT+ romances with tragic endings. Trust me. There are plenty of them out there already.

There was also an infuriating scene in which Mia and Quin walked into a trap that was CLEARLY A TRAP. Mia even thought it herself and then still did nothing about it. I understand they were exhausted and starving at this point, but it was so obviously a trap and the way they ended up escaping it felt like a scene from an episode of Looney Tunes.

All in all Heart of Thorns just wasn't for me. I hoped to like it a lot more, and there were aspects of it that I really did like, but it didn't float my boat and I think it could have with a few tweaks here or there. If you love your YA fantasy then give this one a try, but I can't say I'd personally recommend it and I won't be continuing with this series, but as this is Barton's debut I may check out some of her other work separate from this series in the future as and when it appears.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Review | The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My Rating: 

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society in hopes of landing a suitable husband. But Antonina is telekinetic, and strange events in her past have made her the subject of malicious gossip and hardly a sought-after bride. Now, under the tutelage of her cousin’s wife, she is finally ready to shed the past and learn the proper ways of society.

Antonina, who prefers her family's country home to the glamorous ballrooms of the wealthy, finds it increasingly difficult to conform to society’s ideals for women, especially when she falls under the spell of the dazzling telekinetic performer Hector Auvray. As their romance blossoms, and he teaches her how to hone and control her telekinetic gift, she can't help but feel a marriage proposal is imminent.

Little does Antonina know that Hector and those closest to her are hiding a devastating secret that will crush her world and force her to confront who she really is and what she's willing to sacrifice.

I received an eARC of The Beautiful Ones from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Check out my reviews of Signal to Noise and Certain Dark Things here and here!

Those of you who've been following my blog for a while know by now that I will read anything Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes after her debut novel, Signal to Noise, became one of my favourite novels of all time. The big lover of historical fiction that I am, you can imagine my excitement when I realised Moreno-Garcia's latest novel would be returning to a time of calling cards and ballgowns.

I'll admit that it took me a while to get into this one, and I think that's because this isn't quite the book I was expecting it to be. With the mention of our heroine's telekinetic powers and her being taught to hone them by a man who also has this skill, I thought more of the novel was going to be taken up by lessons and that Nina was going to end up assisting Hector with his performances. Instead this Fantasy of Manners has more to do with the manners than the fantasy, like a Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen novel with a splash of telekinesis thrown in, which isn't a bad thing at all, it just wasn't what I expected when I read the blurb.

I was also a little unsure of the setting. I couldn't work out if this was France with a dash of magic thrown in, or if this was an alternate France in an alternate world a little different from ours. It didn't throw me too much, and in all honesty this isn't the kind of book that needed a lore dump, but I would have liked to know a little more about the world and more about how society functioned outside of these wealthy families.

Ultimately this was more of a character-driven novel than anything else, and while I always choose character over plot I would have liked a wider plot outside of these characters that I could sink my teeth into. Having said that, the characters and the character development were fantastic. Perhaps it says something about me that my favourite character in this book was the villainous Valérie, who was so deliciously messed up. I'm not the biggest fan of villain stories because I don't like it when authors try to excuse villainy with a tragic past, but what I loved about Valérie is that while Moreno-Garcia tells us why she is the way she is, she never uses it to excuse her actions which, by the end of the book, are downright evil.

It's also a testament to Moreno-Garcia's skill as an author that I initially disliked Hector and the way he used Nina, only to later root for him once we'd learned more about him. He's a character that grew on me, much like Nina grew on him.

If you're in the mood for a Fantasy of Manners/Romance novel, then this is the novel you should pick up. It's a story written with such affection and while it isn't my favourite of Moreno-Garcia's, I still think it's worth checking out.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

N.E.W.Ts Readathon | Week #1 Update

If you saw my TBR at the end of last month then you know I'm taking part in Book Roast's N.E.W.Ts Readathon this month, with the subjects Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Charms and History of Magic. 

I've never done update posts on my blog for readathons before, although I am tweeting regularly here if you're interested, but I thought it would be fun to do for this one because it's such a great idea for a readathon and my TBR has already changed quite a bit.

My challenges (and the books I've read so far) are:

Ancient Runes

  1. Read a book set in the past Riddle of the Runes by Janina Ramirez
  2. Read an ancient book on your shelves that you've not yet read
  3. Read a book translated from another language
  1. Read a book of at least 300 pages The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Read a book that ends on an even-numbered page
  3. Read a book that isn't a first in a series
  1. Read a book with magic in it The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  2. Read a book with a cover that charmed you
  3. Read a book that you think will leave a mark
History of Magic
  1. Read a book that looks as though it would fit in at Hogwarts Library
  2. Read a book published at least five years ago
  3. Read a book over 400 pages long
As you can probably tell if you saw my TBR, I've been tweaking it a little.

Originally I planned to read Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin for Arithmancy. However, right at the beginning of the month I finished The Beautiful Ones, which I thought I'd finish in July, and because I finished it in August (and it was one of the books on my big End of the Year TBR) I decided to count it towards this readathon.

It easily could have been my A in Charms, but because I'm on such a fantasy kick I wanted to save the 'book with magic in it' challenge for more of a high fantasy read than a fantasy of manners, and as the first challenge for Arithmancy was simply to read a book at least 300 pages long then I thought I might as well count it!

Then recently I had such a craving to return to the Broken Earth trilogy that I couldn't wait. Luckily The Obelisk Gate has magic in it, so it could go towards my A in Charms!

Originally I was planning to read Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, Circe by Madeline Miller and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik for Charms, but right now I'm not quite in the mood for Circe, despite it being one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I'm worried I won't like it if I make myself read it just so I can read Spinning Silver which I'm very in the mood for right now. I'm also planning to buddy read Spinning Silver with Natalie @ A Sea Change this month, so the sooner I can get to it the better and now I can move on towards my O in Charms.

As I was planning to read The Obelisk Gate for the final Arithmancy challenge, now I can simple pick any book off my shelves that ends in an even number and then read the final book in the trilogy, The Stone Sky, to get my O in the subject.

I'm also planning to rejig my TBR for History of Magic, as it's proving a little trickier; particularly the first challenge which involves reading a book that looks as though it would fit in at Hogwarts Library. The only one I could initially think of is my copy of Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb, which has a very medieval parchment look about it, but I don't know if I'm in the mood for Assassin's Apprentice right now and if you hadn't already guessed I am very much a mood reader. This is particularly a problem when the second two books on my TBR for History of Magic, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu, are both books I'm really looking forward to and I can't read them and get an O unless I've read something to fulfill the first challenge.

I know many of you are probably thinking 'Jess, just read the damn books - it's only a readathon!' and part of me thinks that too, but as I said before it's such a fun idea for a readathon and I'd love to complete as many challenges as I can just to prove to myself that I can.

So, instead of Assassin's Apprentice I'm now leaning towards Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton. I hadn't even heard of Heart of Thorns until I received it in a Fairyloot box, but it feels like the kind of fantasy story I would have loved when I was a teenager - there are dark elements to the story, but more than anything it feels like an adventure and I love that - and because fantasy is where I'm at right now I'm excited for it. Plus it has thorns on the cover that immediately made me think of Devil's Snare, so I think it's a cover that would definitely fit in at the Hogwarts Library!

Are you taking part in this readathon? How's your progress going and what are you reading at the moment? Let me know down below and I'll be back next week with another update!

Friday, 3 August 2018

Review | Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

by Becky Albertalli

My Rating: 

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat - but real life isn't always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she's the only child of a young, single mum, and her life is decidedly less privileged. And even though her mom knows she's bisexual, she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends - not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn't know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It's hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting-especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

I don't read much Contemporary at all, but I always make an exception for Becky Albertalli since I read and loved her debut back in 2015. Then her second novel was released and I managed to love that one even more, so it was only natural that I was excited to pick up her third novel - especially as it was returning to a character from her debut who I wanted to know more about.

High school is coming to an end and college is approaching, and Leah Burke is starting to think that maybe it's time she lets someone other than her mother know that she's bisexual, something she's known about herself since she was eleven years old. After Simon came out as gay it seems like now is the best time to do it, but she can't shake the feeling that things will change, and not for the better, if she's honest with her friends, and when she starts to realise she has feelings for her friend's girlfriend life gets even more complicated.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Leah in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, there were times when she seemed quite nasty and I have a hard time warming to nasty characters, but reading from her point of view was such a breath of fresh air and I began to realise that perhaps part of the reason I didn't like her was because I saw some of my own weaknesses in her. She doesn't try to be likeable and yet those who know her know that she's a good friend, particularly Simon, and I loved her unlikeability - particularly because she becomes more and more aware of it as the novel wares on, and when she does anything or says anything particularly unkind she does try to atone for it in her own way.

My sexuality isn't something I've discussed much but it was so refreshing to read a book from the point of view of a bisexual girl who acknowledged feelings for other girls and for boys. Leah isn't defined by her bisexuality but it's still a big part of who she is, mainly because she feels like she can't tell anyone about it, and that's something that really resonated with me.

My favourite aspect of the novel, though, had to be Leah's relationship with her mom. Leah is from a single parent family and her mom was pregnant with Leah when she attended her own high school prom, but there's none of the prejudices about teenage mothers in the book and their relationship is just lovely. I'd love to read a story about Leah's mom and her boyfriend to be honest, they were adorable.

This is the first novel of Albertalli's I haven't given five stars to and that does make me a little sad considering the bisexual and women-loving-women rep, but as much as I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Leah and Abby in the book I couldn't help thinking that Nick and Abby both became kind of shitty people in this novel. There is an instance where Leah judges Abby for not understanding her own sexuality, which is not okay considering everyone discovers these things differently and this is a big change for Abby when she's always identified as straight, and to be fair to Abby she always apologises when she does something wrong. However, I couldn't help feeling that Leah deserved better throughout the novel. Whether she meant to or not Abby does play with her feelings a little and Nick became such a different character that I was struggling to understand why Simon and Leah were friends with him in the first place - I couldn't remember any of his good qualities from the first book.

Not only that, but I'm still not sure how I feel about Leah and Abby pursuing a relationship so soon after Abby ended a relationship with one of Leah's best friends - as annoying as Nick was in this book, this still felt strange - and there was a lot of convenient pairing off at the end that I didn't quite believe, which is a shame when one of the reasons I love Albertalli's books so much is that she portrays teenagers as actual teenagers and she paints a picture of high school the way I remember it. It's something I've noticed in YA Contemporary in general, which I think is another reason I don't read much of it - why can't people just be single? It's okay not to go to the same college as your high school girlfriend/boyfriend, something, to be fair, Albertalli does explore with Simon and Bram's relationship.

All that aside, I loved the humour, I loved Albertalli's writing, I loved Leah and I'm glad this novel exists and I'll read whatever Albertalli does next. She's still a firm favourite author and I'm so glad that, with this book, Leah finally got her own happy ending.