The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

N.B. This review contains spoilers (kind of?)

I have absolutely no idea how I didn't know about this book sooner. I saw stuff going around about it on twitter, and then by chance someone I follow on Depop listed this second-hand hardback days later. I don't believe in fate, but that was a pretty cool coincidence. I now have three favourite books, all of which are LGBT, and one of them is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (sorry but Release by Patrick Ness still takes the number one spot). The reason I mention that is that the creativity behind the Lover's Dictionary reminds me of Two Boys Kissing. 

The Lover's Dictionary tells the story of an anonymous couple through a serious of diary entries. Instead of being chronological, they are alphabetical, and so sweet moments of love are interspersed with dark revelations and anger. The reason I like Levithan as an author is that he is creative in the way he tells love stories; in Two Boys Kissing, the narrator is the anonymous collective of gay men that died as a result of AIDS. 

Secrets for the Mad - dodie

I have to admit that that dodie said she had a non-music announcement, I knew straight away we were about to get another YouTuber book. I know it's terrible to have this bias towards books written by a certain kind of author, but Youtuber books really do have a bit of a bad reputation. From secret ghostwriters to book deals before a plot is even fully formed, there's a lot of questionable stuff going on out there. With dodie's book I decided it was really important I put all of that aside, and not just because I knew she was doing this for the love of sharing her experiences with her audience creatively. It's important to give every writer you can a chance. 

S.T.A.G.S. - M. A. Bennett

N.B. This review is spoiler-free!

Goodness this book gave me chills. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I had to read S.T.A.G.S; teenagers being sick and twisted towards other teenagers? Yes please! Ok, so in a less creepy way, I really like stories that have young people as the bad guy because it subverts your expectations completely and I love being caught off guard by a book. 

Greer is a sixth former on scholarship at England's oldest school, the highly elitist S.T.A.G.S. After almost a whole term of no one talking to her, she is surprised to receive an invitation to a weekend of "Huntin' Shootin' Fishing'" at the manor house of the school's richest, most popular and very handsome boy with his fellow popular 'medievals'. But all is not as it seems. The three outcasts that have been invited along to that weekend discover that Huntin' Shootin' Fishin' has a much darker side than they imagined.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

N.B. This review is spoiler-free

I know I'm late to the Simon party but, with the film arriving imminently, I was very excited when my mum surprised me with this book for Christmas because I knew I had to read it before I saw the film. My goodness was the hype well deserved for this book. It's funny and it's sweet and altogether very charming. 

Simon is sixteen and on a real journey of self-discovery. He's gay and the only person who knows that is Blue, a fellow anonymous closeted boy from Simon's school with whom he emails almost constantly. Sadly for Simon, those emails end up in the hands of Martin Addison. He promises to keep them secret as long as Simon hooks him up with his best friend Abby. Simon has to protect Blue. 

Dear Martin - Nic Stone

N.B. This review is spoiler-free!

What we have all been waiting for is finally here; another book that actually talks about the struggles people of colour face in America. THUG covered this so amazingly well that I was worried Dear Martin might not hold up to that standard. Whilst it's practically impossible to compare the two, trust me when I say Dear Martin also did pretty good. 

The book follows the story of Justyce, a black senior on scholarship at a mostly white private school in Atlanta Georgia, who's on track to go to Yale next year. One night, Justyce finds out his ex-(white)girlfriend is trying to drink and drive and goes to her aid. Mistaken for a carjacker by a police officer, Justyce is wrongly arrested purely based on the colour of his skin. From then, Justyce finds himself so much more aware of the casual racism that permeates his everyday life and decides to try to take a Martin Luther King approach to it all. Unfortunately for Justyce, it's just not that simple.