Books · lgbt

“Harmony” Book Review

It’s another LGBT book! It’s another review! One day, I will have a book review that I can post on YouTube. Well, I already do, but I still haven’t done the review yet. I forget how I found this book. Probably also online in the Gay and Lesbian book section of Powell’s Books. I’m going to need a bookshelf for all the LGBT books I want.

Meet Andrea (mostly referred to as Andy in the book). She is a viola player in a string group that plays at people’s weddings. Meet Brooke, the bride-to-be who hired the string group to play at her wedding. When Brooke met Andy, it caused Brooke to unleash feelings that were forcibly suppressed for years. Join Brooke as she learns more about herself.

It took me so long to finally read this book. I got the book for Christmas last year, but didn’t start reading it until the last day of June. I finally finished the book on the last day of September. I’m not exactly a slow reader.

The first few chapters and the final few chapters are pretty short while the chapters in the middle were longer. I think the book went too fast in regards to Andy and Brooke desiring each other. A few chapters into the book (I believe chapter 3), Brooke and Andy go back to Andy’s apartment for… things that go past making out. I also didn’t like Brooke’s character very much. As much as I relate to her in having trouble with establishing a sense of self when everyone dictates your life, I did not like that she seemed to play with Andy’s heart when deciding what to do with her life.

I honestly thought that Brooke was actually bisexual and this is another book that showcases the lack of bisexual representation in books and the media. However, when I read more of this book, it was clear that Brooke truly is a lesbian. Yes, she was engaged to a man, but she was living her life the way her parents wanted her to live her life. When she started realizing that she likes girls, her parents sent her to therapy as a way to make her straight. We have now learned that conversion therapy is psychologically harmful.

One thing I like about the book is that feminism is a part of the book without it being a major theme. Andy is passionate about female composers, especially since female composers are not a thing that people are aware of. When people think composer, people think of men. Near the end of the book, a guest conductor talks to the orchestra and stresses the importance of the concert they’ll be playing. The conductor is also passionate about women being composers and talks about the time when women couldn’t be composers. The conductor advocates for women by hosting a concert made only of songs composed by women. As a feminist who wants women to be supported and uplifted in male-dominated fields, I liked that part.

Despite me not liking Brooke’s character too much, I want to one day be like her. She learned to stop living the life that others want her to live and started living the life she wanted. This year, 2017, I started working towards that. I’m still struggling with it, and I know that my parents are struggling with the fact that I didn’t turn out the way they wanted me to be. A person without mental health issues, a person who believes in God, a person who doesn’t care about what people think. Although I will never be free of mental health issues, will always care about what people think, and can’t find anything logical about religion (and feels that religion can harm more than help), I have to start being what I want.

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Books · lgbt

“I Can’t Think Straight” Book Review

So this review was originally going to be on YouTube, but now that YouTube restricts LGBT content for not being “family-friendly”, I can’t do the video anymore. So my review will be here!

I found out about this book online via the Gay and Lesbian section of Powell’s Books when I was looking for LGBT books. I read the synopsis and liked what I read, so I got the book for my 24th birthday.

Meet Tala, a Jordanian living in London. She is engaged for the fourth time to Hani. Meet Leyla, the girlfriend of Tala’s best friend. Despite only being weeks away from getting married, Tala struggles to make the choice between doing what is expected of her and following her heart.

I liked this book and would read a chapter each night. I liked how I could easily identify with characters in the book. I liked how I could feel like I was a character in the book instead of being a reader.

There were some things that surprised me about the book. I was surprised that it was in chapter four when one’s romantic feelings for the other were hinted. I kind of expected it to take longer, to be honest. I was also surprised at how early the kiss occurred. Maybe it just seems a little fast? Then again, I’m kind of used to fanfiction where there is slower progression of romance (but not so slow that I lose interest).

Was there anything that I didn’t like in the book? The book was too short.

Unlike other books I have read (either for pleasure or for school) I actually identified with a character. In this case, I really identified with the character Tala. I have to either keep things about me to myself or follow what is expected of me because society tells me so, I don’t want to be the odd one out in my family, or because it’s just not something that people want to acknowledge in your culture.

So tell me, people who read this blog, have you read any LGBT books? Do you have a favorite LGBT book? What is your favorite book (LGBT-themed or not)?