With stories by Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen Van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zizin.
Edited by Michael Earp.
Published in 2019 by Walker Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Page Count: 295
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Walkers Books:
Twelve of Australia’s best writers from the LGBTQ+ community are brought together in this ground-breaking collection of YA short stories.
Firstly, a huge thank you to the team at Walkers Books for providing me with a copy of this book and also to the lovely AusYABloggers crew for having me on this amazing own voices blog tour, please go and check out everyone’s amazing review posts here:
I can’t even begin to explain how important this book is, honestly, everyone should have a copy in their collection of books, it’s a must read for everyone, truly! I personally found there was a lot to love about this short story anthology and I feel like I am even more excited to discover more of the contributors’ work! (I had only really read Jenn Wilde, but Erin Gough and Alison Evans are on the tbr, hoping to read their novels ASAP!).
I love how diverse all of these stories were, how each author just brought something so wild and incredible to each story, filled to the brim with emotion and pride. I too, as the reader, felt myself getting swept up in these characters’ stories and just feeling so proud of all these characters!
I dare you not to be moved by these stories, from Rats – to where a supposed ‘street rat’s finds her crew in peril, only to also encounter a fateful meeting that same day – I mean, my heart swelled right from the get go! Just the way these characters (not just in Rats, in each of the stories, really), just leapt off the page – I just wanted them all to be happy!
Which brings me to say, I love that most of these characters felt comfortable in their skin! It makes me happy and proud reading about people of different orientations just being so happy and owning it in their own skin – as they should be! The number of non binary characters that made their way into these stories just made me feel excited that these people are being included so vastly in these stories, that they’d have a voice that echoes how they feel! And same with the bisexual main characters, and the lesbian and gay ones! It just really goes to show how amazing these authors are, bringing these characters across to the page so effectively!
I can’t really fault anything with these stories, if at all – I wish they were longer! I feel like I could have read full length books on what happens to the characters after their individual stories! I just would have loved more,from first meetings, to weddings, and just everything in between!
This book was everything that I had so looked forward to it being! I was beyond thrilled to be accepted to be part of this brilliant blog tour by Walkers Books and AusYABloggers and I just cannot recommend this book to everyone enough! It’s the perfect read for anyone who loves a diverse contemporary with inspiring characters!
Can we also appreciate that one of these stories, by the wonderful Jax Jackie Brown, featured a female (gay), who is confined to a wheelchair, and the other prominent character in the same story is as well!! I had honestly never read a story where the main character was wheelchair reliant, and I just found her narrative to be really empowering – this character, when meeting up with another, goes on to say how people that have two legs to walk on (in the general scheme of things), don’t really take the needs of disabled people into account when it comes to accessing buildings (but special mention to those buildings that have done!), and also just how I definitely am proud of these characters for standing up for their equal rights! They should so be treated equally, we all should!
Another highlight for me was Jen Wilde’s story of a bisexual fangirl in a Convention, feeling anxious despite the slight presence of her closest friend, before she meets unexpectedly – fellow fangirls (all queer too! One even being the designer of a t-shirt the main character wears! I just love seeing fangirls and fanboys and people sharing their love for fandom whilst celebrating their pride, it just makes my heart happy!
Something I loved in the introduction of this book was Michael Earp’s writing a human is a human is a human – it’s so true! We all have the same basic needs and all have the right to love whoever we wish to! And everyone should respect that! We are not hurting anyone with who we choose to want to be with! I mean, truly!
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