Kitchen 

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto 
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction 

Banana really is an astounding writer. She captured grief perfectly and made her characters human and likable. 
In the first story, an orphaned girl loses her last remaining relative, her grandmother. She is then invited to live with a stranger (who knew her grandma) because she has nowhere else to go. She meets his mother (who is also his father) and they bond over loss and life and food. A few months after she moves out, the boys mother is killed in a hate crime at the club she works at and the both of them have to find their footing during their time of grief and she hopes that she can pull him through. 
Overall, a bit short. I would have liked more on the actual story. The second part was about saying goodbye to loved ones lost unexpectedly. 
I would recommend her to anyone. Short, quick, and described the sadness and lonliness that is life beautifully.

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Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

☆☆☆☆/5
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: YA Scifi/Fantasy/LGBT

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Rainbow Rowell is by far one of my favorite authors. Ever. I absolutely ADORE her writing and will most likely read/own everything she will ever write.

We first met Simon and Baz in Fangirl which was the basis for the MC’s obsession and “fangirling.” Rowell took it upon her herself to give us a Simon/Baz story and I am quite pleased with the result. I kinda skipped over those posts in Fangirl so I wasn’t quite swayed with this one. 😉

Carry On is a Potter-esque type book. Magical school. Insidious Humdrum. Smarty pants female co-character. And so on. This book is basically “What Would Happen if Draco and Harry were Room mates and ended up Falling in Love.” Pretty much.

I highly recommend Rowell’s writing. This one was fun, for YA and a bi/gay lovestory. And yes, I totally fangirled and shipped the hell out of them from the begining. XD

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We Are All Made of Molecules

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

☆☆☆/5
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: YA Fiction

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Stewart Inkster has always wanted a sister. His mom died of cancer and after a few years, his dad decides to date again. Caroline is recently divorced  (her husband came out as gay) and her daughter Ashley could be less thrilled over the whole thing. Stewart, armed with his fluffy Himalayan Schrödinger Cat, decides to quit going to his Gifted Academy and attend the local high school and hopes he can make fyriends with Ashley, who is a dense, vile, vicious human being. Family dynamics are tested and Ashley learns the meaning of being knocked down a few pegs, as Stewart tries to come to terms with his new family.

This book swapped between Stewart and Ashley. Stewart was a bit brash and being gifted, a tad over the top, but he did make the best out of the situations presented to him. Ashley was about as horrible as you could imagine. Stuck up. Arrogant. Not terribly bright and couldn’t accept her dad as gay for most of the book. It took her getting sexually assulted at a house party by a scum of a boy to finally make a turn for the better. In the end, she creates an anti-bully group to protect Stewart and other kids who may need it. After having lost her position on the high school social ladder.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Ashley was your typical mean girl fashionista and I felt sorry for Stewart for most of the book because he tries too hard. Ashley eventually learns to accept her dad and his partner (but only because Micheal is SO FABULOUS in the fashion industry) and it felt like she just failed at humanity in general.

This was a good look at bullying however, as well as teenagers who sexually assulted inebriated young women, and how to come to terms if your parent decides it’s time to embrace who they are.

It’s a YA novel so I can’t expect much. Ashley pretty much ruined this book for me.

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None of the Above

None of the Above by I.W. Gregario

☆☆☆☆☆/5

5/40 THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: YA/LGBT/Fiction

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Give me a moment while I collect myself. This book hit really close to home to my heart.

This is a book about a young woman. Krissy. Track star. Perfect boyfriend. The “In” crowd. Friends who’ve been friends since the diaper years. And then she learns something. She learns that she is intersex. Or the more dis-used term, hermaphrodite. She is a woman with internal testicals.

This is a story about her journey and discovering who she is and what makes a woman a woman. People with AIS tend to be women. Without female internal organs. Which can only be found out during an ultrasound. They appear to be women but don’t have the internal plumbing. Surgery is often performed to remove the testicals. And Krissy’s journey was a hard one to read. The bullying. The name calling. And for once I was pleased the adults seemed sensible.

This book was about identifying with yourself and what makes you YOU. It was a very informative read and I learned alot. These women are not transgender and there is quite a bit about different types of intersex people (while Krissy was researching.)

This hits close to home because my brother came out as transgender and decided to go through the M-to-F transition. She is now known as Isabelle and I love her as much as I loved my brother. Nothing will change that and I will fight for her and people like her with every breath in my body.

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Growing up, my brother was my best friend. I have so many good memories of Alex and I growing up. As an adult I embrace Isabelle for her courage, her humor, and her bravery. I grew up with a brother, and as an adult, I gained an older sister. I’m okay with that. And I accept it because it’s who she is and who she wants to be and that makes her happy. Which all I want for my siblings is to BE HAPPY.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. It was soooooooo good and I felt myself tearing up as Krissy was discovering herself.

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