I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

I’m choosing to respect the main character pronouns in this review, because as a transgender myself, I know how painful it is to be misgendered day in and day out. At the start of this book, Ben comes out to their parents as non-binary. All that they were told is to leave. So they had to go with only the clothes on their back. They found a home with their sister and her husband.

Hannah, (their sister) offered Ben therapy, but she didn’t force it on them, which is the best thing to do when it comes to therapy for it to work. Something that made this book real for me is the anxiety and gender dysphoria. I have both and like in Ben’s case, and mine, gender dysphoria and anxiety are connected. I love Hannah’s character and the way she and her husband dealt with everything and helped Ben out when they needed the same.

I Wish You All the Best came out this month and was in the list for my most anticipated book of 2019 and it didn’t disappoint because it was everything I wanted and more. I gave it a five out of five stars.

Alex

I Wish You All the Best

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My Thoughts On Maple Creek by Elizabeth Penn

Emily flew back to her hometown after running out of an abusive relationship with her husband who was also, her boss. In this book, there is a bunch of ‘queer’side characters which I didn’t see coming, so it was a nice touch.

In Emily, we see a human who is trying to recover from her past abuse and starting to believe in herself all over again after many years and getting back her freedom after being held, prisoner by her husband.

One of the characters who is a trans guy got attacked with transphobe, and that really hit home. John the trans character got in a fight, and when the hospital doctor refused to care for him because he found that he’s trans, even though it’s illegal not to give medical care to anyone at least it is here, it happened to me before which is real life.

For the first time ever, she takes the time to explore her sexual orientation and for the first time falling with a woman. At first, I thought that the cover was misleading because it shows two females on the cover. The characters take a minute to come out but not in an annoying way like I said in the beginning.

The writing style is flowing, making it easier to fly through the book. My main complaint is that the story-line was too simple for my taste and kind of a copycat of some of the female/female romances I read before.

I must say that I feel that this book needs a bit more of editing and fixing typos. I feel that this book needed that extra push to become a winner and for that reason only I’m giving it a three out of five stars.

Maple Creek

Naked Without A Hat by Jeanne Willis

This book starts stupidly fun to the point where I doubted whether the main character is all there if you know what I mean? Will moved out of his mum’s after an issue with the mum’s boyfriend and a guitar. His new housemates sound like an equally weird bunch. I like Will perspective view of like the sea because it’s never-ending ’never dying kind of way’.

From the very first pages of this book, there is a conversation between Wil and his mum about keeping this secret that will be revealed towards the end of the book which in a way it will set everything in its place. Will does fall in love with a traveller/gypsy

Zara’s point of view is one that I never found in books before so it was an eye-opener for me. What she has to overcome because of her lifestyle is mind-blowing to me. This book does talk about mental disability, and I never thought I would like it as much as I did so give it a chance you won’t regret it. I gave it a four out of five stars.

Alex

Naked Without A Hat

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry (Contributor), Tobias Iaconis (Contributor)

Five Feet Apart is a novel about two people who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis who fall in love. Now with CF, you need to stay six feet apart from another person with CF. I don’t usually read romance or contemporary if it’s not queer. However, I’ve been watching the frey life on YouTube for a few years now, and I found their videos as a comfort whenever I was sick or not feeling right.

Since Mary Frey has Cystic Fibrosis, I watched her battle it daily. So, I always on the lookout for things related to it. Now that I heard about this movie called Five Feet Apart which by the way, is coming out in theaters 15th March. This film is based on a book with the same title, and I just finished reading so here are my thoughts.

In this story, we meet Stella and Will who like I said, in the beginning, both have CF. They fall in love while being admitted to the same hospital ward. The writing in this is fantastic, so I’m looking forward to watching an excellent movie and while trying to learn more about this condition. One other book that has the main character with CF is Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell (review here) If you haven’t guessed yet, I gave this book 5 stars out of 5.

Alex

Thoughts on LGBTIQ Youth Activism: The past & the present by Bizuayehu Castaniere, Kirsty Farrugia

I don’t know where to start and this book. If I had to describe this book in simple terms, I would say past and present honest LGBTIQ+ in Malta. Some parts of this book were written by people I know in real life. I wasn’t expecting to be affected by this book in quite this way. First of all, he gave me the book didn’t tell me that he took part in this book, so I wasn’t prepared read his words, and that felt like a punch in the gut, but in a good way. In every section, every person answered the same questions about the activism they do.

Each chapter starts with a little cartoon of the person, and under that, a quote or a say that they like for example Ludo Tolu says “ Kale keeps being eaten by caterpillars, and it keeps growing back, be as resilient as kale!”. My friend Alex Caruana, who is a trans man like me says “To exist is to resist.” These are quotes that will stay in my heart forever.

In a way, when reading this book, you’ll get to know the place where I belong with my LGBTIQ+ community and family. I don’t think I turned the pages of any book as much as this one. On the last page, I had to take a deep breath in and a deep breath out because it made me feel so many emotions. It brings you face to face to what the people had to go through to get people like me the rights that we have today in Malta. I gave this book a five of out five stars. In short, this book is full of passion.

Alex

LGBTIQ Youth Activism: The past & the present

A Dog’s Way Home (A Dog’s Way Home) by W. Bruce Cameron

A dog that was born in an abounded building was left alone with a pack of wild cats when a couple of men tried to kill them before the building was demolished. Animal secure saved most of the cats, but when they found this ‘dog’, she went straight away to the only person that gave her food before. With a bit of persuasion, the guy could take the dog home. Later, Bella, her new name figured out that from now on she’ll be living with her ‘new human’ called Lucas and his mother, who’s a PTSD after coming back from war. Being that Bella was also very good at learning commands.

Like magic, Bella would comfort the mother whenever she was suffering from a PTSD attack. Being that Lucas works in a hospital, he started taking her to work with him, and she begins to help the people in there too. However, there was one problem in the apartment where they lived didn’t allow any dogs, causing her to end in the pound. Being that she was mistaken for a pit bull, she was given the three-state system which was a sure kill for her. Lucas stole her from the pound and gave her to his animal rescuer. As soon as Bella found a new home, she ran away to find her Lucas following the smell trail. Hoping that one day she’ll be back with her human friend Lucas.

Will Bella find her forever friend? You’ll have to read the book or watch the movie to get your answer!

Alex

A Dog's Way Home Image result for a dog's way home movie

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

 

I found out about this book because I was looking for characters with ADHD. This book starts with two girls who are assigned a school project together. Kat has anxiety, and Meg ADHD and either girl want to admit that out loud, I think the reason why they wouldn’t speak up out about it is due to the dark light that society on mental illness. This book will hold a special in my heart as the main characters are similar to best friend and me. Like Kat and Meg, I’ve anxiety and my best friend ADHD. This book is an essential lesson on mental illness and unbreakable friendships. My rating is a five out of five stars.

Alex

Kat and Meg Conquer the World