Book Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities (Mady G)

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I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Link | Author Website

The book I wish I’d had a decade ago.

TL;DR – A cute, fun tour through the world of queerness

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Ragdoll Rating: 5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: Everyone. Especially anybody questions or recently out.

About the Book…

This book is very brief, but very informative tour through the world of identities, labels and relationships. The comics focus on the wisdom of a snail, who teaches a bunch of snail buddies about all the beautiful humans.

The book is broken into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the queer experience. Each chapter is ended with a little summary comic featuring an adorable set of creatures known as Sproutlings.

What I thought…

As I said above, I wish I had had this book a decade or more ago. Transitioning was the result of years of questioning my sexuality and gender identity, and the whole period was a very difficult time. I still – 5+ years later – struggle with some aspects, and this book would have helped me a great deal.

Obviously I can’t speak for every queer person, but I personally feel that the content of this book is brilliant. It’s really inclusive, covering a wider variety of topics (albeit very briefly in some cases).

The book starts by discussing sexual orientation, and (correctly) declares it to be distinct from gender identity. Then there is a section on gender identity itself, including non-binary identities and the differences between identity and expression. It’s a really good chapter. Then we have a section on asexuality, something I find is often ignored in by a lot of people. The book finishes itself off with sections of advice, covering healthy relationships and coming out. Mady G makes great efforts to point out the fluid nature of identity, talks a lot about spectrums and how labels and concepts can differ from person to person. I think it’s really well done, and you can definitely tell it’s been written by someone with experience of what they are writing about.

I also love the illustrations, courtesy of J.R. Zuckerberg. I admit I’m slightly biased in this regard. If you want me to love anything, make it cute and I’m basically sold – and this book is CUTE. I love the Sproutlings, they are all my best friends and I want to live in their cute little forest. But ignoring my obvious bias, the illustrations are really lovely, they make what can feel like a difficult subject feel easier.

Finally, I want to mention the very last pages. Tucked away at the end of this book are a series of little activities – I assume aimed at the younger audience. Their inclusion is a really nice touch. The activities include, among other things, a section to write a letter to your younger self (something I know a lot of queer folk have found really helpful) and an invitation to design your own Sproutling. I just thought that was really cool.

Final Thoughts…

If I ever get hold of a time machine, I’m sending this book back to my teenage self. This is definitely a must read for anybody who needs a gentle guide into our big queer world.

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Please Note: I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

Book Review: Book Love (Debbie Tung)

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I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Link | Author Website

The perfect book for the bookworm in your life

TL;DR – A collection of cute comics about loving books

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Ragdoll Rating: 5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: Every book lover everywhere.

About the Book…

Book Love is – and this may shock you – a book about loving books. *gasp*. But in all seriousness, this book is a collection of comic strips about books and the people who love them.  It’s about 140 pages of hilarious observations of bookish people everywhere.

What I thought…

I don’t know Debbie Tung, we’ve never met, and until just now I didn’t know she existed. However, we are now best friends because of this book. I don’t make the rules. This book is hilarious from beginning to end. I found myself reading a couple of strips and thinking “That is so me” only to turn the page and find myself in fits of laughter at the next strip.

The observations in this book are SO accurate. I look through this book and if a strip doesn’t sound like me, I know someone bookish it fits perfectly! It’s hard to explain the beauty of a book of comics without any actual pictures – so just take me word for it that the pictures are cute as heck and then read my favourite line.

Happiness for bookworms:
Following your favorite authors on social media and acting as if they’re your friends.

Final Thoughts…

If you are a reader, or you know a reader, get this book. Trust me, you’ll love it.

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Please Note: I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

Kwik Review: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Laura Ellen Anderson)

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Goodreads Link | Author Website

This is the book I wish had been around back when I taught primary kids.

TL;DR – A gross and funny tale of vampires, yetis and obnoxious princes, with sublime illustrations.

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RAGDOLL RATING: 5/5 BUTTONS (Fang-tastsic)

What I thought…

I read this book because of the cover art. I adore the art style. It’s so cute and fun. I wanted to see if the story was as good as the art. (It is).

It’s time for the annual Barbaric Ball, and Amelia is dreading it. Prince Tangine, an insufferable little twerp, has just started at Amelia’s school and Amelia is stuck showing him around. The prince is selfish and spoiled, and his father, the King gives him anything he asks for. When the King and Prince Tangine visit Amelia’s home, the prince starts demanding their property, first a statute, then a valuable heirloom chair. The King grants these requests much to Amelia’s fury – but the the prince demands Amelia’s pet pumpkin, Squashy! Amelia and her friends hatch a plan to rescue Squashy from the Prince during the Barbaric Ball, but in the process Amelia learns a terrible secret!

This book is charming, and super gross. It’s the kind of book I would love to have read to my classes when I was a teaching assistant, because oh boy would they have loved it.

The world is turned on it’s head. Amelia is a vampire, her friends are ‘monsters’, Grimaldi is a young Grim Reaper, Florence is a rare breed of yeti – they are creatures of the Dark. As such, their worldview is different. Calling someone a lovely little armpit hair could be a compliment, glitter is terrifying. It’s a small thing that makes the world fun and believable, but also opens the gates for all manner of gross ideas, from compliments to food.

The story is simple, but engaging. The characters are wonderful – and there is a particularly nice 2-page spread introducing them all. But the my favourite thing about this book is that every page has some form of illustration.  Sometimes a whole page worth. The illustrations are absolutely adorable. I think having read this book, that Laura Ellen Anderson is probably now my favourite illustrator, and that is absolutely not an exaggeration.

I’m 28 years old, and I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and gross and weird and silly. It was heartwarming, and sad, it made me angry and it made me smile. It is exactly the sort of thing I wish I could write, and I recommend it to anyone.

Give this to the weird kid in your life. (Reviewers note: All kids are weird, give this book to all of them.)

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Please note: I am in no way affiliated with the author or publishers. I bought this book with my own money for my own reasons. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!