Book Feature: All Kinds of Other

Book Title: All Kinds of Other

Author: James Sie

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Release Date: May 4, 2021

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54798457-all-kinds-of-other

Book Purchase link: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/all-kinds-of-other-james-sie?variant=32260054155298

Book Description: 

In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts to protect themselves, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Two boys are starting at a new school.

Jules is just figuring out what it means to be gay and hasn’t totally decided whether he wants to be out at his new school. His parents and friends have all kinds of opinions, but for his part, Jules just wants to make the basketball team and keep his head down.

Jack is trying to start over after a best friend break-up. He followed his actor father clear across the country to LA, but he’s also totally ready to leave his past behind. Maybe this new school where no one knows him is exactly what he needs.

When the two boys meet, the sparks are undeniable. But then a video surfaces linking Jack to a pair of popular transgender vloggers, and the revelations about Jack’s past thrust both Jack and Jules into the spotlight they’ve been trying to avoid. Suddenly both boys have a choice to make—between lying low where it’s easier or following their hearts.

Author Bio:

JAMES SIE is the author of STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS (St. Martin’s Press, 2015), a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best Gay Fiction, and the YA novel ALL KINDS OF OTHER (Quill Tree Books, 2021) He is an award-winning playwright of literary adaptations, receiving a Joseph Jefferson Citation for his adaptation of ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, and an After Dark Award for the original work THE ROAD TO GRACELAND. He has contributed essays for The Rumpus, Pen USA, FSG’s Book Keeping and The Advocate. In addition to writing, Sie can currently be heard as a voiceover artist in animation and audiobook narration.

Author Links:

http://www.sieworld.com/

GIVEAWAY:

Enter to win one finished copy of All Kinds of Other by James Sie! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.

Giveaway starts: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Giveaway ends: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d39/

Review: Daughter of Darkness

I spent the first couple of chapters of Daughter of Darkness confused about what was going on, but I’m glad I pushed through and kept reading.

Two parallel storylines – the past wit Kianna and the present with Kenna – and the thread that ties them together is Devon.

Devon is a warrior, called on by the gods to fix a mistake he made , but has no memory of the mistake and has no guidance from the gods on what his mission is.

I really enjoyed this story, flipping back and forth between the past and present, and, since the reader, similar to Devon, doesn’t know what his mission is, is figuring it out as the book progresses. 

There is a sexy sexy scene in this book, which makes me question whether this should be classified as YA (it is listed as “Upper YA/NA Contemporary Fantasy Romance”). Maybe I’m just being a prude? Maybe it’s because the 18 year old is sleeping with an immortal who’s hundred of years older than her (talk about an age gap!)?

I will say, I figured out Devon’s mission before he did in the book, which made the last couple of chapters before the next set of action drag a little bit for me. But, even regardless of that, I enjoyed Daughter of Darkness.

Thank you to Book of Matches Media and Juliana Haygert for the gifted copy of this book!

TAGLINE: 

She is destined to kill a demon.
He is sent to protect her.
One of them is about to fail …

BLURB:

He spent centuries in the dark …
 
After 300 years spent in the underworld as a punishment, warrior Devon is called on by the gods for a chance to fix his mistake–and to win his redemption. But there’s a catch: the gods won’t tell him details about his mission. He’s supposed to suffer while trying to figure out what he did wrong in the past, and fix it in the present.
 
All Kenna ever wanted was to be the owner of her own life and destiny. But for now all she can do is run away from the evil wanting to claim her powers.
 
 … until she came …
 
When Devon becomes unintentionally entangled in his new neighbor’s life, he can’t help but feel he’s closer to his purpose. Every moment he spends with Kenna makes him confused, and every time he touches her, glimpses of the past, of his failed mission, come back to haunt him.
 
… and showed him the light.
 
Darkness is closing in, and with Kenna’s help, Devon needs to put the pieces of the puzzle together before he fails his mission again and evil consumes the world.
 
Only this time, he’s sure he won’t be the only one damned.

Review: Fly for the Both of Us

I can’t decide if Fly for the Both of Us was the most romantic book I’ve red recently, or if it was the most frustrating book I have read this year. And here’s why.

The story follows star-crossed lovers Ben and Kai over the course of four years. They meet at Ben’s dad’s photography studio in Hong Kong, when Kai is there for a modeling photo shoot. Ben is a shy, reserved, nerdy guy, whereas Kai is more sociable and outgoing.

Their romance starts over a “lunch swap,” where they decide to bring lunch for the other person over the course of a few weeks. (This to me, by the way, sounds like a great way to get to know a person and expand your food horizons.)

Once their agreed upon “lunch swap” timeframe ends, Ben and Kai’s relationship keeps going. Through the summer, through the school year, through the next summer, until Kai is offered a modeling gig in LA.

I loved the characters of Ben and Kai – I felt like I knew them, and I know people JUST like both of them. Ben: shy, reserved, feels like he has to hold the whole world together on his own and only focuses on what is directly in front of him. Kai: a little self centered, a little dramatic, a little dense, but always means well and wants to be helpful.

The love, the tenderness and the tension in Ben and Kai’s relationship over the four year time span and the 7,235 miles between them kept me coming back to this story. What drove me crazy was the lack of descriptions of the setting or a sense of place other than “Hong Kong” or “LA.” 

In fact, at one point, Kai thinks “I try to imagine what it’s like to see all of this from Ben’s point of view.” I wanted to scream, “so would the reader! Tellustellustellus!”

I’m fortunate to have visited both locations. I fell in love with  Hong Kong last fall and the promise of that setting and the chance to fall back in love with the city drew me to this book. I would have loved if the buzz and the beauty of Hong Kong had been translated to the page.

Fly for the Both of Us is an own voices contemporary young adult novel, that does contain mild sex, drug use, and eating disorders.

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and E. Mellyberry for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.