ARC Review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales


Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Published: Wednesday Books (March 3rd 2020)
Genre: young adult; contemporary, retelling
Rep: gay mc, bi Venezuelan li, bi side character, plus-sized poc side character, poc side characters
Tw: cancer, off-page death, homophobia, biphobia, fatphobia
Rating: 4/5 🍑


This is a very fun book, largely due to Ollie (the protagonist) who’s simply, in the very wise words of Will, ridiculous. I want to make some things clear, though, before we proceed: this is also a messy book. It’s messy in a way that none of the characters are perfect, and they keep making mistakes, and no one is really 100% in the right. It’s messy in a way that life (especially life of a teenager) is messy and totally not black-and-white. I just know not everyone enjoys stories like that.

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Review: Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells


Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 30th 2019)
Genre: young adult; fantasy
Rep: poc cast, bi mc, sapphic li, side sapphic character, side wlw parents
Rating: 4/5 🍑


When people recommend Shatter the Sky as a sapphic fantasy novel, they’re very much right but at the same time, it doesn’t explain just how sapphic the book. We’re not used to being fed this well, and yet it’s exactly what we deserve.

The book opens with the (bi!) mc talking about how much she loves her girlfriend. That’s revolutionary. And that love is used as a catalyst for all future events. Quite literally nothing would happen, if Maren wasn’t in love with Kaia and wasn’t determined to do everything in her power to get back together.

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Book Tag: #FFFeb

You probably know about the challenge/readathon my friend & co-blogger Charlotte @ Tea Leaf Reads organised for February. The name – FFFeb – is pretty telling, as the main premise was to read f/f books in February. Ideally, only sapphic ones.

The second most important part was talking about the f/f books you were reading on twitter. Sapphic books can always use more attention! If you follow me on twitter (@ heresthepencil), you might have noticed my reading threads.

To wrap-up the whole challenge, though, Charlotte came up with a book tag as well! And that’s what I’m doing today! There are 12 questions to answer total, so let’s see how I did in February!

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ARC Review: In the Role of Brie Hutchens… by Nicole Melleby


In the Role of Brie Hutchens… by Nicole Melleby
Published: Algonquin Young Readers (April 21st 2020)
Genre: middle grade; contemporary
Rep: sapphic (probably lesbian) mc & li
Rating: 4/5 🍑


ARC provided by the publisher.

This book was an emotional punch straight to the heart, in all the best (gay) ways. It’s also very clearly an ownvoices story and that truth shines through every page and settles this specific kind of calm over the reader. 

The story itself is pretty simple (a teen start figuring out her sexuality & the world doesn’t make it easy for her), but it’s not the dry outline that makes a book, is it? It’s the emotions all the events bring, it’s the character’s journey, her path to growing up & fighting for herself.

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ARC Review: The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore


The Impossible Contract (The Chronicles of Ghadid #2) by K.A. Doore
Published: Tor Books (November 12th 2019)
Genre: adult; fantasy
Rep: poc cast, lesbian mc, sapphic li
TW: death, blood, violence, eye gore, body horror
Rating: 3.5/5 🍑




ARC provided by the publisher.

While The Perfect Assassin was all about Amastan and the moral dilemma of being an assassin, The Impossible Contract gives us a totally different kind of hero(ine). Thana takes pride in her profession and more than anything, wants to be remembered for her work. It’s so refreshing to read in a world where we’re used to only male characters being allowed to have an ego this size. (Also in her case it’s justified…)

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ARC Review: Monster of the Week by F.T. Lukens


Monster of the Week (The Rules #2) by F.T. Lukens
Published: Duet Books (October 15th 2019)
Genre: young adult; contemporary fantasy
Rep: bi mc with anxiety, Latino (half-Puerto Rican) gay li, sapphic side character, Easter European side character
TW: panic attacks, absent parent, homophobia
Rating: 4/5 🍑


ARC provided by the publisher.

First of all, I have to admit I was not aware this is a second part of series, but even so – it was a pleasant read & I don’t feel like my lack of knowledge diminished it in any way. I probably will read the first book, though, because I love those characters now.

Monster of the Week ticks off all the right boxes for me, so I have to go through them one by one before this turns into a three-page long rambling nonsense.

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