Julia is one of those people whose passion for reading was recently reignited by the powers of #Booktok. Though she'll give any book a chance, her reading diet mainly consists of romance (she WILL recommend you something with a cartoon cover) and women-centric literary fiction with some poetry and short stories sprinkled in. If she hasn't read the book, she's probably seen the movie/TV adaptation and is ready to talk about it! When not reading, she can be found thrifting, spending too much time on Twitter, or watching something from Kirsten Dunst's filmography.
THE #1 Christmas romance of 2022; I'm calling it now! Possibly my favorite sapphic romance! A meet-cute at Powell's Books on Christmas Eve, second-chance romance, marriage of convenience--this book has it all! Ellie is an artist with piles of student debt, an anxiety disorder, and seriously disappointing parents. All of which lead her into entering a sham engagement with an acquaintance looking to access his trust fund. When she goes to spend Christmas with his vibrant family, Ellie discovers the mystery girl she fell in love with last Christmas is her new fiancee's sister! Heart-melting romance and drama ensue!
Such a lovely, honest, and messy queer coming-of-age story! Aria Tang West expects to spend the summer before college lounging with friends in Martha's Vineyard until an incident leads to her being sent to her artist grandmother's home in California instead. She's introduced to her grandmother's gardener, Steph, an androgynous singer-songwriter with a crew of queer friends, eager to welcome Aria into their community. Lo communicates the desperation and senselessness of young love in a self-aware but caring way. Beautiful musings on art, astronomy, and grief are built into the story seamlessly. Explicit content is handled with care and maturity!
An engrossing and thoughtful memoir that thoroughly tracks Belcher's life from childhood in rural Appalachia to a lesbian dominatrix career in LA. Super entertaining and juicy read that examines shame v. guilt, power dynamics, and masculinity v. femininity through a sociological lens. Belcher's academic career adds an interesting layer to the story of how she fell into (and eventually embraced) sex work. Highly recommend to anyone interested in the topic of sexuality, gender identity, sex work, BDSM, etc!
My current favorite rom-com! Florence is the ghostwriter for a famous romance author. After a big breakup, she tells her new editor, the Adam Driver lookalike Benji, that she can't deliver the last manuscript of her contract because romance is dead. When Florence has to return to the small hometown she's been running from for her father's funeral, Benji appears on her doorstep as a ghost, proving that maybe she was right!
Romantic, heartwarming, with a healthy dose of paranormal, Poston writes about death with love--a truly feel-good read!
Haunting and suspenseful novel that explores the inextricable link between obsession, hatred, and love. When mild English teacher Todd and his young son are approached at the beach by Todd's high school tormenter Jack, their strange and tense relationship picks up in a new way. Alternating in short chapters between flashback and present-day (where Jack is seamlessly infiltrating Todd's family in a way that makes your stomach turn), we see Todd's mental unraveling. Oddly tender amidst the tension and gruesome body horror. Themes of homophobia, masculinity, and classic coming-of-age stories make this a striking and singular read.
Actor Betty Gilpin dazzles the reader with her wit in this electric collection of personal essays. If you weren't familiar with the "Glow" star before, you will be after this read. Gilpin pours her heart and humor onto the page in what seems to be a surrender to her inner try-hard. She reflects on her particular experience of womanhood (grappling with internalized misogyny), depression, and the magic/mortification of being a theatre-loving actor. Gilpin performs her audiobook, and the self-deprecating tone comes through clearly. For folks who miss the feminist comedienne memoir heyday!
A chilling and disorienting novel from Iain Reid! Told from the POV of Penny, a city-dweller and artist who's been living independently since her partner passed years ago, the novel follows Penny's experience being moved to an eldercare facility that she doesn't remember choosing. What starts as a heavenly new residence becomes a place of nightmares, and we--like Penny--are left unsure what is real. Bringing to light the horrors of eldercare in the modern Western world, the reader wonders: is the real fear in losing one's mind, or is something sinister going on?
The book that got me back into reading! Emily Henry defeated the romance skeptic in me with this literary rivals-to-lovers story, made rich by complicated family history and a small town backdrop. Deeply moving, funny, and addictive. Gus and January forever!
As good as everyone says it is! This "Iliad" retelling is heralded across the internet as THE book to make you cry. And while any reader familiar with Achilles' story will have an idea of how it ends, the story of Achilles and Patroclus, told from Patroclus' POV, feels completely new and moving. I am one of the few people that finds the ending of this untold love story to be more comforting than devastating-- read it so we can discuss!
The highly anticipated followup to "Delilah Green Doesn't Care" delivers a sweet, sapphic enemies-to-lovers story starring Delilah's stepsister Astrid--the high-strung perfectionist seeking success and her mother's approval fresh off a called-off engagement. When Astrid gets the opportunity be lead designer on a big reno project, the lead carpenter, a recently heartbroken Jordan Everwood (and her sour first impression of Astrid), may get in the way of Astrid's plans. A heartwarming and spicy read about self-discovery beyond one's twenties! Fans of "Delilah Green" will be happy to be reunited with this fun queer friend group!
I'm obsessed with this book! Ambitious high schooler Emilie Hornby has planned out her dream Valentine's day, but the day turns into a nightmare as everything--from her "perfect" relationship to her coveted fellowship opportunity-- is taken away from her. To make matters worse, she's forced to repeatedly relive the horrible day. When she gives up and decides to have a "Day of No Consequences", she brings her surly lab partner Nick (who she can't seem to avoid) along for the ride. Nick and Emilie have better, funnier, more swoon-worthy banter than most adult romances. A must-read for Taylor Swift fans!