Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, illustrated by Val Wise
Synopsis: Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.
Awww, this is such a cute graphic novel about two cheerleaders falling in love! Adorable. The artwork was bright and cheerful and the representation was wonderfully done, I must say. Definitely worth a go for anyone looking for a cheerful tale of love and pompoms! ❤
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.
Heartstopper was my wonderful introduction to online webtoons and kickstarted my recent fervour for comic books and graphic novels, and today the webcomics have led me to Hazel + Bell’s Always Raining Here. IT IS SO PRECIOUS AND WONDERFUL AND ADORABLE. This comic is definitely on the same wavelength as Heartstopper, but I loved it that little bit more, I reckon. Adrian and Carter are great characters and it’s the type of story that would make for a superb coming of age movie or tv series.
The whole story is posted online, but there’s a page where you can buy the paperback versions of the books and other stuff as well. EVERYONE IN THEIR SITE IS SO CUTE. The creators have also started a new comic series, Electric Bones, which is beautifully drawn.
Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat
I knew Pacat from the Captive Prince series and was curious about her new comics. I really liked this first one! Super cute illustrations and a great start to the storyline.
Dune Song by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Each time, the sand advances on Isiuwa, moving with a morose, flutelike song, the only sound to plant tears in their chest that does not come from a living being. A shrill, underlined by wind rushing through a tube. The Chief calls it the whistle of the gods and says it is the sound of an errant person being taken.
I’ve never read Apex magazine before and alas I’ve only found them with the publication of their final issue. But I loved Dune Song and I’m really curious about the rest.
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow
What would I be, cut off from the orderly world of words and their readers, from the peaceful Ouroboran cycle of story-telling and story-eating?
This was AMAZING. AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. As a lover of libraries, I felt this story in my bones. Go read now.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
I don’t want October to be over.
This is such a perfect autumn read and the artwork in this is absolutely adorable!
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.
This comic, initially published online, is honestly one of the most heart-warming things I’ve read in a while. The drawings are so lovely and you just end up with heart-eyes every page. Definitely, definitely recommend.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage by Marissa Lingen
My experience was not proving helpful here.
Lines of Growth, Lines of Passage in Uncanny Magazine’s twentieth issue was SO. GOOD. Tree magic and iceberg giants?! Amazing. I now want a longer novel that goes into this magical world! Available here.
Demon’s Blood by Shari Sakurai
This is such a great take on the normal vampire genre! Having read Never Change, I was eager to get back into this world and continue Thane and Taku’s story. Sakurai’s attention to detail is wonderfully immersive and magical, and I’m so curious to see what happens in Demon’s Life.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
With Cardamom I’ll Bind Their Lips by Beth Cato
His soul was tethered to mine by blessed spice and a solitary word.
This was really intriguing and feels like the start to a novel, which means I didn’t want it to end there! The story felt like it was just getting going. I’d love to learn more about this universe. Very interesting ghost story. Available here.
Mini Review Roundup:
Skinner Box by Carole Johnstone | available for free here. | science fiction, short story, romance, horror
Can a cognitive neuroscientist be fooled? Can an expert in the field of deep learning and AI evolution be unknowingly coerced? Can a genius be corrupted? Can a manipulator be manipulated?
Wow. This started out one kind of intense and then turned into a whole other kind of intense and I’m fairly darn impressed. Be sure to mind the warnings at the top, but I definitely recommend this! A very dark, riveting sci-fi short.
All Around the Watchtower by Ben Haskett | science fiction, short story
As soon as we awoke to those alarms, I just wanted to go back into the pod.
What a great sci-fi short!
And All the Trees of the Forest Shall Clap Their Hands in Uncanny Magazine by Sharon Hsu | available for free here. | fantasy, short story
War, it turns out, is the easiest thing of all to make anywhere.
This was utterly gutting, but so beautifully written.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman | available for free here. | lgbt, graphic novel, romance
This is super cute and the art is wonderful. ^____^