download Best Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA StoriesAuthor Michael Earp – Z55z.co

What does it mean to be queer What does it mean to be human In this powerful OwnVoices collection, twelve of Australia s finest queer writers explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers the connections that form us Compelling queer short fiction by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to the LoveOzYA community including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin


10 thoughts on “Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories

  1. The Nerd Daily The Nerd Daily says:

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily Review by Brooklyn SalibaKindred 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories features stories by Australian authors Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen Van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde, and Nevo Zizin.Honestly, I can t even begin to explain how important this book is because everyone should have a copy in their collection of books It s a must read and I personally found ther Originally published on The Nerd Daily Review by Brooklyn SalibaKindred 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories features stories by Australian authors Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen Van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde, and Nevo Zizin.Honestly, I can t even begin to explain how important this book is because everyone should have a copy in their collection of books It s a must read and I personally found there was a lot to love about this short story anthology Plus now I m also excited to discoverwork from these Australian authors as I ve previously only read Jen Wilde, but hope to read Erin Gough and Alison Evans soon The stories are all incredibly diverse and it was great to see how each author brought something so interesting and incredible to each story as it was filled to the brim with emotion and pride As the reader, I felt myself getting swept up in these characters stories and just feeling so proud of all these characters I dare you to try and not be moved by these stories because it s near impossible For example, in Rats where a supposed street rat finds her crew in peril, only to also encounter a fateful meeting that same day my heart swelled right from the get go Just the way these characters not just in Rats, but in each of the stories just leapt off the page I just wanted them all to be happy Which brings me to say, I love that most of these characters felt comfortable in their skin It makes me happy and proud reading about people of different orientations just being happy and owning it in their own skin as everyone should be The number of non binary characters that made their way into these stories just made me feel excited that these people are being included From bisexual and gays to lesbian characters, it just really goes to show how amazing these authors are at bringing these characters to the page so effectively and a voice.I can t really fault anything with these stories, if at all I wish they were longer It really felt like you could read full length books on what happens to the characters after their individual stories whether it be first meetings to weddings or literally just everything in between Can we also appreciate that one of these stories, by the wonderful Jax Jacki Brown, featured a gay female character who is confined to a wheelchair along with the other prominent character in the same story is as well I had honestly never read a story where the main character was wheelchair reliant, and I just found her narrative to be really empowering this character, when meeting up with another, goes on to say how people that are able bodied with two legs to walk on don t really take the needs of disabled people into account when it comes to different things such as accessing buildings It just makes you want to stand up for everyone to have equal rights so we re all treated equally.Another highlight for me was Jen Wilde s story of a bisexual fangirl at a convention who feels anxious despite the slight presence of her closest friend, before she unexpectedly meets fellow fangirls who are all queer too One is even the designer of a t shirt the main character wears I just love seeing fangirls and fanboys and people sharing their love for fandom whilst celebrating their pride, it just makes my heart happy Something I loved in the introduction of this book was Michael Earp s writing a human is a human is a human it s so true We all have the same basic needs and all have the right to love whoever we wish to so everyone should respect that We are not hurting anyone with who we choose to want to be with Kindred 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories is available from Book Depository and other good book retailers Lastly, a huge thank you to the team at Walkers Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and also to the lovely AusYABloggers crew for having my own blog on the blog tour


  2. Jeann (Happy Indulgence) Jeann (Happy Indulgence) says:

    A fantastic collection of queer stories from own voices authors Many of the stories varied in terms of tone, genre, identities and subjects some capturing the sweet love of adolescence, others about darkness and depression, and yet others about surviving an unfamiliar world together There s some memoirs, essays and fictional stories mixed in as well The intersectional representation was also fantastic, covering many different identities including disability, transgender, cultural and .M A fantastic collection of queer stories from own voices authors Many of the stories varied in terms of tone, genre, identities and subjects some capturing the sweet love of adolescence, others about darkness and depression, and yet others about surviving an unfamiliar world together There s some memoirs, essays and fictional stories mixed in as well The intersectional representation was also fantastic, covering many different identities including disability, transgender, cultural and .My favourite stories were Lightbulbs by Nevo Zisin, Questions to Ask Straight Relatives by Benjamin Law and the story by Jen Wilde One story Laura Nyro at the Wedding by Christos Tsiollkas pushes the boundaries when it comes to forgiveness and paedophilia I felt rather uncomfortable at it and didn t think it was appropriate for the teenage audience, given the characters in the story were in their 30s.A full review will be published on my blog Thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy for review


  3. Emma Gerts Emma Gerts says:

    A really enjoyable collection of stories As with all short stories, some were better than others after attending the Sydney Writer s Festival panel on this book, I know some of the authors here hadn t written fiction before or hadn t written short stories before, and in a couple of cases it was quite obvious either in a somewhat juvenile writing style or in a couple of cases the story feelinglike an essay or personal reflection But for all of that, some of these were BRILLIANT Some A really enjoyable collection of stories As with all short stories, some were better than others after attending the Sydney Writer s Festival panel on this book, I know some of the authors here hadn t written fiction before or hadn t written short stories before, and in a couple of cases it was quite obvious either in a somewhat juvenile writing style or in a couple of cases the story feelinglike an essay or personal reflection But for all of that, some of these were BRILLIANT Some of them were absurd, some wonderful, some touching and sweet, and all of them Australian YAS for Aussie fiction And,importantly, all of them queer Gay, lesbian, NB, Trans, these stories had a bit of it all and a wonderful range of intersectionality as well I highly recommend this collection and all of the LoveOzYA collections This is a great initiative and I look forward to what comes out of it next


  4. Luce Luce says:

    10 were good, one was okay, and one was frankly horrible Video review up on my channel tomorrow.Review copy kindly provided by AusYABloggers and Walker Books as part of the Kindred Blog Tour My review is entirely honest.


  5. Sim ✨(wholesimreads) Sim ✨(wholesimreads) says:

    31 a book stories set on a college or university campus 3.5 starsWhat a beautiful collection of diverse stories from diverse, Australian voices This anthology really celebrated what is so unique about queer writing and perspectives I definitely enjoyed some worksthan others, but it covered a broad range of genres and breeds of connection.


  6. Sarah Sarah says:

    NOTE I received Kindred Stories as part of the AusYABloggers Kindred Book Tour You can follow this tour on instagram through the hashtags KindredStories AusYaBloggers AusQueerYA LoveOZYA OwnVoices As well as through the accounts ausyabloggers walkerbooksaus littleelfman I no longer know the lines between literary analysis, review and emotive response This review is going to be a mess but at least it s mineIt s not the dark I find scary It s the light In the light, you canNOTE I received Kindred Stories as part of the AusYABloggers Kindred Book Tour You can follow this tour on instagram through the hashtags KindredStories AusYaBloggers AusQueerYA LoveOZYA OwnVoices As well as through the accounts ausyabloggers walkerbooksaus littleelfman I no longer know the lines between literary analysis, review and emotive response This review is going to be a mess but at least it s mineIt s not the dark I find scary It s the light In the light, you can see everything Even the things you don t want to136.The thing about sexuality for me is that it s so hard to pinpoint Where did this start Why did this start Is it real Am I faking it What will people think Goodreads acts as a shadow for me I m googling if I can hide reviews from family because twenty three doesn t mean ready There s so much that ties into my identity, we are multi faceted humans who have embraced so many things Considering this Kindred is essential reading Showcasing sexuality, gender, pronouns, disability, race, religion, hope, futures this is something that might have made the path easier for me when I was younger This is a collection that will make the present easier for so many young readers To be able to identify yourself in a text is a truly incredible and necessary thing Kindred Stories is a collection of Australian LoveOzYA voices that have come together to create a collection of diverse tales There s the dystopian with Rats and Each City , the eerie coming from Light Blub and the heartwarming with I Like Your Rotation and Waiting Each story offers something new, there is no way that queer youths will finish the book without finding at least one story that they identify with, or are inspired by That s impossibleI m not sure if it s an I want to be you or an I want to bed you crush98.I found myself finding familiarity in lines, and characters Understanding my bisexuality is taking a long time But overwhelming questions of what constitutes a crush and how do I ensure that I look the part, should I even look the part were met within the stories Over and over again I found something to relate to, something to make me laugh, and something to make me cry I think that this is an important collection, for all people to read To understand the risks posed to our community even today To understand how human we all are at our very core As a collection, I think it s important to also share thoughts and feelings for all of the pieces Giving back to the authors that are helping to build us up and represent us Rats Marlee Jane Ward Within this story, readers are met with dystopia, underground worlds and the opportunity to embrace Open Air Michelle is one of the rats and indicates how chilling being yourself in public can be, a loss of personal security When Michelle is pushed into Maita, a studying above ground, worlds transform We are met with cheeky crushes and the reality that not every fight can be won alone, Michelle needs Maita s help We need each other to survive In Case of Emergency, Break Glass Erin Gough Break Glass hit all my cafe and catering feels Amy is struggling with her boyfriend, kissing him just isn t fun and she s late for work again But arriving at the function, Amy is left to work out what really is going on in the world when she meets Regi, dozens of birds tattooed on her arm I would ve loved a full feature novel of this story,was definitely necessary Bitter Draught Michael Earp So different to Earp s story in Underdog I wasn t excepting the fantasy within this story Simeon s sister is sick and if he can find the witch he may be able to save her His boyfriend Wyll is there by his side, but the witch warns him, there is always a cost This story explores privileging of love, and I would adore reading evensimilar things from Earp in the future I Like Your Rotation Jax Jacki Brown I think this was one of my favourites in the collection Jem and Drew are both wheelchair users who connect through swimming and the necessity of disabled representation within pride The characters are both so real and made me cry I think another important aspect of this is the reality that not all crushes eventuate, there s always hope, but contemporaries where our protagonists remain single are always incredibly interesting to me This is one of the most important stories in the collection and I will definitely be looking forof Brown s work Sweet Claire G Coleman Claire Coleman is undeniably one of the most incredible speakers I ve witnessed She understands the links between luck and hardwork within the publishing industry I definitely look up to her in many ways Discussing her story with a few other readers, I ve reached the opinion that it did not achieve what Coleman had hoped for A role reversal story, this one can be considered problematic for some readers and should contain content warnings for transphobia I do still hope to readof Coleman s work and look forward to her other writing Light Bulb Nevo Zisin There s a dizziness to this story that is part of it s charm Our protagonist loves the dark, it s safer there Zisin explores the realities of concealing and revealing our true selves This entire story speaks on another level and I can guarantee I will be rereading it Truly gorgeous I love this and its darkness Another favourite Waiting Jen Wilde I love my bicons Waiting in line for PrideCon, Vanessa makes Audrey put her jumper on to hide her Rosa Diaz tee Wilde shows us what friends can do, and the kindness of strangers It had all the cheese and honest truth telling necessary of a YA story and was just super great I am also in love with Josie now Laura Nyro at the Wedding Christos Tsiolkas This is the one that made me cry the most which by default means it s good Jack and Paul have decided that they re going to get married But Jack wants to invite his father, accused of sleeping with a minor, to the wedding This story navigates some really difficult territory, showcasing discussions of trauma, identity and family I ve also discussed this one with a number of readers, and have established that it may not have been a great fit for the collection and required further closure and perspective on the pedophilia in the story Not necessary the best fit for a collection for teens Each City Ellen van Neerven I just finished Heat and Light for one of my university subjects so I was definitely ready for the dystopian world that van Neerven provided Our protagonist and partner, Talvan live in a futuristic world where activism is still risky Their home is robbed and our anonymous protagonist is forced to flee the country, hoping for any communication possible with family van Neerven consistently tells chilling and honest stories.An Arab Werewolf in Liverpool Omar Sakr You can feel the poetry in Sakr s voice and tone This story follows Wafat and Noah s secret loves and relationships as they face homophobia I really loved the innocence of it all, teenage sexual urgency There s an underlying sense of humour in this piece I wanted to haveof this.Stormlines Alison Evans I follow Evans on multiple social media platforms and they re always impressing me with stories and knowledge I haven t yet read their other works, but if this is anything to go off, I am so keen This piece explored Marling finding New in a mangrove after a storm Marling is forced to consider loneliness and how it affects ver Where we create homes is important.Questions to Ask Straight Relatives Benjamin LawI m also familiar with Law s online presence and was really excited to read this piece As a nonfiction piece, I think this was important to include and evenimportant to have at the conclusion of the collection Discussing cultural differences in sharing sexuality and affection is incredibly interesting and reminds you to stop and take a second to consider the world, what really underpins the gay voiceGrowing up and having to question yourself while everyone else asks invasive and hurtful questions is painful At the same time, it also means you ve asked some of the most important questions before anyone else will Queer isn t just a sexuality It s a fundamental viewpoint and different way of looking at the world283.At its core this collection is just really damn pure I often found myself wanting a bitfleshing out of narratives andtime spent on certain stories but at the end of the day this is something incredible The collection s conclusion includes a variety of resources for teens and showcases the authors properly, reminding you where to find them and what they ve written before Kindred does incredible work in reinforcing ownvoices within Australian Young Adult Fiction Congratulations team, you ve done amazing Happy Pride x


  7. Anniek Anniek says:

    Marlee Jane Ward Rats 4 5This first story is set in the near dystopian future, from what I could tell The world building is subtle but interesting, and mostly made clear through details rather than explanations This works really well, especially since it gives thesubtle exchanges between the charactersweight as well.The story has a meet cute between a tunnel rat , aka a girl who lives in the tunnels of the Melbourne station, and a girl who crashes her bike into her when someone Marlee Jane Ward Rats 4 5This first story is set in the near dystopian future, from what I could tell The world building is subtle but interesting, and mostly made clear through details rather than explanations This works really well, especially since it gives thesubtle exchanges between the charactersweight as well.The story has a meet cute between a tunnel rat , aka a girl who lives in the tunnels of the Melbourne station, and a girl who crashes her bike into her when someone shoves her They go out for breakfast together and the story further unfolds from there I rather liked the idea of two worlds meeting.Rep f f romance, non binary side character, side character with prosthetic legCWs police raid Erin Gough In Case of Emergency, Break Glass 3 5I feel a little conflicted about this story While I lovequiet stories, I don t love a quick resolution So while it was amazing to see a girl realize kissing boys bores her, I was excited to see a main character questioning her sexuality And it was great that she figured out she s a lesbian But I think this process was resolved rather hastily and that took away from the impact of the story.Rep questioning lesbian MC, queer side character, Black side character Michael Earp Bitter Draught 5 5A medieval world with zero homophobia Count me in I loved this story so much It s well written and emotional, and it s about trying to save someone but losing someone else in the process.Rep m m relationship, non binary side characterCWs ill sibling Jax Jacki Brown I Like Your Rotation 5 5 It s radical to feel, to really feel, and to allow our bodies to move and be how they need to be, you know I absolutely loved this story It s about the intersectionality between disability and queerness, and it s about a girl making a new friend who s also queer and disabled.If you liked this story, I would also really recommend the Unbroken anthology, which has short stories with disabled main characters, and several of them are queer as well.Rep sapphic disabled MC in a wheelchair, sapphic disabled side character in a wheelchair CWs internalized ableism, homophobiaClaire G Coleman Sweet 5 5I was drawn into this story right away, starting off with a walk down the street that s written in such flowing language that it read like a dance And it got even better from there, because the concept of this story is so interesting The story is set in a futuristic society where everyone is agender Gender being gendered is seen as an old fashioned concept of the past that s antisocial and even illegal This makes for a thought provoking read, and I loved how it was executed.Rep Black MC, Black side characters, agender society, use of they them pronounsCWs transphobia Nevo Zisin Light Bulb 3 5I loved parts of this story The contemporary storyline about the main character as a child was fantastic But overall, the story was incohesive and it felt as if the author had forgotten the story was supposed to be gay until the last moment Essentially, this felt like three stories in one, without anything to tie them together.CWs death of a parent, depression, homophobia homophobic slurs Jen Wilde Waiting 5 5As a massive fan of Jen Wilde s books, this story was one of the biggest reasons I bought this anthology in the first place But I didn t even know it would have an autistic main character I literally gasped when I read that.This is such a great story about Audrey, who brings her toxic friend Vanessa to a pride convention and finally realizes how bad of a friend she really is Rep bisexual autistic MC with anxiety, bisexual side character, brown non binary side character, autistic side characterCWs homophobia, toxic friendshipChristos Siolkas Laura Nyro at the Wedding 3 5This story is about a same gender couple deciding to get engaged, which I absolutely loved to read It s also very morally gray the main character s father abused a minor years previous to the story, and he is thinking about forgiveness, and about inviting him to the wedding I m not actually sure how I feel about this aspect Because of course forgiveness is important, and it s important to acknowledge that you can t necessarily stop loving a parent even if you want to But it s also such a clearly wrong thing that I m not sure it s something that could or even should be forgiven At least it s a very thought provoking story in that sense Let me be clear though, that I didn t feel the story was trying to apologize for the dad s actions It s just a tricky thing to write about nevertheless, I think.Rep m m coupleCWs pedophilia, past war memories, past death of a siblingEllen van Neerving Each City 2 5Parts of this story were really good, but I just couldn t follow the plotline at all It wasn t until around halfway through the story that I figured out it s set in a dystopian future, and the setting kept changing This made for quite an unclear story, and the writing was quite hard to follow as well.Rep queer MC, queer side charactersCWs racism, homophobia, transphobiaOmar Sakr An Arab Werewolf in Liverpool 3 5Parts of this story I loved, and parts of it I found very hard to follow It s a pretty slow story, and it took a while to becomeclear But I did like the ending, and the representation Rep gay Muslim MC, gay Muslim love interest, multiple Muslim side charactersCWs homophobia, racism, abuse by a family member, descriptions of a dead dogAlison Evans Stormlines 2 5This story just wasn t really for me I couldn t get into it, unfortunately Benjamin Lan Questions to Ask Straight Relatives 5 5This was both funny and an interesting discussion of dealing with homophobia from family members, as well as internalized homophobia.Rep gay Chinese MC, lesbian Chinese side characterCWs internalized homophobia


  8. Emily Wrayburn Emily Wrayburn says:

    Some of these were really great Jen Wilde s story was my favourite, followed by Marlee Jane Ward s , some of them were pretty good, but there were two I wondered why they were there And now I ve said that, I know you re going to ask, so Sweet by Claire G Coleman was this weird reverse oppression thing where the NB people were the majority and the gendered were oppressed and it felt weird and wrong to me As a cishet person I wasn t entirely sure whether I should be bothered or not, but I ve Some of these were really great Jen Wilde s story was my favourite, followed by Marlee Jane Ward s , some of them were pretty good, but there were two I wondered why they were there And now I ve said that, I know you re going to ask, so Sweet by Claire G Coleman was this weird reverse oppression thing where the NB people were the majority and the gendered were oppressed and it felt weird and wrong to me As a cishet person I wasn t entirely sure whether I should be bothered or not, but I ve read watched some reviews from NB people who were clearly quite bothered by it, so I stand by my initial feelings Christos Tsiolkas story, which I can t remember the title of, featured two characters in their 30s, so it wasn t YA anyway And the main character really wanted his father to be forgiven for the sexual relationship he the father had with a 15 16 year old student when he was a teacher And the people who did not want to forgive him were painted as the antagonists There wasn t much nuance, so that was quite iffy, too


  9. Brooklyn Tayla Brooklyn Tayla says:

    Review to come upon my posting date for the upcoming AusYABloggers blog tour of this amazing book Thank you Walkers Books AusYABloggers for having me on the tour Review to come upon my posting date for the upcoming AusYABloggers blog tour of this amazing book Thank you Walkers Books AusYABloggers for having me on the tour


  10. Bee (Vellichorbee) Bee (Vellichorbee) says:

    I was lucky enough to attend the launch of this anthology at the Sydney Writer s Festival and purchase my copy early After hearing some of the authors talking about their stories and getting to meet some of them I knew I had to read this one right away The central theme of the stories was connections and it tied all the vastly different short stories together in a wonderful way In the introduction, Michael Earp describes the word kindred as an encapsulating word that places me next to I was lucky enough to attend the launch of this anthology at the Sydney Writer s Festival and purchase my copy early After hearing some of the authors talking about their stories and getting to meet some of them I knew I had to read this one right away The central theme of the stories was connections and it tied all the vastly different short stories together in a wonderful way In the introduction, Michael Earp describes the word kindred as an encapsulating word that places me next to you and us next to them in such a wonderful way It speaks to the connection between us and ignites a sense of community This anthology certainly meets that definition of kindred and the overall experience of reading it is like a warm hug from an old friend These stories speak to the queer community, specifically here in Australia But I don t think the only people who are going to love these stories are members of our queer community These stories all speak to relationships and the connections between people and in that way are reflective of the human experience in general So many of these stories are intersectional and it was wonderful to read about the queer experience from such vastly different perspectives than my own I ll go into a littledetail about the individual stories below and given them each star ratings I ve tried not to give too much away in terms of spoilers but as the stories are quite short it s difficult to talk about them without spoiling a few small things so bear that in mind Before I get into that, however, I d like to finish this part of the review with a beautiful quote from Benjamin Law s short story Most of the time, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer doesn t especially feel like a superpower However, I ve learned that it gives you one default advantage in the world Perspective Rats by Marlee Jane Ward Michelle is a Rat who lives in the tunnels underneath Melbourne The story follows her first meeting with Maita and a daring escape from the Feds.The amount of world building that Ward packed into this short story was so impressive Michelle was a wonderfully honest character and I think I ll always wonder about the rest of her adventures with Maita and the other Rats.In Case of Emergency, Break Glass by Erin Gough Amy is late to a catering gig because she doesn t like kissing her boyfriend Steven and he s started to notice At the party, she runs into the mysterious Reg and magical chaos ensues.I love Erin Gough s work so much and her ability to create beautifully real and relatable queer characters was in no way hindered by the short format of this story This story was deliciously weird with an important environmental message.Bitter Draught by Michael Earp Simeon and his boyfriend Wyll travel into the forest to find a non binary witch who has a cure for Simeon s sick little sister, with an unexpected cost.This story will break your heart into pieces and you ll thank it for doing so Simeon was such a great character that you find yourself immediately rooting for him and becoming invested in his journey How Michael Earp built up his characterisation and showed his relationships with his parents and Wyll in so much depth in so little time, I have no idea but it makes for an incredible story I Like Your Rotation by Jax Jacki Brown Jem is the only disabled queer in her small town Until green haired and fascinating Drew arrives on the scene in her power wheelchair, that is This story was honest and sweet Jem was so relatable in practically melting every time Drew referred to her as babe Maybe others wouldn t agree but I thought the overall message of the ending of this story view spoiler that Drew just wants to be friends for now and values their friendship over a relationship hide spoiler was refreshing and really emphasised the importance of true friendship Sweet by Claire G Coleman In a world where gendered is a dirty word, and having a gender is illegal, Roxy and her friends receive some shocking news from their friend Sweet.The world building in this was interesting but I honestly didn t love the overall story I get that Claire was trying to turn societal norms on their head and make social commentary through that but it fell a little flat for me unfortunately.Light Bulb by Nevo Zisin This story is about the darkness.The writing style was quirky and interesting but I m not sure I understood what was going on the entire time I think it was supposed to be one of those stories where you re not sure if there really is a monster or if it s a metaphor and if that s the case then is succeeded I did love how creepy it was and the relationship with the dad was really artfully done.Waiting by Jen Wilde Standing in line at the convention centre wearing a Rosa Diaz shirt, Audrey discovers having no friends is better than having an awful one.Warning, you may want to smack fictional characters after reading this story If you ve ever been through a friendship breakup because you ve grown apart from your friend s then this is the story for you Audrey is a nerd in the best possible way and it was painful to see her having to downplay her joy and excitement to appease people that didn t matter It was great to see a character in a young adult story find the confidence within herself to know that she deserved better than her crappy friends I haven t read Jen Wilde s work before but this just made me want to move Queens of Geek to the top of my TBR.Laura Nyro at the Wedding by Christos Tsiollkas Jack wants to marry Paul but first he wants to sort out his mess of a family This seemed like a kind of strange premise for a YA story but it made a bitsense when there were a number of flashbacks to when Jack was 12 Overall the writing was lovely and the relationship between Jack and Paul was absolutely beautiful There was a twist right near the end that I don t fully understand, though Like you can guess what happened but it s not totally explained If you think your family is complicated, reading this story will probably make you feel better Each City by Ellen van Neeren This is the story of a girl who comes home from the laundry with her girlfriend to find her place broken into and ends up on the run.I don t want to give too muchthan that away but this was an interesting premise and it was done quite well The Australian government was a total jerk which is pretty on brand for them so this future was incredibly realistic and maybe a little too close to home for comfort An Arab Werewolf in Liverpool by Omar Sakr Wafat sees his childhood friend Noah for the first time in a while at a wedding Kissing, the beginning of Ramadan and a werewolf follow This story was wonderful and though it s not written in prose, the imagery in the writing gives away the fact that Omar Sakr is an incredible poet From the intense feeling of first love or lust to sunsets and even a busy Kmart full of mums, Omar Sakr captured these experiences beautifully and really made you feel like you were living them for the first time all over again.Stormlines by Alison Evans New and Marling meet in a mangrove after a storm and carve spaces for themselves in a drowned world There is so much to love in this story dramatic storms, the sea as a goddess who needs respecting, non binary teens becoming friends, someone finding their place in the world when the world has flooded and there s actually not that much world left Alison Evans is an absolutely phenomenal writer and this story is no exception Their writing here leaves you breathing in the sea salt on the air and shivering trapped in the storm as it rattles the window coverings right alongside New and Marling Questions to Ask Straight Relatives by Benjamin Law This reads a bitlike an essay and I m not totally sure it s even YA since it s kind of all encompassing and talks about different moments in life and coming out being a constant process I do think it s a really interesting and important read, though It reminds me of the scene in Love, Simon where he questions why straight people don t have to come out Ben here questions why members of the queer community have to constantly justify themselves to friends and family, answering questions that all really mean WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS