September 23, 2019 • Cee • Discussion

I like it when people discuss the books they recently purchased or got from the publisher. I like knowing what type of books people keep gravitating towards, so it’s a shame that I have yet to do that. I’ve received a few awesome books that I should be shouting from the rooftops, but why haven’t I spoken about them? The short answer: I haven’t had time to focus on my own reading; I’ve been invested in others reading. C’est la vie of a bookseller.

I’ll talk about the books I’ve gotten in the past week. (I’ll talk about previously received books in another post because I’m VERY excited about these!!)

Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera

A gutsy, queer coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, Rainbow Rowell, and Elizabeth Acevedo.

Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.

But Juliet has a plan–sort of. Her internship with legendary author Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff, is sure to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. Except Harlowe’s white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn’t have all the answers . . .

In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out–to the world, to her family, to herself.

Why do I want to read Juliet Takes A Breath? I had the privilege of seeing Gabby Rivera speak two times, and she has a way of talking about her work that makes you want to pick them up immediately. I love hearing about Juliet Takes A Breath, and how this young queer Puerto Rican girl tries to find her own voice and how to be a feminist and lesbian, and how she fits into different communities she encounters. I’m excited to see her experience and what she learns on the way.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Gabby Rivera, please do. She’s larger than live, and her writing and the themes she incorporates will knock you off your feet, especially when you’re looking for experiences that focuses on a queer, brown and round girl.

Will other readers enjoy this? Yeah! You learn about different people’s experience and what they learn on the way, and in this case, it’s a newly out queer Puerto Rican girl navigating this new world of feminism and queerness and community.

Laura Dean Keep Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

Why do I want to read Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me? I will read anything that Mariko Tamaki writes, especially when they’re graphic novels. Mariko has a way of writing characters that stays in my head for a long time.

I’ve seen panels of Laura Dean, and it’s so gorgeous. I’m excited for this queer graphic novel, and how it  portrays a toxic relationship and the effects of it to the main character, Freddy.

Will other readers enjoy this? Yes!! First Second has been releasing a lot of wonderful queer graphic novels. If you love Bloom or The Princess and the Dressmaker, you will enjoy this too.

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named MAMA. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, MAMA has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Why do I want to read Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass? I love seeing the interpretation of superhero/supervillains characters like Harley Quinn by different writers and artists. I love these DC stories being less fantastical, and more about real life people that you’d pass on the street. I want to learn more about who this Harley Quinn is.

Will other readers enjoy this? Yeah! Who doesn’t want to get to know Harley Quinn?

Have you read these books? Did you like them? 


One Response to “TO READ • Juliet Takes A Breath, Laura Dean, & Harley Quinn”

  1. Cara says:

    Laura Dean is really goood!!! You need to start this before anything else.

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