Crystal’s House of Queers is a contemporary young adult novel about a group of friends who create a safe-haven for outcasts and gay teenagers within the home of Crystal, a high school senior with a crush on her classmate Haley. Crystal lives with her grandparents, but her grandfather comes down Covid-19 and Crystal is left to take care of the house and herself when her grandfather and her grandmother are both checked into the hospital. Payton, a new girl in school who is out and proud as a lesbian, meets Crystal in her art class they hit it off, bonding over their love of drawing and painting. Payton has custody of her younger sister and the two girls are traveling in a motorhome to get away from a rocky home life. With her grandparents in the hospital and the house now empty, Crystal invites them to stay with her. And so begins the formation of a house full of runaways, outcasts, and pride.
Continue reading “Crystal’s House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone”
Here’s a perfect example of a pretty cover hiding a book that absolutely did not deserve it.
There were some good things about Autonomous. Let’s see…
- The bisexual representation was nice to see.
- The futuristic world was fun and dystopian at the same time: they have fuzzy foam furniture and plants can grow out of people’s’ heads. But also… slaves. I enjoyed the dichotomy. Not everything is perfect or amazing.
- The friendship between Med and Threezed. They were, beyond a doubt, my favorite characters in the book. I loved the way their upbringings flipped the societal expectations for robot and human “childhood” experiences.
- Some of the politics of ownership and open-license was interesting and felt like a very plausible extension of current the copyright/open-source situation.
While I liked those things and enjoyed much of this book, I actually ended up kind of resenting it because of one very significant plot thread:
Paladin and Eliasz. Other reviewers have touched on this and done a very good job of tackling why this is a disturbing plot. I’ve read some defenses of the book say something along the lines of “having a homophobic character doesn’t reflect the author’s views”. That’s true, of course, but it’s also perfectly valid to say that I didn’t like this book because it contained homophobia that wasn’t condemned in any way, and was actually rewarded in the end. Eliasz gets to have exactly what he wants: a view of Paladin as female and a robot that he can be sexually attracted to without confronting his homophobic bigotry at all. Reading this, it felt like it was supposed to be a happy, ride-off-into-the-sunset type of ending. It seemed like the author wanted us to cheer on Paladin and Eliasz and root for them as a couple. Not every book has to have a happy ending or advance a progressive agenda, but I also don’t have to like books that show homophobia and bigotry and act like those are ok opinions that nice people have.
Awww, kid-me would have absolutely LOVED Proxy! Kid-me would have been so into this. She would have fallen for Syd and identified too much with Marie and totally shipped Syd/Knox. She would never have asked questions like “why the hell are proxies even a thing, that makes no sense” or wondered about the likelihood of that many young children putting themselves into crippling debt to voluntarily go to school. She definitely wouldn’t have cussed out that old man for sending a bunch of kids into the desert alone and then somehow beating them to their destination totally unscathed like Glinda in Oz. Yeah, kid-me would not have cared about that stuff because she would have been busy enjoying the sad, tragic lives of these pretty, too-good-for-this-cruel-world teens.
Continue reading “Proxy by Alex London”
On Andross Station felt like reading sci-fi light. It was essentially a standard race-against-the-clock mystery with the set decorations of a sci-fi story.
Continue reading “On Andross Station by J.C. Long”
What do you get when you take a pretty, but otherwise average, easy-going, modern American woman and suddenly embroil her in a world of vampires, demons, and other secret supernatural threats that lurk in the shadows of our everyday world, introducing her along the way to a brooding, menacing, snarky, but ultimately good vampire who happens to be the hottest man she’s ever seen? Well, if you’re lucky you get Buffy! If you’re not so lucky, you might end up with Night Pleasures.
Continue reading “Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon”