Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan

Just Juliet: An LGBT Love Story by [Reagan, Charlotte]

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: September 17th, 2016

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, LGBTQIA

Goodreads synopsis:

The coming out story that will completely change the way you look at love, now available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?

Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian. 

Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.

My review:

This book should be THE book a teenager reads if they are questioning their sexuality or want to come out to loved ones. It showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly without glossing anything over. Take, for instance, Scott’s coming out to his parents. For me, that is the worst case scenario. It is the bad and the ugly all rolled into one, and I was in tears reading it. Not to get preachy but you loved your child before he/she was born why should that change because of who THEY love or what gender they identify with? I am in the minority but if my son or my daughters came up to me and said “Hey, Mom, I am gay/bisexual/trans,”I wouldn’t be throwing them out. I wouldn’t be screaming at them “I didn’t raise a faggot or a dyke” or assaulting their SO’s (like Scott’s father did to Lakyn). Like I said above, they are your children. You carried them in your body and molded them into who they are. I can’t understand WHY anyone would choose to act like that to their flesh and blood. Strike that, I do, and it is called IGNORANCE and FEAR.

Ok now that I went off that tangent let’s continue with the review.

Juliet’s father, for me, was the best case scenario. He knew his daughter was a lesbian and could care less. Juliet did explain why he was so tolerant, but you need to read the book to find out why (I know, I’m a shit).

I didn’t connect with Lena, at first. I don’t know why, she didn’t jive with me, at first. It was that while she was very attracted to Juliet, she didn’t know how to express herself to her. But once she did, and oh boy was that scene funny, she got more likable, and by the end of the book, I loved her. Her coming out scene to her parents was bittersweet, especially after Scott told her about how his parents reacted.

Juliet, I loved. She was that girl that everyone stopped to look at because she commanded attention. She didn’t take anything from anyone (the scene at the football game stands out in my mind the most). She was out, proud, and I loved it. While she was more experienced than Lena, she slowed it way down and to it at Lena’s pace.

The secondary characters made the book too. Lakyn, Scott, Lacey. Lacey had me in tears laughing at points in the book. Lena couldn’t have asked for a better best friend.

The ending was great. It wasn’t a HEA per se, but it was close to it.

How many stars will I give Just Juliet? 5

Why? It is just a really well-written book that explores all sides of coming out to parents and friends. It is also a book about first love.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Teen

Why: No sex but some scenes of making out, language.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

**Here**Bender by Gene Gant


Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Date of publication: June 16th, 2016

Where you can find Bender: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Nineteen-year-old Mace Danner is a college freshman—and a male prostitute. He specializes as a submissive-for-hire to dominant clients. Mace has never experienced any erotic longings, but his profession satisfies much darker needs. He believes he deserves the abuse because he was responsible for the death of his brother. When ill-treatment at the hands of customers isn’t penance enough, Mace turns to the bottle, hoping to drink away the demons still plaguing him.

RA Dex Hammel doesn’t like the road he sees Mace going down, and he offers his help before it’s too late. There’s no denying the chemistry between the two young men, but a lingering lack of physical desire continues to confuse and upset Mace. He seems set on destroying himself, and Dex might not be able to save him.

My review:

I am going to be nice about this: If you don’t like LGBTQIA books or lifestyle, stop here and hit the back button. I will not publish any rude remarks.

This book made me ugly cry while I was reading it. I wanted to reach through my Kindle and hug Mace and tell him that it was alright and that everything was going to be OK.

Mace is an escort who specializes in BDSM as a submissive. He lets men and women abuse his body. Because he feels this is the only way he can atone for his brother’s death, which Mace believes that he caused. The hurt in those paragraphs came off the pages in waves and hurt my heart.

This is the first book I have read where the main character is asexual. Asexual means that some people do not have sexual feelings. Some asexuals will have sex to please their partners and to feel close to them, but they don’t have the feelings. I had heard of asexuals before but have never read a story featuring one. So it was fascinating to me.

The relationship between Dex and Mace was perfect. It was the first stepping block to getting Mace better. I loved Dex’s character. He was everything a boyfriend should be and then some!!

How many stars will I give Bender? 5

Why? This was a beautifully written book about loss and sexuality. The author packed a lot in the 86 pages and I did want more.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Adult

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Last Seen Leaving by [Roehrig, Caleb]

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Expected date of publication: October 4th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, LGBTQIA, Contemporary, Thriller

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | BetterWorldBooks

Goodreads Synopsis:

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. All eyes are on Flynn—he must know something. After all, he was—is—her boyfriend. They were together the night before she disappeared.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. As he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

All I have to say about this book is (and I am stealing this from the great George Takei)… “Oh, My.” I read this book within 1 day. From the first chapter, where I met Flynn and January, it gets its hooks into me and doesn’t let go. I stayed up late to finish this book and never did that.

I was irritated with Flynn during the first half of the book. He wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the police about January’s state of mind the last time he saw her. But he started to grow on me by the 3rd chapter. By the middle of the book, I was gasping in surprise over what was being revealed about him and January.

While we were on the subject of January, I felt bad for her and then irritated with her. She lived in a dysfunctional household. Her mother, who used to be her best friend, is no longer emotionally available. Her stepfather is concerned with how her disappearance will look on his campaign run. And her stepbrother gave me the creeps in his scenes. No wonder she lied about everything to everyone, including Flynn.

I thought I had this book figured out, and then a huge twist came up and stirred everything up. Settled back down, I was hit with another twist, just as big. I didn’t see either of these coming, and they both took the breath out of me (love it when a book does that).

3 Things I liked about Last Seen Leaving:

  1. Plot
  2. Flynn
  3. The plot twists

3 Things I disliked about Last Seen Leaving:

  1. The cops
  2. January (see above)
  3. January’s family

I would recommend Last Seen Leaving to anyone over 16. There are mild sexual situations, strong language, and mild violence.

If you enjoyed reading Last Seen Leaving, you will enjoy reading these books:

Born to Run (North Oak: Book 1) by Ann Hunter

Born to Run (North Oak Book 1) by [Hunter, Ann]

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: March 1st, 2015

Genre: Horses, Young Adult, LGBT, Coming of Age

Series: North Oak

Born to Run—Book 1

Yearling—Book 2 (review here)

Morning Glory—Book 3 (review here)

To Bottle Lightning—Book 4 (review here)

Far Turn—Book 5 (review here)

Dark Horse—Book 6

Against the Odds—Book 7

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Experience the glamorous, fast-paced world of horse racing in the young adult series North Oak.

Running away from the scene of a murder is not how Alexandra pictured spending her thirteenth birthday.

Then again, she wasn’t expecting to be swept into a world of high stakes racing and multi-million dollar horse flesh a few days later either.

Alexandra Anderson is on the run from the law. When the thirteen-year-old orphan can run no further, she collapses at the gates of the prestigious racing and breeding farm, North Oak. Horse racing strikes a deep chord in her. She hears a higher calling in the jingle jangle of bit and stirrup and in the thunder of hooves in the turn for home. It tells her she has a place in the world. But when the racing headlines find her on the front of every sports page, she realizes North Oak is no longer a safe haven… or is it?

This is a fantastic book for tween/teen readers, even younger!! When I was reading it, I immediately flashed back to The Black Stallion series (one of my all-time favorite horse books!!!).

Alex’s story isn’t an easy one to read. She had been abandoned in the foster care system. Which treated her badly. She ended up doing something that could change her life. I wanted to cry when it was revealed how she had been treated where she was.

There are some twists in the book, but the major plot twist was the one that came at the end. Not going to reveal it.

If you enjoyed reading Born to Run, you will enjoy reading these books: