Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Chiara / February 20, 2018 , Tue / this book is lgbtqia

This Book is LGBTQIA+ is my way of putting a spotlight on books that may not be widely recognised as such. I want these books to have as much exposure as they can, and I hope you add some of these titles (or all) to those never-ending TBR piles!

Today’s book is:

radio silence by alice oseman

Title: Radio Silence

Author: Alice Oseman

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre/s: Contemporary

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Why This Book is LGBTQIA+

The main character, Frances, is bisexual. I am pretty sure most people know that this book is about a bi protagonist, but I just wanted to write this post because the synopsis doesn’t share that at all. So maybe I’m letting someone know by writing this post!

Radio Silence was one of my favourite books of 2017, hands down. For such a long contemporary novel I absolutely flew through it, and when I got to the end I didn’t want it to be the end. I wanted more about all of these characters.

This book was an honest to goodness emotional roller-coaster so be aware of that if you plan on reading it! There are a lot of heavy themes that come into play for almost all of the characters. But I will say that Alice Oseman handles them all incredibly respectfully, which was both amazing and lovely.

If you want to check out my full thoughts, you can read my review here.

(trigger warning: suicidal themes, absent parent, domestic violence (physical and emotional), death of a pet, use of ableist language, and bullying in this novel)

Chiara / January 16, 2018 , Tue / queer movies i've watched recently

1. the way he looks

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I remember hearing about this movie quite a while ago, but never being able to watch it because Australia sucks and doesn’t import a lot of foreign movies. But then I bought an all-region DVD player (honestly the best thing I have ever purchased) and as such I have gone on a buying spree of all the movies I’ve never been able to watch before. The Way He Looks was one of the movies I was the most excited about. It just looked so sweet and adorable.

Funnily enough, a few weeks before my copy arrived, I saw the original short film that the movie was based on. It was so cute, and I was interested to see how the writers would expand a story that worked so well as a short into something that was full length. Honestly, they did a fantastic job. I liked the movie better than the short because there was so much room for character development and growth, as well as relationship development and growth.

I think the thing I liked best about The Way He Looks is that it wasn’t tragic at all. There was an element of bullying that was almost in the really horrible category but never quite made it. For the most part it stayed at the level of teenagers being shitty to each other. The Way He Looks is a queer boy movie that ends happily, and I am so glad it exists.

2. those people

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I found this movie by searching “lgbt” in the Netflix searchbar, which actually brings up all their queer movies so YAY for figuring that out. I don’t really know why I picked this one out of the multitudes but I did.

Can I just say that the movie poster for this movie fucking slays me? I mean, it might not slay you unless you’ve seen it but my heart is aching because of that picture, jesus holy christ.

Those People follows this guy who is in love with his best friend – who is also gay – but starts seeing this new, older guy. Drama and angst ensues. And also a realisation on my part that I am very attracted to Jason Ralph.

I feel like Those People went for the “life isn’t always perfect” route, which I am never a particularly big fan of. I know life isn’t always perfect. THAT IS WHY I WATCH A LOT OF MOVIES. I WANT THE GAY BEST FRIENDS TO END UP TOGETHER AND LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, OKAY? I DON’T NEED ~MATURE~ REALISATIONS. EVER. But I guess these kinds of movies do serve their purpose. Even though I weep for the loss of a friends to lovers romance with a perfect ending.

3. breathe

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Bless Stan for having a dedicated “LGBT” film section so I don’t even have to use a searchbar like I do on Netflix. To be honest I chose to watch Breathe because it was quite short, the poster was pretty (it was different to the one above – more romantic), and also it was about queer girls and I feel like I haven’t watched enough queer girl movies.

Breathe was incredibly… weird. Though I feel it definitely falls into the queer film category it never explicitly feels like it does. There is one kiss shared between the two girls, but it was when they were kind of play acting with each other so its sincerity was never covert. To be honest the only real confirmation of its queerness comes at the very end.

Speaking of the end… I had no fucking clue what I had just spend an hour and a half of my life watching. Furthermore, I had no idea why I had watched it. The only thing I can say about the ending of Breathe was that it was vicious and out of the blue.

4. the handmaiden

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I can honestly say that I have never watched a movie quite like The Handmaiden. It blends elements from almost every movie genre I can think of – drama, romance, comedy, crime. With a dash of sex in there, as well.

I decided to watch The Handmaiden because I had seen it on Stan, and then a few days later I saw it on someone’s Twitter thread of f/f movies that end with happily ever after. The Handmaiden does indeed end with a happily ever after for the two women of the movie, and for that I was very glad.

The Handmaiden, while quite a journey of two and a half hours, hooked me from the very beginning – so much so that I didn’t even take into account how much time had passed. Told in three parts, the story is woven in a very interesting way. You think of the story in one way, and then it is completely turned on its head.

This is a movie I know I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Have you watched any of these movies? Do you want to? Have you seen any LGBTQIA+ movies recently?

Chiara / August 28, 2017 , Mon / films & music

In all honesty, I love watching movies just as much as I love reading books. I have my book blog to chat about the books I read, and I wanted something similar for the movies I see. I created Movie of the Week as a way to talk about the movies I watch, especially the good ones. Maybe you’ll even find some great flicks to add to your watch list!

movie of the week

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The Space Between Us had been on my watch list ever since I saw the trailer. It tells the story of a boy born on Mars, and his desperation to be part of human society on Earth.

After watching HUGO, I watch pretty much everything Asa Butterfield is in. But Space sounded so lovely, and something that I could totally fall in love with. And it was! I adored every second of this movie, and I can definitely see myself watching it again in the future.

Asa’s character – Gardner – has that adorable naivete that I find so compelling in characters. The different relationships he has with people over the course of the movie are varied, complex, and nuanced, which I absolutely loved. The romance between him and Tulsa was sweet, and I can definitely say I shipped it.

In terms of genre I guess you could classify this as sci-fi and romance, which are two things you don’t see much of in movies together. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I liked it so much!

Honourable Mention:

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I am currently on a dance movie binge, and watched Honey over the weekend. I ended up enjoying it so much, which was a nice surprise! As much as I love my dance films not all of them are spectacular, haha. Honey is definitely up there with my favourite dance movies. If you want recs or want to talk dance movies, please do because I love them

What’s a great movie you watched recently?

Chiara / July 6, 2017 , Thu / this book is lgbtqia

This Book is LGBTQIA+ is my way of putting a spotlight on books that may not be widely recognised as such. I want these books to have as much exposure as they can, and I hope you add some of these titles (or all) to those never-ending TBR piles!

Today’s book is:

one of us is lying by karen m. mcmanus

Title: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Penguin

Genre/s: Mystery/Thriller

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Why This Book is LGBTQIA+

One of the main characters in this book, Cooper, is gay. There were a few moments where I thought that the author would make some really terrible decisions regarding this character and his sexuality, but in the end she didn’t, which I was extremely grateful for.

Cooper doesn’t exactly have the best time in this book, and he does face adversity when his classmates and friends find out that he’s gay (which wasn’t his choice). But he did have friends who weren’t assholes and stuck by him, and while his father was a jerk in the beginning by the end he was coming to realise that if he loves his son he loves everything about his son.

In all honesty I really enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying. It was a mystery/thriller with added character and relationship development, and the ending wasn’t predictable, either. If you want to check out my full thoughts, you can read my review here.

I will mention that some reviewers have found the reveal of Cooper’s sexuality could be harmful to some readers, and that the representation of mental health was inadequate and could be harmful to readers, as well.

(trigger warning: bullying, reference to school shooting, references to suicide (graphic), suicide, alcoholic parent, romantic cheating, drug addicted parent, absent parent, bipolar parent (off medication), sibling with cancer, heart attack (grandparent), emotional abuse, use of ableist language, ableism, slut shaming, reference to animal cruelty, physical assault, attempted murder, and homophobia in this novel)

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