Haven’t done a book haul for a while so figured that since we’re approaching mid-spring, now is the perfect time. Here are a few noteworthy non-LGBTQ YA books that I’ve read over the past few months and my thoughts on each of them:
- Haikyu! Volume One: I’ve been channeling sports manga for my YA bake-off romance WIP because I feel like they’re good at making competitions character-driven and investing readers in the stakes of losing games. This is one of my favorites so far–it’s so wholesome! Yuri On Ice! is still my favorite but this one does comes close.
- Waiting for Fitz: One of my favorite non-LGBTQ YA reads this spring–Waiting for Fitz follows Addy, a teenager who has OCD and loves absurdist plays, as she falls in love with a schizophrenic boy named Fitz at their teen psych ward. Such a beautiful and heartbreaking story and explores themes of purpose, mental illness, and the human experience in a way that resonated for me. And for what it’s worth as someone with OCD, this was one of the most realistic portrayals of the condition I’ve ever read (perhaps because the author himself is also an OCD sufferer).
- Educated: Tara Westover’s memoir wasn’t easy to read, but her wisdom and strength despite everything she had to deal with during her upbringing was inspiring.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: I’ve been meaning to read this one for years so when I saw it for $6 at a thrift store, I couldn’t pass it up. And it didn’t disappoint! Not what I expected from a murder-mystery but defied my expectations in the best way possible.
- The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily: Did I expect to find a YA retelling of the forbidden romance between a French monk and a nun during the thirteenth-century featuring neurodivergent protagonists? No, but I am so glad that I did.
- Twenty-One Truths About Love: Hmm. This one I won from a Goodreads giveaway and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Enjoyed the list format but some aspects of the plot were a bit too unbelievable. Overall, though, a fun read.
And because I haven’t done many life updates this year, here’s what I’ve been up to this spring:
- My presentation on transgender spirituality in the Latter-Day Saint Church got approved for the Sunstone Summer Symposium! This will be my first conference panel and I am equally nervous and excited to present it.
- Been doing a deep dive on research for my queer Hamlet retelling WIP–which involves both studying interpretations of Hamlet throughout the ages and Denmark/Germany in the sixteenth-century. It’s been wild!
- Started counseling with an OCD specialist a few months ago and so far, so good–one of the upsides of leaving full-time freelancing is that having mental health insurance is such a blessing.
- Got to talk about my experience as a transgender Mormon in the “Mormon Land” podcast (and my only complaint is that they used an incredibly dorky-looking pic from my junior year in college in the post adgjkhdhgh)
- Been focusing on self-care as it relates to maintaining good mental, physical, and emotional health. This has mostly involved signing up for a few Coursera classes, practicing mindfulness meditation, and letting myself wind down with a video game every once in a while.
- Got two beautiful art history books from a thrift store–one of the Uffizi Florence and a Frank Lloyd Wright pop-up book!