Vlogmas day seven! This post is the vlog for the Queer Lit Readathon. Enjoy!
[It’s daylight, Rogan is standing and moving some while holding the camera in one hand and signing with the other.]
Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to the Queer Lit Readathon vlog. I will try my best to remember to actually vlog throughout the week. But we’ll see what happens. Today’s the first day. I will be starting with…[shows iPad with a book cover] Tarnished Are the Stars. Because that book is a library loan, and it’s due in a few days. So I need to finish that first. But I’m really excited, I’m looking forward to it. [Shows Clap When You Land physical copy.] That’s a new book, the library just got it. So I’m excited to read that! I don’t know if I will read that next or something else. I don’t know. We’ll see what I feel like. That’s my first update for this week. Let’s find out how good I am at updating!
[An iPad lying on Rogan’s lap, showing the cover for Tarnished Are the Stars, a mug of coffee next to it. Cut to Rogan sitting in a dimly lit room.]
So, the first day of Queer Lit–really, I have time to read more but I’m going to stop reading for now. I finished Tarnished Are the Stars. That’s the first book finished, that’s a good thick book out of the way. I liked the story, the concept. It did remind me a lot of Cinder. But I’m not sure if that’s because that was put in my head before I read it, or just because of the parallels. The worldbuilding was…a little bit weak. It’s not as rich as I would have liked. This focused a lot more on people, their personal experiences, their thoughts. Nothing wrong with that, just that I appreciate it when there’s more worldbuilding. That didn’t take away from this story. Well, not too much anyway. I enjoyed it! I gave it four stars out of five, so… If you like YA, sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, kind of, this is good. The reason why I said sci-fi AND fantasy, kind of, is because… In the synopsis of this book, it says that people have clockwork hearts, and that tech is illegal. I…personally, find it a little bit too unbelievable. That’s just me, coming from a really strong science background, and really, fascination with science and how things work. I understand that in the real world, that kind of thing would not work for long without maintenance anyway. And it does mention maintenance, but… He invented a heart for other people that works without needing maintenance. That, I’m like… Not really how it works, but okay. Basically like a steampunk pacemaker, almost. I think? Maybe? I don’t know. I really did enjoy this. We’ll see how my other reads go.
[iPad showing cover of Death Threat. Cut to Rogan, sitting on a couch, good natural lighting.]
Day two update! When I got up this morning, I decided to read Vivek Shraya’s Death Threat. Because I thought it should be a quick read. Well. Yes. I finished it in like thirty minutes. It’s a really fast read. Not a bad thing! Just different, interesting. I may have misunderstood reading it a little bit. I thought it would be about more varied death threats, and so on. But no, it’s just one person sending a few letters. It’s not really what I expected. So that’s why I’m a little… um. Not… I don’t know. It’s not bad, it’s interesting and the art is pretty good too. It’s about a stranger who starts sending Vivek emails that are telling her that she should kill herself, you should be–have to accept that you’re a man not a woman, and so on. It’s really transphobic and yeah. So… It’s not bad, I gave it a good rating.
[iPad showing the cover of The Summer of Everything, quickly tapping through pages to first chapter.]
Now I’m going to start The Summer of Everything. Partly because I don’t want get up and get my other book upstairs, Clap When You Land. That’s due sooner, so I’m like hmm, probably should be starting that. But I don’t want to move right now so I’m just going to start Summer of Everything. I’m excited because I really liked his other book, Running With Lions. I’m excited to see what this book is about.
[Physical copy of Clap When You Land, flipping slowly through inner cover, dedication, a poem, and finally, the first page of the first chapter. Cuts to a physical copy of Confessions of the Fox, opening to the first page of the first chapter. Cuts to black. Comes back to Rogan standing in their room, talking to the camera which is stabilized on something.]
So… That’s it for the vlogs this week. I know. I started out good, but then lost it. That’s fine. The first two are already out of the way.
The third book I read was The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters. YES. When I finished, because I was reading a library book, it recommended “others you may like” and one was How to Be Remy Cameron. I immediately borrowed it, because yes, I want to read everything by him. The Summer of Everything is about Wesley Hudson, Wes for short. He’s home for the summer, after recently going on a trip to Italy. He’s back for the summer, and has decided to figure out his life before college starts in the fall. Also… He wants to finally ask out his crush, Nico. The crush has been going on for a while, and they’ve been best friends since childhood. This is probably not the best description of the book, but. Yes! The ending was not all happy happy, but I think it was the perfect mix of happiness and also sadness. It’s just…so good. All the feelings, honestly. Yes. I would recommend this, yes!
Next, I read Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I… Seriously, I love everything by this author. So if you haven’t read anything any of her books, *clapping* do it! This is another good one. It’s about Yahaira who lives in NYC, and Camino who lives in the Dominican Republic. Camino is excited that her father is coming home to visit for the summer. She arrives at the airport, waiting for him to arrive, and finds out that he died on the flight over, the plane crashed. Yahaira is called to the principal’s office and informed that her father died in a flight leaving NYC. Both are grieving. After a while, they find out that their father had secrets, and they didn’t know about each other until that plane crash. That’s the story. This is really good, heart-wrenching. Obviously, I have no shared experiences as these girls, but the way Acevedo tells this story is powerful. This is told in verse poetry. Same as her first book, The Poet X. That’s really good. I really enjoy that format of storytelling, even though I’m not that into poetry. This format of storytelling is really good. If you enjoyed The Poet X, you will enjoy this too. This is really a story about a family hurt by secrets held by one man, how they figure it out, navigate that, how they heal from it. The family dynamics in this are really good. It’s a powerful story, and it’s not just this one story, it’s a common story that happens pretty often. So yeah, this is really good and I would recommend it.
Last, I finished Confessions of the Fox, just in time for the end of the week. This story is about Jack Sheppard, a famous folk hero. But he’s actually a thief, he’s famous for breaking out of prison, stealing important things, and so on. But this story twists that and asks what if Jack was actually trans? Back in that time, the 18th century I think. A while back, London still had no sewers, everything was put in the streets, filthy, that time. With the Plague Ships, that time period. The way this is presented, it’s like a manuscript for a book that was never published. The person who “discovered” the manuscript analyzes it and adds footnotes. Kind of adding information about that situation, the history behind that. And it uses a lot of slang from that time, with a footnote explaining it. The footnotes are almost a story of its own. The person who discovered the manuscript also adds stories about their personal life, and they’re also trans. They say that it seems like an authentic manuscript, but is it? Because all along, there’s been no mention of Jack being trans, no mention that they weren’t white. It had a lot of characters that, in common folktales, were white, but in this story, that person is really Black, that one is Asian, or others. Because really, London is a very diverse city, but people… In historical fiction, it’s often white-washed, really. I’m really unsure about the footnotes, because… They do add to the story, and it’s really interesting to see the person who discovered it, their story. It is interesting, yes. But I feel like this book excessively uses slang that’s not easily recognizable today. I’m wondering if that was really necessary? And because it had so much odd slang, we often had a footnote that “translated” the slang. I feel like this would have been much improved if, instead of footnotes for a single word saying it means this, having an index in the back. Or even the front, whatever. Just having a list of all the words in one place, instead of the footnotes, because… If I’m reading through, put it down for a bit, then come back to it. That word comes up again, and I don’t remember what it means, I have to flip through all of the footnotes to be able to find what that word is. Yeah sure, footnotes for expanding, more in-depth information, that’s fine. But singular words, no. It’s really interesting, this mentions the use of the term chimera, what they used to use to describe intersex people. That was a nice little expansion on a historical use of that word. And they did have a surgery, top surgery for Jack. I did enjoy this book overall, just the footnotes. That’s the only part I’m unsure about, and bothered me a little, but overall I enjoyed this. Yeah, I would recommend this if you like historical fiction, re-imaginings, that kind of thing.
I realized partway through filming, I forgot to mention which challenges and such, so I will do that quick right now. I will just cover which squares go with which books. [Video has a visual bingo board, with checkmarks appearing on the corresponding squares as Rogan lists off the books.]
- Tarnished Are the Stars
- See Yourself
- ???: Steampunk
- Death Threat
- Pre/Non-Medical Transition
- Graphic Novel
- The Summer of Everything
- Group read
- Non-coming out
- Queer friends
- Clap When You Land
- Background Romance
- Host rec
- MC Not Like You
- Confessions of the Fox
- Winter vibes
- Adult fiction (historical)
I covered all of the things! And just in time too! It’s not often you can hit all sixteen challenges with only five books. I’m pretty happy that happened! So… Let me know if you’ve read any of these books. Which ones you liked, didn’t like, whatever. Any recommendations for future books? Oh, also, why not ask you this. For these bingo board challenges, do you have any categories that you haven’t seen yet that you want us to do? Or that we’ve done in previous rounds, but you want to see again for the next round? Let me know! That’s it for today, thanks for reading.
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