Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of stories featuring LGBT+ characters. Especially short stories. I didn’t have a lot of time to read in my ‘exam-weeks’, so it was a lot easier to just get sucked into a 50-page-story for an hour or so, than to have to get back into the world of a 500-page-story. And I fell in love with quite a few of the stories I read.
I’m not the most talented reviewer, and writing a whole 300-word review on a 50-page-story seemed a bit, well, impossible. I didn’t want to not write a review either, because I wanted to share my love for these stories with you, so I thought I’d do a combined review. So, here are my reviews for Fearless by Shira Glassman, Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans, and The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake by Lynn E. O’Connacht.
Fearless by Shira Glassman
A newly out-of-the-closet band mom falls for an orchestra teacher while snowed in at All-State. Lana Novak hasn’t played violin in over twenty years, her musical life these days confined to being a devoted band mom to her clarinet whiz daughter Robin. She didn’t think she could get back into it after this long, but Melanie Feinberg, the outgoing, enthusiastic, and very cute butch orchestra director from Robin’s school, has other ideas.
Fearless was so incredibly cute! It’s a very adorable story about a mom who’s just out of the closet who feels herself falling for her daughter’s orchestra director. It features a lot of great and cozy things, like snow storms, music, chocolate cake, and a great mother-daughter relationship, and it has a great dialogue. Shira Glassman’s writing is amazing, and it gently pulls you into the story. I wasn’t able to stop reading it once I picked it up, and I had a big smile on my face the entire time.
If you want an all-happy F/F story, I’d definitely recommend this one!
Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans
Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they’re on the same page about what dating means, and if that’s what they’re doing.
This novella was simply amazing and filled with diversity! Both of the main characters are non-binary (Jalen is genderqueer and P is trans), they’re both amputees, and they’re both described as having dark skin. (I can’t say much about the rep personally, but I’ve seen a lot of #OwnVoices reviews on Goodreads that say a lot of positive things about it).
The romance between the 2 characters is very cute. I personally love a good meet-in-coffee-shop-then-go-to-movies type of meeting, and the relationship development throughout the story is great. Plus, the mention of B-grade sci-fi movies and coffee shops throughout the story added a lot to it’s atmosphere, and made this story feel very home-y.
The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake by Lynn E. O’Connacht
Once upon a time there lived a princess…
When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)
…and the stableboy who loved her…
The princess befriends a stableboy. She’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. The stableboy does his best to explain to the princess what is so wonderful about cake, but it takes an arduous journey to convince her to try a slice.
…in a kingdom that didn’t want to understand…
The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is a demisexual fairy tale. It aims to introduce people to the concept of demisexuality and to offer a rough idea of how the world may be experienced by people identifying on the asexual spectrum. It offers both the titular fairy tale, a brief essay explaining what demisexuality is in more detail and a short list of books featuring demisexual characters for anyone who would like to see more representation in fiction.
This cute fairytale is an incredibly good resource if you want to find out more about demisexuality. It was a very easy, cute, and informative read. Plus, it featured cake. Who doesn’t love cake?
I firmly believe that no analogy is perfect, and this one isn’t either. It sometimes felt a little bit over-simplified, but that was definitely made up for by the enormous amount of resources we got at the end of the book. There are quite a few pages devoted to ‘What is Demisexuality’, and we got a lot a list of ‘Books with Demisexual Characters’, which I loved very very much.
While I didn’t adore this one, I’m definitely planning on reading more of Lynn’s work. I’ve already gotten myself a copy of Sea Foam & Silence, and I can’t wait to dive into it!