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Prideathon!

Pictured: a collage of book covers in accordance with our Prideathon picks. The Prideathon logo appears in the centre, among a scratched in yellow background. The logo is of an open blue book with the word “Prideathon,” and a rainbow arcing over the pages.

Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈
Are you itching to go to the Pride Parade in your respective city, but are confined by COVID-19? We know it’s for the best – we’re equal parts relieved for everyone’s safety, and bummed out that Pride won’t happen this year.  

But quarantine and social distancing can’t stop us from (safely) celebrating! Abarna and Becca have been wracking our brains and scouring the internet for things that we can do to soak in Pride month. In doing so, we came across a wonderful readathon that we’ve decided to embark on through our blog! It’s aptly named Prideathon, and it’s designed as a celebration of intersectional LGBTQIAP+ pride. We are SO. EXCITED. 🙌🙌🏾

For those who may not know what a readathon is, here is the gist: a readathon is an event, usually set to a timeframe, where you aim to reach a specific reading goal. Different book bloggers may create a readathon book challenge for anyone to take, that is based on a specific theme. In this case, Prideathon provides a number of prompts to direct your book choices, all of which must include LGBT+ characters, to be completed by the end of June (aka Pride month). Their goal is to encourage folks to read books by and about LGBT+ people – and we are happily embarking!

In this post, we will include both Abarna and Becca’s TBRs (to be read) for the challenge, and then we will gradually release reviews for each book. We encourage you to take part in Prideathon with us! 

Here are the links to Prideathon’s social media:

Without further ado, here are Abarna and Becca’s book-reading goals for June, in accordance with Prideathon’s reading challenge!


Abarna’s Prideathon TBR

The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman
Prompt: a translated book
Summary from Goodreads: Sorcerers fight for the right to exist and fall in love, in this extraordinary alternate world fantasy thriller by award-winning Israeli author Keren Landsman.

Throughout human history there have always been sorcerers, once idolised and now exploited for their powers. In Israel, the Sons of Simeon, a group of religious extremists, persecute sorcerers while the government turns a blind eye. After a march for equal rights ends in brutal murder, empath, moodifier and reluctant waiter Reed becomes the next target. While his sorcerous and normie friends seek out his future killers, Reed complicates everything by falling hopelessly in love. As the battle for survival grows ever more personal, can Reed protect himself and his friends as the Sons of Simeon close in around them?


Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Prompt: a book that features magic
Summary from Goodreads: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.


The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
Prompt: a book that somehow features technology
Summary from Goodreads: Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.
Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen. 


Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Prompt: a book that follows a squad
Summary from Goodreads: The story is supposed to be over.
Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…
So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?
What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…
That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.
They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…
Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.

***Note: This is the second book in the Simon Snow series***


Becca’s Prideathon TBR

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
Prompt: a book that intimidates you
Summary from Goodreads: Odd-mannered, obsessive, withdrawn, Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, as they accuse, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remained of her world, save for stories told around the cookfire.
Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human.
When the autopsy of Matilda‘s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.

***Not that this is immediately relevant, but Abarna loves this book***


Spellhacker by M.K. England
Prompt: a book that features magic
Summary from Goodreads: From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.
But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.
No pressure. 


An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles
Prompt: a book set in your favourite time period
Summary from Goodreads: A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.
Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.
But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.

***Note: This is book 3 of the Sins of the Cities series***


The Lawrence Browne Affair by K.J. Charles
Prompt: a feel-good book
Summary from Goodreads: An earl hiding from his future . . .
Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.
A swindler haunted by his past . . .
Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.
Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives?
Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

***Note: this is the second book in The Turner Series***


The Disasters by M.K. England
Prompt: a book that somehow features technology
Summary from Goodreads: Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.


Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Prompt: a book that follows a squad
Summary from Goodreads: 1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years.
The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.


Stag’s Run by Zaya Feli
Prompt: a book that somehow features deception
Summary from Goodreads: Ren Frayne is the bastard son of the Queen of Frayne, a title he’s more than comfortable with when it brings him limited responsibilities and all the luxuries of life he could ever want. But when the king and Ren’s half-brother, Crown Prince Hellic are brutally murdered, Ren is accused. Now, he is forced to flee the city together with the mysterious prisoner Anik who may know how to survive in the wild, but who seems to have an agenda of his own, one that may spell danger for Ren.
Ren’s accuser now sits on his family’s throne, and things are about to get much, much worse. It may be time to seek help in unexpected places. 


Don’t forget to tag Prideathon with your TBR, if you participate. Let us know what you’re doing to celebrate pride! Feel free to leave a comment, reach out on social media, send us an email, or submit a form through our “Contact Us” tab.

Until next time…

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