Here's what I've been reading through Spring 2016...
Dumplin' - Julie Murphy
I'd been so excited for this YA book about Willowdean, a fat girl grieving her Dolly Parton fanatic aunt. However, whilst it was refreshing to read a book about someone overweight that is comfortable in their skin, I found it so far removed from my own experience of being a fat teen that I struggled to relate. There were some memorable scenes, as Willowdean and her friend visited her aunt's old haunts and fought to fight societies rigid expectations of beauty, but it fell just short of my high expectations.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
This was my book group choice as I'd heard fabulous things about it from the book blogging community. The other adults in the group were not as enamoured by it as I was, but I was charmed by Simon as he learns to understand himself and become more at ease with his sexuality. I was with Simon every step of the way as he sought out the mysterious Blue, who he'd been exchanging emails with. A heartfelt read.
If You Could Be Mine - Sara Farizan
Sahar loves her best friend Nasrin, but they can never be together. Iran is not a place accepting of same sex relationships and their forbidden kisses have to stop before someone gets hurt. This was a fresh idea in YA literature but it lacked depth, possibly because it's a fairly short book and I found it hard to care much about the characters involved.
More Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin
Back in San Francisco for the second book of the series, and it was wackier and wilder than the first instalment but still with the same quirky and likable characters. I loved the sleuthing as they try to uncover Mary Ann's boyfriend's past and although it seemed a bit far fetched in places I was gripped to the end. It's hard to believe this book is as old as it is - it reads as so contemporary. Funny and touching, Maupin's books are unique and fantastic.