Books are Magic hosted an event with Camryn Garrett about her book Friday I’m in Love.
The author came dressed in a dress similar to the main character on the book cover! So that was cool! Friday I’m in Love is about a girl who decides to have a coming out party to announce her queerness to her friends and family. Friday I’m in Love is Camryn’s third novel, but first rom-com. She grew up writing lots of ghost stories and wrote this book in high school when she was eighteen. According to the interviewer, she really captured the teenager spirit in this book and it only took the interviewer under 24 hours to finish the book because she loved it so much.
The idea came to Camryn Garrett when she thought about how her friends would have thrown her a party if she had come out when she was younger. She wanted to express that you don’t need to know who you are at sixteen. She explained that parties during milestones like coming of age and sweet sixteen parties are important because it shows that the people who are there care for you, so she wishes there were coming out parties also.
They talked about the music mentioned in the book, social classes in real life and in books, also how different it is writing screenplays compared to books.
Here are some cute, fun, and funny facts from the interview. According to Camryn’s mom, all the characters in Friday I’m in Love are Camryn. Haha. One of Camryn’s favorite tropes is enemies to lovers, but with low stakes. No ‘you killed my brother or you tried to kill me’ “because that’s just wrong”. Haha. Her least favorite trope is second chance lovers because, most likely, if you didn’t work out the first time, you shouldn’t try again. Haha.
This interview was a fun, lighthearted, and uplifting. Thank you, Books are Magic for hosting it.
Tonight, I got to listen into an awesome book event between three authors hosted by Book People for Pride Month! The authors were Jason June presenting his book Out of the Blue, Brian D. Kennedy presenting A Little Bit Country (a debut), and Lyla Lee presenting her book Flip the Script.
The authors were dressed for pride! So that was cute! And the first question to them was how they like to spend Pride. Some of the answers were with parades, family, friends, and sunscreen!! Hahaha.
I thought it was interesting and so heart-warming how Brian D. Kennedy wrote his book set in the south, while making sure that he did not have the main character viewing the south as a bad place. He wanted to show how it can be different coming out in different places, especially someplace that is not as ready to accept it, but he wanted to show that there are ways to still live authentically even if you live in one of those places or come from one of those places.
Lyla Lee set her book in South Korea where there are no gay rights. Her book is set in a big city where it can be dangerous to be at Pride. She wanted to write two queer teens falling in love in that context because she needed that as a teen growing up, but she made sure she didn’t make it too idealistic.
In Jason June’s book, he had two settings, but in the Blue, everyone loves who they love and who they are. It is very intriguing how all their settings are so different from one another and was very interesting listening to them talk about it!
Jason June brought up the fact that in the books that Lee and Kennedy wrote, the main characters are public figures being watched as they are trying to explore their identity. Which would be so hard! That led into favorite queer and gay icons. Layla Lee’s favorites are Halsey and Lady Gaga.
It was really cool listening to Kennedy’s passion with this being his debut. His passion lies in country music. He talked about how he loved diving into country music and getting to nerd out about it while building his own world.
They all would love to see more diverse voices because they believe that people need that. When they were growing up, they NEEDED that to feel less alone and less confused. They would also love to see more queer rom-coms to bring about more fun and happy reads to queer books. I could not agree more!
Got to have an amazing conversation with Oxford Exchange Bookstore’s Book Club about Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. The wonderful hosts started off the club with a question about what tea would be served for everyone at the particular tea shop in the book. Some interesting answers were jasmine-green tea, orange tea, and mint-lemongrass. It was cute to hear the explanations of why those teas would be chosen and it led into even funnier topcs!
The best part about this discussion was learning how this book worked for different people just like how the book highlights how everyone is different so everyone needs different care and everyone will have a different path after death. The book also did amazing when it came to grief and being honest about it, especially how grief is soft and tender but also hard and harsh at times.
It seemed like out of all the characters many of the group’s favorite was Nelson, although a very interesting things was brought up on how a favorite character could not be chosen because all the characters felt like one unit. Another thing that was discussed about characters was how Klune did a terrific job in using the fear of the unknown when it came to the manager.
For my own personal take, I just want to make sure that I state that my favorite lesson in this book was the fact that your death is yours and no one else’s. I love that because it helps readers grasp control of their fear of the after-death.
So I messed up and regrettably had to miss this event that I was looking forward to. I had thought that California time was two hours ahead from my time and then found out instead that they are two hours behind. So instead of the event being at 5pm my time, like I had thought, the event was going to be at 9pm my time. Normally, I would have attended anyway and wanted to, but I have to wake up very early this next morning for an entire day long bachelorette party in another state. Knowing that book events get me hyped up, I knew that I would not have been able to fall asleep until hours later.
Instead, I had tried to have discussion/ questionnaire time with my husband about this book because I was sad that I couldn’t discuss it with anyone else because this has turned into one of my favorite books I have read. It had almost everything I could have wanted in a book thanks to the amazing worldbuilding and complexity. Upon trying to discuss it though, I realized that it is too complex of a book to try to explain and discuss the book it in detail with someone who had not read it and doesn’t normally read. So that was very frustrating.
I have decided to post down below my Goodreads review I had done for this book. I am hoping that this coming Tuesday I will get to go to my other event because I desperately need a to attend a book event for my soul.
Warning: There are spoilers below about the book.
I loved In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland. I felt like it gave me just about everything I needed in a book. It gave me a dark world that was trying to survive, an awesome magick system, some decent vivid scenes of theatric gore, a complex plot, awesome dynamics, a main character that was different and intriguing, and pansexual representation!!!! It also gave representation to other members of the lgbtq+ community which I appreciated fully!
The beginning started with a great opening. In the opening the author was able to show the readers some interesting world building, beliefs that circulated in the book, and the different stances that the characters took on things compared to society.
The world building was great! I enjoyed the magick system tied into it and how they both came together or in some areas were not able to come together. I loved how the dead were forced guardians that drained the lifeforce of the bloodmages. I loved how the author had Rovan’s weaving tie into her magick. I loved the way this world wasn’t bothered by anyone of different sexual orientation as long as it didn’t get in the way of the royal line and that all of them were not scared to just be who they were. And I loved that there was a whole other dead world. The veil to protect against the blight was cool also, especially with how it tied into the plot.
I loved the main character. I loved how unique she was. It was so refreshing reading something with someone who acted the way she did. I also loved just about all the characters, although my favorite was Japha. I loved how flawless I felt they all were woven in their flaws, and I appreciated how they were not ashamed of who they were.
The relationships were such a joyride. I could not get enough of the dynamic between Rovan and her ghost Ivrilos. I also loved Rovan and Japha’s relationship and then how they all came together at the end as a family with once again all different dynamics since so much had changed since the beginning. It left my imaginations running wild in delight at all the possibilities and I cannot express enough how much I appreciated the poly relationship and representation.
The LGBTQ+ representation in this book was heartwarming. All the gender diverse characters all felt natural and not forced at all. It made the world feel more real, made the royal scenes and dynamic of the family more complex and interesting like they normally are in real life. And once again I cannot stress enough how much I loved that they had no fear of being who they were. They accepted themselves, which I feel is very important to young readers to understand and have role models for.
The plotting I thought was complex and terrific. I did not know what to expect and was led into twists and turns layered in hints that I wasn’t able to catch until after the reveals.
The imagery was so satisfying, especially at the end. I loved the vividness of the heart getting pulled out and when Rovan sat on the throne and the walls were melting.
The tension was amazing and kept the pages turning.
Let’s not forget to include how cool adding the dark page in was.
The ending was very satisfying to my heart. I loved the new dynamic between all the characters. I felt like all the loose plot threads got tied up into beautiful bows. I loved how I found if I took a step back it was all a story inside a story. I’m happy that after 400 years Ivrilos got his revenge and happy ending.
The only things I did not care for in the book was how Rovan seemed to care for and love Bethea at the beginning and I felt they had such a strong relationship, but then Bethea was forgotten about for a big chunk of the book. I would have thought it was just in Rovan’s character, except that Rovan kept thinking about her mom. Her mom and Bethea were both brought into the palace at the same time, so I didn’t understand how she could think about one person but not the other. But by the end it didn’t bother me too much since Bethea ended up getting a happy ending. The other thing was that after the dark page, I felt like things were rushed and the pacing was incredibly different than a large part of the beginning of the book almost like the author was running out of space and time. Making it a duology might have fixed that issue, but with how the author tied up the ending, it didn’t bother me too much at all.
I loved this book, and even with the few issues I had with it, I thought the author made up for those issues. The prose were fantastic, I was excited to go from page to page with all the tension, and the plotting was complex enough to keep my interest. I needed this book to take a break from the tropes I have been reading lately. I will be picking up the other book A.M. Strickland has out and cannot wait to read it.