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Gina's Profile Image


I'll love any genre, fiction or non fiction, if I finish the book and feel inspired. Seeing characters learn, grow, and change for the better is more important to me than how realistic the plot is. When an author really focuses in on the emotional journeys of their characters, I'm sold. For romance story lines, honest communication and bickering reign supreme. It brings me incomparable joy to see more trans, nonbinary, aspec, and BIPOC representation!

You'll like what I like if you're a little idealistic, love slow-burn romance, believe in a bit of magic, or have a passion for reading OwnVoices!

  • Character-Driven Fiction
  • Magic
  • LGBTQ+
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race Cover Image
    ISBN: 9781408870556
    Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
    Published: Bloomsbury Circus - November 7th, 2017

    Reni Eddo-Lodge gives us detailed accounts of history and current events in a way that textbooks never did: with emotional context. She doesn't just explain the history that drives our current systemic racism, she also provides quotes, interviews, and anecdotes that make that history tangible. You're not only learning the history, you're living through the pain felt in the past and it will fuel you to do everything you can to recognize it and prevent it from happening again. While this book focuses on the UK, it's immensely helpful to see how systemic racism manifests in other countries to understand just how adaptive and parasitic it is. There are a lot of trending anti-racist books right now, but I've made it a priority to read books by Black authors and it was doubly exciting and needed to find a whole chapter on feminism and intersectionality.

  • Imaginary Borders (Pocket Change Collective) Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780593094136
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Penguin Workshop - June 2nd, 2020

    This tiny book is what you need to ease you into reading about heavy topics. The tone is conversational, the information is easy to digest, and it leaves you satisfied but knowing you need to know more. Martinez's perspective on the blend of activism and art is inspiring. This book is beautifully welcoming as it invites you to fully enjoy creating change.

  • The Falling in Love Montage Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780062957115
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: HarperTeen - June 9th, 2020

    This is the indie lesbian romcom movie of your dreams, except it's a book. Complete with medical drama, a supposed female rake, a manic pixie dream girl, a stolen swan boat, and a grand gesture. Now to truly confuse you, I'll say that all of that happens and yet the entire book feels honest and raw in a way that will make you totally deny that it's stereotypical for even a second. Saoirse as a break-the-third-wall narrator is one more cliche to add the list, but the way her perspective shapes what we do and don't see of the story is done so exquisitely. If she doesn't want to talk about it, she doesn't. We skip forward. All loose ends are tied by the end though, so her avoidance is never annoying. Just relatable. With an agreement to start a relationship with a deadline, the whole book takes on a theme of permanence and if what we do matters if it doesn't last. Hilarious and heart-wrenching, I read this book in one sitting and couldn't even convince myself to pause for a cup of tea.

  • Staff Pick Badge
    The Black Flamingo Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780062990297
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Balzer + Bray - May 26th, 2020

    I've never read a novel in verse, at least not one written this century. It immediately threw me back into the rhythm and ease of when I used to write poems nearly every day, the way the words stick in your mind with the careful emphasis of each syllable. The freedom of poetry. How no one can tell you you're wrong for how you phrase things. It's the perfect medium for this story. The freedom and expression of each thought, the honesty of each worry. This book will stick with me, the rhythms of the words on repeat in my mind.

  • Staff Pick Badge
    The Henna Wars Cover Image
    ISBN: 9781624149689
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Page Street Kids - May 12th, 2020

    I had so much fun reading this!!! I love, love, love reading books where the author's pride for their culture shines so brightly. Nishat's excitement about her henna business and her banter with her sister were so comforting to read. Jaigirdar captured so many complexities of being a queer teenager of color and all the beauty and pain that comes with it, the support and the struggle. Nishat and Flávia debating cultural appropriation over their warring henna shops and combating discrimination is the perfect rival to lovers dream come true.

  • Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780735218840
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 3rd, 2020

    This book started a conversation I had zero tools, resources, or experiences to start. At least, when I started the book I thought I didn’t have any experiences that would help me relate. I already know that this book will be my cornerstone in learning more about gender and where I do or don’t fit within it. Jacob has a kind and welcoming heart. You can feel their open arms on every page, inviting you to challenge what you know and grow. Also, they reposted when I quoted this book on their Instagram story so that was really interactive and affirming. If you’ve ever, even for a second, questioned your gender or more importantly if you never have, this book is required reading. It will open the doors to knowledge the world tries to hide. Jacob is f***ing brilliant, compassionate, and hilarious. They’re really in tune to the world around them and what steps we can take to improve on it. This book has a permanent space on my shelf.

  • The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy #1) Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780316509848
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Orbit - March 24th, 2020

    You've read a lot of books about New York City, but you haven't read this one. Steeped in culture, Jemisin delivers a fantasy world that blends effortlessly with reality. If you're holding your breath about the personifications of New York's boroughs being stereotypical, you can breathe easily. Each character is a complex and nuanced amalgamation of both the history and daily lives of the communities they represent. The diverse and mundane concepts that make a New Yorker a New Yorker become weapons against a Lovecraftian enemy. If you've never been to New York, this book is like walking around the streets with a local, skipping all the tourist attractions to shake the hands of each person who calls it their home. This tediously researched masterpiece uses fantasy as a tool to shine a light on what truly makes us human.

  • Staff Pick Badge
    The Deep & Dark Blue Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780316486019
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 7th, 2020

    This graphic novel captured my heart in an instant. The focus on blue and pink was a beautiful, subtle detail in a story about gender. Hawke and Grayce protect each other while learning about themselves and the result is a heartwarming tale that will stay with me for years to come.

  • Staff Pick Badge
    Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey Cover Image
    ISBN: 9781250177964
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: First Second - September 18th, 2018

    I didn't expect to be so taken with a story about a Southern-raised vlogger who joins his college hockey team, bakes pies, and falls in love with the team's MVP. The ongoing conflict of him being scared of the physical aggression in the sport is endearing and heart wrenching as it interferes with the sport he loves. I loved watching these different characters navigate their relationships and sexual identities while having a team of supportive friends heckling them constantly. I'm looking forward to the sequel!!!

  • Staff Pick Badge
    Ash Cover Image
    ISBN: 9780316531313
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 14th, 2019

    Describing this book as a lesbian Cinderella retelling doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. This fairy tale is so remarkably well told that it stands alone. Ash falls in love with the idea of escaping to the fairy world before she even believes she can actually fall in love. Lo has created a fairy tale about self love and handles the lesbian relationship as it should be handled: as if it's totally normal. No one is surprised by a woman loving a woman. Any reader will feel accepted and seen by the world of ASH.

  • The Great Passage Cover Image
    ISBN: 9781477823071
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Amazon Crossing - June 1st, 2017

    A love letter to love letters, THE GREAT PASSAGE warms the heart of any word lover. The socially awkward Majime weighs his words carefully as he ponders how our word choices affect our relationships with each other. He thoroughly dissects the definition of love as he fumbles through conversations with a woman who has caught his interest, much to the amusement of his loud, extroverted coworker. Watching these relatable, quirky characters work together to build a dictionary is like sitting in a room drinking tea with close friends. I dare you not to search for the definitions of right and left as you're reading...

  • Staff Pick Badge
    Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel Cover Image
    ISBN: 9781250316776
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

    Relief. Reading this book brought me such an extreme sense of relief to finally see such an optimistic story about the world and chaos we're living through. Surrounded by dystopian stories, this book is a beacon of hope. Every character has strong opinions and motivations, details that help ground this story in reality. Positive trans representation, quoted letters from very definitely straight historical figures, strangely emotional Star Wars references, this book will sweep you off your feet and you'll never forget it.