When Skies Have Fallen is a truly epic romantic and gripping story following British airman Arty Clarke and American Sergeant Jim Johnson from their first encounter during WWII and twenty years on as they fight for their right to love and live together. Reading this book felt like watching a wonderful movie, the characters came alive from the very start and the settings were so real, vivid and dramatic. I really hope that it will get adapted to a movie or TV series one day!
This story starts at a dance at the air force base where both Arty and Jim are stationed, when they can’t help notice each other across the dance floor. Sensing Arty’s feelings, his competitive dance partner Jean, pushes him to make contact. From there, they work to find time together to get to know each other, falling in love as they do. As war nears an end, Arty and Jim are making plans on how they will be together, when tragedy strikes.
This story was so beautiful, heartbreaking, sad and gripping, and hopeful at the same time. It truly is an epic love story that spellbinds you and touches your heart from the start. There is heartbreak and tragedy, cruelty and tension, but also so much laughter, friendship and love. Despite the tragic events, despite the danger and fear for being discovered, despite the harassments and contempt, their deep love and affection for each other never falters. But it’s not just a story of two young men meeting and falling in love during WWII, it’s also a story about making a life after war and fighting for the right to be true to yourself and show your love for the person you have given your heart to. In war, they were heroes. After war, they could be persecuted simply because of their love for one another.
The characters in this book were amazing and so relatable and three-dimensional. I immediately rooted for both Arty and Jim, they were so sweet and adorable and so real. I loved that the relationship developed slowly and with hesitation that felt true to the time. Showing your love for another man in those days was forbidden both by the armed forces and by law, so the mixed feelings of love and excitement with anxiety and tension was all too understandable. I also loved the secondary characters, especially Arty’s dance partner and close friend Jean, who give them help and cover. She was such a wonderful, strong, courageous and fun best friend that always stood by Arty and Jim no matter what.
I absolutely loved this book, it really is one of the greatest romances I’ve read! It’s both an important eye-opening story to tell, how gay love was forbidden and the injustice in how society treated them, and a swooning, sweet and emotional love story that took my breath away. I recommend it with all my heart!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Debbie McGowan
Grease goes gay in this warmhearted YA romance. Only Mostly Devastated is a sweet, fastpaced and gorgeous story about Ollie, who due to a family tragedy is forced to transfer to a new school after summer. A summer where he’s had the perfect summer fling with the hot basketball jock Will. So it should be perfect that Will happens to go to the same school, right? Well, not quite, since Will isn’t out and treats Ollie like a real jerk to try and hide it…
I love the Grease parallels in this story! Even thought this definitely is its own story, you can really see how Will is the Danny, Ollie the Sandy and Lara the Rizzo of this Grease retelling. The characters are really well written and I adore Ollie, his little cousins, Juliette and Lara. I had problems with Will though, since he acted so unnecessarily cruel and mean at times. But in the end, he kind of made up for it.
Overall, this is a sweet, fuzzy and funny read while also dealing with some pretty heavy topics, like family illness, coming out, staying true to yourself and not let anyone walk all over you.
“All this time, I’d been wondering when my needs would start to really matter to him. Maybe I hadn’t spent enough time wondering when my needs would start to really matter to me.”
Sophie Gonzales made an amazing job combining these difficult topics with the lighter ones while still making it a very easy and joyful story to read. I finished this book in one sitting, ending it with a big goofy smile all over my face… Highly recommended for fans of Grease and Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Sophie Gonzales
Here’s a fluffy and heartwarming reading tips that’s perfect for taking your mind off all the sad things going on in the world: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. (On the photo is the Swedish edition, “Sånger från hjärtat”.)
This is a supercute, fast and addictive read, that will leave you with a big happy smile all over your face. It’s really adorable and it has my favorite trope enemies to lovers, as well as a quirky, lovable main character, a big chaotic but wonderful family and beautifully written letters.
The main character Lily scrabbles song lyrics on her desk during Chemistry class one day. The next day, she finds that someone has added to the song. Thereafter she and her mystery song writer start to write long letters to each other, telling each other secrets they’d never told anyone else. But who is he?
I really loved the way the story was told, even though it was not too hard to figure out who the mysterious pen pal was, and that there was some depth in it, but yet nothing too heavy.
All in all, this is a perfect read bringing happiness and joy during troublesome times!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Kasie West
I loved Call Me by Your Name and was so happy to find out there was a sequel. Find Me is not so much a second act for grown-up Elio and Oliver as I had hoped though.
Instead, it’s more of Elio’s dad and Elio’s new relationship than about Elio and Oliver getting back together.
The book starts off with Elio’s dad Samuel meeting the young Miranda on a train trip. It made me really sad to learn that Elio’s dad was divorced from Elio’s mother - In Call Me by Your Name they seemed like such a wonderful couple – and that his and Elio’s relationship wasn’t quite as special any longer either. But as the story evolves, the relationship between Elio and his father becomes more of the honest and supportive one they had in the first book and we get to see glimpses of Elio’s and Oliver’s future lives; how they’ve moved on, settled in new relationships, made new career choices, aged and faced new life challenges.
But to be honest, Find Me does not feel like a sequel, more like a standalone. If I hadn’t been dying to get a HEA of Elio and Oliver, I think I would have appreciated this book much more, but now I mostly felt frustrated and unsatisfied reading it.
So, this isn’t really a readingtips after all... Because if you loved Call Me by Your Name I would actually recommend you NOT to read this book but to let things rest at the end of Call Me by Your Name.
Find out more about the books and the author here: André Aciman