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268: Gary Lonesborough's READY WHEN YOU ARE - February 2024 Book Club

Updated: 6 days ago


Are you looking for a teen coming-of-age love story set in the Australian bush? This month, we're discussing Gary Lonesborough's Ready When You Are (Bookshop.org), which is a YA romance that is perfect for our Unabridged Reading Challenge category Romance by an Indigenous Author.


We also share our pairings including Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper (Bookshop.org) and Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante duology including Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm) and Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). Be on the lookout for our discussion of the Aristotle and Dante film adaptation coming to Patreon this Friday! If you haven't joined us there yet, you can check the details out here.



Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Linda Holmes’s Flying Solo (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)

Jen - Julia Langbein’s American Mermaid (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Our Book Club Pick

Gary Lonesborough's Ready When You Are (Bookshop.org)


Our Pairings

Ashley - Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper (Bookshop.org)

Jen - Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante duology including Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm) and Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Spotlight

Listen in to hear what we spotlight this time!


(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)


Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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Bookish Check-in

Ashley was reading...


Book cover of Linda Holmes’s Flying Solo

Linda Holmes’s Flying Solo (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


From the Publisher:

"Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety-three. Alongside boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line 'And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.'


"Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck—and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and her first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her own past and her future—and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.


"With a cast of unforgettable characters and a heroine you will root for from page one, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms."


Jen was reading...


Julia Langbein’s American Mermaid Book Cover

Julia Langbein’s American Mermaid (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


From the Publisher:

"Broke English teacher Penelope Schleeman is as surprised as anyone when her feminist, eco-warrior novel American Mermaid becomes a best-seller. But when Hollywood insists she convert her fierce, androgynous protagonist into to a teen sex object in a clamshell bra, strange things start to happen. Is Penelope losing her mind, or has her fictional mermaid come to life, enacting revenge against society’s limited view of what a woman can and should be?  


"American Mermaid follows a young woman braving the casual slights and cruel calculations of a winner-take-all society and discovering a beating heart in her own fiction: a new kind of hero who fights to keep her voice and choose her place. A hilarious story about deep things, American Mermaid asks how far we’ll go to protect the parts of ourselves that are not for sale."


Our Book Club Pick


Gary Lonesborough's Ready When You Are Book Cover

Gary Lonesborough's Ready When You Are (Bookshop.org)


From the Publisher:

"A remarkable YA love story between two Aboriginal boys -- one who doesn’t want to accept he’s gay, and the boy who comes to live in his house who makes him realize who he is.


"It's a hot summer, and life's going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It's almost Christmas, school's out, and he's hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson's Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city -- but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them. As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret -- a secret he thought he'd locked away for good."


Our Pairings

Ashley recommended...


Book cover of Alice Oseman's Heartstopper, Volume 1

Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper (Bookshop.org)


From the Publisher:

"Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork.


"Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance.


"But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works."


Jen recommended the Aristotle and Dante duology, including...


Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Cover

Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


From the Publisher:

"Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be."




Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


From the Publisher: "In Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, two boys in a border town fell in love. Now, they must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that seems to challenge their very existence.


"Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once.


"The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own."


 
 

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