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if you could be mine by sara farizanWhat: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Who: Alqonquin Young Readers

When: August 20th 2013

How: Borrowed from library.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

If you’re looking for a book with a happily ever after ending, If You Could Be Mine is most certainly not it.

I liked this novel, though I had some reservations about the main character and her motives. I know that she wanted to be with her best friend (who is also a girl), and so she thought she was willing to do anything in order to make that happen – including getting a sex change. But I felt like this kind of … not trivialised but maybe undermined the struggles that transgender young adults go through. This was kind of touched on in the novel, where the main character (Sahar) speaks to a transwoman who says that she’s glad that her body reflects who she is but it was hard. But even so, I wasn’t 100% on board with that aspect of the book.

My favourite character was Sahar’s gay cousin (I can’t remember his name). For some reason I absolutely adored him and felt a fierce protectiveness for his character. Bless that he turned out safe and okay, otherwise *breathes fire*


i am j by cris beam

What: I am J by Cris Beam

Who: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

When: November 13th 2012

How: Purchased.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

I was not a huge fan of our main character, J. I understand that he was trying desperately to conform to what he thought was masculine attitude … but some of his comments had me narrowing my eyes. Guys can have feelings, too *gasp* And being called a lesbian is not the worst thing in the world.

His relationship with his best friend was a little off putting, as well. She was only attracted to J when she thought of him as completely male. Guuurl, you’re either attracted to someone or not. You can’t only be attracted to them sometimes. And what kind of message is that giving to J, anyway? *shakes head*

J’s inner turmoil was a little tiresome at times, and I feel like some of this introspection could have been cut to make for a more fast paced novel.

I hated J’s parents. Well, more specifically his mother. But I guess this could be an accurate representation of parents who are shitheads and refuse to come to terms with their child being different.


aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin alire sáenzWhat: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Who: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

When: April 1st 2014

How: Purchased.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Whilst I might not have adored Ari and Dante as much as some other people, I still really loved it – devouring it in one sitting on my sofa.

I loved the lyrical prose of this novel, and the growth of the relationship between Ari and Dante. Ari is hiding his feelings from himself so well that it comes almost (but not quite) as a surprise when he finally admits how much he has come to care for Dante.

Ari was a puzzle. I think he was very confused and in a lot of pain (both physical and emotional), but he could also be a bit irritating (just like anyone, I guess). Dante, on the other hand was a cute little shite and I wanted to jump into these pages and smother him with love.

I will definitely be one of those people that say: omg you have to read Ari and Dante!

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: January 28, 2015 • By: Chiara

14 Responses to Mini Reviews Volume #4

  1. I got rec-d Aristotle and Dante so I’m excited that you liked it! I haven’t heard of the other ones, but I love these mini reviews. You totally say what you need to say so easily

  2. Glad you enjoyed Ari & Dante! That was one of my favourite books of 2014, even though I agree with you – Ari was a little irritating.

  3. I can totally see why some people wouldn’t like Ari and Dante as much just because it has a lack in plot but I’m so happy you loved it overall!

  4. Yippee, thanks for your mini reviews on these diverse books lovely! I was one of the people who absolutely LOVED Ari & dante and even though it wasn’t like 5 stars for you, glad to hear you still enjoyed it. And I Am J sounds so confusing, I mean is he a girl or a guy??

    • Chiara says:

      No problem!

      I loved Ari and Dante, and I must say that your review really inspired me to read it :D

      J is a transgender guy, which means he identifies as a male, even though the sex he was assigned at birth was female.

  5. I have heard nothing but amazing things about Aristotle and Dante and I’ve been wanting to read it for ages. Glad to hear you loved it, too! Now I really really need to pick it up…

  6. Amber says:

    What I loved about Ari and Dante is that while it’s character driven, there’s still quite a bit of action that happens in it.

    I’ve recently heard about If You Could Be Mine and never heard about I Am J (that I remember). I probably won’t be checking those ones out. Nice mini reviews. :)

  7. Mawa Mahima says:

    Haha, everyone is saying omg, you have to read Ari and Dante! lol
    All of these covers look beautiful and the mini-reviews are awesome! Thanks for this!

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