Love & Other Curses
The Weyward family has been haunted by a curse for generations—if a Weyward falls in love before their seventeenth birthday, the person they love dies. Sam doesn’t plan to fall for anyone in the nine weeks before his birthday. He’ll spend his time working at the Eezy-Freeze with his dad; cooking up some midsummer magic with his grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother (the Grands); and experimenting with drag with the help of the queens at the Shangri-La, the local gay club. But when a new guy comes to town, Sam finds himself in trouble when they strike up a friendship that might be way more than that.As Sam’s birthday approaches and he still hasn’t quite fallen in love, the curse seems to get more powerful and less specific about who it targets. A mysterious girl Sam talks to on the phone late at night and a woman he’s only seen in a dream might have the answers he’s been looking for—but time is running out to save the people he cares about.

Love & Other Curses Details

TitleLove & Other Curses
Author
ReleaseApr 9th, 2019
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062791221
Rating
GenreLGBT, Young Adult, Contemporary

Love & Other Curses Review

  • Hal Schrieve
    January 1, 1970
    Content warning: this review contains spoilers and references to NSFW content+suicidal characters. I am convinced that the spoilers and content is necessary for a complete review that will be useful to readers, librarians, and to the author.Sam is a gay boy in a small town in upstate New York, and his life–while fulfilling–is pretty full of secrets. At home, he avoids telling his three magic-practicing, pie-eating grandmothers that he spends much of his free time at the Shangri-La, his town’s on Content warning: this review contains spoilers and references to NSFW content+suicidal characters. I am convinced that the spoilers and content is necessary for a complete review that will be useful to readers, librarians, and to the author.Sam is a gay boy in a small town in upstate New York, and his life–while fulfilling–is pretty full of secrets. At home, he avoids telling his three magic-practicing, pie-eating grandmothers that he spends much of his free time at the Shangri-La, his town’s only gay bar. When he’s at the Shangri-La, meanwhile, hanging out with drag queens Lola, Farrah and Paloma and trying on his own drag personas, he has to conceal the curse that has haunted his family for generations: whenever a Weyward child falls in love before age seventeen, their beloved inevitably meets with disaster. The curse has stalked Sam’s great-great-grandmother, his great-grandmother, his grandmother, and his father–Sam’s mother has been missing since his birth, and Sam believes her to be dead. Sam has almost made it to age seventeen, but just when he thinks he is safe, a new boy, Tom, shows up for the summer, and Sam develops an unfortunate crush that he’s afraid will turn into something worse. Readers of Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, David Levithan and Mackenzi Lee will be interested in this realistic, magic-laced coming-of-age story about friendship, grief, family, and growing up.NOW.What this book doesn’t advertise on the jacket–but what is revealed in the first page after the introduction of Tom Swift, Sam’s love interest–is that Tom is a trans boy. As a gay trans man who came out in 2010, I can say with assurance that there has not been very much widely-consumed representation of trans men in fiction in the media I grew up with, and recent years have–despite much media coverage– not much changed that fact. When we appear, we tend to either be background characters or be exploited as a source of pathos and angst (Boys Don’t Cry, Cole on the Fosters in early seasons, Albert Nobbs, 3 Generations). Representations of transmasculine spectrum people also tend to still be written by cisgender people, resulting in portrayals that are focused heavily on transition narratives, pain, suicide attempts, and voyeurism. The best representation of a teenage trans boy (and one of the only gay trans boys in any popular art that I know of) is Max, the central character in Taylor Mac’s play Hir . Mac, who uses “judy” as a gender pronoun, is trans spectrum of some kind, so judy’s detail and emotionally visceral and authentic writing in Hir makes sense. When I first realized that the love interest in Love and Other Curses was trans, I was excited that for the first time there might be a fully developed trans gay boy love interest in a YA which could provide solace and hope to closeted or recently-out trans teens (plus reassurance and excitement to the boys and others who are into them). Unfortunately, at the end of the book, I came away disappointed.Before I talk about issues I have with Tom Swift’s characterization in Ford’s book, I want to name the things in Ford’s book that he does well.1. I LOVE the Practical Magic spin-off premise with a gay boy protagonist. If you could pick my subconscious for most-wanted YA novels, “17 year old weird drag queen with three generations of magic-practicing grandmas living in a rural house and working at an ice cream store and having conversations on the phone with strangers for fun” is pretty close to the top. In general I like the curse arc, and how it’s resolved.2. I LOVE the feeling that Sam’s scenes at the small-town gay bar Shangri La evoke in me. I grew up gay in a small town with one gay bar too, and I know what it feels like to need mentorship but to not be allowed into any of the spaces of revelry or solidarity that provide gay community. Unlike Sam, I had an LGBT youth group and a lot of punk friends who invited me to gay shows –and I had an annual drag show to look forward to, and a yearly Queer Rock Camp. But the loneliness was still real! I love the mentorship and love that Farrah, Paloma, and Lola provide to Sam, and I like the descriptions of Sam’s own explorations of drag. These scenes are homey and touching and affirm how good gay family can be.3. The scene where Sam dresses up as mysterious day-glo drag queen Kandy Korn for Pride is OUTSTANDING and captures really beautifully what it feels like to be in gay community and do drag and try on new faces. It reminds me somewhat of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s beautiful descriptions of club life, but it’s accessible and teen-focused and also feels like the scene in the Perks of Being A Wallflower movie where the characters are dancing to “Come On Eileen“. It’s an authentic image of queer youth, and the music references (MIKA, Scissors Sisters, Ariana Grande) are gleefully dead-on for small-town white gays.4. I really like the initial meeting between Sam and Tom and the scene on the river. It’s sweet and has a great captivating sense of summer and possibility.5. I like the fact that Tom is the first boy Sam has kissed and I like the frank sexuality of Ford’s books/the reference to the mutual jack-off session that is Sam’s only other point of comparison for sex. I believe Ford genuinely wants to write a good novel with good representation, and I think he’s competent at this in the extreme–when it comes to gay boys and drag spaces. He is also good at writing about family, grief, and the eternally relatable rural feeling of driving long distances on foggy country roads for small errands.That said, I think Ford’s trans representation could use work. I don’t believe he wants to be transphobic, but his laziness has resulted in transphobic tropes making their way into his book.The issues I have with Tom, the “Love” in Love and Other Curses, are as follows:1. Tom is obsessively focused on transition. This is the main issue I have with most trans representation written by cis people (for instance, the first season of Transparent). Cis authors seem to believe that trans people only think about our own bodies and our own identities, to the exclusion of everyone else in our lives. Tom’s obsessive focus on himself and his angry, disproportionately explosive outbursts at Sam when Sam makes predictable mistakes makes him an unlikeable, unsympathetic character who comes across as boorish, idiotic, and one-dimensional. This depiction communicates to readers that trans people are irrational, abusive narcissists, which can sometimes be true but generally isn’t.2. Tom has an unrealistic lack of trans community or quality medical information. It’s 2018. Tom wears Dr. Who binders (a dorky and yes, realistic touch–the Adventure Time shirt is also something that a real trans teen would definitely wear). But having access to that means he is plugged in to some kind of online trans community. Because of the Dr. Who obsession, I think Tom would probably be on Tumblr, which would expose him to reams of good and bad information on transition, gender politics, safety, and resources. If he wanted to he could reference lists of books and films related to trans content and seek out information on people like him. He would likely find Susan Stryker’s Transgender History, or The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by S. Bear Bergman or Morgan M. Page’s trans history podcast One From The Vaults. He could also access many comics and a lot of art by trans people featuring their ideas and ideologies. Tumblr is a weird mix of information resource and cesspool, and it’s true that there as many people trying to exploit teens as there are people providing good resources or sharing information. I think it’s reasonable that Tom would make bad decisions sometimes, including trusting people unnecessarily and having hypocritical ideas about gender (particularly transmisogynistic ones, like those he hurls at Sam after Sam tries to suck his dick). However it is ALMOST CERTAIN that Tom, like the thousands (millions) of trans kids around the world who are on the internet, would have read somewhere at some point that black market hormones are a bad idea. Spoilers: It is also almost certain that NO reasonable trans adult would sell black market hormones to a teenager. Most trans adults would instead try to direct a teenager toward an informed-consent medical provider which could legally and safely connect that teenager with consistent HRT or other services. There are Planned Parenthood resources in the Upper Hudson area, near where Tom and Sam live. In New York, Planned Parenthood provides HRT at a cost which, while steep to an uninsured teen, is not more than one would pay for online hormones. The experience of going to a doctor for the first time and explaining one’s needs around transition is one every closeted trans teenager will someday face. I don’t know ANYONE who buys their hormones online except during manufacturer shortages. Trans people also very rarely SELL hormones to other trans people, in my experience, particularly not closeted trans people in need. We’re a community and (not always, but usually) act like it. I can see an older trans man giving T to a trans kid while also referring them to a doctor, but not selling it to him.3. Tom’s dysphoria is one-dimensional and not representative of the complicated feelings trans people often have about our bodies. While some trans men, especially straight ones, have extreme dysphoria about their bodies, many of us do not, and feel comfortable sometimes or all the time with our genitalia and our chests and the rest of us. Even if we do have dysphoria, we likely still experience some level of sexual pleasure and arousal even before transition. While you aren’t obligated to show Tom as comfortable with himself, I think it’s realistic to show him as capable of joy and self-love. As a gay trans teenager, I only got on hormones at age 16, and had my first sexual experience after that, but I jerked off prior to getting on hormones and had lots of crushes, and I even occasionally thought of my body positively. There are lots of things online about trans men being hot these days, and plenty of online validation available to transgender teenagers that can help assuage the shame or disgust we feel with our own bodies. There’s also a large amount of porn of trans men where trans men love women and men joyfully (though fetish blogs tend to prefer videos where trans men get fucked by cis men, which I imagine would make Tom, who thinks of himself as straight and has a lot of dysphoria around his genitals, fairly uncomfortable). Even if some days we wake up and hate the way we look or feel, that isn’t necessarily something we would share with someone we just met.4. Warning: spoilers and NSFW: I am down with the scene of Sam sucking Tom off while Sam is in girl drag! It’s extremely corny, but it’s cute and plausible. What I’m not into is the discourse that happens immediately after where Tom yells at Sam for wearing drag and wanting to crossdress during sex. Tom would CERTAINLY know that Sam was having some kind of gender moment, and it’s only a truly despicable trans person that would react in such an extremely cruel way to someone’s gender experimentation, even if they were freaked out and in a sexual situation they were no longer sure about. There is bad drag discourse out there and trans mascs eat it up, but I think Tom would at least pause to ask if Sam felt like a girl–he HAS to realize that there is something complicated going on.5. Warning: Spoilers and suicide attempts/cutting: Tom’s subsequent freakout and cutting feels bad an voyeuristic and deeply upsetting to me as an adult. It would feel even worse to a gay trans teenager.I don’t know if you remember when gay men of all kinds were mainly shown dying, killing themselves, or wanting to die (Ray Bradbury’s “Tangerine” was one of my first encounters with gay representation). I don’t like it! I don’t think we need more of it. Discussing suicidal ideation is one thing; suicide attempts as plot points is something else.6. We get no sense of Tom and his summer girlfriend Anna-Lynne’s connection. This is unfair to both characters. I want to know why they get along and what she sees in him and what he sees in her! All we get is details about how it feels to kiss her, which dehumanizes her. I want to know what she likes, what she gives Tom and makes him feel, and what she wants. She also seems exceptionally chill with trans people, and I want to know how she sees herself in relation to Tom in the future.7. We get no sense of what Sam sees in Tom. All he ever does is talk about himself and his transition and angst. Sam’s a complex boy who likes a lot of music and has a lot of secrets and ideas about metaphysics–why would he be satisfied with that? The only thing left is physical attraction, which translates to voyeurism, and that feels really bad. I have had a LOT of cisgender men express attraction to me and my body for a range of reasons, but when they start waxing poetic about the novelty of my body, or the surprise of it, or whatever, I’m very frustrated and disgusted.8. It’s the Trump era, and trans people are political. Even an extremely out of touch trans person would want to talk about the fear the government inspires in us. Bathrooms and other public spaces are places people want to legislate us out of. Tom would know about this. So that’s my list. Basically: this book is not written for trans kids. It’s written for people who know we exist, think we can be hot, and might be interested in fucking us, but who generally see us as angst-vortexes in need of a pity hug, or as rage-machines irrationally lashing out at people who give us said pity hug.That’s no fun!I really hope that Ford thinks about these issues with his text. I hope he has time for revision before publication and that he will consult with more trans people about the content in his book. He may have already spoken to sensitivity readers, but I am here to say that the current text remains a problem for potential trans readers who are in the target age range for this book. As someone who was a teenager not long ago, this book would have distressed and frustrated me–it paints a picture of trans people totally hemmed in by our own pain and unable to relate effectively to others. While the main character obtains freedom, the trans character is stuck in tropes. What could be a really excellent, glittering LGBT YA is consequently made into a wet blanket of a book for me.
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  • Noa ☾
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*This was such a disappointment. The story in itself wasn't bad. I liked the plot, the characters seemed cool and diverse (drag, trans and gay rep) which was amazing. There were some elements that would've made me absolutely love this book which is why this is super bittersweet. This book had a real opportunity to win me over : it has magic, multidimensional characters, great rep that I had never seen before (it's my fault 100%). But tha *ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*This was such a disappointment. The story in itself wasn't bad. I liked the plot, the characters seemed cool and diverse (drag, trans and gay rep) which was amazing. There were some elements that would've made me absolutely love this book which is why this is super bittersweet. This book had a real opportunity to win me over : it has magic, multidimensional characters, great rep that I had never seen before (it's my fault 100%). But that's not how it turned out. The MC ruined the book for me. His behavior was so out-of-line and gross I could not get over it. If you want more details : (view spoiler)[ Sammy is gay and has a crush on Tom Swift, a trans boy who hides his testosterone hormones at Sammy's place. Sammy makes a move on Tom, gets rejected (Tom is straight) then GETS PISSED AT HIM (and basically asks himself why Tom couldn't "fake" it) AND THROWS HIS FUCKING TESTOSTERONE IN THE LAKE/RIVER/WHATEVER. Who even does that ? And then, Sammy justifies it to his friends who just seem to be okay with it ???? (hide spoiler)]We were never given answers to some question which pissed me off (view spoiler)[ What happened to Sam's mom ? Why did the communication with Persephone end so abruptly ? (hide spoiler)]The magic elements I thought were so interesting and I wanted to see more of it. Honestly, if it weren't for the actions of the MC, this book could've been a 3.5 or 4 stars. Brb being sad about this book. 💫Keep up with me on my blog! 💫
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  • Eliza Rapsodia
    January 1, 1970
    E-ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange of an honest reviewThis book caught my attention because of its title and cover and I started to read it without having much idea of what it was about, but I am so glad I did.The Weywards have lived under a curse for years: if a family member falls in love before the age of seventeen, the loved one dies. Sam Weyward lives in a small town in New York with his father, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. The Grands play cards, eat a l E-ARC provided by Edelweiss+ in exchange of an honest reviewThis book caught my attention because of its title and cover and I started to read it without having much idea of what it was about, but I am so glad I did.The Weywards have lived under a curse for years: if a family member falls in love before the age of seventeen, the loved one dies. Sam Weyward lives in a small town in New York with his father, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. The Grands play cards, eat a lot of pie and strongly believe in magic. Sam divides his time between working at the ice cream shop with his father and at night at the Shangri-La, the only gay bar in town. He just started experimenting with drag with the help of Lola, Farrah and Paloma, the queens of the bar. But Sam's summer changes when Tom arrives in town, a really handsome boy that he has an instant crush on. But there's the curse issue and what Sam must do to avoid it.Love and other curses is a novel that has several plots that are developed at the same time and they all meet with Sam: his crush on Tom, how to avoid the curse of his family, his friendship with the drag queens at the Shangri-La and the mystery of the person he is talking to on the phone, someone he calls "Linda". It seems complicated to follow but it is not, they all flow very well thought the whole novel.It's a story about growth and acceptance, since Sam is at a point in his life that he is defining what he wants to do with his life post-highschool and getting to know his drag personality. At the same time it is a story about family, since the Weyward family is quite atypical: Sam lives without his mother since she left him as a child and only left him a collection of longplays. He was raised by a father who did not marry again and three very special grandmothers. All of them have lost their loved ones therefore they believe that curse is still alive and will affect Sam in the future.Music is very important here and I loved it because just like Sam's father, I love classic rock and the music that Sam listens to because of his mother is really great too (I'll have to reread the book and write all the songs and records names). The whole issue about diversity is present in this book and I think is well represented (in my opinion). Sam is gay and his family accepts him, drag culture as an artistic manifestation that is part of the LGBTQ + community is present and it is really nice to see it. The novel shows that as people we make mistakes, and how we understand what we are, what we like and how we refer to others (I can not talk more because spoilers) but I think it shows the process we all go through.I loved the characters, they all have had moments to establish a relationship with Sam and are not just mere shadows in the background. The writing style is nice and engaging and I think it is quite easy to read. I think the whole matter of the curse and the magical realism that is present in the story gives it a special touch and you can truly believe it. I liked the ending as well.In conclusion, I really liked Love and other curses. I think it's a fun, entertaining novel that you can reread to experience again everything it has to offer. I loved the inclusion of music, magical realism and drag queens. Who doesn't love them?*******************RESEÑA EN ESPAÑOL Este es uno de esos libros que me llamó la atención por su título y su portada, y lo pedí para leerlo en Edelweiss pro esa razón, sin tener mucha idea de qué se trataba. Recuerdo que leí muy brevemente la sinopsis y me convenció de leerlo.La familia Weyward sufre de una maldición desde hace décadas: si un miembro de la familia se enamora antes de los diecisiete años, la persona amada muere. Sam Weyward vive en un pueblecito pequeño de Nueva York con su padre, su abuela, su bisabuela y su tatarabuela. Las abuelas juegan a las cartas, comen mucho pastel y creen firmemente en la magia.   Sam divide su tiempo entre trabajar en la tienda de helados con su padre y en las noches en Shangri-La, el unico bar gay del pueblo experimentando con el drag con ayuda de Lola, Farrah y Paloma, las queens que trabajan allí. Pero el verano de Sam cambia cuando Tom llega al pueblo, un chico muy guapo que llama su atención. Pero está presente el asunto de la maldición y lo que debe hacer para evitar que haga daño a sus series queridos.Love and other curses es una novela que tiene varias tramas que se van desarrollando a la par y se concentran en nuestro protagonista llamado Sam: su interés amoroso por Tom, como esquivar la maldición de su familia, su amistad con las drag queens del Shangri-La y el misterio de la persona con la que está hablando por teléfono, alguien a quien el llama "Linda". Parece complicado de seguir pero no lo es, y a que todas van fluyendo y la historia no se ve afectada por ello. Diría que esta novela es una historia de crecimiento y aceptación, ya que Sam está en un punto de su vida que está conociéndose más como persona, definiendo qué quiere hacer cuando empiece su último año de colegio y conociendo su personalidad drag. Al mismo tiempo es una historia sobre la familia, ya que la familia Weyward es bastante atípica: Sam vive sin su madre ya que lo abandonó cuando era niño y solo le dejó una colección de discos, así que fue criado por un padre que no se volvió a casar y tres abuelas muy especiales. T odos han perdido a sus parejas y por eso creen que maldición sigue viva y afectará a Sam en el futuro.La música en esta historia es muy importante y y es algo que me ha encantado y me ha llegado, ya que como el padre de Sam me encanta el rock clásico y la música que Sam escucha por su madre pienso escucharla en el futuro (tendré que releer el libro y escribir todos los títulos de discos y de canciones). Todo el asunto de la diversidad está presente en este libro y creo que en el libro está bien representado (desde mi opinión). Sam es gay y su familia lo acepta, el drag que es una manifestación artísitica que hace parte de la comunidad LGBTQ+ y realmente es bueno verlo en un libro juvenil. La novela muestra que como personas cometemos errores alrededor del asunto de la sexualidad y como entendemos lo que sentimos y como nos referimos a otros (no puedo ampliar por spoilers) pero creo que muestra de una buena forma como alguien va descubriendo su identidad. Los personajes me han encantado, todos han tenido momentos para establecer una relación con el protagonista y no han quedado como meras sombras correteadoras con nombre . La novela tienen una narración fluida y amena y creo que es bastante fácil de leer y engancharte con él. Creo que todo el asunto de la maldición y el realismo mágico que está presente en la historia le da un toque especial y puedes creerte todo lo que muestra. La novela tienen una resolución buena y creo que te deja bastante satisfecho. En conclusión, Love and other curses me ha gustado mucho. Creo que es una novela amena, entretenida y que puedes releer para volver a experimentarla. Me ha encantado la inclusión de la música, el realismo mágico y las drag queens ¿Quien no las ama? Cuanto se publique en inglés, corran a leerla.
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  • Anita Delp
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book! Written in a comfortable style with some familiar movements and themes, it is easy to read without thinking too hard about what is actually happening. However, if you really, really read it the colors are blindingly vivid! So many issues are touched on without digging too deeply. There is something to be learned by everyone who peeks between the covers. Sam's family knows he is gay. While they don't actively object, and they obviously love him and support him, they don't seem t I love this book! Written in a comfortable style with some familiar movements and themes, it is easy to read without thinking too hard about what is actually happening. However, if you really, really read it the colors are blindingly vivid! So many issues are touched on without digging too deeply. There is something to be learned by everyone who peeks between the covers. Sam's family knows he is gay. While they don't actively object, and they obviously love him and support him, they don't seem to really get him. He finds solace and community at the local gay bar where he finds an interest in drag. I like the way gender/pronouns are addressed. We learn along with Sam how deal with pronouns. Sam often forgets whether to use "he" or "she" when addressing some of the ladies in drag, but we are reminded along with him that a person's gender can be fluid, and that we should listen to the individual on the matter rather than making our own judgement. In contrast to Sam, Tom Swift comes to town for the summer, and we soon learn that Tom has a serious struggle to deal with. The author takes us by the hand and guides us in understanding that even though Tom was born with a girl's body, he identifies as a boy, and likes girls. This doesn't make him a homosexual girl, but a straight transboy. The trauma for Tom is that his parents not only do not support his identity, but they refuse to accept who he is and force him to be the girl they want him to be. We are left to imagine the pain that Tom must be suffering through and he endures the remaining years of his adolescence. We can only hope that he finds freedom once he escapes into adulthood. Music is a huge part of this book. I need a soundtrack. Lots of great classic songs are referenced as well as some amazing original lyrics. Wrongskin in particular got under my skin and I found myself searching for a tune to sing it to so I could keep it with me. There are so many rich characters in this book! I would love to know more about each and every one of them. There certainly needs to be a follow-up on Paloma and Farrah, as well as a back story on Lola. These are the drag queens who took Sam under their wings. I'm sure there is an entire book to be written on the lives of Sam's parents, grand parents and great-grand parents. I need to know more about Linda, the ghost Sam accidentally calls on the phone and Linda's mother who Sam first encounters in a dream. I don't know if I can go on living if I don't know what happens to Tom after he leaves town at the end of summer to go to his new school. And Millard Fillmore just needs to come home with me. That's all.Just trust me, you need to read it.
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  • Danielle Chambers
    January 1, 1970
    3.5This is less of a love story and more of a finding yourself story. I was drawn into this book because it's description vaguely reminded me of The Raven Cycle with the love curse. I was surprised to actually see TRC mentioned in the book. This book wasn't what I was expecting, but it wasn't bad. I enjoyed the story. I liked it more at the end than I did throughout. I was kind of worried about where it was headed with the potential love interest for a while. Their relationship didn't seem exact 3.5This is less of a love story and more of a finding yourself story. I was drawn into this book because it's description vaguely reminded me of The Raven Cycle with the love curse. I was surprised to actually see TRC mentioned in the book. This book wasn't what I was expecting, but it wasn't bad. I enjoyed the story. I liked it more at the end than I did throughout. I was kind of worried about where it was headed with the potential love interest for a while. Their relationship didn't seem exactly healthy.I'm still working my feelings out completely on the book, but I would say I did enjoy it and it was worth the read,
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  • Malanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review This book is very hard for me to review, because the relationship between Tom and Sammy was SO UNHEALTHY. The plot made me sad, and never felt resolved. There's amazing rep ((which we need more of in YA lit!!)):*MC, Sammy, is a gay cisgender boy + does drag*love interest, Tom, is a straight transboyAnd I assumed, okay, so the "love" mentioned in the title must be platonic and there's going to be a strong friendship.Because romance/sex w ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review This book is very hard for me to review, because the relationship between Tom and Sammy was SO UNHEALTHY. The plot made me sad, and never felt resolved. There's amazing rep ((which we need more of in YA lit!!)):*MC, Sammy, is a gay cisgender boy + does drag*love interest, Tom, is a straight transboyAnd I assumed, okay, so the "love" mentioned in the title must be platonic and there's going to be a strong friendship.Because romance/sex won't work for them. Tom repeatedly vocalizes and shows that he's comfortable being straight. He sets very clear boundaries and looks to Sammy for support as his friend as he deals with his sh*tty family who don't support his gender identity. But Sammy wants Tom to be gay and their relationship basically becomes bullying. Other characters are told about Sammy's advances and his reactions when Tom resists. And everyone acts like it's not really a big deal?????? AND I WAS LIKE. WHAT THE HELL? NO. I TRULY MEAN, WHAT THE HELL? There were sweet elements to this book, like Sammy's relationship with his dad. His dad was the coolest dad ever and deserves medals for being kind and tolerant. But this was overshadowed because Sammy and Tom had such an unhealthy relationship.Trigger warnings:self-harmbullyingtransphobia
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    There's a lot about this book I enjoyed, especially the main character's family - both biological and found - and I read the whole thing on a flight, which definitely says a lot for its readability. But it definitely comes with a warning that it's a hotbed of misgendering (pretty much always checked on the page, but also at a point you're just like "What the fuck" because it feels like the MC is completely unwilling to commit shit that really matters to the people he loves to memory) and deadnam There's a lot about this book I enjoyed, especially the main character's family - both biological and found - and I read the whole thing on a flight, which definitely says a lot for its readability. But it definitely comes with a warning that it's a hotbed of misgendering (pretty much always checked on the page, but also at a point you're just like "What the fuck" because it feels like the MC is completely unwilling to commit shit that really matters to the people he loves to memory) and deadnaming. I think it's an honest and realistic perspective of a cis gay kid who's struggling to understand both what being trans is like for someone and his attraction to someone who is, but it sort of uses that to help him find his way in the drag world and turns the trans character into a tool for his own self-discovery, all while making him forgive shit he definitely would not in real life. I think a good sign of how you feel about this book will probably be how you felt about Looking for Group by Rory Harrison, but I would be much less likely to give this one to trans readers. (In that I...would not, under any circumstances.)cw (in addition to deadnaming and misgendering): (view spoiler)[self-harm (hide spoiler)]
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  • Tasya Dita
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-arc of this book from Edelweiss plus in exchange for an honest reviewWhile Love & Other Curses has so many fun things going on with the sassy grandmas and drag queens all around, this book doesn’t shy around from heavy topics such as death, gender and sexuality, as well as being trans and having a drag self. I can’t say how accurate this book is in terms of representation, but I feel like this book gives me some insight and more understanding on the issue. Through this discus I received an e-arc of this book from Edelweiss plus in exchange for an honest reviewWhile Love & Other Curses has so many fun things going on with the sassy grandmas and drag queens all around, this book doesn’t shy around from heavy topics such as death, gender and sexuality, as well as being trans and having a drag self. I can’t say how accurate this book is in terms of representation, but I feel like this book gives me some insight and more understanding on the issue. Through this discussion, we explore the issue as Sam learns it and eventually, it becomes more of a book about finding and accepting yourself, as well as others. This book also has their bit of magic here and there, from the Weyward curse, the Grands quirky magic, to other coincidences. It’s definitely a summer full of magic for Sam, both real and not real, and I definitely try to read more from the author!Full review is posted on THE LITERARY HUNTRESS
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  • Jenni Frencham
    January 1, 1970
    Ford, Michael Thomas. Love & Other Curses. HarperCollins, 2019.Sam's family is under a curse. Every person in his family who falls in love before the age of 17 sees their loved one die. This has happened as far back as anyone in the family can remember. So of course Sam is trying to do everything to stay away from romance for at least a few more weeks. This shouldn't be a problem for the openly gay teen in a small coastal tourist town, until Tom comes into town. And with Tom comes a boatload Ford, Michael Thomas. Love & Other Curses. HarperCollins, 2019.Sam's family is under a curse. Every person in his family who falls in love before the age of 17 sees their loved one die. This has happened as far back as anyone in the family can remember. So of course Sam is trying to do everything to stay away from romance for at least a few more weeks. This shouldn't be a problem for the openly gay teen in a small coastal tourist town, until Tom comes into town. And with Tom comes a boatload of trouble for Sam.There's a lot to unpack in this story. There is the idea of a generational curse, similar to that in Louis Sachar's Holes, along with Sam's family's belief in the supernatural. Additionally, Sam has been sneaking out to spend time at a gay bar (which he isn't legally old enough to do), and while there he spends most of his time backstage assisting the drag queens. On top of all of that, Sam finds out that Tom is transgender and Tom's family is not supportive, deadnaming him and using female pronouns in reference to him. Furthermore, Tom is straight, so even though Sam is attracted to him, it isn't reciprocated. The overall story arc is interesting enough. Sam's supportive family is a wonderful relief to read about in contrast to Tom's family. The issues Tom has with his family - wearing makeup and feminine clothing around them and hearing them say that obviously he would like those things now that he's tried them, them making references to his need to grow his hair out and allowing him to spend time with Sam under the guise that they are dating - ring true as I am married to a transgender man and witnessed these very types of things when we were dating. Sam's inability to use consistent pronouns with the drag queens is irritating beyond belief, especially once he is informed that female pronouns are always okay, but male pronouns are only okay when a queen is out of drag. That, combined, with Sam's consistent use of male pronouns for Tom make things weird when he's around the queens and changes pronouns mid-thought or mid-sentence. This is one of those sad books about transgender teens who don't get support at home, and Tom does not get his happily ever after ending, and indeed falls prey to the "transgender person must harm themselves or be attacked or something" plot line that is so overused. Apart from these flaws, the story is a good one. Recommended for: teensRed Flags: misgendering and deadnaming of Tom and the drag queens, drug use and alcohol use, Tom and Sam fight and through homophobic and transphobic slurs at each other.Overall Rating: 4/5 starsRead-Alikes: Holes, Drag Teen, What If It's UsI received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.
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  • Diverse Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Resources:• An early review outlines how the protagonist misuses pronouns for drag queens, even after being informed, and how a transgender character is deadnamed and misgendered by their transmisic parents.
  • Andy Winder
    January 1, 1970
    This book! Features an unrequited crush! Between a gay cis man and a straight trans man! Can you tell how excited I am for this?? Even though it's not quite romance, it's still important representation. I'm still waiting for the day the YA romance between a cis and trans guy will come out like my teenage self always wanted but baby steps. Love & Other Curses also discusses drag culture and the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.This is something I mentioned earlier, bu This book! Features an unrequited crush! Between a gay cis man and a straight trans man! Can you tell how excited I am for this?? Even though it's not quite romance, it's still important representation. I'm still waiting for the day the YA romance between a cis and trans guy will come out like my teenage self always wanted but baby steps. Love & Other Curses also discusses drag culture and the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.This is something I mentioned earlier, but I appreciated the trans representation in this book! AFAB guys especially don't get much attention in gay romance books. I can think of a lot of YA fiction I've read where the trans guy expresses unrequited love but never one where he (or any other trans character, for that matter) is on the receiving end of it. It might not seem like much and maybe I'm just over-analyzing things, but this felt like a big step towards normalizing attraction between cis and trans characters. And while Sam experiments with crossdressing and dives deep into the drag scene, he does so while remaining respectful of trans characters and noting a difference between the two– all simple but important things that really drive the novel's nuance in portraying queer culture.The writing style also felt natural and conversational, like reading someone's journal entry recollecting a summer that they're still reeling from. Plus, the heavy musical themes almost give this book a built-in soundtrack, which was both fun and gave it a strong sense of presence.Out of all the new YA books releasing next year, should you read Love & Other Curses? Well, let me ask you the following questions:–Do you like your queer romance novels with unexpected twists and unrequited love and/or sudden death?–Are you excited about the aesthetic of family curses, drag nights at local LGBTQ bars, and mischievous magic?–Do you regularly say the phrase, "I wish YA authors were writing trans characters with more complexity"?If the answer to any or all of the above is a resounding "yes," this might just be one of your most anticipated YA books for 2019!Note: I was provided an ARC in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    Different and daring, but only to a point.I've rounded it down to 3, but it's more like a 3+.Sam has been helping at the local gay club while he still hasn't found his drag self. When summer comes, it also brings Tom Swift, a trans boy who still couldn't fully transition, since his family doesn't support him. Even though Tom is straight, that doesn't stop Sam from developing a crush, and things only get messier because of a decades-old curse afflicting his superstitious family. According to it, Different and daring, but only to a point.I've rounded it down to 3, but it's more like a 3+.Sam has been helping at the local gay club while he still hasn't found his drag self. When summer comes, it also brings Tom Swift, a trans boy who still couldn't fully transition, since his family doesn't support him. Even though Tom is straight, that doesn't stop Sam from developing a crush, and things only get messier because of a decades-old curse afflicting his superstitious family. According to it, a Weyward who survives their 17th birthday will lose the one they love.As you can see, the book mixes various things but for most of it it was very interesting. The style is refreshing and the situation is definitely different for me, without being too much. And we have to give it to the Weywards, they're such a fun family to read about I'd love to have more stories with them. Above all, reading about transsexuals, drag queens, and not simply about coming out is a novelty when it comes YA, especially since this is no indies publisher.But the story loses itself at some point. It drags a little too, but I think the problem is how it feels like the plot went all over the place.It's not that I wanted more about Tom Swift, he was probably the most normal part of the story, though the two boys' relationship was also the best part. But the talks over the phone were random from the beginning and yet they ended up the focus by the end.Despite the gradual decline, this was a great experience. I'm a little iffy about reccing it to people outside the usual target reader but it was a pleasure to read the story nonetheless. If you're curious about YA LGBT reads, it's not everyday you'll find one not revolving around coming out.Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really interesting read - the representation was incredible, but I will say it was a bit transphobic, with Sam using incorrect pronouns numerous times which I could understand if he learned his lesson the first time, but it’s something he continued to do, which was disappointing. I hope this maybe gets fixed before the book comes out next year.The magical aspect I loved, I loved Sam most of the time, but he could be fairly vicious and there was a particular exchange with Tom that left This was a really interesting read - the representation was incredible, but I will say it was a bit transphobic, with Sam using incorrect pronouns numerous times which I could understand if he learned his lesson the first time, but it’s something he continued to do, which was disappointing. I hope this maybe gets fixed before the book comes out next year.The magical aspect I loved, I loved Sam most of the time, but he could be fairly vicious and there was a particular exchange with Tom that left me reeling - they both were vicious. I loved Sam’s dad, the Grands, Millard Fillmore, so there was a lot to like about this book but the transphobia lets it down so much.
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  • Courtney Smith
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/ 5-I had this book on my radar for a few months and was SO excited to see it on the shelf! While the main plot line involving the Wayward curse and Sam was very well executed, I'm sad to say that Tom Swift's character was disappointing. It's fabulous to see a trans character as the main romance (woo representation!) but when you throw every kind of stereotype about trans folk into one character, it just feels bad and disingenuous. Its 2019, angsty and sad tropes about LGBTQ people need to st 3.5/ 5-I had this book on my radar for a few months and was SO excited to see it on the shelf! While the main plot line involving the Wayward curse and Sam was very well executed, I'm sad to say that Tom Swift's character was disappointing. It's fabulous to see a trans character as the main romance (woo representation!) but when you throw every kind of stereotype about trans folk into one character, it just feels bad and disingenuous. Its 2019, angsty and sad tropes about LGBTQ people need to stop. While discussing this book with a fellow coworker, they mentioned there's a test similar to the Bechdel test called the Russo test: Does the media have a LGBTQ character? Are they defined by their gender/sexuality and nothing more? Is the character connected to the plot so much so that to remove them would have a significant effect on the story? When considering this, the book gets 2/3 on the test. Tom Swifts character is extremely focused on his gender, genitalia, and transitioning to the point were we know almost nothing else about him, other than he likes nerdy stuff due to his clothing choices. He is not the only queer character, Sam the MC is gay and his character is not defined by his sexuality, so Ford gets one point there. But I feel (and I hate to say it) that Tom Swifts character could have easily been replaced with another straight boy and the story wouldn't suffer because of it. I really wanted Tom Swift to have more substance to him, he's the main love interest! But all I know is that he's trans, likes doctor who, (tw for spoilers) (view spoiler)[ has a very transphobic family who doesn't support him, and self harms as a way to deal. (hide spoiler)] This last bit is so unnecessary, its almost a throwaway plot line and is SO not needed or at least could have been dealt with much better. If you want to have a small plot line about mental health, dedicate more than one page to it, otherwise it looks like you're using mental illness for dramatic effect, which feels really gross. Not to mention Tom's summer fling, a girl named Anna-Lynn, is nothing more than a plot point. We don't get any info about her other than how Tom feels while kissing her. With that out of the way, I genuinely, truly loved the main story arc around Sam and his family's curse. Its fascinating, his family dynamic is so fun and wholesome, and how he grows into himself and finds his drag persona? FABULOUS! I wish the rest of the book had the same feel to it as the main plot line, it would have made it a 5/5 for me rather than 3.5/5. Sam's been living under the threat of this curse his entire life, and trying to figure who he is as a person. He has a fabulous group of drag queens to support him in his sexuality and gender who really lift him up and are there for him through everything. He's out to his dad, though he doesn't know about Sam doing drag, and his grandmothers are all supportive of him. Speaking of grandmothers, THEY ARE SO QUIRKY AND FUN! Modern witches who believe in magic and curses and can predict things like how bingo is going to go by how many ants are in the sugar bowl in the morning. The supernatural of his family bleed into Sams own life in interesting ways, through midsummer dreams and through the interactions with strangers on the phone. The phone call subplot is honestly one of my favourite things about this book, how the caller helps Sam talk through his drama with Tom Swift and how they help him to sort out his feelings around his mother and sense of self. The sense of belonging Sam finds with the other drag queens at the local gay bar is uplifting and encouraging, I love seeing a gay character have a wholesome support network like this while also celebrating queer love and culture. All in all, this book was an interesting read. I went in skeptical due to a review on here and while I will say I'm disappointed about how Ford handled Tom Swifts character, the positives of Sam and the main story still made this an enjoyable book for me. Will I recommend it to everyone? No, but I do now that there is a good group of YA readers who will really love this book. The same reviewer I mentioned before said it perfectly I think: this is a book about a gay and trans person, written for cis-people. The parts that are enjoyable are really, really enjoyable, but parts are yikes are really YIKES, so go in with some caution. Trigger/content warnings: transphobia, misgendering, outing of a character, self harm, drug/ alcohol use, discussions of death and loss, discussions of overdosing (very brief), and an instance of homophobic slurs.
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  • OneMamaReads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars****Sam Weyward lives in a small "summer" town with his three Grands (grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother) and his father. They all live with a curse, placed on the family by a broken hearted best friend, which entails each generation to have to make it to their seventeenth birthday without falling in love (or risk the person they do fall in love with dying a horrible death). Sam is turning seventeen at the end of the summer, he's almost made it past the curse, b 4.5 Stars****Sam Weyward lives in a small "summer" town with his three Grands (grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother) and his father. They all live with a curse, placed on the family by a broken hearted best friend, which entails each generation to have to make it to their seventeenth birthday without falling in love (or risk the person they do fall in love with dying a horrible death). Sam is turning seventeen at the end of the summer, he's almost made it past the curse, but then Tom Swift walks into his life and his summer goes from idyllic to problematic in a matter of minutes.This book was deep and taught me a lot about a world I am unfamiliar with, but slowly trying to educate myself about. This was a no holds barred look at what it means to be gay, transgender and labelled "other." There are moments of comfort, of love, of understanding and acceptance, but there are also moments of shock, of pain, of heartbreak and lack of understanding. Sam asks all the questions we have all faced about identity. He knows who he is, but is constantly surprised by how little he knows about other members of the LGBTQ community. As he educates himself, the reader also learns about gender, sex and who we are as individuals versus who society wants us to be or the mold that many want us to conform ourselves to. There were quite a few moments where I cringed; but then I realized that this was how teenagers learn, how they develop, how they become better than the generations before them. I can only hope I opened my own mind enough. This book was full of funny moments, sad moments and endearing moments. There were poems, lyrics, and notes throughout the book. I loved that Sam connected to his mother through their shared love of music, her albums being the background to the story. Switching from one meaningful moment to another, with handwriting on liners, or on notes shoved into the album, by Sam's missing mother Ilona. Through these notes we get a sense of how Sam sees himself or how he hopes to remember his mother through her deep thoughts about what certain songs mean or what artists meant by their albums, music, lyrics. As well, music comes into play with his father, as their tether to each other. His father also conveys his emotions through the music he is listening to. Sam and Linda, a random phone prank call he makes one night who he finds himself becoming deeply connected to, also talk about the songs she is writing.Sam is a great character because he can be both sympathetic and unsympathetic. Half the time I found myself angry with him, but completely understanding his position, his rage, his hurt, his confusion. This is a book about growing up, accepting yourself and accepting others, even if it means putting your own feelings and pain aside to make way for their emotions.The Grands were fantastic, sprinkling the story with their good magic. They were Sam's heart, projecting their fears, their love, their caring onto him. I also like that each of the Weyward's show a different form of connection to magic, whether it be card reading, reading signs, or casting magic. Sam's ability is a doozy and I especially loved this part of the narrative, and any part that dealt in both the everyday magic of life and the supernatural magic that surrounds this family.Sam also lives a separate life from his family, at the gay bar the Shangri-La, with three drag queens. There is Lola, the owner, and Farrah and Paloma, the other drag performers. These three Queens have taken Sam in and have become a second family to him. They are his escape from the curse, they help to bring out another side. A side of Sam that is more carefree, happier, free to be himself. I loved all three of these Queens and their stories. I also like that they are not afraid to correct Sam with his gender pronouns and tell him when he is being a little s**t. These moments were genuine, funny and really brought out the good in Sam.The Weyward curse is more about the power a curse can hold over a person, or a family, and less about the curse itself. Maybe there is no curse and it is simply coincidence. Or maybe the family has given what was simply a spout of angry words the power to destroy those they love. Maybe it was all just guilt eating away at a friend, which turned what were some harsh words into a lifetime of sorrow. What is a curse anyway? Just something we cling to and blame when bad things happen that make no sense.I was sent a copy of this ARC by HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jill Jemmett
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so much fun to read. It was fast paced so I read it in two sittings. I read most of it in just a couple of hours. The ending of the first few chapters gave hints of what was to come, but kept me guessing. It was difficult to find a good place to stop reading!The story reminded me so much of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved that there was even a reference to the series near the end of the book. In that series, Blue’s family is also cursed. Blue is told that if she sees This book was so much fun to read. It was fast paced so I read it in two sittings. I read most of it in just a couple of hours. The ending of the first few chapters gave hints of what was to come, but kept me guessing. It was difficult to find a good place to stop reading!The story reminded me so much of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved that there was even a reference to the series near the end of the book. In that series, Blue’s family is also cursed. Blue is told that if she sees a ghost it’s either because she is his true love, or she will kill him. Sam has a similar situation in this story. He is told that if he falls in love before his seventeenth birthday, that person will leave him forever. It’s not easy to prevent yourself from falling in love, so that’s a problem for Sam.There were so many layers to the story. I loved the diverse representation. Sam is gay and his new friend, Tom Swift, is trans. Tom’s family doesn’t accept him, so they continuously refer to him as “Jennifer” because that is the name they gave him. It was so heartbreaking to read about that. They were cruel to him, forcing him to dress as a girl and wear makeup. There was also some representation of older people in the story. Sam’s grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother live with him. They keep his family history alive with magic. He is friends with some older drag queens as well, which added some entertainment to the story. One of those men was in a similar situation to his friend Tom, in terms of his family not accepting him. It shows how the same themes keep returning throughout different generations.I loved this story! It’s going to be a great summer read!I received a copy of this book from Indigo in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    This book probably has two or three two many things going on for it, but it made my heart SING. It's a smart and open look at what life for a gay kid can be these days. Sam is still questioning what his particular version of gayness is, and where he fits in the world. His grandmothers are like the witches from Hocus Pocus, so delightfully nutty and adorable. The friendship Sam creates with Tom is handled with a deftness I haven't seen in many books, much less a YA one, and I enjoy that Tom is a This book probably has two or three two many things going on for it, but it made my heart SING. It's a smart and open look at what life for a gay kid can be these days. Sam is still questioning what his particular version of gayness is, and where he fits in the world. His grandmothers are like the witches from Hocus Pocus, so delightfully nutty and adorable. The friendship Sam creates with Tom is handled with a deftness I haven't seen in many books, much less a YA one, and I enjoy that Tom is a tough character to love even though you sympathize completely with what he's going through in his own struggle to get his parents to accept his identity. And the found family he finds with the drag queens at the local gay bar is so sweet and generous. That Sam doesn't really need more family isn't the point - it's that he finds people he belongs with and his relationship with those queens, especially Lola, made me cry. I'm still musing over the phone calls with "Linda" and how that whole plot line, though important to Sam's growth, fits in with everything else going on at home. I enjoyed that outlet for him; I don't know that it was folded in as well as I would like.But let's be honest: I'm here for Sam and his dad. What an incredible father-son relationship. The scene about two thirds of the way through when his father finds him in a bad way in his bedroom after a disastrous night will stick with me for a while. What a gorgeous and real and aspirational relationship. (Though the fact that his dad is at least four years younger than me is really hard to get my head around - I don't know that I could be that good of a parent, especially to a kid Sam's age, when I was that young.)
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  • Colline Vinay Kook-Chun
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading this light-hearted story that centres on a young man who learns about himself through his relationship with others. Not only does he comes to realises who he is, he also discovers what his drag persona is to be. The brief entry that this story gives into the world of the drag queen is a fun and enjoyable one (so much so, that I wished we saw more of this world). Sam learns what is important is his own life as well as realises who plays an important part in his life.This contemp I enjoyed reading this light-hearted story that centres on a young man who learns about himself through his relationship with others. Not only does he comes to realises who he is, he also discovers what his drag persona is to be. The brief entry that this story gives into the world of the drag queen is a fun and enjoyable one (so much so, that I wished we saw more of this world). Sam learns what is important is his own life as well as realises who plays an important part in his life.This contemporary young adult read is a perfect story for young teens as they will read about a character who experiences the difficulties of knowing oneself. The young reader will also explore the different aspects of the relationships we have in our lives. Ford’s story also shows the importance of family and how they can support you – even when you are unaware of it. This novel is a beautifully written story that can be enjoyed by adults and teens alike.
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  • Charlotte Kinzie
    January 1, 1970
    This was funny, heart warming, mysterious and sad. The story flows beautifully and drew me in from the very first page. I loved the characters ... all of them. What a remarkable job this author did to have such a cast in one story and yet still make me want to know them all.I know that this book isn’t everyone’s experience of being trans ... but I KNOW some of these stories. I have friends who have lived some of them, friends who have made mistakes, friends who have said and done things they reg This was funny, heart warming, mysterious and sad. The story flows beautifully and drew me in from the very first page. I loved the characters ... all of them. What a remarkable job this author did to have such a cast in one story and yet still make me want to know them all.I know that this book isn’t everyone’s experience of being trans ... but I KNOW some of these stories. I have friends who have lived some of them, friends who have made mistakes, friends who have said and done things they regret. This is a beautiful book.
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  • Virginia
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not sure how to rate this book tbh. For me, what I Wanted was something lighter than what I got, and if all books could come with an ‘unrequited’ tag next to the romance that would be great, bc I pretty much never want to read an honest look at terrible teens navigating Feelings without that endgame payout. That being said, it had a great soundtrack, which counts for a lot for me (but I’d prefer not to depress myself for the playlist).
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    [@hccfrenzy sent me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!]-Love & Other Curses is magical, queer, heartfelt and hopeful. Ford managed to explore sexuality and pronouns and what it means to be family in a very open and real way. There is room for mistakes and growth in every situation. Though there is conflicts and sadness in this book, it ended on a satisfying and hopeful note. -4/5 stars!Love & Other Curses is available 04/09/19.
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  • Ashley Redhead
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC and wasn’t sure what to expect so I was excited. I had a hard time connecting with the MC Sam Weyward. I feel like his character was selfish at many points in the book and didn’t like how he went about things. He had met Tom Swift and I didnt like the way he treated him. I get that people get mad at each other but I feel as if he could’ve done things differently. I really enjoyed the magic parts and wish they had more in it. I also really enjoyed reading a book that had drag I received this ARC and wasn’t sure what to expect so I was excited. I had a hard time connecting with the MC Sam Weyward. I feel like his character was selfish at many points in the book and didn’t like how he went about things. He had met Tom Swift and I didnt like the way he treated him. I get that people get mad at each other but I feel as if he could’ve done things differently. I really enjoyed the magic parts and wish they had more in it. I also really enjoyed reading a book that had drag and included the LGBT in it
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  • Sassafras Lowrey
    January 1, 1970
    This is going to be one of my favorite books of 2019. The characters are fantastic, Ford has written about small town queerness, multi-generational queer frienships and family formation in ways I've almost never seen written about and in ways I'm pretty sure I've never seen in YA. This book tackles queerness, gender, attraction, family and identity in really powerful ways.
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  • Carina
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the whole curse plot, but the book didn’t really feel resolved at the end. The whole ghost Linda storyline was pretty weak. However, I liked the representation of different characters, and thought everything was really well written.
  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book. There was a lot to it, with many important relationships in Sam's life. There were plenty of plot twists, mistakes, and interesting revelations along the way to keep the pages turning. I am a fan of Michael Thomas Ford, and this one was very riveting.
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  • Lia
    January 1, 1970
    I liked some parts of this, like the plotlines with the drag queens, Linda, and the magic. The ending was nice, and I liked Hatch. The whole thing with Tom Swift was not done well at all. I wish there was more about the Grands, and Sam finding his own identity.
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  • Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
    January 1, 1970
    Not gonna lie, I skimmed the last half of this novel. This book as a whole wasn't bad, I actually enjoyed a lot of it, but the middle was pretty slow and cliche. Solid three stars.
  • Alyssa Cohen
    January 1, 1970
    This was cute, but just OK IMO. Full review coming soon!
  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    Happy book birthday to Love & Other Curses, and thank you to HarperCollins Canada for the advance copy!I’ve been trying to think of a good way to describe this story, and I think I’m going to go with: Jeff Zentner writes Practical Magic. In case you didn’t know, I love both those things! So obviously, I really enjoyed this book.The blurb on the back cover sounds rather lighthearted, but the story itself is a bit more heavy and serious. It mentions romance, but it’s not really about Sam falli Happy book birthday to Love & Other Curses, and thank you to HarperCollins Canada for the advance copy!I’ve been trying to think of a good way to describe this story, and I think I’m going to go with: Jeff Zentner writes Practical Magic. In case you didn’t know, I love both those things! So obviously, I really enjoyed this book.The blurb on the back cover sounds rather lighthearted, but the story itself is a bit more heavy and serious. It mentions romance, but it’s not really about Sam falling in love - it’s more about this 16yo guy trying to figure out who he is growing up to be. There’s a bit of magic and a supernatural twist that adds a great dimension to the story. And I totally did not see that twist coming!The only bit I felt could use a little help, was the character Tom. He’s supposed to be the romantic interest, but is dull/more 2D than he should have been. The character is completely defined by being trans, with nothing else added to his personality. I felt a bit shortchanged by the portrayal - he really could have been a fantastic character. All of the other characters felt wonderfully quirky and real. The Grands were amazing, and I just wanted to give all the drag queens big hugs! Overall, it’s a very solid story and I would definitely recommend it.
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