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And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Winners:



1) You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90's Coming of Age
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 28, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1540699188
ISBN-13: 978-1540699183
Amazon: You are not me ('90s Coming of Age series #2) Leta Blake

1) This was a touching coming of age story that had me crying more than I expected. Peter was a compelling and endearing protagonist, his lack of confidence, his conflicting feelings, and his attempts at figuring out his future while unable to let go of his past making him beautifully flawed and leaving room for him to grow throughout this books. You are not me felt as much a story about blending new and old in terms of friendship and accepting who one is as it was the story of a boy dealing with a toxic, lies-infested love. The supporting characters were an interesting and diverse cast of ages and interests and worked well in highlighting different aspects of Peter’s life.
2) I adored this book. Coming of age stories sometimes make me nervous. And any book with HIV/AIDS in the the storyline must be handled with utmost care. Leta Blake did a beautiful job with these characters. The story is told through Peter who is newly out and is just beginning to embrace his sexuality. The reader is very in tune with his fear, uncertainty and hope. I rooted for him in spite of his inability to see what his friends did because his journey struck me as very honest. I look forward to reading more installments in this series.
3) I did not read the first installment in this series, though this book covered enough for me to follow along and not get lost wondering what happened in book one. Wow. Really, Wow. Leta Blake did an awesome job of painting life for Peter, who reaches, grows, explores, makes decisions in real-life: sticky, messy, complicated. This book had me cheering and jeering in turn--cheering for Peter and Daniel, and jeering at Adam. I enjoyed reading Peter's continued journey on how to be an out gay man, the warm and robust secondary characters, and the growing pains of real life.

2) Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) Leta Blake
Bisexual - Young Adult
Series: '90s Coming of Age
Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1537740040
ISBN-13: 978-1537740041
Amazon: Pictures of you ('90s Coming of Age series #1) Leta Blake

1) This is the best book I have read in any coming of age genre.  I could feel and believe that I was Peter in the story.  His love/hate relationship with Adam and all the secrecy needed to hide the fact that they were gay in a time when this wasn't allowed, tore him apart.  I can't wait to read the rest of the 4 book series so I can see what happens to Peter.
2) A well-written, believable, New-Adult coming-of-age story, that begins a promising series. Eighteen-year-old Peter Mandel is a very sympathetic character, with flaws that are both frustrating and painfully real. He's struggling to move on from the friendless, bullied kid he's been in public high school. With a change of schools, he meets a new classmate - charismatic, bisexual Adam. But in 1991, being out as gay is far from safe, and so Peter's joy in a first relationship is tempered by becoming Adam's dirty secret. Adam offers protests of forever love in secret, and a casual friendship in public. The result is a moving, infuriating, realistic tale of a young man trying to navigate the difficult waters of his own needs, his boyfriend's fears, his family's prejudices, and the risks from bullies and homophobic adults. The book's ending is open, more of a new beginning, and I look forward to reading the next installment.
3) Amazing book. I regret having to read it before the other parts are out, waiting is torture for me. Great flow, terrific writing style and yeah this book is all about character development. Not my usual read but it doesnt matter what one's usual read is, anybody can find something to resonate with in its pages. Only reason I substracted a point is because I sometimes wanted a faster plot development but to be fair it isnt about what's happening in particular, it's a book about people and how they feel and react, how they grow from simply living life with all that it entails. This book is brutal on the reader' s heart and I would hate it for how it can hurt if I didnt love it so much. Great job! Great book! Highly recommended. I'm tempted to give it a perfect score.

3) G. Benson Pieces
Bisexual - Young Adult
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Ylva Publishing; 1 edition (May 16, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955338053
ISBN-13: 978-3955338053
Amazon: G. Benson Pieces

1) An intense look at two very different teenage lives. Ollie, who lives comfortably with her parents and has a tightknit group of friends.  And Carmen, whose addict mother abandons her and her younger brother for weeks at a time leaving her to be the responsible parent when she's not either placed in a foster home or running away to live on the street.  The two come together during a brief time when Carmen goes back to school.  Their attraction is immediate and persistent.  The need they have for one another is palpable.  The writing for the most part is strong and detailed, getting us inside each of the two main characters.  Though a bit drawn out toward the end, and in parts over-written, the book is overall one of the best lesbian YA romances published dealing with real life issues at the same time that it explores first love amid difficult situations.
2) I have to just flat out say that I loved this book. The pacing is so good and the writing is solid, strong metaphor, strong imagery, great dialogue. The setting is so fleshed out. When they're at the warehouse. I can't even. It's just so vivid. Benson doesn't shy away from the reality of being essentially homeless. The characters were likable, but still flawed (although I'd be anxious to be a mother in Benson's world, they don't seem to last long). And just overall it's a damn good book with some writing that was clearly done by someone who knows their craft and knows it well.
3) This is a stunning piece of literary fiction that is both satisfying and devastating. With deep characterisation and rich descriptions of settings and emotions, there is so much to relish in this novel. It's wonderful to read real young adult bisexual romance AND with female protagonists.

Runner Ups:



4) Dalí by E.M. Hamill
5) Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen
6-tie) Spun! (Shamwell Tales #4) by J.L. Merrow
6-tie) The One Thing I Know by Keelan Ellis
7-tie) Permanent Jet Lag by A.N. Casey
7-tie) The Art of Three by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
8) Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into Stories #2) by Lane Hayes
9-tie) Adrift (Staying Afloat #1) by Isabelle Adler
9-tie) Defenseless by A.J. Rose
9-tie) Undaunted by Devin Harnois
10) A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) by Lane Hayes
11-tie) All the Way to Shore by CJane Elliott
11-tie) Get a Grip (A Bluewater Bay Story #19) by L.A. Witt
11-tie) Huntress by A.E. Radley

Finalists:




12) Wolf’s Clothing (Legend Tripping #2) by E.J. Russell
13) Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.
14-tie) Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
14-tie) Breaker (Exile #1) by Kelly Wyre & A.F. Henley
15) Dangerous Urges by Konrad Hartmann
16) The Sorcerer's Guardian (Chronicles of Tournai #4) by Antonia Aquilante
17-tie) Four (The Republic #2) by Archer Kay Leah
17-tie) Page of Tricks (Inheritance #5) by Amelia Faulkner
18-tie) Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.) by L.A. Witt
18-tie) Risky Behavior (Bad Behavior #1) by L.A. Witt & Cari Z
18-tie) Splinter (Significant Brothers #1) by E. Davies
19-tie) Reeve of Veils (Inheritance #4) by Amelia Faulkner
19-tie) Sparkwood by Daria Defore
20) Gnarly (World of Love) by Mickie B. Ashling
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