Kindred edited by Michael Earp | Non-Spoiler Book Review

Kindred 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories Book Review 2019 Header - Kindred edited by Michael Earp | Non-Spoiler Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

Celebrating Pride Month with a perfect collection of Queer Stories!

Going into a novel with queer characters that more often than not is a romance story, or has a romance weaved in between the fantasy elements; I find that the romance is usually a fluffy, self-discovery kind of jam. Hardly is the character’s sexuality not the entire plot of the novel. So, going into Kindred, I am not embarrassed to admit (and I was put off by the bright, fun cover) that this novel would contain a myriad of fun fluffy romance stories.

Yeah, lol, I was so wrong.

Kindred 12 Queer LoveOzYA Stories edited by Michael Earp 196x300 - Kindred edited by Michael Earp | Non-Spoiler Book ReviewBlub:

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #OwnVoices collection, twelve of Australia’s finest queer writers explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

Compelling queer short fiction by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to the #LoveOzYA community including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.

REVIEW!

Unlike my review of Underdog, where I failed to mention a large majority of the stories and only chose four to talk about; in this review, I will be discussing the stories as per the themes they are told, plus some special mentions that have captured my heart.

I’d like to think I am getting better at reviewing anthologies…

The topics I am going for are; Fluffy, Fantasy, Gender Identity. The stories within the last category are eerie and something I’ve never thought to ever be a concept and I am so so glad they have been written.

FLUFFY!
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t start with the fangirly section. So of course, these were my favourite stories of the anthology. I personally prefer romantic and fluffy short-stories rather than jumping into a fantasy or dystopian story (which are actually harder to write so kudos to the authors).

Many of the stories in this section had that element of self-discovery and finding or experiencing attraction to another person. What I like most about these stories is how ‘normal’ everything is. It’s so contemporary and I can slip into another person’s life without figuring out where they are, what colour the sky is or how many years have passed since the last space mission.

The most amazing thing about some of these stories is how the writer can squeeze in a message that sticks like glue even long after closing the book. For example, we have messages of fighting for what is right, taking back what is yours and grabbing hold of your freedom. There are questions about expectations of what people queer or not should be doing in a relationship, and just general existential crisis’.

I put the following stories under this category:

  • In Case of Emergency, Break Glass by Erin Gough
  • Waiting by Jen Wilde – for when the people you consider your friends don’t understand your fangirl nature, you find some new ones who do.
  • I Like Your Rotation by Jax Jacki Brown
  • Laura Nyro at The Wedding by Christos Tsiolkas
  • Each City by Ellen van Neerven
  • An Arab Werewolf in Liverpool by Omar Sakr
  • Questions To Ask Straight Relatives by Benjamin Law – a Chinese Australian who has a slight existential crisis and realises that adults can change their views.
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It pairs nicely with my new Mickey backpack from Loungefly

FANTASY!
I always find short fantasy stories interesting and hard to get into, but many of these stories built upon the context beautifully as you read it, and really only provide you with what you need to know.

To anyone who writes a short fantasy story, kudos to you, because that sh*t is hard.

These were very interesting, and what I mean when I say that this anthology isn’t all laughter and rainbows. It is seriousness and stories told about queer people without the queerness being at the forefront of the story. It’s beautiful and Light Bulb especially left me, someone, who is afraid of the dark and the creatures within it, very spooked.

I put the following stories under this category:

  • Bitter Draught by Michael Earp – this has the potential of becoming a full-length novel and I’d 100% read the hell out of it.
  • Light Bulb by Nevo Zisin
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Review notes for the categorisation.

GENDER IDENTITY!
Ya, I know I said I loved the fluffy short stories, but I truly have left the best till last. Honestly, I never knew I needed these stories in my life until they arrived and I WANT MORE STORIES ABOUT GENDER IDENTITY DAMNIT!

These stories are amazing, focused mostly on friendship and intense loyalty to a person or group of people. All stories had a very dystopian feel to them, and were just so damn wholesome! I would protect each of these characters with my mortal life and I want to read more about each of their stories!!!!

I literally cannot express this. Since this year, I had never ever read stories about characters that used they/ them or ver pronouns, and I am here for it. Please put these characters in more novels. Give them love interests. Give them best friends. Give them a voice and let people relate to them.

I put the following stories under this category:

  • Rats by Marlee Jane Ward
  • Sweet Claire G Coleman – a beautiful story about gender identity, laws, and the tight bonds of friendship.
  • Stormlines by Alison Evans

I kept this whole thing spoiler free, did my best to convince you to read the novel and just had a wonderful time fangirling!

★ Rating ★

I rated this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) because of every reason above! Read the review, read the book, then leave your comments and thoughts below xx

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Do you have any queer fantasy novel recommendations?? xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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