2 1 2 Stars I was really looking forward to this, a fantasy story in which one of the mains is a lesbian Knights, Queens, dragons, and sorcerers yes please Instead, what I got felt like a jumbled mess, a fractured fairy tale if you will Half of the dialogue felt so fake, like characters where walking around with verbal diarrhea of the mouth, blurting out whatever suits them The other half was dialogue that just didn t make sense to me An example, I m making up, to try and show you Her arms wrapped me up in a warm embrace make sense to me, instead the author would write. Her eyebrows wrapped me up in a warm embrace Eyebrows, how can eyebrows embrace a person Too many times this bizarre dialogue made me think WTH, I just don t understand Maybe, this is one of these novels that pretends to be so simple its actually brilliant, and I m just not smart enough to get it Either way, I m really disappointed F F fantasy is my favorite genre and I really wanted to love this. Wonderfully warm, sweet and inviting high fantasy with positive and affirming representation The Second Mango is a fairy tale that tells the truth, based on women forming strong friendships and falling in love, rescuing each other and themselves, and saving the day Special note seeing chronically ill characters being supported, believed, and loved will always be important It shouldn t be as rare and refreshing as it is, but that doesn t change how good it is to see here The characters in this book and its continuing series discover many different kinds of strength to fight, to rule, to have faith in the most frightening of times, and faith in oneself They remind us, and especially young, marginalized readers that we can do the same It can even be fun I ve read several of this series out of order, not a problem here and they re all easy, enjoyable reads that leave you feeling reassured, refreshed, and brave We need books like this, especially now. 3.5 stars Read for SBTB April June 2019 Quarterly Challenge An LGBT romance. I have been avoiding spoilers on this book for a year if notThat s really, really hard considering Shira is one of my good friends and everyone I know has been reading this awesome series with good reason I finally went out and got it along with the prequel of sorts off of Torquere s website Once they were loaded on my Kindle, I basically ceased to exist for a few hours This was so worth the wait I loved it As someone that s not only queer, but is also gluten intolerant I liked reading about how Aviva was helping Shula through all of that through cooking treating her like she wasn t just being picky I liked how realistic Shula was I got the sense that she really grew though the story arc, rather than letting people decide her life for her She started to actlike a Queen people could respect I found her character arc and progression to be really natural She and Aviva s relationship was adorable, as well Very organic, not forced in the slightest I thought their entire courtship was really cute Shira sent me a message basically asking if I knew the thing about Isaac already I didn t , and now that I do I m just sitting here like chinhands because it makes me so happy Amazing twist, one that I really enjoyed and didn t see coming until just beforehand Rivka I can t say enough about how much I love her character Seriously amazing She reminds me of Tarma from OATHBREAKERS except without the vow of chastity I enjoyed seeing her learn sword work, and the explanations behind it All too often, authors don t take the time to discuss what s happening during a swordfight I ve rarely seen descriptions of having to figure out when to guard and parry, as opposed to the character just doing it as though they already knew how I thought this was a very realistic touch I am totally not religious at all, that being said I found the touches of Jewish culture and religion amazing I had to hit up google scholar a few times, but it wasn t like the culture religious aspects were completely foreign, as it s pretty easy to understand festivals and holy days no matter what religion you practice Shira never made the Jewish culture religion unattainable difficult for those not practicing of that faith in the book.I know readers sometimes think that religion needs explanation by the author, but I feel readers have a certain responsibility to go to scholar.google.com if they don t know enough about a concept It s not the author s job to educate people on the religion in the book, particularly if like Shira it s their own I found myself wanting to learnabout it, so I could understand how important these things were to the characters in the Mangoverse, and it really helped Took about 5 minutes.While Shula and Riv originally set out to find Shula a girlfriend, they ended up getting a side quest that got both of themthan they bargained for The entire story arc was wonderfully handled, and did I mention funny I laughedthan a few times at how Shira used humor in this story Some authors just aren t funny Shira, however, hitsthan a few one liners that are basically wonderful.Adventure, humor, love, and fantasy all combine in this book to form a very, very enjoyable read If you haven t already bought it please do It s worth every penny. Queen Shulamit Never Expected To Inherit The Throne Of The Tropical Land Of Perach So Young At Twenty, Grief Stricken And Fatherless, She S Also Coping With Being The Only Lesbian She Knows After Her Sweetheart Ran Off For An Unknown Reason Not To Mention, She S The Victim Of Severe Digestive Problems That Everybody Think She S Faking When She Meets Rivka, An Athletic And Assertive Warrior From The North Who Wears A Mask And Pretends To Be A Man, She Finds The Source Of Strength She Needs So DesperatelyUnfortunately For Her, Rivka Is Straight, But That S Okay Shulamit Needs A Surrogate Big Sister Just As Much As She Needs A Girlfriend Especially If The Warrior S Willing To Take Her Around The Kingdom On The Back Of Her Dragon In Search Of Other Women Who Might Be Open To Same Sex Romance The Real World Outside The Palace Is Full Of Adventure, However, And The Search For A Royal Girlfriend Quickly Turns Into A Rescue Mission When They Discover A Temple Full Of Women Turned To Stone By An Evil Sorcerer SapphicAThon Both WOCI liked things about this and it was a lot of fun, but I m finding the authors writing isn t for me which is unfortunate. the absolute only problem i had with this is that it wasnt nearly long enough The Second Mango is sweet and quite silly It doesn t take itself or its characters too seriously at all, and the story is sweeter for it the image of a wizard turning himself into a lizard to cling to his lady love s door and woo her at night where no one can see just tickles me, and because it s knowingly absurd, endears the story to me I love that the possibly obvious plot does not happen nobody switches sexuality by magic and the main characters don t have a big drama between them about it It s a world where same sex partnerships don t seem to be common, but for the most part it isn t a major drama either, which is quite refreshing.I also really like the fact that one of the main characters has food intolerances That s not a disability for lack of a better term, meaning here that it s not magical in origin or anything, but a physical limitation I ve seen much in fiction, if at all The mix of cultural backgrounds was interesting, too it s not entirely clear where all of the religious background is drawn from, but the biggest influence is Judaism Again, not something I see much It s not some epic deep novel, but it s light and fun, and it made me smile. I must be flaky I started a couple of serious, classical fantasy books and couldn t finish them The writing in each one was superb, the themes deep, the characters developed, but I got bored Then I started this little novel and was enchanted It reads easily and fast, it s charming and innocent Despite its multiple writing flaws, I enjoyed it.The story is supposedly YA, but I think it ssuited for middle grade The heroine, Queen Shulamit, is 20, according to the text, but she behaves very immature for that age,like an innocent 14.A kind and intelligent girl with lots of insecurities and food allergies, she is a lesbian and she is searching for someone to accept her as she is She is paired with a female warrior Rivka, who is posing as a man With Rivka as her bodyguard, Shulamit embarks on a journey to find a life partner another lesbian girl who would love her A rather shallow goal for a fantasy quest, but the story leads these two unlikely partners on a different, tangential trip to discover who they are The narration and the characters are simplistic, with no depth, reminiscent of a fairy tale, complete with a moral in the end The world building is na ve and minimalist like a primitivism painting, but humor embroider every blatant statement, and the author s tong in cheek approach to her characters and situations allows the reader to forget the imperfections of this book and concentrate on its attractive qualities One of those is its Jewish undertones a rarity in the genre The names, the cultural references, even certain words breathe Jewish, both Hebrew and Yiddish As a Jewish writer myself, I find this refreshing and admirable Another asset of this book is its protagonists Shulamit and Rivka A lesbian, idealistic girl and an older woman with a tragic past, street smart and cynical, they make strange road companions,sisters than anything else, as they support each other through their various adventures I also liked the author s originality in both problems and solutions nothing is as expected in this tale that surprisingly avoids most of the genre tropes The ending is a bit didactic and a bit smutty simultaneously How did the author pull that off My one serious objection the novel could benefit from better editing.Overall a cute and sweet story of women s friendship Recommended to fans of YA and MG fantasy Lovers of serious epic fantasy beware of shape shifting dragons horses wizards Trigger warnings Homophobia Rep Lesbian MC, WOC, Own voices Jewish Mc, f f romance, MC with allergies, diverse m f romance, Demisexual MC Though I loved the characters, I felt this novel was too short Everything happened so fast that it took me longer to process what exactly was going on The writing fell short and the world building confused me However this is the first novel in the series and I m excited to continue on I may not have loved all of this novel but I do want to see how the characters and story grow Overall, a very sweet fantasy that was super diverse but lacked in world building and length.
Shira Glassman is a bisexual Jewish violinist passionately inspired by German and French opera and Agatha Christie novels.She lives in north central Florida, where the alligators are mostly harmless because they re too lazy to be bothered.A note on my reviewing style I read lots of books, but writing reviews is work and I only really do them to endorse books that I enjoyed enough to signal boost.
- 165 pages
- The Second Mango (Mangoverse #1)
- Shira Glassman
- 01 April 2018 Shira Glassman