Double Review | More Happy Than Not / History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not (2015) and History Is All You Left Me (2017) by gay YA author, Adam Silvera, are a perfect pair.  Featuring realistic gay protagonists, they confront themes crucial to older YA readers including identity, sexuality, love, and loss.  Silvera’s representation of mental illness is unflinchingly honest and raw.  I may not be able to bid you “happy reading”, but I hope you will find Silvera’s writing as powerful as I did.

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Graphic Memoir Review | Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Marbles by Ellen Forney Review Paige's pagesTITLE: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
AUTHOR & ARTIST
: Ellen Forney
PUBLISHER
: Avery
RELEASE DATE
: November 6, 2012
GENRE
: Adult Graphic Memoir
PAGE COUNT
: 256


In this intimate and informative graphic memoir, comic artist Ellen Forney tells her story of battling bipolar disorder.  Along the way, she delves into the origins and issues of the “crazy artist” stereotype, and rewrites her own identity as a creator with mental illness.  Most of all, Marbles is for readers who want insight into the long-term challenges of living with bipolar disorder.  
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Book Review | It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us Review Paige's PagesTITLE: It Ends With Us
AUTHOR
: Colleen Hoover
PUBLISHER
: Simon & Schuster UK
RELEASE DATE
: August 2, 2016
GENRE
: Contemporary Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT
: 376


It Ends With Us is a powerfully moving novel about domestic abuse.  It educates readers on the self-delusions and self-blame that perpetuate the abusive cycle, as well as the financial and family factors that sometimes make separation impossible.  For a book with such a light and accessible tone, It Ends With Us took me on a dark emotional journey that resonated  long after reading.  This is a necessary book that makes difficult discussions accessible to our generation. Continue reading

Book Review | The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Susanna Kaysen

the-camera-my-mother-gave-me-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: The Camera My Mother Gave Me
AUTHOR: Susanna Kaysen
PUBLISHER: Knopf
RELEASE DATE: October 2, 2001
GENRE: Nonfiction, Memoir
PAGE COUNT: 149


In this soul-bearing memoir by the author of Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen chronicles her relationship with her vagina.  When this under-appreciated part of her anatomy starts to hurt, destroying her sex life, her vagina suddenly becomes the centre of her universe.  Susanna is forced to analyse her new relationships with emotional abuse and chronic pain, and how all this impacts her identity as a woman… in a nutshell, everything you’re not supposed to talk about in public.
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Book Review | Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out edited by Susan Kuklin

beyond-magenta-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
EDITOR & PHOTOGRAPHER: Susan Kuklin
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2014
GENRE: Young Adult Nonfiction, LGBTQIA
PAGE COUNT: 192


Through six short memoirs transcribed from interviews, Beyond Magenta explores what it’s like to come of age as a trans-spectrum teen.  A crucial lesson this book teaches is to see gender and sexuality as something with infinite colourful shades.  To really know someone’s story, you have to be humble and open-hearted enough to listen to them tell it in their own words.
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Book Review | Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein & S. Bear Bergman

gender-outlaws-the-next-generation-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
EDITORS: Kate Bornstein & S. Bear Bergman
PUBLISHER: Seal Press
RELEASE DATE: August 21, 2010
GENRE: Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQI+
PAGE COUNT: 304


The second gender-bending anthology edited by Kate Bornstein brings together an extraordinary range of trans-spectrum creators.  This book celebrates diverse LGBTQI+ experiences, while encouraging readers to take a long, hard look at their society’s gender laws.  

Instead of looking to the binaries for answers – male/female, femininity/masculinity, sex/gender – I’ve decided to take my body back for myself – for me to shape, show off, love and dress and play.  But above all, for me to name – Transliteration by Francisco Fernández

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Book Review | Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

symptoms-of-being-human-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Symptoms of Being Human
AUTHOR: Jeff Garvin
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2016
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, LGBTQI+
PAGE COUNT: 352

For the purpose of this review, I will use the gender neutral pronoun “they” when referring to protagonist Riley, to acknowledge the non-binary nature of Riley’s gender identity. 

Symptoms of Being Human is a timely novel for young adults.  Our protagonist, Riley, is gender fluid, meaning their gender identity moves along a spectrum between male and female.  This book explores Riley’s identity on multiple platforms, and how they learn to express themselves authentically despite fear of violent backlash.  While far from perfect, this book should inspire important discussions.   Continue reading

Audio Book Review | Smiling Mind: Mindfulness for Everyone, Everyday by Jane Martino and James Tutton

smiling-mind-audio-book-review-paiges-pagesTITLE: Smiling Mind: Mindfulness for Everyone, Everyday
AUTHORS: Jane Martino and James Tutton
PUBLISHER: Bolinda Audio
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2016
GENRE: Nonfiction; Mind, Body, Spirit
DURATION: 1 hour 56 minutes


Smiling Mind is the perfect starting place for anyone interested in incorporating mindfulness meditation in their daily life.  I also strongly recommend this audio book to anyone who’s never understood what mindfulness is all about.  It strips away the mumbo jumbo and explains the scientific and socio-cultural foundation of meditation.  It also engages listeners in short exercises that help you start your own mindfulness journey. Continue reading