Review & Giveaway: Juniper Leaves by Jaz Joyner

juniper leaves

How magical is this cover!? *swoons*

 

Fifteen year old Juniper Bray is a shy kinky-haired blerd off to spend the summer on a farm in North Carolina on her father’s research trip. Still reeling from the loss of her grandmother, her best friend, and immediately getting off on the wrong foot with her cool cousin Bree, Juniper is not looking forward to her stay. But magic returns to her in ways she never expected and Juniper ends up surprising herself the most.

GR  Juniper Leaves is a fantastic coming-of-age story starring a Black girl who is literally magic. Juniper is both utterly relatable and someone to look up to. When she and Bree fall through a vortex into the realm of Cantatis, home to fairies and unicorns, the girls are set on a journey that will require them to work together and believe in themselves. For Cantatis is under threat and it is up to Juniper, like her grandmother before her, to save them with her newly revealed powers.

Apart from the girls’ reluctant friendship I also really enjoyed the family members, from her smart, nerdy father and aunt studying plants for curing illness, to the food her uncle dished up and the McKinney’s bookshelf. And the annoying younger brother, oh I can relate! It was cute to see Juniper come out of her shell and crush on Bree’s friend Sen, and while not at the center of the story, falling for a girl and coming into her own is an integral part of Juniper’s journey. I also appreciate that the love interest Sen is Japanese-American.

My only complaint is that the book is too short, and I never say that. It’s fantastic to read of queer Black girls thriving, we need more books like this one. Juniper Leaves is out in print and e-book now! Get yourself a copy of this wonderful book and I think it would make a great holiday gift for the teens in your family. In fact, I’m giving away one print copy of Juniper Leaves! To enter the giveaway:

–> Update: We have a Winner! Congrats, Evelyn N. Alfred! 😊🎈 <–

  • follow my blog
  • leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win the book
  • don’t forget to leave your email/twitter/way to contact you
  • giveaway ends Dec 14th
  • I’ll send anywhere!

 

Disclaimer: I received a free e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

*****

About the author:

Jaz Joyner is a black trans essayist, humorist and author residing in Brooklyn, NY. Their work has been featured in Teen Vogue, HuffPo, and others, and one of their essays is featured in the LGBT anthology Outside the XY: Queer, Black and Brown Masculinity​. Most recently Jaz has become a regular on the YouTube discussion show TheGrapevine. In 2016, Jaz started their passion project, a humor site called QUNTFRONT with the goal of uplifting QTPoC voices and calling out white supremacy in media.

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5 On My TBR: The #PrideMonth Edition

tbr pic

Happy Pride Month, folx! Are you celebrating and/or supporting by reading LGBTQIA+ lit? I made a small tbr to read this month, trying to include many sexual/romantic identities and mostly POC representation, but there are gaps as usual. I’m working on it, recs are very welcome! If you have trouble with access/budget like me, the first four books are all available on Scribd.

 

treasure-lesbian

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon gr-pic

Black lesbian romance, New Adult

Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party. (GR)

 

sorcerer of the wildeeps

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson gr-pic

Black gay romance, SFF novella

Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors’ artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight. The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive. (GR)

 

six metres

Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor gr-pic

bisexual, South Asian

Ismail Boxwala made the worst mistake of his life one summer morning twenty years ago: he forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car. After his daughter’s tragic death, he struggles to continue living. A divorce, years of heavy drinking, and sex with strangers only leave him more alone and isolated. But Ismail’s story begins to change after he reluctantly befriends two women: Fatima, a young queer activist kicked out of her parents’ home; and Celia, his grieving Portuguese-Canadian neighbour who lives just six metres away. A slow-simmering romance develops between Ismail and Celia. Meanwhile, dangers lead Fatima to his doorstep. Each makes complicated demands of him, ones he is uncertain he can meet. (GR)

 

even this page- trans

Even This Page is White by Vivek Shraya gr-pic

QTWOC, trans-fem, South Asian, poetry

Vivek’s debut collection of poetry is a bold and timely interrogation of skin: its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable. (GR)

 

chameleon moon

Chameleon Moon by Roana Sylver gr-pic

Asexual, Trans-fem, NB, Aromantic, YA SFF

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire. The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die – directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities. (GR)

 

What’s on your #PrideMonth tbr? Let me know in the comments!