Full Pour Review: The Queer Advantage

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

“Being queer has made me more sympathetic to people who are different, all across the board. It’s given me occasion to interrogate my own privilege and consider just how hard other people’s lives are. Because I know how hard my life was and it makes me more able to understand the burdens that other people carry in silence.”

– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage

Wow… Talk about a feel-good, inspiring book! 🥰 The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is a powerful celebration of queerness via essays and interviews that focus on the following key themes: channeling anger in a positive way, the power of the Internet as a tool of self discovery, bridging generational gaps, leveraging your difference to beget new ideas and strategies, finding your queer tribe and leaning on one another, and accessing resources to conquer crippling denial/doubt/internalized homophobia.

This book features 50 high-profile individuals and each individual has a chapter in the book that is set up in an interview format between them and Andrew. Before the interview questions, Andrew provides some interesting background information on each of the individuals. I really liked the layout of this book and I learned so much about each of the people he interviewed. The people interviewed vary from celebrities, politicians, athletes, business leaders, tech leaders, and much more. I loved learning about how each of them navigated coming out to their friends/family/workplaces, their hard-won lessons along the way, and the variety of perspectives that these individuals offered on why their queerness has been advantageous to them and how it has propelled them to forge their own paths in their personal lives, their careers, etc.

“The biggest thing I have (certainly as a writer, but also in other ways) is belief in revision. If you don’t get something right the first time, your life isn’t over. To be willing to admit that any belief you have might be wrong, to be willing to have your mind changed, to be open to new knowledge. What is being transgender if not a kind of cosmic way of believing in the power of multiple drafts? Being trans made me understand you get a lot of shots in this life. It’s never too late to become yourself. It also helped me understand when I was forty that my life wasn’t over. That it was possible to start my life over as a woman and to take the goodness of my earlier life with me…”

– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage

My favorite take away, and one of the most common pieces of advice offered across all of the interviewees in the book, is the importance of being your most authentic self and bringing that to the table every day. When you are not living your most authentic life, you are only getting in the way of your genuine happiness, success, creativity and more.

“(Being gay) has made me more empathetic, more easily able to understand how other minority groups feel, and how fighting for a group that’s discriminated against is important. I grew up in Sandusky and 30 percent of my classmates were people of color. That was normal to me. But coming out as gay and living through those direct attacks- and understanding how unequal we were- helped me understand how unequal life was for my friends who were people of color. It helped build my sense of empathy, my willingness to speak up on another’s behalf, and to fight.”

⁃ James Obergefell, The Queer Advantage

“Anytime you get to look at things from another point of view is an advantage. That’s why I think being different is always an advantage. The entire structure of the world is built for straight people, and we’re seeing it from a different angle. So if you bring that to bear on your creative projects or businesses, that’s always going to be an advantage.”

⁃ Richie Jackson, The Queer Advantage

Needless to say, I loved this book and can’t wait for the public to get their hands on it! This book is truly for everyone and anyone and I highly recommend checking it out. The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks hits shelves on 10/13. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hachette Books for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is best paired with Double Blueberry and Cherry Funk by Jailbreak Brewing Company. This highly delicious and refreshing fruit sour is made with blueberries and cherries and contains slight notes of stone fruit 🍻

Full Pour Review: In A Holidaze

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I was so excited when NetGalley emailed me about this new book by Christina Lauren – something fun, festive and romantic before Christmas? SIGN. ME. TF. UP 🙌🏻 In a Holidaze was an adorable story that kept me laughing and entertained throughout the entire book. The storyline definitely reminded me of a Hallmark movie and immediately got me in a holiday mood 😍

DESCRIPTION: It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

First, let me talk about how lovable ALL of the characters in this book are and how enjoyable the family dynamics were. Maelyn was so entertaining, witty and relatable while Andrew was easy to fall in love with due to his charm and attention to detail. Benny was another favorite character of mine and I adored the friendship he shared with Maelyn. In general, I absolutely LOVED the fact that these close family friends vacation together for the holidays every year at the cabin- I feel like growing up with a tradition like this would be so much fun. Second, I enjoyed the time travel aspect of this story. It was fun to watch her navigate this journey to discovering what would truly make her happy and find new ways to define herself.

This was my first book by Christina Lauren and I definitely look forward to reading more by her! If you’re looking for something fluffy, heartwarming, fun and festive to help you get in the holiday spirit, I highly recommend checking out “In A Holidaze,” hitting shelves on 10/20. Thank you again so much NetGalley and Gallery Books for gifting me this delightful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren is best paired with Kentucky Christmas Morning by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This delicious stout is the infamous Gingerbread Stout aged exclusively in Kentucky’s own Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels with locally roasted Mexican Chiapas Coffee 🍻

Full Pour Review: A Rogue Of One’s Own

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I am pretty new to the historical romance genre, with A Rogue Of One’s Own only being my second historical romance read this year, and it definitely did not disappoint! A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore is the second book in her “League of Extraordinary Women” series, set in late-1800’s Britain and centered around the women’s suffrage movement.

AMAZON BOOK DESCRIPTION: Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price–a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smoldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-maneuver Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

A Rogue of One’s Own is definitely a character driven story and I’m happy to say that I absolutely adored both Lucie’s and Tristan’s characters. Lucie is a very quick-witted force to be reckoned with and I loved her strong commitment to “The Cause” (equal rights for women). Tristan is an intelligent, witty and swoon-worthy rogue who has held a lifelong attraction toward Lucie, is incredibly supportive of her and her values, The Cause and equal rights for women. THE BANTER BETWEEN LUCIE AND TRISTAN THOUGH 😍🙌🏻 I loved the development of their enemies to lovers relationship and I indulged in the witty dialogue between them throughout the book.

A Rogue Of One’s Own is the perfect follow up to Evie Dunmore’s debut novel, Bringing Down The Duke. This delightful novel released on 9/1 and if you are a fan of historical romance, or are looking to embrace a new genre, I highly recommend starting with this and Bringing Down The Duke! Definitely looking for the third book in this series, coming out in 2021!! Thank you so much to NetGalley and Berkeley Romance for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore is best paired with Vicious Hook by Flying Dog Brewery. This deliciously light and juicy fruit punch sour is a perfect balance of sweet and sour 🍻

Full Pour Review: When No One Is Watching

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I haven’t read many thrillers this year, and that. needs. to. change. 👏🏻 That being said, I’m happy to say that the few thrillers that I have read so far this year have not left me disappointed and When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole was definitely no exception! Compared to Rear Window and Get Out, the fast-paced storyline for this deeply unsettling novel is unlike any other thriller I’ve read before. Not only did it have me hooked, but Alyssa Cole weaved so many important messages into this book that left me with so much for think about.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

There are so many things that I enjoyed about this book. First, the storyline. It’s a gripping psychological thriller with gentrification being the main focus, while police brutality, racism, harassment, financial struggles, loss of loved ones, all play large roles too. There are several characters (i.e. FUCKING KARENS) in this book that had me so fired up. Alyssa Cole did a great job with immersing the reader into the story. I felt like I was witnessing everything right alongside Sydney and Theo and while I enjoyed their characters and friendship, I felt their romantic relationship was a little out of place and unnecessary.

If you’re looking for an exciting and intriguing psychological thriller with a side of conspiracy, I highly recommend reading this book! Thank you again to WilliamMorrow and HarperCollins for gifting me my review copy in exchange for my honest review 🤗


BEER RECOMMENDATION: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole is best paired with The Fear by Flying Dog Brewery. This delicious pumpkin beer has bold pumpkin and spice flavor complimented by notes of chocolate and graham cracker 🍻

Full Pour Review: We Should All Be Feminists

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book has been on my list for a while, and although it is a tiny thing (just 52 pages long), don’t let the size full you- it absolutely packs some punch! We Should All Be Feminists is based off of an incredible TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie and I highly recommend everyone giving it a listen!

This isn’t one of my typical reviews with a beer pairing. Instead of simply sharing why I feel like you should read this book, I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite quotes:

“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we should begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”

“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”

“Some people ask, ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general – but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women. That the problem was not about being human, but specifically about being a female human. For centuries, the world divided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem should acknowledge that.”

This was my first book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie and it most certainly won’t be my last. Americanah is up next, hopefully sometime next month! 💛

Full Pour Review: Friday Forward

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I truly love me some good personal development, non-fiction reads and Friday Forward by Robert Glazer was no exception! I flew through this book in about 8 hours and found it to be really motivating, inspiring and simply just a “feel good” read. Personally, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately and this book honestly came at the perfect time to help me gain momentum back.

DESCRIPTION: Global business leader and national bestselling author, Robert Glazer, believes we all have a responsibility to each other: to give one another the inspiration and support we need to be our best. What started as a weekly note known as Friday Forward to his team of forty has turned into a global movement reaching over 200,000 leaders across sixty countries and continually forwarded to friends and family.

In Friday Forward, Robert shares fifty-two of his favorite stories with real life examples that will motivate you to grow and push you to be your best self. He encourages you to use this book as part of a positive and intentional Friday morning routine to get the weekend started on a forward-looking note that will carry you through the week. At once uplifting and deeply thought-provoking, these stories will challenge you to propel yourself outside your comfort zone to unlock your innate potential. By making small, intentional changes, you have the power to create lasting impact, not only in your own life, but also to inspire those around you to do the same.

I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of stories that Robert Glazer shared in his book and learned a lot of valuable things from them to not only help me improve myself but to also become a better person for others. I had never heard of Robert Glazer or his Friday Forward e-mail subscription before, so immediately upon completing the book I signed up to receive his weekly email. I can’t wait to share these stories and emails with my team and see how these stories will challenge and motivate them in their careers and/or personal lives 🤗 while I read this book straight through, this book is really intended to be referenced on a weekly basis and there are even some journaling prompts spread throughout the book to help you really focus on the material and how it can be helpful to you.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the focus on developing a good morning routine and how it can increase your productivity, improve your mood and overall happiness, increase positive thoughts and ultimately set you up for success to have a great day full of accomplishment. Developing a good morning routine is something that I absolutely want to establish in my own personal life and I look forward to seeing how this will affect various areas of my life.

If you’re looking for a motivating, feel-good personal development book that will help get you out of a rut, I highly recommend checking out Friday Forward by Robert Glazer, releasing on September 1st! Thank you so much to NetGalley and SourceBooks for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review! 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Friday Forward by Robert Glazer is best paired with Bmore Hazy by Oliver Brewing Company. This delicious hazy double IPA is brewed with flaked wheat, flaked oats and is dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra, resulting in a wonderful tropical fruit flavor and aroma 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Girl With The Louding Voice

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW. This one left me speechless. I finished The Girl With The Louding Voice days ago and I can’t stop thinking about it, having delayed my review trying to figure out exactly how to put into words how much I loved this powerhouse of a book. This book is another one that has been on my TBR list for a while that I wish I didn’t take so long to get to. Abi Dare is an incredible storyteller and had me on an emotional roller coaster throughout this debut novel- needless to say, I was HOOKED on this book from the very beginning.

The Girl With The Louding Voice is about a 14 year old girl named Adunni growing up in a rural Nigerian village whose dream is to get a good education so that she can develop a “louding voice” to stand up for herself and others. After her mother passing away and having escaped an unwanted arranged marriage by her father, she finds herself traveling to Lagos and ending up working as a housemaid to a sadistic businesswoman and her terrible husband. Despite the seemingly never ending obstacles thrown her way, and with the help of a few unlikely allies that have crossed her path, Adunni sets out to overcome the cultural confines of Africa’s toxic patriarchy and discover her louding voice.

I fell in love with Adunni’s character hard. At only 14 years old, she is an incredibly strong force to reckon with and I found it impossible to not be completely inspired and endeared by her spirit, strength, bravery, perseverance and determination. Despite all of the obstacles thrown her way, she continues to hold her head high and go after her dream of getting an education and building a better life for herself and the females that will come after her. She is truly the most perfect, unforgettable female protagonist and hands down one of my new all-time favorite literary characters. I finished the book needing to know what happened to her and how her future carries out- anyone else rooting for a sequel?! 🙋🏻‍♀️

If you haven’t read this book yet, I encourage you to place it at the top of your TBR list ASAP. This is one of the most powerful, heartbreaking, infuriating, triumphant and inspiring books that I’ve ever read and it will stick with me for a very long time 🙌🏻


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare is best paired with Bourbon Paradise by Prairie Artisan Ales. This smooth and delicious imperial stout is aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on both coconut and vanilla 🍻

Full Pour Review: Hood Feminism

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Holy shit… this is one of the best books on feminism and social injustices I’ve read this year and I can’t tell you enough how important it is that we all read this, especially for women who are open to learning how to become more inclusive feminists and better allies. This book definitely hit hard for me, and there are so many things in here that I wish didn’t even have to be written about in the first place.

Hood Feminism is a collection of essays that explore the many ways that the mainstream feminist movement has failed to address the needs of all women, and instead, focuses on increasing the privilege of a few (A.K.A. white women). Mainstream feminists do not address, nor prioritize, basic needs for all women such as having access to quality education, medical care, food, living wages and safe neighborhoods due to the simple fact that they’re portrayed as race or class issues instead of feminist issues. Instead, we tend to solely focus on the issues that directly impact white women so that we may pave the way for other types of women to potentially live better lives (eventually). Mikki Kendall touches on topics such as poverty, politics, eating disorders, gun violence, hunger, sexual harassment, education, housing, reproductive justice and much more.

I want to share a few quotes from this book that stood out to me:

“Main stream, white-centered feminism hasn’t just failed women of color, it has failed white women. It’s not making them any safer, any more powerful, or even any wiser. It supports the goals of white supremacy so often and so uncritically that 53% of white women voted not just for the idea of a president who has a legacy of disrespecting and abusing women, but for the system that supports him. Conditions aren’t getting better for white women; in fact these patterns reflect a return to a paradigm where the only difference is that their cage is gilded, while others are entrapped in less decorative confines.”

Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

“It isn’t just Kavanaugh or the other judges like him—the ones with a history that clouds their ability to render anything like justice—that’s the problem. It isn’t just the mothers willing to render their daughters as disposable to protect the sons of the privileged. It is all the ways that the problem is either ignored or poorly addressed until it is a public crisis because white women often choose race over gender based on fear stoked by bigotry. It’s the harm that this fearful mind-set can do across communities. Fear of Black people. Fear of immigrants. Fear of the Other. It’s an endless cycle that hinges on the willingness of white women to ignore their own power to effect positive change.”

Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

“Too often white women decide that when they feel uncomfortable, upset, or threatened, they can turn to the patriarchy for protection. Because they don’t want to lose that protection (dubious as it is), they stand by it when it’s convenient, and challenge it only when it directly threatens them. Yet, they know they benefit from it being challenged, and thus rely on others to do the heaviest lifting. They fail to recognize that the conflicted relationship they have with the patriarchy includes a certain cowardice around challenging not only it, but other women who have embraced it.”

Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

“Feminism that comes from a place of fear, that prioritizes not being afraid of not being uncomfortable over being effective, is dangerous. It allows no room for considering the impact of some “feminist” choices that include increasing surveillance or inviting the state into spaces in ways that render those spaces fundamentally unsafe for some. The fear of alienating other white women by refusing to challenge them or deny them support as a consequence for their racism is fundamentally damaging to any concept of feminism as a place that can create safety for all.”

– Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

You guys. Please just fucking read this book. Thank you 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall is best paired with Grapefruit by Downeast Cider House. This deliciously sweet cider is infused with fresh grapefruit, producing an approachable grapefruit flavor that isn’t too tart 🍻

Full Pour Review: Want

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I’m going to be completely honest. Want by Lynn Steger Strong was one of my most anticipated books for this year. Not only is the cover art absolutely gorgeous, but the book description and reviews that I read on Amazon back in March had me completely sold on the book and I preordered it several months in advance. I read this book within a day, and while it was a quick read, I felt that the storyline fell flat and was overall disappointed that it did not live up to my expectations.

Years after arriving in New York to build a new life, Elizabeth has found herself with a PhD, two children, a husband, two jobs and in the process of filing for bankruptcy. While trying to balance her dreams and the impossibility of ever achieving them, her home and work life are on the verge of collapsing and the only way to help quiet her thoughts from all the noise is by waking up at ungodly hours of the morning to run miles by the river. After being estranged from her long-lost childhood friend for years, she finally re-connects with Sasha as she is experiencing a crisis of her own, opening up the possibility for them to come back into one another’s lives.

While reading the book, I was disappointed to see that the story essentially just covers a day in the life of Elizabeth and her husband over the course of a short period of time while they go through the process of filing for bankruptcy. By the end of the story, I felt like I didn’t get to know Elizabeth’s character and her dreams/desires as deeply as I would’ve liked to, despite how complex her character was. I also would have loved to know more about what was happening with her and her husband after filing for bankruptcy and reclaiming their lives, as well as how they even got into their financial predicament in the first place. When it came to the friendship between Elizabeth and Sasha, I was happy that they seemingly rekindled their relationship toward the end of the story, but it’s a very quick rekindling that still left me with some questions. It wasn’t what I was expecting since the book description made it sound like the rekindling of this friendship was more of a major plot in the story.

In this story, Lynn Steger Strong explores a lot of different themes such as economic fragility, the apparent safeguard of middle-class jobs and Ivy League education, and the broken American dream, but again, seemingly not as deeply as I was expecting. I finished the book feeling like there was still so much potential to strengthen or deepen the story and these various themes, and that the story simply fell flat.

If you’ve read Want by Lynn Steger Strong, or have it on your TBR list, please reach out to me because I would love to discuss this further and hear your thoughts!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Want by Lynn Steger Strong is best paired with Cush by Cushwa Brewing Company. This crushable hazy IPA is fruity, piney and lightly jammy in flavor with a bready malt backbone to balance it out 🍻

Full Pour Review: Black Sunday

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Fuck. This one took me on a roller coaster ride. Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is not a book that I have seen much on Bookstagram and it deserves SO MUCH attention.

In 1996, twin sisters Ariyike and Bibike are enjoying a comfortable life in Lagos until their mother suddenly loses her job and in the midst of facing poverty, their family becomes drawn to a new church with an enthralling pastor who worships earthly wealth and possessions. Shortly after joining this church and befriending the pastor, the girls’ father wagers their family home on a bet and loses the home. As their parents marriage collapses, the girls and their two younger brothers are forced to live with their grandmother. Once inseparable, Ariyike and Bibike are now forced to diverge down separate paths of self discovery and independence.

Tola Rotimi Abraham is a truly incredible writer and story teller. The story line and character plots throughout this book provoked a lot of intense emotions, making it incredibly hard to put down. My heart ached for what Ariyike, Bibike and the rest of their family experienced and how it altered the courses of their lives. I loved the way she explored various themes like social and political strife, poverty, violence, religion, the nature of regret, and the power of redemption and self-reliance. It is incredibly hard to believe that this is Tola Rotimi Abraham’s debut novel and I look forward to the possibility of reading more books by her in the future.

I feel like my words can’t do this book justice. If you’re looking for a quick, captivating and addictive read that’s packed with a lot of intense themes, or are a fan of the storyline and writing style by Chelsea Bieker in Godshot, I highly recommend checking this one out!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is best paired with Fresh J’s by RAR Brewing. This delicious, juicy triple IPA is triple dry hopped with calypso, moteuka and zyrhos hops, resulting in a smooth and hoppy tropical flavor🍻