Full Pour Review: All Boys Aren’t Blue

I don’t think that I will be able to come up with the right words to describe how wonderful and beautiful this book is. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is a beautifully written YA memoir manifesto that navigates the complexities of identity, specifically being Black and queer. It is a collection of essays that illustrate Johnson’s life from childhood to college and serves as a beautiful exploration of sexuality, identity, race, gender, as well as a constructive analysis of the anti-Black and anti-queer society we desperately need to move away from. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s honest, and it needs to be read by everyone.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, “All Boys Aren’t Blue” covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.”

I want to begin by saying that George M. Johnson is an incredible storyteller and his storytelling abilities have the power to help and influence so many people. I loved reading his stories about addressing his internalized homophobia head-on and accepting and loving himself as the incredible human he is. I loved reading about the unconditional love and unwavering support provided by his family, especially his beautiful Nanny. I loved the bravery and vulnerability it took to discuss and reflect on the sexual abuse he experienced during such a confusing time in his life, and how this reflection can help protect others and save lives. Simply put, Johnson bared his soul in this book and it is a truly beautiful thing to witness. There isn’t a single book like this out there that can help Black/LGBTQIA+ young adults and the messages in this book must be shared with everyone.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough and if it’s not already on your radar, please add it to your TBR list immediately 💛 All Boys Aren’t Blue will make you cry, ache, laugh, smile, hope and ultimately grow as a person. I know with great certainty that this book will be on my mind for a while.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is best paired with Cobbler: Apricot and Black Currant by Black Flag Brewing Company. This highly delicious fruited sour was brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, milk sugar and 440lbs of apricot and black currant 🍻

Full Pour Review: Know My Name

FUCK, man – talk about another incredible book to start off 2021! Know My Name by Chanel Miller is a moving, powerful and heart-wrenching memoir that left me absolutely speechless. Chanel is such an impressive human being and it was a privilege to hear her story. This book will captivate you from the beginning and take you on the emotional roller coaster ride you didn’t realize how much you needed.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller’s breathtaking memoir “gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter.” ( The Wrap). Her story of trauma and transcendence illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicting a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shining with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.”

First off, Chanel is a very talented writer and I want to applaud her for approaching her trauma in such a beautiful and hopeful way. This was a very emotional read and I was utterly moved by her resilience as I watched her grow through her pain and find herself again through the pages of this book. I am in awe of her strength, passion and commitment to fight for justice and hold predators accountable for their sexual assault. This story should absolutely be required reading for everyone, not just those who know of, or work with, sexual assault victims or predators. Brock Turner’s sentencing is a truly embarrassing example of how far we still have to go as a society to not only encourage victims to share their truths, but completely overhaul the way we currently address these crimes in the justice system. Because of Chanel’s courage and perseverance, I am hopeful that one day we will eventually get to where we need to be. Because of Chanel, I know we will be better.

Hands down, Know My Name is the most memorable and powerful memoir I have ever read and it goes without saying that this one will be on my mind for a very long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and move it to the front of your TBR list- I promise you will thank me later.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Know My Name by Chanel Miller is best paired with Savage IPA by Burley Oak Brewing Company, a deliciously smooth and crushable New England IPA 🍻

Full Pour Review: Everybody (Else) Is Perfect

Prior to reading this book, I had no idea who Gabrielle Korn was. I just happened to stumble across her book on NetGalley and decided to request it because it sounded interesting. I’m happy that I did, because getting to discover Gabrielle’s existence was a highlight of 2020- not only is this girl hilarious, smart, witty, and a total fucking badass, but she is vulnerable and real and discusses a lot of important topics such as sexuality, feminism, racism, eating disorders/body dysmorphia, mental healthy, misogyny and more.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Gabrielle Korn starts her professional life with all the right credentials. Prestigious college degree? Check. A loving, accepting family? Check. Instagram-worthy offices and a tight-knit group of friends? Check, check. Gabrielle’s life seems to reach the crescendo of perfect when she gets named the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of one of fashion’s most influential publication. Suddenly she’s invited to the world’s most epic parties, comped beautiful clothes and shoes from trendy designers, and asked to weigh in on everything from gay rights to lip gloss on one of the most influential digital platforms.

But behind the scenes, things are far from perfect. In fact, just a few months before landing her dream job, Gabrielle’s health and wellbeing are on the line, and her promotion to editor-in-chief becomes the ultimate test of strength. In this collection of inspirational and searing essays, Gabrielle reveals exactly what it’s truly like in the fashion world, trying to find love as a young lesbian in New York City, battling with anorexia, and trying not to lose herself in a mirage of women’s empowerment and Instagram perfection.

Through deeply personal essays, Gabrielle recounts her struggles to reconcile her long-held insecurities about her body while coming out in the era of The L Word, where swoon-worthy lesbians are portrayed as skinny, fashion-perfect, and power-hungry. She takes us with her everywhere from New York Fashion Week to the doctor’s office, revealing that the forces that try to keep women small are more pervasive than anyone wants to admit, especially in a world that’s been newly branded as woke.”

I really enjoyed learning about Gabrielle’s life and reading these essays. Gabrielle is raw, real and relatable and I applaud her for everything that she stands for. Her work ethic, courage and strong desire to stand up for others and for equality is truly inspiring and I loved reading her ideologies on so many relevant complex issues. Her essays about body image really resonated with me and were a bit triggering, yet healing in a way, due to forcing me to unbury some of my own past personal experiences with disordered eating, not realizing until now what it truly was. What I loved most about this book was that it felt like I was having a deep conversation with a best friend over champagne.

Gabrielle’s voice is a force to be reckoned with and the world will be a better place simply because she exists. I personally can’t recommend this book enough. Everybody (Else) Is Perfect comes out on 1/26 💛 thank you so much Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Everybody (Else) Is Perfect by Gabrielle Korn is best paired with Rainbow Sherbet by Prairie Artisan Ales. This highly enjoyable sour ale is brewed with raspberries, oranges and pineapple 🍻

Full Pour Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was one of the best memoirs I’ve read this year. Trevor lived a truly fascinating life and I was blown away by his story. Embarrassingly enough, prior to reading his book, I didn’t know much at all about apartheid and I’m thankful for everything I learned from the recollections he shared. This book was very insightful and thought provoking and while there were definitely parts that made me sad and angry, the majority of this book made me smile, laugh and cheer.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

“Born a Crime” is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

I really enjoyed learning about Trevor’s upbringing and was awe-inspired by how him and his mother conquered poverty, racism, violence, domestic abuse, and more. Trevor’s rebellious nature was incredibly entertaining at times, and some of his stories had me crying from laughing so hard (especially the poop story from his childhood- IYKYK). If there was anything I wish I could’ve learned more about in this book, it would be how his career as a comedian took off and how he got where he is today. However, that was not the focus of his story and the beauty of this story is understanding the hardships he and his family, and so many others, endured during apartheid and what he has achieved in spite of having so many odds stacked against him as a child. I also loved how this book was essentially a tribute to the unwavering love and support by his mother. She sounds like an incredibly brave and strong woman, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her through this book as well.

I truly can’t recommend this memoir enough. For how much raw emotion these intense subjects sparked in this book, it’s Trevor’s incredible narrative that truly made this story educational yet entertaining as hell. This one deserves to be added to your 2021 TBR list if you haven’t already read it.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is best paired with Beer Drinking is Not a Crime by Aslin Beer Co. This highly enjoyable double dry-hopped DIPA is brewed with Nelson and Citra hops 🍻

Full Pour Review: Here For It

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Okay, this is officially the best memoir I’ve read so far this year 👏🏻 Within the first few pages, Here For It by R. Eric Thomas had me smiling and cracking up, and I continued to smile and laugh throughout the entire story. To be perfectly honest, I knew I was going to be hooked on this book by like page 3 of the prologue 😂

Here For It is a collection of essays where R. Eric Thomas examines his personal experiences on what it was like to be an “other,” his struggle with reconciling his sexual and religious identities, finding his way during and after college, poor dating decisions, accidentally getting famous on the internet (a few times!), and stumbling upon his career with Elle. R. Eric Thomas ultimately takes all of these lessons learned along the way and uses them to answer the questions we’re all trying to figure out ourselves: is the future worth it? Do things really get better? How do we power through when things only seem to be getting worse?

“You’re exactly who you need to be. Each of you. It may not feel like it; it may seem like it would be much easier being anyone else. You may look back at the person you were at one point and wish that you could instead be the person you are now at that far distant, unreachable point in the past. But you had to be who you were to get to who you are. Every page in the story is successive; they’re all numbered and bound like a book.”

R. Eric Thomas, referring to the various versions of oneself at different ages

You guys, I didn’t want this book to end. I honestly couldn’t get enough of R. Eric Thomas’s quirky and witty remarks, pop-culture references and beautiful candor. Please stop whatever you’re doing and buy this book- not just because of how joyful, entertaining and deeply moving it is (and because you will want him to be your new BFF), but because this book is exactly what 2020 needs and I promise that there is something within it that will surely resonate with everyone 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Here For It by R. Eric Thomas is best paired with Guns ‘n’ Rosé by Oskar Blues Brewery. Guns ‘n’ Rosé is a fruit ale brewed with hibiscus and prickly pear, playing off of the dry, tart or fruity flavors and pinkish color of rosé wines 🍻