Full Pour Review: The Paris Library

Okay, it’s official. I’m falling in love with historical fiction. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is another wonderful WWII novel based on the true story of the incredibly brave librarians working at The American Library in Paris who joined the resistance and fought the Nazi’s through books for their Jewish subscribers. This book was incredibly well researched, beautifully written, and I loved how clearly evident the author’s passion for this story was throughout the entire book.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors— The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.”

The characters in this story are absolutely wonderful and will tug at your heartstrings. I adored Odile so much. Her bravery, resilience, and intelligence were absolutely captivating and inspiring. Odile began the story as a young and naive woman who wasn’t exposed to many dangers of the world but we were blessed to see how much she grew as a character and into a powerful force to be reckoned with. The unlikely friendship between Lily and Odile was something I enjoyed too and I loved how much they helped one another overcome serious pain they’ve carried for a long time, transforming into better people because of it.

My favorite part about the characters though are that several of these characters are in fact the real names and backgrounds of the individuals working at the library during WWII. The authors note at the end of the story had a ton of fascinating information about these characters, making this story even more magical.

While this book addresses a lot of heartbreaking topics such as grief, loss, betrayal, and violence, there are also a lot of joyful moments about friendship, hope, love and forgiveness. If you’re looking for a slow paced, but highly enjoyable, WWII story that’s unique, exciting and heartwarming, I highly encourage you to check out The Paris Library, coming out 2/9. I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you so much Atria and NetGalley for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles is best paired with Chai Milk Stout (Nitro) by Left Hand Brewing Company. This delicious beer is incredibly smooth and tastes just like a chai latte 🍻

Full Pour Review: Malibu Rising

Holy shit was this intense! Taylor Jenkins Reid blew it out of the water again, as per usual. I fully expected all of the usual TJR magic with Malibu Rising and not only did she deliver, but it was way more magical than anticipated- the characters, the storyline, the family dynamics, the Malibu landscape, the history… everything.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.”

I couldn’t get enough of the characters in this book. Specifically, the Riva siblings: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. They are truly badass and I was blown away by everything that they endured through out this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but these siblings experienced truly heartbreaking hardships and loss over the course of their young lives and their resilience is absolutely inspiring. Nina Riva is the most incredible of all and the roles that she assumed/decisions she had to make as a young girl because of these hardships are things that absolutely NO child should have to do but SHE 👏🏻 FUCKING 👏🏻 KILLED 👏🏻 IT.

I really enjoyed the deep dive into Mick Riva’s life and background. Readers get to familiarize themselves with his childhood, his relationship with June (his first wife and the true love of his life), his skyrocketing career and even the other marriages along the way. I LOVED how this story still connected (very briefly)in some ways to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with a few quick mentions of some beloved characters.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic storyteller and the queen of inventing dynamic characters who feel so realistic and make you become instantly attached to. I love how she addresses forgiveness, resilience, child neglect, spousal neglect, infidelity, acceptance, self love, and much more, in such a mature and thought provoking manner. One downside to this book is that there are A LOT of secondary characters that get introduced throughout the book and it can feel a little overwhelming at times not knowing who you should be focusing on.

If you’re a fan of TJR, or are looking for an engrossing, gut wrenching and heart exploding family drama that will suck you in from the very beginning, I can’t recommend Malibu Rising enough. This story will be released June 1st 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is best paired with Lil’ BB’s Brekkie Tastee by The Veil Brewing Co. This delicious smoothie-style sour ale is brewed with milk sugar, oats, maple syrup, strawberry, banana, and blueberry purée 🍻

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: Coming Out Stories

Oh, my heart! Talk about a feel good read! Coming Out Stories: Personal Experiences of Coming Out From Across the LGBTQ+ Spectrum edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker was such a powerful, moving and inspiring read!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Based on the hugely popular Coming Out Storiespodcast, this empowering, humorous and deeply honest book invites you to share one of the most important moments in many LGBTQ+ people’s lives.

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Whether you’re gay, pan, queer, bi, trans, non-binary, or an ally, this uplifting go-to resource is filled with helpful advice and tips on what to expect, and inspirational quotes from leading LGBTQ+ figures, to help you live your very best self. Welcome to the family!”

I was absolutely moved by all of the coming out stories and unique experiences portrayed in this book. These beautiful stories were full of emotion – while most made me smile and laugh, others made me sad and cry. My favorite aspect of this book was its ability to inspire the reader to live their best life and stay true to their most authentic self. To put it simply, this book feels like being enveloped in a warm hug 🤗 no matter what you identify as, you will find value and appreciation in this book.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough and think that everyone should read it. Thank you so much Jessica Kingsley and NetGalley for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review. Coming Out Stories will be released on 1/21 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Coming Out Stories edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker is best paired with Dan’s Jams: Blackberry Raspberry Crumble by Full Tilt Brewing. This highly delicious fruited sour ale is aged on blackberries, raspberries, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Lana’s War

I really enjoy a good World War II historical fiction story and Lana’s War by Anita Abriel definitely did not disappoint! This was a captivating story that takes place during WWII on the French Riviera with intriguing characters and wonderful imagery.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. 

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.”

There were quite a few things that I really liked about this book. First, I enjoyed the fact that this book started off at a really fast pace, making this a fairly quick read. Within the first few pages, Lana’s world comes crashing down when she experiences the death of her husband and her unborn child at the exact same time. Shortly after, she receives an offer to join the resistance on the French Riviera that will change her life forever and then we immediately get to join Lana on her new adventure, which is regularly packed with surprises.

Second, the imagery. Anita Abriel did a fantastic job at illustrating both stunning landscapes and heartbreaking scenes in this book, allowing me to feel immersed in Lana’s world.

Third, the characters. I absolutely adored Lana and her bravery. She experienced such tragic loss and it was liberating to witness her strength and resilience from this loss, and ultimately helping to honor her late husbands life by carrying out his mission of protecting Jewish families from the Germans. Her heart was also incredibly pure and kind, and I love how her relationship developed with Odette, a young Jewish girl, throughout the story. I also really liked Guy Pascal and the relationship he developed with Lana.

Finally, the ending. I thought Anita Abriel did a wonderful job at tying up all of the loose ends. While I would have appreciated more focus on Guy and Lana’s relationship, that ultimately wasn’t the point of this story and I was still satisfied with the way it ended- it was beautiful and heartbreaking, yet fulfilling all at once.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction story, or are relatively new to historical fiction and trying to step out of your comfort zone, I recommend checking out Lana’s War by Anita Abriel, coming out 1/12. Thank you so much to Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel is best paired with Apple Pie Blonde Ale by Flying Dog Brewery. This highly enjoyable seasonal blonde ale is brewed with apples, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Ten Rules For Faking It

OMG MY HEART. I can’t express enough how much I loved Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan. I fell in love with this story instantly and adored every single character. This one was tough to put down and left me feeling so many emotions because it is so relatable and came at a perfect time to help me address/sort through some of my own personal struggles with anxiety at this moment.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.”

First, these characters are magical. Let’s start with Everly, who suffers from severe social anxiety. I can personally relate to Everly’s character so much and the positive and delicate way that her social anxiety was addressed in this book made me tear up a few times because I felt like Sullivan was also indirectly helping me to understand the need to be more gentle and positive with myself. Everly’s character was raw, real and wonderful and I loved how much of her growth we got to experience throughout this book as she bravely overcame a lot of difficult things. Chris’s and Stacey’s character were truly incredible as well and I was in awe of their sensitivity and care toward Everly’s anxiety. They were both so encouraging, consistently reminded her of how brave and strong she truly was, and not once did they ever make her feel like her and her anxiety were too much. That finally leads me to the emotional connection that Everly and Chris shared- it truly was a breath of fresh air. Sullivan couldn’t have done a more perfect job with creating such a beautiful, more relatable relationship that didn’t focus heavily on the steam or physical connections found in most rom-com’s.

Once I was done reading this book, I immediately went online and preordered myself a physical copy. I wasn’t expecting this one to leave such an impact on me, but it did and I’m very grateful for that 💛 I was really impressed with the way that Everly’s social anxiety was handled in this book and I truly can’t recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a sweet, light hearted, not-your-typical rom-com that will not only leave you thinking about the story long after you finished it, but leave you feeling a little stronger if you suffer from general/social anxiety like I do. Ten Rules For Faking It hits shelves on 12/29 and really is a terrific palette cleanser for ending at 2020. Thank you so much NetGalley and Griffin for gifting me this incredible eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan is best paired with Rainbow Sherbet by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious summer-forward sour ale is brewed with raspberry, pineapple and orange 🍻

Full Pour Review: Detransition, Baby

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is one of my top five favorite books I’ve read in 2020 and I cannot recommend it enough. This story is so unique, witty and heartbreaking and had me hooked from the very beginning. I walked away from this book feeling so many different emotions and I still feel like my words won’t be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together? 

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Detransition, Baby is essentially a study of motherhood and three women: Amy/Ames, Katrina and Reese. Ames is a former trans woman who detransitioned from Amy and began dating his cisgender boss, Katrina. When Katrina became pregnant, after Ames was convinced he was sterile due to his 6 years of treatments while he was Amy, he finally came clean to Katrina about his past as a trans woman. Reese, also a trans woman and Amy’s ex girlfriend, wants to be a mother more than anything in this world. After finding out that Katrina is pregnant, Ames comes up with the unconventional idea of proposing to Reese and Katrina that they raise this baby together. The story flips back and forth between pre-conception and post-conception, giving you a detailed view of Amy’s transition, her relationship and life with Reese, the reasons why she ended up detransitioning and how her life led her to Katrina and their current situation.

I was truly blown away by the characters in this book. They are raw, real, complex and leave you with no choice but to be utterly invested in them- I couldn’t get enough of Amy/Ames’s and Reese’s stories. What I loved the most about them was how messy and honest these characters are and how eye opening their experiences are. You will not be able to read this without feeling their pain, fear, triumphs, joys, hopes, disappointments, and more.

Torrey Peters is an incredibly talented writer and storyteller and after reading her dedication in the beginning of the book, I need to know about her story and everything that inspired this book. Detransition, Baby is an incredible thought-provoking book that taught me so much about the lives of white trans women. Peters does an incredible job at exploring so many other themes such as divorce, parenthood, womanhood, unconventional family structures, sexuality, gender, mental illness, body dysphoria, friendship and more. The exploration of these themes made for quite a few moments of discomfort throughout the book, but they were absolutely necessary and I how thought provoking they were.

This book will make you feel so many different feelings and I encourage you to sit with those feelings afterward. I am so impressed with this compelling story and I truly cannot applaud Peters enough for writing such a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by her and watching her career grow. Thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is best paired with Cobbler: Blueberry Peach by Black Flag Brewing Company. This delicious fruited sour is brewed with cinnamon tincture, vanilla, lactose and over 450lbs of blueberries and peaches 🍻

Full Pour Review: Cobble Hill

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Growing up, I was a huge fan of the Gossip Girl series so when I discovered that Cecily von Ziegesar had written a new novel, Cobble Hill, I immediately requested a copy of it on NetGalley.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Welcome to Cobble Hill. In this eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood, private storms brew amongst four married couples and their children. There’s ex-groupie Mandy, so underwhelmed by motherhood and her current physical state that she fakes a debilitating disease to get the attention of her skateboarding, ex-boyband member husband Stuart. There’s the unconventional new school nurse, Peaches, on whom Stuart has an unrequited crush, and her disappointing husband Greg, who wears noise-cancelling headphones—everywhere.

A few blocks away, Roy, a well-known, newly transplanted British novelist, has lost the thread of his next novel and his marriage to capable, indefatigable Wendy. Around the corner, Tupper, the nervous, introverted industrial designer with a warehose full of prosthetic limbs struggles to pin down his elusive artist wife Elizabeth. She remains…elusive. Throw in two hormonal teenagers, a ten-year-old pyromaniac, a drug dealer pretending to be a doctor, and a lot of hidden cameras, and you’ve got a combustible mix of egos, desires, and secrets bubbling in brownstone Brooklyn.

Smart, sophisticated, yet surprisingly tender, Cobble Hill is highly entertaining portrait of contemporary family life and the colorful characters who call Brooklyn home.

I’m going to be completely honest. While I did not go into this story with any expectations or hope that it would be similar to Gossip Girl, I wasn’t totally impressed by this story. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t love it- I simply just found it okay. Even though I didn’t particularly love or feel super invested in any of the characters, I definitely found them to be entertaining and was intrigued on where the story was headed, as there were several bizarre scenes and interactions that made me laugh. All of the characters are intertwined in some way, and it was fun to see how all of their paths crossed throughout the book. I enjoyed that the story was told from multiple POV’s, including some of the kids.

If you’re hoping for something similar to Gossip Girl, you will not find that here. However, if you’re a fan of Cecily von Ziegesar and looking for a quirky, light hearted book that will make you laugh and can be read pretty quickly, I recommend checking out Cobble Hill, hitting shelves on November 10th. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar is best paired with Dunkin’ Jelly Donut IPA by Harpoon Brewery. Brewed with real Dunkin’ donuts and raspberry purée, this slightly hazy IPA has bright notes of jelly and citrus from the addition of fruit-forward Hüll Melon and Citra hops 🍻

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 🍻