Happy Monday, all! Thankyou so much to AUS YA Bloggers and Walker Books Australia for providing me with a copy of this stunning book to review. The importance of queer stories and representation is dearly important to me, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this tour!
What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human?
In the world today, it can be easy to think that queerness means hardships. Or struggles, heartbreak, oppression, difficulties. And that being human means feeling hopeless, or disconnected, or tired. It’s true that difficulties arise from both these things, and that certain things about this moment in time are harder than they have been previously. Whilst some of these things may ring true at times, it’s important to realise that this is one side to a multi-layered and diverse array of experiences.
Michael Earp’s KINDRED: 12 QUEER #LOVEOZYA STORIES is a glowing array of stories from some of Australia’s most beloved writers. Each of the #ownvoices stories are sweet, inviting, and downright heartwarming. They are an optimistic reminder in a somewhat greyscale world that life is good, and things will soon be better – even the bright yellow of the cover makes me cheerful! Themes of family, dystopia, religion, disability, activism, and magic realism, among others, make this anthology a powerful celebration of the diversity of the queer experience. The concept of a book like KINDRED, and what is represents, allows for a discussion of identity, family, belonging, and community in YA. There is such power in having a book like this in the world, giving both queer and questioning young people a space to explore and a way to connect with their personality and identity.
I was lucky enough to attend the Sydney launch of KINDRED at the Sydney Writer’s Festival on May 4th. At the KINDRED panel, Michael Earp talked about the beginning page of the book, beginning with a definition;
(n) a body of persons related to one another, or a family, tribe, or people
(adj) associated by origin, nature, qualities.
As author Lili Wilkinson expresses in her review, KINDRED is ‘a book for everyone’. Perfect to add to your pride month TBR, this anthology is heartwarming, simple and unapologetic. Whilst it’s important to uplift queer voices and stories, diversity in YA shows teens of all identities, experiences and livelihoods that the world is a diverse place. Normalising queer stories into mainstream media creates a similar effect in the real world. Hardships, difficulties and disconnectedness have been present in the queer experience, and the human experience, for a very long time. It is my hope that books, stories, and activism like this is the first step in moving away from this, to a world full of acceptance, positivity, and celebration.
Hello!! My name is Tessa, and I'm a 20 year old bookseller and blogger from Sydney Australia. I love queer YA, Schitt's Creek, and pizza scrolls.