Tag: Lee

Sinclair Sexsmith reviews A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – The Lesbrary

Sinclair Sexsmith reviews A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

I got my hands on an advanced reader’s copy of A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee, which is a dark academia, witchy, teenage boarding school sapphic romance which includes seances, a three hundred year old murder mystery, and ghosts.

After seeing about it from the author herself on Tiktok, I had to keep an eye out for it. I suspected I would enjoy it, and I really did. I will definitely pick up other work by Victoria Lee.

It was easy to read, very much a page-turner. Lee set up the suspense in the story from the very beginning, trickling out bits of information from when the main character, Felicity, had attended this spooky but elegant Dalloway boarding school in the past before having to take a year off. We get many clues and hints into what happened in the past, including a romance with the brilliant and now dead Alex, but it takes a good amount of time for it to all be explained. Meanwhile, Felicity meets Ellis, new to Dalloway but already wildly popular since she is a famous novelist, and they begin a whirlwind, intimate friendship.

I don’t want to give away much of the actual plot, moreso just a feeling for the tone of it. I looked forward to reading this and found myself making time to read, which is always a good sign that I’m enjoying the book. I enjoyed the characters, and loved how the book dealt with queerness — as just reality, not necessarily something to be deeply reckoned with or to have an existential crisis over. I loved how clever and intimate the characters were, and especially the whole tone and setting of the boarding school with witchy vibes. Highly enjoyable read.

Victoria Lee’s A Lesson in Vengeance is out August 3, 2021.

My Graphic Memoir on Queerness and Decolonizing the World by Sharon Lee De La Cruz – The Lesbrary

My Graphic Memoir on Queerness and Decolonizing the World by

I'm a Wild Seed by Sharon Lee De La Cruz cover

I’m a Wild Seed is a short (51 pages) graphic memoir exploring the author’s exploration of her identity. It’s about how her “coming into queerness,” but it’s also about her relationship to her racial identity and decolonizing gender and sexuality.

Because this is so short, it often reminded me more of an in-depth essay than a graphic memoir–that’s not a complaint! It’s packed full of memes, diagrams, and other visuals that I’m familiar with on the internet than I am in books.

De La Cruz shares not only her personal story, but also the history and context she’s learned along the way. It’s through this background that she can better understand her own identity, and she’s clearly eager to share these with the reader. She also discussed how her freedom is tied to Black trans women’s: that no one is free until the most vulnerable of us are.

She comes out at 29 because she spends her early years trying to understand her racial and cultural identity: how can she be Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Black? What does that mean for her? Where does she fit in? She explains that because it was so difficult to understand and come to terms with that, she had no time or space to question her sexual identity or gender.

This is a quick read, but it’s insightful and thought-provoking. My only complaint is that I would have gladly read a version of this book twice or three times as long!

I’m a Wild Seed comes out April 6, 2021

Meagan Kimberly reviews Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee – The Lesbrary

Meagan Kimberly reviews Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee –

Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee audiobook cover

Jess Tran comes from superhero parents and has an older sister with powers, but she did not inherit this gene. She decides to find her own way in a world of metahumans and superpowers and ends up at an internship working for The Mischiefs, her parents’ and the city of Andover’s nemeses. However, everything is not what it seems in the world of superpowers, heroes, and villains. With the help of her crush Abby and her friends, Jess sets out to find and reveal the truth.

One of the more refreshing aspects of the story is how Lee handles Jess’ coming out. It’s casually stated when she tells a brief story of a flashback to English class during her earlier high school years. From there, it’s simply a part of who she is and not a narrative point in which the plot revolves around.

The story deals a lot with being exceptional, and it’s weaved deftly within the world-building. In a world where metahumans were created by X29 after the Disasters, it’s easy to see why Jess feels inadequate, especially compared to her superhero parents and sister. Even though her younger brother doesn’t exhibit metahuman powers either, he’s also a child prodigy. Jess finding a way to know her value without exceptional traits makes her a protagonist to root for.

Lee’s world-building gets woven throughout the plot, which readers can appreciate. However, there are often more questions than answers to many of the details she brings up. Through Jess’s point of view, we learn about World War III, the Disasters, the creation of the North American Collective, and other similar governments around the world. But aside from a history book lesson, the reader doesn’t learn much.

An argument can be made though that this is done on purpose because it’s coming from Jess. She only knows what they’ve taught her in school, and up until now, she hadn’t questioned what she was taught. As she unfurls as a character and starts to realize the world she’s been fed is a lie, that’s when she questions the Collective, the hero/villain dichotomy, and her place in it all.

The blossoming romance between Abby and Jess is absolutely adorable. Everything from the squishy feelings of a crush to the first kiss to their comfortable jokes together creates a realistic and loveable relationship growth. There’s a scene in particular when Abby sleeps over and the tension is so well written.

Overall, a lot of plot points were obvious to the reader, though not obvious to Jess. But even so, it was a lot of fun to read. And the way it ends leaves the readers wanting more of the world, which is good because it’s the first in a series.

Iain Lee criticises BBC for allowing caller to use racist slurs live on air

Broadcaster Iain Lee comes out as bisexual

Broadcaster Iain Lee has criticised the BBC for allowing a caller to use racist slurs and make threatening remarks about gay people on air.

The BBC has faced backlash after married couple Mandeep “Sunny” and Gursharonjit “Shay” Grewal allowed a caller to remain on the air despite repeating racist slurs and threats about gay people.

The incident, which occurred on Sunny and Shay’s BBC Radio London show, saw a caller phone in during a chat about board games to mark National Monopoly Day on Friday (20 November).

The caller said: “Since I have moved to London from Greece, I have played Monopoly with my friend,” Metro reports.

“But in my country we play a game where you are a white nationalist and kill all the n*****s and gays.”

An uncomfortable sounding Shay simply replied: “Right,” but the caller was allowed to remain on air.

Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again?

Sunny then asked the caller: “Maybe I’m losing you in translation. Explain to me when did you first discover Monopoly?”

After the caller explained their version of Monopoly, Sunny said: “Thank you for sharing that with us, I really appreciate that,” and went on to ask the caller if they wanted to “add to the conversation” about the ongoing controversy surrounding Priti Patel.

The caller replied: “I want to say that I f**king hate n*****s.”

The comment finally prompted the show’s presenters to terminate the call, with Sunny apologising to listeners.

“I don’t understand where he was going with that conversation but he’s obviously someone who doesn’t understand how you come on to engage here on the radio,” Sunny said.

The caller repeated the racist slur eight times on air, and also made a number of anti-gay remarks.

Iain Lee hit out at BBC Radio for allowing a caller to make racist and homophobic comments on air

Iain Lee, who used to present a show on talkRADIO, hit out the presenters and producers of the show on Twitter, writing: “Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again? Absolutely incredible listening. The host asked him more questions after he’d said it!”

He continued: “It makes me so angry. Amateur hour with kids producing. And I can’t get a gig.”

When Lee faced criticism from Twitter users who insisted that the incident was a “mistake”, he replied: “One n-word is a mistake. Eight or nine is incompetence on the part of the presenters and producers. One threat to kill a gay person is one too many.

“I’m not accusing them and the producer of racism, but dangerous incompetence that can’t be allowed.”

A spokesperson for the BBC told Metro: “An on-air apology was made and it has been removed from BBC Sounds. This was clearly a malicious call and we are looking into how this happened.”