Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Short, Contemporary LGBTQ

This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/09/empress-of-world-by-sara-ryan.html


Nicola is taking a summer course in archaeology at the Siegel Institute, because she wants to make sure that archaeology is really a field she wants to go into. She expects that confirming her dream of becoming an archaeologist will be the focus of this summer, until she meets Battle.

Battle is beautiful, a minister's daughter, and soon captures Nicola's heart. While helping her new friends deal with their own issues, Nicola has to come to terms with her sexuality, and face her attraction to another girl.

I thought that this was a nice twist on the YA summer romance trend. It has a lot of the same elements as others in this branch of YA, including spending time at another location, in this case an academic camp or institute, it includes making new friends and helping them deal with their struggles, and of course experiencing attraction to a beautiful peer. The twist is that two girls are the love interests, which is a welcome change.

Nicola is a great main character, I find her very relatable and believable because I feel like a lot of her struggles mirror those that teenagers face in real life, and therefore making a connection with her was very easy. Understanding a character's feelings and where they're coming from with their thoughts is important to me because it makes for a more emotional or a deeper read.

Nicola is the kind of character you'd like to be friends with, the kind of person you'd be able to have a chat with and enjoy being around. Battle seems a bit more intimidating or untouchable, with Nicola's descriptions of her beauty and family issues, but she's still a generally likeable character as well. The rest of Nicola's group of friends, Isaac, Kevin and Katrina, make the whole situation seem more plausible as well with their own issues, for example dealing with divorce. They were a great group of characters to read about and I like that over time they changed or evolved, even if only a little bit.

The author's approach to sexuality was well done, with Nicola's struggles and internal dialogue being extremely believable and realistic, and avoiding some of the stereotypical LGBTQ tropes I've come across in other books. The word bisexual was even used, and in a fairly positive way as well, which really impressed me because I feel like multisexual identities are so rarely discussed in an outright manner. The addition of homophobic characters was necessary, in my opinion, to mirror real-life issues that LGBTQ people face and the author delivered on this platform as well. Overall, I am very impressed with this book.

I do take issue with the length of the novel! The author did such a great job, but the book was so short. I wish it had been longer, and that maybe certain issues could have been expanded upon, such as Battle's family life. I'm going to be looking for the sequel and I really hope that it lives up to Empress of the World.

I recommend this book to people looking for realistic portrayals of LGBTQ struggles in YA novels. If you want a short contemporary romance, this book is for you.

Good Points
Stays away from typical LGBTQ tropes in fiction
Realistic
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Mend A Story of Divorce
Sophia, the fourteen-year-old author and protagonist, tells the heart-wrenching story...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Into the Jungle: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Big Trouble: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
Click is the heroic story of a young girl who...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stay Sweet
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
The last place on earth Taylor Sorenson wants to be...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courageous
Aiden is the son of a fisherman on the south...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
New Kid
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Watch Hollow
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Giant Days
Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Unteachables
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tales from the Inner City
Tales from the Inner City is a collection of incredibly...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gamer Army
After Rogan Webber levels up yet again on his favorite...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eventown
The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it’s...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Courageous
 
4.0
"Aidan lives in a fishing village in England. His one brother has died in the war, but George is still..."
Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) (#5)
 
5.0
"The big event in Tom's world is the upcoming School Activity Trip, but he might not be going! He forgot..."
Bravelands #3: Blood and Bone
 
4.0
"Thorn, a baboon, Sky, an elephant, and Fearless, a lion, have been friends since childhood. Due to the evil influence..."
Tales from the Inner City
 
4.0
"In this heavily illustrated short story collection, Tan explores the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world. Using animals to..."
The Unteachables
 
5.0
"Mr. Kermit is entering his 30th year of teaching, and he's already put in for early retirement. He started his..."
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
 
5.0
"Taylor Sorenson is a typical rebellious teen of 1968, sneaking out of his posh apartment to hang out with friends..."
Right as Rain
 
3.0
"Rain's family has experienced a tragedy-- her older brother was killed in a car accident. The mother thinks that the..."
Eventown
 
3.0
"Elodee's family is struggling for reasons that aren't clear, and she and her twin sister Naomi are not getting along...."
Scream and Scream Again
 
5.0
"I found some stories to be a lot more scary or interesting than others but the whole book was enjoyable...."
How Do I Love Thee?
 
5.0
"HOW DO I LOVE THEE is a beautifully illustrated children's book that is based on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet 43"...."
Privateer's Apprentice
 
4.0
"Privateer themed books can so easily go the way of the ridiculous and over the top. Not so with Privateer’s..."
Louisiana's Way Home
 
5.0
" I want to hug this book and never let go. Louisiana Elefante is cursed. She is hopeful..."
Unbound: A Novel in Verse
 
3.0
"All her life, Grace has been told the rules she must follow to survive: keep eyes down, keep mouth shut,..."
Time Jumpers: Escape from Egypt
 
3.0
"Time Jumpers: Escape from Egypt offers lengthier chapter book reading, while still offering delightful illustrations more familiar to young readers..."
Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship
 
3.0
"This book took me right back to my childhood! But what’s interesting is that the stories in this book aren’t..."
Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground
 
5.0
" Reading stories set during the time of slavery twists the stomach into a knot. Though most of us..."
Laugh-Out-Loud A+ Jokes for Kids (Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids)
 
3.5
"Yet another collection of clean kid’s jokes in the LOL series, this slim paperback offers fresh school-themed humor. As with..."
The Third Mushroom
 
4.0
"Ellie's grandfather Melvin, who turned himself into a teenager in The Fourteenth Goldfish, has gotten tired of traveling and has..."
A Long Line of Cakes
 
3.0
"'A Long Line of Cakes' by Deborah Wiles, set in a comfortably cozy town where everyone knows each other, captures..."
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
 
5.0
" This is a fun, cute, beautifully illustrated childrens book. What scares Darth Vader? Not wolfman, vampires, ghosts or kids!..."