Book Review: Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White – Critical, Angry, and Teeth-Bared; a Post-Apocalyptic Horror about Religious Trauma and Queer Rage

Hell Followe
Blurb:

Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.

A furious, queer debut novel about embracing the monster within and unleashing its power against your oppressors. Perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and Annihilation.

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hell Followed with Us is queer rage incarnate. This post-apocalyptic horror YA delves into religious trauma and queer survival that is all at once terrifying, furious, yet emotional. Set in the distant future, Hell Followed with Us follows trans boy Benji as he escapes the fundamentalist cult that raised him and destroyed the world and its population. After he is rescued by a group of queer teens who have made a home in the local LGBTQ+ Centre, Benji must keep his terrible secret: that the cult has infected him with a bioweapon that is mutating him into a monster powerful enough to destroy the world once and for all.

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The Pond Book News #117 – The Queer, the Gothic, & the Witchy: Exciting YA Announcements This Week

Welcome to Issue #117!

Sprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy.

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcome to another exciting issue of The Pond Book News! Twice a month, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

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Pondathon II: A New Companion Quest! Tea Time and a Good Book with Judy Lin

Pondathon II is a year-long gardening-themed readathon hosted by The Quiet Pond! Help us restore the forest by reading to earn plants and decorate your own garden. For more information about Pondathon, read our Readathon Information Post or check out our Pondathon II Portal.

The story:

Looking around you, you see all the Pond friends – including fellow visitors and friends of the Pond – coming together to help and nurture the forest and the land to grow. You feel a little sense of pride, knowing that everyone has come together for this.

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Book Review: Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence by Sonja Thomas – A Heartfelt Summer Read about STEM-Girl Power, Cats, and Having Faith in Yourself

sir fig newton and the science of persistence by sonja thomas. reviewed by cw, the quiet pond
Blurb:

From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this heartfelt middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.

Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.

Mira’s beloved cat, Sir Fig Newton, has been the most stable thing in her life lately, but now he seems off, too. With her phone gone and no internet over the weekend at her strict Gran’s house, Mira must research Fig’s symptoms the old-fashioned way: at the library. She determines that he has “the silent cat killer” diabetes. A visit to the vet confirms her diagnosis, but that one appointment stretched family funds to the limit—they’ll never be able to afford cat insulin shots.

When Mira’s parents tell her they may have to give Fig up to people who can afford his treatment, Mira insists she can earn the $2,000 needed within a month. Armed with ingenuity, determination, and one surprising ally, can Mira save her best (four-legged) friend before it’s too late?

I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Young readers who love science and cats will adore Sonja Thomas’s middle-grade novel, Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence. This heartfelt story follows Mira, a young science-loving Black biracial girl and aspiring astronomer, and her rollercoaster summer of changing friendships, her beloved cat’s “silent cat killer” diagnosis, and the implications this has on her family.

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