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Mini Book Review: Adrian and the Tree of Secrets

Mini Book Review: Adrian and the Tree of Secrets

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Adrian and the Tree of Secrets by Hubert

Adrian and the Tree of Secrets by [Hubert]

Cover  blurb (from Amazon): “Adrian isn’t very happy these days. He lives in a small town and goes to a Catholic high school. He wears glasses, secretly reads philosophy books, and wishes he had more muscles. He’s dogged by a strict mother, bullied by fellow players on the soccer field, and chastised by the school principal, who considers gay rumors about Adrian as a sign that he is “ill.” But Jeremy, the coolest kid at school, thinks otherwise; he takes Adrian on scooter trips, where they end up in Jeremy’s secret treehouse stealing kisses. Adrian finds himself falling in love, until Jeremy’s girlfriend rats them out, sending Jeremy into a tailspin of embarrassment for being different than the rest. What will become of him?”


I have to be honest with you- I don’t want to review this book.

Generally speaking, I try to provide balanced reviews. I always try to find both positive and negative things to say about any book I read. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right? However, there are a few things I’d like to point out about this graphic novel.

**Spoiler alert/sensitive content warning** I don’t want to review this book because I’m incredibly angry about the ending. ‘Adrian and the Tree of Secrets’ deals with homophobia, rejection and suicide. Adrian’s fate is left open to interpretation, but it certainly looked like suicide to me. Sadly, this outcome is all too common- here are some statistics and resources if you’re interested. I understand that this narrative might be realistic, but I don’t think it sends a good message. The ending is not only insulting, it’s demoralizing and dangerous.**

**Francisco Tirado, a reviewer on Lambda Literary, says “this book is perhaps five to eight years too late. It seems to exist pre-”It Gets Better Project”… It offers no real consolation and chooses to make an exposé of oppression, rather than offering a solution to a problem.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m not one to shy away from depressing realism. Unhappy endings have literary value. This book, however, is simply bleak. It seems to present suicide as an acceptable option, which is extremely troubling.**

The only high point for me is the art. Marie Caillou’s illustrations are beautiful.

‘Adrian and the Tree of Secrets’ is worth analyzing from a literary standpoint. As general fiction, though, skip it.


If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help.

U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or visit their website.

The Trevor Project (focuses on LGBTQ+): 1-866-488-7386, or you can chat online through their website.

For anyone outside of the U.S., please visit this site for resources in your country/language.




Book Review: Blood Flow by David A. Hill Jr.

Book Review: Blood Flow by David A. Hill Jr.

“Damn it, Dylan. No, no, no. Killing people is wrong, even if they have a Freebird ringtone.” -Hill

The links below will take you to Disclosure: LiteratureLynx is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This adds no additional cost to you.

Blood Flow by David A. Hill Jr.

Cover blurb (from Amazon): “Vampire democracy sucks. Literally. When it’s one vamp, one vote, the worst monsters can swing elections by turning random people off the streets into new vampires. Dylan is one of those random people. The power players in the city want his vote, but he just wants to be left the hell alone. Most of all, he wants to stop murdering people. That’s easier than it sounds when some people are seriously asking for it. Dylan’s life as a vampire is gross, terrifying, disgusting, frustrating, sexy, painful, and that’s all just in the first night out.”


I received a free copy of ‘Blood Flow’ in exchange for an honest review. For more information, please see my review policy page.


What I liked:

‘Blood Flow’ isn’t your typical urban fantasy. It’s a little grittier, a little rougher. It was awesome.

The main story line is interesting, but for me, the real strength of this novel was in it’s social commentary. Discussions about vampire lineage are interspersed with “Netflix and chill.” Hill touches on internet trolls, harassment of female gamers and police racism. There’s a discussion about cultural appropriation, and misjudging someone’s ethnicity. If you want a simple supernatural story, I can see where that might be a bit much. For my reading preferences, it was ideal. There was action and gore, as you’d expect in a vampire novel, but there’s also real-life issues.

‘Blood Flow’ is also genuinely funny. The humor can be pretty dark, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also really liked the fact that Dylan just rolls with everything. He doesn’t spend half the book agonizing about losing his humanity, or fighting his new supernatural reality. It just is what it is, and he moves forward from there.

What I didn’t like:

It took me a little while to adjust to Hill’s writing style. He doesn’t mince words, and he doesn’t spend a ton of time on descriptions. The writing is choppy and staccato, which isn’t a bad thing, just something to adjust to.

I did find myself a bit confused by the last few chapters. Up until that point, the world building and supernatural elements were pretty well laid out. Towards the end of the book, things started to feel rushed and less clear. The book ends on a huge cliffhanger, and if there’s ever a sequel, I definitely want to read it.

Would I recommend this book?

Tentatively, yes. It would depend on how well I know you.

**Spoiler alert/sensitive content warning** ‘Blood Flow’ includes violence, sex (both consensual and not), and fairly gory descriptions of bodily fluids. I found it especially interesting that the non-consensual sexual encounter (a rape) is quickly followed by a scene where a partner literally says “consider this enthusiastic consent.” A warning, though: the reader is present for the sexual assault scene. I also think it’s important to point out that in the rape scene, both people involved are male. Male/male rape is a topic that should be addressed more frequently than it currently is.**

Additional thoughts:

I deeply appreciate the diversity in ‘Blood Flow.’ Not only is the main character Latino, he’s also bisexual. How often do we get to see LGBTQ+ POC characters? The majority of the supporting characters are also POC. I thought the discussions of racial issues were well done. They sounded authentic to the way people actually talk. That is, it didn’t sound like a lecture to the reader in the middle of the story. Dylan gently corrects people when they make a mistake (like assuming he isn’t Mexican).

**Spoilers** Another sub-plot involves a young black man who is murdered by police. This story line becomes folded into everything else, but I was satisfied with it’s conclusion.**

I really, really enjoyed this book. ‘Blood Flow’ won’t appeal to everyone. It’s definitely not a sparkly-vampires-in-love type of book. It doesn’t shy away from blood, trauma or social justice issues. For me, it was the perfect combination. I’d love to read more from this author, and I’d love to see a sequel.

Mini Book Review: Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass

Mini Book Review: Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass

** ‘Shadow Fall’ is book 3 of a series, and will contain spoilers for book 1 and 2**

The links below will take you to Disclosure: LiteratureLynx is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This adds no additional cost to you.

Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass

Cover blurb (taken from Amazon): “Kira Solomon’s life has never been simple. Battling against the Fallen, serving the Egyptian goddess Ma’at, becoming romantically involved with a 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior—these are now everyday realities. But something is changing. Kira’s magic is becoming dangerously unpredictable, tainted by the Shadow she has been trained to destroy.

Matters grow worse when an Atlanta museum exhibit based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead turns out to have truly sinister properties. As the body count rises, even long-trusted allies start to turn against Kira. She can hardly blame them—not when the God of Chaos is stalking her dreams and the shocking truth about her origins is finally coming to light. As one of the good guys, Kira was a force to be reckoned with. But if the only way to stop a terrifying adversary is to fight Shadow with Shadow, then she’s ready to find out just how very bad she can be. . . .”


Today’s review will be short and sweet.

‘Shadow Fall’ is the third book in the ‘Shadowchasers’ series. I wrote full reviews for book 1, ‘Shadow Blade‘ and book 2, ‘Shadow Chase’. With that in mind, a full review doesn’t seem as necessary. Instead, I’ll give you the quick overview.

The things I like about this series remain true. The cast is diverse and the Egyptian mythology is awesome. Kira and Khefar’s relationship continues to grow, and I’m happy with the arc of their love story.

‘Shadow Fall’ introduces some new supporting characters, including Turkish pterodactyl-like creatures and a pack of were-hyenas. I enjoyed both of these additions, but I did miss some of the old characters. This installment focuses a lot on Kira facing her own demons. Part of that struggle is the removal of her previous support systems. I understand that choice from a storytelling standpoint, but I missed Anansi (my favorite supporting character from ‘Shadow Blade’ and ‘Shadow Chase’).

Gender and power play interesting roles in this book. Women fill almost every leadership position. The were-hyenas take this to an extreme that we don’t often see in literature. In real life, hyenas have an uncommon matriarchal system. The females control status and resources, leaving the males to endure frequent abuse. **Sensitive content warning: in the context of the book, this translates to a backstory about female rapists and abusers. I appreciate the fact that Glass was willing to discuss this.**

I liked this addition to the series, but it sounds like I’ll be waiting a while for the next one. ‘Shadow Fall’ was published in 2011, and there is still no release date for book 4, ‘Shadow Hunt.’