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Jake Maia Arlow

Author of How to Excavate a Heart

4+ Works 214 Members 9 Reviews

Works by Jake Maia Arlow

How to Excavate a Heart (2022) 129 copies
Almost Flying (2021) 57 copies
Winter Break 1 copy

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Common Knowledge




All Al wants is to be a brain without a body.

Then she wouldn’t have to deal with her freshly diagnosed Crohn’s disease or her secret attraction to girls. Not to mention her very best friend and next-door neighbor Leo’s suddenly ditching her for the drama club. And the little matter of her own mom’s starting to date Leo’s mom. When all hope seems lost, into Al’s life comes The Bathroom Club, a truly nurturing inflammatory bowel disease support group made up of kids who are also queer. With new friends, a new crush, and Leo drifting further away from her, keeping her symptoms and struggles bottled up is becoming an insurmountable challenge for Al. Arlow dives into Al’s physical concerns, painting a picture both of the nitty-gritty of illness and the overwhelming embarrassments and anxieties of her particular experience of middle school. Al feels all things deeply and gets in her own way, traversing the highest highs and lowest lows on her journey to developing pride in all that she is. Her sweet romance with fellow club member Mina and deep friendship with Leo are strengths, and the highlight of Al’s story is the camaraderie among a group of chronically ill queer kids providing each other with dignity and nonjudgmental support. The supporting cast is racially diverse; Al, Leo (whose dad is Filipino), Mina, and some other characters are Jewish.

Offers humorous honesty and heartfelt relationships. (Fiction. 8-12)

-Kirkus Review
… (more)
CDJLibrary | Apr 3, 2024 |
3.5 rounded up bc the science nerd in me was screaming in delight the entire time. PSA if you’re looking for a cheesy feel good holiday book this is not that but it is set in Winter. I really enjoyed the vibe of this book overall though. Its very queer and the societal commentary was fun and v on the nose. Plus positive use of the word lesbian and both MCs identifying as such was really a treat. It did feel very young for college aged characters, more YA than NA which is why I didn’t rate it higher. But the characters were fun, the story had a lot going on but not in an overwhelming way and I loved the themes of finding yourself while in a relationship, healing from trauma and letting people in. Overall would recommend :) please check trigger warnings though!!!… (more)
the.lesbian.library | 4 other reviews | Jan 15, 2024 |
Another f/f holiday romance, but this time one of them is an intern for the holiday season at the Smithsonian and the other is the daughter of a local news channel weatherman.

This one was okay, but I think I was getting burned out on the holiday romances at this point. Still, it was cute and very readable.
electrascaife | 4 other reviews | Dec 26, 2023 |
i really liked so much of this. it was sweet, relatable, enjoyable characters, fun science (actual science without being overly science-y) and genuine young relationship issues that actually are tough to work through for newly out teens.

i would have liked this more if, as they were dealing with not becoming too involved too quickly, they didn't actually say 'i love you' before the month was out. still, i really liked this.
overlycriticalelisa | 4 other reviews | Apr 23, 2023 |



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