Read The Second Mango by Shira Glassman Erika Hammerschmidt Jane Dominguez Online


Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she's also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she's the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody thinks she's faking. When she meets Rivka, an athleticQueen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she's also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she's the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody thinks she's faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately. Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that's okay -- Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior's willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer....

Title : The Second Mango
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781537756455
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 503 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Second Mango Reviews

  • Rebecca
    2019-01-30 15:19

    Read this review and more on my blogIn a nutshell: The Second Mango was such a fun read with wonderful diversity and feminism. I initially discovered Mangoverse through a suggestion for my Underrated Book Project, as well as posts on LGBTQ+ Tumblr book blogs. Diversity in fiction is very important and I'm making an effort to read more diverse books, particularly in genres I love. The point I'm trying to make is that I knew I wanted to read Mangoverse but I didn't think I would love it as much as I did. Fresh out of a reading slump, it was something that especially appealed to me right now and it was the perfect reading choice. The Second Mango is the kind of book that shouldn't be taken too seriously, which you might guess already from the title. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable - it's a lot of fun and I had a blast reading it. It instantly drew me in and it was a short, quick and delightful read with adventure, dragons, friendship and romance. The plot is pretty simple - Shulamit is Queen of the tropical land of Perach, has digestive problems that people assume she's faking for attention, and likes girls. She really wants someone but the problem is that she's the only one she knows who is attracted to women, other than someone she cared for very much who left her. Rivka, a new friend and a female warrior disguised as a man, agrees to help Shulamit find a women open to a relationship and protect her, but then they end up on a rescue mission to save women at a temple who have turned into stone by an evil sorceror. It's also important to mention that they travel around on a dragon-horse, which I would really appreciate having in my life. I really liked both of the main characters, especially Rivka. For the majority of the novel, the two women are the only characters we really see and it was lovely to read a female-centric book. Both are different - Shulamit being a Queen who loves books and Rivka being a warrior - but they have a great friendship. I'm looking forward to seeing how they grow in the later books, as well as learning more about Aviva and Isaac. Romance plays quite a significant part in the book and if you know me well, you'll know about my complex relationship with romance. More often than not, I'm disinterested but in this case, I rooted for both pairs and had a lot of 'aww!' moments at both the good and bad. When the ladies reflected on their past with their loves, I was quite devastated for them. (view spoiler)[Gosh, so many feels for Rivka/Isaac. The ending for them both made me so happy. I was hoping that they would be reunited with Aviva and Isaac again! (hide spoiler)] It was refreshing to see more of the same-sex relationship than a heterosexual one, both romantically and sexually.Diversity was a big selling point for me and this series and it's definitely its strongest element. The representation was fantastic. Not only are there POC but there's a strong feminist thread throughout, LGBTQ+ characters and a religion that seems a lot like Judaism. As I've mentioned, it's a female-driven novel that features strong women who are friends. There's a strong feminist thread in Rivka's story particularly, considering her desire to fight in wars and the reputation she establishes for herself though men doubted her because of her gender. There's also women who like other women (and men) and a character I interpreted as being somewhere on the aro/ace spectrum. Yet these elements don't feel like they're thrown in for the sake of earning brownie points. They feel genuine and well-written, and I'd consider it to be one of the best books for diversity that I've read. The rest of the series promises more diversity and I'm really excited about it!Perhaps the weakest element of The Second Mango is the world-building. Something I love in fantasy novels is a greater sense of the world and how it works, but this book was more about the characters, their journey and their relationships. Obviously I really enjoyed the book, but I hope to learn more about the world in later books. The ending was very... complete. Things worked out a little bit too well perhaps, but I wasn't too concerned because it's the first book in a series and I was just really happy for everyone. I'd highly recommend this book if you want a fun read with adventure and diversity. I can see why people might not enjoy it as much as I did but for its diversity alone, it's well worth a read. It's one of my new favourites and I'll be working through the other books in the Mangoverse series next!

  • Lex Kent
    2019-01-31 13:34

    2 1/2 Stars. I was really looking forward to this, a fantasy story in which one of the mains is a lesbian. Knights, Queens, dragons, and sorcerers... yes please! Instead, what I got felt like a jumbled mess, a "fractured fairy-tale" if you will. Half of the dialogue felt so fake, like characters where walking around with verbal diarrhea of the mouth, blurting out whatever suits them. The other half was dialogue that just didn't make sense to me. An example, I'm making up, to try and show you..."Her arms wrapped me up in a warm embrace" make sense to me, instead the author would write.." Her eyebrows wrapped me up in a warm embrace". Eyebrows, how can eyebrows embrace a person. Too many times this bizarre dialogue made me think WTH, I just don't understand. Maybe, this is one of these novels that pretends to be so simple its actually brilliant, and I'm just not smart enough to get it. Either way, I'm really disappointed! F/F fantasy is my favorite genre and I really wanted to love this.

  • Kiran
    2019-02-03 14:17

    I have been avoiding spoilers on this book for a year if not more. That's really, really hard considering Shira is one of my good friends and everyone I know has been reading this awesome series [with good reason!] I finally went out and got it along with the prequel of sorts off of Torquere's website. Once they were loaded on my Kindle, I basically ceased to exist for a few hours. This was so worth the wait. I loved it. As someone that's not only queer, but is also gluten intolerant--I liked reading about how Aviva was helping Shula through all of that through cooking/treating her like she wasn't just being picky. I liked how realistic Shula was. I got the sense that she really grew though the story arc, rather than letting people decide her life for her--She started to act more like a Queen people could respect. I found her character arc and progression to be really natural. She and Aviva's relationship was adorable, as well. Very organic, not forced in the slightest. I thought their entire courtship was really cute. Shira sent me a message basically asking if I knew "the thing" about Isaac already [I didn't!], and now that I do I'm just sitting here like *chinhands* because it makes me so happy. Amazing twist, one that I really enjoyed and didn't see coming until just beforehand. Rivka. I can't say enough about how much I love her character. Seriously amazing. She reminds me of Tarma from OATHBREAKERS--except without the vow of chastity. I enjoyed seeing her learn sword work, and the explanations behind it. All too often, authors don't take the time to discuss what's happening during a swordfight. I've rarely seen descriptions of having to figure out *when* to guard and parry, as opposed to the character just doing it as though they already knew how. I thought this was a very realistic touch. I am totally not religious at all, that being said--I found the touches of Jewish culture and religion amazing. I had to hit up google scholar a few times, but it wasn't like the culture/religious aspects were completely foreign, as it's pretty easy to understand festivals and holy days no matter what religion you practice. Shira never made the Jewish culture/religion unattainable/difficult for those not practicing of that faith in the book.I know readers sometimes think that religion needs explanation by the author, but I feel readers have a certain responsibility to go to if they don't know enough about a concept. It's not the author's job to educate people on the religion in the book, particularly if--like Shira--it's their own. I found myself wanting to learn more about it, so I could understand how important these things were to the characters in the Mangoverse, and it really helped. Took about 5 minutes.While Shula and Riv originally set out to find Shula a girlfriend, they ended up getting a side-quest that got both of them more than they bargained for. The entire story arc was wonderfully handled, and did I mention funny? I laughed more than a few times at how Shira used humor in this story. Some authors just aren't funny. Shira, however, hits more than a few one-liners that are basically wonderful.Adventure, humor, love, and fantasy all combine in this book to form a very, very enjoyable read. If you haven't already bought it--please do. It's worth every penny.

  • RoAnna Sylver
    2019-02-09 12:20

    Wonderfully warm, sweet and inviting high fantasy with positive and affirming representation. The Second Mango is a fairy tale that tells the truth, based on women forming strong friendships and falling in love, rescuing each other and themselves, and saving the day. (Special note: seeing chronically ill characters being supported, believed, and loved will always be important. It shouldn't be as rare and refreshing as it is, but that doesn't change how good it is to see here.)The characters in this book and its continuing series discover many different kinds of strength: to fight, to rule, to have faith in the most frightening of times, and faith in oneself. They remind us, and especially young, marginalized readers that we can do the same. It can even be fun! I've read several of this series - out of order, not a problem here - and they're all easy, enjoyable reads that leave you feeling reassured, refreshed, and brave. We need books like this, especially now.

  • Nikki
    2019-01-25 12:22

    The Second Mango is sweet and quite silly. It doesn't take itself or its characters too seriously at all, and the story is sweeter for it -- the image of a wizard turning himself into a lizard to cling to his lady love's door and woo her at night where no one can see just tickles me, and because it's knowingly absurd, endears the story to me. I love that the possibly obvious plot does not happen: nobody switches sexuality by magic and the main characters don't have a big drama between them about it. It's a world where same-sex partnerships don't seem to be common, but for the most part it isn't a major drama either, which is quite refreshing.I also really like the fact that one of the main characters has food intolerances. That's not a "disability" (for lack of a better term, meaning here that it's not magical in origin or anything, but a physical limitation) I've seen much in fiction, if at all. The mix of cultural backgrounds was interesting, too: it's not entirely clear where all of the religious background is drawn from, but the biggest influence is Judaism. Again, not something I see much!It's not some epic deep novel, but it's light and fun, and it made me smile.

  • Olga Godim
    2019-01-28 14:21

    I must be flaky. I started a couple of serious, classical fantasy books and couldn’t finish them. The writing in each one was superb, the themes deep, the characters developed, but I got bored. Then I started this little novel and was enchanted. It reads easily and fast, it’s charming and innocent. Despite its multiple writing flaws, I enjoyed it.The story is supposedly YA, but I think it’s more suited for middle grade. The heroine, Queen Shulamit, is 20, according to the text, but she behaves very immature for that age, more like an innocent 14.A kind and intelligent girl with lots of insecurities and food allergies, she is a lesbian and she is searching for someone to accept her as she is. She is paired with a female warrior Rivka, who is posing as a man. With Rivka as her bodyguard, Shulamit embarks on a journey to find a life partner – another lesbian girl who would love her. A rather shallow goal for a fantasy quest, but the story leads these two unlikely partners on a different, tangential trip – to discover who they are. The narration and the characters are simplistic, with no depth, reminiscent of a fairy tale, complete with a moral in the end. The world building is naïve and minimalist like a primitivism painting, but humor embroider every blatant statement, and the author’s tong-in-cheek approach to her characters and situations allows the reader to forget the imperfections of this book and concentrate on its attractive qualities. One of those is its Jewish undertones – a rarity in the genre. The names, the cultural references, even certain words breathe Jewish, both Hebrew and Yiddish. As a Jewish writer myself, I find this refreshing and admirable. Another asset of this book is its protagonists Shulamit and Rivka. A lesbian, idealistic girl and an older woman with a tragic past, street-smart and cynical, they make strange road companions, more sisters than anything else, as they support each other through their various adventures. I also liked the author’s originality in both problems and solutions – nothing is as expected in this tale that surprisingly avoids most of the genre tropes. The ending is a bit didactic and a bit smutty simultaneously. How did the author pull that off?My one serious objection – the novel could benefit from better editing.Overall – a cute and sweet story of women’s friendship. Recommended to fans of YA and MG fantasy. Lovers of serious epic fantasy – beware of shape-shifting dragons/horses/wizards!

  • Natasha
    2019-02-18 11:15

    SapphicAThon: Both WOCI liked things about this and it was a lot of fun, but I'm finding the authors writing isn't for me which is unfortunate.

  • Justina
    2019-01-31 12:29

    This young adult folk-like tale was super charming and incredibly engaging. I just fell in love with all the key characters and also hated the baddies a bunch. The balance was perfect. I especially liked how I was taken back through the second key character’s history after she had signed on to find, save, and then protect her ‘queenling’. Wonderful.Shulamit has been Queen of Perach at the still relatively tender age of twenty for all of two months. She has a lot to learn. She also now has more battles on her platter along with her ruling duties. With her razor sharp wit, feisty personality, and very delicate stomach, not to mention her strong affection for a woman as her mate, she has her work cut out for her.Riv, mercenary and bounty hunter, is a person of strength, knowledge, and extraordinary combat skills. She is actually called Rivka, but is masquerading as a man so she get continue to be hired for her mercenary skills. After Riv finds, saves, and returns the queen, she accepts a most unusual challenge from her ‘queenling’. Riv is not looking for a woman as her mate, since she is still grieving for her lost wizard.Magic, battles galore, and slimy shifty no-goodniks along with two missing lovers certainly set a marvelous foundation for Queen Shulamit and Riv’s quest. Along with beautifully interwoven flashbacks, this story hits the right note again and again. I feel this is a wonderful tale for all ages and anyone who is young at heart!NOTE: This book was provided by Priam Books for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  • Elke (BEroyal)
    2019-01-27 15:15

    This was not completely my cup of tea, but I loved reading about Jewish characters, and this was the first time ever I read about someone chronically ill struggling with people believing her. It was probably the first time I read about someone chronically ill in general. It shouldn't have taken so long and it shouldn't be this rare, and I'm grateful I got to experience it here. Extremely refreshing. I'm grateful for these books being a safe and warm space for many, and grateful I could see an extra part of myself, however small or by association.The writing in the book felt easy, maybe even childish to me, or more like a middle grade book. However, it should be noted that it includes sex scenes and thus wouldn't necessarily be suited for middle grade ages.I had some conflicted feelings about this book that I didn't seem to be able to put into words, so I highly encourage you to read Ann Elise's review too.

  • Aleksandra
    2019-02-03 15:22

    The Second Mango is delightful fantasy book about lesbian Jewish young queen Shulamit and her trusted friend and warrior Rivka and their adventures. I've had so much fun reading this book! The writing is gripping and for such a short book it has so much depth, character development and exciting twists & turns in the plot.Basically every character is Jewish and women of color. There are two romantic plot lines - f/f and f/m. I loved them both, and I appreciate the strong friendship that grew between the queen and her warrior. Yay to women supporting and caring for each other. Also casual dismantling of patriarchal society is always appreciated.Have I mentioned dragons, curses and wizards? Because yes!The Second Mango is wonderful novella and the first book in the series. I'm definitely going to continue on with this series. Shira Glassman is so talented. I've read her amazing contemporary novellas and now she's rocking at fantasy genre. And as far as I know she mostly writes about queer Jewish women, bless her. (btw #ownvoices queer and Jewish rep)Sapphicathon Bingo: Book 5: Jewish MC

  • Kevin
    2019-02-06 09:37

    I liked that this book had a kick-ass heroine "Rivika" who in the opening chapter saves the princess who rules the country. The princess "Shulamit" is forced to abandon her guards to find a lesbian lover due to their intolerance. This is the first Hebrew based fantasy I'd ever read, so that was interesting. The book is really short less then 50,000 words, so it was hard to fill in the back story to the two main characters and have a complicated plot going at the same time.

  • Ceillie
    2019-01-31 11:34

    This was really sweet high fantasy. Highly recommend it! Full review to come!

  • Ann Elise Monte
    2019-01-27 13:15

    I’ve been meaning to read the Mangoverse books for a while. Once again, SapphicAThon is giving me an excuse to start at least.Details at a glance:Genre: Fantasy (some have categorised it as YA, but the main MC is 20 so no)First published: 2013 (current version published 2016 due to reversion of rights)Format: PaperbackPairings: F/F, M/FSexual content: Sex scenesRep: Disabled brown Jewish lesbian MC, Jewish MC, brown Jewish (unlabelled) bisexual LI, Jewish LI. All characters are Jewish.Ownvoices: Yes (Jewish), author is also bisexualContent warnings: Ableist language, sexism (not condoned), cissexism, bimisia/biphobia, attempted rape, cis character crossdressing, homophobia/homomisia (not condoned)***I have some complicated feelings about this book. I liked the story and will probably read the rest of the books in the series, but there’s also a lot of stuff that does not sit right with me.Having an entire fantasy world populated by Jewish people is really cool. There are multiple nations, though we primarily see Perach, which is populated by darker-skinned Jewish people. Perach is mostly Hebrew-speaking and the northern region, populated by taller, paler people, mostly speaks Yiddish. Hebrew and Yiddish words are peppered throughout the narrative.I also really liked seeing a character with food intolerances, severe enough that they are absolutely disabling. Queen Shulamit can’t digest wheat or fowl, but most people in her life think she’s making it up to be special. I’m lactose intolerant and my father is celiac. It’s more of an inconvenience in a modern world like ours assuming you can afford expensive dietary alternatives, but in a place like Perach, those kinds of digestive problems present a real problem. They also affect the way Shulamit engages with her faith, being that she can’t eat many of the traditional dishes.The plot is pretty silly, but the book is unapologetic about it. Shulamit wants a royal girlfriend. We’re going on a quest to find one. It does make sense, given being the only queer person that you know can be extremely isolating.I found myself invested in both love stories, though I will say the sex scenes come at very strong odds with the rather simple, even childish, writing style. That was jarring. It didn’t bother me too much, but anyone who says this book is like a middle grade definitely should add a caveat that it isn’t actually suitable for middle grade readers.Anyway, the writing style is simplistic but that also makes it easy to read.However, what’s impossible to ignore is the fact this story is extremely cissexist. Breasts and genitals are constantly made out to be what makes someone’s gender. There’s also a line about women preferring to live as men, and it’s completely unclear whether this means butch women or horribly misgendered trans men. Given one of the two main characters crossdresses constantly to avoid misogyny regarding her profession as a warrior, this is extremely disappointing.There’s also one “slut” line about a bisexual character that didn’t sit right with me. The author is bi, but given this situation was coming from a character’s personal insecurities about this bisexual person, it really grossed me out. There’s also another insecurity from this character that of course the bisexual character isn’t going to stay with a woman, because she’s also attracted to men. When I first read it, I was going to give the benefit of the doubt, but when it came clear the dialogue was actually feeding off the insecurities of a character you’re meant to sympathise with, I lost my patience. But, hey, at least it’s one fucking line of dialogue. I should probably consider myself lucky there wasn’t more, even when I tend to go into bisexual authors’ books not expecting to encounter any of that bullshit.Anyway, there’s good stuff and some bad stuff. I’m intrigued enough by the story world that I want to read some more, but I’ll probably just buy the ebooks rather than the paperbacks next time.

  • Ori Rivault
    2019-01-22 09:09

    Five stars all the way.I eagerly await to read the sequels, but in all honesty this book does not need a continuation. The ends are all tied of nicely, but left open for more story to be added. Maybe that was the author's attention all along?This was a book I could not put down. And it was my first ever one involving f/f romance! Even though the main character Queen Shulamit is a lesbian, this book almost didn't focus on the homosexuality. I honestly am not a very romantic person myself, but this is definitely something. Very very lovely. Rivka's bravery certainly gave Rose an outstanding heroine in one of my all time favorites, Vampire Academy, a run for her money. Written well, and definitely worth picking up, The Second Mango is something I now treasure deeply and highly recommend. Special thanks to my friend Melissa for sending me a copy at her own expense. Everyone should check her and her bookstore Carpe Librum out. You can find her in my friends, and as a mod in The Rainbow Support Group.

  • Jaylee
    2019-02-04 10:28

    Read this review and more at my blog - J reads Ya!Diversity Ratings: | POC Chars - All but 4 | Queer Chars - 2 |The Second Mango is what a friend on Goodreads calls a “snack cake book.” It’s short and sweet, fun to read, but not very filling. Pure entertainment and escape. :) While the overarching story is a sort of adventure quest, the bulk of the book deals with love stories - told in flashbacks, or in the story itself. I found Rivka’s (the straight girl’s) love story to be the most compelling, and her character was the most developed of the two. I really got into Rivka’s relationship, and liked her funny commentary on what was going on in the story. She was definitely the highlight of the book, in my opinion."I know a couple of them think that if they could just find me a prince beautiful enough, I’d stop being so strange.""Yes, a prince with breasts!"Shulamit’s participation in the plot required a LOT of suspension of disbelief on my part. Why would a young queen trying to establish herself as the ruler of a country up and leave everything in order to find a girlfriend? Why does she decide to go on a rescue mission when she has no fighting skills whatsoever and is likely to just get killed? It was also kind of silly how falls head-over-heels for every girl she sees. It made her love affair with her girlfriend feel kind of inauthentic, since she seemed happy enough with just any girl she happened to stumble across. Plus, we only got to see her love story in a handful of flashbacks (as opposed to Rivka’s - which we are told the entire story spanned across several chapters). I didn’t really ever get a sense of who Shulamit was, besides being young and having digestive issues and being gay. Her character didn’t fell well-developed, and her personality doesn’t really shine through."You have to believe in your own authority if you want anyone else to."I liked the multicultural elements, but felt a little lost on some of it. Since the author bases her cultures off of real cultures, she doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining it in-depth. I recognized Jewish elements to Rivka’s culture but didn’t understand any of them, since I don’t know much about the religion/culture, and wished there had been more explanation. The hardest part of this book for me was the writing. At times it was overly grandiose and very aware that it was a fantasy novel (one of my pet peeves) and at others, it felt incredibly juvenile (for example, at one point, during battle, Shulamit shouts “you overgrown tin drinking vessel!”). Similarly, the author unflinchingly embraces her characters’ sexuality, but also goes out of her way to avoid saying that they have sex (example: at one point instead of saying “after they had sex,” she says “when the soft kittens were finished meowing”). It threw me off and made it difficult to get through at times. Overall… this story doesn’t have great depths, nor is it a masterpiece of literature, but if you are looking for a short, sweet book to entertain you for an afternoon, consider checking out this book. :) Especially if you are looking for a book featuring queer ladies, POC, and set in a fantasy world NOT based on medieval Europe.

  • Karin
    2019-02-04 09:27

    I wasn't planning on starting a sixth (::sigh::) book at the same time, but we were away from home and my daughter was refusing to sleep without nursing, so rather than surf the internet I decided to fire up my Kindle app and pick out a book (I did promise myself last year that I would read all of the books that have accumulated on my Kindle). This one was the right book at the right time.First, it's a romance, neither erotica nor sexless, neither angsty teen drama nor sterile protocol-driven courtship, just honest romance. And there is a genuineness about how the characters deal with gender and sexuality. It acknowledges that each relationship is, and should be, unique.Second, it had a simplicity that was both an asset and a liability to the story. I liked that the story did not wallow at any point. It moved and the assets of each character were on display. On the other hand, things worked out too perfectly every time. We did not spend much time with the characters living with failure. Part of that is because the book moved and failures were quickly resolved, and part of it was that much of the characters' grieving took place before the book began. This is only a minor complaint for me though I do hope that as the stories progress (and I will definitely be reading the next one) that we spend some time "wallowing" and really getting to know the characters deeply.

  • Sadie Forsythe
    2019-02-03 14:16

    Do I rate a book on my opinion of the story the author sought to tell or the one actually written? There are so many aspects of this that I appreciate. It's a story of genuine friendship between women, with no romantic underpinnings. Unusually, the world appears to be based on Judaism, instead of Christianity. There is a character with a significant dietary limitation. The main character is a queen, not a princess, therefore inhabiting a position of power and authority. There is diversity in both the gender and sexuality arenas. The women save the day. In fact, there are hardly any significant men in the book at all; all things you rarely find in fiction. But, but, but...if not for the sex, I would call this Middle Grade Fiction. The writing is that simplistic and childish. The solutions are come to that simply. The happy endings (for everyone) come about that predictably and everyone talks and acts with that level of maturity and deep thinking. The book feels like it's written for and by a child, a child with a firm grasp of grammar granted, but a child all the same. And if I thought it really was Middle Grade Fiction I could hardly fault it for that. But I don't think it is, so in the end, I'm just left with a kiddie book for adults.

  • Amber
    2019-02-07 13:14

    Mixed straight and queer romance, just fyi. UGH SO GOOD. It was sweet and wonderful and friendship and magic and love and great use of words and YES. Recommend.ETA: Almost forgot! Okay for Aayesha (if she's okay with the queer bits)

  • Charlotte Hamilton
    2019-02-12 14:10


  • Meri Greenleaf
    2019-01-18 10:10

    I'm not exactly sure how many stars to give this book. Four seems a little too high, but it deserves much better than a three, so I'll go with that. I enjoyed this book and thought it was a fun read. (I love fantasy books that are fun! So often they're depressing and dark and bleh- this was so wonderfully fun and positive!) I enjoyed the fact that the main character was lgbt+ and had food allergies- you never see food allergies in books! I had never read a fantasy book that used Judaism as the religion for the world and thought that was a nice, refreshing change. But I can't help wishing that there was more to the story. More depth to the characters, more depth to the storyline. I wish there had been more depth to the main character, too. Her sex drive overshadowed anything else about her personality and made her less rounded and developed than the secondary main character. (I found Rivka a lot more interesting than Shulamit.) A sex drive is fine, but when it's brought up continuously, I can't help wishing that Shulamit's other traits were made more important. They're there, like her intelligence and love of learning, but those things seemed almost like secondary traits. I guess what I'm saying is that there was so much potential here but I don't think the book quite hit it.I think what originally turned me off when I first started reading the book is that it's written in the style of Middle Grade, but the main character was obsessed with sex. This was disconcerting, especially at first- the style didn't quite match the content. (The book's not really explicit, thankfully, because that would have really strange alongside the fun, young-ish writing style.) I'm glad I stuck with the book, though, because the main character does grow and begin solving problems rather than just fretting over finding a woman. (Character growth! Yay! I always love some character development!) It was strange that she was a queen and did very little queening and didn't seem to take the role particularly seriously, but it is a fun read so that was something I could let slide even when it wasn't particularly believable.This sounds like a negative review, but I promise I did like the book and I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for fun, lgbt+ fantasy. I have a feeling that as the series progresses the writing is going to keep improving, so the potential I'd hoped to see here will be met there. The fact that this was such a fun read overpowers anything negative about the book, so I'm going to give the rest of the series a try. :)

  • M. Hollis
    2019-02-09 10:18

    "I've always admired that about you - that you want to know everything about your kingdom, even the rocks, and plants."I clearly have a new favorite. Shira is just so good at making you love her characters, but Queen Shulamit is definitely on my top favorite female characters of all time. She's my kind of heroine, smart, dorky, adorable into girls, and extremely passionate about taking care of others. The Second Mango is a light and engaging Jewish inspired fantasy world with a Queen that loves women, a warrior that has a dragon companion, and their adventures on finding love back into their lives. Just what I love to read. There's enough fluff that the small amount of angst brings the right balance to the story. I recommend this one for people who like character driven stories or that just love to see cute Queens in search of lady love.

  • Danielle
    2019-02-07 14:16

    This was so cute and lovely and I adored Shulamit and Rivka. It reads a lot like a Tamora Pierce Alanna book, which is obviously amazing because favorite. Shula does read pretty young and it was a little cringy how she kept hitting on Rivka at first, but she grows over the journey and ends up as a very strong, kind queen. My only real complaint, the prose of the sex scenes is a little odd. "Your face smells of flowers" as as euphemism for vaginal secretions, eh, not my thing. Otherwise, this is a fantastic feminist fairy tale set in a vibrant Jewish world that I highly recommend.

  • Amber
    2019-02-18 10:15

    The writing really was the downfall for this book; it seems set for a younger audience despite the protagonist's age due to how simple the writing was. I just wanted more from it.

  • Meredith Katz
    2019-02-12 12:22

    The Second Mango (Mangoverse #1) by Shira Glassman is a delightful lesbian young adult fantasy with a charming sense of adventure. 4.5/5 stars!Shulamit is the young queen of Perach, and is not exactly happy with her situation. She likes ladies and can't digest wheat or fowl, both things the servants around her can't or won't accept as something normal to work around (taking them instead as signs that she's desperate for attention). After her lover runs away with no explanation and her loving father has tragically died, she's left frustrated—in multiple senses of the word. Which results in her sneaking out to a bawdy house, which results in her getting kidnapped, which results in her getting rescued by the travelling mercenary Riv—secretly Rivka, a woman hiding her identity to avoid prejudices against women as warriors. Impulsively, Shulamit hires Rivka to be her bodyguard on a quest to go find another woman-loving-woman in return for being offered position as guard captain, so they're off on an adventure that will bring them face-to-face with thieves, evil wizards, and surprises from both their pasts.Shulamit is one of my favorite types of characters—High Int, Low Wis, which is to say, perfectly smart but with the common sense of a spoon. She attaches to people quickly, and when she opens her mouth, words fall out. I find her a very charming example of this type, quirky and energetic but not stupid in the slightest. Her companion, Rivka, is slightly older and calmer by nature. She talks less, acts more, though we get to see she was quite a bit reckless when she was younger as well. They balance each other well, and I was willing to buy that the opportunity to settle down in a job that'd still let her see lots of action while guarding someone important would be a compelling argument to go along with Shulamit's poorly-thought-through plans.I agree with some of the other reviewers that this reads toward the younger end of the YA scale. I think probably I'd recommend this most for the 12-16 age range, young teen girls looking for heroes like themselves in fiction and wanting to read a cute fluffy adventure at the same time. That was definitely the age that I started reading adult novels to try to find queer characters, while also juggling fluffier younger reads! This would be a perfect antidote to those things I didn't have when I was young, and I'm excited to think that it exists now.And there's a lot to like in this book for adults too, and a lot to recommend. Not only is it a Jewish fantasy world (as opposed to the copious number of Christian-centric fantasy worlds), and has a main character who's a queen rather than a princess, it also introduces a hero with food sensitivities which, as someone with them myself, I realize I have literally never read. Maybe I'd have a lot less trouble in restaurants if people grew up reading it as a standard! And then on top of that, the adventure is fun and the het pairing is also cute and something I could root for. And there are dragons!The only thing I looked for and didn't find in it was a sense of tension; problems were usually solved with the first solution the characters came up with, and there was never any guilt or resentment (justified or not) to deal with when people made mistakes. There are scenes we see the characters' insecurities, but they aren't really talked out with the others involved. That said, as much as I would have liked more of a sense of risk, it didn't bother me; I was in it for a fun read and that's what I got.I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the Mangoverse. More to the point, I'm glad this book exists and I hope teens out there, particularly, snatch it up. Read it like I couldn't, back then!

  • Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
    2019-02-09 10:27

    This is a beautiful fairy tale about a young, lesbian queen on a quest for love. She is heart-broken about losing her beloved father and not yet ready to take over for him as queen.People seem to adore her, but don’t really respect her. They think her love for women is weird and just a phase and believe she is lying about her digestive problems to get attention. Queen Shulamit is a smart woman, but has been so sheltered all her life that she is missing the common sense of real-life experience and is still a bit immature.When she visits a brothel to quench her desire of being with a woman again, after her girlfriend just left her without a satisfying explanation, she is kidnapped. It doesn’t take long for the warrior Riv to rescue her. The two form a connection of sorts and Shulumit finds out her rescuer is a woman disguised as man. While Rivka is straight and no potential love interest for the queen, she agrees to accompany queen Sulamit on an adventure to find her a woman to love and cherish.It was very interesting for me that Jewish religion was woven into the fabric of this tale, without seeming preachy. The story allows for readers to have their own perspective, without telling them what’s right and celebrates diversity and open-mindedness.The adventures of queen Shulamit are fun and I loved finding out more about her and Rivka’s past. At times, what they experienced seems dark, but they always retain a hopeful outlook on life that was inspiring to me. They form a beautiful friendship as they ride on the back of a stallion that can turn into a dragon and fly them into the next adventure.Rivka was a wonderful character as well. She is experienced, strong and brave and acts fast and with decisiveness. However, she is wearing a mask to be seen as a male warrior. All her skills and accomplishments wouldn’t be seen as worthy of the same respect if people knew she was a woman. There is a lot of discrimination and certain gender expectations she does not want to follow. I found her to be an interesting character with a difficult past and just the loyal friend queen Shulamit needed.This story is a fairy tale with all the usual aspects like a queen, a warrior, a horse, thieves, a wizard and a quest, but it breaks convention by making the queen attracted to the same-sex and suffering from digestive problems, making the warrior a woman pretending to be a man to avoid gender discrimination, the horse a part-time dragon and celebrating differences.This story wants to give readers valuable lessons about love, friendship, equality and other important issues and at times it seemed to be a bit corny to me, but there are also a lot of charming and sentimental moments. I loved the scene the title refers to in which the friendship between Shulamit and Rivka is decided by an act of kindness. The story made me smile and was a wonderful comfort read.I can recommend this story and enjoyed the sequel (Climbing the Date Palm; review coming soon) even more (with a more mature queen Shulamit and a prince and his lover in need of her help), so I hope some of you will give it a try and enjoy it!Rating: 7.5/10 Pots of Gold (75% Recommended) – Compares to 3.75/5 StarsFind this and other reviews onRainbow Gold Reviews http://www.rainbowgoldreviews.wordpre...

  • Betty
    2019-02-15 09:14

    ​Title: The Second MangoAuthor: Shira GlassmanSeries: Mangoverse #1Genre: YA fantasy Setting: The tropical land of Perach, in a time of queens and wizards.Reason for Reading: I saw this title recently and went "Oh, yeah, I meant to read that!" so I got it via ILL.Finished In: About a day and a half once I got started. Pages: 176Copyright Date: 2013Cover: Two mangoes, and one has a dragon on the side. This does not mean, as I first suspected, that a dragon hatches out of a mango. I know you're disappointed too, but it's still a good book!First lines: "Once upon a time, in a lush tropical land of agricultural riches and shining white buildings, there was a young queen who spent the night tied up in a tent, panicking. Apparently, a visit to a bawdy house got you kidnapped."Favorite quote: "Oh, if we are not married soon I will gnaw off my own head!" - p 151Themes and Triggers: Judaism, gluten intolerance, LGBT, dragons, swordswomen in disguise, queens in disguise, curses, etc.Best part: I enjoyed the lighthearted tone of this book. It managed to incorporate a surprising number of issues while still staying playful.Worst part: The ending was just a little bit too easy for my tastes.Imaginary Theme Song: One of Us by Heather DaleGrade: B+. I've read so many great books this year my standards have gone up!Recommended for: Fans of YA GLBT. Related Reads: Ash by Malinda Lo. Hunting Monsters by SL Huang. Queen's Squadron by RM Meluch. Please note - these are all more serious books! Un Lun Dun also comes to mind and is a little more playful though does not contain LGBT elements.

  • Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
    2019-02-01 12:27

    Simple, sweet story starring an all-Jewish cast of a lesbian queen, her muscly body guard/best friend, a shapeshifting dragon, bisexual love interest, and a mystery to be solved! For a book whose premise is "the main character goes on a quest to find a girlfriend" the story is much more friendship heavy than you'd think, which I am not against at all. Honestly, everyone needs a questing buddy!The plot is straightforward, the writing is simple, and the book is short. Problems don't take too long to solve. This can make it feel like a younger book, and I do wish it had been a little more detailed, maybe a little less simple. But there's something to be said just for the book's premise. You've got a lot of diversity in one place, and since I picked up this book mostly on the premise of "everyone is Jewish", I was happy with it. Seriously. So happy. Not since Jewish picture books I read as a kid have I gotten to read a book where you can assume everyone is Jewish unless stated otherwise, and the difference between this book and mainstream YA is amazing. Characters take a break from questing to have shabbat, they discuss holiday traditions and speak like they're Jewish. I was practically glowing with all the casual Jewishness! (Don't judge. Everyone likes (and deserves!) to see themselves in books.)In conclusion: this book isn't exactly impressive. But the characters are likable, the premise is unique, the plot twists and backstories are in order, and it gives us what traditionally published books (at least the ones I've come across) don't: the diverse Jewish friends and heroes we deserve!

  • Medeia Sharif
    2019-01-22 09:12

    Queen Shulamit is on the lookout for love, which is hard since she’s a lesbian and a girlfriend is hard to come across in this fantasy setting. When she meets Rivka, a woman warrior disguised as a man, there might be hope that this is a possible partner, but this is not the case since Rivka is straight. Shulamit and Rivka do become friends and Rivka is her protector. Rivka has a dragon that turns into a horse, so they go on adventures throughout the kingdom to find Shulamit a girlfriend. We learn about Rivka and a wizard she has feelings for, Isaac. We also meet a lovely cook, Aviva, who understands Shulamit’s digestive problems. There’s a lot of action involved when they stumble on a temple where an evil sorcerer has turned the women into stone. This book is unlike anything I’ve read before. The fantasy-Jewish world of diverse relationships and magic is enchanting.

  • Reed
    2019-01-24 13:09

    I had been looking forward to this for a while, but the writing was clunky and very awkward and tell-don't-show. I read the first few chapters, then skimmed the rest of the book. I had been really excited about a book with:1. a main character that was a queen, not a princess2. a main character that was a lesbian3. a main character that had a food intolerance she was dealing with in a healthy way...but these things were brought up in such an awkward fashion that I felt like the book was more a vehicle to say, "hey, these are challenges people face!" rather than a story and rather than the things being challenges the characters faced.That said: I would still check out the second book as with the author developing more the writing might get smoother.

  • Rachel Cotterill
    2019-01-21 13:19

    This is such a sweet book. Shulamit is a young queen who happens to be a lesbian, and after her lover runs off, she isn't quite sure how to find more women who share her orientation. She sets out with the help of a female warrior and a shapeshifting horse-dragon, but before they have chance to search for likely women, they get swept into a quest to save a community of holy women cursed into stone by an evil sorcerer. With its sub-tropical climes and Jewish culture, combined with some standard fantasy tropes, the setting is unique, even if the storyline ("complete the quest and get the girl!") is a popular one.