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Running with Lions

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  5,559 ratings  ·  1,263 reviews
Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie Sebastian Hughes should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing, and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood-best-friend Emir Shah shows up at summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates hi ...more
Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Duet, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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Paula Sebastian's number 1 (in yellow). Then, clockwise, Emir, Grey, Willie, Hunter, Zach (?) and Mason. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. …moreSebastian's number 1 (in yellow). Then, clockwise, Emir, Grey, Willie, Hunter, Zach (?) and Mason. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. (less)
Kiki van Dijk The cover is illustrated and designed by C. B. Messer.
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,559 ratings  ·  1,263 reviews

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chai ♡
Running With Lions is a coming-of-age novel following bisexual rising senior Sebastian Hughes who's eagerly anticipating his last summer at soccer training camp and settling into his role of team captain. His plan, however, quickly loses its footing when Emir Shah, a Muslim British-Pakistani new recruit and Sebastian’s former best friend, unexpectedly arrives – partly because of Emir's impressive bad attitude and his insistence on keeping his teammates at arm's lengh, and more than partly becaus ...more
✨    jay   ✨
"And that's the thing, life is sometimes just another day, and sometimes it's moment after moment after moment that only paralyzes you if you let it."

no offense but this was so cute and my cold dead heart wasn't ready to so violently care about these angsty jocks I mean !! Sebastian, a bi disaster really going out there and Doing That, just snatching himself up a man over summer camp? Iconic!

So Running With Lions basically follows a team called The Lions who are at their summer sports camp
may ➹
The sports gays have disappointed me… this is a day I never saw coming.


Running with Lions takes place (mostly) over the summer at a soccer camp for the high school team dubbed the Lions. Sebastian, a bisexual boy, is faced with the pressure of possibly becoming captain, as well as the scary idea of high school ending with the start of his senior year. Not to mention having to face Emir, a gay Muslim Pakistani-British boy, aka the ex-best friend he hasn’t talked to in years.

This book is defini
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi mc, Pakistani-British Muslim gay li, Black gay side character, gay side character, poc side characters

Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher.

3.5 ☆

My initial review for Running With Lions basically just said: “this book proves that 1) sports are inherently gay & 2) goalies are the best kind of train wrecks people” and frankly, I stand by this. It’s a contemporary novel about a bunch of teens at a soccer camp, it’s beautifully diverse, and a perfect read for summer.

Our prota
chan ☆
the sigh heard round the world

i want to preface this review by saying that i think for a first book this was a solid effort and there were a lot of awesome things included. diverse characters, body image issues in male characters, acceptance of lgbtq+ characters, and a whole lot more. but that's kind of all of the nice things i have to say.

to start, this book was written like fan fiction (edit: upon research, this guy got big off of fan fiction, so i guess that makes sense). i do not mean that
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

✨ Full review now posted!


*translation for those who don't speak Gay: THIS WAS SO SWEET AND GAY I'M SCREAMING


Right from the description this book sounded right up my alley and it did not disappoint. It’s not a perfect book and you can feel that it’s a debut, but the characters were well rounded and I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened next, an
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
DNF at ~40%. No rating.

Sometimes I DNF a book because I didn't enjoy it or I found it boring, but here I am DNFing because I'm just not clicking with the writing style and I don't want to be the ass who gives it a bad review.

I really struggle with third person, present tense (present tense, in general, actually), and when I saw that that's how the story was written, I immediately got worried. However, I was determined to press on. I mean, that cover(!), queer rep in sports(!), a book with many
Eliza ☽
When I think of this book, this what comes to mind: Sunshine, muddy knees, ice cream. Bouncing soccer balls, hand-holding, friendship. Lost boys and soft mouths. Endless, lazy summer.

This book did for soccer what The Raven Cycle did for paranormal-fantasy. AKA, made it Extremely Gay. I am so, so happy that LGBT+ books are being published in genre format. For many years, if we wanted a book with LGBT+ characters, that would be the sole selling point of the book: that it was LGBT+. But now we have
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, underrated, owned
"Guys are beautiful. And girls are handsome. Words aren't gender-specific."

I never thought that, when I first met Julian on Bookstagram, I would one day hold a book with his name on it in my hands. But here we go. I am super proud of him and hope to have a whole stack of them one day.
Running With Lions was a fluffy, light-hearted and cute story about friendship and love. It has a great many things to say about antiquated gender and beauty norms, and outdated myths about sexuality. It also proves
✧ k a t i e ✧
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Just because people create rules doesn't mean those are your rules.

Um, why isn't there more hype around this book? Cause there should be. Everyone needs to read this book.

This book was so fucking adorable. Sebastian and Emir are officially my children that I will protect at all costs. Also, Willie and Grey are precious and deserve the world. I absolutely loved the characters in this book.

The romance was so adorable (that is a word that is going to be used multiple times because that's wha
tragic news are: i didn't click with this book

it's a character driven story and it's very diverse. diversity wise, there are gay & bisexual rep, moc and the li is a practising muslim. the story itself is pretty cute and i did like the characters, sebastian especially, bc he's a disaster bi and i feel him.

my personal problem is. the writing. it absolutely isn't for me. i feel like it was too awkward and bumpy and all over the place. i just never really connected with it and had to take a break ev
Yusra  ✨
Apr 01, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
the cover is so cute i cannot
the cover
Jul 08, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I struggled like hell with this book.
That doesn’t mean you may not like or or have read it and loved it.

My struggle was that it was written in third person. I’m ok with that if it’s written well. Not a lover of third person writing and definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.

The author didn’t make transition easy either I got lost who was speaking now.

It was rather choppy change, I so struggled that it hindered any enjoyment for me what the story was about as I was getting more frustrated. No boo
My review

“You are not defined by who you love.”

This book was so unbearably cute and I’m gushing from the adorableness. Running With Lions is perfect to ease one’s mind and remind them of happiness and family, leaving a feeling of senseless fulfillment and adoration. If you’re looking for an amazing sports team or romantic summer story, you’ve come to the right place.

“Acceptance has an amazing effect on people who pretend they don't need it.”

Growing up and getting around in high school was far
the most unfortunate part about this book is that I feel like I would've liked it so much more if it was written by someone else D;

also, there is good extra-parm-on-my-pasta cheese and uncomfortable I'm-choking-on-my-panini-melt cheese, and the cheesiness in this book felt like the latter to me

2.5 stars

but the diversity in this book is brilliant so let's all recognize that!!! also I feel like cheese levels are hugely subjective so that should be acknowledged; just because it wasn't to my tast
Why do people let things so precious to them turn into dark, unbearable secrets?

This book got me so soft.

I think everybody has been thinking it so, yes, this book gave me Foxhole Court vibes. Some very strong TFC vibes. I loved it. I'm a sucker for lgbtqiap+ and sport stories. I don't know why, I just always seem to love them.

This is the story of Sebastian, he lives for soccer and plays as a goalie. Every single summer since he made it to the team, he spends his entire month of August at Camp Ha
Moony Eliver
DNF @25%.
I'm disappointed, but I can’t connect with this one at all. The characters are one-dimensional, and the dialogue and reactions are weird and off-putting. It seems like every spoken line is followed by a sentence or two of unnecessary explanation. These appear to be problems inherent in the writing, rather than something that might get better as the book progresses, so I’m calling it. I might have dragged out that decision for longer but this is a library checkout, so I’m just taking it
kav (xreadingsolacex)

running with lions and julian winters are both so important to me :')

everything i said in my original review of this stands true after this re-read. i re-read this book as one of my comfort reads for BBS this month, and this TRULY is a comfort read of mine. RWL truly shines the brightest light on the darkest days.

even though this novel does tackle some hard-hitting topics such as racism and bullying / body-shaming at times; at it's core, it is a summer rom-com about a band of brot
Norah Una Sumner
This was such a pleasant surprise!

Even though the writing was a bit choppy and there isn't really that much plot to it, I really enjoyed it and found myself being a bit teary eyed in the end. Sebastian is literally the definition of a chaotic bi™ and I loved him for that. It was a bit weird reading about someone who has the same name as one of your close friends from school but Emir won me over and I literally just wanted to protect him and hug him and wrap him in a fuzzy blanket... Okay, I got
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reads-of-2018
"Why do people let things so precious to them turn into dark, unbearable secrets?"


Ever since I saw the first tidbit of leaked information on this book (I can't remember whether it was the cover, the synopsis, or even just a blurb) I was in love. Like, I pre-ordered this the day it was listed on Amazon. A YA summer story with sports and a team of LGBTQ inclusive boys? It looked funny, cute, and precious.

And it was all of those things.

It was funny. It was cute. It was precious.

Mainly thoug
Lauren Lanz
The concept of Running With Lions immediately drew me in, and I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.

This novel follows the Bloomington High School Lions, a soccer team that is accepting of anyone that wishes to try out, no matter their race or sexuality. The Lions’ star goalie Sebastian Hughes is a high school senior, and spending the summer of his last year at the soccer teams training camp. To his own surprise, Sebastian’s childhood friend Emir Shah shows up. They haven’t seen each other in
✰ Aileen ✰
Jan 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: e-book, lgbtq, dnf
DNF at 15%
Do re mi fa so not gonna finish this book.
•°• gabs •°•
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
i suddenly like soccer.
there are a few things that irked me but i love these kids so much and i'm so soft!! i'm really soft y'all, my heart is full.

ALSO this is a debut novel which???? amazing. i can't wait for julian's next book hsgadhadvah
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-ebooks
This book put a massive smile on my face and that’s all it took for me to love it. This was so freaking cute and romantic and so relatable. I recognized myself in a lot of the issues Sebastian was struggling with throughout the book. I loved how all the characters in here felt like one big family.
This book radiated happiness to me and I enjoyed it so much! It’s the perfect lighthearted read for summer with lots of amazing diverse characters who I honestly want to be friends with so badly.

Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, 2019
This book was just a little bit too cutesy for me. I’m not the biggest cliche romance person. It’s just not my favourite thing to read in the majority of a book.
It was well written and had diverse characters which I loved. But it also seemed to throw so much in without unpacking and exploring it as much as I would have liked.
Emir and Sebastian are childhood friends until Emir leaves for the uk. They reunite at football camp, and things kinda go hit and miss from there.
It was enjoyable, but I did
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
. : ☾⋆ — 4 ★

i was deceived!!!! i was led to believe this was an enemies to lovers trope when it was actually a best friends to enemies to reluctant acquaintances to awkward buddies to bashful pining to intense but shy attraction TO LOVERS!!!!!!!! which is one hundred times better than enemies to lovers!!!!!!

i’m not gonna lie, i’m a weak bitch when it comes to found family plots. add in some sports, and i absolutely melt. i don’t want to do the obvious and compare Running With Lions to The Foxho
shady boots
This looks right up my homosexual alley. Hopefully NetGalley approves me.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are so many layers of sweetness to Running With Lions. Start with the summertime landscape -- the sun shines, the sky is cotton-candy colored; you can practically smell the grass of the soccer pitch. Onto that, add a bunch of super-endearing teen characters of diverse ethnicities and sexual orientations, all of whom you want to cheer for from the first time you meet them. And finally add the love that binds this group of friends together as they struggle with teen dramas small and large, f ...more
Maybe 3.5. I really liked seeing how accepting (for the most part) this team was. I loved seeing young athletes comfortable being out and true to who they are to their team without fear of being ostracized for it. I always like to see a bi main character, so I was on board with following Sebastian figuring things out. I think this book really explores that even though you can be out and comfortable with one group of people, it still can be daunting to continue to come out to other people in your ...more
This was sweet and cute and offered a very well done look into growing up and being a usian teenager. That said I thought the pacing was slightly disjointed and the 3rd person present narrative voice irritated me to no end. If its purpose was to create a sense of urgency it didn't work for me, in fact it kind of slowed it down some.
It also left me feeling that it was trying to do so many things: young people growing up and having to make decisions about their future, social commentary about spor
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The Book Bound So...: July 2018 | Running With Lions 2 43 Jun 28, 2018 11:41AM  

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Julian Winters is a former management trainer who lives in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia and has been crafting fiction since he was a child, creating communities around his hand-drawn “paper people.” He began writing LGBTQ character-driven stories as a teen and developed a devoted fan fiction following. When he isn’t writing or using his sense of humor to entertain his young nephews, Julian en ...more

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“To every LGBTQIA+ person who has questioned their place in life: You're strong. You're important. You're a lion. Let the world hear you roar.” 14 likes
“Why do people let things so precious to them turn into dark, unbearable secrets?” 10 likes
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