Queer Authors I’ve Discovered This Month #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I’m currently on an eight to ten hour car ride, so the wrap-up for the month is probably going to be postponed a couple days into July because I really want to do it right!

Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don’t Burn (full review linked) was her debut novel, which I didn’t know before now! It’s a new release which I really liked as it delivered on its promise of a YA paranormal filled with queer witches. It had a lesbian witch protagonist and at least three other lesbian/bi girls and a trans minor character.

Julian Winters

Running With Lions is another debut novel! A review is coming soon, but it was just great and entertaining. Would absolutely recommend! It’s centered around a inclusive football team where so many of the guys are bi/gay, one of them Pakistani muslim, and the main character Sebastian Hughes is bisexual.

Julian Winter’s second book “How To Be Remy Cameron” is coming out this september, and I’m already excited.

Meredith Katz

The Cybernetic Tea Shop was a cute short love story set in a tea shop, between a highly-skiled techinician working on AI and a fully autonomous asexual robot. Yes, I also was hesitant to how not all robots are inherently asexual. But it’s set in a sci-fi world where it’s very apparent that there’s what we think of as “robots” and then there’s these high-tech beings that should be considered as intelligent, aware and given the same rights as humans – to the point where they stopped creating them because they were too full of free will. Meredith Katz seemed to have written 12 other short stories that I definitely want to also look into!

Anne-Marie McLemore

I DNF’ed Wild Beauty 70% in because, even thought I so wanted it, something in the magical realism book didn’t work for me. Will probably write a longer explanation on that. But I’ve started When the Moon Was Ours and I’m still hopeful that this will be a better match! When the Moon Was Ours has a romance between two persons who started as best friends, where one is a queer girl and one a trans boy. The author is also queer and married to a trans man!

Asexual Protagonists #PrideLibrary19 🌈

Heyyy. It’s 2 am and this post is a day late. But I’ve also nearly packed up all my belongings before moving and forgotten which day it was two days in a row. Which means I’m very productive, but also a bit of a scatter head. Let’s just file that as the official excuse.

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

The (past) day’s theme is asexual or aromantic main characters, which I have to admit I feel like I’ve read too few book with yet.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (full review linked): the protagonist is bisexual, as the other main character Aled is demisexual. Would absolutely recommend it!! Alice Oseman writes perfectly about the introverted teenage experience, while also creating characters and problems that are so much their own and alive.

Trigger warnings for this book: suicidal ideation, depression, emotional abuse, animal cruelty. I cried my eyes out at points – it’s one of those books that just succeeds in being too real.

The Foxhole Court (All For the Game #1) by Nora Sakavic: the protagonist is demisexual, which is somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Demisexual is someone who only feels sexual attraction after having already formed a close emotional connection with someone. Also has several gay characters. Queer books for teens (what a great site!!!) also says it’s ownvoices for the ace spectrum.

Trigger warnings for this book: substance use/alcoholism, sexual assault, violence, abuse, suicide/suicidal ideation, murder

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz: I have yet to write a review of this, but it’s such a cute love story set in a tea shop, between a highly-skiled techinician working on AI and a fully autonomous asexual robot. Yes, I also was hesitant to how not all robots are inherently asexual. But it’s set in a sci-fi world where it’s very apparent that there’s what we think of as “robots” and then there’s these high-tech beings that should be considered as intelligent, aware and given the same rights as humans – to the point where they stopped creating them because they were too full of free will.

On My TBR

Let‘s talk about love by Claire Kann: The synopsis really says it all, sounds like a great dramatic summer read –

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood. 

City of strife by Claude Arseneault: high fantasy with several asexual characters, including the main character (who is also aromantic). #ownvoices as it’s written by an asexual&aromantic author. Here’s a cry for help – in general can high fantasy become more diverse?? Like I so want to really dive into high fantasy, but it’s just so … many white straight men among the popular ones. I’m so excited to read this!

Researching this I found Claude has made a database of aromantic and asexual characters! Here’s the link to her website with info about it. I found that so smart and fascinating.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee: Following Felicity, the lovely nerdy sister from the first Montague Siblings book The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue as she tried to become a doctor in 1700s Europe. She’s aromantic & asexual. Excited to see where the piracy plays into all of this.

Disability in Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I know that “Far From You” by Tess Sharpe and “History Is All You Left Me” by Adam Silvera, which I have yet to read, has main characters that fit under this banner of being disabled/neurodiverse. But I want to take this chance to write a quick post about my thoughts on reading about disabilities and the very clear reason why I haven’t been doing it so far. Full disclosure, I’ve rephrased this post a couple times and am still nervous, but also very curious about people’s thoughts on this!

My background

I grew up chronically ill. I still am, just last summer I could barely walk and was in a wheelchair for a short time, but with the right medicines I’m back on my feet, if not healthy. I tried to let it not define me growing up, it was extremely important for a sense of identity and belonging. I didn’t have a name, a diagnosis, to what I was struggling with, I knew it as something that was only causing me problems and leaving me without hope. Nowadays, I have a generally much more healthy relationship with being sick, with shorter periods of it being really dark and awful. There’s times where it’s very visible that I’m ill, like for a long period my joints were fucked up, but for the most part it’s been invisible which comes with its own challenges (that’s another post).

Books

Literature and reading has both been a source of escape, but also to learn about other people’s perspectives, and that’s one reason why diversity and representation is so important. I like learning about other people’s mindset, cultures, problems, whatever it might be, through novels. But I was burned too many times as a disabled kid trying to pick up books about or with chronically ill or disabled people. Being sick was an experience I knew too well, that I was surrounded with 24/7, so when the author eventually got so many things wrong or forced a strange mindset on the character, it cut so deep. That’s the importance of #ownvoices authors. There are authors that doesn’t need to go through the exact experiences and can still write really good diverse novels through skill & lots and lots of research, but there’s also those books that without this just turn out really really bad. And that hurts if you’re too close to it. I didn’t need characters being magically cured or having no illness/physical problem after all at the end of the book. I needed realistic portrayals of characters with daily changes in rutine depending on if it’s a good or bad day, and having their ups and downs – the really high highs and really low lows that can come with having a diagnosis or a disability.

I’m so glad that there’s more #ownvoices and accurate portrayals of disabilities out there. I already know I want to read more books with neurodiverse characters and there’s so many great disabled&neurodiverse bloggers out there recommending the accurate books. But diving into the world that is disabilities in literature has just felt too daunting and like I’m still not emotionally in a place where that seems healthy?? Like I still will get x10 times more hurt when someone wrecks writing that character than any other novel. Not to mention triggers, I can’t watch hospital scenes on the TV right now, whether it’s a broken arm or someone dying.

I’ve found listening to podcasts with real people telling about their real stories of dealing with disabilities, mental illnesses and pysical illnesses to be just the middle-ground I needed – SICKBOY Podcast is one I really really recommend whether you’re disabled/ill or not at all. The hosts are a trio of guys, one who has Cystic Fibrosis, where they interview a new sick person each episode in a really deep, but fun way with humor as well. Jordan Whelan talked about how it was to have ulcerative colitis, a similar gastrointestinal illness as myself, while being gay (ep. 108).

I want to end on the note that remember that queer disabled people face twice (in my community more than that) the harassment and discrimination as others, and I really think accessibility on queer events need to be given more awareness and thought. The first pride parade I attended this May I was proud to barely make it through as my lungs & feet were pretty fucked up, but after they had an accessible indoor event. Everyone deserves to celebrate their pride!

That said, read any book with disabled/neurodiverse characters that you loved?

Trans & Non-Binary Characters #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I’ve read only “every day” and “I was born for this” from this list, I just haven’t read enough novels with trans or non-binary characters, which I realized very recently. Hopefully I’ll find good recommendations through these posts and get to some of there ones as well –

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

  • Character changes gender mid-way through the novel

Every Day by David Levithan

  • Main character wakes up in a different body every day and experience life as different genders

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

  • #ownvoices new release written by a non-binary author

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

  • Has a romance between two persons who was best friends wher one is a queer girl and one a trans boy. The author is queer and married to a trans man.

Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee

  • Has a trans boy best friend

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

  • Important characters in this book is this super popular band, in which on member is a trans boy
  • Here’s my full review of it, it was such an awesome book!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Authors of Colour #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

Here’s a couple of the authors I’ve read & loved.

Bejamin Alire Sáenz

  • Born in New Mexico
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: ultimate gay teenage summer-vibe romance (both Mexan-American)
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life: YA with the most kind-hearted gay, hispanic dad character that possibly ever existed
  • Also has a lot of contemporary more adult LGBT fiction, which I didn’t realize before now

Malinda Lo

  • Asian-American, cofounded http://www.diversityinya.com/ with Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix)
  • Ash: lesbian YA romance, retelling of Cinderella
  • Also written “Huntress”, “Adaption” and “Inheritance”

Anna-Marie McLemore

  • Mexican-American
  • “When the moon was ours” is on my TBR this month, with a romance between a queer Latina girl and a trans Pakistani-American boy. I only found out now that her husband is also transgender!
  • “Wild beauty” is also a book I’ve been wanting to read. It has a Latina bisexual girl as main character and genderqueer side characters.

Adam Silvera

  • Puerto Rican
  • “What if it’s us”: cute romance with gay guys
  • “They both die at the end”: two latino characters where one guy is bisexual and the other gay
  • “History is all you left me”: three gay/queer guys and lots of crying I predict, which is why I haven’t read it yet

Julian Winters

  • I just read and fell in love with “Running with lions” this month. It’s centered around a inclusive football team where so many of the guys are bi/gay, one of them Pakistani muslim, and the main character Sebastian Hughes is bi

There’s so many more authors I want to read books from like Claire Kann, Natasha Ngan & Sabina Khan. The TBR is just tooo long sometimes!!! It’s exciting, but also so many books to get to.

Also I fell down the rabbit hole of googling whether inuits and sami people were defined as ‘people of colour’, just to find Frozen-debates dominating the google-searches, so if anyone have the answer that would be great. Here in Europe the racism is often based on ethnic groups, which is just as bad, but less confusing on where the lines of distinction are drawn.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Purple Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I haven’t read a single purple queer book. WHAT!?

TBR

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I read and loved the first book “The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue” so of course I have to read this one following Felicity, the nerdy aromantic-asexual sister trying to become a doctor in 1700s Europe. I don’t know where the piracy plays in, but excited to find out.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

goodreads.

YA fantasy where the lesbian main character is sent to be a part of a nine girl consort to the king, but fights against it as well as falls in love. Major trigger warning for rape and sexual violence.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

goodreads.

YA mystery where the bestfriend is murdered and the bisexual female main character, previously struggling with addiction, has to figure out who did it.

Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

goodreads.

This was one of the books I first heard about while trying to find lesbian romances, so it’s been on my TBR for a while. Seems like the typical forbidden teenage lesbian romance.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

goodreads.

Just released in May and got great reviews so far! Queer girl main character who’s a witch! Supernatural disasters in the city happens, dark magic is appearing, and also a cute new ballerina arrives, all throwing her off the normal state of things. I’M SO EXCITED TO READ THIS!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Blue Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I wrote out this whole post and then it got deleted … it hurt more than it should have. Blue is the color of every book where characters are contemplating life apparently. Also magical realism & fairytale vibes from a lot of these.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Full review: 5/5 stars

A bisexual girl as main character (also biracial) and a demisexual boy. Another two gay minor characters. It’s the perfect coming-of-age and finding your own identity book where none of the characters are doing the correct things always and finding community through making a podcast and opening up enough to share your interests and be comfortable doing so. Amazing writing making it all so relatable.

A Mage’s Power by Casey Wolfe

Full review: 4/5 stars

Fantasy where a trio of one mage, one werewolf and a newcomer witch, all gay, walks into a bar ... and they become bestfriends and have a good time for the most part. It’s an entertaining book.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

goodreads. The ultimate teen gay M/M summer-vibes romance. It’s just heartfelt and special and so so popular for a reason. I thought it would be overhyped before I first read it – it isn’t.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Full review: 5/5 stars

A nerdy gay main character who is dealing with existential questions and grief over his boyfriend committing suicide, and also is abducted by aliens giving him the chance to save the world. It’s a sad and beautiful book, my favourite from the author that I’ve read so far, as the main character has to find hope and will inside himself to move forward.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Full review: 4/5 stars

The book I hear less about than Ari and Dante, but it gave me such a warm feeling, as well as being thought-provoking. This YA is about growing up, what family is and every single character dealing with serious shit. The main character’s dad is the ultimate kind-hearted parent, also gay and mexican. Would completely recommend it to anyone.

TBR

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

goodreads.

Magical realism with two bff’s turned romantic, where one is a queer girl and one a trans boy. I absolutely love magical realism if it’s done well.

Starting from Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

goodreads.

Cute YA contemporary with a queer girl as main character.

The Flywheel by Erin Gough

goodreads.

YA contemporary novel with queer girl main character.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

goodreads.

F/F romance fantasy with a kingdom of princesses, alliances and assassins.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

goodreads.

Fantasy book with sea monsters, pirates and a F/F relationship with the pirate queen.

Karamo Brown’s Memoir

goodreads. It’s Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, so it’s gay af. But also dealing with mental health and a lot of healing.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Green Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

Green is my current favourite colour for book covers, I mean look at these! With green I feel a vibe of characters saying fuck it and being themselves.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

Full review: 4/5 stars

Bisexual male main character who starts out a 1700s rich douche who gambles, drinks and sleeps around too much until he’s sent of a Grand Tour of Europe with his sister and best friend and continues to get himself in trouble, but also fun dangerous mystery type of trouble.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Review is coming as I just finished it, but it was a 5/5 star read! It’s a cute graphic novel with M/M romance, with the gay characters from Solitaire by Alice Oseman.

TBR

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

goodreads

Muslim lesbian teenage girl as main character dealing with family not accepting her, sending her to Bangladesh into an arranged marriage.

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

goodreads

Amazing gay author writing contemporary YA with gay characters. This one has a dead best friend coming back to life?? Intriguing.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

goodreads

A classic lesbian novel. That’s what I know of it, honestly. This cover is lovely as well.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

goodreads

It’s 65 pages short and definitely caught my eye because of how much that title makes my eyes turn into hearts. From what I can see it has an asexual woman falling in love with a robot?? Will pick this up soon and come back to you with how that works.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

goodreads

A classic that I need to read. Orlando changes gender midway in the book, so I don’t yet know what category that makes this book, but that might be the point.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

goodreads

Queer girls at an all-girl boarding school. Sounds promising, especially as it’s marked as horror with some kind of deadly infection spreading.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Yellow Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

Gold and beige is included with yellow right? With the yellow books we got a lot of very different and particular subjects that the plot centers around – sports, pirates, Greece and Montana.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

goodreads

4/5 stars. Lesbian main character, is sent to christian conversion therapy camp so trigger warning for that.

It’s a sad story, but also about being brave and sticking up for others. It’s set in Montana, so also about being queer in a small place and dealing with family that isn’t accepting. But it’s also about queer people bonding together and becoming friends. I would recommend the movie by the same name, even though it was like a shortened version with not as much depth. It does have Chloe Grace Moretz who has been my biggest celeb crush since I saw her in kickass when I was like eleven years old.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

goodreads

3/5 stars. Gay main characters and romance between Achilles and bff Patroclus. Greek heroes and greek ancient mythology. A tragic love story with younger boys being friends and then growing up and it developing into love, but then destiny and expectations messes with things.

TBR

Running With Lions by Julian Winters

goodreads

Bisexual and gay male main characters and on the team.

A sport YA contemporary novel that seems similar to The foxhole court by Nora Sakavic, which I loved. I really am all in for the friendgroup bonding and becoming like family type of books and drama. I really need to read this soon.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

goodreads

It’s a classic lesbian coming-of-age novel. That’s what I know about it, honestly.

Shell Game by Benny Lawrence

goodreads

It’s set in a remote fishing village!!! And the main character girl is kidnapped by a pirate queen! Why haven’t I been paying more attention to this book. Lesbian romance ensues.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Orange Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

Orange for … kickass characters and special relationships of all kinds, platonic and romantic? I haven’t read too many orange lgbtq books, but I’ll go with that guess.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

goodreads

This cover was just more orange, haha. I dnf’ed this book because while it had a cute gay romance and gay main character, it was just so slow and the plot about nothing – which I found wasn’t for me in this case because I couldn’t connect that well with the characters. Would recommend giving it a try though!

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

Full review: 5/5 stars

Bisexual, gay and trans male characters

The ultimate book about fandom and finding yourself, about identity and friendship. It just did everything so great and still lingers in my mind months later.

TBR

Naturally Tan by Tan France

goodreads

Queer Eye’s Tan France’s memoir. It has to be gay af by definition and I’ve seen lots of people liking it.

Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee

goodreads

From my research there’s supposed to be a trans character and queer girls. And lots of characters with superpowers, where the protagonist doesn’t have any of them, but still gets involved in danger somehow. Seems fun.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

goodreads

Epic fantasy novel that I’ve seen recommended and hyped up so much, but also looks so cool. With F/F romance.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.