My family is going to be moving houses at the end of June, and since I’ve started packing away my books, I thought I might as well share some of my books with y’all and give some book recs while I’m at it!
First up is the LGBTQ+ books I own. Unfortunately, I don’t have very many given it’s kinda difficult to find ones with plots that I like. (I contemplated whether or not to include the wtnv novel in this one, but seeing as it’s not centered around Cecil and Carlos, I decided to leave it out for now).
But anyways, here they are:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz - A coming-of-age story about two young Mexican boys, Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana, who are as different as can be, but who somehow manage to forge an unbreakable connection that spans from childhood to adolescence, and beyond. Ari is angry and confused and from a broken family. Dante is gentle, and emotional, and is “crazy about his parents”. Dante knows he’s gay. And Ari has no idea what to make of his relationship with his best friend.
This one is super sweet and isn’t in the picture because it’s with Natsu at the moment. But it’s really thoughtful and adorable, and I just love Ari and Dante to bits and pieces. Definitely a must-read, guys!
Beautiful Music For Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills -
About a young trans teen named Gabe who recently came out to his best friend and parents. The book is about him trying to make peace with who he is. Mostly, he does this through his love of music, and his bond with his next door neighbour, an old man who helps him get his first radio show, where he quickly develops a following of fans who fall for his unique taste in music and his quirky personality.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - A Harry Potter-inspired fantasy book with an absolutely fascinating magic system. We follow an orphaned chosen one who’s just trying to get through the his last school year at his magic boarding school, the Watford School of Magicks, while the entire magical community somehow expects him to save them from the villain who’s been stealing their magic. And not to mention having to deal with his archnemesis vampire roommate who has probably been trying to kill him since the moment they met in first year. But after being broken up with by his girlfriend, and invited to his aforementioned archnemesis’ house over Christmas break, needless to say nothing is going as he would have expected. This entire book reads like some kind of strange, drarry roommates au fanfiction, and it’s absolutely GLORIOUS.
every day by David Levithan - “A” doesn’t have a body of their own. For every single morning of their life, they’ve woken up in a different person’s body, with no friends or family or life to call their own. And it’s all fine. A’s gotten used to it, made peace with their fate. They’ve learned not to get too attached to anyone, learned not to attract too much attention or interfere too much with the life of the body they wake up in. That is, until they somehow find themselves falling in love with the girlfriend of one of the guys whose body they’re borrowing one day. I actually had to consider for a while whether or not to include this book, because a lot of the most important bodies A inhabits throughout this book are male bodies, and the main female lead is straight. But A themself is nonbinary and pan. They identify as whatever gender the body they’re in is, and are attracted to people regardless of their gender. Loved this book to bits and pieces, really bittersweet. It has a sequel called “Another Day” which is focused mainly on the Rhiannon, the female love interest, but I haven’t read that one yet since I’m not terribly interested in her.
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay - This one is….very juvenile. And by that, I mean it’s one of those idyllic, clichéd ya romances that we all like to pretend we don’t like, but that has all the tropes that we just adore in fanfiction and that we inevitably end up finishing in one sitting. It’s about a high schooler named Jamie who’s recently realized he’s head over heels for his (seemingly) straight best friend, Mason. Cue teen drama and angst and mutual pining. A really cute, light read with an adorable little comic near the beginning.
More Than This by Patrick Ness - Seth attempts suicide by trying to drown himself, and is pretty sure he succeeded. He felt his skull bash against the rocks after all. Only…he wakes up, naked, thirsty, starving, and utterly alone. He has absolutely no clue where he is, but the abandoned, crumbling, overgrown streets seem somehow vaguely familiar to him.
A suspenseful, thrilling, heartbreaking post-apocalypse with a gay protag that absolutely definitely has room for a sequel, though I don’t think the author has any plans to write one.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg - Rafe Goldberg is openly gay, and has a pretty good life. His parents are super supportive, he’s popular at school and has lots of friends, and no one really cares that he’s gay. But he’s getting tired of always being labelled as “the gay friend”. He just wants to be a “regular guy” and not “the gay guy.” So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school, he decides to become “openly straight” instead. But just when everything was going perfectly for him, it all starts unravelling when he finds himself falling for one of his new friends.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit while I was reading it, but the ending left me quite unsatisfied, and after having some time away to think about it, I’m not entirely sure I like the main character very much. He’s kinda really manipulative. Read at your own risk.
Proxy by Alex London - Sydney “Syd” Carton is a proxy. Rescued from the wastelands as an infant, his debt to the city was bought by a huge corporation that sells the lives of orphans like him to various rich and powerful people, who buy them as scapegoats for their own children. Syd’s patron, Knox Brindle, is exactly the rebellious, asshole bad boy that every proxy dreads. When Knox breaks an expensive vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox crashes a car, Syd is forced to donate a dangerous amount of blood to keep him alive. When a girl dies because of Knox’s aforementioned car crash…Syd gets the death penalty. His mad attempt to flee his fate leads to the accidental kidnapping of his patron and has the two of them branded as terrorists, leading to a crazy, cross-country chase that will change their entire world as they know it.
This book. Is literally one of my favourite books in the entire fucking world. Hands down the best dystopia book I’ve ever read. The characters are absolutely fantastic, the character development is fucking amazing (Knox somehow ended up becoming my fav character???), the world is rich and vibrant, and the book is beautiful and thrilling and utterly heartbreaking. If you read just one book from this entire list, let it be this one. It also has a sequel, for those of you interested, though I haven’t read it (and don’t plan on it either), so I can’t really vouch for it.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan - When two boys from completely different social circles and personalities somehow stumble across each other on one mutually crappy night, their shared name brings both their lives careening together in a strange, complicated, and downright frustrating way.
This one….was kinda dark. It was funny, because one of the Will Graysons is an edgy lil emo kid who thinks strictly in lowercase and writes angsty poetry and he’s absolutely adorable. But it also addresses some very real hardships and struggles that both gay and straight teens have to face.
You go to HEMA for office supplies. You go to HEMA for bed sheets. You go to HEMA for bread. You go to HEMA always, for everything, every day. There is no other shop. There is only HEMA.
You cycle to school. You cycle to HEMA. You cycle to your friends. You cycle to the big city closest to your tiny town. You cycle to the train station. You cycle to your grandparents. Your bike has broken down more times than you can count, yet, you keep cycling.
You take public transport to somewhere too far away to cycle. You’re inexplicably unnerved by this fact. You look out the window and you spot a mill on green stretches of land. You see another mill and another mill and another. You’re approaching the city center. Still, you see mills. You accept this, as everyone seems to do.
You enter Utrecht central station. You wonder if you are on an airport.
You walk along the platforms, heading for platform 1. You don’t notice 6
and 10 and 13 are missing: no one ever does. And if they do, they don’t question this. Hours pass. You’re still
walking toward platform 1. You thank god NS makes sure the trains are
always late, so you’ll make it just in time. You arrive at the platform.
“+10” it days on the sign. You sigh. You wait another 10 minutes and
look again. “+20”, it says.
At the end of the basis school you take The Test. Your parents are more nervous than you. They tell you this Test dictates your entire future. The news tells you the same in a grave, slightly more ominous voice. You’re twelve years old.
When you’re in middelbare school, you notice the seniors suddenly
disappear for approximately two weeks each year to perform a secret
ritual in the largest room of the building. There are signs outside of
this room warning you not to enter. You are frightened as the years
pass, senior year coming increasingly closer; your fate uncertain as you
finally enter the Forbidden Room. You cry. It’s the two most
nerve-wrecking weeks of your life.
Everyone wants to go on holiday to the united states. Only a few chosen (read: rich) go. You ask them how it was and they tell you strange tales of shops other than HEMA, such as “target” and “costco”; of guns on display in supermarkets; how no one owns a bike. You stare, shaken, in disbelief and shock.
It’s the first real day of summer. It’s 20°C and kind of cloudy. You go to the beach. Everyone goes to the beach. You’re stuck in traffic for hours: everyone is headed for the same beach.
When you get to the beach, the water is cold as ice and there are
jellyfish in the water. There are jellyfish on the sand. There are
jellyfish in that shallow pool over there. There are jellyfish
everywhere. You come back the next day. The jellyfish have vanished.
You’re sitting in the sun under a half broken windscreen. A few meters
away, a boy is digging a hole. This means that the boy is german,
you’ve learned. You look to your left. There, another german man digging a
hole. And another. You smile ruefully. What would the beach be without
germans digging holes? This is all very normal.
You go on holiday to another country. People think you’re german. You’ve accepted this. People always think you’re german. I’m Dutch, you say. They don’t understand. They laugh. You’re from germany right? They ask.
Stroopwafels seem to have built an international
reputation. Foreigners adore them. You don’t understand. They’re
cookies. Very good ones, yes. But the adoration for anything Dutch is
something you cannot grasp.
There is a song about a guy named Herman reading in the newspaper that the man he’d sold his car to has crashed it and died. Everyone think Herman is dead, though. This makes him very happy. No one questions this fact. No one wonders if he tells his family he’s alive. No one asks who identified the body. Everyone knows the lyrics to this song.