queers in ya

PRIDE MONTH 2017 READING LIST

Looking for some YA books with queer main characters to read during pride month? Here’s a list of titles I’ve read and/or heard great things about. Most of these were published within the past year or so. Feel free to add on!

You Know Me Well by David Levithian and Nina LaCour

Two classmates, one gay and the other lesbian, meet during pride month in San Francisco and help each other through relationship problems.

 Tell me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Finally! A cute F/F novel where no lesbians die in the end! The main character is an Iranian American with traditional parents.

 Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Mystery/thriller about a closeted gay boy who’s girlfriend goes missing, and he becomes the focus of her disappearance. I can usually figure out what happened in mystery novels early on but this one had me guessing until the very last page.

The Abyss Surrounds Us and The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie

Lesbian pirates and sea monsters. Need I say more?

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

This one’s like reading a modern day fairy tell starring a trans boy named Sam, who’s family immigrated from Pakistan, and a Latina girl named Miel who grows flowers out of her wrists. And there’s a glass coffin. It’s super creepy.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Y’all, this is set at SupaCon (like Comic Con!). There are two narrators. Charlie, an Asian movie star who is bisexual, and Taylor, a blogger who has ASP.

Radical by E.M. Kokie

This one’s a little darker. It’s about a butch lesbian doomsday prepper who accidently gets involved in a dangerous plot that could get her and her family into some serious trouble. I liked this book because Bex’s views about guns are completely different than mine. But that’s why we read, right? To learn about people who are different from you.

 Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

This book was pitched to me as a fantasy book about a princess betrothed to a prince but she falls in love with his sister. It’s pretty good.

PS: Dear Mrs. Coulthurst, thank you for Chapter 34

 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

A f/f story set in Vancouver about a girl with anxiety who goes to live with her dad and falls in love with a musician.

 How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Like Sarah Dessen? You’ll love How to Make a Wish! It’s about a girl, who’s bisexual, who falls in love with a biracial dancer. It’s part love story, part mother-daughter story and super amazing and emotional!

 History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Keep your tissues close. You’ll need them. Griffin’s ex-boyfriend, Theo, drowns and he’s left devastated. He grows close to Theo’s boyfriend, Jackson, who is one of the few people who knows what he’s going through.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Speaking of tissues, you’ll also need them for Nina LaCour’s latest YA/NA crossover. Marin is staying at school alone for Christmas holidays and her best friend Mabel comes to visit. It’s a tear jerker but also amazing and beautifully written.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

I’m gonna cheat with this one because the main character isn’t queer. BUT she has two moms, they’re a biracial couple, her twin sister is a lesbian, and the sister’s girlfriend is pansexual. And her moms’ wedding is a big part of the plot. Great book to read during pride month!

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Superhero novel with a main character who’s transgender and a lesbian. I’ve read this and heard mixed reviews but for the most part, it’s a good book if you like superheroes.

The Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood

This is a f/f story that I’m not entirely sure how to categorize. It’s part paranormal romance, part mystery/thriller, but could also be NA. The love interest is a butch lesbian who’s a werewolf!

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

Main character is a butch lesbian who comes from a traditional Portuguese family.

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

If you’re a Clexa shipper, you’ll love The Cursed Queen. A fantasy novel with a bisexual main character who falls in love with her chieftain’s daughter. You can’t help but fall in love with Ansa and Thrya. And the best part? No dead queer girls!

10

10 LGBTQ books that are essential for YA readers on HelloGiggles

Review - Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Well this as a cute little bi girl YA/New Adult romance <3 <3 <3

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde follows three friends as they attend a totally-supposed-to-be-SDCC-but-named-something-else-for-legal-reasons comic con.  Charlie is an Chinese Austrailian bi girl and small time YouTube star still recovering from a bad break up with her toxic ex.  They starred together in an indie movie that made it big and now she has to deal with him all weekend while they promote the film.  Thankfully she has Alyssa, a much bigger YouTube celebrity and total crush to distract her.   Then there is Taylor, a fat autistic girl with mental health issues who is secretly in love with their third friend Jamie.    

What follows is a fast-paced, sweet, and gentle romance for both girls.  Charlie’s burgoning relationship with Alyssa comes under a public spotlight and complete with YouTube videos and ship names.   For Taylor it is finding her tribe at the con both with other fans of her favorite book series and a comic made by a fellow autistic girl.  This allows Jamie, a character who is basically the most perfect guy best friend ever to turn their relationship romantic, even if it does set off a panic attack.  Both girls work their way through however and come to lovely happy endings for now.  

It was great to see Charlie use the word bisexual to describe herself MULTIPLE times.  Including a scene where she confronts her ex about his biphobia.  It’s also nice that her love interest has no objection to her being bisexual and doesn’t say anything rude, biphobic, or fucked up about it despite being implied to be a lesbian.  Yes folks the bar for bi representation really is that low and yes I really am excited that Queens of Geek manages to clear it (because so many books don’t).  

If I have any real complaint its that the story moves REALLY fast.  There isn’t much time to let Taylor’s mental illness or Charlies new relationship settle in.  In an author interview at the end of the book, it seems like this novel came out of Jen Wilde’s experience on WattPad, which explains to me the quick fanfiction-like pace.  For those of you who do like to linger on characters, it will be over too soon.  But for those looking for a quick read, the result is an enjoyable and very validating little love story.  

- Sarah 

I’ve been making some booklists for our weird state Pride which is in August and not June. Also for the kids in the support group. Go ahead and steal them, librarian pals.

[Image text: 

The Last Muse by Ellis Avery

Bittersweet by Nevada Barr

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Hild by Nicola Griffith

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris I932 by Francine Prose

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

She Rises by Kate Worsley]

Hey guys!!!

If you’ve read my LGBTQ+ YA romance, Cinderella Boy, can you do me a favor and update your Goodreads profiles? It would be so nice if you’d leave reviews both on the book and on the Goodreads site.

It would be so awesome to keep the book visible, at least until the second announcement…which will hopefully be juicy, but I can still use the positive boost!

Thanks so much!!!

5

“my gender is a triangle”; 3am gender journals/comics… if my work resonates with you i encourage you to take some time to reflect/create your own work relating to your identity that expresses your own experiences and feelings in your own particular way.  this is my gender.  think about yours.
~~good vibes y’all~~

12/20/2016 addendum: my longwinded, liberal artsy, sociologically conscious, and purposefully didactic response to criticisms on this post can be found here.

Exciting news, I wrote a book! It’s a queer YA novel about fandom, and I can’t wait for you to read it.

SHIP IT is about fanfiction, queer shipping, and the fan/creator relationship, told from the POVs of both a fan and an actor. It’s an important story to me because I’ve lived on both sides of the fan/creator divide, and these are issues I think about a lot. Who has the authority to decide what’s canon? Who’s in charge of characters once they’re out in the world? Who gets to say who’s queer?

But anyway there’s also kissing and romance and jokes and Comic-Con shenanigans if that’s your jam.