Pandemics sure aren't the icing on 2020, but it did leave me with some free time to begin reading again. As a lot of you know I identify as queer, lesbian or gay. As a teen and a child I was obsessed with reading; scientific biographies, fantasy, YA and classics.
As I got older however? Books related to me less, and I lost interest. I came out at 16 and was tired of a world that was largely Heterosexual orientated. Reading books is less immersive when you cant see yourself within a character, and as a very gay girl reading in a very straight world I slowly pulled away. I tried to find literature that related to me, reading classics that represented queer relationships (however often, in classics queer relationships are never explicitly spoken of, you infer it by the fact a character 'shoots her a loving glance' or something highly vague like that.) I ended up reading vast amounts of queer fanfiction, the home to the LGBT writers and young adults looking for a piece of themselves- but at some point I just wanted to hold an actual book. To read of fresh characters in new worlds.
However now? There is heaps of modern queer literature, delving into all aspects of the LGBT+ rainbow; from queer relationships to asexuality, as well as tackling issues like religion, politics and science.
As such? I went a little haywire and purchased a looooot of LGBT+ lit! (Starting this month with L&B)
Anyhow, here's a list of some of my current favourites and a little info. A lot of these are commonly available in your public library or purchase from your local store- (I still need to visit Gays The Word in London!!!)
1) Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins.
Her Royal Highness is an insanely sweet book. A young YA-A suited book its full of sap and honestly? I loved it.
The book itself focusses on Millie who tries to escape the ex best friend -she had a fling with- by moving to a boarding school in Scotland. As I previously lived in Scotland I did go into this book fearful of how accurate it would be, and yes some references are kind of odd; but overall I loved it. Millie ends up falling for her roommate (the old haters to lovers trope) who happens to be the princess of Scotland. I'm guessing you can tell how that's going to go?
Overall an insanely sweet uplifting read- something the LGBT+ community needs more of. No trigger warnings that I can think of except for cheating in the initial chapter.
2) The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley
If you're a nerd this book is 100% for you. Also known jokingly under the name 'Lesbians in Space' it does exactly what it says on the tin. In fact, men don't exist in this book period.
As the cover aptly gives away this story is set in space; shocker right? A truly awesome sci-fi novel that's more for adults/ people 18+. There are slight horror aspects to this book (which I loved) but overall it's a tale of a girl with memory loss trying to trace her past and what she is truly meant to be fighting for, in a space setting that is largely horrifying in its dystopian, skin covered living self (truly its haunting).
Trigger warnings; Body horror, graphic violence, character death, pregnancy horror, minor abuse.
3) Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by jaye robin brown
This book is a classic YA romance dealing with religious & coming out themes. For fans of authors such as John Green, Tehlor Mejia & Nina LaCour.
Focussing on the life of Joanna, who when moving to a new town is asked by her Evangelist father that she 'fit in' and not be the queer stand out she is. After a makeover and managing to lie low, Joanna begins to fall for her new friends sister, and - still holding onto the promise she made her father- is torn between two worlds and living a lie she can't just take back.
I wasn't overly struck on the concept, and didn't like Joanna's dad AT ALL (seriously what an ass) , but the story is a great read nonetheless.
Trigger warnings: Ableism (mentalism), homophobia, emotional abuse, bullying.
F/F & F/M, YA.
4) We Set the Dark on Fireby tehlor mejia
Just imagine the perils of a rich straight man whose wives fall for each other instead of him.
For people who enjoy dystopian books such as; Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Handmaiden's Tale.
THIS BOOK. A small light in the abyss that is 2020. An insanely awesome read, vaguely along the lines of The Handmaidens Tale, but for young adults +.
The story focusses on the struggles of immigrants set in a fantasy dystopian setting. I burned through both books in the series over the course of two days.
In a world where the gods asked that two 'rich' women be trained and schooled on how to look after the man they are assigned to, one immigrant from outside the boarder hides within.
Forging her papers, Dani's parents line her up for a life within the boarder, only to become betrothed to a leading politicians son, alongside her school nemesis, her husbands other wife.
However Dani is torn between the politics and brutality within the circle, and the rebellion that lie outside.
(This does get insanely queer, just stick with it...)
Trigger warnings : forced marriage, murder, explosions, fire, reference to abduction, attempted murder, classism, use of ableist language, some bullying.
YA, F/F, Latinx
So there you have it, my top 4 Les/Bi books for September. Ill be sharing more for October then moving on to trans and ace representation novels in Nov/Dec, so feel free to recommend any queer/trans/asexuality novels to me! Have an awesome week and maybe grab a book? Seriously, there's some awesome LGBT+ literature out there.