Hi readers! Happy pride month! This June is a little bit different for me. Mostly because 2017 is the first year I identified as queer—aka aromantic asexual—so it’s very exciting to be more than just an ally this time around ❤
And in honor of pride month, I planned a giant book haul which involved all sorts of sexualities, orientations, and genders from various YA books (#ownvoices and not.) I hope you enjoy me emptying my wallet for pride month! I will also be sharing which books I binged during June (so far) and tell you what my thoughts were on them!
(Note: I do not speak of behalf on members of the queer community and the rep in these novels, just sharing my honest thoughts as a reader.)
Books Read in June 2017
(If books are strictly #ownvoices it will be stated in the mini review, thanks!)
Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman Okay, so this novel didn’t actually feature a queer MC, but I was going to Florida for vacation and wanted a beachy read. Girl Out of Water features a female/female romance in the friend group of the MC Anise. Otherwise it had an entertaining plot and lots of diversity etched into the story in general.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman THIS BOOK WAS SO STRANGE. And I mean strange. It involves an internet podcast and set in present day England. Also had an issue getting into the story. Sexualities featured in RS were bisexual, gay, and demisexual (which I found rather interesting to see characters on the ace spectrum.) (If it is #ownvoices I am unaware.)
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera HIAYLM is an #ownvoices novel about grief, OCD, and features both bi and gay characters. I struggled a bit to get into the story, but it has varying perspectives from before and after the death of a loved one told by the MC, Griffin. Otherwise, my second Adam Silvera novel since More Happy Than Not. I’m very excited for They Both Die at the End in the fall.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy RB is an #ownvoices novel featuring Ramona, who has always known she’s attracted to girls. However, an old friend of hers named Freddie enters her life again and makes her rethink that she may be more fluid than she thought. (Note: RB has been criticized for homophobia, but it handles the fluidity of sexuality well and should be reconsidered by biphobic reviewers.)
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore This is a (mostly) #ownvoices novel. WTMWO is a magical realism novel that deals with the topic of supernatural occurrences and the struggles of being transgender. Miel and Sam were an incredible duo, however I struggled to get into the story with the slow-paced writing. Otherwise I loved reading about a diverse cast and the smooth blend of Latina + Pakistani cultures.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee A n #ownvoices sci-fi novel set in future America where meta-humans are superheroes, I loved how fast-paced this book was and adored the bisexual MC Jess. Her best friend was also transgender, which was an awesome touch. Just imagine The Incredibles, but in a future society with a Chinese-Vietnamese MC plus more genders and sexualities.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo An #ownvoices novel portraying the brutal honesty of trans boys + girls living in modern day Southern United States. It’s so wonderful, though, to see and read books where trans characters are falling in love, getting an education, and just living their lives as anyone else would.
Pride Book Haul 2017
Okay, so LET ME EXPLAIN where I got this idea. On Twitter, many queer bloggers criticized traditional bookstagrammers for using pride culture to shower their accounts with rainbow book stacks—while using allo cishet books (translation: allo sexual cis gender identity assigned at birth het heterosexual) and I decided that since I am now a queer blogger, I had to do better.
So in May, I collected a bunch of books online and took notes on each color of the rainbow to plan this. I scoured for ownvoices, novels with queer MCs, and settled for non-ownvoices but contained positive rep. In early June, while on vacation in Florida, purchased 9 LGTBQIAP+ books from Amazon. (I saved up for this, don’t flame me for being a bookaholic cause you are 100% correct. However, I did remove a lot of allo cishet books from my shelf in response.)
- White — A Conjuring of Light (features queer supporting characters)
- Pink — Everything Leads to You (#ownvoices) Queens of Geek (#ownvoices)
- Red — Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (optioned for a movie next year starring Nick Robinson)
- Orange — Not Your Sidekick (#ownvoices)
- Yellow — More Happy Than Not (#ownvoices)
- Green — Shadowshaper (features queer supporting characters)
- Blue — Ramona Blue (#ownvoices) Aristotle and Dante (#ownvoices) Of Fire and Stars (#ownvoices)
- Purple — When the Moon Was Ours (#ownvoices)
- Black — Tash Hearts Tolstoy (not #ownvoices asexual, but author is acespec)
I’m very ecstatic to share my haul with y’all (sorry couldn’t resist the rhyme.) That being said, reminder that whether you’re queer or an ally, working to bring more rights to the queer community is more important than buying or reading a few books (although supporting queer authors is great too!)
I hope that some of you picked up a couple books for your tbr, never forget to promote queer books as much as possible! Bring awareness! Nothing is greater than discovering yourself represented in the books you read, and we want everyone to know that incredible feeling ❤
Thanks for reading! Do you have some favorites queer books? Comment below!