BLOGGERS RECOMMEND LGBTQ+ BOOKS!

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Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog! Today I’m coming at you with an LGBTQ+ recommendations post, and today instead of me recommending you a small pool of books, I thought I would try and share as many recommendations as possible, so I asked all of you to do the recommending! You can find the original tweet right here.

Continue reading “BLOGGERS RECOMMEND LGBTQ+ BOOKS!”

WILD BEAUTY SPOILER-FREE REVIEW | The book that gave flowers a glow up

WILD BEAUTY: ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE

my rating: ★★★★☆

tags: lgbt, f/f romance, magical realism, standalone, young adult

goodreads rating: 3.69

publishing date: October 3rd, 2017

Wild Beauty

reviewsynopsis

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

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THIS IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW BUT I WILL GIVE A WARNING IF I USE A SLIGHTLY SPOILERY EXAMPLE OR QUOTE.

I did not think I would enjoy this. Like, at all. But, everyone assured me I would and so I put it on hold at the library and then went to pick it up. So, that afternoon I made a cup of tea, cracked open the book and dove in. Anddddd, then I was 30 pages in and forgetting names and getting confused. And then I was 50 pages in and mainly just confused. And then, I was 80 pages in and starting to get used to the writing and the characters.

And then, I was in love. I was really digging this and getting really into the repetitive nature of the novel and the way the author described everything through flowers.

Example of flowery writing: *Kind of spoilery/ no names*

“He kissed her, and she was a world in bloom, her skin becoming starflowers. His tongue between her lips was borraja, that blossom of hers that he’d taken into his mouth.”

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THE GIRLS

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This is a story about a family of women. This is a story about women understanding and appreciating each other. This is a story that focuses on women and for once, puts the men on the backburner.

 

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“Men and boys had no claim on their secrets or their bodies. La Pradera was a world in which women did not listen to men just because they were men.”

This story revolves around women and stays that way, there are only two male characters and neither fills the typical YA male mould that we see so often in most novels from this age group.

Each woman has a different personality, a different way of thinking and each of them plays a different part in the story.

This is a story about women – about the relationship women can build between one another and about how women hold themselves up and achieve greatness when they put their minds together. This story is what we mean when we talk about girl power, this story is what we need more of, not just in YA but in the bookish world, in general.

THE BOY

“Nothing else in the world makes a man like that more afraid than five girls on their periods”

There are only two male characters in this book, both stark contrasts ofeach other. One uses women and one resects them.

This is a non-spoiler review but I will say this, I have to. Fel, one of the only men in this book, is probably one of my favourite male characters (he’s seriously competing with Thomas Cresswell at the moment). He is not your typical YA male, he respects women, expects nothing from them and appreciates them. He is not cocky or sarcastic unlike the vast majority of male YA characters.

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DIVERSITY

This is an #OwnVoices novel about queer women of colour. It is also about a brown-skinned man who had been driven out of existence by the woman he loved.

This is a story that explores the relationship between women and I loved it.

  • Did I love it? Yes, the last 200 or so pages were fantastic!
  • Is it slow? Yes. Don’t expect some crazy action.
  • Is it repetitive? Yes.
  • The writing is amazing.
  • Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely.

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HAVE YOU READ WILD BEAUTY? DID YOU ENJOY THE WRITING?

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5 MORE LGBT BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ

Hey guys, today I’m coming at you with a new recommendations post. I haven’t done one of these in what feels like ages so I’m super excited for this one and I hope you guys find a new book to read!

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ANTS

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE

YUP, here I am, recommending this one again. I love this one and I really hope you guys can all get on board with it! The main character is Bisexual, his love interest is gay (and has epilepsy) and the main guy’s sister is canonically ace (and getting her own book spinoff!!).

This is a fantastic and really fun historical fiction. Even if Hist fiction isn’t your jam I still think you should give this one a go!

Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra

ZODIAC STARFORCE

The way I have described this graphic novel since I read it this time last year is: An all female, all badass group of Power Rangers! And, I stand by that description!

Girl power + friendships + lgbt romance = you need to read this graphic novel. Also, this is one of the brightest artworks in a novel form I’ve ever seen and I loved it!

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY

WHAT DO WE NEED? MORE ACE REPRESENTATION!

Yep, the main character is ace, and you know what I love the most about this? The main character being ace is never a plot point or an issue and I honestly feel like that’s more of what I want in YA now, that publishers are finally diversifying the books they’re publishing.

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1)

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO

So, Rick Riordan is amazing and he is certainly making an effort to diversify his novels, which I love because his books are all middle-grade and generally kids books only focus on white straight characters, which only represents or informs a select group of children.

Also, so if you want more diversity I would recommenMagnusus Chase (deaf characters for the win!)

Beauty Queens

BEAUTY QUEENS

I haven’t read this one in awhile, but when I read it back in 2015 I really loved it!

There is a transsexual character, lesbians, a deaf character and a whole lot of girl power!

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WHAT WAS THE LAST LGBT BOOK YOU READ?

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MORE HAPPY THAN NOT | SPOILER-FREE BOOK REVIEW

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera 

my rating: ★★★★★

tags: lgbt, contemporary, young adult

goodreads rating: 4.11

More Happy Than Not

reviewsynopsis

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

reviewnotes

Trigger Warnings:

Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Depression, Homophobia, Domestic Abuse

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I think I’m in love with Adam Silvera’s writing? Seriously, his books are so good and so thought-provoking. Like They Both Die At The End, I really had to sleep this one off, there was a lot of pacing involved.

This is also a really great friendship book. I really enjoyed the relationship between Aaron and Thomas, they had a really lovely storyline.

I feel like I have been hearing about this book for half of my life so I am honestly so glad I have finally read it. Adam Silvera seems like such a cool guy, that he is mostly the reason I picked up his books in the first place. I think this guy might even be getting me into contemporary books, I am slightly more excited to pick them up now!

His books are completely depressing but for some reason, I keep picking them up. This was also such an interesting read because I live such a different life to Aaron, the main character. Aaron is gay and he lives in the Bronx, the complete opposite to myself. While I am on the lgbt scale, I am still straight, and while I am by no means loaded and ready to burn some cash, I do have a much better living situation. I will say though, while this book didn’t have as big an impact on me as it did many others, it did give me an appreciation what I have.

While I’m on it I actually wanted to talk about the “impact” the novel has had on other readers. For me, it wasn’t a big shock and I had seen pretty much everything coming from a mile off, but I was still left crying by the final page. You would think that was all though, right? Well, no I don’t think it is.

Like I said before, I am straight, so the way I see it, this book can only have so much of an effect on me, compared to someone who is gay or bisexual. I know from watching her review, that Cece from ProblemsOfaBookNerd struggled a lot with reading this book. She has suffered homophobia and so from what I can remember, that contributed a lot to her enjoyment of the book and how well she coped with it.

One thing I will say for anyone who hasn’t read a Silvera novel is this:

His books are hard-hitting and unrelenting. Nothing is sugarcoated so if you don’t think you can handle any of the trigger warnings than maybe don’t pick it up. I had, of course, heard that this book was sad, and even after hearing people talk about this book for 3 years, I didn’t understand the effect Adam Silvera’s words would have on me.
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My one issue with the book: SPOILERS

Isn’t trying to make someone gay the same as trying to make someone straight? Please tell me if I’m completely wrong but this was something that irritated me throughout the entire book. While  I was reading this book the main character keeps trying to pressure Thomas into coming out even though he’s straight. Even in the last ten or so pages Aaron was finally accepting that Thomas was straight but then he was all like “Nah he’s in denial” and I lost my shit, Even if Thomas wasn’t straight Aaron should know not to pressure Thomas into coming out.

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Quotes I enjoyed:

  • “Some stories leave off without an ending. Life doesn’t always deliver the one you would expect.” 
  • “I would do my damn best to be more happy than not.” 
  • “You don’t get to keep ignoring the past because you don’t like it.”

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  •  SO SAD WHAT THE HELL ADAM
  • A great read, be prepared

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 Have you read MHTN? Are you a fan of Silvera’s novels?

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END | SPOILER-FREE ARC REVIEW

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

my rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

tags: contemporary, romance, lgbt

goodreads rating: 4.37

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I received an arc copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

reviewsynopsis

When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression. 

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run. 

Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love… 

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This was my first Adam Silvera novel so to say I went in with high hopes is an understatement. I’d heard nothing but good things about his previous novels and so I was elated when I got approved for an e-arc of his latest novel, and this was probably the novel I was most excited to read so it was a very happy day for me.

That being said, if you looked at my rating then you know that it hasn’t received the rating I assumed I would give, though a 3 star rating, in my book still constitutes a good book. A 3 star for me, means the book was still good but it was pretty average, for example, I rate the Mistborn novels 5 stars because I fall in love with the world more and more the more I read them. Whereas, I rate the Lux novels 3 stars so far, because while I get through them quickly and quite enjoy them, I find them quite average and don’t think they’re anything special.

I know I’m going on about this a lot but I do want to emphasise that I gave this a 3.75 overall, because while some parts were slow, I did really enjoy the novel overall and will definitely be picking up Silvera’s other novels later on.

Anywayyyyy… let’s get into the review!

Slow for the most part but I understand why – the book is set over a period of 24 hours so it kind of makes sense – you can’t race through lots of scenes and have a lot of action of high-pressure scenes when you’ve only got 24 hours to work with and have to keep the characters alive until the last chapter or two.

The last 20% of the book was phenomenal – it really captured the essence of the characters and showed how the characters had developed throughout the day, it pointed out their flaws and showed them at the very high point in their life. It made me love Adam Silvera and hate him at the same time, for making me fall in love with these characters, only for me to actually remember every few pages that the characters were going to die.

This was such an awesome concept for a book and I’m so glad that Silvera wrote it because he did it flawlessly. This book made me think, it made smile and it made me cry. I will definitely be shoving it under all my friends’ noses when it hits the stores.

I definitely recommend this book if you want something short that will hit you like a tonne of bricks, or as Miley Cyrus would say:

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If you’re totally on board for all that, then this is the book for you.

It’s been a while since a book has really pulled at my heart strings. I didn’t cry because it seriously takes a hell of a lot to get the waterworks going but damn, I was exhausted by the end of this one. The first two-thirds of this was pretty slow but by the last 20% is was reeling, I experienced probably every feeling on the emotions scale. I was going through the works, there was anger, happiness, sadness, everything under the sun. But, I definitely wouldn’t change anything about this book, it was a great read and it really got me thinking about how our actions can completely change our lives.

Another thing I really loved about this book is how it doesn’t shy away from the fact that the characters all have family and family plays a big role in the actions we take. One of the main characters, Mateo his best friend is a teen mum and he never shames her or talks down to her, he respects her and babysits whenever she needs a break. He loves their little family and completely respects Lidia (the mum) as a normal person. Also, it talks about how like with Lidia and Mateo (who aren’t actually together, they’re just awesome friends), family isn’t always blood. The other main, Rufus, has a completely different style of family, The Plutos and they’re completely amazing and I love them.

It’s actually just occurred to me that I haven’t actually talked a lot about the world yet, and it’s one of the best aspects of the novel, something to really pay attention to and think about when you pick this one up.

I am going to talk a bit more about some stuff that actually happened in the book, but I won’t go into depth, so this bit is still spoiler free, don’t worry!

  • At one point in the novel, a character actually says, “teen deckers these days”, which I found really interesting because people obviously still feel really bad when they find out someone is about to die but this has also been completely normalised. I mean, you have people complaining about kids being a bit dramatic or wanting peace and quiet when the kids are literally about to die in less than 24 hours, how harsh is that?
  • There’s also a Make A Wish sort of place called Make a moment in this book, and it was really interesting to see how bored all the employees are, at one point Mateo and Rufus are walking past someone in the foundation and the employee in charge of that station was completely absorbed in their phone.
  • The last thing about the world of TBDATE that I want to touch on, that I guess directly relates to what I was talking about before, is that all of this is totally normalised in their society. Someone calls you up at midnight, with a completely emotionless voice and tells you that you have 2 hours or less to live. The people calling you are just trying t get their shift over and done with so they rush through it and often call way after midnight, and so by default you have even less time.

I guess what I found most interesting about the world is that unless you’re actually a Decker, death really isn’t a big deal. Unless you got the call you know you’re going to be fine and so people don’t really worry about it at all, they can do what they like because nothing really affects them. The world is really complex and even if you don’t care for the story I think the world really makes up for any dislikes.

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  • I wasn’t blown away but I definitely enjoyed it enough to recommend it enough to friends.
  • SO SAD
  • Be prepared to think about this book for days after you finish it.
  • Awesome world, props to Silvera

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This is a standalone so I can’t also THEY’RE DEAD AND I AM HAVING FEELINGS

But, yes, I will definitely be picking up more of Adam Silvera’s novels.

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Have you read any of Adam Silvera’s novels?
Will you be picking up They Both Die At The End?

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5 LGBT BOOKS YOU SHOULD PUT ON YOUR TBR!

We all have pretty massive TBRs, right? Well why not add to them! I feel like people have such big to be read piles but not much real diversity on them. I’m pretty much in the same boat though. 

Pretty much all of the novels on this list are well-known LGBT books but I’m hoping to make another post soon with other recs. I’m not impressed with the amount I’ve read so far and I wanted to make a post recommending some of my favourites that I have read.

Everything Leads to You Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Our Own Private Universe The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

It’s like nothing happens in this novel but also everything happens. I doubt this will have a long lasting impact on me but I certainly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it! It’s a fun and quick LGBT novel, it’s light and involves a short little mystery. It’s a really fun novel so you guys should totally check it out.

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

I actually only gave this 3 stars when I read it, but I did manage to read it in one sitting. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing but I did really enjoy the novel overall. You can read my review here!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

THIS BOOK. I bet you’ve heard of it! Surprisingly not that many people have actually read it. This is actually being turned into a movie that should be coming out around March next year.

It’s about a teenage boy who has been talking to another boy in his school, the both of them are gay but they don’t know who the other is. It’s really cute and easy to read in one go. If you haven’t read this yet you should definitely pick this up asap!

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book, but I think that can probably just be put down to the slow pacing. I was really  enjoying this but got around half way through before school started up again and I didn’t have enough time to finish it. Eventually, I got back to it and it just wasn’t the same – due to stress or me just trying to finish it quickly.

This is a really good book though, it’s got a cute lesbian romance and a pretty realistic situation for an lgbt kid. I did really appreciate this new perspective, it was nice to read a book that didn’t have all white people in it. You can read my review here!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

PYNCH!!!!!

I haven’t made my love for this series a secret on my blog, but I feel like I haven’t talked about it in a while. This is a really fun series, it’s more character based than plot driven, but that’s a good thing, for me at least. I personally really enjoy books that are more about the characters than anything else.

This series is really cool, and the lgbt couple is ADORABLE. If you know anything about this series or Tumblr then you know that this is a pretty popular pair of boys.

+ BONUS, A COMIC!

Young Avengers, Volume 1: Style > Substance

Young Avengers

The cast of characters in this trilogy are all really unique and fun so I definitely recommend this! This is a really fun trilogy with an adorable couple of teenage boys. This is quite a popular series and basically all of the characters are fantastic! You can read my review of volume 1, here!

Have you read any of these? Do you have any LGBTQ+ books (or comics) to recommend?

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LGBTQ+ TBR

I’m ashamed to say that throughout my reading life I’ve not read too many LGBT+ novels. This year I aim to change that and to be more decisive in what I choose to read. These are some of the LGBT+ books that I’m hoping to get to this year.

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson 

We Are the Ants

All I know about this novel is that the main character is gay, he has family troubles and ALIENS!

I ordered this last week so I’m pretty excited to get to this in the next month or two.

27 Hours by Tristina Wright 

I have been obsessed with this book ever since I heard about it a few weeks back. It features LGBT characters, a deaf character AND it’s set in space. I have heard only fantastic, 5 star things about this novel so to say it’s my most anticipated novel of 2017 is an understatement.

Winger (Winger #1) by Andrew Smith

Winger (Winger, #1)

At this point, who hasn’t heard of this book?

I’ve owned Winger for roughly three years and I still haven’t read it. I’ve been planning to read this every year since.

Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra by Kevin Panetta & Paulina Ganucheau (Illustrator)

Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra

I’ve been talking about this comic a lot lately so I’m sure you guys all know what it’s about by now. All I can say is that I’m definitely here for this and everything it represents, girlpower for the win!

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson 

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

“Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.”

How am I not supposed to want to read this? This sounds amazing, I only know what I’ve read from these few sentences but I’m already excited about it.

We Awaken by Calista Lynne

We Awaken

This is so far, the only book I can find with an asexual ain character. There ae certainly not enough of them around so I’m pretty excited about this one. I’ve heard only good things so I can’t wait to dive into this.

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1) by Nora Sakavic

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1)

This book sounds amazing, I don’t know a tone about sports but I’ve heard such amazing things about this trilogy and it’s characters that I can’t help but want to read it anyway.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not

I knew very little about this book, I know it’s sad and I know it will break me. I can’t wait!

Villains, Inc by Tan-ni Fan

Villains, Inc

VILLAINS!!

“Everybody loves a good villain. The glory shouldn’t always go to the presumed golden heroes of the story. Be they antiheroes, misunderstood, or people who love causing trouble simply for the pleasure of it, these stories focus on the baddies we all adore.”

This is only a book of short stories but I don’t really mind – it will be fun to read anyway!

Recommendations: LGBTQIA

Lesbian/Gay

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Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz (My Review)

GoodReads Average: 4.34

I didn’t LOVE this book but I know that the majority of people who have read this really enjoyed it so you should definitely give it a go. (Gay romance)

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Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

GoodReads Average Rating: 3.59

Beauty Queens is, compared to a lot of YA novels, really diverse. There are lesbian characters, a trans character and a deaf character. Obviously, I recommend all of the books on this list but if you pick up any of these I urge you to read this one. (Lesbian Romance)

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The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater (My reviews – Book 3 | Book 4)

GoodReads Average Ratings:  4.04 ~4.28 ~4.34 ~4.37

This is an amazing series (one of my all time favourites) and I can’t recommend it enough. This series certainly isn’t the most diverse in terms of race but there is a gay character who I can almost guarantee you will love. Also, do yourself a favour and don’t spoil yourself by googling who the gay character is because that will ruin the story somewhat. (Gay Romance)

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Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour

GoodReads Average Rating: 3.87

This isn’t an overwhelmingly fantastic novel but I found myself smiling and having an amazing time when I read it. (Lesbian Romance)

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

GoodReads Average Rating: 4.27/5

I absolutely love this book. I read it twice in two days and honestly regret nothing. I can’t recommend this noel enough. (Gay romance)

 

Bisexual

The Trials of Apollo Series – Rick Riordan (Review of Book 1)

GoodReads Average Rating: 4.40

The main character of this series, Apollo is a bisexual character and certainly doesn’t shy away from telling the reader so. There are also to side characters in this series who are in a relationship (gay romance).

Transexual

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Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

GoodReads Average Rating: 3.59

There’s a trans character in this novel who stands up for them self and doesn’t take anyone’s shit, definitely a character to remember.

Asexual

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We Awaken – Calista Lynne

GoodReads Average Rating: 3.29

This is the only book on this post that I haven’t read but I’ve heard great things about it. Honestly, I’ve never read a book with an ace character, something I’m hoping to remedy by the end of this year.


If you want me to go more into detail or write a review for any of these books just ask me in the comments and I’ll do that asap!