Our LGBTQ+ Book Club has been on hold a little at the moment due to COVID-19 and everything going on at the moment. I miss it very much, particularly chatting with everyone and having in-depth discussions about various queer books! I thought I’d share some of my personal favourites we have read so far.
We have read 23 books so far at Book Club which is so exciting! I have loved many, enjoyed some and only disliked/not been a fan of a small few. I’m happy I read each and every one as I’m broadening my reading of queer texts in particularly but also just different types of books generally!
I haven’t mentioned them in this list because I had read them before we chose them for Book Club but I have to give a special shoutout to the following two books: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz & The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. These are two of my all time favourite books and I had to give them a mention before my list!
They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera
I can’t recommend this book enough to be honest with you! It’s a brilliant premise and genuinely so intriguing to figure out elements of the world and how it all works. When Mateo and Rufus get the call from Death-Cast to say they will die that day, you get the feeling that, even though the book is literally called They Both Die at the End, they might not die! The queer aspects are beautifully written and the representation is fantastic, in a sci-fi world where usually it would be written very straight and white! A definite page turner – just be ready for tears.
All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
This was one of our more recent reads and I adored it so much. The representation was fantastic and it perfectly blended together contemporary society and stories of the past. The history of Ireland was so brilliantly portrayed and the magical elements complemented and didn’t distract from the harsh tragedies written about. If you’re looking for a lesbian book, I highly recommend this.
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I probably wouldn’t have read this book yet if it wasn’t for our Book Club. Though I love space, I don’t often pick up sci-fi novels but I am so, so glad I read this! The world building is fantastic and the various planets and species are fascinating to learn about. There is a f/f relationship in this but (if my memory is correct) it develops quite a way in. This book is good if you want a queer story which doesn’t centre around coming out etc. but just happens to have queer characters. I need to delve into the rest of the series soon!
Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman
I truly can’t hype this series enough! I adore Heartstopper – the main characters are so easy to love, there is a whole bunch of representation and the story is wholesome and adorable! They are super quick to read and the illustrations (also by Alice Oseman) are perfect for the story. You can actually read these for free online as a web comic still! Oseman also announced she is released a Heartstopper colouring book soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
It’s so rare that bisexuality/pansexuality/fluid sexuality (it isn’t labelled in the book so I don’t want to specify a label here) is represented in a three dimensional and positive way and for this reason I am super glad we chose this for Book Club. The main romance in this is m/f but I think that is what is so striking about it. We see Ramona struggle with her feelings for her best friend as she has only been attracted to girls in the past. It raises an important point – to not assume sexualities of those in couples. I identify as bi and have many friends who are bi and in m/f relationships – it’s important that their bisexuality is not seen as invalid just because they are not in a same sex relationship.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Another book I wouldn’t have read if it wasn’t for Book Club, Girls of Paper and Fire is a truly brilliant fantasy book! The world is beautifully written and the f/f romance is engaging and easy to fall in love with. It’s also another series that I really do need to jump back into! The fantasy elements are dark and tense and it should be noted that there are some themes in this book that could be triggering for people, so be aware of that before you pick it up.
I hope you enjoyed this list! I’m so happy we started our LGBTQ+ Book Club and I have loved it dearly for a long time. It truly has expanded my reading tastes and for that, and many other reasons, I am grateful!