Since June is Pride month, I’ve set myself a mini challenge to read as many books as I can which feature queer characters. I started with some which were already on my TBR, but I’m looking for one or two more in the ten days before the month is out.
I started off with the one which has been sitting on my TBR for a little while, after I bought the Kindle version for 99p to coincide with the film release. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a sweet, email romance story with some edgier undercurrents that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The beloved, award-winning novel will soon be a major motion picture starring 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford and Everything, Everything’s Nick Robinson.
‘Worthy of Fault in Our Stars-level obsession.’ Entertainment Weekly
‘I love you, SIMON. I LOVE YOU! And I love this fresh, funny, live-out-loud book.” Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of All the Bright Places
Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better.
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal . . .
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.
Simon has a fair amount going on in his life – the school musical is taking over his life, he’s completely caught up in an email romance with the mysterious Blue, and, oh, he’s being blackmailed by his classmate. I quite enjoyed this story which presented Simon’s sexual awakening as perfectly normal – which it is! – and also deals with some of the thornier aspects of the queer experience, like being forcibly outed, and privileged assumptions even in queer spaces. But it only briefly touched on those things, and I was a little disappointed it didn’t go deeper.
So the second book I read was a winner for me. Autoboyography, written by Christina Lauren, a duo of best friends, was the story of a boy who was already out to his family, navigating the incredibly complex world of being queer in Mormon-dominated Utah.
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
I loved that in this book, Tanner’s parents already knew that he was queer and totally supported him. It was really refreshing to read a book where the issues were with his friends and peers, not with coming out to his parents. I also loved that Autoboyography delved deeply into the intersections of love, religion, acceptance, and the impact of other aspects of your life and sexuality on each other. I also really, really loved that cover art. How gorgeous??
Honorable mention to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which doesn’t have a queer main character, but does have a queer supporting character for whom his queerness is not a tragedy or life-ruining. But I just really really loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, so I’m going to save this for a longer review.
I’m currently reading Tash Hearts Tolstoy, which stars a romantic asexual girl, and I’m enjoying it, except for maybe there being too much Tolstoy? Should I have anticipated this from the title? Possibly.
I also have Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe lined up to read before the end of the month, which I know features queer and biracial boys, so I’m looking forward to that, too.
But my main issue now is that my list of books is very low on queer girls and queer women. Does anyone have any suggestions of queer girl stories that I could read before the month is out??
*Also books about lions. They’re prides too. I’ll accept books about lions.