Around the Blogosqueer: Lauren James of LGBT YA

Welcome to the very first Around the Blogosqueer guest post! In this series, you’ll learn a little more about the other sites and features on the internet that are dedicated to LGBTQIAP+ lit via guest posts by the fabulous folk who run them! I’m so excited to have Lauren James here to kick it off and tell us a little more about her review site, LGBT YA!

LGBT YA is a tumblr review blog run by author Lauren James, where she reviews LGBT+ YA titles, with occasional guest posts from authors and bloggers, and reblogs LGBT+ YA related content.

I started the blog when I was writing my own LGBT YA novel, The Last Beginning (out in October!). I was looking for YA books to read which also featured lesbian characters, and I realised there was no resource available with reviews of titles – all I could find was a few defunct blogs and scattered Goodreads lists.

As I’d binge-read about 30 LBGT YA titles, I decided to start my own. I focus mainly on books which aren’t Coming Out stories – while Coming Out stories are important, I feel like that’s been done very well already. As someone past that point in my life, I want to read about what LGBT characters do after they’ve come out – because that’s the start of your life, not the end.

I also tend to focus more on SFF to Contemporary, and more lesbian/bisexual titles than otherwise, as that’s where my personal taste lies. Luckily, guest bloggers fill in the gaps!

I would love to see:

  • More SFF books with LGBT characters like The Abyss Surrounds Us (*cough* and The Last Beginning *cough*)
  • More LGBT YA where sexuality isn’t the main focus
  • Books with whole casts of LGBT characters, instead of just the protagonist and the love interest. We tend to flock together!
  • More explicit LGBT YA sex scenes (I wrote about why that’s important here).
  • I also have an embarrassingly small selection of asexual books reviewed – I would love more of those.
  • More #ownvoices books – especially trans books by trans writers. I’m really looking forward to reading If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.

Actually, my wishlist is endless!

Some of my favourite LGBT YA books are:

  • Everything Leads To You – Nina La Cour
  • I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson
  • The Art Of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson
  • Grasshopper Jungle – Andrew Smith
  • A Hero At The End Of The World – Erin Claiborne
  • Clariel – Garth Nix
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

More can be found in my five star ratings section on the blog.

I’m always looking for guest bloggers – if you’re interested, you can email me at ya.lgbt@gmail.com!

Lauren James sold the rights to her first novel The Next Together, a Young Adult science fiction romance, when she was 21. It was published in September by Walker Books in the UK and Australia. Rights have sold in over six territories worldwide, including the USA. It was described by The Bookseller as ‘funny, romantic and compulsively readable’. She is an Arts Council grant recipient, and is longlisted for the 2016 Branford Boase Award. She is now 23, and lives in the West Midlands. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James or her website http://www.laurenejames.co.uk.

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