TBRainbow Alert #9!

Peter Darling (February 15)
Author: Austin Chant
Genre/Category: Romance
Rainbow details: Queer Trans guy MC
Why put it on your radar? PETER PAN WAS ASSIGNED WENDY DARLING AT BIRTH AND NOW HE’S AN ADULT TRANS GUY WHO’S INTO CAPTAIN HOOK. THEY DO NOT MAKE CAPS LOCK BIG ENOUGH FOR THE EXCELLENCE OF THAT PREMISE.

Noteworthy (May 2)
Author: Riley Redgate
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Bi MC
Why put it on your radar? Because Riley Redgate already brought the awesome in 2016 with Seven Ways We Lie, which had pan and ace MCs, and she’s back with a bi MC of color who crossdresses for personal gain with care never to invalidate transness.

Cottonmouths (June 6)
Author: Kelly J. Ford
Genre/Category: Adult Contemporary
Rainbow details: Lesbian MC
Why put it on your radar? Queer girl living in a small town in the Ozarks? Childhood crush returns…and has a meth lab? Comparisons to Daniel Woodrell and Sarah Waters? Take your pick!

Ramona Blue (May 9)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Lesbian MC
Why put it on your radar? Because while we often get books with MCs who ID as straight and find they have an exception to the rule that starts them questioning, only to maintain a hetero identity, we almost never see the opposite with a character who questions but maintains a queer identity.

Island of Exiles (February 7)
Author:
Erica Cameron
Genre/Category:
YA Fantasy
Rainbow details:
Bi MC
Why put it on your radar?
Since we revealed the cover, Erica can answer that for you here!

Fave Five: LGBTQ YA Set in the South

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (TN)

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (GA)

Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen (LA)

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (GA)

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (MS)

Rainbow heart

Ten Intersectional Anthologies and Essay Collections

Abstract colorful background with wave

Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives ed. by Nia King

Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in the Jewish Community ed. by Noach Dzmura

Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism ed. by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: an LGBT and Two Spirit Sci-Fi Anthology ed. by Hope Nicholson

Black Queer Studies: a Critical Anthology ed. by E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson

Prime by L. Lamar Wilson, Ricky Laurentiis, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Saeed Jones, and Phillip B. Williams

Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims ed. by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle

Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction ed. by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle

Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Desi Writings on Family by Aparajeeta Duttchoudhury and Rukie Hartman

QDA: Queer Disability Anthology ed. by Raymond Luczak

End of Year Book Survey: 2016

This is one of my favorite posts (courtesy of Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner) to do on my personal blog, and I thought it’d be fun to bring it here, using just the LGBTQIAP+ books I’ve read this year, and hear what your answers would be in the comments! (Note: a few of these answers on my personal blog were LGBTQIAP+ books anyway, so those have been copy-pasted here.) So, let’s see how this goes:

2016 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 64 books w/LGBTQIAP+ protags
Number of Re-Reads: Just Out on Good Behavior, for obvious reasons!
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary YA

  1. Best Book You Read in 2016:

YA Fantasy: And I Darken by Kiersten White
YA Contemporary: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
YA Thriller: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
YA Sci-Fi: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
NA Romance: Hold Me by Courtney Milan
Adult Romance: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Pretty much any book I expected/hoped would have better representation than it does.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Best surprises are the ones that had queer POVs in books I definitely did not expect to see them in, and wouldn’t necessarily have read this year (if ever) if bloggers didn’t push me to! So: Cherry by Lindsey Rosin, Winning by Lara Deloza, and This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I asked Twitter, and apparently it’s between Cherry by Lindsey Rosin, The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie, and This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin!

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Series Started: Five Boroughs by Santino Hassell and Cyberlove by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell. I’m much worse about reading YA series than I am about Romance series, but I’m super excited to read the sequels to And I Darken by Kiersten White (i.e. Now I Rise), Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (i.e. Not Your Villain), and The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie (i.e. The Edge of the Abyss).

Sequel: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Series Ender: Pretty sure Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo’s the only one I read with any queer POVs!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Santino Hassell – picked up one book, continued to read four more of his throughout the year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie! I know that conceptually that book is so many people’s dream, but it’s not my usual thing and I found it totally unputdownable. And Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee – not usually a superhero-book reader but this was so much fun, and I’m so psyched it’s gonna be a continuing series.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Apparently The Abyss Surrounds Us!

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Uhhhh definitely at least the opening of Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell. I don’t get much time to reread, but.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Perfect Ten by L. Philips, which is fun since that was revealed here!

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Juliet from Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. Honestly, in any given year she writes a book, that book’s gonna be the answer.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis. That’s one of my favorite LGBTQIAP YAs of all time now and people were talking about its greatness for SO LONG, but I was slow to it for no good reason.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between.
I wish for you every light in the sky.

~the dedication of When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Under Threat by Robin Stevenson (144 pp)
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (536 pp)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, both because of how scarily compelling I found it and because it’s kinda dark and terrifying.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Oof, this is tough. I think maybe Kai and Garrett from Strong Signal? I am bad at choosing these.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Frances and Aled in Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Published in 2016: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Coming in 2017: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
But it feels like a lie not to mention Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake, coming in 2018

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis, which thank God Becky Albertalli finally got me to read. Should also mentioned that I would never have picked up This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin if not for Rachel G. telling me it had an ace MC.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

I am not good at this. Can I pass?

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo and Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I mean, Leigh Bardugo’s pretty unbeatable here, right? Although definite shoutout to Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Published pre-2016: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis
Published in 2016: Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
Coming post-2016: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (June 20, 2017)

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. It didn’t even happen immediately, but as the book sank in, I just completely lost it.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I feel like in LGBTQIAP+ lit almost everything is a hidden gem because they rarely get decent marketing budgets, but I have such a soft spot for Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate, for quietly delivering both (explicit) pan and (implicit) ace rep in a mainstream YA. While both of those words pop up a bunch in 2017 YA, 7WWL was the only mainstream 2016 YA I saw to contain either one. (And yes, it’s also a good book!)

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

For sheer standout beauty, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, which is definitely by design and which I utterly loved.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

Queer Lit on my Mind, which isn’t exactly a book blog but it’s a (now-) friend’s Tumblr I think posts great reviews.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

I’m actually a terrible reviewer, and since I keep needing to remind people this isn’t a review site, I’m going to abstain from this question so I don’t send the wrong message!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Not that I can take any credit for it, personally, but gotta go with Casey Lawrence’s “Goodbye, Bad Bi“!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Only did one LGBTQ panel this year – with Adam Silvera, Jenn Marie Thorne, and Kenneth Logan – but it was great! Also attended a good one featuring Rebecca Podos, Kenneth Logan, Cordelia Jensen, and I.W. Gregorio.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Kicking off this site, I’d say!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Thank you to guest-posting author Casey Lawrence, whose “Goodbye, Bad Bi” was by far the most popular post on the site this year.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I did hope more people would share the post of Trans Lit Under $5 – most of those books are #ownvoices titles that could definitely use some love!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The LA all-Romance bookstore The Ripped Bodice is amazing, and so great for queer romance. And I’m not just saying that because they made Out on Good Behavior their book club pick one month, but I’m also not not saying that? Because choosing an f/f NA for book club is pretty damn awesome.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Finally launching this site! (And my personal Goodreads challenge of reading 175 books.)

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

So Sweet by Rebekah Weatherspoon – I’ve been saving that series for myself forever!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. I freaking loved Pointe and this character is bi and Jewish, so, no-brainer! But absolutely highly anticipating Noteworthy by Riley Redgate and Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee, both of which sound super clever and fun, and by authors I’m really curious to see more from as well. Redgate did something really fantastic for YA by bringing it its first mainstream on-the-page pansexual character, and Tash reportedly contains fantastic on-the-page ace rep, so, lots to look forward to!

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura, hands-down.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

Series Ending: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey
Sequel: The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie (which is also a series ending)
Companion: YA: Not Your Villain by CB Lee; Romance: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Actually have a new “Better Know an Author” up every month. (And yes, I have ones scheduled for January and February!)

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

There are actually a lot of these, which is delightful! How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake, Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley, and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee are three I loved, blurbed, and definitely recommend. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is fantastic, Perfect Ten by L. Philips and Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde are so delightful, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is beautiful and emotional and makes you scared to love anyone but also so grateful that you do, and…I could probably go on forever, so I’ll shut up, but you’ll see plenty more in discussion soon!

That’s my year! How was yours?

Fave Five: YAs in Which the Lesbian MC is Already Out

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Under Threat by Robin Stevenson

Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Winning by Lara Deloza

Bonus: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown and Without Annette by Jane B. Mason both feature lesbian MCs who are out but then have to go back in for their new schools

Rainbow heart

Good News Roundup of LGBTQ Reads

After so many years of LGBTQIAP+ lit struggling for recognition, it’s been pretty killer to watch literary news this year. Whereas a starred review for an LGBTQIAP+ YA book used to be a needle in a haystack, this fall was absolutely rife with them. Whereas coverage of queer Romance novels used to be relegated pretty entirely to queer publications, now it’s been everywhere from Bustle to Washington Post (*tips hat to Sarah Maclean*). And since I think at any given time, we could all use some good news about the progress of LGBTQIAP+ books in publishing, here’s to highlighting some of this year’s biggest successes in mainstream media:

Picture Books

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato, was named one of the Best Picture Books of 2016 by Kirkus and one of the Best Books for Kids of 2016 by New York Public Library

Middle Grade

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and one of the Best Books For Kids of 2016 by New York Public Library

Young Adult

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard was nominated for a Morris Award and named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo is the only YA novel named among the Best Books of 2016 by iBooks, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and among the best YAs of 2016 by Amazon, the B&N Teen Blog, Bustle, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and New York Public Library.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore was longlisted for the National Book Award and named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle and Kirkus.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth’s movie news was announced.

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli’s movie news was announced, and it was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp spent 29 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed and one of the best YAs of the year by Paste.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle, Paste, and New York Public Library.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle, Paste, and SLJ.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Bustle and Kirkus, among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library, and one of the Best YA Rom-Coms of the Year by the B&N Teen Blog.

Beast by Brie Spangler was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Kirkus, Bustle, and Publishers Weekly.

And I Darken by Kiersten White was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Bustle, and NPR, and hit the NYT bestseller list.

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by the B&N Teen Blog, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly.

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings was named one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library.

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace was named one one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library.

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson was named one of the Best Books for Teens of 2016 by New York Public Library and one of SLJ‘s Best YAs of 2016.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste and hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed and Kirkus, and the Best YA Novel of the Year by Paste.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle was named one of SLJ‘s Best YAs of 2016 and among the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

As I Descended by Robin Talley was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library and Paste.

Radical by E.M. Kokie was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin was named among the Best Teen Fiction of 2016 by Chicago Public Library.

True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan was named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward was named one of the Best Teen Books of 2016 by Kirkus.

Without Annette by Jane B. Mason was named among 19 of the Best YA Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

Ash by Malinda Lo was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

Adam Silvera’s New York Times bestselling More Happy Than Not was named one of the 30 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time by Paste.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Paste.

Timekeeper by Tara Sim was named one of the Best YAs of 2016 by Paste.

Romance

Fast Connection by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson was named one of the Best Romance Novels of 2016 by The Washington Post.

Luchador by Erin Finnegan was named one of the Best Romances of 2016 by Publishers Weekly.

24/7 by J.A. Rock was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus.

Idlewild by Jude Sierra was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus.

Strong Signal by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson was named among 17 of the Best Romance Novels of 2016 by Bustle.

General Fiction

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett was longlisted for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and Popsugar, one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed, and one of the 18 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by The Huffington Post.

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell was longlisted for the National Book Award, named one of the Best Books of 2016 by NPR and Publishers Weekly, one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed, one of the 25 Best Books to Read in 2016 by Esquire, and one of the 10 Best Books of 2016 by Vulture.

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn was named among the Best Fiction of 2016 by Kirkus and one of the 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 by Buzzfeed.

SFF

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire was named among the Best Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy) of 2016 by Library Journal.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers was named among the Best Genre Fiction (SF/Fantasy) of 2016 by Library Journal.

Fave Five: Contemporary Queer YA/NA with Black MCs

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon (NA)

37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order) by Kekla Magoon (YA)

The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson (YA)

F*ths by G.L. Thomas (NA)

A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn (NA)

Bonus: Coming in 2017, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (YA)

Double Bonus: For a Sci-Fi NA, check out To Terminator, With Love by Wes Kennedy (NA)

Note: All of the above are by Black authors as well. To add a more titles to your list, a couple that aren’t: Out of Frame by Megan Erickson (NA) and Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley (YA)

Rainbow heart

TBRainbow Alert #8!

We Are Okay (February 14)
Author: Nina LaCour
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: lesbian MC, major bi secondary
Why put it on your radar? Because everything Nina LaCour touches turns to gold and this isn’t remotely an exception. I cried like a freaking baby after reading this one.

Wanted: A Gentleman (January 9)
Author: KJ Charles
Genre/Category: Historical Romance
Rainbow details: Gay MC
Why put it on your radar? Let’s be real: if you’re into queer historical romance at all, anything by KJ Charles is already on your radar.

A Good Idea (February 28)
Author: Cristina Moracho
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Bi MC
Why put it on your radar? Those looking for more queer YA in which sexuality/coming out aren’t “issues” will find a perfect match in this twisty noir about friendship and betrayal

Perfect Ten (June 6)
Author: L. Philips
Genre/Category: Contemporary YA
Rainbow details: Gay MC
Why put it on your radar? Because it’s cute as helllll but also does a really nice job capturing why monogamy can feel especially difficult for queer kids who suddenly have options for the first time in their lives

Meg & Linus (April 18)
Author:
Hanna Nowinski
Genre/Category:
Contemporary YA
Rainbow details:
Gay MC, Lesbian MC
Why put it on your radar?
Gay and lesbian MCs who are BFFs? Two main characters who are already out? Relatively low angst? Nerds? Come on.