The Resolutions by Mia Garcia
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Summer Confessions by Lynn Vroman
Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz
This is another one of those titles I had to jump on covering as soon as it hit being just over a year old, because it’s got one of the most memorable heroines I’ve ever read, and it’s just a must-read for basically everyone. Plus, the next time you’ll be seeing Gabby Rivera, it’ll be in the America Chavez solo series! How cool is that??
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.
Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?
With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
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
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
Pretty much any book I expected/hoped would have better representation than it does.
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.
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!
Santino Hassell – picked up one book, continued to read four more of his throughout the year.
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.
Apparently The Abyss Surrounds Us!
Uhhhh definitely at least the opening of Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell. I don’t get much time to reread, but.
Perfect Ten by L. Philips, which is fun since that was revealed here!
Juliet from Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.
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.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.
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.
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
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, both because of how scarily compelling I found it and because it’s kinda dark and terrifying.
Oof, this is tough. I think maybe Kai and Garrett from Strong Signal? I am bad at choosing these.
Frances and Aled in Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.
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
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.
I am not good at this. Can I pass?
I mean, Leigh Bardugo’s pretty unbeatable here, right? Although definite shoutout to Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. It didn’t even happen immediately, but as the book sank in, I just completely lost it.
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!)
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.
For sheer standout beauty, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore.
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, which is definitely by design and which I utterly loved.
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.
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!
Not that I can take any credit for it, personally, but gotta go with Casey Lawrence’s “Goodbye, Bad Bi“!
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.
Kicking off this site, I’d say!
Thank you to guest-posting author Casey Lawrence, whose “Goodbye, Bad Bi” was by far the most popular post on the site this year.
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!
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.
Finally launching this site! (And my personal Goodreads challenge of reading 175 books.)
So Sweet by Rebekah Weatherspoon – I’ve been saving that series for myself forever!
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!
It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura, hands-down.
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
Actually have a new “Better Know an Author” up every month. (And yes, I have ones scheduled for January and February!)
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?
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (Contemp)
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Light Sci-Fi)
When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (Magical Realism)
Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Doyle (Contemp)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (and presumably its future companion, There Will Be Other Summers) by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Contemp)