Here’s to a Gay Valentine’s Day!
My LGBT YA Recommendations
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t miss it! It’s a week until the big day (or the unimportant day, depending on how you see it) and the gifts are filling the shops, people are desperately trying to find something for their loved ones, and a lot of people are wondering how they got to yet another Valentine’s Day as a singleton.
For me, Valentine’s Day is and never has been a big thing, like, at all. I’ve never celebrated it (maybe because there’s never been someone to celebrate it with). However, this year, I’m taking part in a fun Valentine’s-themed blog hop with a few other lovely book bloggers! We’re going to share our own themed collections of books that all relate to Valentine’s Day.
I’ve decided to focus my collection on LGBT YA books. As an LGBT person whose favourites books are YA, I love to find a great YA book that features perfectly-represented LGBT characters. So, I’m going to share a few of the books that are on my TBR list. All of these books have so much praise and I can’t wait to read them all!
My LGBT YA Wishlist
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
by Patrick Ness
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…
Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.
When the Moon Was Ours
by Anna-Marie McLemore
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
I found it so difficult to limit this list down to only 5, but I had to stop somewhere otherwise I could go on for ages. There are so many great LGBT books out there, but I hope they become more common and a lot more popular!
With books like Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli being turned into a big blockbuster films, it’s exciting to see the representation come to life. Let’s just hope we see more books with further representation soon, like maybe, I don’t know, *cough* some decent bi characters *cough* or trans rep *cough*.
Have you read any of these books? Or do you have any other LGBT recommendations, YA or otherwise? I’d love to hear them!
Before you go, why not hop on over to the other blogs taking part and see which books they’ve chosen for their Valentine’s Day collections? You can see the other bloggers taking part below. It’s been so much fun to plan and organise this, and I hope we do more like it soon!
The Other Bloggers Taking Part…
Kayla – The Page Turner
Kayla fell in love with words at a young age and has been a lifelong reader. The word nerd behind The Page Turner works as a writer who helps entrepreneurs tell their stories. Even though she can get sucked into any story, she avoids anything too mushy. Her favorite love stories happen unexpectedly in the background of a much bigger story.
Megan – Hungry Bookworm
Raised on rom-coms and Disney movies, Megan loves a good love story. She doesn’t read romance novels but enjoys good fiction and the occasional memoir (bonus points if it’s thought-provoking). At The Hungry Bookworm, she pairs every book review with a recipe inspired by that book. After all, as everyone knows: the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Visit her blog for a selection of Unconventional Love Stories.
Kerrie – Comfy Reading
For this mother of 2 little ones, sometimes a good love story is all the romance she has time for, that doesn’t bother her though, because reading is one of her favorite things to do. Typically Kerrie is a psychological thriller fanatic, but this time of year she likes to bust out the mushy stuff and read about all the romantic things that people do. You can find more great reviews on her site Comfy Reading, where you can also see how Kerrie overcame depression with her love of literature. Visit her blog for her selection of great romance novels for Valentines Day.
Gayathri – Elgee Writes
Gayathri is a freelance writer and book blogger at Elgeewrites. She loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. She has been reviewing since 2010 and her short stories have been published as parts of anthologies. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently at Dubai.