lgbtq

Kiss Number 8

4
Rated by Julia B.
Mar 12, 2019

Kiss Number 8 tells us about all of the kisses that Mads (the main character) has had so far in her life. The book leads up to her kiss number eight. After that, the book continues to tell us how her life dramatically changed after kiss number eight. The most compelling aspect was how after she kissed one of her good friends that was a girl, and all her friends suddenly stopped hanging around her. I was never disappointed, and I thought this book was very good at connecting with teens.

Feb 19, 2019

Dino's ex-best friend, July, just died. Or so Dino thinks. Dino's family owns a funeral home, and Dino's family tries to make dead people look like they're peacefully resting in their coffin before their burial. Dino is preparing for July's funeral, putting make-up on her, doing the usual, when suddenly, July bolts upright and starts screaming. She's not dead, but she's not quite alive, either. Dino then learns that July's awakening has made it so that nobody, and I mean nobody, is able to die anymore! This compelling, coming-of-age story about friendship will suck readers into it.


The most

Jul 25, 2018

Prince Sebastian has a secret, one no one can ever find out. At night, he wears beautiful dresses and takes Paris by storm as a fashion icon named Lady Crystallia. Only two people know his dangerous secret, and one of them is his best friend, Frances, his dressmaker. But she dreams of greatness as a fashion designer, but as long as she remains a secret, she will never be able to gain recognition for her work. But how long can she put her dreams on hold to protect her friend?


I loved how this book turned around the YA cliche of a girl dressing up as a guy, but I honestly loved everything

The 57 Bus

By Dashka Slater
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jul 23, 2018

What labels define you? Which boxes contain you? No middle ground. No grey. Keep it simple. Describe yourself with categories. Binaries. Either-ors. Extremes.


Once you tell me, do I know you?


Or do you want to say, "Wait, that's not really me. I'm much more complicated and nuanced than that. Those are mere ideas. I'm a person."?


This is the story of two teens who didn't fit nicely into categories. For a short while in 2013-4, they were media sensations. The media loves extremes. All the outsiders kept their definitions of the two simple, imposed their preferred categories, saw only

Humans Wanted

By Vivian Caethe
3
Rated by Rachel C.
Dec 29, 2017

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a viral Tumblr post fell across the dashboard of an established author. This inspired a search for stories written around the theme: as far as alien species go, humans are strange and weird and wonderful. The result is this collection.


I only rate this three stars (really, three and a half) because the stories don't all resonate with me. There are some exciting adventures: "Sidekick," featuring a kidnaped child and their view of the human that's rescuing them and "The Sound of His Footsteps," which exemplifies why you really want a human if you crash on a

Sep 30, 2017

This graphic memoir is a thoughtful examination of a young woman learning hard truths and trying to find love and support as she figures out what to do with them. Nicole Georges has always believed her father died of colon cancer when she was very young. But she suddenly learns as an adult that he never died at all and that the truth had been hidden by her mother her entire life. The title, Calling Dr. Laura, refers to Dr. Laura, one of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history. Nicole calls Dr. Laura hoping to get advice about whether she should confront her mother about the lie. At

Ramona Blue

By Julie Murphy
5
Rated by Becky C.
Sep 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey in the news raises the relevance of this novel to a category five. The fact that we're bringing Julie Murphy--one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors in the country--to town for a Meet the Author visit means you must put this book on your radar. I listened to the audio version. It's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice. Ramona is a high school senior living with her overworked and underpaid father and her nineteen-year-old pregnant sister in a too-small trailer in Eulogy, Mississippi, right off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. When Ramona

Aug 8, 2017

Aristotle is angry. And wondering. And confused. Dante is laid back. And smart. And confused. These two boys, opposites, with nothing in common, begin to spend more time together, becoming fast friends. The friendship that they discover is the kind that has the power to morph and change lives - and lasts a lifetime. And Aristotle becomes sad - then happy. And realizes things. And Dante gets angry - then hurt. And realizes things. This is a remarkable coming-of-age novel about two Mexican-American boys as they battle through the uncertain, calamitous front of life.


Aristotle and Dante

Mar 2, 2017

Henry Page has never been in love, and he's fine with it. He's much happier focusing on college and the future, and becoming the newspaper editor at his school. When Grace Town walks into Henry Page's school one day, he practically overlooks her. Were it not for her rather oversized boy's clothes and the cane she walks with, he may have ignored her completely. But their paths cross in the form of the newspaper, and sparks fly, and Henry's about to learn for the first time just how stunning and disastrous love can be.


Honestly, I didn't expect much from this book. I just assumed it would be

Planetfall

By Emma Newman
3
Rated by Megan C.
Jan 25, 2017

Secrets abound in Planetfall. Since establishing a colony on a distant planet, no one has seen the leader of the mission, Suh-Mi, who has gone to live in a strange network of tunnels called God’s City. The protagonist, Renata, believes in the supernatural, but has her doubts about the religion that has formed around the leader’s disappearance into God’s City. A stranger arrives at the colony, but no one knows how he got there. His arrival sets off a chain of events that unravels life in the colony and forces Renata to confront the doubts she has suppressed for too long.


This turned out to

George

By Alex Gino
5
Rated by Becky C.
May 23, 2016

I don’t normally recommend books about elementary school kids to teens, but this is an exception. Especially a book about a hot topic in the news: transgender rights. See Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s recent speech here. From the speech, here's a quote that gets me in the feels:


“Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama

If I Was Your Girl

By Meredith Russo
4
Rated by Dawna O.
Feb 19, 2016

This is the story of Amanda and how she overcomes her past and embraces her new life, learning to live with her father, and making new friends. Amanda has a complicated past that she struggles with and does not want people to know about. There are flashbacks, sprinkled throughout the book, which feature Andrew and his battle with everyday life. Andrew and Amanda are connected in ways that most would not understand, as they are the same person only in different versions. Andrew’s life was not easy and neither will Amanda’s be as she navigates life as a transgendered woman searching to find

The House You Pass on the Way

By Jacqueline Woodson
5
Rated by Becky C.
Dec 18, 2015

The House You Pass on the Way is a short novel--less than 100 pages--but it contains unusual depth and beauty. It's a pre-sexual love story about two fourteen-year-old cousins who don't yet know where they fit in. One girl, Staggerlee, is biracial--black and white. One girl, Trout, is adopted. Both girls are struggling with their budding sexuality. Are they gay? Are they straight? Does it matter? Woodson gracefully captures the confusion these two feel as they explore what it means to grow from girls to women. 


Their intense, platonic relationship reminds me of the two girls in Woodson's

Aug 7, 2015

When Alix's girlfriend, Swanee dies, she feels like nothing can get any worse. Until one afternoon, she stumbles upon Swanee's phone, and discovers text messages from a strange number. Alix decides to take initiative and meet with her. It turns out, Swanee was living a secret life with another girl named Liana. Both of them will come together to find peace in her death, and also love.


At first I was excited because I would be reading an LGBTQA novel where the main character didn't have to worry about her sexuality or think of it as a disease or problem. It was about a simple romance

Hold Me Closer

By David Levithan
3
Rated by Peggy H.
Jun 8, 2015

Tiny Cooper is a character in David Levithan's book Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He is flamboyant and emotional, and he spends that novel writing and then performing a musical of his life. Hold Me Closer is that musical, written in theater script format.


David Levithan is one of my favorite authors (Every Day is AMAZING!) I thoroughly enjoyed Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I liked Tiny Cooper in that story - a lot. I enjoyed his flamboyancy and his emotional honesty - "Here I am, love me please!!!" But I struggled with this book, perhaps because I am not a musical person. I could picture some

Dragon Age: Inquisition

By Bioware
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Apr 15, 2015

Following on the heels of the critically-acclaimed Dragon Age: Origins, and its horribly rushed sequel Dragon Age II, Bioware has clearly taken customer feedback to heart and created something wonderful in Inquisition.


To get it out of the way, I'll talk about the flaws first.  I played the PS3 version, (it's also available in other formats) and it was filled with graphical glitches like slow-loading textures and falling through the ground.  The crafting system is cumbersome (if occasionally hilarious/fabulous), my controlled character trudged through battle as if the field were drenched in

I'll Give You The Sun

By Jandy Nelson
4
Rated by Kate M.
Mar 20, 2015

Jude and Noah are twins who share more than just the same birthday, they share the world. The two are incredibly close and share their secrets, friends, talents and more. A novel told from two perspectives, in two different times in the twins' lives, I'll Give You The Sun shows the rift that came between the twins, then shows the reader the trauma that began their separation. 
In middle school, Noah and Jude prepare their applications for art school at the urging of their mother, an art journalist. When their mother praises Noah's art without even looking at Jude's the twins know who is her

The Last of Us

By Naughty Dog Inc.
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Feb 4, 2015

The Last of Us won well over 200 awards for very good reasons.  Both the original, and the PS4 remake, are stunning examples of the power of immersive storytelling.  The game is visually breathtaking, the atmospheric sound effects are perfectly suited, the acting is top-notch, the gameplay is reasonably responsive, and the world-building is fantastic.


Twenty years after the world went mad, you play as Joel, a smuggler in a dystopian future where a fungal infection can render anyone into a zombie-like creature.  Joel and his partner Tess are hired to smuggle a girl out of the military

The Daylight Gate

By Jeanette Winterson
4
Rated by Julie T.
Oct 20, 2014

 


The Daylight Gate was a whim I picked up that fit neatly into my October/Halloween/Witch reading theme, and that delighted me more than I expected.  I read Winterson years ago for a post-structuralist college class and only remembered her fondly to feel smarter about myself.  This time, I picked her up for the shiny cover and, yes, the promise of witches. 


The Daylight Gate is a semi-historical novel about one of the earliest seventeenth century English witch-hunts.  It's suitably foreboding, and you watch doom circle and dive at every one of the characters.  There’s magic and politics

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller
5
Rated by Amy F.
Jul 17, 2014

This is a coming-of-age story, a love story, and a retelling of the Iliad all in one masterfully told epic. Miller at once succeeds in adding depth and substance to Achilles and Patroclus and also preserving the dramatic feel of the war that is the backdrop to their relationship.


Patroclus is awed and then befriended by Achilles, a young prince who is the opposite of Patroclus: easy in his young body, beautiful, privileged. As their friendship develops into a love affair, they are carried along by the fate that we know propels them toward a tragedy. Miller develops her characters with a

Two Boys Kissing

By David Levithan
3
Rated by Kate M.
Jun 24, 2014

This book has caught everyone’s attention (as Levithan’s books often do). The story centers around an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records longest kiss (over 32 hours) by ex-boyfriends Craig and Harry in protest of a hate crime. Add to that the love story of Ryan and transgendered Avery, Peter and Neil (a new couple ready to take the next step) and Cooper, a runaway obsessed with gay hook-up apps and the story is full of interesting and well rounded characters. To add to the complexity of the story it is narrated by a chorus of “shadow uncles” (gay men of the AIDS generation)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

By John Green and David Levithan
4
Rated by Rachel C.
Jan 30, 2014

Will Grayson is pretty average, his best friend Tiny Cooper is fabulous, and the girl he kind of likes is pretty awesome.


Will Grayson is medicated for depression, lives for the times he can talk to his best friend/online boyfriend, and generally wants nothing to do with much anyone else.


The two Will Graysons meet by chance and their lives take a turn for the interesting around Tiny and his upcoming musical production.


The authors alternate chapters from the viewpoint of each Will Grayson, providing them with unique voices.  John Green's Will agonizes over his life, uncertain how he

White Girls

By Hilton Als
4
Rated by Melody B.K.
Jan 2, 2014

Hilton Als' essays about gender identity, race awareness, African-American gay men and masculinity will give readers severe whiplash.  He does indeed discuss several white girls, Flannery O'Connor for one, but then he also explores the white-girlness of Truman Capote, Michael Jackson and Eminem.  The chapter on Richard Pryor is my absolute favorite and is followed by a confusing and bizarre fictional rumination about Richard Pryor's sister.   Don't try to find a rhyme or reason to White Girls, just enjoy.

Sep 18, 2012

Will Grayson is your average high school student—just trying to get through school while not attracting too much attention. This plan doesn’t always work very well because his best friend, Tiny Cooper (who is not tiny, by the way), is loud. And Tiny is about to attract way more attention because he wants to put on a musical about his life . . . for the entire school.

On the other side of Chicago lives another Will Grayson, also in high school. His plan is a little more complicated. This Will Grayson wants to get through high school without anyone finding out he is gay. Will Grayson hates

Aug 14, 2012

Sixty-three authors and artists have written letters to their younger selves, including major names like Gregory Maguire, Jacqueline Woodson, David Levithan, and Armistead Maupin along with many others, to form this Bookbent selection for July through September.

"If I only knew then what I know now," is a common lament. With good reason. While this collection  of letters cannot reach the intended recipients, with luck they'll fall into the hands of other people equally in need of a comforting word of advice from the future.

I think everyone can find at least one letter in this collection

Apr 19, 2012

Brooklyn, Burning is the story of a homeless teen named Kid who falls in love with another kid named Scout over the course of one glorious Brooklyn summer.  Unfortunately, Kid spent the previous summer head over heels for Felix, and after learning the painful lesson that loved ones leave, Kid is desperate not to fall in love again.  It doesn’t help that Kid is a prime suspect in a warehouse arson case.  Being a teenager with a family that rejects you is hard, but on the plus side, you can make your own family when blood fails.

Told in second person through a series of letters Kid writes to

The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek

0
Rated by Rachel C.
Feb 3, 2010

The God Eaters by Jesse HajicekPicture the Old West. Not some sanitized, idealized version, but a dirty, gritty Old West with massacres in the name of expansion, hookers with hearts-of-lead, and gunmen versus lawmen where both are merciless killers.

Now, picture this in an alternate universe where the theocratic settlers are armed with magic and have systematically conquered the entire world.

Got all that? Okay. Now… picture a romance tossed into this mix.

Still with me?

Ashleigh Trine is arrested for treason, i.e. writing pamphlets criticizing the government; Kieran Trevarde is arrested for drug trafficking and