Pride Month Reading Wrap-Up Part 1

I hope everyone has had an amazing Pride Month!

This month I decided to only read books that have LGBTQA+ representation.  I decided to split this into two parts, so the post wouldn’t be too long. All titles link to their GoodReads page. Here’s what I read in June including the 5 books from my Pride Month TBR:

  1. Fun Home By: Alison Bechdel

Representation: Lesbian

TW: Death by suicide, Pedophilia

Fun Home is a memoir in a graphic novel style. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed this book, given the heavy overlying topic of Bechdel’s fathers death by suicide, and relationships with underage men. However, the way Bechdel told the story of her childhood was incredibly captivating. She has been quite an important part of modern lesbian history, so I enjoyed learning about her life. This is only the second graphic novel I’ve ever read, and I’ve realized I really enjoy them!

2. When I Grow Up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities By: Chen Chen

Representation: Gay man

TW: Physical and Verbal Abuse, Homophobia

When I Grow Up is a poetry collection mainly about Chen Chen’s coming out experience, relationships with his parents, and romantic relationships. The imagery he creates brings these poems to life. I liked how he discussed the intersection of his identities as an Asian-American man, and a queer man. The rejection he faced from his parents is incredibly heartbreaking. I really liked Chen’s style, and am interested in reading more of his work.

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe By: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Representation: Gay men

TW: Homophobia, Violence

I read the majority of this book in one sitting. I really enjoyed the first-generation Mexican-American representation, . That identity is not commonly represented  in popular YA books, but it makes up a huge population of Texas kids, both the state where I live and where this book takes place. Ari was my kind of narrator: pessimistic and a bit of a loner. (That may be off-putting to some people, but I really like it!) The budding romance is very slow burn. I thought it was well done it a way that kept the romance intriguing yet slow, and didn’t become boring like a lot of slow-burn portrayals can be. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

4. The Astonishing Color of After By: Emily X.R. Pan

TW: Death by suicide

Representation: Lesbian

I had my reservations about parts of this books plot. In the end, the plot was my favorite part about it. However, overall I did not love this book and had to make myself finish it. My main problem was with the writing style. I felt like the color analogy used to represent feelings became very gimmicky. There was also a lull in the middle of the book where it felt like nothing major really happened for 200 pages. I also found the love interest to be rather annoying, and it sometimes felt forced.

5. Even This Page is White By: Vivek Shraya

TW: Racism

Representation: Vivek is a trans woman

This is a book of poetry about racism. I enjoyed learning about how the experiences homophobia/transphobia and racism intersected for Vivek. She had a lot of really thought provoking poems that I think every white person should read to educate themselves, especially when it came to the discussion of white privilege.

6. The Meaning of Birds By: Jaye Robin Brown

TW: Death

Representation: Lesbian, Bisexual

This is the second book I’ve read by Brown and overall I enjoyed it with some reservations. Jess the main character is dealing with her grief surrounding her girlfriend Vivi. My favorite part of the book was Jess’s relationship with Eliza and Greer. Greer was in charge of Jess’ work study and then hired her to help with blacksmith projects. Eliza was Greer’s partner. I love seeing adult queer women helping teenage queer girl’s in their journeys. I have seen some people dislike the way Jess’ best friend was portrayed. She was described in a way that made her seem asexual/aromantic, but that language was never used. She didn’t seem to have much of a personality beyond that, which is one of the major critiques I’ve seen. Along with, the unaddressed aphobia that comes from Jess during an argument they had. Jess also pressures Vivi to do things she doesn’t want to do, and while Vivi pushes back, the problem with Jess’ behavior isn’t addressed. I do think Brown missed the mark on Jess’ best friends identity and the situation with Vivi. However, there are a lot of really important themes and impactful moments in this book that I like.

 

 

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Books I Read in 2018

In 2018, I read a total of 30 books! I set a goal to read 24 books this year, so I’m very pleased I was able to not only meet that goal- but surpass it. In 2017 I read 18 books, which means I read 12 more books this year than I did last year.

Here are all of the books I read in 2018:

  1. How to Make a Wish by: Ashley Herring Blake 1/2/18
  2. Keeping You a Secret by: Julie Anne Peters 1/2/18
  3. Ramona Blue by: Julie Murphy 1/5/18
  4. Seven Ways We Lie by: Riley Redgate 1/7/18
  5. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by: Becky Albertalli 1/9/18
  6. Kissing Kate By: Lauren Myracle 1/11/18
  7. Milk and Honey By: Rupi Kaur 1/11/18
  8. The Lies About Truth By: Courtney Stevens 2/20/18
  9. You Know Me Well By: Nina LaCour & David Levithan 4/6/18
  10. The Scorpion Rules By: Erin Bow 4/15/18
  11. Queens of Geek By: Jen Wilde 4/20/18
  12. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian By: Sherman Alexie 4/24/18
  13. Fan Art By: Sarah Tregay 4/25/18
  14. Hate List By: Jennifer Brown 4/26/18
  15. We Are Okay By: Nina LaCour 4/29/18
  16. Dumplin’ By: Julie Murphy 5/1/18
  17. Leah on the Offbeat By: Becky Albertalli 5/2/18
  18. The Miseducation of Cameron Post By: Emily M. Danforth 5/6/18
  19. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel By: Sara Farizan 5/7/18
  20. Side Effects May Vary By: Julie Murphy 5/8/18
  21. Hold Still By: Nina LaCour 5/15/18
  22. The Gilda Stories By: Jewelle Gomez 5/18/18
  23. Unbecoming By: Jenny Downham 5/20/18
  24. The Inside of Out By: Jenn Marie Thorne 5/24/18
  25. The Sun is Also a Star By: Nicola Yoon 5/30/18
  26. Little & Lion By: Brandy Colbert 6/4/18
  27. Ash By: Malinda Lo 6/8/18
  28. If I was your girl By: Meredith Russo 12/15/18
  29. Of Fire and Stars By: Audrey Coulthurst 12/30/18
  30. Every Heart a Doorway By: Seanan McGuire 12/31/18

My DNF’s:

  1. My Best Friend Maybe By: Caela Carter
  2. Afterworlds By: Scott Westerfeild

For the first half of this year my reading was pretty good. Then I took a summer class and read less, after that I moved to university and my reading became abysmal. For some reason I have a really hard time reading for fun when I’m in school because I always think that I should be reading my textbooks or notes or research papers instead, and that reading for fun is not the best use of my time. I’m hoping to be able to let myself read more during school this coming year. My goal for 2019 is to read 50 books!

Some of my favorite books I read this year were We are Okay, How to Make a Wish, and Little & Lion. I tend to forget what happened in books unless I really love them, but overall I remember enjoying the majority of the books I read this year. Most of these books have some sort of LGBTQIA+ representation in them, and I really want to continue to read more LGBTQIA+ books in 2019. For Christmas I asked for quite a few books, so here are the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019:

IMG_4404
A Stack of Books (top to bottom): I’m Judging you By: Luvvie Ajayi, Girl made of Stars By: Ashley Herring Blake, Radio Silence By: Alice Oseman, What If It’s Us By: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, The Hate U Give By: Angie Thomas, Becoming By: Michelle Obama

What were some of your favorite books you read in 2018? What are you looking forward to reading in the new year? As always I’d love suggestions for books you think I should read, as I have yet to be steered wrong by any of ya’ll!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and your 2019 is full of good books 🙂

 

Pride Month TBR

Something I haven’t talked much on my blog about is how much I love reading. LGBTQIA+ books especially have a special place in my heart, so that’s why for Pride I’m reading only queer books in the month of June. Some of these books may have more queer representation than I’m aware of since I haven’t read them yet! This month I’m planning to read…

  1. Little & Lion By: Brandy Colbert

little and lion.jpg

What is it about?: In Little and Lion, the main character Suzette just came home from boarding school, and is being reacquainted with her family and friends. Shortly before she went to school, her brother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Suzette begins to have a crush on a girl that her brother Lionel is in love with, but the girl is detrimental to Lionel’s mental health.

How is it LGBTQIA+?: The main character Suzette is queer (the blurb doesn’t specify a more specific identity.) Multiple other secondary characters are lesbians.

2. Ash By: Malinda Lo

ash

What is it about?: Ash is a fantasy novel that is a retelling of Cinderella. Instead of a prince, Ash falls in love with Kaisa, the King’s Huntress.

How is it LGBTQIA+?: Ash and Kaisa are lesbians

3. The Swan Riders By: Erin Bow

swan

What is it about?: This is the second book in the Scorpion Rules duology. The Swan Riders is a science fiction book, whose main character Greta was a hostage in a futuristic world, where every country designates a hostage that is a related to the ruler of their country, and if their country starts a war then the hostage is killed. I don’t want to spoil the first book, so I’m going to keep it pretty vague. Greta is going on a cross country journey with the leader of the United Nations, who set up the hostage system. I really enjoyed the first book is this duology, soI’m really excited for this sequel!

How is it LGBTQIA+?: Greta is queer, most likely bisexual, but that isn’t explicitly stated. Other secondary characters are also queer / possibly bisexual.

4. Almost Like Being in Love By: Steve Kluger

almost

What is it about?: Two boys fall in love their senior year of high school, but they separate when they go to college. Twenty years later, Travis realizes the thing missing from his life is Craig, and he begins to try to get back in touch with him.

How is it LGBTQIA+?: The main characters are gay men.

5. Tales of the Lavender Menace By: Karla Jay

lm

What is it about?: Tales of the Lavender Menace is about the group of radical lesbian feminists in the 1970’s, who protested the exclusion of lesbians and their struggles from the feminist movement. The author was a member of the group, and wrote this book as a memoir.

How is it LGBTQIA+?: All about lesbian history!

 

I’m super excited to read exclusively queer books this month! Although who am I kidding, I mostly read queer books every month. Are you reading any books with LGBTQIA+ rep in them currently?

Happy Pride!

Books I Read in 2017

Reading was always one of my favorite things to do as a child. My mom is an avid reader, and when I was little I always wanted to be able to read as much and as fast as she did. When I started getting migraines, I stopped reading for fun because it was no longer fun. I’ve been very fortunate to have a relatively small number of migraines this year, and I was able to get back to reading. In 2017, I read 17 books, which was a humorous coincidence. I know many people read 17 books in one month, but I feel like for someone getting back into reading after taking a few years off, it’s pretty good. Here’s what I read in 2017 in the order I read them:

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody By: Anna Kendrick
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By: Maya Angelou
  3. The Difference Between You and Me By: Madeleine George
  4. A Tree Grows in Brooklynn By: Betty Smith
  5. Been Here All Along By: Sandy Hall
  6. More Happy Than Not By: Adam Silvera
  7. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me By: Julie Anne Peters
  8. The Summer I Wasn’t Me By: Jessica Verdi
  9. Vanished By: E.E. Cooper
  10. Pretend You Love Me By: Julie Anne Peters
  11. Our Own Private Universe By: Robin Talley
  12. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit By: Jaye Robbin Brown
  13. History is All You Left Me By: Adam Silvera
  14. Take This Man By: Brando Skyhorse
  15. Bad Feminist By: Roxane Gay
  16. They Both Die At The End By: Adam Silvera
  17. Dress Codes For Small Towns By: Courtney Stevens

 

I feel in love with queer YA fiction, and have made it my mission to read as many as I possibly can in 2018. The discovery of Adam Silvera, has also been amazing. Both History is All You Left Me and They Both Die at the End quickly became some of my favorite books of all time. The Difference Between You and Me, will always have a special place in my heart, as it is the first queer book I had ever read. My personal goal for this year was to read 12 books, one a month, but I never wanted it to feel like a chore. Luckily, it didn’t, and I was even able to surpass that goal. In 2018, my goal is to read AT LEAST 24 books, or two a month.

What was your favorite book you read this year / What is your favorite book in general?

I’d love to hear any recommendations!