Saturday, April 26, 2014

LGBT Month Top Ten

Hello my readers! In case you did not know, I am participating in LGBT Month hosted by Laura Plus Books and Fighting Dreamer. To participate you only have to make ONE LGBT post, or review ONE LGBT book. Now, I'm sure you guys are wondering why I haven't posted more about this, and the answer is a two-parter. One, finals. It's the end of the semester and I am drowning in work. The second reason, is that I have NO young adult books in my possession with LGBT themes. The only LGBT books in my dorm room I've either 1) read already 2) can't review yet or 3) are erotica. So, I've decided that I'll just do one big post of my favorite YA books with LGBT themes. The below list is in no particular order- I recommend them all!

Laura Plus Books

1) Mosh Pit by Kristyn Dunnion

Goodreads blurb: Juliet meets her Juliets in this raw look at punk, young love and the sometimes cloudy road to adulthood. Mosh Pit, a compelling story of rebel girls in the modern city, stars Simone - torn between her loyalty to her rebellious heart - throb Cherry and her feelings for Carol, streetwise and distant enough to be alluring. This edgy young adult novel takes Simone through the modern equivalent of Hades where she gradually gains a sense of who she is and more importantly who she can be.

This is the first LGBT book I ever read, and I think that's part of why I love it so much. It's like a goth lesbian soap opera and there's never a dull moment. You can read my five star review of it here.

2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads blurb: Charlie is a freshman.

And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

This is probably my favorite on the list (don't tell the others). I think this story is one that everyone can connect to in their coming of age years, and then again for different reasons in later maturity. Every time I reread this book, I'm reading something different. As I shape, it shapes with me, and I think that's the best thing a book can do. You can read my review of it here.

3) Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Goodreads blurb: Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

This book was extremely relatable to me, and it had me crying at the end. The main character struggles with her identity as I did for so long. My girlfriend has been out of the closet for life times, and is proud of who she is. I have kept it hidden until about a year ago, and I'm still not really self-accepting of who I am. This story was raw and real to me, and though it was painful for me to read, it is one I'd recommend a thousand times over. You can read my review of it here.

4) Swans and Klons by Nora Olsen

Goodreads blurb: What does it take to survive in a world built on lies?

Sixteen-year-old Rubric loves her pampered life in the Academy dormitory. She’s dating Salmon Jo, a brilliant and unpredictable girl. In their all-female world, non-human slaves called Klons do all the work. But when Rubric and Salmon Jo break into the laboratory where human and Klon babies are grown in vats, they uncover a terrifying secret that tears their idyllic world apart.

Their friends won’t believe them, and their teachers won’t help them. The Doctors who rule Society want to silence Rubric and Salmon Jo. The two girls must flee for their lives. As they face the unthinkable, the only thing they have left to believe in is their love for each other.

This is one that stood out to me, because it's lesbians in science fiction. I love LGBT themed books, and I love dystopian works, so this book is a great merger of the two. I found it fascinating to read about a society where men don't exist, and the author did a great job of making me want to read more of their story. You can read my review of it here.

5) Eating My Feelings by Mark Rosenburg

Goodreads blurb: Mark Rosenberg has had more ups and downs with his weight than Oprah-but unlike Oprah, no one gives a sh*t. Coming of age very outrageously as an overweight, soon-to-be gay kid, he learns to relate to others by way of his beloved Melrose Place and Clueless-which serves him well when exiled to fat camp and faced with an opportunity to bribe an adulterous counselor or poison his stepmother by birthday cake-and thinks nothing of dressing as Homey the Clown (in blackface) for Halloween. This sets him up for adulthood in the image-obsessed world of gay men in New York City, where he hires personal trainers he wants to sleep with, applies an X-rated twist to Julie & Julia in an attempt to reach blogger stardom, and has an imaginary relationship with the man on the P90X workout infomercials that becomes a little bit too real. Hilarious, heartwarming (as if), and especially scandalous, Eating My Feelings leaves no stone unturned and no piece of red velvet cake uneaten.

Okay, so I'm cheating a little. This isn't YA. It's a nonfiction collection of essays from a gay man's youth, and it is absolutely hilarious. Swearing and content is a bit mature at times, but it had me laughing out loud at parts, as an LGBT member and a plus sized girl. Check it out if you get the chance. You can read my review of it here.

6) The Last Time I Wore a Dress by Daphne Scholinski

Goodreads blurb: At fifteen years old, Daphne Scholinski was committed to a mental institution and awarded the dubious diagnosis of "Gender Identity Disorder." She spent three years--and over a million dollars of insurance--"treating" the problem...with makeup lessons and instructions in how to walk like a girl. Daphne's story--which is, sadly, not that unusual--has already received attention from such shows as "20/20," "Dateline," "Today," and "Leeza." But her memoir, bound to become a classic, tells the story in a funny, ironic, unforgettable voice that "isn't all grim; Scholinski tells her story in beautifully evocative prose and mines her experiences for every last drop of ironic humor, determined to have the last laugh."

Okay, this isn't technically YA either. Shhhh. Stop yelling at me. I'm counting it anyway. This is a really interesting account of the links between gender association and mental health. My girlfriend is gender fluid so I picked this book up, and it's equal parts mind blowing and disturbing to think that this was fairly commonplace in the not-so-distant past. You can read my review of it here.

7) Over the Rainbow by Brian Rowe

Goodreads blurb: The Wizard of Oz meets Jurassic Park!

Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.

When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion, a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world's population have mysteriously disappeared. But that's only the beginning...

All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population.

This book is probably the strangest one on my list, but I have to admit I really enjoyed it. It's a mix of LGBT, sci-fi, and fantasy that all tie together in a strange way, but in such a way that it's hard to put the book down. You can read my review of it here.

8) If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Goodreads blurb: A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

This read is an emotional roller coaster that left me in tears. While LGBT isn't a main theme of this book, it is still an amazingly written story that I loved from cover to cover. You can read my review of it here.

9) Made of Stars by Kelley York

Goodreads blurb: When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated books of 2013. Chance is the kind of character that you won't want to stop reading about, and that won't leave your mind immediately after reading the novel. This whole book is written with a tone of an ominous calm and sadness, but it sucks you in from the beginning. You can read my review of it here.

10)Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Goodreads blurb: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

This book, y'all. It destroyed me emotionally, but it is so, so beautiful. It's a look at AIDs in the 1980s and its impact on those it effects, all in a coming of age story. I stayed up until the unholy hours of the morning to finish this, and if I had only one word to describe it, it would be stunning. Read it. Now. You can read my review of it here.

What are some of your top LGBT reads?


  1. I absolutely loved Mosh Pit, I'm so glad you recommended it to me, I'm still having feels. The same is Perks of Being a Wallflower. I can't wait to read Made of Stars and Tell the Wolves I'm Home. And I want every other book on this list!

  2. Haha yes, Over the Rainbow was quite... trippy, but I enjoyed it too. Made of Stars!! Loved that one. Some of my favorite LGBT reads are: Freakboy, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and anything by Kelley York :)

    1. Oh, someone else whose read Over the Rainbow. It was so weird but oddly intriguing. Made of Stars has become one of my faves. I haven't read A&D yet, but it's on my list!

  3. SO honored to see MADE OF STARS on this list. Thank you!! ASK THE PASSENGERS and PERKS (of course) were incredible books. I haven't read some of these others. TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME in particular catches my attention. Thank you for sharing!

    1. And thank you for writing such a captivating book! (And for stopping by my post. I may be fangirling a little.)