Best ones to read in 2018.
True, this was a great year for LGBT audience when Love, Simon movie was released as well as Disobedience.
But, me being the book junkie that I am, I have a thing for romantic LGBT books, specifically MxM Romance, I’ve compiled the most friendly and best books that portray the struggles, normalcy and the great people that we get to meet when we are figuring out who we are.
On to the LGBT Books list:
- Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
- Let’s Talk About Love – Claire Kann
- The Art of Starving – Sam J. Miller
- Anger is a Gift – Mark Oshiro
- If I was your Girl – Meredith Russo
Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda
Summary from Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
I am not much for LGBT teens romance books. Aside from the fact that the title was not particularly attractive and understood this until later in the book, I absolutely loved it. I mean, it’s fun, easy to relate and I laughed out loud and snorted so many times with the scenes where Simon and his friends are involved.
This made be the absolute most cliché comment ever but the book genuinely made me happy. As in, I was overly excited when I realized there was going to be a movie (given, that was the original reason that I decided to read the book) and I saw it like 4 times in the movies and bought it for Prime Video.
Let’s Talk About Love
Summary from Goodreads
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the romcom-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
As a bisexual myself and growing up with asexual, gay and lesbian friends I absolutely support the LGBT community. But to have a book that has a Black Asexual Biromantic Woman as MC was absolutely astonishing and so easily relatable despite the sexual orientation. I mean really, human experiences resemble each other at its core.
So, best points about the book:
- Asshole MC. Yes, she’s awesomely rude but she realizes and wants to become better.
- Dreamt of friendships. They call each other out on their shit as well as fight, makeup and talk things through. Reminding you to always speak up and try to communicate to the best of your abilities.
- Actual useful counselor. Instead of the regularly portrayed counselor that doesn’t care, doesn’t understand or it’s too airhead to give useful advice this was a welcomed change because Alice does feel comfortable speaking to her counselor and receiving helpful advice. Good Job!
The Art of Starving
Summary from Goodreads
More Happy Than Not meets Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future in this gritty, contemporary YA debut about a bullied gay teen boy with an eating disorder who believes he’s developed superpowers via starvation.
Matt hasn’t eaten in days.
His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal. But Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.
Matt’s hard working mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.
So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?
Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger… and he isn’t in control of all of them.
A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.
Hmmmm tough one. Outstanding writing, raw and filled with emotion, and it’s also a book about a teenage boy going through eating disorders which is rarely portray because… I don’t know why as it’s a real struggle and it should be shed with more light and awareness.
The weirdness of the plot it’s one of the selling points as well which is: Matt (the MC) gets superpowers when he doesn’t eat. Like… actual legit superpowers like mind reading and heightened senses. However, no matter how cool it looks (because he is doing this to find his sister) it comes off as glorifying eating disorders.
How will young “impressionable” teens feel when reading the superpowers coming from not eating? Or the teens already struggling with eating disorders associate the book with a positive light on their struggle when no opposing explanation is given to the superpowers?
So, this is where I struggle with the review and the rating. It’s a great book, don’t get me wrong… it’s just, I didn’t feel like it was all that positive in providing actual insight on eating disorders and possible guidance on what to do.
Anger is a Gift
Summary from Goodreads
A story of resilience and loss, love, and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.
Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near-crippling panic attacks.
Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.
When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
This is a difficult book to read because it feels so real and if you think really hard, it’s reality for some.
It contains intense and frequent scenes of police brutality, detailed descriptions of depression, anxiety and panic attacks. The detailed descriptions are what almost made it a trigger for me as I struggle with Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Depression. Also, the number of different characters it’s amazing!
It’s not meant to be cute, comfort the reader nor let the reader be easily related to the MC. After all, you spend the entire book inside the MCs head and that means reading the extent of his feelings, his PTSD attacks, and everything else in excruciating pain.
I’d say, for a debut novel it’s been an incredible rollercoaster of emotions and a reality check that almost hurt to read. I totally recommend the book but I won’t re-read this for the triggers it has for me.
If I was your Girl
Summary from Goodreads
A new kind of bighearted novel about being seen for who you really are.
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?
Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different and a love story that everyone will root for.
Sigh, I really need to learn to avoid books with triggering topics. Anyway, fair warning: it contains triggering topics such as depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide and severe bullying.
It’s a fast-paced book that manages to go through important topics with a whirlwind, roller-coaster of emotions! I would have definitely preferred to have had a longer novel that could delve more into specific issues and scenes.
The MC is trans and the author is a trans woman as well. It’s a remarkable book.
What are your favorite books or authors? Let me know ♥
Liked this post? Please share it! Also, you can read this post about my favorite YA series.