short/engaging/attention capturing queer books that i read in one day!

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

A lot of people in my offline-life often tell me that they don't know how I manage to read so much. That they don't have time to read, or they can just never get into books, or struggle to find the motivation to finish them once they do start reading. My answer to the first is normally along the lines of - then make time. Instead of sitting down and watching TV in the evenings I will nearly always stick my nose in a book; and on the days when I do watch something I normally always spend at least half an hour reading in bed before going to sleep.

And I do read quickly. I can finish most books in a few hours so finishing them in a day is really dependant on how early in the day I start reading rather than anything to do with the book. But, saying that, there are definitely some books which I started late and finished the same day because they were either shorter or just grabbed my attention from the very first page and for today's post I thought I'd share the queer ones with you! 

The Prom - Saundra Mitchell. A wonderful book based on an even more wonderful musical!! The dual protagonist narration in this one really adds something to the story, seeing how each girl went on their own character journey in addition to the romance arc was really nice. While the nature of this book (homophobic people being horrible to an openly gay student who just wants to go to her school prom) means it definitely isn't a light-hearted one this book isn't a heavy handed read at all. It's honest and doesn't shy away from the harsh truths but also has several moments of pure joy, and the quirky Broadway characters serve perfectly as comedic foils for the serious elements.

Naturally Tan - Tan France. Best known for being the fashion advisor on the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye his autobiography delves into childhood moments, growing up Asian in Britain, falling in love and, of course, the show itself. With laugh out loud moments and moments that make you think, this was truly a wonderful read and a brilliant insight into who Tan is behind the camera.

The Brightsiders - Jen Wilde. I read this one for the first time recently and was so absorbed in it that not only did my cup of tea go cold but so did the bath I was in. It was truly that good. A delightfully nerdy read that was full of queer characters, positive friendships and the sense of belonging but still didn't shy away from the inevitability of messing up, toxic relationships (of all natures) and how you can come back from and get through both. The writing sings, you can feel the emotion pouring off of each page and the journey that Emmy goes on is both physical and mental and I freaking loved every moment of it.

Star-Crossed - Barbara Dee. A middle grade with a bisexual protagonist who slowly discovers her feelings for another girl in class while also being thrust into the spotlight of their Romeo & Juliet school production.  This is a super cute and light-hearted read but is so much more than that as well. Featuring friends, enemies and crushes this book delves into all three with such humour but doesn't shy away from the emotion connected to any of them either.

The Deepest Breath - Meg Grehan. Written in verse form and following Stevie as she ventures into research about fish and just what the fizzy feeling in her stomach is when she thinks about her friend Chloe. I've actually written a full post about just how much this book means to me because it truly felt like Meg was looking back into my teen years and pouring them into the pages. Stevie's struggle to find representation is so heartbreaking and beautiful in equal measures and for a little book it definitely packs in one heck of a hope-filled punch.

The Space Between - Meg Grehan. Also written in verse this follows Beth as she decides to isolate herself for an entire year due to her mental health. Her neighbours' dog however has other ideas and starts turning up at her door in the morning and it isn't long before he, and his owner, begin to wiggle their way into Beth's heart. Speaking of hearts this book absolutely shattered mine into pieces in the best way possible; it completely throws the awful 'you have to love yourself before other people can love you' thing out of the window and instead focuses on portraying the much more positive message that people will love you anyway and sometimes you just need time to sit with your feelings and someone who will listen to you work through them.

Bingo Love - Tee Franklin A stunning graphic novel that follows two black woman who fall in love in their teen years but are forced to separate and marry men. 60 years later they reunite and discover that for them, love really is timeless. Both the story and the images are absolutely beautiful and I cried for a good third of this one. 

People Like Us - Dana Mele. A YA mystery that hooked me in from the very first page. It's set in a old boarding school and you can literally feel the aesthetic through the pages which only adds to the incredible story. There aren't really that many twists so it's very easy to follow but I literally had no idea who was responsible until they were revealed at the end. Suspenseful, dramatic and with such a strong collection of characters too!

We Are Okay - Nina Lacour. Another one that made me sob for several pages at a time, I truly believe that this little book is Nina's best. The emotion literally pours off the pages, the writing is simple and understated but devastatingly beautiful at the same time and the story itself manages to be quiet and bold in equal measures. 

i hope that this post finds you well, if you haven't already please check out this Black Lives Matter website for a regularly updated list of petitions to sign, places to donate and other resources to read through. 

eloise x

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