#fantasy, #fiction, #literature, adult fantasy, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Coven by Lizzie Fry

Title: The Coven

Author: Lizzie Fry

Publisher: Sphere Books

Length: 448 pages

Synopsis: Imagine a world in which witchcraft is real. In which mothers hand down power to their daughters, power that is used harmlessly and peacefully. Then imagine that the US President is a populist demagogue who decides that all witched must be imprisoned for their own safety, as well as the safety of those around them – creating a world in which to be female is one step away from being a criminal. As women across the world are rounded up, one young woman discovers a power she did not know she had. It’s a dangerous force and it puts her top of the list in a global witch hunt. But she – and the woman around her – won’t give in easily. Not while all of the women’s power is under threat.

A book about witches? Isn’t that all you need to know? Aren’t you going to pick it up right now? Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

The Coven is intriguing right from the start, seriously from the first page. You start off with so much tension, questioning what’s happening and it immediately makes you invested in the story. Lets be honest, you stay intrigued until the very last page.

We’ve all read books about witches before, but I thought this book was a fresh take on the subject and it was really well done. It was detailed, it was intricate. The witchcraft just felt epic and slightly dangerous. I also really loved the message of The Coven, its a look at the political climate how women are treated by society and it gives the book real depth.

This book is filled with brilliant characters. I loved the connections that the four main characters had, I loved how they all grew throughout the book. It was all really organic and believable. Then I say, without any spoilers, that something happened that broke my heart. There was a romance that I really enjoyed, and I desperately hoped it was going to happen. There was just so much to enjoy.

The story is my favourite part of the book. It’s so well paced and you can feel the story building and gaining momentum. It makes you want to get to the end so you know what happens. It’s full of twists and turn and I just had no idea where the story was going and I absolutely loved it. It’s so layered, the story and the characters keep growing as you read. It’s makes it a real page turner. And it’s always great when the ending doesn’t disappoint.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a thrilling story, filled with brilliant characters that you won’t want to put down. I wish this was the start of a series! I want more.

Thank you so much to Sphere Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 25th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

5 Books to read for LGBT History Month.

It’s LGBT+ History Month here in the UK, so I thought I’d share five books (although there is many more you could read and I hope you do) that talk about the history of the queer community. Some are non-fiction, some are historical, some are just wonderful queer books.

It’s so important to remember the history of the queer community, it can stark reminder of how bad things were, how far we’ve come. And we must remember every part of the community, gay, sapphic, bisexual, trans, questioning, aro, ace and non-binary. We are all part of the same community and we must celebrate it all. We can’t forget 2020, was the worst year for trans violence, especially for trans people of colour.

These books shed some light on queer lives.

So lets talk about the books shall we?

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. This has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s so beautifully written, it’s literally stunning. It’s so moving. It’s the story of two black enslaved men, who are in love. I’ve never read this before. It’s showing that queer people and queer love existed in this time, because of course they did. You can check out my full review here.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. This is one of those unforgettable novels that is quiet and understated but will have such an impact on you. It’s set in the 1980s Poland, and is the love story between two men in a time when it’s unacceptable. It’s thought provoking and moving. I can’t recommend this one to you enough. You can check out my full review here.

Fighting Proud The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served In Two World Wars by Stephen Bourne. This book says it all in the title. It details the lives and stories of gay men fighting in the war. It gives them a voice, full of facts. Such a super interesting read.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I will always recommend this book. It’s brilliant. It’s one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s sent in our time, but it just perfectly captures the journey towards self acceptance and that’s definitely an important thing to read during lgbtq+ history month.

Lie With Me by Philippe Benson. One of my favourite novels that I couldn’t not mention. Set in France in the 1980s in the middle of the AIDs epidemic, this a story of two boys falling in love when acceptance wouldn’t be granted. It’s so beautifully written, so heartfelt. You can check out my full review here.

I have only chosen to feature five books, which I also know focus on m/m stories but this mainly what I read. But here’s some more recommendations of books that share the queer experience in brilliant ways. All The Young Men by Ruth Corker Burks, You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Camp by L.C.Rosen, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson.

This month is a time to reflect on how far the queer community has come, of course not all other the world as being queer is still illegal to be gay in 72 countries, this still shows how far we’ve still got to go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. And you enjoy some of these. Let me know if there’s any queer books you think I should be reading for this month.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Title: This Will Be Funny Someday

Author: Katie Henry

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Harper360 YA

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself- at home and in school. When she accidentally walks onstage in a stand-up comedy club, the performing experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an inspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene. The only problem? Izzy’s new friends are college students – and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. The dutiful daughter and model student is now sneaking out to perform with her new comedy friends while her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. Izzy can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her parallel lives separate. And when the collide, Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants or, finally, truly stand up for herself.

This book says on the back ‘perfect for fans of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel’ and I knew I had to have this book, is I was very grateful when Harper360ya sent me a copy.

This is such an enjoyable book. It’s got everything you could want in a in a YA contemporary novel. It’s funny, it’s moving, and it’s really well written.

This Will Be Funny Someday has got fantastic characters in. I loved the main character Izzy. She was brilliant. She was instantly likeable, you wanted to her to be happy and achieve all her dreams. You really felt for her at times. She’s a really complex character and I really appreciated that in a YA book. I also really loved Mo, and I really enjoyed the friendship her and Izzy had. Jonah and Will were also great. Don’t great characters just make a book brilliant?

I absolutely loved the Stand-Up comedy element to this book. It’s so interesting. I loved seeing Izzy journey from the first time on stage, to working on her set and then getting more confident. I also think the stand-up was really well written. I imagine it was really hard to write but Katie pulls it off perfectly for me. The stand-up made me laugh out loud which is always a good sign.

I will say this book definitely deals with some hard things, it deals with emotional abuse in a relationship, toxic relationships and sexual assault, so there’s definitely some trigger warnings for those. They are dealt with honestly and its really powerful and emotional to read. It also makes you really feel for Izzy.

I also just need to point out how much I enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t a romance in this book. It was so refreshing to read Izzy finding her passion and working towards, it was super inspiring to read. It’s all about Izzy finding her voice and speaking up in every way fo her life and I really loved this aspect.

I will say the only thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was all the lying Izzy did. I understand why she had to lie at the beginning, but as they continue it just becomes annoying. Especially as she is lying to her friends, and we as a reader knew how it was going to end so it was just a little bit tedious.

I definitely recommend this book. It was really enjoyable, and it wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. A brilliant YA novel.

Thank you to harper360ya for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 18th in the UK.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

Title: insatiable

Author: Daisy Buchanan

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Sphere

Synopsis: Stuck in a dead-end job, broken-hearted, broke and estranged from her best friend; Violet’s life is nothing like she thought it would be. She wants more – better friends, better sex, a better job – and she wants it now. So, when Lottie – who looks like the woman Violet wants to be when she grows up – offers Violet the chance to join her exciting start-up, she bites. Only it soon becomes clear that Lottie and her husband Simon are not only inviting Violet into their company, they are also inviting her into their lives. Seduced by their townhouse, their expensive candles and their Friday-night sex parties, Violet cannot tear herself away from Lottie, Simon or their friends. But is this really the more Violet yearns for? Will it show her the satisfaction she is so desperately seeking?

Theres many things to enjoy about ‘insatiable’, its got great characters, its filthy, its got a great story and its a fast read.

I enjoyed most about this book was the characters. Violet is so likeable and relatable. I mean we’ve all felt like Violet, we’ve had that point in our lives where we feel stuck and want more and I think Daisy gets that across really well without ever making Violet annoying. There was a lot of interesting and complex characters. Simon and Lottie are so intriguing at the beginning but you’re definitely wary of them, but they are very complex. All the characters are very human and real.

There was a lot of sex in this book, which surprised but I enjoyed it. And I think they were written really well and I didn’t feel like they were just in the book for the sake of it. And they were really sexy. The whole book had a really modern feel to it. And I thinks its also a real exploration of sex and how we use sex to hide our pain and as a distraction, but it also shows how it can be freeing. It also explores women’s sexuality in the best way. Although there is a trigger warning for sexual assault.

My absolute favourite thing was reading about Violet finding herself and her voice. At the core of this book its Violet discovering what she wants out of her life and her sexuality and her power and I loved to read it. I was so intruded to see how this book would end and I definitely didn’t see it coming, but it made total sense to me. I really enjoyed it.

This is Daisy’s first fiction book, she’s written some wonderful nonfiction, and I think its a really assured debut. This book clearly has something to say and I think its gets the message across.

Thanks to Millie for gifting me a copy of insatiable in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s about February 11th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson

Title: Yesterday Is History

Author: Kosoko Jackson

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis: Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant. He’s ready for his new lord to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and am wakes up somewhere totally unexpected… in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael. And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect – the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift. Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and the future. Between Micheal and Blake. Micheal is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arms length despite their obvious attraction to each other. Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs – and more importantly who he wants to be – before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

As soon as I heard about this LGBTQ+ book I knew I wanted to read it. It was immediately added to my tbr and I was so excited when I got an advanced copy and I started it straight away.

Now, unfortunately I have to be honest and say that this book was a bit of a letdown. I wanted to love it so badly, but I just couldn’t. There was just so much missing. It was at times to shallow, and laughable. I feel so bad saying that.

Ok, to keep this all from being negative lets start with the things I liked. I really liked the main character Andre, I thought he was fantastic. I read somewhere that Kosoko wanted to make a black boy is seen as a love interest and I think that was achieved. He was by far the best thing about this book. I also like how it dealt with grief, it was a main part of the book, and I really liked it. And I never considered dnfing it, I wanted to know how it would end.

Alright, lets talk about what I didn’t like. The love triangle. It was so bad. So, so bad. When Andre meets Michael it’s one of the worst cases of Instalove I’ve ever read. It was so unbelievable, so rushed, I just ended up hating it. It felt like we were just told they were in love, but there was no connection. Then when Andre meets Blake and it feels like the author here at least put in a bit of effort to give them a connection, he’s still thinking about how much he loves Michael and it just is annoying. Then he has this goodbye with Michael that’s supposed to be emotional, but because there ‘love story’ was handled so poorly throughout it was actually laughable. I literally laughed out loud.

The whole book just felt disjointed to me. There was a lot going on, and none of it was explored in that much detail. I really wonder if the author tried to put to much into the book. With the love triangle, the cancer, the family’s grief, the time jumping. It just felt a bit messy to me. The time jumping was interesting, but I wanted so much more. I wanted it to be explored in more depth. But Andres time jumping became all about Michael, which we know I wasn’t a fan of.

I really don’t know if I would recommend this one. It really didn’t work for me. I will read what Kosoko writes next, as I think each book he writes will probably get better. But yeah, this one wasn’t for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for gifting we with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 2nd.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, gothic, gothic horror, lgbt, middlegrade, queer, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

Title: Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

Author: Benjamin Dean

Length:

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s

Synopsis: My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain 1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job at pretending they don’t anymore. 2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what. Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, him mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of his Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.

I absolutely loved this book. It was so wholesome and sweet, yet I believe it has such an important message.

Archie, Seb and Bell are such a fantastic characters. I loved them, what a trio. I loved there friendship, I loved how the support each other. They also made me laugh, Bell is so funny. It made me laugh out loud and books never do that. Honestly they are so adorable. There’s other great characters in this. Archie dad, who journey of self acceptance is touched upon, is really moving.

It’s such a fun, meaningful story. I loved the adventure that the gang went on. And I have to say, as someone who has never been to a pride parade I am insanely jealous of them. I don’t want give to much of the gangs adventure away but it is fun, and it also has so much heart. And the adventure ends so brilliantly.

Can we also talk about how stunning the proof is?

This is obviously a book for children, but i think its a book everyone should read. It has such a wonderful important message. It shows the importance of acceptance. And its from a perspective I’ve not read before. It also shows the importance of found family that is often so vital to the queer community. It also made me cry, I couldn’t help. The message is just put across so well.

Dean has written a brilliantly book. It’s funny, it’s sweet and its vital. I love that theres a queer book like this out in the world, especially for children. It’s a diverse, inclusive book that I sincerely hope you all decide to pick up.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m looking forward to what Dean writes next. I guess all there’s left to say is, can we have some more adventures from Archie and the gang?

Thank you so much to Simon & Schusters Children’s books for gifting me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 4th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson

Title: Love Is A Revolution

Author: Renée Watson

Length: 289 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Ya UK

Synopsis: When Nala reluctantly goes to an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. Tye’s perfect, except… he’s an activist and Nala would rather watch movies and try out new ice cream flavours. So, in order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies so she’ll have things in common with him. But as they spend more time together, those lies become harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into her lies she’ll learn live can be hard, but also self-love is truly revolutionary.

Love Is A Revolution is a sweet, funny, romantic and brilliant book that was such a quick read. I couldn’t put it down. It was full of fantastic messages and great characters.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and was very lucky to receive a proof copy.

This book is full of brilliant characters. I absolutely loved Nala. I loved the journey she goes and seeing her growth. I also loved her sense of fun, we don’t actually see that enough in YA. I loved Imani too. I loved how they were both empowered young black women, who celebrate it and I think that will be inspiring for a lot of people.

I also loved the representation of body image. Both Nala and Imani are plus sized, but it’s not important to them, they know there’s so much more to them than their weight and I love that message. This book is full of important messages.

My favourite thing about this book is the relationships. Of course the romance between Nala and Tye was swoon worthy. Oh it was so good. I was willing them to be together. I also loved the friendships too. The friendship between Nala, Imani and Sadie was really organic and heartfelt. And I loved Nala’s relationship with her Grandma. Renée really created some believable connections between them.

I loved the message of self love and gratitude towards the end of the book. I think it’s really important and I hope a lot of people that read this book will really get something out of it. I also loved how Renée dealt with it in the book.

Love Is A Revolution feels fresh, especially the ending. I love the ending. I thought it was going to be a bit predictable, but it wasn’t and I liked that. It really solidified the message of the book and made me like Nala even more. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins

Title: Here The Whole Time

Author: Vitor Martins

Length: 267 pages

Publisher: Hodders Children’s books

Synopsis: Felipe doesn’t believe someone like Caio could ever fall for someone like him. But over the next fifteen days, everything will change…

If you read my blog they’ll you know I read a lot of queer books and I’ve often said that so many of them are the same, but finally we have one that is different. Shall we talk about why?

In Here The Whole Time, we see a plus sized person that is the main character and it’s so refreshing to see. They are also the love interest. It’s so refreshing to read a character in a queer book that is real. And they’re not a high school student that somehow looks like a super model.

I absolutely loved this representation. It’s necessary and important. In all of queer YA books the characters all look like supermodels with fantastic bodies but in Here The Whole Time Vitor has given a voice to people that don’t fit into this absurdity. It’s brilliant to read. It’s also wonderful to see how Felipe confidence blossoms.

It’s full of fantastic characters. As I said Felipe it a great character. He’s so likeable and funny. Caio is also great. I also really loved Felipes mum Rita and Becky they are a real highlight of the novel. They were brilliant. I found myself caring for all of them.

We’ve got a slow burn romance and it’s a good one. A really good one. It was so sweet and romantic and it just made me swoon. I absolutely loved it. I was willing them to get together. They had real chemistry and it felt organic. I loved when Felipe gave Caio the book. I mean who doesn’t want to be given books right?

I loved this book. I loved it’s important message about self love and standing up for yourself. Of course I had to have a little cry at the end.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s a must have for any queer shelf on your bookcase.

Thank you so much to bmkr for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now I’m eBook and comes out in paperback January 7th.

Until the next review

JTH

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Top 10 Books of the year.

Well my friends 2020 is finally over. Finally. Shall we all breath a collective sigh of relief. It’s been a tough year hasn’t it? But I always try and look at the positive side of things, and being in a nearly 4 month long lockodown I have managed to read more books than ever before. I had a lot of time on my hands.

Throughout this year I had books. Books that let me discover new worlds while I was stuck inside. Books let m meet new characters while I was stuck inside. They’ve been a gift to me. Of course my reading had dips when I just couldn’t manage to pick up a book.

I’ve read some brilliant books this year. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve loved them. There’s been new found favourites, books that surprised me, books with writing that has moved me. There’s definitely an eclectic selection of books here which I love. There’s some young adult books, queer books, literary fiction.

So shall we talk about these books? Just to clarify they are in no particular order.

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much. It’s a masterpiece. It’s genius. It’s the book I’ll recommend to everyone. The writing is stunning beautiful. It’s sublime. I’m already planning on rereading this one next year. It’s truly a work of art. It’s out on January 5th. You can read my full review here.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Everyone was recommending this to me and I’m so glad I read it. It pulled me out of a reading slump and it changed my life. It had me crying through at its sheer beauty and honesty. It’s a Young Adult book but I think it should be required reading for everyone. What a message. I love this book so much.

3) How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

This one took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Cherie creates such real characters that stay with you. It’s the book I was talking to all my friends about at work. It had me gripped from start to finish. It’s truly a wonderful piece of fiction. I won’t forget these characters or the book for a long time. What a brilliant debut. I’m on the blog tour for this one, so look out for my review on January 17th.

4) Camp by L. C. Rosen

I adore this book. It’s the book I needed as a teenager, i still needed as a 28 year old. It’s got brilliant representation and it shows you all kinds of queer is valid and worthy and i think that kind of representation is important. Of course its funny, romantic and a brilliant story. You can check out my full review here.

5) Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

This fantasy book stole my heart. I loved the characters, the story and the African inspired world Jordan has created. It’s so much fun, its got a brilliant message of Black Girl magic and its so captivating. I want more. I’m basically just spending my time waiting for the sequel to come out. You can check out my full review here.

6) The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwartz

I’m sure this is going to be on a lot of people’s lists this year and its got a firm place on mine. It’s just a brilliant, moving book that is so original and enthralling. Addie and Henry just take up a place in your heart. And what an original concept. I can’t wait to read more from Schwab as this was my first book from them. You can read my full review here.

7) Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse

This is not my usual type of book but I absolutely loved it. What an original premise. It’s so clever and the author makes it so believable. It had me on the edge of my seat, and my heart was pounding and I just had to know how it would end. Surprisingly emotional also. I really loved this book. It’s out in March and I can’t recommend it enough.

8) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I just think this book is so important. Once again showing how important representation is. Of course its entertaining and you’ll enjoy the characters but this book at its core has something to say. It’s just brilliant. You can check out my full review here.

9) Kingdom Tide by Rye Curtis

Now, I didn’t expect this book to be on the list but as I came to write this blog post I realised I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. Then I realised I’d been thinking about it all year. I remember the brilliant writing and the characters and the powerful connections between. And that to me is a sign of a great book. I read this back in January. You can check out my full review here.

10) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.

I read this early on in the year and just knew it would make it on the list. I loved every page. It has so much to say on queerness and race in the uk. It’s so captivating and beautifully written and I’d love more people to read this one. It’s stunning. I’ll look forward to whatever Paul writes next. You can check out my full review here.

So there we have it. My top 10 books of the year. And what a crazy year its been. But I’m so thankful to these books for letting me escape inside them and keeping me sane.

Have you read any of these? Or do you plan to? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, interview, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Top 10 Queer books of 2020

Has this been the year I’ve read the most queer books I’ve ever read? Yes, yes it has. Does that make creating a top ten list very hard? Yes. Yes it does. Am I still going to do it? Yes. Yes I am.

2020 has been the year I’ve really expanded my queer reading. As a white gay man, I was mainly reading stories by white gay authors about white boys falling in love. But I’m pleased to say my queer reading has really diversified this year. I’ve read more queer books by black authors, more sapphic books, some queer fantasy, some books by trans and non binary authors. Books like these will only get published if we support them.

So lets talk about the queer books shall we? (These are in no particular order)

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. This is the most incredible book. It’s the queer historical fiction book I’ve been waiting for. It’s heartbreaking, its life affirming, its got the purest and the most intimate love story I’ve read in a long time. It’s a love story between two black slaves, its never been dove before and it needed to be. It gives a voice to queer history.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This book is phenomenal. It had me in an absolute flood of tears. It is so beautifully written. It just captures all those feeling of being a young gay person and feeling lost. It truly is brilliant. I think this book should be required reading for everyone. And it’s got some beautiful poetry in too.

3) Camp by L. C. Rosen. I adore this book. It’s the first book I read that tackled toxic masculinity. It was the first time I read a book that saw femme guys as the love interest and I think its so incredibly powerful. It’s the book I wish I had when I was younger. It’s also incredibly fun and entertaining. It’s also got a wonderful love story.

4) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. This book is so powerful. It’s the kind of book that will capture your heart and educate you at the same time and to me that great fiction for you. It follows are trans big who is the main character, who is the love interest and that kind of representation is so important. I know this book has helped so many people. Please read this one if you haven’t.

5) Hideous Beauty by William Hussey. This is an incredibly addictive and thrilling young adult book. I read it in one night. I’ve never done that before. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s got a mystery you just want to know the answer to and a sweet lovely. I’m looking forward to Williams next book. You can check out my full review here.

6) You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. This is a brilliant young adult contemporary novel that celebrates black girl magic and the first time falling in love. The romance between the two girls is so adorable and charming, but this book as has an important message. You fly through it and be left wanting to read more from this author. You can check out my full review here.

7) All Of My Friends Are Rich by Michael Sarais. This book is wild and sexy and provocative but underneath it all it has a really important message about mental health and the pressures we all face, and I think the author highlights these all so well. It’s an honest and emotional account that had me crying by the end of this book. You can read my full review here.

8) Boy Queen by George Lester. This is such a wonderful book about finding yourself and finding the courage it takes to do what you want. In this book again, we see a femme boy at the centre of the story and I love it. This kind of representation matters. All there’s some fantastic drag featured in this book that is so much fun. You can check out my full review and an interview with George here.

9) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. I read this one at the beginning of the year and its stuck with me. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking look at growing black and queer in Britain. It’s written beautifully and will stay with you. I’m looking forward to what Paul writes next.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. Another book I read earlier in the year that has stayed with me. It’s such a beautiful, intimate love story between two me in Poland. It’s got a goodbye that’ll make you cry. It’s such a beauty of a book. You can read my full review here.

Until the next review

Jthbooks