Thursday, December 19, 2013

Young Adult Books with LGTBQ Characters

Hello fellow readers,

I have many friends who consider themselves to be part of the LGTBQ (Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual, or Questioning/Queer) community and I consider myself to be an ally for that community. As an avid reader I began to notice that most of the books I read had little to no LGTBQ characters so this year I took it upon myself to find books that had characters much like the friends I have in my own life.


The four books that I have read (all this year except for Will Grayson, Will Grayson) are:

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan:
This novel was about a boy named Paul who is a gay teen that lives in a very accepting community. Paul has various friends and throughout the book, problems arise with several of them. Paul meets a guy named Noah who is really likes and they begin dating but problems arise when Paul's ex-boyfriend comes back into the picture. Paul also has a friend named Tony (I feel like many of us have a friend like Tony) who does not have an accepting family and he has to learn to treat his parents with respect while standing up for himself at the same time. I really enjoyed this book and felt that many of Paul's problems were not just applicable to an LGTBQ teenager but is applicable to any teenager (which I think is exactly the point).

Shine by Lauren Myracle:
Having been recommended this book both because I was a Hufflepuff and because I was looking for more books related to LGTBQ matters, I decided that this book would be my summer read. Opening the book made me instantly connect with the characters despite not having ever lived in a community like their own. This book is set in a small town in North Carolina where the church plays a big role in community. The main character is a girl named Cat whose best friend was beaten up and ended up in a coma in the hospital. Cat vows to solve the mystery of who attacked him (she definitely suspects a hate crime). This book has a great suspense to it also tied in with the sad realities not being able to accept who you truly are.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray:
This year I have read four of Libba Bray's books (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy and Beauty Queens). While the Gemma Doyle Trilogy (a 19th Century fantasy novel) is very different from Beauty Queens (a feminist satirical novel in the 21st Century) I still enjoyed both of them (I'm a fantasy fan and a feminist). The cover of Beauty Queens might have you pick it up and put it right back down again, don't be fooled. This book is about a group of Beauty Teen contestants who are flown out to record the show but their plane crashes onto a remote part of an island. As a group, the girls have to fend for themselves and hope that help comes near. Bray's writing is very satirical and pokes fun at large corporations (think Disney or ABC) but also contains a character who is a lesbian and a character who is transgender.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan:
It has been a while (three years possibly since I have read Will Grayson, Will Grayson but I will say that I loved the story and will definitely read it again. Both John Green and David Levithan wrote this novel from the perspective of two different characters (both named Will Grayson) who happen to meet. With characters like Tiny Cooper and Jane (I saw a little bit of myself in Jane) you can't go wrong with this happy story.


I hope this blog post helps you if you are also trying to read more books with LGTBQ characters or if you need to recommend any books for teenagers or young adults you might know. Let me know if there are any other books that I should read with LGTBQ characters in it.
Happy reading!
Tara

4 comments:

  1. Besides Boy Meets Boy, I had no idea the rest of these books featured LGTBQ characters, that's news to me! I will have to check these out soon because I have heard great things about them and they sound pretty unique.

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  2. Yes, I was most surprised at reading Beauty Queens and how there were two characters who identified as LGTBQ. I really enjoyed all of them but Beauty Queens was probably my favourite.

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  3. I just read Will Grayson, Will Grayson a few weeks ago and I enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read Beauty Queens too but haven't had the chance yet! :)

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  4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a very fun read and Beauty Queens was also a fun read, highly recommend it.

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