My Favourite LGBTQ+ Reads - Part 1

Today I want to share books I loved with LGBTQ+ representations. They were all four or five star reads!


1. THE SONG OF ACHILLES - Madeline Miller


I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.


Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


Favourite read of 2018 and one of my favourites of all time. One you wish you could read again for the first time. One to remember.



2. RED,WHITE & ROYAL BLUE - Casey McQuiston


"Someone else's choice doesn't change who you are."


First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.


The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice?


RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE is too cute, too romantic and too sexy. I could feel all the emotions so vividly, I couldn't even focus on writing style, character development etc. while reading. But I guess the fact that the emotions took over and I could not focus clearly on anything else, proves enough that this book is amazing.


When I look back now, I realize how strong the characters are. Not only their personality, but also the way Casey McQuiston pictures them. Every character (and not only First Son Alex and Prince Henry of Wales) has its own personality, its own strengths and flaws, its own way of talking. The author did a really good job with character development.


I have to be honest that I was afraid of getting bored halfway through because I felt it was a repetition of events. But the author came just in time with new interesting events that she could still hold my attention.


3. ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE UNIVERSE - Benjamin Alire Sáenz


"When do we start feeling like the world belongs to us?" I wanted to tell him that the world would never belong to us. "I don't know," I said. "Tomorrow."


Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship--the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


I loved how imperfect this story was: I loved the imperfection of the characters Ari and Dante, the imperfection of their friendship and of the relationship between Ari and his parents. All these imperfections made the story perfect.

In my opinion, this isn't a romance story, like I expected. It is a story about two friends who are in search of their own identity and how they fit in each other's lives.

The chapters were really short. Benjamin Alire Sáenz often stopped in the middle of a dialogue or event. This gave me a weird feeling sometimes because I didn't expect the chapter to end at that point. However, this was a strength of the book. The writer always chose the right words that said enough and at the same time felt mysterious.



4. RADIO SILENCE - Alice Oseman


Hello, I hope somebody is listening...If nobody is listening, am I making any sound at all?


Frances has been a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she's unafraid to be herself.


So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…


Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.




I loved RADIO SILENCE so much! I was just hugging this book for a few minutes, wishing I could stay with these characters for a little longer.It was my first book with Asexual representation. This made me realize I need to read more books with diversity in gender and sexuality presentation.

I need more Alice Oseman books in my life! Luckily I already got LOVELESS waiting for me on my shelves.



5. THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE - Samantha Shannon


We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs.


A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.


The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.


Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.


Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.


Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


One word: wow


This journey was wild and wonderful. It took me almost two months to get to the end, and now I don't know whether I am happy or sad that I finally finished it. I did read other books while reading this one, and now I am wondering I did that because subconsciously I was slowing down my reading, I didn't want this book to end.


The plot twists and twists. Samantha Shannon did a great job developing the world building and the characters. Everything felt right. Every character had a past and they acted according to it. I feel like Samantha Shannon didn't give the reader what they would want, but wrote what the story needed, and in that way she created an epic fantasy, what the reader wants eventually.


My favorite character was Ead. She was so badass and loving at the same time.




Happy reading, bookworms! I hope you enjoy all these reads as much as I did.


Love,


Janne




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