I can’t believe today is already the last day of Pride month. I went to my first Pride parade ever and had a great time. I was very overwhelmed by the reality of it and I got emotional at how everyone was allowed to be themselves and proud of who they are. I know it was a privilege to be able to go and that there was even a parade and I don’t take it for granted. It made me grateful for the growing visibility of books written by queer others or featuring queer characters, that are as important as ever. So, without further ado, here are some of my favourite books with transgender representation where the characters also happen to be people of color.
I think Cemetery Boys is one of the first books with a trans character and also a trans author that I have ever read. I instantly fell in love with Yadriel and his chaotic ghost, the themes of belonging, loss and family and the healthy dose of culture and tradition present in the book.This was both a love letter to queer teenagers as well as Latinx culture. The story had so many different layers which made it as enjoyable as it was. It was action-packed, had solid plot and tackled important topics. I will always recommend it. This book wonderfully alternated between fun, sad, and emotional moments and it had a healthy dose of everything. I also would like to say that I get spooked very easily and that based on the synopsis I wouldn’t have gravitated towards this story but the author wrote this book wonderfully and I am so happy I gave it a chance. I cannot recommend this enough.
Can you believe that in six months we’re in 2022? Not to alarm you but time is moving FAST!! Can you feel me panicking? I’m so thankful for books providing me the much-needed escapism from the passage of time. (Yes I’m losing it).
June has been my best reading month so far because I read so many books I gave 5 stars to and I discovered a few favourites!
ATouch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I have a rating system inspired by Greek mythology. The highest rating ever is a "Persephone" which is 5 stars. A Touch of Darkness is the Hades and Persephone retelling of my dreams. Steam, angst, drama, love; yes please!
The Duchess Dealby Tessa Dare. One word: yes. The marriage of convenience trope was done beautifully and I couldn't get the story out of my head. This book was simply perfection. Also it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling?? Even more perfect
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I read this beautiful and poetic book in one sitting and it moved me to tears. It's such an important story about finding yourself and trying to belong when you're different.
Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon. This is a contestant for one of my favourite books of the year. This was amazing. Once again, the was the marriage of convenience trope, with amazing bi rep (both the hero and heroine) with great steam and a convincing plot. What more does a girl need?
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The most wholesome book ever. This had (as far as I know), great trans rep, an amazing insight into latinx culture, a great magic system and a cute romance. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar. Okay, the fake dating trope is one of my favourite tropes ever and in this book it was carried out perfectly. I loved it so much. The book also had muslim rep which I think was very accurate and touching, as well as two South Asian (from Bangladesh!!) main characters and great bi rep too. The book tackled so many subjects in a sensible and simple way and I enjoyed reading this tremendously.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. This book was the perfect read for Pride month. It was a very quick read (especially on audiobook)!! The bi representation was PERFECT and I loved so many aspects of the story (my review will be up soon). It was heartwarming, fun and cute with a little bit of angst and drama; Just how I like 'em.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. One of my favourite books ever. EVER. EVER. (My full review will be up soon!)
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. This book was everything I dreamed of and it did not disappoint one bit. I absolutely love McQuiston's writing style and the way they write their characters. I'm forever going to miss the characters from this book! (My review will also be up soon for this one too!)
4 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟
An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn. I am still obsessed with Bridgerton and I am determined to finish every single book in the series. This one was a little disappointing because it was a Cinderella retelling and I didn't expect that but Quinn's writing style was still as cute, funny and witty as ever and I still had a great time reading this one!
Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding. This book was an ARC kindly provided by the author and it was a very nice surprise! This isn't the type of book I usually go for, but it was a pleasant read and I can only recommend it. Here's my full review.
I gave in to peer pressure (it works!) and finally read this very strange but entertaining book. I think I’m going to dedicate a post to this book because i have many *thoughts*.
Aside from my existential crisis in the introduction of this post, June has treated me amazingly! I have finished my first year of my master’s degree and even started working here and there so it was a nice change to sleep without that academic guilt.
I also felt like rebranding and commissioned a book blogger to make the design of my blog but unfortunately the artist had some personal problems and the project was cancelled. I completely understand, of course, but I am still sad the revamp didn’t happen. If any of you know an artist or a book blogger that designs blogs and whose commissions are open, please let me know!
I also want my various bookish platforms to grow (especially my Instagram account) so I decided I was going to start making reels and even joining Tiktok and creating bookish content. I am the most awkward person ever, and I can’t stand to hear my voice or see my face on camera so that should be a fun experience 😂. But I also want to challenge myself and recommend books; make funny videos and connect with more people. Since I have the time, I also want to put more time and effort into my blog, by posting more regularly and post content I’m proud of. let’s see where this new adventure takes me (and wish me luck please!).
How has June treated you? What are some of your goals for July?
I am soo happy that we’re in June and that so many queer books are getting the attention they deserve!
I finished my school year on June 2nd, (which explains my absence) but I am back and I now have a lot of free time on my hands and I want to read as much as I can this month!
I identify as a panromantic demisexual but I’m also fine with the bisexual label. And here are my flags!
I’m trying to diversify my shelves as much as I can and I have found a great bingo on instagram to do so (@onceandfutuebooknerd and @bookstorevibe).
So here are my June Hopefuls:
Trans/ genderfluid/non-binary mc: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Ace/Aro mc: Bloody Spade by Brittany M. Willows (ARC)
Queer rep in a non-wetsern setting: Sweethand by N.G Peltier
Queer book by a BIPOC author: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Queer x neurodiverse/ disabled mc: Something to Talk about by Meryl Wilsner
Fat x queer mc: Off the record by Camryn Garrett
A book celebrating queer joy: Cool for The Summer by Dahlia Adler and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Non-fiction queer book (I really struggle with non-fiction so I'm skipping this one).
Queer historical fiction: Lying With Lions by Annabel Fielding
And I’m also going to co-host a book club on Instagram (let me know if you want to join) and we’re reading Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar!! I can’t wait to receive my copy and read this one . I have also loved Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas so I cannot wait to read Tryst Six Venom which is sapphic and got published on June 3rd!
What are some books on your June TBR? Let me know in the comments!
The Goodreads Choice Awards 2020 results came in and I wanted to talk about the results, who I voted for and what I think of the winners in the following categories: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction, Debut Novel and Young Adult Fantasy.
I’m really happy about the number of diverse reads that were nominated and won this year; I think 2020 was really a turning point (at least I hope so) for the publishing industry and I hope this trend will continue in 2021 and in the following years.
I voted for:
I’m am absolutely thrilled that this book won. I don’t read a lot of Historical Fiction but this just blew me away. This book is incredibly well-written with a unique plot and it deserves all the praise it gets. You can see my review for the book here.
I voted for
This is kind of funny because I did not read this book, yet I still voted for this because I knew that it wouldn’t disappoint and I’m conforted in my opinion by the fact that it won. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue (see my review here!) was an amazing book too so I’m glad that it was also nominated in this category.
I voted for
I was torn between so many books in this category – from Beach Read (which came in second place with 60k votes against 70k votes) as well as Take A Hint, Dani Brown and Party of Two! Several other books that are nominated are also high on my TBR which is the case for From Blood and Ash which I haven’t shut up about in my later posts. I still would have liked Beach Read to win because to me it was so much more than a romance. The story dealt with so many other topics than just a typical love story and it’s now one of my favourite books ever. However, that does not mean that From Blood and Ash is underserving and since it won, I’m really excited to read this! (see my review for Beach Readhere).
I voted For
Once again, I haven’t read either of these books so I really can’t say which one I like better but I was so happy that such a diverse, inclusive book as Cemetery Boys was nominated that I voted for this one.
Young Adult Fiction
I voted for
This was one of my favourite reads of 2020 and I couldn’t be happier that this book won!! It was such a beautiful tale about grief, sisterhood and love and I couldn’t recommend it enough! You can find my review for this wonderful book here. I also love the fact that so many of the nominees featured BIPOC characters as well as LGBTQ+ characters! This warms my poor little heart. I honestly think all of the nominees equally deserved to win.
Young Adult Fantasy and Science-Fiction
I voted for
Okay hear me out: The Folk of the Air trilogy is one of my favourite series ever. I even broke my book buying ban for the new Cardan novella. But I think it’s a little unfair that this book won because it was published in 2019. And there are so many and I mean so many amazing books that were published this year that are predicted 5 stars reads for me (hello Legendborn, Cemetery Boys, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, and These Violent Delights) and i wanted one of them to win. I’m really excited to read these books this month or in 2021. However, I’m still very happy that Holly Black won this because The Queen of Nothing is an amazing book and it was such a beautiful ending to the series and I miss the characters so so much. (see my review here).
What did you think about the winners? Are you satisfied or disappointed by the results?