Tag Archives: lgbtq

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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A fantasy novel, Six of Crows follows a crew of seven characters who decide to take on a dangerous heist. Set in the city of Ketterdam, the novel switches between the perspectives of the characters as it goes through the heist as well as their own backstories and interactions. It has a really good found family aspect with well written and diverse characters and relationships, and all of the heist and action scenes are incredibly interesting as well.

Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Must Read
Challenge: Book to TV

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

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One Last Stop
is a romantic comedy set in the modern world with magic elements and time travel. It centers around August, a cynical college student who moves to NYC and falls in love with a girl on the train, only she ends up finding out that the girl Jane is actually displaced in time from the 1970s. It has well-written LGBTQ+ and BIPOC characters and beautiful friendships and romantic relationships, as well as an extremely interesting plot.

Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Must Read

She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya

book cover I picked up this book, not knowing what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised. Vivek Shraya takes the reader on a very short and concise journey of a queer individual finding their way, while using Hindu Mythology to guide the story. I enjoyed the brief education on mythology and queer theory and would recommend to anyone searching for a brief read.

Availability:  COSMOS,
Review Submitted by: Sarah Gleason
Rating:  Recommended

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

book coverA modern retelling of Peter Pan, the book focuses on Wendy, who went missing with her two brothers in the woods, only to return months later by herself (and with no memory of what happened). Now five years later as other kids are starting to go missing, Wendy has a chance to get answers when she runs into a boy in the road, a boy Peter who she thought lived only in stories. The book is incredibly interesting as it combines the childhood story we know with a sinister mystery. Both the characters and the relationships are good, and it’s definitely a book that will keep you on your toes and eager to find out what happens next.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Highly Recommended

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

book coverSet during the events before and after the Trojan War, TSOA is about the love story of Patroclus and Achilles, and their tragic ending. It is incredibly written in a way that makes you feel for the characters, and it will definitely make you want to keep reading. This book is perfect for Greek mythology and Ancient Greece fans, as well as those who want to read books with LGBT romances and don’t mind endings that will make you cry.

Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Must Read

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

book coverIf you’re a fan of old Hollywood glamour, you would probably enjoy this fun, beach read. On the surface I took it to be just that, a beach read, but as you move through the story, you’ll find that the main theme runs a bit deeper. Evelyn Hugo is an Elizabeth Taylor-esque Hollywood icon, and now finds herself to be a bit of a recluse in her old age. One day she seeks out a relatively unknown writer and offers to give her a tell-all book about her amazing and scandalous life. To accomplish what she did, Evelyn was willing to do anything, including marrying seven different men over the course of her life. But at the heart of the book is discovering what really matters to each of us at the end of the day. There were definitely a few surprises I wasn’t expecting, regarding Evelyn’s loves and why she chose Monique for the assignment. After reading “Malibu Rising” earlier this summer, also by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I would have to say that while I enjoyed it more, this one has many of the same elements/themes I enjoyed in that book.

Availability:  COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by: Kaylie Jasinski ’14
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: A book with a number in the title

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

book coverJessamyn Teoh, an unemployed recent Harvard graduate, has just moved back to Malaysia with her family to help her parents get back on their feet. Once she arrives, she starts hearing the voice of her estranged dead grandmother who is angry and seeking revenge on behalf of a god… the Black Water Sister. This book features a queer main character and Malysian folklore. It also touches on the immigrant experience, Asian family dynamics and the challenges of being closeted.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book with a color in the title.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

book coverThe Black Flamingo is a coming-of-age novel written in verse centered around a mixed-race, gay teen exploring his identity and finding his place in the world of drag.

This was such a refreshing and sweet read. I share little in common with the main character, but I found that he was still very relatable. I felt like I was rooting for a friend and sharing in their joy and their journey of discovery throughout the book. It was an uplifting and wholesome read. Since the book is written in verse, it was also super quick to get through. Even though this is a young adult book, I recommend this to readers of all ages.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jamie Ourand
Rating: Recommended
Challenges: YA book with diverse characters, book with a color in the title

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire

book coverAcross the Green Grass Fields is the latest and sixth installment of the Wayward Children series (the first being Every Heart a Doorway). It is a stand alone and can be read without any prior knowledge of the series. After mistakenly revealing a secret about herself to the wrong person, Regan discovers a door that leads to a world of centaurs and other magic equines. There she learns to accept herself and that she is destined to save the Hooflands.

This book has LGBTQIA and lovable characters, and is set against an interesting world. However, even for a novella I found the ending a bit abrupt and sometimes a bit slow. However, if you are looking for a fast, easy read and to scratch your inner horse girl itch, then this book is for you.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Recommended
Challenge: Book with a color in the title

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

book coverChildren often go missing. Sometimes, they reappear as mysteriously as they vanished, telling stories of the world they went to through a magic door that appeared just for them, clearly a figment of their wild imagination…or is it? Nancy is one such child. After returning from her world of the dead, she is sent to a boarding school, Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, that specializes in helping other children with her same “condition”. However, when she arrives she discovers all the students, and even the headmaster, have all gone through their own doors and are learning to cope with being back in this world in which they feel they don’t belong to any longer. Soon after Nancy’s arrival, students start to be found dead, and as the new girl suspicion against her starts to mount.

This book was a very enjoyable and fast read. While only 169 pages, interesting characters against a mysterious backdrop. This is an excellent start to a series of novellas that explore other characters and their world.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Highly Recommended

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

cover artEight years ago princess Thanh was given as a hostage to a neighboring kingdom in order to ensure her homeland’s safety. After a fire destroys the palace where she miraculously is saved by a servant girl nobody else has seen, she returns to her home as a diplomat. Things become complicated as unexpectedly, the princess of her host family who Thanh has feelings for arrives just as the mystery of how she survived the fire starts to come to light.

This novella features a diverse cast of characters and is set in a world inspired by precolonial Vietnam. While it’s quite short, there is still some world building and character development which makes me wish the book was longer. I recommend this book for people who are looking for a quick read about a romance set in an interesting world.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Recommended

Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett

book coverMiranda has spent her young life on an island with her father in exile where he toiled to refine his magical skills. But after she becomes betrothed to Ferdinand, ruler or Naples, they return to Milan and her father’s rightful castle and throne. Miranda is forced to wear a veil at all times and is avoided by all of the servants except Dorothea, a witch and an outcast. While in this golden cage she hears whispers about the mysterious death of her mother, whom she barely remembers. Together, Miranda and Dorothea must unravel the mystery behind her mother’s death and uncover what exactly her father has been working towards during their exile.

This novella would have benefited from being longer. Certain characters weren’t very developed, which would have made the story overall more interesting. It was a quick read, partially because of its length but also because the prose is enjoyable and atmospheric. If the story and characters were more detailed and fleshed out this book would’ve received a higher rating. I recommend this book to people who are interested in a fast story with a focus on a queer relationship and the love between a mother and daughter, and one that evokes the feeling of a modern fairy tale.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Jo Hoppe
Rating:  Recommended