Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. The goal: talk about diverse books! The meme features 3 diverse books—1 diverse book you read and enjoyed, 1 diverse book that you haven’t read yet, and 1 diverse book that hasn’t been released yet.
Happy Pride Month everyone!
This month (and probably next), I’m going to be spotlighting awesome queer books. Last week, I highlighted some great pics for queer literary fiction. This week, I’m going to talk about something near and dear to my little queer heart: Bisexual Main Characters.
Some background: about four years ago, I was working on a draft of my first real novel. The story started out with a closeted lesbian main character who’s secretly crushing on her tragic best friend. Not far into drafting, though, I realized my main character was actually bisexual—a story that was even more compelling as I myself was discovering my identity as bi. I was compelled to write this story because, at the time, I could find very few positive examples of bi girls in fiction. I encountered a lot of stereotypes that made me doubt myself, that made me convinced to keep hiding my girl feelings because it was easier that way.
Fortunately, in recent years we’ve gotten a lot of great bi YA books. Without further ado:
A Diverse Book I Read & Enjoyed
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
I was blessed to get an ARC of this May release which totally blew my mind. The story follows Chinese Alto 2 Jordan Sun as she tries to find her place in the theater world. She cross-dressed, inventing a male identity, Julian, who joins the elite all-male a cappella group. Along the way, she learns about friendship, about her sexuality, and about the fine line between male and female.
This was the first bisexual book I read with which I really identified. I’ve read a few books with great bisexual rep, but this is the first time I’ve encountered a girl who IDs as bisexual before she’s ever had sex with a girl. I can’t express how important this was to me, but for full details, ask to read my WIP 😏
You can read my review here.
A Diverse Book on my TBR
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
This book got a lot of flak due to a poorly-worded blurb on Goodreads, but I’m really looking forward to reading it. This is an #OwnVoices book about a girl who thinks she’s a lesbian and then discovers that her sexuality is more fluid.
Honestly, I think it was incredibly brave of Julie Murphy to write this plot. I’m just gonna say it: a lot of gay/lesbian folks are terrified of bisexuals. They think we’re all cheaters, that we’re gay and just need to make up our minds, etc. So I’m really looking forward to reading a book that talks honestly about how sexuality is often fluid—even though that scares people.
A Diverse Book Releasing Soon
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (June 27)
From the Goodreads blurb: “An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.”
I’m really intrigued by the premise of this book — plus I’ve never read a book with a male bisexual character. Ever. Which is a problem, because I’m pretty sure there are bisexual males out there and they deserve rep too.
That’s a wrap for this Diversity Spotlight Thursday. If you’ve got some bi recs, please please comment! I’m still building my list for this summer’s queer reading extravaganza. Let’s chat!