I am honoured to be rounding off Pride Month and Jim’s series of LGBTQ* themed #6Degrees feature with my guest post. Inspired by the amazing community and solidarity of the past month, I’ve picked some of my favourite reads with women who love women.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe is the amazing and devastating story of recovering teen pain killer addict, Sophie and her relationship with best friend turned romantic interest, Mina. When Mina is tragically killed, Sophie must look to the past and the future to lay her pain to rest. It’s a heartbreaking but beautiful story which takes the girls at its core entirely seriously. Furthermore, this is the book that says the B word, ON THE PAGE. Bisexual characters often get a raw deal in YA and the entertainment industry at large, but Tess’ Sophie is clear about who she is…and her romantic feelings for a boy complicate matters, even as she searches for Mina’s killer.
From romantic tragedy to romantic bliss, Style by Chelsea Cameron is the antidote for anyone wanting to move away from the doom and gloom that a lot of queer stories tend to centre around. Gorgeous, blissful, hot and happy…these girls are unapologetically loved up. Like Nina LaCour’s Everything Leads To You and Keris Stainton’s Starring Kitty, Style is the story of emerging sexuality. But this has a decidedly NA kick, with the school nerd Kyle and the athletic cheerleader Stella (St+yle) developing from frenemies to reluctant English study partners to partners of a much more steamy variety. With heart eyes galore, this sweet fluffy romance is a sugary and delicious contemporary fairytale about a girl who really, really wants to kiss the girl.
Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember is another darker type of fairytale, and I fell head over heels for the amazing world building. Set in a safari landscape, it has a truly incredible sense of place, vivid and imaginative mythology, gripping and intense plot and wonderful characterisation. The relationship between Mnemba and Kara is a delightful exploration of mutual respect, friendship, trust and desire with a queer black girl and a plus size girl from a different land. The plot follows them as they track the elusive unicorn, before stumbling upon a poachers plot to capture the magnificent creatures into their service.
Another title that has a plus sized protagonist and explores magical creatures is The Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood, where supernatural elements fit seamlessly into everyday life. With commentary on gaming and fandom, the book follows Wolf’s Run, an RPG werewolf game moderated by our main protagonist Deanna. Through several encounters with her gorgeous butch introverted neighbour, Jamie, Deanna soon discovers that the world she rules as den mistress might not be so fictional after all. What’s more, there’s someone causing trouble on the boards, and they seem to be targeting Deanna in particular. A clever commentary on the perks and pitfalls of anonymity online.
Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson is written by a couple of online writer friends, about a fandom friendship that turns into a passionate and obsessive love. Commentating on the extreme closeness that develops between two people who share both a mutual fan interest and their deepest thoughts and troubles through the safety of a keyboard and long distance, the relationship between these two girls is fraught with further tension due to the Finn’s long term boyfriend Charlie. With secrets of her own, Gena’s coping methods as she begins college aren’t always the healthiest, and Finn’s dedication is tested by the strength of her support of Gena’s mental health issues and troubled childhood memories.
And finally from fictional online loves to a real life couple, I was very excited to receive a copy of Lucy Sutcliffe’s Girl Heart Girl, the novelised memoir of her long distance relationship with fellow Youtuber, Kaelyn. With a huge international following, Lucy and Kaeyln’s journey to be together has been watched over 25 million times on their blog and vlogs, charting their day to day and developing feelings. I love that Youtube has given a platform for real women to share with honesty the truth of their relationship with those who want to find someone to relate to so badly, and can’t wait to read the book to find out more. It promises to be both uplifting and inspiring.
So there you go, from tragedy to hope. We could all do with some amazing stories to show us the world is a wonderful place filled with people from all across the rainbow spectrum sharing their lives and their loves. What better way than with a book?
Have you done a #6Degrees post this month? Remember to link it up to my post from June 4th!