I’ve said before that I’m done with reading the standard, overplayed love story, and that I’m also trying to only reading books this year that were written by either people of color, LGBTQ+ community members, and women. That being said, I do still have lots of love for the young adult fiction love stories, so here are 3 more that are worth reading:
1. Blackout by Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon, Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Nic Stone
So this was a really cool collaboration of six authors writing six stories with characters that overlap in a blackout in NYC. It almost read like a movie or a TV series, where you meet new characters who are the friends and siblings of the first characters you see, and everyone has their own stuff going on. I liked this most for the representation of different couples, as there was straight ex’s, gay friends with tension, straight besties that never considered each other in a romantic way, lesbians who meet for the first time, and more. Everyone, to my knowledge, is a person of color, as were all of the authors. This novel is intended for young adults, can be a little cheesy at times, but was super cute and absolutely worth reading.
2. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
I’m gonna be straight up – this book was allllllll over the place. I really wanted to love this one because my girlfriend picked it out for me from a local bookstore, but I only enjoyed about half the story. Half the plot line was super interesting and had a lot of potential – a girl from Trinidad was sent to live with her American father after her mother discovers that she is queer. The way she overcomes adjusting to the states and connecting with her father was actually super beautiful. There was also a lot of poetry and astrology integrated into the book that was fun, but then sorta out of nowhere the entire energy of the book changes when one of the girl’s American friends is diagnosed with a cancer-like terminal illness. While the Trinidad plot line was sad but real, as many queer people deal with being disowned from their families, the terminal illness plot line was a bit dramatic and soap opera-y. Sorry if this is a ton of spoilers, but at least I’m saving you from the most random part – the ending. I don’t know.. the book could have been really cool without all the added layers of random drama.
3. Never Kiss Your Roommate by Philline Harms
I enjoyed this book even more than I initially expected it to. It takes place in a British boarding school, and follows a few unique love journeys. I definitely go into most young adult fiction novels assuming there will be a certain level of predictability, but here I was pleasantly surprised. While it does give you the warm feels of a cheesy rom-com, the plot didn’t go in the direction you’d think – which I really appreciated. It was a cute story, a light and easy read, but joyously satisfying. This is one that I would absolutely recommend, especially since it’s wonderfully queer.
Thanks for reading!