I’ve been on a “read every single YA LGBTQIA+ book I can get my hands on” kick recently, especially ones with queer girls. Now, for some reason, it’s way harder to find books about wlw than it is to find ones about mlm, but I am growing my little collection, which I’m happy about. And, if anyone has an recommendations, shout ’em out! I’d love to read more if you know of them.
Title: It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
Author: Misa Sugiura
Rating: 2/5 stars
This was easily one of my most disappointing books this year. Because I was really looking forward to this! But…I had problems. A lot of problems.
This book and I don’t get along.
This book, handled a bit better, I think would have been fantastic: Neither of the MCs are white, which is great! And it handles the sensitive topic of racism between nonwhite communities, which isn’t often talked about. But. But but but. The problems very much out way the pluses.
-While the romance at the beginning was cute, it quickly evolved into instalove. Honestly, there wasn’t much between the Sana and Jamie other than sexual attraction, which is fine, but then suddenly they’re declaring true love?
-There are A LOT of time jumps. And it doesn’t work well. It serves to make the storyline choppy and awkward, and it means we miss out on a ton of the build up with Sana and Jamie’s relationship, and considering that the build up is what makes someone root for a romance…it doesn’t work.
-I have a lot of problems with cheating storylines, especially when I come in expecting a romance. I don’t think that cheating should be used in storylines where the two characters are supposedly “in love”, because cheating? NOT A SIGN OF A GOOD RELATIONSHIP. NOT EVEN CLOSE.
-But my biggest problem about the cheating storyline? It happens with a boy. That’s right: a lesbian cheats on her girlfriend with a boy. THIS IS NOT OKAY. It instantly makes me think of the whole “a girl is only gay until she finds the right guy” thing, and lesbians already get that enough, without a book that is targeted to wlw readers playing into it. It’s gross AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A PLOT DEVICE. I still wouldn’t be happy with a cheating storyline if it was with a girl, but the fact that it was with a boy made my skin crawl.
So no. I don’t recommend this book. I didn’t like this book. And it is definitely not a good wlw romance.
Title: Get It Together, Delilah!
Author: Erin Gough
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book was super cute! I had people recommend it to me because of the setting (a cafe!), and I went into it knowing only the cafe aspect of it, so the lesbian romance was a surprising (and welcome) bonus!
The book follows Delilah, who’s currently attempting to run a slowly and rapidly turning bankrupt bakery while her Dad goes and wanders the world, apparently. I have no idea WHY he thought it would be a good idea for him to leave his teenage daughter in charge of a bakery, but, y’know…apparently she’s responsible?
Anyways, Delilah’s alone and running a bakery, and she has this huge, massive, totally adorable crush on the daughter of the people who run the restruarant across the street.
This book has a lot of food in it, which is quite wonderful because food is wonderful. And if you don’t think I’m totally making panna cotta gelato the first chance I get, YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.
Anyways, I found the entire book adorable. Delilah is this flawed, extremely stubborn, but still extremely likable protagonist, the romance was very cute and build up slowly, rather than then making eye contact and falling instantly in love.
AND DID I MENTION THE FOOD?
(Also, apparently outside the US, this book is known as The Flywheel).
Title: 10 Things I Can See From Here
Author: Carrie Mac
Rating: 4/5 stars
I went into this book SUPER hesitantly, because the last few books I’ve read with a character who has anxiety the anxiety hasn’t been protrayed realistically, or it was “cured” by romance. But I actually really liked this!
Maeve is this constantly anxious shy introvert of a person, and I related to her SO MUCH. Everything from driving to waiting for her dad to pick her up from the train station gives her anxiety, and I get that. I really, really do.
This book is fantastic at showing how anxiety drags you into a spiral and how you know it’s illogical but at the same time your brain is telling you YOU WEREN’T PICKED UP EXACTLY AT THE RIGHT TIME OH MY GOD YOUR LOVED ONE DIED IN A CAR CRASH TO COME GET YOU, and it’s the first book I’ve read that shows it so unflinchingly and honestly and it was refreshing. It also had the downside of being written so realistically that it triggered MY anxiety, but I’m not going to downrate it for that. I also loved how it showed that having people who love you and support you will help your anxiety, but it won’t magically “cure” you.
And Salix. Oh, Salix. This romance was the CUTEST, you guys! Because you have shy Maeve crushing on the cute musician she keeps bumping into and they start dating and they’re just SO CUTE. I love them.
I did have a couple of problems, though:
The people in Maeve’s life were supposedly being “supportive” about her anxiety, but things would happen like her dad getting mad at Maeve for Maeve getting anxiety because he’s not wearing his seatbelt, or her Grandma for Maeve not feeling comfortable driving her car, and honestly? That’s not being supportive. DON’T try and pressure people into doing things that makes them anxious.
Some of the side characters felt very flat, too. They were just the smiling cardboard cutouts who popped in and out at the right time.
But all in all, I really liked this book! It was cute and honest and uplifting despite it being about some hard things, and I’m kind of sad how much it has flown under the radar.
And, yes, the cover is freaking AWFUL. I have no idea who thought that it looked good.
So, blogglings, tell me: have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? Do our opinions match or differ? Do you have any book recommendations for me??