With the rise of the hashtag #ownvoices, we finally have a platform in which we can showcase, promote and support books written about minorities for minorities. It means books with POC characters written by POC authors have been championed and placed solidly on numerous bestseller lists. The same can be said for so many other minorities; I’ve had the privilege of reading stories on mental illness written by authors who have said mental illness, stories with Muslim characters written by Muslims, and so on.

Including LGBTQ+ characters in a story is not a new concept. Whether their sexuality is suggestive or explicit, a centred story line or just a fact about them, it’s not uncommon to come across a book and be pleasantly surprised that the world you’re reading about doesn’t only have straight people in.

To celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, I wanted to list and recommend some YA books that, while include a LGBTQ+ story line or characters, are also #ownvoices. Written by LGBTQ+ folk for LGBTQ+ folk (and everyone else) to enjoy!



#PrideMonth: My Fave LGBTQ+ Books

So in case you didn’t know, LGBTQ+ representation in fiction is very slim. Genres upon themes upon age demographic, and only a small percentage of fiction has a gay character. It’s tragic, for a world that becomes more and more tolerant every day (or, at least we’d like to think so), the majority of fiction busies itself with the same old plots involving straight people.

And don’t get me wrong; some of those stories are still fantastic. But, instead of asking why a book should include an LGBT character, you should be asking; why not? I have become a reader who thrives on such characters. If, on Goodreads, a book is tagged with the ‘Glbt’ category, I instantly become more inclined to read it. There’s just an exciting, fresh story there that explores new plots and themes and personality, that I just want to read them all.

In celebration of Pride Month this June, here are my favourite books with LGBTQ+ characters I’ve read so far, and some that I plan to read very soon.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


I remember reading the majority of this book on the train. A train is a public place, and I am terrible at reading about boys being cute and not making stupid faces at words on a page. This book was so heart-wrenchingly good. Mixed with themes you know and love from that well known series, but with an added contemporary feel, Carry On has LGBT youth in a fantasy setting, which is always so desperately needed. What, you’re gunna make up a whole new world with an imaginative society that plays by different rules but everyone’s still straight? I don’t think so. Carry On is the fanfiction previously told in Fangirl, where Simon Snow, the ‘chosen one’ deals with growing up, defeating villains, and falling in love with his worst enemy/roommate.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


This is the book that stayed with me. I picked it up on a whim, only because I’d seen it on Goodreads marked as LGBT (see how much that tag draws me in??). I rarely readyhistorical fiction, unless it’s mixed in with fantasy, it’s just a genre I’m not too bothered with. So when I started reading Song of Achilles, with absolutely no previous knowledge of The Iliad, I’d really chucked myself head first into becoming a masochist. This story is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read, and it hurts. so. much. The Song of Achilles tells the story of Patroclus, a banished Prince who becomes the best friend and lover Achilles, a demi-God who is destined for greatness.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson


This was the book that made me Jandy Nelson trash. It also made me fall in love with LGBT+ contemporary just that little bit more (not that I needed that much convincing). The writing is just fantastic; it’s imaginative and fits so well with the narrative. I’ll Give You The Sun is about twins Noah and Jude, both creative in their own way. But after tragedy strikes, their relationship is ruined, and it’s only them who can salvage what’s left.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell


Now, you’re probably thinking this is a bit of a curve ball, because Landline is about a straight couple mending their relationship. However, I felt the need to include this because I very rarely read books about women falling in love. But hey, it’s not out of a diversion of it; I’d LOVE to read more about the ‘L’ in LGBT+, but it seems more scarce than gay romance is. So when I picked up Landline, I was pleasantly surprised that one of the side plots was a teen girl/girl romance. The book was already fantastic, but it just made it that much more exciting and lovely and different to all those other straight romance books!

More Than This by Patrick Ness

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This was my second dive into a Patrick Ness book and I’m still in awe. Ness’ characters are so real and vibrant I almost feel like I know them. I mean, I do, in a sense. After the popularity of The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, I knew I had to get my hands on More Than This, an apocalyptic, sci-fi, contemporary melting pot of diverse and deep characters. One day, Seth dies, and then he wakes up. It’s not possible, but then, what is? (You’re not supposed to know that much going in, so I’ll leave it there!).

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman


Oh man, I feel like while I recommend this book loads, I don’t actually recommend it enough. Radio Silence was a completely new thing for me. I’d heard of Alice Oseman before through her Tumblr and Twitter and of course Solitaire. This book had been rec’d by bloggers on all the book chats on Twitter, and I had no idea that it was LGBT+. It’s my favourite thing, not knowing about that element and then getting excited when it just happens. Can I also mention that this is another book with actual gay women, and even BISEXUAL WOMEN, ASEXUAL MEN, it’s just….it’s incredible that books just do not represent enough of us, and I’m so glad I was told told, nay, ordered, to read Radio Silence. Radio Silence is about the pressures of school and the future when you’re a teenager, how flawed the school system is, all seen through the eyes of social media.

Here are some that I plan to read that are either solely LGBT+ or at least have LGBT+ themes:

Are there any LGBT+ books you’ve enjoyed recently? Recommend some and I’ll most likely give it a read. Happy Pride!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books with Hard Topics

Books with hard topics are important. They are stories that need to be read, to be understood. Sometimes they’re written by the very people who experience them, but they’re always written by someone who wants you to know, to be aware, to learn.

I have a hard time dealing with incredibly difficult topics. I hate being ignorant, and have been for a large portion of my life, on everything. I finally understood feminism and the reality of misogyny and rape culture only at 19, I was taught about racism and homophobia and the harrowing results of it through the internet. Books are an incredibly accessible way of learning about tough topics, it’s why you study texts like To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee or maybe Junk by Melvin Burgess at school.

You might find that the books in this list do not deal with as tough topics as some. You might find other bloggers choose books like Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, a harrowing depiction of rape culture and victim blaming. But, as a book lover just shy of three years, I am slowly becoming more open to the idea of reading books with incredibly tough topics. It is something I get annoyed at myself for, and I know people’s reading tastes are different, but while I become comfortable with the idea of reading books with topics that really stick with me (and frighten me), here are some of the books with tough topics that I have read and loved.

61iu72bptrll-_sy344_bo1204203200_More Than This by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is quickly becoming (in my eyes) the King of Tough Topics. I’ve only read two of his books, but both deal with tough and real topics, despite More Than This being science fiction, apocalyptic, futuristic, scary stuff. More Than This poses difficult questions about the afterlife and also about this life. How can you make it worth it when you feel worthless? And what’s the wake up call that you need to understand that? I go in more detail about this fantastic book in my review.

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Nessthe-rest-of-us-just-live-here-uk-us-covers1

Mixed with humour, The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is a story that parodies the ‘chosen one’ story, where kids with silly names hold the fate of the world in their hands…for some reason. But the story follows the others, the ones who aren’t directly involved in the chaos, but are collateral damage. While all the danger happens, these lot are just trying to get through life with mental illness, with psychological abuse, with friendships and love and loss. It’s a powerful book that looks at the little guy and why their lives are just as important.

434631Freak Show by James St James

I read this book a long time ago. A book that blew me away in terms of writing style and subject matter. Freak Show follows a flamboyantly gay teenager, who is forced to move to the Southern U.S, where he’s met with bullies, abusers and just horrific schoolkids. He’s tormented with some of the worst cases of homophobia, so much so that it makes the news. Basically, he nearly dies. This story is about being true to yourself, unbelievably so, no matter how many times you get knocked down. You will be loved for who you are, you’ve just got to find the right people.

Radio Silence by Alice Osemanradiosilence

A book I only just finished, but was recommended to me by nearly everyone on Twitter, Radio Silence is a book like no other. Life as a teenager is not simple or easy, despite what adults say. School is fucking tough, with exams and tests and memory games. And that’s just school, you’ve also got heightened emotions, settling into yourself, and choice, so much choice. Radio Silence is about the ones who are unsure, the ones who don’t have their mind made up yet. There’s no clear path and that’s ok. I wrote a lengthy review on this powerhouse of a book right here.


trainspottingTrainspotting by Irvine Welsh

And now, for something completely different. I haven’t read Trainspotting in a very long time, not since school. But it stuck with me since because of the subject matter that comes along with the honest to God difficult dialogue. Narrated in ‘Urban Scot’, Trainspotting tells the story of Mark Renton and his group of friends, all living in the working-class areas of Glasgow, completely high on heroin. The terribleness that they put themselves through is stellar, and if you have trouble reading the book, the film by Danny Boyle clearly illustrates that horribleness. It’s a great book though, and if you can get through it, you’ll find it’s worth it.





Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by gingerreadslainey.

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BOOK TAG: Kiss Me, I’m Irish

I don’t know if an Irish person made this tag. I’m not Irish, I’m not even a little bit Irish. Do you think that would make a difference to this blog post? Well, the title would mean something, but ‘Kiss Me, I’m Northern’ isn’t as catchy, is it?

I was tagged by the wonderful @jadedeverafter, and you should all check out her blog because BOOKS and LOVELINESS.

Green: A book with a green cover;

Heir of Fire by  Sarah J Maas The third installment in the Throne of Glass series. I enjoyed this one much more than the others. But I’m being super slow about reading Queen of Shadows. It’s massive. It’s intimidating.

Blarney: A book that deceived you into either liking it or was overhyped and you ended up disliking it;

Soundless by Richelle Mead This is the second book I’ve read of Mead’s and honestly, it wasn’t spectacular. Which is a shame, because the plot sounded so interesting. It was hyped over on booktube because of who it was written by, but I talk about why I was disappointed a bit more in my review over on Goodreads.

Brogue: A book where one of the characters has an accent;Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Tomasz in More Than This by Patrick Ness I mean, don’t all people have accents? I’m gunna ignore that thought, because this book was excellent, and Tomasz was a little cutie pie, and a hero!

I wrote a review on this book here, and I loved it! It was trippy, with twists and turns like you won’t believe!

Leprechaun: A book you enjoyed when you where a little person;

41sesygmm3lWhat I Saw And How I Lied by Judy Blundell Ok, so this book is so special to me. I have no idea how I found out about it, how I got it. But I still own it, and I think I was on the cusp of teenager-dom when I read it. And it was the first book I’d read with a twist. It blew me the fuck away.

I know for a fact that this book isn’t popular on social media, so here’s the summary on Goodreads: Murder and intrigue surround a girl in this mystery set in American in the aftermath of WWII

When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

Pot of Gold: A book that cost you a lot or is of great value to you;gg

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald I had a copy of this book for A Level, where I scribbled and highlighted all over it. It cost me a penny on Amazon and was just this thin, green paperback that I didn’t really care about.

And then, for my birthday, my brother got me this bad boy. A beautiful hardback gold edition, and I bet this started my love affair with hardbacks!

Four-leaf clover or Shamrock: More than one book. Pick your current or old favourite series;

grishaThe Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo I mean, how could I not pick Queen Bardugo? Everything she writes is gold to me. The Grisha Trilogy I ate up so quickly, a beautiful fantasy setting with Russian influences and magic. Perfect series is perfect.

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free.

Magic: A book that you found magical or a book where you enjoyed a magic element that was found in the storyline;

landlinebigLandline by Rainbow Rowell The magic is fairly subtle (and debateable) in this book. But a woman finds and old landline at her mother’s house that calls her husband in the past. It’s beautiful and you’ll cry. It’s more magical realism than actual magic. But it’s an element, a lovely element.

If you like contemporary novels with a hint of magic, instead of a fantastical epic with fairies and warlocks, then this is definitely the book for you. Also, if you’re a big fan of romance then read ALL Rainbow Rowell up!


Kiss: Your current favourite book pairing or your all time favourite book pairing;

11250317Achilles and Patroclus in Song of Achilles Madeline Miller Sometimes I don’t really get into pairings. It’s an ‘aww that’s cute’ moment, and then I move on.

AND THEN, I get pairings that make me spontaneously cry in the middle of my shift at work.

Achilles and Patroclus were this. A doomed love, but with so much romance and squishyness before. You should ALL read this book!


Luck: A book on your shelf that you will luckily get to…someday;

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor Why I haven’t read this book yet, I don’t know. I read the first two books SO long ago and I really enjoyed them (though a little confused by them). I’ve had it on my shelf for ages. It’s gathering dust. I’m a bit concerned.

Jig: A book that you don’t currently own but if you could get a hold of it, it would make you dance with joy;

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Of course, I was going to put this book. I love The Raven Cycle, and while I liked The Dream Thieves more than Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I know that The Raven Kings will be fantastic. I know I’m going to cry, and I’m not looking forward to it but also I am, know what I mean?

I tag afrolicthroughfiction and astrangersguidetonovels and anyone who wants to do this tag!

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More Than This by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker Books
Release Date: May 2014
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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Plot: A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

Who are we? Why are we here? What’s going on?

All questions that are tough on a young adult who’s lying in bed on a Friday night. I’m often plagued with these questions, constantly asking myself about the universe and the insignificance of me and us and the world and…yeah, it gets pretty heavy.

More Than This is a story all about these questions; what do we want from our lives? And, if we can make it better through drastic means, would we?

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A boy dies and wakes up on a suburban English street that he thinks is Hell, or maybe the void. Each chapter I’m shocked, wanting to read more. Every single word is picked specifically to make you think twice as to what’s happening. You think one thing, Patrick Ness makes it another, posing the question again; what’s going on?

But not in the angry confused way you get with books when they don’t make sense. We’re thinking the same thing as Seth, the protagonist who I just want to wrap in cotton wool and stroke his hair and tell him everything will be OK. What madness has he fallen into? You think you start to get the hang of it, that maybe it’s this way, maybe it’s that, but then something will happen and whoosh! out of the window that theory goes!

Some elements were predictable, and I mentally high-fived myself for getting them right, but some. Oh boy, some I couldn’t even have a guess at. This was an intricate novel about finding purpose, about deciding on the type of person you’re going to be, and making it possible. Another Patrick Ness book I adore, onto the next.

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A February Haul.

February has always been the month for book buying for me. Not only is it my birthday, but the month’s wages are significantly bigger, and I still have Christmas money leftover.

Yes, February is a good month.

And of course, what else am I going to do than buy books that I have no room for?


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: I read I’ll Give You The Sun and almost burst into tears at how beautiful it was. I had no idea that it wasn’t even Jandy Nelson’s first novel. I swiped up The Sky is Everywhere AS SOON AS I COULD.

Winter by Marissa Meyer: I have a bit of a weird relationship with The Lunar Chronicles. Sometimes, I’m enjoying it, sometimes it feels a little too young for me. Lots of blushing and squealing…I dunno. But, after meeting Winter in Cress, I knew I had to get the final installment.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: I read Vicious and thought it was good fun. I read A Darker Shade of Magic and V.E. Schwab became one of my favourite authors. I saw AGOS in Waterstones before the release date and almost knocked over a display trying to grab for it.

More Than This by Patrick Ness: I’ve only read one Patrick Ness book and that was The Rest of Us Just Live Here, because I love reading about people who are a part of the ‘chosen one’ story, but aren’t actually the ‘chosen one’. People have told me this book is weird. I like weird.


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: I read Black’s Curse Workers series first and loved it. Mafia and superpowers? Yes please! I then got my hands on The Darkest Part of the Forest and everything was beautiful. Surely, this book is the next step in a Holly Black addiction?

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: This one was a complete stab in the dark. A lot of internet buzz, and witches. I like witches. Let’s see how this goes.

Soundless by Richelle Mead: I’ve only read Vampire Academy. I stopped because I could, not because I didn’t like it. I haven’t picked up the second and I’m not sure I will. But this one I saw on the shelf at work and it’s so small – let’s give Richelle Mead another go.

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