Joost started with the idea of Friday five. Every week there is a certain theme, where a few bloggers write there top five about. I don’t participate every time, I just pick my favorite topics. I prefer to read books with diverse characters, that’s why I wanted to write about Lgbt+ books. I figured out this was more difficult than I expected since all the books I liked are from the same authors. The other ones didn’t represent the community in the right way and that’s not something I support. If you know any own voice books about the community please let me know! For example, I still haven’t read a book about a trans character by an own voice author, while other authors usually write about them in offensive, stereotypical and unrealistic ways.
To start with the series that goes exactly against everything I just said: The Simon verse books. Even though they are not own voice novels, at least when it comes to the Lgbt part, they will always be some of my favorite books. I especially love Leah on the offbeat, which was also the very first book I read with a non-binary character. The only book actually. These are books you should read if you are looking for adorable, easy reads, where important subject such as mental illness and the lgbt+ community are discussed as well.
The next books are all from the same author, Benjamin Alire Saènz. These are incredibly different from Becky’s books since they are more on the literary side. The novels are a lot slower, but even though there isn’t that much that happens, you don’t want to miss these. Benjamin is a wise man who writes own voice stories about teenage boys who are finding out who they are and what they want in life. Their strong band with their family and friends plays a big part in these novels. Another exceptional thing is that the stories don’t focus on the coming out of the gay characters, it’s just very natural.
At the beginning of this year, I read another own voice novel: They both die at the end by Adam Silvera. At the beginning of this book, the two main characters hear they are going to die before the end. Both of them either can’t spend the day with the people they’re close to or they don’t want to bother them, so they end up getting to know each other. The books tell the story of Mateo and Rufus finding peace with the ending of their life.
In fantasy books, there are even less lgbt+ characters compared to contemporary reads. In Marissa Meyer’s Renegades, one of the main characters has two dads. The story doesn’t make a big deal out of this, it just is the way it is. Books with lgbt side characters are just as important as the ones with lgbt main characters, because who doesn’t know a gay person?
The last books is Two boys kissing by David Levithan. I haven’t read this book in a while, but I remember loving it. Most negative reviews I saw, were about the book being to slow or having too many protagonists, but personally, I think that’s what makes this book so strong. I don’t believe the characters all knew each other, but all of them had a remarkable story to tell