A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha Published: Entangled: Teen (Demeber 1st 2020) Genre: young adult; fantasy, historical Rep: mostly Portuguese cast & setting, lesbian mc, lesbian Muslim li, lesbian scs TW: religion-based self harm, homophobia, internalised homophobia, blood, murder, body horror Rating: 4.5/5 🍑
My initial review for A Curse of Roses was simply “lesbians have won with this one!”, and that’s absolutely true and tells you a lot about what you should expect from this book. But let me expand on that a bit.
Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran Published: The O’Brien Press (June 1sr 2020) Genre: young adult; fantasy Rep: lesbian mc, poc lesbian mc, lesbian, gay & bi side characters, poc side characters Rating: 2.5/5 🍑
A fantasy novel featuring a sapphic relationship between a queen and her spymaster? What could be better, you ask? Well, actually…
First things first, this is not a bad book. But. Unfortunately, there’s a but. I can see what this book tries to achieve and I deeply appreciate it, it’s just that it doesn’t really reach its goals.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar Published: Page Street Kids (May 12th 2020) Genre: young adult; contemporary Rep: Bengali Muslim lesbian mc, Afro-Brazilian Irish bi li, Bengali side characters, Korean side character Tw: homophobia, racism, outing, bullying Rating: 3/5 🍑
If I was to describe The Henna Wars in one word, I would say “comforting”. It’s comforting in a way that it’s a story about a Bengali Muslim lesbian, very clearly not catered towards white audience. The mc’s culture is a central point of the book, it plays a major role and not once is the girl made to feel as if that shouldn’t be the case. Even when facing racism from her pears, she knows it’s them who should change & adapt. I can’t even imagine what a book like this must mean to South Asian readers.
In the Role of Brie Hutchens… by Nicole Melleby Published: Algonquin Young Readers (April 21st 2020) Genre: middle grade; contemporary Rep: sapphic (probably lesbian) mc & li Rating: 4/5 🍑
ARC provided by the publisher.
This book was an emotional punch straight to the heart, in all the best (gay) ways. It’s also very clearly an ownvoices story and that truth shines through every page and settles this specific kind of calm over the reader.
The story itself is pretty simple (a teen start figuring out her sexuality & the world doesn’t make it easy for her), but it’s not the dry outline that makes a book, is it? It’s the emotions all the events bring, it’s the character’s journey, her path to growing up & fighting for herself.
The Impossible Contract (The Chronicles of Ghadid #2) by K.A. Doore Published: Tor Books (November 12th 2019) Genre: adult; fantasy Rep: poc cast, lesbian mc, sapphic li TW: death, blood, violence, eye gore, body horror Rating: 3.5/5 🍑
ARC provided by the publisher.
While The Perfect Assassin was all about Amastan and the moral dilemma of being an assassin, The Impossible Contract gives us a totally different kind of hero(ine). Thana takes pride in her profession and more than anything, wants to be remembered for her work. It’s so refreshing to read in a world where we’re used to only male characters being allowed to have an ego this size. (Also in her case it’s justified…)
I watched How to Train Your Dragon 3 today and I cried so much, I deserve something easier to deal with now. Which made writing this post a perfect idea. Very relaxing, not gonna lie. The only downside is, it reminded me how many books I’m excited about in March!
As always, I also want to remind you guys that Charlotte & I have a blog called Reads Rainbow that is dedicated solely to LGBT media. So check out this March releases post over there as well – it’s only for books coming in the first week, because there are just Too Many to fit in one post!!