I am delighted to be writing this post as part of Natasha Ngan’s blog tour for the UK paperback release of Girls of Paper and Fire. Not only is this a book I seriously and truly adore (look at my collection of it!) but it’s also one that I’m always willing to recommend and talk about it. As a result I’ve already posted a review in the past and mention it in pretty much every blog post, so I figured I’d do something a little different for my part of the blog tour.
If I was a more organised person, I would have absolutely loved to dedicate more time to preparing my post. I would have planned a queer readathon, binge read queer & Asian books and basically just my heart vERY HAPPY. BUT I’M NOT ORGANISED.
Since I don’t have spare time, I’m here doing my best. I figured I’d do something fun and lighthearted to make this post a bright spot in a dull and cloudy week. (Other than my sisters graduation ceremony, which of course was a delight).
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE ARE MY QUEER RECOMMENDATIONS/ANTICIPATED READS IN ORDER OF A RAINBOOOOW:
Red: Simon VS The HomoSapiens Agenda
I have to admit, I was pretty stumped for red. Which is weird, because it’s a pretty substantial colour that’s used on a lot of covers, but for some reason I can’t think of a less mainstream queer book no matter how long I stare at my bookshelves. Even if it is mainstream, Simon VS is always a super cheesy delightful read guaranteed to get me out of a reading slump.
Orange: I Was Born For This
This is one of those books that I’ve had on my TBR foreeeever but we all know I’m a mess and I’m very behind on some of the big popular books. Although this one doesn’t have a movie yet, I know some of Alice Oseman’s other works are being adapted for the big screen so I imagine this one won’t be very far behind! Even though I haven’t read it and therefore don’t know what the exact rep is, I’m 99% certain it’s queer and if not, no worries because the author is asexual and therefore this book gets to be on my list whatever!!
Yellow: I’ll Give You The Sun
This is where I start getting super cheeky and am unable to narrow down my recommendations. I really wanted to mention both of these for very different reasons. I’ll Give You The Sun was the first ever book I read featuring a gay main character. It was what opened my mind as a young Christian child and made sure I grew up the right away – because it helped me understand. I can’t describe how important that was for me, because it made me certain that being gay wasn’t a sin. I’m lucky to be from a family who are very happy and accepting whatever, but we all know religion can be a bit rough with people with differing beliefs. My church was always (in general) for gay rights though, but it just wasn’t something we’d ever discuss. It was a non-approachable topic that had a big red X stamped across it. So discovering this book and learning was everything to me.
Also Yellow: Running With Lions
Running With Lions is an interesting one. It wasn’t my favourite writing style ever (present tense= yuck), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. It was sweet and own-voices and so many LGBTQ+ books/characters aren’t actually written by queer people, so it was nice to support an author who is actually gay. LET’S BOOST OWN VOICES!
Green: Every Heart A Doorway
This was a book that I’d had on my TBR for probably around 5 years. Every time a new book in the series came out, it just regenerated my interest. And this year? I finally read it! (BE PROUD OF ME!). The main character is asexual and I loved getting to know her. There’s also a trans-character and basically this series is a rainbow by itself. I honestly can’t recommend it enough!!
Also Green: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
I also recently picked up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and this book was the bisexual rep I didn’t know I needed?? I’ve never really been interested in adult fiction, despite my general love for all things cheesy and romantic – but I’d heard so many amazing reviews from people I trusted and I figured that I’d give it a go. I wasn’t brave enough to invest in a physical copy so I ended up getting the audiobook (which I knew I could always return if I didn’t like it), and let’s just say an hour or two in I had the physical copy ordered and on its way to me. I couldn’t read fast enough, I tried x2 speed but it was TOO MUCH but I just wanted to know what was going to happen next so desperately, and listening to word after word when I knew my reading speed was faster- I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the control. I was enraptured and in love with the idea of Evelyn Hugo. So I bought the physical book. And then one of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books because 1) I have no self control and 2) I NEEDED MORE.
Blue: Girls of Storm and Shadow
So without a doubt Girls of Storm and Shadow (the upcoming sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire) ABSOLUTELY HAD TO be on this list. Natasha Ngan could keep writing books forever and I would keep reading them. Honestly? I’d read her shopping lists because she probably has some way to make them gripping and exciting, just like her books. Although she’d probably also be able to break my heart from it, and I don’t even know how. Although she’s a UK author and I’m a UK blogger I’ve actually recently met her at the Book Con in New York – so we both crossed the Atlantic only to get a chance to speak to another Brit. She’s so sweet and it was so worth the wait, and hopefully I’ll get to see her again soon in our own country this time.
Purple: These Witches Don’t Burn
These Witches Don’t Burn is a new release which I haven’t got round to yet, but I’ve heard good Things. (Yes, Things with a capital T). I’m not entirely sure what the rep is and whether it’s accurate, but I’m pretty confident that this will be a good one.
Also Purple: Girls of Paper and Fire
OF COURSE I HAVE TO MENTION GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE, because what kind of blog tour would this be if I didn’t?! Girls came to me at a time when I didn’t know what I needed, and helped me accept a small part of myself I wasn’t previously ready to see. I’m still not entirely sure what label I want to give myself, but I can say this with certainty: I’m not 100% straight like I always thought I was. I saw myself in the pages of Girls, and I’m so thankful for this book and always will be.
Pink: Hot Dog Girls
Another new release (because there’s been so many excellent queer books ‘coming out’ lately)- Hot Dog Girls is the kind of book you need to pick up when you have a few hours to fill and need a good laugh. Maybe that’s when you’re tucked away in a corner at an uncomfortable family gathering, or just in the quiet moments of your life. This is one of those ‘easy beach reads’ that everyone likes to refer to romance/chick-flicks as and I’m so happy that I’m finally get books like that anD THEY ARE QUEER. Whilst I won’t talk too much about the rep in it, because that’s kind of a spoiler, let me just say… it’s perfect. I loved it. I’m 100% willing to dress up as a hot dog if I get to read Jennifer’s next book any time soon. (Pretty please book universe?!)
Also Pink: Queens of Geek
I remember reading Queens of Geek a few years back, at around the same time I was entering the book community. I’d been watching BookTube videos for a few years then but I’d never engaged in the way I do now. I was a spectator, not a creator. Queens of Geek was the book that gave me the courage to embrace my nerdy self (along with Geekerella) and filled me with the desire to go to conventions. So I went to YALC and my entire life was changed. Okaaaay, so that was a bit dramatic – but it really was a world-breaking experience that I LOVED.
AND THAAAAT’S ALL OF THE ONES THAT IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND WHEN I THINK OF EACH COLOUR. Obviously there are a tonne more upcoming releases as well as old queer favourites that you should keep your eye out for *cough cough* Girls of Paper and Fire & Girls of Storm and Shadow.
You won’t regret picking them up!! I especially recommend grabbing the new gorgeous tiny edition of Girls of Paper and Fire because it will fit easily in your bag and is the perfect size for your hands to be able to hold really comfortably. Here’s a link for you UK readers:
After you’ve ordered, make sure to keep your eye out for the other posts on the blog tour!!