2020 Books to Add to Your TBR!

2020 Sapphic New Releases

Lately, there have been a lot of lists of queer books coming out in 2020, so I thought I would gather them here for you to browse through!

After perusing these lists, I have definitely added quite a few to my own TBR. Here are some of my favourites, and why they caught my eye.

Young Adult:

The Sound of Stars by Alechia DowThe Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow: An Earth invaded by aliens, where emotion is illegal. Ellie keeps a secret illicit library, and it’s discovered by the alien M0Rr1S–but he’s intrigued by human art. Illegal library + road trip!

Music From Another World by Robin Talley: I loved Talley’s Pulp, a historical YA about lesbian pulp fiction, the 1950s, and queer girls today. This is another historical YA, this time set in the 70s, and I hope it lives up to her previous one!

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Rival henna shops YA! Rivals to lovers!

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: Two girls both running for prom queen (and the associated scholarship) fall in love! (I didn’t know rivals to lovers was a trope I was looking for, but apparently it is.)

Blood Countess by Lana Popović: I like reading f/f horror in October, and this is an Elizabeth Báthory story, which I always find fascinating. I’ve been looking for a sapphic take!

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae SafiWhen We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey: I loved Gailey’s River of Teeth, and I’m excited for Magic for Liars, so of course her first YA is on my list. This is also sapphic witches!

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust: I loved Bashardoust’s Girls Made of Snow and Glass, a fairy tale-inspired YA, so I know this one–based on Persian mythology–will be right up my alley.

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! edited by Saundra MitchellAll Out is an incredible YA anthology, encompassing so many queer identities, and reclaiming a happy queer past. So of course I’m going to be picking up the contemporary anthology in the same vein.

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch: enemies-to-lovers f/f YA romcom plus fanfiction. What could be better?

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi: Three teens working together to try to save their indie bookstore, with an Empire Records vibe.

Adult:

The Seep by Chana PorterThe Seep by Chana Porter: trans lesbian weird fiction/dystopia?? This is what I’ve been waiting for!

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey: Sarah Gailey again! Queer outlaw librarians on horseback!

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave: An all-women island, followed by witch trials, with an f/f romance? Colour me intrigued.

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey: I love the sound of this book–a haunted house narrative with a museum’s whole mammal collection as backdrop? Plus an f/f romance? I didn’t know I wanted this!

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner: A photo of celebrity Jo and her assistant Emma laughing together gets them labelled a couple, and the paparazzi goes out of control. The rumour wasn’t true when it started… but as they spend more time together, they realize it may be coming true after all.

All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana MasadAll My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad: After Maggie’s mother dies, she leaves 5 envelopes, all addressed to men Maggie has never heard of. Now she is on a road trip to hand-deliver this letters and learn about her mother’s hidden life. This sounds like a darker version of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and I am on board for it.

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat: Honestly, that title alone would do it for me, but I’m also intrigued by this Palestinian-American main character who ends up at a treatment centre for her “love addiction” (being queer).

 

This post, and all posts at the Lesbrary, have the covers linked to their Amazon pages. If you click through and buy something, I might get a small referral fee. For even  more links, check out the Lesbrary’s twitter! We’re also on FacebookGoodreadsYoutube and Tumblr.

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The Books That Defined My Decade

The 2010s are over, and in my latest Book Riot video (did you know I make videos weekly on that channel now?), I wanted to reflect back on my decade in reading. I picked a favourite book of each year, as well as a whole bunch of runners-up. Of course, most of them are bi or lesbian.

Books mentioned, with non-Lesbrary books crossed out:

Titles have an Amazon Affiliate link: if you click through and buy something, I get a small percentage.

Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall  Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison  Inseparable by Emma Donoghue    The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m danforth

2010:
2011:
2012:

Nevada by Imogen Binnie  The Collection edited by Tom Leger and Riley Macleod  Fist of the Spider Woman edited by Amber Dawn  The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan  The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

2013:

Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce  Adaptation by Malinda Lo    Inheritance by Malinda Lo  Prairie Ostrich by Tamai Kobayashi

2014:

Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cover  Falling in Love With Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson cover  The Summer We Got Free by Mia Mckenzie  The Color Purple by Alice Walker   Sailor Moon Vol 8

2015:

sexual fluidity lisa m diamond  One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg  when fox is a thousand by larissa lai  Her Body and Other Parties Carmen Maria Machado cover Everfair by Nisi Shawl

2016:
2017:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid  How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake  As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gilman cover  All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell cover  Space Battle Lunchtime Vol 1

2018:

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cover  Carmilla edited by Carmen Maria Machado  This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow  Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy  Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

2019:

The Lesbrary’s Best Reads of 2019

The Lesbrary's Top Picks of 2019

Now that 2019 has come to an end, some of us Lesbrary reviewers wanted to share our favourite sapphic book that we read this year! Each reviewer’s name is linked to their reviews, in case you want more. Here are just a few of our top picks for the year, with a quick explanation of why. Let us know in the comments what your favourites were!

Maggie’s picks:

The covers of Maggie's picks

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian: This was so sweet, and I loved all the little moments and emotions it packed into a novella. This kicked off my longing for more queer lady-centered regency books. (Check out Maggie’s full review here.)

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite: I loved the combination of astronomer plus artist and them supporting other women scientists and artists. I also loved how this showed how they created space for themselves in traditionally male spheres. (Check out Maggie’s full review here.)

Emily Joy‘s picks:

The covers of Emily Joy's picks

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I love classic Hollywood, so as soon as I discovered that this book was about an actress from that era, I knew I would love it. And I did! It kept me guessing until the very end. I didn’t read all of this book in 2019 — I started it in 2018, and stayed up until 6 AM on January 1st to finish it, because I couldn’t put it down. (Check out Danika’s and Megan G‘s reviews.)

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: I love an occasional dose of high fantasy, although it’s not a genre I read often. This chunk of a book was worth every page, with excellent diversity in sexuality, age, and culture. I loved how the author took inspiration from all across the continents of our real world, and built her story out of so many cultures. It made the story and world that much richer and more enjoyable.

Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst: I was so excited to catch up with Denna and Mare in this sequel to Of Fire and Stars (2016). This fantasy book is lighthearted, fun, and easy to read. It lived up to its predecessor, and I might have even liked it more than the first book! I flew right through this one. (Check out Emily Joy’s full review here.)

anna marie‘s picks:

Covers of Anna Marie's picks

The Sophie Horowitz Story by Sarah Schulman: Sarah Schulman is one of my favourite authors to read, especially during the summer, and reading The Sophie Horowitz Story in June was, unsurprisingly, a lot of fun. It’s a short and easy to read story about feminist bank robbers and a lesbian journalist called Sophie Horowitz. It’s sweet in parts, political in others and quite relatable – Horowitz has big dyke energy and is also a bit of a mess – who can’t relate to that?!

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg: This book won the most tears off of me whilst I was reading it, and has set up camp in my personal mind library as one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s a historical fiction novel which starts pre-Stonewall and then extends to include the first organised gay liberation work. The main character is Jess, a wonderful stone butch whose tender reflections, loneliness and resilience are inspiring and relatable. Reading Stone Butch Blues was an extremely personal and emotional experience for me and it’s such an important novel to trans & lesbian communities. Of all the books I have ever recommended, if people only read this one, I would consider that a success! (Just a note that the novel contains lots of sexual, gender and police violence.) (Check out Anna Marie’s full review here.)

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: The largest and one of the most enjoyable books I read this year was definitely Samantha Shannon’s stand alone fantasy novel The Priory of the Orange Tree. It’s about 800 pages of sweet characters, dragons, magic and queers, which was such a joy to get immersed in. The writing style is pretty simple, which was a relief for me and my dyslexia, and the relationships between characters were really what kept me reading and reading and reading. The story is set in a world where dragons are revered by those in the East and defiled by those in the West, and forces of religion and witchcraft and love all combine in an adventure. It includes someone who is now one of my all time favourite fantasy characters!

Danika Ellis‘s picks:

Covers of Danika's picks

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha: Everything I’ve read by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha has been amazing. Bodymap is one of my favourite books of all time, and I don’t usually even read poetry. Care Work is a thoughtful and challenging book about disability justice, examining the hopes and struggles that come with trying to build care networks and dreaming of an inclusive future while living in an ableist world. Intersectionality is at the core of Piepzna-Samarasinha’s work, and they examine how ableism interacts with race, being a femme, and even personality–I won’t be able to forget the friend who said “I don’t want to have to be popular to be able to use the washroom.” This continues to give me so much to think about. (Check out Danika’s full review here.)

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by Carmen Maria Machado: I have been repulsed and attracted to Le Fanu’s Carmilla for many years: here is a lesbian vampire who predates Dracula, who is in some ways sympathetic, but who is also the Monstrous Lesbian that helped to form the trope. Although Machado’s edition is mostly the original text, just by adding an introduction and a few footnotes, she creates a whole meta narrative that reclaims the story for queer readers–that places the fault on Le Fanu for obscuring the true queer story beneath it. This is brilliant. (Check out Danika’s full review here.)

This Is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow: A literal “getting the band back together” book about three teenage girl whose friendship went from inseparable to nonexistent when one went into rehab for drinking and one found out she was pregnant after her boyfriend recently passed away. It sounds like a dark read, but it’s actually full of joy, including two cute romances (one f/f and one m/f) and a celebration of music. (Check out Danika’s full review here.)

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy: This is a queer, sci fi retelling of the Arthur myth that is simultaneously dystopian, sci fi, and fantasy. It is packed full of queer characters in a found family adventure where the current incarnation of Arthur has to try to unite all of humanity against a corporate tyranny. Meanwhile, a teenage Merlin is aging backwards with every Arthur reincarnation. Talk about ambitious! But somehow Capetta and McCarthy pull it off. I can’t wait for the sequel. (Check out Danika’s full review here.)

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink: If you aren’t familiar with the podcast, “Alice Isn’t Dead” follows our main character whose wife went missing and is presumed dead. Except that she keeps seeing her wife in the background of news stories. So she becomes a trucker and goes looking for her, and on the way discovers eerie and sometimes horrific things in small town America, including the Thistle Men, who will tear people limb from limb (or take a bite out of them) with no repercussions. The podcast has more interesting tangents and really explores the road trip aspect of the story, whereas the book has a clearer plot that builds in ways I wasn’t expecting. I especially loved the own voices portrayal of anxiety.

What were your favourite reads of 2019?

Mallory Lass interviews Heather Rose Jones

Heather Rose Jones author photoHeather Rose Jones is the author of the Alpennia historic fantasy series: an alternate-Regency-era Ruritanian adventure revolving around women’s lives woven through with magic, alchemy, and intrigue. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chronicles of the Holy GrailSword and SorceressLace and Blade, and at Podcastle.org. Heather blogs about research into lesbian-relevant motifs in history and literature at the Lesbian Historic Motif Project and has a podcast covering the field of lesbian historical fiction which has recently expanded into publishing audio fiction. She reviews books at The Lesbian Review as well as on her blog. She works as an industrial failure investigator in biotech pharmaceuticals. When Mallory caught up with Heather, she was just about to take a trip east to visit family in Maine.

Q: What is something people would never guess about you?

Ooh, I both love and dread this sort of question because it depends on the audience. People at my day job are startled by the most ordinary of things–like, that I once turned in a homework assignment written in cuneiform on a clay tablet. Most people in SFF fandom don’t know much about my day job as an industrial failure analyst. And I can usually befuddle those who see me as a stuffy amateur historian by mentioning that I once had the police called on me for participating in a dog fight…as one of the dogs. (This story is best heard in person as performance art.) Once people start getting to know me, it’s hard to stump them because then they’re willing to believe almost anything!

Q: You often post photos of your desk rose on twitter. How did that start? Do you have a green thumb?

I have a brown thumb. I kill houseplants. I killed an aloe vera once, and that’s hard. But I live in California and have an automatic watering system, so it’s hard to fail too badly at growing things. For obvious reasons, roses are a meaningful flower for me. (Heather would be too, but it’s harder to grow here and not nearly as picturesque.) I have somewhere around 30-40 different roses growing in my yard but I don’t get to spend as much time enjoying them as I’d like. That’s why I started the habit of bringing a rose (or two) from my garden to put on my desk at work every week. That, and the insufferable smugness of being able to do so practically year round. I do a major pruning around January or February every year and take a break from the desk roses, but the rest of the year they come through. There’s a third, more philosophical reason for the desk roses. I pledged to myself that I’d never wait for anyone else to bring me roses–I’d not only give them to myself, but I’d plant an entire rose garden to make sure.

Q: Who and/or what has influenced your writing the most?

Another hard question. My influences and inspirations tend to get thrown into the mulch pile of my back-brain. By the time they’ve composted enough to fertilize story seeds, it’s hard to identify individual influences. I’ve read so many books from so many different–very different–authors. It’s easier to identify the abstract influences. One is a sense of the fantastic possibilities around every corner in everyday life. Not that I actually believe in fantastic things, but the stories that most inspired me usually involved an ordinary world with strange things happening. I still remember reading Mary Norton’s The Borrowers when I was ten years old and choosing to believe that every old house had colonies of tiny people living in the interstices. Every time I’ve lived in a house with a basement, my imagination has populated that space with monsters and secrets. My second most important influence was the lack of media representation I felt growing up. It was impossible to find characters I could identify with thoroughly. The closest I came were the “lost child from a different plane of reality” like Alexander Key’s The Forgotten Door. I started writing stories so that I could populate them with characters who made me feel less alone.

Continue Reading →

The Lesbrary has Updated the Recommendations Page!

The Lesbrary has a recommendations master list, where I (Danika) keep a looooong list of all my favourite queer women books! You can check it out any time, but below is the updated list, with new additions from this month bolded!

Classics:

Mystery/Thrillers:

Fiction:

Historical Fiction:

Poetry:

Young Adult

Middle Grade:

SFF Young Adult:

Sci Fi:

Fantasy:

Horror/Zombies/Vampires:

Romance and Erotica:

Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga:

Memoirs and Biographies:

Nonfiction:

If you like what we do here and want to see more of it, buy us a coffee, or support the Lesbrary on Patreon for $2 or more a month and be entered into monthly book giveaways!

Lesbrary Amazon Storefront

A gif of scrolling through the Lesbrary Amazon storefront

A gif of scrolling through the Lesbrary Amazon storefront

The Lesbrary now has an Amazon storefront! I’m going through my Recommendation Master List and adding them all into the storefront, so if you like to browse by cover, you can check out all my favourites there! If you hover over each cover, you’ll see about a sentence of why I recommend each book, and a bitly link to the review. (You won’t be able to click on it, unfortunately, so you’ll have to type it in. Or, of course, you can check out the Master List.)

So far I have all the sapphic books that I’ve rated 5 stars in a list, as well as the genres Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thrillers, and Literary Fiction, but I will add all the genre categories soon.

If you buy anything through the storefront, I will get a small percentage of the sale.

Updated Recommendations List

Did you know there is a master list of all my (Danika’s) queer women book recommendations? It’s just been updated! In this post, the newest additions are bolded. Most will have my review linked, though some have reviews in the works, and others were before I started reviewing or are titles that slipped through the cracks. These are not all the bi & lesbian books I’ve read–it’s only the ones I would freely recommend! (These were all 4-5 star reads for me.) Check out the updated list!

My Top 9 Sapphic Books of 2018

As we start in on a new year, I always like looking back on some of the books that really made an impression last year. I made a video of my top 18 books of 2018, but I thought I would highlight the Lesbrary-related books specifically in a post. (Don’t worry, most of those other books in the video are still queer, just not with a sapphic main character.) Most of these books have already been reviewed at the Lesbrary, so I’ve included links to the original reviews if you want more info! These are mostly excerpts from those reviews. They happen to be mostly YA and middle grade books, which isn’t a knock against any other genres, just that they were the kind of books I read the most last year. Without further ado:

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gilman cover#9: As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (review)

 

Melanie Gillman is one of my favourite artists. I am floored by the the intense detail and time put into every page, done completely in coloured pencils. This story follows Charlie, a queer brown kid feeling very out of place at a white feminist spiritual backpacking trip. Luckily, she finds connection with Sydney, who is trans, and feels that she would not be welcome on this trip if she weren’t closeted. Honestly, my only problem with this is that it’s only volume one, and it stop somewhat abruptly. I can’t wait for the next volume to come out for I can get back to this story! Check out the Lesbrary review for some excerpts of panels from the story.

Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow cover#8: Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow (review)

Melly is 13, and the day before she was dropped off at Camp Rockaway, her parents told her they were getting divorced. She’s had no time to process this before she’s tossed into this new environment for 2 weeks, and even her best friend being there doesn’t seem to help, especially when Olivia is too busy hanging out with her crush to remember her. Melly may be a drum player, but she has trouble finding her own voice. One way or another, these two weeks will change that.

Olivia may not have been there for Melly as much as she wanted, but Melly wasn’t communicating with Olivia. Her parents may not have been fair to her to tell her just before she left, but maybe she wasn’t being fair to them, either. Melly needs to find herself and get in touch with her own emotions, but that doesn’t mean abandoning her empathy. Relationships–of all kinds–are complicated. Communication is difficult. And Drum Roll, Please doesn’t try to simplify it. We can be sympathetic from one angle and cruel from another. There aren’t easy answers.

Toil and Trouble edited by Tess Sharpe cover#7: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe

I somehow forgot to do a Lesbrary review of this one, which is a shame, because I really liked it! This isn’t entirely a queer collection, but there are about 5 stories with sapphic main characters. I loved the different takes on witches, from fairy tale-ish witches to more modern witches, and I liked how the women in the stories drew power from the cultural conception of witches, which have been used against women in history. Here are my pitches for the sapphic stories:

“Starsong” by Tehlor Kay Mejia: Luna’s mother is afraid that she’l follow the same path her tia Jasmin did, but Luna has found peace and power in the magic that the stars provide for her. When someone tries to start a debate with her on Instagram about science vs magic, she isn’t going to give them the time of day… until she realizes the commentor is a cute girl.

“The Heart In Her Hands” by Tess Sharpe: A common trope of tumblr stories is the soulmate mark: the first words you hear from your soulmate appear on your skin beforehand, so you know when you’ve met them. “The Heart In Her Hands” turns this romantic idea on its head with a protagonist who resents being told her fate, especially when she’s already found the love of her life.

“The Legend of Stone Mary” by Robin Talley: When a witch was killed in the woods by an angry mob, she cast a curse. That curse has continued in the town for many generations, temporarily placated by a statue in her honor. Wendy finds herself helplessly drawn to her ancestor’s statue on a stormy Halloween night, with no idea what will happen when she faces it.

“The Gherin Girls” by Emery Lord: Three sisters (one bi, one gay, one straight), all with different abilities (sensing emotions through touch, magic with plants, and magic with cooking). Deals with the aftermath of an emotionally abusive (M/F) relationship.

“Why They Watch Us Burn” by Elizabeth May: 13 girls are sentenced to a work camp for being accused of witches. They are meant to starve, disappear, or break in the woods. Instead, they might just find the power they’ve been accused of. Trigger warning for rape and victim-blaming.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake#6: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (review)

This is about a YA novel about Mara, who has always been very close to her twin, Owen. So when Mara’s best friend, Hannah, accuses Owen of rape, Mara is horrified. She seems to split, believing both of their conflicting stories simultaneously. And as she tries to sort through it, her own unaddressed trauma bubbles to the surface.

This is a premise that I would not trust most authors with, but I knew that Ashley Herring Blake could carry it. Girl Made of Stars faces rape culture head on. It had my stomach in knots, but I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I finished it one day–partly because Blake’s writing is captivating, partly because I was so invested in these characters that I wanted to know what happened to them, and partly to be able to walk away from this sickening situation. This was another 5 star read for me, and I will definitely be picking up anything Ashley Herring Blake writes in the future.

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell cover#5: All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell (review)

All Out is a much-needed book, because it locates queer people (teens in particular) through time. It is optimistic historical fiction: It imagines not only queer teens in the past, but how they might have found happiness there. It rejects the idea that queer people don’t have a history–or that if they do, it is fundamentally tragic.

There are a lot of different time periods (~1200s-1999) and cultures involved, although I would have liked to see more stories set outside of North America and Europe. The story that really stood out to me was Malinda Lo’s, and luckily for me, it’s being made into a novel! Although that’s my favourite, I really enjoyed all of them–I didn’t feel like there were any really weak stories in this collection. 

How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake#4: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (review)

This book deftly deals with grief and unhealthy/abusive family dynamics. Grace’s father died when she was young, and since then, her mother hasn’t acted much like a mom. Grace feels like it is her responsibility to watch after Maggie. Again, this is a novel that has such nuanced, complex relationships. Grace’s best friend, Luca, and his mom have just taken in Eva (Grace’s love interest), who has recently lost her mother.

Maggie takes Eva under her wing, causing Grace to agonize over whether she should tell Eva the whole truth about Maggie. I thought it was masterfully handled, and I was completely invested in Grace and Eva–individually and as a couple. But overall, the treatment of abuse and grief layered with a bisexual (yes, using the word bisexual) love story and accompanied with a thoughtful examination of race and art (Eva is a black ballet dancer) all came together into a five star read for me

Space Battle Lunchtime Vol 1#2 & 3: Space Battle Lunchtime Vols 1 & 2 by Natalie Riess (review)

All-ages queer lady-type comics are probably my favourite thing to read. My favourite thing to watch is reality baking shows. This comic is an all-ages queer women comic about a competitive cooking show… in space. What could be better?? When I finished volume 1, I thought “Sure, it seems pretty obvious it’s queer, but is it technically subtext?” Which would be okay! I still would have liked it! But volume 2 instantly makes it very clear that it’s queer.  This is so cute and fun. The romance is sweet, the plot is full of hijinks and over-the-top action (“Cannibal Coliseum, where chefs compete to cook… each other.”) I mean, really, if “all-ages queer women comic about a competitive cooking show in space” doesn’t convince you, what else can I say?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid#1: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (review)

Evelyn Hugo is an aging Hollywood starlet who has chosen a relatively unknown journalist to write her life story. Evelyn is such a fascinating character. She’s someone that I imagine people would describe as “unlikable.” Personally, I loved her. She is such a flawed, complex character. She’s also bisexual–she’s very deliberate that Monique gets this label right–and the great love of her life is not one of her seven husbands. She has a tumultuous, heartbreaking love affair with another actress. I felt so much for Evelyn, and it made me really think about what it was like for queer women in the 1950s. Evelyn was privileged in many ways: rich, famous, white-passing–but she was also trapped. She couldn’t publicly acknowledge the love of her life without losing everything else she had built. The most authentic part of her was the one she felt she had to keep hidden. This a beautifully written and fascinating story about one of my favourite characters I’ve encountered in a long time.

Those are my favourite sapphic books I read in 2018! Below is my video with my full top 18 books, if you’re curious. I think only one of them in neither by nor about queer people. Let me know what your favourite reads of 2018 are, and I’ll add them to my TBR mountain!