About a Girl

McCarry, Sarah. About a Girl. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.

Close-up of two White girls kissing, with vines overlayed.

Tally is a multiracial girl who wants to be an astronomer. She is extremely gifted and has excelled in school. She has three adoptive parents who dote on her and provide her with everything they possibly can. Still, she wonders about her parentage. When she discovers that her mother was friends with a mysterious musician in the Puget Sound, she takes a journey to learn more about her past, and in doing so, meets a beautiful woman who changes her life. Continue reading

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Princess Princess Ever After

O’Neill, Katie. Princess Princess Ever After. Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2016.

Two princesses hugging with their faces close together. On the left, a Brown princess with an undercut, a scar on her face, and a fancy suit. On the right, a white princess with a dress and crown.

In this adorable graphic novel, princess Amira rescues princess Sadie from a tower where she has been imprisoned by her jealous sister. The two go on an adventure together, rescue and befriend a prince fleeing from his princely duties, teach an ogre to dance so he stops ruining cities with his giant feet, and dethrone the wicked sister. At the end, they get married to great fanfare. Continue reading

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Different Class

Harris, Joanne. Different Class. New York: Touchstone, 2016.

Title and author in white text on a black backround with an image of a green apple with an unsightly bruise.

In this masterful suspense novel, aging Latin teacher Roy Straitley confronts more than the typical schoolboy carousing as an old student comes back into his life. In the early 1970s, a tight-knit group of three boys clamor for the attention of their favorite teacher, Harry Clarke. They water his plants, fetch him cups of tea, and listen to records together on their lunch break. It isn’t uncommon for boys to form such relationships with teachers, and nobody thinks anything of it.

Note: some minor spoilers follow. Continue reading

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Here Comes the Sun

Dennis-Benn, Nicole. Here Comes the Sun. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2016.

Title "Here Comes the Sun" in big, colorful letters with a beach scene visible around the text.

This heartbreaking, beautiful novel follows the lives of four women in Jamaica as they struggle to live in poverty and with rigid social expectations. Continue reading

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Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?

Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein. Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform. Oakland: AK Press, 2012.

A photograph of two urinals; the one on the right is filled with jewelry and hair ornaments. A pink doily with the title is superimposed on top.

This powerful anthology explores masculinity vis a vis queerness, ethnicity, and gender identity. Sycamore and contributors interrogate the notion of “straight-acting gays” and the pressure to conform to a “sanitized, straight-friendly version of gay identity” (p. 1). For Sycamore fans, Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? really dovetails nicely with That’s Revolting! in terms of the exploration of straight conformity. Essays from diverse voices include perspectives from trans people, people of color, indigenous folks, immigrants, sex workers, HIV-positive folks, and a variety of class identities and gender presentations. Continue reading

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The Stars are Legion

Hurley, Kameron. The Stars are Legion. New York: Saga Press, 2017.

Two space vehicles flying toward a large planet, with the author's name and title in large silver letters.

Zan wakes up with no memory of her history or identity. She is being held by the Katazyrna matriarchy and trained to breach Mokshi, the only remaining world-ship healthy enough to sustain life. Meanwhile, her sometime-lover Jayd is traded to the Bhavaja matriarchy in a diplomatic marriage intended to stop a generations-long war. The two women’s stories intertwine as both desperately struggle to stay alive, negotiate loyalties and betrayals, and gain control of Mokshi. Continue reading

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Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic

Hill-Meyer, Tobi (Editor). Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic. New York: Instar Books, 2017.

A brown-skinned transfemme laying on their back. Their eyes are closed, their mouth is open, and their hands are in their pants. A Hitachi Magic Wand rests on the bed next to them.

This collection of short stories is a rarity: erotica by trans people, about trans people, for trans people. So often, trans bodies are commodified and fetishized by cisgender people; both in pornography and socio-legally. Nerve Endings proudly presents 30 unique trans narratives that run the gamut of sexualities, genders, romantic/sexual behaviors, and literary genres. Continue reading

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