This is How it Always Is

Frankel, Laurie. This is How it Always Is. New York: Flatiron Books, 2017.

Book cover with title "This is How it Always Is" and author "Laurie Frankel" in large text over a curled orange peel.

Emergency room doctor Rosie and novelist Penn live a busy, happy life with their five rambunctious sons in Wisconsin. When their youngest, Claude, puts on a dress and doesn’t want to take it off, the family takes it in stride, encouraging his imaginative play and supporting his right to be who he is. But just before Claude starts kindergarten, he announces that he wants to wear dresses and bring a purse to school. He isn’t a boy after all; he wants to be a girl when he grows up. Continue reading

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We Love You, Charlie Freeman

Greenidge, Kaitlyn. 2016. We Love You, Charlie Freeman. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books.

The title text and author name in large letters across a background of green branches or vines.

This remarkable novel weaves together two narratives separated by 60 years, deftly illustrating the impact of racial bias on science and on Black families in America. Continue reading

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Two Boys Kissing

Levithan, David. 2013. Two Boys Kissing. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

Book cover, showing a closeup of two white adolescent boys kissing, with the title in blue across the image.

In this YA novel by the prolific David Levithan, we follow three couples and one individual through a few days of their lives. Peter and Neil have been dating for a year and their relationship is comfortable, though both sometimes feel unsatisfied. Avery and Ryan just met at gay prom and are experiencing their first few sweet dates. Cooper is deeply closeted and spends most of his time on gay hookup apps, lying about himself and seeking some sort of fix to his loneliness. And Harry and Craig are former boyfriends who are trying to break the Guinness World Record for longest continuous kiss. Continue reading

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The Great American Whatever

Federle, Tim. The Great American Whatever. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016.

Book cover, with title in theater board display style.

Sixteen-year-old Quinn lives screenwriting. Every conversation is dialog; every movement is stage direction. He has been writing movies for years and his ambition is to win a screenplay contest to jumpstart his professional career. His sister directs the films he writes and together, they are an amazing team…Until she dies in a car accident and Quinn no longer knows what to do with his life or even how to take showers and leave the house. Continue reading

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Life of Bria

Symington, Sabrina. 2015-Ongoing. Life of Bria [Webcomic].

Life of Bria banner image, with a bustling group of her comic characters, including dinosaurs, ninjas, and Bria herself with trademark feather earring and bicycle gloves.

Life of Bria starts with a surreal four-panel gag featuring Watchmen antihero Rorschach washing his hands with a bar of soap. The last panel has ominous text reading “Who Washes the Washers.” Understanding the pun requires specific popular culture knowledge; finding it funny requires a somewhat odd sense of humor. The in-joke quality and Bronze Age visual flair establish the tone of this webcomic series. Continue reading

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None of the Above

Gregorio, I.W. 2015. None of the Above. New York: Balzer + Bray.

Cover of book with large title text on a white background. Out of the three O's, one is colored in blue and crossed out, one is colored in pink and crossed out, and the last is colored in purple.

Kristin just turned 18 and her life is going pretty great so far. She has two wonderful best friends and a gorgeous and loving boyfriend, does well in school and athletics, and was just crowned Homecoming Queen. After the dance, she and her boyfriend decide to “go all the way” for the first time because they love each other and they’re ready.

But something goes wrong. Continue reading

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Lannan, Michael (Creator). 2014-2016. Looking [television series]. New York: HBO Entertainment.

The title text, Looking, in bright blue outlined letters.

In this comedy-drama television series, three gay friends in San Francisco navigate dating, friendship, and work. Jonathan Groff plays Patrick, a 29-year-old video game designer who has never had a long-term boyfriend. Frankie J. Alvarez plays Agustín, a 31-year-old artist who is cohabitating with his boyfriend. Murray Bartlett plays Dom, a 39-year old waiter who is more interested in hookups than dating. Continue reading

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