Hi dear friends,
Today in this Top 5 Tuesday hosted by Shanah @bionicbookworm she asked us to speak about our favorite LGBTQ stories.
But for those who don’t know it *that was me two years ago and I’m going to hide under a rock now…* what does LGBTQ stands for? Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgenre Queer or Questioning.
See I spared your brain cells here 😀
I haven’t read many LGBTQ books so far or rather ones with gay or lesbian as the main MC.
Side characters? Plenty. Usually with the female MC best friend being gay and the perfect friend for a girl as they were usually depicted as rather feminine characters.
It gave a biased view of gay men.
Of course my hairdresser fits that bill but I can tell you that my fitness coach is very gay and VERY man!
And no Dwayne Johnson is not my real coach or I would be eating dust crushed under weights by now….
I guess you have every kind of personalities among the LGBTQ and depicting only one for many years contributed to fuel some misconception and not so kind jokes. Or even fuel hate against the community.
I was a real tomboy climbing trees, skateboarding like a pro and fighting with the boys. But I was not a lesbian being a boyish girl so..go figure!
Ok now that’s out of the picture why did I wait so long to read LGBTQ books or rather MM books?
Because I was afraid!!!!!!
I would have read MM in adult books. Meaning there is S-E-X!!!!!!
I thought I would be either:
-indifferent. Because I lack some essential body parts to relate and really “live” the scene like I do in most books;
-disgusted. What? He puts his …. in….Eeew! *sorry for the hard visual here, pun intended*
What I did NOT expect was being MOVED beyond words!!!!!
To the point of wanting to hug these men and hurl profanities at that sick world hurting them so much!
I went all mama bear on them and in one of these books I even had to write a letter to the anonymous writer because I could not get this powerful story out of my head!
What I learned from these stories is that they are not sex stories they are not MM stories. They are love stories.
Here are my three MM books that have rocked my world and changed my view on the LGBTQ litterature
Wolfsong by TJ Klune was the one who popped my MM cherry
Here is some of what I wrote about it:
“I hesitated for a very long time before reading Wolfsong. I had never read M/M romance and did not feel drawn to it. But the reviews from my friends kept coming and coming. All more enthusiastic than the others. So I put my big girl panties on and…fell in love head over heel with this gorgeous story.
This book is about love in all its complexities and variations. The love of a mother for his child, the love of a young Ox for his mom wanting to care for her because he was the man now that his Daddy left them.
It was the love of non-blood related brothers with Rico, Chris, Tanner and Gordo at Gordo’s garage. A love and connection between hard working guys so deep they had each other’s back when things went south. They helped a slower Ox with schoolwork.
It was the love of an adopted family: The Bennets. So tight with each other, needing to touch the members of their “pack”. Ready to do anything to ease the suffering of one of them. Ready to move to help little Joe recover after the horror that happened to him.
It was the love of friendship, the love of lovers…
If love could have a name it would be Ox.
TJ Klune writing is exceptional.
With short sentences he says so much and can convey so many feelings. I never would have believed I would love a M/M romance so much and yet I consider this book one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
The second book that I’ve read with MM/bi characters was the phenomenal A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur
I wrote: “Jav and Stef’s love story was just …moving.
I never thought I would read something as romantic as this budding romance. This seduction dance when you’re at the beginning of something great but too shy to hope and sometimes clumsy.
They are big men for God’s sake so why am I sighing as if I was witnessing Prince Charming kissing Sleeping Beauty???? Oh yes that’s right because when Suanne writes things like this:
“You want to come in?” Still leaning on the steering wheel, Jav looked at him. His eyes shining under the strong brows, fringed with thick lashes. “Maybe someday,” he said. His full lips parted in that shy smile, and Stef’s own heart curled inward, hiding behind his ribs, just as bashful.”
Of course you will swoon!
But it’s more than swoon worthy. It’s deep, it’s solid (no, no take your mind out of the gutter…or maybe not 😉 ) it’s healing, it’s…”
Last but not least the one that made me cuss, shout and weep: The Silver Cage by Anonymous
“This book was the one to send me over the edge and see “LGBTQ” literature for what it is: love stories. Pure and simple. No gay no lesbian no…I don’t want to label them M/M or F/F or… anymore because it’s just love.
Gone my preconceived ideas about the genre.
They have been reduced to ashes by Red Feather Lakes lightning.
It’s a powerful and tragic story. Filled with incredible amounts of suffering. Yet it’s written in such fashion that it feels just real. Not overdone. Not exaggerated.
I felt like looking in a rearview mirror. All the events are described precisely but you have a distance, a numbness between you and the past.
Sometimes you have to wait a long time. Sometimes you’ll need to go in therapy and follow some inner journey. Then you will be able to tell the truth, all the truth without being overwhelmed. You just tell.“
The only YA I have read with some of the main characters being bisexual was Lady Midnight as Mark seems to love boys and girls. He was not a real “side” character here that’s why I am highlighting this fantastic book! He also is my favorite character after Emma.
There is another one I plan reading but just need to make room on my schedule: the Captive Prince series.
From global phenomenon C. S. Pacat comes the first in her critically acclaimed trilogy—with a bonus story.
Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…
Have you read this one? Recommend it? Or do you have other books to recommend?
PS I am still waiting for my PB copy of Ravensong by TJ Klune that has been delayed!
Thanks for reading and happy Tuesday!
I loved reading your reasons xD I mean, when I jumped into adult fiction and the NA genre I actually started with M/M books accidentally. I thought I was getting one type of book which was a YA rockstar contemporary romance. Nope. It was a M/M New adult rockstar romance. And it was intenseeee.
But I still loved it and my journey goes on from there.
But I wanted to say that being indifferent or feeling ‘ew’ about some sex scenes happens across all genres! As I do read NA both m/f and m/m I have felt indifferent across both, and also gone ‘ew’ for both as well sometimes 😛 Depends what I am reading and how well it is written 😛
Yes Olivia you are so right! I wanted to say it here but chose not to. Now in some M/F books that I’ve read I was sometimes thinking “is that even physically possible?” or “Is he a contortionist” or “that must HURT!” LOL
As if I needed more books to add to my TBR XD <3 love it though!
Bwahahahah sorry but not sorry Abigail 😉
I haven’t tried one yet, but I keep hearing great things about TJ Klune’s books.
Oh Suzanne I can’t recommend his books enough!
Such a great and funny post…can’t agree more with A CHARM OF FINCHES, love that book!!!
Oh yes Trisy so much!!!
I loved EVERYTHING you said about Wolfsong! I kept nodding. If love COULD have a name, it really would be Ox. I love him so much.
Me too Wendy!!!! That’s why I can’t wit to read ravensong to read about these characters again! Unfortunately I ordered the PB and it’s been delayed so …more waiting for me!
I think I feel similar about reading MM books cause it’s not the sex that bothers me, but the fact that I’m reading in a perspective that sets me out of my comfort zone. Even though I’m a straight female who has a few friends of the LGBT community. I don’t wanna feel like I’m embarrassed to read books like these. Also I didn’t know Cassie Clare wrote LGBT characters though I’m not surprised cause Magnus & Malec aka MALEC are top priority in the Mortal Instruments.
I understand Danielle that’s why when I took the plunge I was so surprised! But I have to say the one I’ve read so far are exceptional! And yes MALEC 😉
I was scared of reading LGBTQ books too, but I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens agenda and loved it! Great post and thanks for sharing your feelings too! You are right they are just love stories!
Thank you Brittany! Simon is a “next one” 😉
Wooo! Kings rising 😀
And Lady Midnight is on my TBR as I have a copy already
Great list! I definitely want to read MM stories! Most of the ones i’ve read or heard of have been about women
Funny Hanna but none of mine are about women except maybe Father Figure by James Cudney 😉
I’ll definitely need to check those!
OMG, I can’t wait for you to read Captive Prince! It’s one of my favorite series! 🙂
One more reason for me to push it up on my TBR!!!
I’m going to have to checkout these books coz they sound awesome… I probably won’t read The Silver Cage coz I have an idea what it’s about and it might be too intense for me…
Captive prince trilogy is definitely my favorite series of this year and I’m so much in love with the characters
You are right The Silver Cage is very intense!!!
I haven’t read these yet, but I’ll definitely need to check them out!
I did read the Captive Prince series and it’s one of my favorites! I’d definitely recommend them but I’d have to caution that it’s pretty violent and graphic (especially the first one) and that might not be for you. I think it’s one of those love it or hate it kind of books. I loved it obviously, because the character development is amazing and the romance is enemies to lovers and so very deliciously slow burn, so I do hope you’ll enjoy it! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Another one I’d highly recommend is Autoboyography by Christina Lauren <3
I love slow burn Lindsey (even if sometimes I want so shout “would you kiss him already????!”) and Autogiography has been recommended on my FB page so it seems you are onto something here! 😉
About those stereotypes: i think it’s quite common in movies / series too. They have a gay man character and they are usually very similar to one another between films.
I liked Brooklyn 99 for this aspect, cuz Captain Holt is “not your hairdresser” kinda dude.
P.S. if Dwayne Johnson was your coach you’d most likely be crushing those weights between your fingers! 😀
What are you implying Norrie? That I should ask Dwayne to coach me to be all badass? LOL