Top 5 Wednesday is taking a break over the summer, so there’s no new prompts for a few weeks. But as I’m a baby blog and haven’t even been around for a year, I’ve taken a trip to their archives and decided to do some of their prompts from last year instead! The brains behind the Top 5 Wednesday idea, along with past and future topics, can be found here.
June is Pride month, so naturally the topic of LGBTQ+ books is going to come up! Interestingly, for this week last year Top 5 Wed had a fairly specific prompt: Favourite LGBTQ+ books that don’t feature M/M Cis relationships.
As fab as it is to have representation of all areas of LGBTQ+, the M/M Cis section does get a lot of love in this area of fiction, so it’s nice to highlight some other forms of relationships and give them their time in the spotlight. Luckily, I have a great love of LGBTQ+ fiction, so had plenty of examples to pick from in my personal library!
Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill – F/F Cis Relationship
First up just has to be this. I originally discovered Sugar Rush way back in 2005 when it was made into a TV series – It was my first real introduction to LGBT portrayals in mainstream media. I remember staying up late to watch it each week, my headphones plugged direct into the TV in case my parents heard it! It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I discovered it was originally a book, which of course I bought immediately!
The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – F/F Cis Inter-racial Relationship
I loved this book so much! Based in the US in 1959, in the midst of segregation being eliminated. So not only do we have the old fashioned views of the 50’s on a lesbian romance, we also have additional complications of it being between a black girl and a white girl, back when they were living in a very separated community. Naturally, this book contains a lot of prejudice because of the era it is set in, but interestingly it shows it from both sides of the coin, regular P.O.V. switches showing the contrast in the lives of the two girls as they navigate their romantic feelings.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo – Trans F/Cis M Relationship
The double whammy of this book is, not only does it feature a trans main character, but it is also written by a trans author. There’s also a lovely authors note at the end of the book, explaining that although the main characters story is pulled from her own personal experiences, the main character is given a much simpler ride in comparison. In the book, Amanda (formerly known as Andrew) knew from a very young age that she was a girl, began hormone treatments early, had all the transitional operations and ‘passes’ easily as female. A lot of trans people will sadly face many more complications than are portrayed in this book, despite the difficulties that Amanda does face: Bullying, beatings, parental disappointment, mental health struggles and an attempted suicide.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel – Trans F Child
A different take this time, instead of romance we’re getting a parents view of having a trans child as 5 year old Claude becomes Poppy. It covers the complicated decisions of being parent to a trans child – As supportive as her parents are, they struggle to decide what is right for Poppy at such a young age. Do they tell the neighbours? Do they inform the school? What’s the best way to handle questions, from Poppy, her siblings, the wider community?
We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia – F/F Cis romance
Another f/f romance to finish off my list, this is a new release from earlier this year and I fell in love with it! In a world where women are born and raised with the only aim of getting married and serving their husbands as best they can, two women find themselves falling in love instead. What I love about this book is also that the romance aspect isn’t even the main attraction, it’s a sideline. There’s so much action, intrigue and secrecy surrounding the plot of this book already, the secretive lesbian relationship is just another problem to add on to the mountain of issues our main character already has! You can check out my full review of this book here.