Category Archives: college

K.E. Payne, 2012.  This sweet story of first love starts out a bit expository, as protagonist Imogen discovers the joy of online friends via a message board about a popular TV show, but picks up quickly as she starts crushing … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, bisexual, college, european, gay male, K.E. Payne, lesbian, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | 2 Comments

Who I Am

M.L. Rice, April 2011. I should have known from that dead cat…but I didn’t. I really thought I was going to enjoy this realistic novel that, like K.E. Payne’s 365 Days, told a funny and sweet story about crushing on … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, college, gay male, gay-bashing, high school, lesbian, M.L. Rice, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, worst ever! | 4 Comments

Vicious Little Darlings

Katherine Easer, May 2011. Psychotic besties – one of my favorite types of conflict!  In this rather melodramatic psychological thriller, Sarah starts her freshman year at Wetherly College and discovers that her beautiful roommate Maddy is obsessed with death.  Maddy’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, asexual, bisexual, college, Katherine Easton, lesbian, secondary queer character | 4 Comments


Ibi Kaslik, 2004. Narrated in alternate chapters by sisters Giselle and Holly, Kaslik’s book is more than just another anorexia problem novel.  The author explores what it means to be a sister – the affection, the worry, the competition – … Continue reading

Posted in 2004, bisexual, college, high school, Ibi Kaslik, passing mentions, problem novel, queer protagonist, realistic, sports | Leave a comment

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity

Michael Cart, ed., 2009.  The long break since my last post reflects my difficulty with finishing books of short stories.  I have trouble getting into them; they’re just too short and I don’t have the chance to identify with the … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Ariel Schrag, asian american, biracial, bisexual, black, college, David Levithan, drag, Emma Donoghue, epistolary, Eric Shanower, fantasy, Francesca Lia Block, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, Gregory Maguire, high school, historical, Jacqueline Woodson, Jennifer Finley Boylan, Julie Anne Peters, lesbian, Margo Lanagan, Michael Cart, problem novel, queer adult, queer parent, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Ron Koertge, secondary queer character, short stories, trans, Willam Sleator | 2 Comments

Almost Perfect

Brian Katcher, October 2009.  Logan’s in his senior year of high school in Boyer, a small, dull Missouri town where he shares a trailer with his mom.  He looks forward to following his sister Laura to Missouri State University, the only … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, Brian Katcher, college, gay-bashing, high school, problem novel, realistic, secondary queer character, sexual violence, trans | 2 Comments

The Vast Fields of Ordinary

Nick Burd, May 2009. As the story opens, Dade is quasi-dating (it’s really just sex) a jerk named Pablo, who’s known as the Sexican because of his exploits with women, not men.  He’s so far in the closet he lets … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, black, college, gay male, gay-bashing, latina/o, lesbian, mystery, Nick Burd, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Absolutely Maybe

Lisa Yee, February 2009. Yee, the author of an excellent middle-grade trilogy that recounts the same events from three different points of view, takes her first foray into YA with Absolutely Maybe. Eighteen-year-old protagonist Maybe (christened Maybelline after her mother’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2009, asian american, college, gay male, Lisa Yee, realistic, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Twelve Long Months

Brian Malloy, June 2008. Malloy’s last gay YA novel, The Year of Ice, was a harsh, depressing portrayal of what it was like to be gay in a rural area thirty years ago. Twelve Long Months couldn’t be more different: … Continue reading

Posted in 2008, Brian Malloy, college, gay male, realistic, surprise queer character | Leave a comment