Category Archives: romance

Chulito

Charles Rice-González, October 2011.  Chulito is a small-time drug runner and high-school dropout with a secret: he’s crushing hard on Carlos.  Carlos and Chulito were childhood besties, but Carlos skipped two grades, stopped dressing and talking street, went off to … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, asian american, biracial, bisexual, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, drag, gay male, gay-bashing, genderqueer, latina/o, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, sexual violence | 2 Comments

me@you.com

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

Brooklyn, Burning

Steve Brezenoff, September 2011. This book has gotten a lot of press for its main gimmick: the protagonist and her/his lover are not identified by gender. It’s intriguing that the book is written that way without being grammatically clumsy; this … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, bisexual, genderqueer, problem novel, prostitution, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Steve Brezenoff | Leave a comment

Cursebusters!

Julie Smith, 2011.  I love a good boarding-school story, so I was all set to enjoy this one, set in Santa Barbara and Ojai and featuring a demon masquerading as a cat, a family curse, and time travel to ancient … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, black, fantasy, fat, gay male, gaytopia, historical, Julie Smith, latina/o, problem novel, realistic, romance, secondary queer character | Leave a comment

Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness

Liz Miles, ed., 2011. These twenty stories, written by some of YA’s shining lights, form one of the most consistently strong anthologies I’ve ever read in any genre. The best is probably Ellen Wittlinger’s “Rules for Love and Death,” about … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, A.M. Homes, asian, bisexual, black, Cecil Castellucci, Courtney Gillette, Ellen Wittlinger, Emma Donoghue, epistolary, european, fantasy, fat, Gary Soto, gay male, gay-bashing, Heidi R. Kling, high school, historical, Jennifer Finley Boylan, Jennifer Knight, Jennifer R. Hubbard, Jill Wolfson, lesbian, Liz Miles, Luisa Plaja, Matthue Roth, Michael Lowenthal, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, Sara Wilkinson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Saundra Mitchell, secondary queer character, sexual violence, Shelley Stoehr, Sherry Shahan, short stories, sports, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Benjamin Alire Saenz, 2012. Saenz’s Last Night I Sang to the Monster was the best YA novel I’ve read in a long, long time, so I had perhaps unrealistically high hopes for his latest.  The verdict? It’s no Monster, but … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, Benjamin Alire Saenz, biracial, bisexual, gay male, latina/o, lesbian, passing mentions, problem novel, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character, surprise queer character | Leave a comment

Speaking Out: Stories of Overcoming Adversity and Experiencing Life After ‘Coming Out’

Steve Berman, ed., September 2011. This volume of short stories (by multiple authors) includes both typical problem-novel-type coming-out stories and also empowerment stories.  It’s a mixed bag in that sense, and in terms of quality too, which you’d expect when … Continue reading

Posted in 2011, Alex Jeffers, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, asian american, bisexual, Charles Jensen, Danielle Pignataro, Dia Pannes, fantasy, gay male, gay-bashing, gaytopia, high school, Jeffrey Ricker, L.A. Fields, lesbian, Lucas J.W. Johnson, middle eastern, problem novel, prom, queer adult, queer protagonist, realistic, religion, Rigoberto Gonzalez, romance, Sam Cameron, Sandra McDonald, secondary queer character, short stories, sports, Steve Berman, trans, Will Ludwigsen | Leave a comment

The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker

Louis Sachar, 2010. I grew up with Sachar’s Wayside School stories, and while his award-winning Holes wasn’t really my thing, I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The Cardturner is more my speed – a coming-of-age story with a lot of esoteria around … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, fantasy, lesbian, Louis Sachar, passing mentions, problem novel, queer adult, realistic, romance | Leave a comment

Wildthorn

Jane Eagland, September 2010.  Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove thinks she’s on her way to be a paid companion for a rich friend of her family’s, but when her carriage arrives at her destination, it’s an insane asylum – and the staff … Continue reading

Posted in 2010, european, historical, Jane Eagland, lesbian, queer protagonist, realistic, romance, secondary queer character | 3 Comments