I only saw this Top Ten Tuesday topic (courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish) once actual posts started popping up on my Twitter feed at midnight, but since it’s a topic I love so much, I’m gonna quickly jump in, despite a sad lack of graphics:
37 Things I Love (In No Particular Order) by Kekla Magoon – grieving, dealing with old relationships, being open to the unexpected when it’s what makes you happy in tough times…this is one of the few f/f books I don’t talk about enough because it’s really not about sexuality and it pretty adamantly doesn’t deal with identity, which I know isn’t everyone’s jam (and also, admittedly, because it has kind of an unfinished feel to me, which is a personal pet peeve in books; what I really want is the sequel to this), but it’s such a valid and real and true human experience.
For Real by Alison Cherry – I love travel books, I love sister books, and I love books with the kind of pacing that makes you never want to put them down. This book was all three, and so much fun while also being really touching.
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey – This is one I used to talk about a lot, and I think I just trailed off because I read it such a long time ago, but it’s one of my favorite YA fantasies. If killer voice and really fun casts and edge and humor and some queerness are your things like they are mine, make sure you pick this one up in time for the sequel, The Shadow Hour.
Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott – The books I flail about a lot are usually the ones I confidently know to recommend, but this one, which I really loved, trips me up on that front. You definitely need to be okay reading teacher-student relationship books, but you need to want them to be more about the main character’s personal evolution, and that’s kind of a tricky spot? But I absolutely loved the humor in this, loved where the main character ended up at the end, and loved the raw honesty.
How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis – This is one I actually have yelled about quite a bit, but only very recently, as I was a super late reader. This one has pretty much everything love, especially in Gay YA – tons of chemistry and humor and heart, and also a lot of grappling with one’s own self, in this case in the context of reconciling homosexuality and religion, which I haven’t seen very much in YA at all. Highly, highly rec, especially if you loved Simon.
Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo – Another one I used to be really good about shouting about but kinda lost steam on for no reason other than there are SO MANY BOOKS OUT THERE. But honestly, this one is seriously special, in my opinion, as is Longo’s debut, Six Feet Over It. I think she writes beautifully, and she’s a master of setting choice and intertwining it with character development.
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – this is a killer political thriller, and I guess because she’s a pretty big name in thrillers, I haven’t really mentioned this one as often as I should have because I tend to focus on titles/authors I think need more of a boost? But maaaan, this one was so good and constantly had me guessing wrong. So excited to read the sequel, which is glaring at me from my “immediate TBR” bookcase…
The F- It List by Julie Halpern – I never remember to rec this one enough, and I loved it. The voice! The friendship! The sexual ownership! The way Halpern dealt with cancer! Just…everything. This is the epitome of a Dahlia book.
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff – I, admittedly, do not read a lot of male authors, but Brezenoff writes such interesting stuff, and this is my so-far-favorite. I love his approach to gaming here and using it to examine both gender identity and empathy, and though I’ve never been a big gamer, it’s so much fun to be drawn back into the little bit of experience I have.
Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander – I have to admit that when I read this book, I would’ve thought I was burned out on cancer-centric love stories from all the Fault in Our Stars hubbub, but this book is actually more what I wish TFIOS would’ve been, I think? It’s so sweet and funny, and a little nerdy, and totally heartbreaking.