Latinx culture. Near-future fantasy island. Espionage and arranged marriage. Queer romance.
In short, a gripping feminist story with excellent stakes, world-building, and character development that ends in a cliff-hanger. Let's just say I need book two of this duology immediately.
I will admit that I don't read a lot of manga--I've always meant to, but never quite got around to it. It takes my brain a minute to remember that manga is read differently (left to right, and the books are "backwards"), but if you're new to the format, this is an excellent place to start. My Brother's Husband is full of beautifully balanced layers. Whimsical art and open and loving characters are matched with themes of grief and homophobia. Yuichi, a single dad, is confronted with Mike, his brother's widower. Mike's arrival, and Kana's (Yuichi's daughter) immediate acceptance and joy over her new uncle, forces Yuichi's to examine his prejudices, beliefs, and his long buried grief. You can't help but feel sympathy for Yuichi as he struggles to confront his issues, but also cheer for Kana as she easily turns her father's beliefs on their head.
The whole concept of “meant to be” is filled with lots of exhausting caveats. Are the stars aligned? Does everything feel effortless? Does it feel right? But really, fate and coincidence are all just little chances that we either take, or we don’t. At least, that’s what Ben and Arthur believe. When their meet-cute at a post office in New York City doesn't immediately lead into a romantic montage of bliss, they aren’t worried. By both believing that do-overs are an essential part of life and that important relationships don’t always come about effortlessly, Ben and Arthur’s romance is meant to be because they want it to be so. Through all the meet-cutes, witty dialogue, and, of course, the do-overs, this story is one of the sweetest I’ve read about all the awkwardness and wonder of falling in love for the first time. And who knows, it could be just the book you need? Maybe your reading of this review was…meant to be?
In this gender-bending retelling of the Oedipus myth, Johnson's words gnash, bite, and bruise, taking on a harsh beauty that mirrors the darkness of the river canal wilderness. With interweaving perspectives and characters on the edge of madness or beyond, this book is one of my most memorable reads of the last few years.
- Cutthroat competion
- Heartthrob athletes in various states of (un)dress
- Painfully well-executed cliffhangers
- Rivalry rife with sexual tension
and you get this cheeky, enthralling, character-driven volume for those who wish the Rocky movies were a little gayer.
With the urgent force of a rallying cry, Smith documents the many external and internal forces that imperil black bodies. His pain from his experience as an HIV-positive, queer black man is palpable, and every poem brims with anger, regret and unfathomable sadness. Take your time with each poem, for every one is rich, complex and worthy of re-reading.
This is a great love epic stripped of all its finery, down to its bare bones. Shraya weaves a story of love and lust with Hindu mythology to create a story that is as emotionally raw and fierce as it is tender, reading it is like unwrapping layers and layers of delicious fruit.
Jonny is a 2-spirit indigiqueer who has a week to return home for his step-father's funeral. Told through a non-linear timeline that weaves together a coming of age story through stories of family and tradition, trauma and survival. It's a dark-tender hearted vision of indigenous life full of raw grit, violence and ample bodily fluids that will leave you on the edge of uncomfortable. Whitehead is a master of words whose command of language will leave you aching for more.
Niru and Meredith, highschoolers in Washington, D.C., are outstanding students, runners, best friends and more, until Niru faces the facts of being gay. Once his Nigerian parents discover his sexual preferences, Niru is beaten by his father and taken to the parish priest, who recommends a return to Nigeria to be "cured." A powerful, poignant coming of age tale, this story spotlights the joy of carefree youth careening toward tragic destinations!
George's titular character is a transgender 4th grade girl whose unwavering faith in herself provides a model for all readers to aspire to. The supportive relationship that George has with her best friend Melissa assures readers that, with friends who encourage you to be your most authentic self, anything is possible.