Happy Pride Month friends, and welcome to the first edition of my four part pride series! As I was going through my “read” shelf to find books to recommend you this month, there were far too many books than I could successfully put into one list. To get around that, I’ve split all of my Pride recommendations up into a few subcategories. Most of the books are about women, but some are about nonbinary people and a couple are even about queer men. I divided into fiction versus nonfiction, bisexual versus educational.
This post is the amalgamation of all of the books that didn’t fit in any of the other categories. The thread that ties them together is that they’re all fictional books that I would highly recommend to anyone who’s looking for a book to read this month. These are all in order of release date, because why not
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance
You Should Read This Book If You Like… 1900s historical fiction, kaylor theories (look it up, I’m not going to explain), slow burn romances
Goodreads Summary: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Red White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
My Rating and Review: 4 stars
Release Date: May 14th 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
You Should Read This Book If You Like… political romances, young adult romance, british monarchy fanfics, fanfiction in general
Goodreads Summary: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
With Teeth, by Kristen Arnett
My Rating and Review: 4 stars
Release Date: June 1st 2021
Genre: Contemporary Adult Fiction / LitFic
You Should Read This Book If You Like… morally ambiguous characters, parenting trials and tribulations, unreliable narrators
Goodreads Summary: From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love
If she’s being honest, Sammie Lucas is scared of her son. Working from home in the close quarters of their Florida house, she lives with one wary eye peeled on Samson, a sullen, unknowable boy who resists her every attempt to bond with him. Uncertain in her own feelings about motherhood, she tries her best–driving, cleaning, cooking, prodding him to finish projects for school–while growing increasingly resentful of Monika, her confident but absent wife. As Samson grows from feral toddler to surly teenager, Sammie’s life begins to deteriorate into a mess of unruly behavior, and her struggle to create a picture-perfect queer family unravels. When her son’s hostility finally spills over into physical aggression, Sammie must confront her role in the mess–and the possibility that it will never be clean again.
Blending the warmth and wit of Arnett’s breakout hit, Mostly Dead Things, with a candid take on queer family dynamics, With Teeth is a thought-provoking portrait of the delicate fabric of family–and the many ways it can be torn apart.
Thin Girls, by Diana Clark
My Rating and Review: 5 stars
Release Date: 2020
Genre: contemporary mental health fiction
You Should Read This Book If You Like… deep emotional stories, flowery prose, character driven narratives, full life / time skip narratives [trigger warning: eating disorders]
Goodreads Summary: A dark, edgy, voice-driven literary debut novel about twin sisters that explores body image and queerness as well as toxic diet culture and the power of sisterhood, love, and lifelong friendships, written by a talented protégé of Roxane Gay.
Rose and Lily Winters are twins, as close as the bond implies; they feel each other’s emotions, taste what the other is feeling. Like most young women, they’ve struggled with their bodies and food since childhood, and high school finds them turning to food—or not—to battle the waves of insecurity and the yearning for popularity. But their connection can be as destructive as it is supportive, a yin to yang. when Rose stops eating, Lily starts—consuming everything Rose won’t or can’t.
Within a few years, Rose is about to mark her one-year anniversary in a rehabilitation facility for anorexics. Lily, her sole visitor, is the only thing tethering her to a normal life.
But Lily is struggling, too. A kindergarten teacher, she dates abusive men, including a student’s married father, in search of the close yet complicated companionship she lost when she became separated from Rose.
When Lily joins a cult diet group led by a social media faux feminist, whose eating plan consists of consuming questionable non-caloric foods, Rose senses that Lily needs her help. With her sister’s life in jeopardy, Rose must find a way to rescue her—and perhaps, save herself.
Illuminating some of the most fraught and common issues confronting women, Thin Girls is a powerful, emotionally resonant story, beautifully told, that will keep you turning the pages to the gratifying, hopeful end.
She Gets the Girl, by Alyson Derrick and Rachel Lippincott
My Rating and Review: 5 stars
Release Date: April 5th 2022
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
You Should Read This Book If You Like… enemies to lovers, slow burn romance, college romance, dual pov stories
Goodreads Summary: She’s All That meets What If It’s Us in this swoon-worthy hate-to-love YA romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart Rachael Lippincott and debut writer Alyson Derrick.
Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.
Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.
As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.