Happy Top 5 Tuesday!
This Top 5 Tuesday should be called ‘The 5 LGBT books Birdie is ALWAYS talking about’. That’s what it’s going to be, five books that you’ve seen on my blog a million times. Be prepared for some Heidi Cullinan, and some TJ Klune, obviously.
Don’t blame me when you read this list.
Top 5 Tuesday was started by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm!
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
Normal is just a setting on the dryer.
High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.
But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.
As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.
I feel like I’ve been talking about this book a lot lately, but I can’t help it. I really love it so much. Not only does it have two amazing gay characters, they’re also both suffering from a disability. It’s got two brilliant diverse representations in one book, and both of them are beautifully written.
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
Autoboyography was the perfect partnership of LGBT and religion, particularly Mormonism. It was obvious the authors were familiar with the topic, or had done a lot of research, because it was informative without preaching. The two characters falling in love touched me.
How to be a Normal Person by TJ Klune
Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.
Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.
Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.
But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?
How to be a Normal Person is one of my favorite romance novels, and a large reason for that is because it’s not typical. Casey, the hipster, is asexual and Gus isn’t driven by sex, so what that means is there isn’t any sex, there’s not a lot of kissing, but there are significant amount of epic hugs! Maybe it’s because TJ is ace, but everything about this story felt very real and honest.
Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan
New York Times bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.
Two Boys Kissing is a unique story because it is narrated by the gay men who died of AIDS. It covers multiple characters, all struggling with their sexuality in different ways. It’s a broader story about a deeper subject. Really great story.
Corey/Kori from multiple TJ Klune books
Corey/Kori a gender fluid character TJ created that crosses over two series. They’re a really special character that I had to highlight here.
They will be getting their own story, and I really wish I had a cover and a synopsis to share but nothing has been revealed yet. Instead I’ve added the covers for the two books they’re in the most. In The Art of Breathing Corey/Kori is Tyson’s best friend (and ex) and that’s where we first meet them. Then, you discover that they are very close with Sandy and Paul from the At First Sight series so we get to read more about Corey/Kori in that installment.