Whenever I start to write something about or involving the LGBT community, the writing brings with it a new level of nervousness. Not because I’m a part of the community myself, but because I have so many incredible friends that are and somehow the idea that I could be handling their hearts feels so much more serious and weighty than the potential of handling my own. The LBGT community has taught me that the fact that another human being exists makes them worth loving and that gender will always come second to their soul, which essentially sounds like magic. That being said, welcome to my segment of RBR Pride Week! Enjoy your stay. These books are my favorite diverse reads, and I hope you like them too!
I’ll Give You The Sun
“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.
Years later, they are barely speaking. The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.
I mean, let’s be honest. this book is first because I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I’m obsessed with the artistic angle, the way that Nelson tackles not only the romantic relationship but the sibling relationship, and the way that she pairs an LGBT romance alongside a hetero-normative romance just to emphasize the fact that love is love is love no matter who you are or what your story might be. This book is definitely fluffy, but it is fluff that tricks you into learning something and being a better person. Also, Jude talks to the ghost of her dead grandmother who gives her beyond the grave advice on how to avoid the cute boys, and if that isn’t a hook than I’m not sure what is *shrug*.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
“What of Art? It is a malady. Love? An Illusion. Religion? The fashionable substitute for belief.” “You are a sceptic.” “Never! Scepticism is the beginning of faith.” “What are you?” “To define is to limit.”
Oscar Wilde’s most renowned work tells the story of young Dorian Gray, who is so bent on remaining young, pure, and beautiful that he is willing to give up his soul in exchange for his dreams. Wilde takes a sensual tale and questions the boundaries of what it means to be human in a way that will always leave the reader wanting to return for more.
Just to be clear, this is my most favorite book in the HISTORY of EVER. Oscar Wilde is one of the most precious authors that I have in my library, and I believe his literary influence worked to rewrite what the world considered acceptable. He’s included in my diverse reads precisely because he was daring enough to write about LGBT relationships in a time when doing so was illegal. Because of the high levels of illegality, Oscar had to sneak his passion into his writing so that the reader felt first and questioned later. Oscar’s readers find themselves wracked by emotion before they’re ever able to stop and question whether or not they should be feeling what they’re feeling, because Oscar Wilde wrote the only thing that he knew. Which was the kind of love that burned you from the inside out for a lifetime. I’ll leave this quote: “every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter.”
And last, but CERTAINTLY not least:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Saenz
“I had a feeling there was something wrong with me. I guess I was a mystery even to myself.”
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.
The best word I can use to describe this book would be “human”. This one made my list because it’s diverse on a multitude of levels in that it discusses not only being LGBT but specifically being LGBT within the Hispanic culture. The way that Saenz writes is unique. The translation is succinct and makes the reader feel like they’re thinking alongside Ari, who is one of my most favorite little confused cinnamon rolls. And of course, I ended up falling in love with Dante Quintana. Who wouldn’t? You’ll see what I mean. In all honesty, this story is about a boy who belongs in the rain meeting a boy made of sunshine. And I love it.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS…
OH LOOK. I snuck in my runner up in that final shot! Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Simon. Magic. Sour cherry scones. NEED I SAY MORE. It’s perfection, in a Harry Potter meets Mortal Instruments kind of way. I hope you enjoyed my diverse ramblings, and I SINCERELY hope you enjoy the books. Remember that any story that influences your own narrative becomes a part of who you are, LGBT or not. Tune in tomorrow for another Rad Babe and a whole NEW list of diverse literature! Thank you babes!