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My Favourite LGBT+ YA Books

Hello! For as long as I remember I've love reading, and this year I've really tried to make more time for books. Until recently though I was yet to find any LGBT+ themed books that I really enjoyed. I remember reading and enjoying Kiss by Jaqueline Wilson at a very young age, but looking back on it I don't think it was very good representation and I think if I reread it now I'd be frustrated with it. However, I've managed to read a fair few LGBT+ books this year that I have enjoyed, all of them YA, so I thought I'd share a couple of them with you!

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
First of all, I just want to get this out of the way: this book is one of the best things I've ever read. Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite authors, and when I found out she had written 'Carry On' I was super excited and pre-ordered it straight away. In her book 'Fangirl', the protagonist Cath writes a fanfiction based on a fictional series of books about Simon Snow, who is a wizard in a school of magic, also entitled Carry On. Throughout the book, there are snippets of the fictional Simon Snow novels and also of Cath's fanfiction, and I was so intrigued about this world that I actually google searched it in a hope it was real and something I could read for myself. Obviously this wasn't the case, but 'Carry On' coming out was the next best thing. It's worth mentioning that whilst they share the same name, the book IS NOT Cath's fanfiction from 'Fangirl', it's Rowell's spin on the world and characters.
One of the things I love the most about this book is how much it made me laugh. It's wonderful yes, but also ridiculous in the best way. The spells are basically just song lyrics and idioms, someone possesses a random dog which Simon and Baz then basically kidnap, and one of them end up with an irreversible tail. I both laughed and cried at this book, and sometimes both at the same time.
Obviously I adore the love story between Simon and Baz, as bizarre as it is, and I love the fact that Simon is bisexual because of how underrepresented bisexual people are in the media. Honestly I'm a sucker for the whole enemies-to-lovers thing which is probably the main reason I love their relationship so much, but I also love the differences between them and how they somehow make it work anyway. Also, Rainbow Rowell's kissing scenes are bloody brilliantly written. Just saying. 

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
I read 'I'll Give You the Sun' at the start of the year, so my recollection of it is slightly vague, but I know for definite that I loved it a lot. The writing style of the book is really unique and although I found it confusing if I was slightly distracted I enjoyed it because it's not something I've come across before. The chapters alternated between the voices of Noah and Jude, with Noah's story taking place when they were 13 and Jude's when they were 16. I really liked both Noah and Jude as individuals, and my heart ached at how distant they became due to various circumstances and events driving them apart. One thing I will say about the book is that I thought it went too far with the whole 'everyone is connected' thing, it got confusing and slightly too much of a coincidence. 
Noah's thread was probably my favourite, embellished with quirky gimmicks and some wonderfully adorable quotes, I found myself speed-reading Jude's chapters just so I could get back to him. He's an artist who uses drawing and art as his way of interpreting things and expressing himself, it really helps the reader get into his head and see what he's thinking. He also gives events in his life titles like he would drawings, my favourite being "PORTRAIT: Jude Braiding Boy After Boy Into Her Hair." When Noah's soon-to-be love interest came along I was really gripped because I was curious to see how the love story was going to play out, with the blurb making it sound so cliché. I loved the first few times Noah and Brian met, everything between them felt so real and exciting even though they were still two characters on a page. 
Jude's thread, although compelling, wasn't as good as Noah's to me. She's odd and I like that, from talking to her grandmother's ghost to the strange superstitions she has there's rarely a dull moment in her mind, but it's sad to see how much she's changed from Noah's thread to hers in only 3 years. Things get a little more interesting when she starts sculpting lessons with a known artist and she meets Oscar, who makes her question the boy boycott she's had going on. Whatever Nelson's reason for giving Jude a love interest was, I didn't like it much. Sure, I'd have loved to see her happy with a nice person but the boy she got just didn't do it for me. Oscar is your bog standard bad boy type, with hints at a dodgy past and a killer british accent. He was a bit of a wasted character to me, as I didn't feel such a cliché had a place in such a beautifully written book. 
That's all for today! There's actually a few more books that I didn't have the time or energy to write about so I may do a follow up in the future as I'm sure I'll end up reading more and more LGBT+ books in the future. I know I missed a post this week, but I've been so incredibly busy that I barely had time to write this one, so please forgive me! I hope you enjoyed reading through this long and slightly rambly post, but I could go on about books forever and will continue to as long as you let me. Let me know any recommendations in the comments! I'd love to hear some. 

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