Sticking to my Valentines Day theme for the month, it only made sense to have one more week devoted to romance. The one thing that seemed to be glaringly missing from my two previous posts this month about romance books on my TBR were romances involving LGBT characters, which is weird since there are so many on my list. I think of the 10 books I mentioned over the past two weeks, only one of theme featured a same-sex couple. I think it was mostly because I was looking back on my list and choosing books relatively in order of when I had added them, so many of the books featuring LGBT couples happened to be further back on the list. As soon as I started digging a bit further back, I found a ton of YA romances featuring LGBT characters! In a way though, I don’t mind that these books ended up together as a post of their own, to highlight some new and upcoming releases that don’t seem that widely known yet.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall
This book is due out in September, and I believe the cover art was only recently added to Goodreads, but it’s been on my TBR since the title first caught my attention last summer. I found it on a list of new and upcoming 2020 releases and thought the title sounded intriguing. This book is about a girl named Corinne, who was in love with Maggie, the captain of a rival school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year. Corrine is not ready for anyone to know that she is bisexual. When Maggie dies, Corinne is left heartbroken, especially because no one knew of their relationship and the only person who seems to understand her is Elissa, Maggie’s ex. The plot reminds me a tiny bit of Adam Silvera’s History Is All You Left Me, which was a favourite the year I read it. I’m actually not sure if this one really can be considered a romance, but it’s possible it might go in that direction. Either way, I’m very interested in trying it.
2) I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch
I saw this one pitched as a romantic comedy for fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Fangirl, which are two books that I loved, so I knew I had to add it to my TBR! It is about a gifted artist named Rhodes and a competitive transfer student named Iliana who are competing for a highly coveted scholarship. They both escape the pressures of school by visiting a fanfiction site, where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. They hate each other in real life, but their anonymous online personas may be falling for each other. Aside from comparisons to two of my favourite books, this one hits so many of the tropes that I tend to look for! This one involves social media, online friendships/relationships, academic pressure, and characters with a strong passion for something (in this case, art). It sounds like exactly the kind of book that I will love!
3) Only Mostly Devastated by Sophia Gonzales
I think of all the books mentioned here, this is the one that I’ve seen most often on other blogs and videos. It has been pitched as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda mixed with Clueless, and also a male spin on Grease. I’m not entirely sure how that would work, but it sounds like a very interesting combination. This book is about two guys, Ollie and Will, who were meant to be a summer fling, until Ollie’s family decides to stay in North Carolina, leading him to hope for the relationship to continue. When he sees Will at a school party, Ollie realizes that the boy he met over the summer does not seem to be the same person at school. Will is shocked to see Ollie again on their first day of school, especially because he is not yet out to his friends at school, especially his varsity basketball teammates. This book has already got excellent reviews from many of the reviewers I follow, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
4) The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
This book just came out at the beginning of the month, which is probably why I feel like I’ve been seeing it everywhere lately. To be honest, I’ve had it on my TBR for quite a while but I don’t think I paid too much attention at the time to the synopsis. It is about a social media journalist named Cal whose father is chosen for a NASA mission to Mars, forcing his family to move to Houston and attracting a ton of media attention. While there, he meets Leon, the son of another astronaut, and quickly finds himself falling for him. When secrets about the Mars mission are uncovered, Cal must find a way to tell the truth without the risk of hurting the people closest to him. I think the NASA mission is a unique angle for this book and one that I’ve definitely never seen before, so I’m curious to see what they mean about the secrets behind it. I think I was first drawn to this book because of the beautiful cover art, but now that I’ve properly read the synopsis, it really does sound like something I would enjoy.
5) The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
I’ve somehow had this book on my TBR since September 2018, a full year before it was released. It’s another one that I’ve started to hear a lot more about lately, which has sparked my interest in it all over again. This book is about a 16-year-old girl named Audre who lives in Trinidad, and is being sent to live with her father in Minneapolis after she is caught with her secret girlfriend. While there, she meets Mabel, the daughter of her father’s best friend, who is trying to sort out her feelings for her ex-boyfriend and a female friend, and has also been feeling vaguely ill throughout the summer. Mabel soon falls for Audre and helps her navigate her new school, but their relationship is tested when test results reveal why Mabel has been feeling so sick. This definitely seems like a much more intense story than the typical YA romance, but I’ve also heard that it’s incredible and I’m really looking forward to trying it for myself.