Tuesday, 12 March 2019

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A Diversified Bookcase: Proud, ed. by Juno Dawson

A Diversified Bookcase

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A Diversified Bookcase is a feature where authors of diverse YA recommend other diverse YA novels by other authors to their characters. Today it's Once Upon a Bookcase's stop on the Proud Blog Tour. Proud, ed. by Juno Dawson, is a new LGBTQ* YA anthology, and today we have the four brand new voices included in the anthology stopping by to recommend one queer YA novel to their protagonists.

Kay Staples, author of 'On the Run'

Kay Staples

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

For Nicky, I would recommend If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. It follows teenage Amanda as she navigates her own trans identity, and what it means for her relationships - and best of all, it's written by an out trans woman who's been through it all too. I reckon it would help Nicky feel less alone in their thoughts, and part of a bigger community.

Cynthia So, author of 'The Phoenix's Fault'

Cynthia So

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

I would recommend Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan to Jingzhi and Xiayin, who will find elements of this beautiful and gripping Asian-inspired fantasy familiar from their own world. They might recognise themselves in the story of Lei and Wren—two girls who fall in love and want to be with each other despite the fact that they’re expected to want to gain the affections of the ruler of their country instead. The main character of Girls also happens to have worked in a herb shop, just like Xiayin! I believe Jingzhi and Xiayin will be truly inspired by the courage of Lei and Wren and root for them every step of the way.

Michael Lee Richardson, author of 'The Other Side'

Michael Lee Richardson

Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev Rosen Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

Jack and Hearts (and Other Parts): Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

Heartstopper, Vol. 1: Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

I’m tempted to recommend Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev Rosen, because I’ve been recommending that to everyone I know who loves queer YA lately, and because I think a lot of the boys in ‘The Other Team’ could probably do with Jack’s advice! But I’m going to recommend Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, a webcomic that’s just been collected into a graphic novel and published as Heartstopper: Volume 1. It’s about two boys - Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker; and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player - who both go to the same school and play on the same team. When they get sat next to each other at school, their blossoming friendship becomes something more, and they realise they’re falling for each other.

I think the boys in '
The Other Team’ would enjoy the sports theme - although I’m not sure how they’d feel about Nick and Charlie being rugby players! - and they’d get a lot out of the lovely, warm romance story at it’s heart (and I think Nick and Charlie’s relationship is a good model for what Aidan from ‘The Other Team’ would like with his teammate Gregor!). The book deals with some really big themes for LGBT young people - mental health, relationships, bullying and abuse - in a really light touch, non-preachy way, and I think that’s really important. And, if the boys in my story like this one, they won’t have to wait long for Heartstopper: Volume 2, as it’s out in July!

Karen Lawler, author of 'I Hate Darcy Pemberley'

Karen Lawler

A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue: Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

The Rest of Us Just Live Here: Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

In ‘I Hate Darcy Pemberley’, my main characters Lizzie and Darcy, fall in love slightly against their will, so I think Lizzie would also particularly enjoy Heartstopper, by Alice Oseman as it’s a tale of strangers who become friends, and then end up accidentally falling in love. It's a beautifully drawn comic with so much chemistry between its main characters that it ought to spontaneously combust. Darcy, on the other hand, would really go for A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. She's gotten into her share of trouble, and she'd love reading about the escapades of a Lord Monty as he seduces his way through the men and women of 18th century Europe on his "Grand Tour".  I'd also recommend The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness, to my other characters Jane, Bing and Lydia, who all could be the star of their own story. The novel tells the story of a world with climactic battles, apocalypses averted, and heroism - but from the perspective of those not actually doing the hero-ing. Instead of saving the world, the main character is mostly occupied by figuring out who he is and who he wants to be with, questions I think Jane, Bing and Lydia would all relate to.

Thank you Kay, Cynthia, Michael and Karen for all your recommendations! Aah, so many books here I'm yet to read, but I'm even more excited for them, now! Have you read any of these? How about Proud? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to check out the other stops on the Proud Blog Tour, banner below.

Proud, ed. by Juno DawsonProud, ed. by Juno Dawson (7th June 2019, Stripes Books)

A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.

A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

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If you enjoyed this post, check out the other A Diversified Bookcase posts.

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