Hi everyone! So, once again, Twitter is back on its bullshit, claiming that books featuring bi/pan main characters in an m/f relationship aren’t queer. This is an extremely biphobic and panphobic sentiment that I keep seeing rehashed over and over (and to add my two cents to it, book with a bi/pan female lead can also be classed as sapphic regardless of their relationship because, yes, that person is sapphic!), so I thought that today I’d share some of my favourite queer books featuring bi and pan protagonists and an m/f relationship, and some that I’m excited to read in the future!
Sweethand by N.G. Peltier is the first book in an upcoming adult romance series that I was lucky enough to receive and ARC copy of recently! This follows Cherisse who, after a particularly messy breakup, has sworn off dating musicians, instead deciding to focus on her career as a pastry chef. News of her younger sister’s wedding brings hope to Cherisse that perhaps this will distract her mother long enough for her to find a nice guy to settle down with. However, the best man of her sister’s husband to be is the extremely annoying Keiran who Cherisse is trying her best to avoid after years of butting heads. To Keiran, Cherisse has always come off as stuck up and attention seeking, despite him harbouring a secret crush on her. But after a steamy night together can they survive until the wedding is over? This is a book I’m definitely judging by the cover! With two protagonists of colour, one of which is a bi man, I can’t wait to pick this one up, even though I mostly read f/f romances!
Next up is another book that deserves to be judged by its cover – Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl by Erin Grammar! I was lucky enough to be in the street team for this book and I had so much fun, and I have a whole review up for this one on my blog if you want to know my thoughts! Magic Mutant Nightmare Girl follows Holly, Lolita fashion enthusiast who, on the night of her birthday after coming across two bizarre looking brutes, ends up with superhuman strength after one of them explodes all over her! This book is really just so, so much fun and it has a great queer found family (almost all the main characters in the book are queer!). Holly is openly bisexual and talks about having crushes on both guys and girls throughout the book, and she does end up in an m/f relationship!
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake is another first book in an adult romance series that I’m really excited to read (also, another gorgeous cover!). The book follows Rosaline who dropped out of college to care for her daughter, Amelie, and has since found herself in financial disaster, that is until she lands a spot on a popular baking show. The prize money would be more than enough to give her daughter a steady future but aside from toppling towers of treats, Alain Pope is standing in her way, trying their best to sweep her off her feet. But its shy electrician Harry Dobson who’s caught her eye. With the competition heating up, will Rosaline get the sweet happy ever after that she’s wishing for! I’ve watched The Great British Bake Off for years, so this sounds like a really fun read! The main character, Rosaline, is also a bisexual single mum, and we all know that Bake Off is inherently queer, so I’m really excited to read it!
Another new release from March is Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi, a YA contemporary with a bi main character that I’ve heard great things about! Follow Your Arrow follows CeCe who, along with her girlfriend Silvie, are famous social media influencers. But, when Silvie breaks off the relationship, CeCe is heartbroken and worried that she’ll lose followers. But one day whilst in town, CeCe meets Josh, a new guy who doesn’t have any form of social media. He has no idea who CeCe is and she wants to keep it that way, but when the truth catches up to her, CeCe must deal with blurring of her public and private lives and the consequences that social media brings. I’ve heard that this book tackles biphobia head on, and with another stunning cover, this is high on my to-read list!
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan is an extremely queer YA contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet that sounds like so much fun! The book follows Jubilee who spends most of her time playing the cello or working in her mum’s indie comic store. Ridley’s parents own the country’s largest comic book store chain and sadly can’t seem to stop disappointing them. The two meet at a comic convention prom and hit it off straight away, but their parents are constantly at each others’ throats. With a big cello audition on the horizon for Jubilee, she must deal with the stress alongside her new relationship and her parents’ squabbling, but what if it all ends up being too much? Jubilee is a bi teen who discusses not feeling queer enough in an m/f relationship, and Ridley is hinted at being queer, too. There are other sapphic side characters in the book too, including Jubilee’s best friend who is a lesbian!
Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins is another upcoming 2021 release with a gorgeous cover that I’m really excited for! The book follows Brazilian pop sensation Natalie who is living her dream and dominating the charts, until she is dumped on live television by her (now ex) boyfriend. Her PR team, desperate to avoid disaster, arranges a fake boyfriend for her, British indie actor William. Slowly but surely Natalie begins to fall for him as she realises that she might be the biggest fake of all…. I love fake dating plots and the rep in this one sounds fantastic – a Latina mc and a bi Jewish li, as well as a side sapphic ship! It also features the only-one-bed trope and enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, which sounds right up my street (plus I’m always here for more YA romance novels!)!!
The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore is one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 after how much I adored Miss Meteor, written with Tehlor Kay Mejia! The Mirror Season follows two teens who discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party. After the party, strange things start happening – Graciela can no longer make enchanted pan dulce, trees are vanishing overnight, and magical mirrored glass is appearing. When the boy, Lock, shows up at her school he has no memory of that night, and Ciela decides to help him. She knows who it was that assaulted the two of them that night, but she must keep it a secret in order to ensure their survival. Anna-Marie McLemore is amazing at writing magical realism, and I can’t wait to discover what lies in the pages of this book! Graciela is pansexual (with own voices representation) and talks about the erasure of her sexuality when she is in a relationship. There is also side f/f and m/m representation, too!
Speaking of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books, and Miss Meteor in particular (co-authored with Tehlor Kay Mejia), this book was one of my honourable mentions in my Top Books of 2020 post and was just a joy to read! The book follows Lita Perez who is determined to win the Miss Meteor talent contest, but no one who looks like Lita has ever stood a chance before. So, Lita enlists the help of her ex-best friend Chicky and her sisters to make pageant history. This book has Anna-Marie McLemore’s signature magical realism touch that was just so much fun, as well as the sweetest friends to lovers relationships and (quite literally) found family! There’s great rep in this book – both Lita and Chicky are Latina, Lita is fat and Chicky is pansexual. There is also some side trans rep, too! I also have a full review of this one up if you want to check that out!
Next up is a book that fingers-crossed I can get to before the end of the month! Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft is a YA gothic horror (I’m already sold by that alone) that follows Wren who loses everything, including the girl she loves, when she is dismissed from the Queen’s Guard after a reckless use of magic. She receives a letter from a recluse Lord asking her to come to his mansion to cure a servant of a mysterious illness. When she arrives at the crumbling mansion, she finds that the patient isn’t, in fact, a servant, but Hal Cavendish, her kingdom’s sworn enemy. The two must work together to save their kingdoms but as Wren discovers more about Hal’s illness, the pair must escape from the monsters that are hiding within the mansion. I love gothic horror and gothic horror with enemies to lovers sounds chef’s kiss to me! The main character, Wren, is bisexual and we also get some side lesbian representation, too!
This next book is at the top of my physical TBR for the next few months and I’ve heard really great things about it! Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett follows Simone Garcia-Hampton who has just moved schools and has already set herself up as the director of the school production of Rent, and has a crush on a guy called Miles. But Simone is desperately hoping that her secret get’s out – she’s HIV positive – because last time people found out, it ended badly. As Simone and Miles start to get closer, Simone’s butterflies start turning stomach churning – she’s scared that if he finds out that he might react badly. But when Simone finds a note left in her locker saying that someone knows that she is HIV positive and that she has until Thanksgiving to break up with Miles or else everyone else will find out, she has to figure out if this is a secret worth keeping or if she’d rather face the haters head on. This book has some great rep, including a questioning bisexual Black mc, gay parents (m/m), a Black love interest, a Black side character, a Latine side character, an asexual lesbian side character, and a bisexual side character!
This next book is another one I’ve been meaning to pick up for a wee while! We Go Together by Abigail de Niverville is a YA contemporary romance that follows Kat who, just before college, is facing a rough break up and a ruined friendship. So, she decides to spend the summer in her summer home of Grand-Barachois. There, so much is familiar, including the friends she made, including Tristan – a friend from Kat’s orchestra days. Tristan is planning to make this the best summer yet, and the two create a bucket list of things they’ve always wanted to do! I’ve heard great things about this from people whose reviews I trust and it features a bi mc and a trans mc, as well as some great queer rep and Mi’kmaw rep among the side characters!
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee is another book that I read last year and absolutely adored (I also have a full review up for this book if you want to hear me gush about it)!! I’ll Be the One follows Korean-American teen, Skye Shin, who has heard that fat girls can’t dance and shouldn’t draw attention to themselves, all her life. But Skye dreams of being a K-pop star, so she sets her sights on America’s first ever K-pop reality show contest. However, on the first day of the competition, Skye comes face-to-face with her competition, the famous model Henry Cho, as well as the fatphobic world of the Kpop industry. Not only is the fat representation some of the best I have ever read (I was so shocked to find out that it isn’t own voices, it was that good!), but both the main character, Skye, and the love interest are openly bisexual, which was so exciting to see! There is also a sweet f/f side romance and almost all the main/important characters in the book are POC!
This Time Will be Different by Misa Sugiura is one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to and is a story with so many layers that I just absolutely adore! The book follows seventeen year old CJ – she’s a Katsuyama who has heard all her life that “Katsuyamas never quit”. However, CJ has never lived up to her mother’s ambitious hopes for her, and she’s happiest helping at her aunt Hannah’s flower shop, enthralled by the ‘flower magic’ that her aunt teaches her about. But then her mum decides to sell the shop to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. A rift appears between CJ and her friends and family, but this is a cause that CJ is determined to fight for! This is another book with some great rep – the main character is biracial and the love interest is bisexual! The main character’s best friend is also a lesbian and she plays a large part in the book, too!
Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale sounds like the perfect summer read! It follows Babe Vogel who lives in a cosy lighthouse home by the beach in Maine and is hard at work as a barista at the Busy Bean. But, she’s also freaking out about how her life is going to turn upside down when her two best friends leave for college at the end of the summer. However, a reckless kiss breaks them all up sooner than she expected, and to add to that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town. But Babe can’t stop thinking about Levi, the artist who spends all of his free time at the Busy Bean café. Babe knows that she shouldn’t fall for a cute tourist who is bound to leave by the time the summer ends, but has she fallen too far to stop now? I’ve heard that this is the sweetest YA contemporary romance novel and it has another openly bisexual main character!
This book is one that I’m sure you’re all very familiar with – The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman. The book follows Violet Saunders who is uprooted from her old life after her and her mother move to a new town – Four Paths. The fact that Violet is a descendant of one of the town’s founders doesn’t seem to be helping her fit in at her new school, and her new neighbours seem to be looking at her with something akin to fear. When she meets the other children of the founding families, she witnesses the strange destruction they can wreak, and starts to wonder if that fear is far from unfounded. When bodies start to show up in the woods that surround the town, the locals turn hostile, and it’s up to the teens to figure out what’s going on. I’ve heard great things about this duology and its atmospheric writing, plus this is another book where both main characters are bisexual!!
This next book was one of my favourite books of 2019 but I’ve yet to continue on with the trilogy because I’ve read so many books since then that I’ve completely forgotten the plot of this first book! Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody follows Enne Salta, a proper young lady, who at the start of the book arrives in New Reynes, the City of Sin, on the hunt for her missing mother. Frightened and knowing no one in this unfamiliar city, Enne must count on Levi – a street lord and conman – for help. Levi is currently dealing in an important investment scam and doesn’t have time to help her, until Enne offers him a hefty compensation that could help with all of his problems. The gritty criminal underworld of this book was not what I was expecting when I turned the first page, but one that I fell in love with straight away! Levi is openly bisexual man and one of my favourite characters in the book, and this is a severely underrated series that you need to pick up ASAP!
The penultimate book on this list is the prequel to a book that is close to my heart and that I’m sure you all know – Of Fire and Stars. Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst is set in the same world and follows Asra, a demigod with the power to read the future by writing with her blood. Trying to keep her powers hidden, Asra works as a healer on a remote mountain, lying low with Ina, the girl she loves. But when bandits threaten the village she loves, and the king refuses to help them, Ina begs Asra to help her find her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. When Asra’s blood magic backfires, the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family. Distraught and not knowing that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king, choosing a dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must journey across the kingdom, meeting assassins, gods and even the king along the way. But on her journey, Asra discovers the terrifying secret of her past and why she has the powers that she does. This is a fantasy world with no heteronormativity and the main character Asra is bisexual!
Finally, I really want to make an effort to read more books with ace rep so this is another one that’s high on my TBR! Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann follows Alice who has the perfect summer planned out, but there’s just one thing wrong – her girlfriend has just broken up with her after Alice explains that she’s asexual. But then, Alice meets library worker Takumi and sparks begin to fly! When her summer takes an unexpected turn, Takumi saves the day, but Alice has to decide whether a love that may not be reciprocated is worth it, if it ruins their friendship. Aside from the ace rep in this book, Alice is Black and bisexual, Takumi is Japanese, and theres a Filipino side character, too!