June is one of my favorite times of the year: the weather's warming up, but it's not too hot, gay pride is everywhere, and LGBT+ parades are everywhere. To celebrate, here's my favorite lesbian books for gay pride.
1. The Spanish Pearl, by Catherine Friend
Kate and her wife, Anna, are in Spain to adopt a little boy named Arturo when Kate is transported back in time, approximately 1,000 years after going to a cave Arturo says he likes. Naturally, when Kate is greeted by dudes in chain mail on horses after emerging from the cave, she assumes they're part of a historical reenactment, because traveling back in time 1,000 years is impossible, right? The guys in chain mail are actually mercenary soldiers, and she becomes a pawn between the Catholics and the Muslims. I liked Anna, even though we don't get to see her much; she's a historian, and I'm kind of a history buff. I also liked that the book was set in Spain, since I think it's fun reading books set in other countries because you get a quick glance into other cultures. Used, $5.99. Buy it here.
2. Girls Like Me, by Nina Packebush
When sixteen-year-old queer-identified Banjo ends up in a psych ward, she realizes that her new therapist can't help her deal with the suicide of her genderqueer joyfriend (my favorite term for that person you're dating who identifies as genderqueer or nonbinary,). They also can't help her with the baby growing inside her or answer the question of why she cuts. She does, however, make a couple friends, who with the help of her mom, help her decide what to do about her baby. I liked Girls Le Me because it was a realistic portrayal of teen motherhood and the experience of LGBT+ teens. Apparently, LGBT+ teens get pregnant more than the general population, and are more likely to commit suicide. I also liked the book because Banjo and her mom are middle class/ lower middle class; it felt more accurate than, say, 16 and Pregnant. New, $14.95. Buy it here.
3. The Second Mango, by Shira Glassman
20-year-old Queen Shulamit never expected to rule Perach so young. She's grief-stricken, fatherless, and dealing with being the only lesbian she knows, after her girlfriend, Aviva, runs off for reasons unknown. She also has some pretty severe allergies to boot, and her girlfriend was the only who believed Shulamit when she talked about them. The Second Mango is more brain candy than what I usually read, but I still liked it. I liked Shulamit and Aviva, although I liked Shulamit a bit more. New, $12. Buy it here.