Happy #BiVisibilityDay to all my bi friends! First of all, I wanted to talk about the many different ways of being bi, and how being bi doesn’t just mean being sexually and romantically attracted to men and women. Secondly, I’m recommending 5 of my favourite books with bi rep!
My Personal Experience
Personally, I’m bi aroace. For me, that means I’m aromantic and asexual but I do experience some type of attraction that’s not romantic or sexual. It also means I’m attracted to all genders. I identify as bi because gender does factor into my attraction in some way, and because it feels right for me.
Just like me, many people identify as bi for many different reasons. Some might be into all women and one (1) man, or the other way around. For some, it might be 50/50, and many of us are attracted to non-binary people as well. And/or ARE non-binary ourselves. Some of us might be aromantic and/or asexual, or aspec.
On top of that, action is not identity. So people don’t have to kiss or have sex with people of multiple genders to “prove” they’re bi. Some might only ever fall in love with one person and spend the rest of their lives with them. Others might be polyamorous.
There are so many ways of being bi and they should all be accepted and celebrated!
Lauren James – The Quiet at the End of the World
How far would you go to save those you love?
Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.
Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .
What I loved most about The Quiet at the End of the World is how hopeful it is. Usually, dystopian sci-fi tends to be quite anxiety-inducing for me, but this wasn’t at all. I can only describe the pacing as relaxed, and there was little conflict in the book. It’s mainly centered around Lowrie discovering secrets about her world, and her coming to terms with being one of the last humans.
It took a while for the story to really take off, but when it did, it was one surprising twist after the other, some of them amusing (wait until you find out Lowrie’s last name!) and others mindblowing. I love when books pose ethical questions, and this does just that.
Claire Kann – Let’s Talk About Love
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).
When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
The main character in Let’s Talk About Love, Alice, is black, and biromantic asexual. This was actually one of the first books I read with an asexual protagonist, and it was such a special experience. The first time, I mainly enjoyed the story and was in awe of how well Alice knew who she was. But when I reread it, it made me realize how much I’ve grown in realizing what being asexual means to me. My own experience is vastly different from Alice’s, but I really appreciate this book, and I loved reading it.
Caleb Roehrig – Death Prefers Blondes
Teenage socialite Margo Manning leads a dangerous double life. By day, she dodges the paparazzi while soaking up California sunshine. By night, however, she dodges security cameras and armed guards, pulling off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. In and out of disguise, she’s in all the headlines.
But then Margo’s personal life takes a sudden, dark turn, and a job to end all jobs lands her crew in deadly peril. Overnight, everything she’s ever counted on is put at risk. Backs against the wall, the resourceful thieves must draw on their special skills to survive. But can one rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens withstand the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune? Or will a mounting sea of troubles end them — for good?
Death Prefers Blondes is fabulous from start to finish, and it’s exactly what I hoped for (and more)! There’s a diverse, all-queer cast of characters, all of which have a clearly developed back story, and the plot itself is incredibly well-paced. I was expecting this to be a fun action-packed story (Ocean’s 8 meets RuPaul’s Drag Race is NOT overselling it, I promise!), but there was plenty of emotional depth as well. I could hardly put it down! I’m really rooting for a sequel here!!
Mason Deaver – I Wish You All the Best
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
I Wish You All the Best is such an emotional, deeply important story. And I will just state right now, I would do anything to protect Ben. They’ve instantly become one of my favourite main characters. Usually, main characters are these really loveable, agreeable people, because readers need to be able to root for them, I guess? But I was rooting for Ben especially because they weren’t. They had so many issues to deal with and to process, and it was amazing to see them grow as a character. I especially appreciated the on-page therapy rep!
Zack Smedley – Deposing Nathan
Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.
Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn’t that easy or convenient—just like Nate and Cam’s friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept himself. But Nate—armed with a fierce moral code and conflicted by his own beliefs—started to push back. With each push, Nate and Cam moved closer to each other—but also spiraled closer to their breaking points.
Deposing Nathan is so well written. I was drawn in right from the first page, and I was fully engaged in the story throughout the whole book. I would have read it in one sitting if I could have. And it’s just such a good book as well. If you want to read about lovable characters who make good choices, you should probably skip this. But that’s what makes it interesting. Nathan is a main character with a lot of issues to deal with. He makes bad choices. He screws up a lot.
It would be very easy to hate him, and I think in a lot of books, I would have. And it’s really the biggest strength of this novel that I didn’t. Because it’s so easy to judge, and so human to make mistakes, even ones you can’t fix. There was so much character development in that sense, with Nate becoming more self aware and realizing he has to work on himself. I absolutely loved the ending, because, without wanting to give anything away, it fits exactly with what the characters need.
What are your favourite books with bi protagonists?
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