This is my last post for the Lesbian Teen Novels Week hosted here.
If you would like more information about the week,
This week is over guys (well, there will be one last review to be posted later today!) and I had such a fantastic time! Thanks to all those who posted guest reviews, reviews and articles on their blogs or retweeted this week's posts, I've had very nice comments about this from new readers/followers so I am really glad some people found some great book recommendations! I am also very happy that more and more people (who are not gay or questioning their identity/sexuality) want to read LGBT fiction.
Lesbian fiction is not just about two women falling in love. It really isn't. It has *gasp* exactly the same themes as general fiction plus a few more. Acceptance for being different works just as well with sexuality as with ethnicity, religious origins, health, etc. Julie Anne Peters says in a letter printed at the end of Keeping You A Secret that she had many people writing to her about this book, and not only gay teens, and how it had helped them go throught their teenage years. Some themes in young adult literature are definitely universal.
Teenagers can also choose to discover other authors and novels which are not specifically aimed at young adults. I'm pretty sure I was reading more adult fiction as a teen than I am now (oops!). One of the most famous contemporary lesbian fiction author is Sarah Waters. She writes historical fiction (think Charles Dickens with a lesbian twist). The branding of LGBT literature as "genre fiction" (read "erotica") when it isn't really any different from general fiction is the biggest problem and it is even more an issue for teenagers who wouldn't go seek a book in those shelves. Thankfully, Sarah Waters is one of those authors who are not discarded to the erotica shelves but showcased in the general fiction ones - let's hope many other authors will follow her!
If you hang around this blog often, you might know that I am a bit of a feminist and I really love strong female characters and abhor weak ones (unless they are here to be a counter-example). As a teen I discovered Virginia Woolf in my English class and I really fell for her ideas. I didn't like *her* that much when I read her biography (though I understand her better now), but her ideas and her way of writing resonated deeply in me. I felt that what she was writing about her time, was what I was feeling in mine. Obviously, times had changed and everything, but I still felt confined in a place for reasons I couldn't fathom at the time. If my earlier teens were mainly confused, I think that my later teens had that rebellious streak you can find in Virginia Woolf's novels and essays.
A lot of narrow-minded people think that feminists are lesbians and that, worse, "feminist" is an insulting word one should be ashamed of. *sigh* It isn't (I shall not bore you to death by proving that with actual arguments) and some people today could really use reading now some of the best essays and novels on the woman condition. Things appear to have changed more than they actually have, you'll see.
Because this week is not just a drop in the ocean but more of a commitment, I thought I wouldn't leave you hanging with just a few recommendations. There are different places where you can find Lesbian teen novels:
- Wikipedia has a page for that here (of course it does)
- You can find lists on Goodreads or Amazon
- There are quite a few blogs (not specifically YA though) centred on LGBT literature which you can Google but you can also go on The Lesbrary which has a fantastic blogroll and a weekly review round up. You Can also visit the GLBT Reading Challenge for book tips.
- Besides being a fantastic author, Malinda Lo is also very active in the blogosphere to get people to read more diverse books (sexuality is one of the aspect, there is also the religion, origins etc.), so go check out the blog Diversity in YA.
- Bella Books is a publisher/retailer which specialises in lesbian fiction, go visit their website and their blog.
- For the UK people, the lesbian magazine Diva has a book feature every issue and there is even more content and links on their website.
- I'm probably forgetting loads of things so don't hesitate to ask around on Twitter etc. to have more info :)
(Sorry if I rambled too much)
(I couldn't help it)
I hope you guys had as much fun as I did and could discover some fab books!