I thought I would start a new series where I recommend 2-4 books that has bisexual main characters. I hope that I can convince more people to read these books, especially fellow bi people as we don’t get represented nearly enough! Not all the books I mentioned in the posts are perfect (plot, writing, character development, etc.) but the books I mention are going to be books that I personally believe write bi folks in a represented way.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: This was INCREDIBLY adorable.
TW/CW: Fatphobia, Biphobia
REPRESENTATION: Charlie: Chinese-Australian vlogger/actress who identifies as Bisexual, Taylor: Has autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, plus size, Varies of other characters who are poc, queer, mental+physical disabilities.
Themes: Issues that come up includes body positively, overcoming bisexuality/queer stereotypes, dealing with anxiety, trusting of friends and accepting who you are. The book also dives into change, especially transitioning from high school to college and how to cope with that change Also, all the people who said problematic things were immediately challenged.
My Personal Star Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Why YOU should read this: This was a highly entertaining read but it also delve into important discussions that I believe teenagers desperately need. One part that made me a little emotional was when Taylor saw herself in a comic because as an aspie, she doesn’t get represented nearly enough. That’s why I believe that more diverse books that has queer, persons of color, different religions, and persons with disability MAIN characters are needed, especially in YA. Many teenagers read YA to explore new worlds but also connect with character but only seeing one archetype (white, cis, able-body, etc) paints a problematic picture on who can be a hero or who can fall in love or who can be a problem solver.
Any Gripes: Cheesy writing+Dialogue. The parts where the important topics discussed weren’t consistent to the dialogue in terms of writing style.
“Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of our life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most, and yet here we are, moving forward anyway. That’s not weak…we are the brave ones”
“I pull the plastic red handgun out of the holster and get ready. A selection of avatars appear, and I’m thrilled to see I’m one of them. Me. The geek-girl from the suburbs of Melbourne. The youngest daughter of Chinese immigrants. The only openly bi kid at school. The drama freak who makes vlogs in her bedroom. I’m the hero. Finally, I feel like the rest of the world is starting to see me the way I’ve always seen myself.”
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.
INITIAL THOUGHTS: The swoon-worthy romance was top-notched
TW/CW: Racism, racial stereotyping
Representation: Jess: Biracial/ Vietnamese-Chinese American who identifies as bisexual. Other LGBT and POC side characters
Themes: Heroism vs. Villianism, Invisibility of bi people especially n LGBT+ organizations, inclusiveness, friendship, trusting of friends, biracial problems
My Personal Star Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Why YOU should read this: This books offers an unique cast of characters that you grow to love at the end. I also thought the world was cleverly written and I thought the class system was easy to understand. However, the romance is what really made this book shine for me. Jess and her love interest Abby were just the cutest and I love their scenes. I’m not going to lie, I would sometimes quickly scan a page until I see dialogue between them because they were just adorable. I also related to Jess a lot when it came to her LGBT club at school and how she felt excluded because she wasn’t considered “gay” enough. I also have those feelings so it was nice to know that I’m not completely alone when it comes to these organizations.
Any Gripes: This felt more middle grade than YA to me. The writing just seemed more juvenile but that might be because the world is kind of juvenile?!?! Also, this was pretty predicable in terms of some of the revealings and I’m really bad at predictions. I was unfortunately right on like all of them so there really wasn’t any shock value in this book for me.
“Jess often feels as if she’s not Chinese enough in certain situations and not Vietnamese enough in others. It’s awkward when you’re not quite one but not quite the other.”
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations for books with bi representation? Let me know so I can check them out!