***I’m going to change up this series a tiny bit and do one book at a time. Will be doing a lot more of these posts, especially this month! 🙂
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 suggest are going to be books that I personally believe write bi folks in a represented way.
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Goodreads Summary: Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them
TW/CW: Some challenged homophobia
REPRESENTATION: Bisexual MC, Muslim British-Pakistani Gay love interest, a ton of Queer POC side characters!
Themes: Healthy conversations regarding bisexuality, Brotherhood, acceptance, forgiveness, lots of parental and adult support, shows that boys can be sensitive and be insecure about their bodies.
My Personal Star Rating: 4/5 Stars (more like a 4.5 if I’m being honest)
Why YOU should read this: Ugh, this book is just marvelous and is for anyone who loves a good sports romance. This book is also friends-to-enemies-to-lovers which I am obsessed with. Our main character, Sebastion is passionate about soccer but even more passionate about his team aka his second family. They are all open with one another and a lot of them share a common struggle such as their sexuality and other experiences. I love a good friendship and there was a great amount of it in this book. A lot of the side characters were more than just side characters and I was glad we were able to learn more about their experiences. Also, the love-interest Emir is a cranky cinnamon roll that I just can’t help but admire. He is a comic book loving loner but was once friends with the now popular Sebastion (who he appears to despise). Of course with classic YA fashion, they end up becoming more than just enemies. There’s a ton of banter with one another but they show a lovely soft side with one another. In addition, there’s a lot of supportive adults and it just made me soooo happy to see it in a YA book. Overall, if you love a friendship heavy with a great and supportive romance, you should definitely give this a go!
Any Gripes: My only gripe was the timeline and felt like the summer season in the book went a tad bit fast. I also wish there was more of a backstory between Sebastion and Emir because I’m not quite sure why they had a falling out to begin with.
But being a teenager is one good day of being a superhero, followed by a hundred days of being self-conscious about every little damn thing. It’s one big, selfish moment when you don’t give a shit about other people’s opinions, but you still want your friends to love who you are and what you do.
It’s scary, coming out to his parents. When it comes to being anything other than straight, it seems there’s a fine print clause: a penalty for full discloser when you belong into the LGBTQ community. Sebastion doesn’t get it. It shouldn’t matter if he falls for a girl or boy. Love is supposed to be a happy, comforting emotion but it comes with conflict. And being anything but straight means making these huge declarations to the people closest whispers.
Guys are beautiful. And girls are handsome. Words aren’t gender-specific.
Have you read Running With Lions? Let me know your thoughts below!