Join Prism Book Alliance® as Kelly Jensen goes Outside the Margins today.
To celebrate the New Year, I thought I’d share my favourite reads with queer characters from 2016. These books cover my usual range of science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, historical and contemporary.
Brute by Kim Fielding
Kim Fielding is one of my favourite authors. What I most admire about her stories is the variety. Brute is a wonderful book. I’ll admit the cover copy scared me off for a while. But after I read Staged (so, so good), I realised that while Kim often tackles dark subjects, her stories are always dappled with light. She does right by her characters. Brute is no exception.
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
An Audible Daily Deal I almost ignored, despite the obvious inclusion of tentacles. This book isn’t kinky. Not in the slightest. It is in fact a remarkably human tale that broke my heart then put it back together again.
Dinner at Jack’s by Rick R. Reed
I always enjoy Rick Reed’s contemporary romances. They’re love stories in the truest sense—a story of two people building a relationship together. Dinner at Jack’s is a new favourite. I absolutely adored the gentle way in which Rick handled the darker side of this story, and the patient pace of the romance.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
We all know the story of Achilles. This reinterpretation a well-known tale is the story of a shared life and love, beautifully told.
Under the Knife by Laurin Kelly
I loved everything about this book, from the food… to the food. I can imagine someone not into food and cooking shows might find the story line tedious, but I found it very exciting. I enjoyed every scene, from the recipes to the tension between the contestants. And, of course, the altogether different tension between Nate and Zachary.
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
A love letter to Aral Vorkosigon. As quiet and contemplative in parts as Memory, which was previously my favourite Vorkosigan novel. As rewarding to a longtime fan as Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance. Melancholy and joyous in turns. Meditative. I couldn’t help feeling as I read that this is it, and if this is the end, it’s as good and complete as it could be.
Red Envelope by Atom Yang
It’s really hard to compress a relationship into the time frame of a novella. To do it believably. Atom Yang manages it beautifully in Red Envelope by using the touch points of holiday moments. It’s a lovely story.
The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett
Fourth book in the series and my favourite installment yet. Adjacent to the swords and sorcery, this series always has something interesting to say about gender roles and sexuality.
Looking for Group by Alexis Hall
Probably my favourite queer read of 2016. More than the sweet love story and the comment on modern friendships, this book is about the love of the game, all games, and the people who love games and why they’re so important to us.
Arena by Holly Jennings
Speaking of games. It’s the year 2054 and the UFC has been replaced by the VGL (Video Game League). The hottest athletes are professional gamers and the most competitive game is RAGE – capture the flag, gladiator-style. Saturday night is game night, where teams of five fight to the death in virtual reality arenas. You know you want to read this.
How to Be a Normal Person by T.J. Klune
T.J. Klune has a very particular voice and this story, these characters, are the perfect showcase for it. Super cute! Also, not sure I’ve ever read about a couple more suited to one another.
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Marie Sexton is another of my favourites! I didn’t read this book. I absorbed it. I lived these lives for all too brief a moment.
The Persistence of Memory by Jordan Castillo Price
My husband might as well have read these books as I pretty much narrated the entire series, out loud. I found the concept utterly fascinating and needed to share it, okay? Loved the story and characters too.
Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon
Atmospheric and very, very Lanyon. What I love most about Josh’s books, though, are the characters. They’re always so very real. I want them to win—their loves, their lives, whatever it is they want.
About Kelly Jensen
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. A lot of what she writes is speculative in nature, but sometimes it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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