Part of my New Year’s resolution to read more in 2016 was to seek out more books with LGBT+ characters. Here are the five fiction books with queer characters I read this year that I enjoyed the most. I’ve kept it to this year’s releases (but see my review index for a wider choice). There are tons of other books in this category I wanted to read and didn’t have the time or money for, so it’s a bit of an arbitrary selection, but all the books here are worth a look. In no particular order. Links to my original review in the titles for a full picture. Recommendations welcome in the comments, as I’m always looking for more.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
YA speculative fiction novella about teens who have visited other worlds through magical doorways, and returned to find they no longer fit in this world. I’ve chosen this one because I love the premise of the different types of magical worlds and the diversity of characters was very well done. Kade, one of the supporting characters, is probably my favourite trans characters this year.
Guapa by Saleem Haddad
Adult contemporary novel about a young gay Arab man navigating his way through the various conflicting aspects of his identity, hopes and desires. I’ve chosen this for the complexity achieved in how Haddad conveys these conflicts.
Beloved Poison by E.S. Thomson
New Adult Victorian gothic mystery about a young woman apothecary who lives her life disguised as a man so that she can practice her family trade. Lots of gory surgical details and creepy atmosphere.
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Adult literary novel about a young woman in the 1960s who is inspired to leave her loveless life by a crush on a glamorous colleague. Chosen for the in depth character portrait.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
YA paranormal mystery novel about a group of teens who set out to discover the mystery of the local ley line and the ancient Welsh king rumoured to be buried on it. Only the final book in the four part cycle was released this year, but I’m just going to use that as a reason to stick it all here. I didn’t realise these books have queer characters until I was well into them, but I love the way it’s done. These books border on a guilty pleasure, but miss it by some original writing and inventiveness.