Happy Monday, everyone! Even though I participate in giving Monthly Recommendations, I thought I would start my own where every couple weeks I give recommendations for a specific topic (also Monthly Recommendations has been dead lately so).
Today I’m starting a new recommendations series where I give recommendations based on some of your bookish buzzwords! I recently asked on Twitter (go follow me!) what your bookish buzzwords, or words that will always make you pick up a book, were. And y’all did not disappoint. There were some really good ones! So I’m going to be going through them in a series of a few posts and recommending books based on those buzzwords, to the best of my abilities.
I really apologize if you gave me a buzzword and I only recommend books you’ve read. I don’t read as much as some of y’all, and y’all are where I get my recommendations for, so 95% of books I read are books that someone else in the community has read. So apologies in advance for that.
But anyway, today our buzzwords are: queer, chosen one, and circus and masquerade.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (mlm): are you tired of everyone talking about this book yet? Good because I’m not stopping anytime soon. I know this book has been super hyped, but honestly, I was here for it. It was so cute and so sweet and so funny, and I highly recommend it.
Ash by Malinda Lo (wlw): this is a queer retelling of Cinderella, and it’s super interesting. I remember this was the first queer book I ever read, and little 13-year-old me was kind of like ????? But if you want a queer retelling, I’d definitely recommend this one.
The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater (mlm): these books don’t get gay until later in the series (I think it’s mentioned in book 2 that one of the characters is gay, but no actual romance happens until book 4). But the books give off very strong lesbian vibes. Stiefvater really tried to convince us that Maura Sargent is straight and I for one do not believe it.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (mlm): the later books in this trilogy feature a mlm romance, and it’s so cute and so sweet. If you want a great fantasy series with a mlm romance in it, I’d definitely recommend this one.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (mlm): if literary or historical fiction is more your thing, I’d highly recommend this book. This is the story of a gay man in Ireland, and his struggles with being gay, being Irish, and being adopted. It’s super interesting and really well-written.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (wlw): this book has a f/f relationship AND a canonical asexual character who has a loving relationship. If you enjoy fantasy/magical realism and want a really queer book with great representation, I cannot recommend this book enough.
Chosen One (courtesy of Jami)
Red Rising by Pierce Brown: the Red Rising trilogy has the chosen one trope where the chosen one is literally chosen rather than born into it, if that makes sense. Essentially, the main character Darrow is chosen to be/thrown into the role of rebellion leader, and leads an uprising against the oppressive upper classes in his society. I cannot recommend this series enough.
The Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce: I love all of Tamora Pierce’s books that I’ve read, but Beka is definitely my favourite. I feel like Pierce is so criminally underrated as an author. She writes a ton of amazing, generally female-lead or driven fantasy novels and deserves respect 👏 her other series, Wild Magic, would also work for this trope.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness: okay this book is a take on the chosen one trope where it focuses on the rest of the characters (hence the title). If you’ve ever wanted to read a fantasy novel but from the POV of the side characters, this one could be for you.
Circus and masquerade (courtesy of Lucy-May)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I feel like this recommendation is kind of “well duh”. But if, by some miracle, you haven’t read The Night Circus yet, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s so wonderful and magical.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neil: so while The Lonely Hearts Hotel doesn’t feature a circus or a masquerade, it does feature a theatre show with clowns and has very similar vibes to The Night Circus. If you like TNC, I would definitely recommend this one.
Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar: again, no circus or masquerade. But this is the diary of an actress and there are a lot of behind-the-scenes parts. If you like historical fiction, I’d definitely recommend this one.
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: this is a historical fiction/YA romance that takes place during the turn of the century and focuses on families with old money. If you want drama galore and lots of dress up, this would be it for you.
So those are some queer, circus and masquerade, and chosen one books! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations based on these words? Do you have any bookish buzzwords you want recommendations for? Let me know!