I think a lot of bloggers and Twitter-users are in the process of doing features on bi books at the moment, so my picks will likely be similar to theirs. But, hey, more posts means more exposure for these great novels.
I only started reading diversely last year so there’s always more to find. This is only a snapshot of the great books out there. I will undeniably look back at this down the road and find the list has expanded.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe (review) – This was my first bi book. Bi MC with chronic pain and recovering from an Oxy addiction, lesbian love interest, nonlinear past and present narratives, and a murder mystery. This one is a tragic story but the rest on this list aren’t.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (review) – This was my first Netgalley ARC. Bi, Chinese-American MC from an impoverished family, masquerading as a boy to join an all-male a capella group at her performing arts school, discovering her bisexuality over the course of the book. Some readers have found parts of it to be heteronormative, though that was not my interpretation personally. However, there are some concerns about the lack of trans characters considering the kind of narrative this is, so tread carefully. I still really like it, but it’s not going to work for everyone.
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (review) – I got a Netgalley ARC for this recently and fell in love with the book. A bisexual pianist with an incompetent mother falls in love with a lesbian ballet dancer whose mother has just died. Full of pain and happiness, with a great romance and other great character relationships including friends and family.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (review) – The author is straight, but she seems to be one of a small group of authors able to write bisexuality respectfully even without sharing the identity. Latinx witch families, a bi MC with male and female potential love interests and a great adventure all shape up for a great read.
With the exception of Labyrinth Lost, all these books use the word “bisexual” on the page. That’s important. There’s a lot of half-assed rep out there that aims for diversity cookies while being too afraid to actually use the word. Not everyone needs a label, but for a long time this “labels are for soup cans” rhetoric was far more prominent than characters who openly identified as bisexual. That is incredibly harmful to bisexuals who just want to see themselves represented on the page. We still see that kind of thing happen sometimes but at least we’re getting more on the page rep to balance it out.
Now, for bi books I’m looking forward to reading:
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – Apparently this one is in stock at my library network, so hopefully I can get my hands on it soon. Queer princesses? Hell, yes.
27 Hours by Tristina Wright – A cool science fiction plot with a queer ensemble cast. Also, I love Tristina as a person so I’m excited to get my hands on this when it comes out. (Edit: I’ve read this now and had mixed feelings about the racial issues and ace rep but liked the rest of the queer rep, including the bisexuality. Here’s my review.)
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee – I’ve been meaning to read this one forever but something always gets in the way. I’m going to get my hands on it one of these days. I mean, a Chinese-Vietnamese bisexual protagonist with a trans supporting character who’s getting his own book? Nice.
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – Another one I keep meaning to read. A celebration of geek culture with an autistic MC and a Chinese-Australian bi MC.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this one piqued my interest. The badly-behaved bi MC might have had something to do with that. Also, this excerpt. To be honest, the first thing that grabbed me was the fact this book clearly shares source material with a musical called The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Ava’s twitter thread has a couple more bisexual books as well, and it was this thread that reminded me I’ve been meaning to read Gentleman’s Guide.
What bisexual books, or books that rep a marginalisation you share, are your favourites? What ones are you looking forward to reading?