Three must-reads about women of color

We are preparing our 2018 summer reading list, and while scrolling through our archives we found these three gems from lesbian literature past and wanted to make sure they’re on your reading radar. The three titles below were released in 2016, but books don’t age. Check them out!

Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera (Riverdale Avenue Books)

Photo: Riverdale Avenue Books
Photo: Riverdale Avenue Books

Gabby Rivera’s debut novel was described as “the dopest LGBTQA YA book ever” by Latina. And it’s easy to see why: This is one gorgeously written, dreamy-badass story. Our Juliet, a teen Puerto Rican lesbian who leaves the Bronx to intern in Portland for a single life-changing summer with her favorite feminist author, pulls precisely zero punches.

We Love You, Charlie Freemanby Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books)

Photo: Alonquin Books
Photo: Algonquin Books

The New York Times described Kaitlyn Greenidge’s 2016 debut novel as “terrifically auspicious” and “ambitious.” And so it is, delving into the intricate and often unspoken complexities of racial identity and racialization through the eyes of the black Freeman family. The Freeman move from a primarily black neighborhood in Massachusetts to the all-white, wealthy Berkshires and settle in with a fifth family member–a chimpanzee, Charlie–as part of a scientific experiment. The relatively timid 14-year-old Charlotte Freeman strikes up a young romance with Adia Breitling, a teen who is much more aware of her own feelings about race, her identity, and sexuality.

Princess Princess Ever After, by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press)

Photo: Oni Press
Photo: Oni Press

Meant for kids ages 9-12 but lovely at any age, Katie O’Neill’s Princess Princess Ever After is a lively graphic normal that eschews stereotypes about ‘damsels in distress’ while maintaining the whimsy of fairy tales. Sadie and Amira are two princesses with very disparate strengths and weaknesses. They fall in love, defeat evil, and go on adventures in this rollicking, big-hearted tale. We love that the story gives us a black heroine who rescues Saide for a tower, and it gets better from there.