Friday, August 11, 2017

Bisexual Characters in YA

Last week I wrote a very personal blog post about bisexuality and mentioned Far From You by Tess Sharpe as a book that had a very profound impact on me as a person.  I thought that today I might talk a little bit more about other YA books I've read (mostly recently!) featuring bisexual characters.  They aren't the only books I've read featuring bisexual main characters, obviously.  I just picked ones that I've read recently that I'd enjoyed reading.  This is not a comprehensive list of bisexual YA by any means! But having said that, I'm always on the look out for other well-represented YA books that feature bisexual characters though. So if you have recommendations, do hit me up either in the comments or on Twitter.

What I love is that there is this ...surge, almost, in bisexual characters in YA. Or perhaps I'm just becoming more aware of it? It's a possibility. Let's hope this continues.

Sophie in Far From You by Tess Sharpe

As I mentioned in my blog post last week, Sophie's character in Far From You was the first book that really made me sit up and take notice of the idea of bisexuality.  I loved the intensity of Sophie's connection to both Mina and David.  Everything just felt really honest and raw and painful in this story and I loved it all.

Harper in Girlhood by Cat Clarke

Girlhood by Cat Clarke is a wonderful story and I love the fact that Harper (and her roommate) are bisexual but while present in the story isn't the main focus of Girlhood at all.  I love that the diversity is there but that this book doesn't need to be a book about sexuality at all.  It's about friendship and grief with bisexual characters. And I admire the story more for being so.

Jordan in Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Again, in Noteworthy, Jordan's sexuality is brought up and is a thing that happens within the text ... but this also isn't a story about sexuality.  It's definitely an exploration of gender and race and socioeconomic differeces but also a book about boarding schools and performing arts and friendship and falling in love.  But I definitely appreciated that Jordan does explore her own sexuality within this book.  That she asked herself those questions and went there.

Aki in Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

On the other hand, we have Aki in Our Own Private Universe.  Who is determined to, instead of only thinking about her sexuality, to act on it in this summer spent in Mexico.  There she embarks on a summer fling with another girl.  While I didn't always love the three main characters in this book, what I did particularly love is that Aki does her research and looks into safe sex practices for women. And ends up talking very openly about sex.

Kyle in Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

And finally we have Kyle from Been Here All Along who has the distinction of being the only male bisexual character on this list. I thought this was an utterly sweet story about two neighbours and best friends realising their feelings for each other. It also has a really interesting conversation within the text about if LGBT people owe it to anyone else to come out to them.  (spoiler: no) I just find conversations of this sort to be fascinating and I just want more of them. And more bisexual characters. For obvious reasons.

Have you any recommendations for books featuring (preferably main) characters in YA fiction?


  1. Have you read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman? Frances is bisexual x

    1. I haven't, actually! But I think I've tried reading one of her books before and just didn't get on with the style of writing *hides*

  2. Thank you!I was starting to think I was the only one! I did read both Solitaire and Radio Silence but I've decided I won't bother with whatever she does next.

    1. No, not just you! Though fans of her are very vocal about their adoration which is fair enough :)

  3. Thank you!I was starting to think I was the only one! I did read both Solitaire and Radio Silence but I've decided I won't bother with whatever she does next.

  4. Great post!! (One small thing though - isn't Rowan (Harper's roommate) in Girlhood a lesbian? Unless she has another roommate I'm forgetting about..) I really liked Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee or Nina is Not Okay by Shappi Khorsandi, which both have female bi MCs. History is All You Left me by Adam Silvera features a bi boy, but not the MC. I'm looking forward to The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee which has a bi male protagonist - there seem to be hardly any of those in YA.

    1. I don't think so? I could be mistaken but I thought Harper mentions something about putting two bisexual girls together and expecting them to be a couple. Like I said, I could be wrong. And I am doubting myself now. I just finished reading History Is All You Left Me and loved that as well. Really looking forward to Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue though!


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