Good morning bookworms!
Top 5 Tuesday is on hiatus this month, but I wanted to do something special for Pride month. So, today’s list (of slightly more than 5 books) is my fave m/m relationship books. This list may include bisexual and pansexual characters, but will focus if they are in a m/m relationship. Warning now: the last two are VERY HEAVY books and will not be for everyone.
Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the super lovely Shanah over at the Bionic Bookworm. You can visit her here, and join in for Top 5 Tuesday when Shanah is back!
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
Ahhhhhh… if this book isn’t perfection, then I don’t know what is. Seriously, when I’m in a big reading slump or I just need one of my favourites, this is the book I go looking for.
Carry On is witty and funny and the characters are an adorable hot mess, and it has some of the best lines ever. It’s a soft romance, and I am a SnowBaz stan. For a book that started out as a parody of HP, and was only going to be used for this purpose in Fangirl, it has come a VERY long way. (And we look forward to it going even further.)
If you haven’t read Carry On, then I’m not entirely sure what you’re waiting for? (Watford won’t send you a gilded invitation.) So, board the train and get going.
Carry On features an enemies to lovers, unrequited love, m/m relationship.
Date Me, Bryson Keller – Kevin van Whye
Yes, this amazing book that I have been quietly screaming about since April will FINALLY be out on 2 July. And trust me when I say, you need this in your life. My review for this will hit the blog on Sunday, but in the meantime, I’ll give you a synopsis.
Kai is one of the quiet kids at school. At a start of year party, Bryson Keller, soccer star and all-round nice guy, agrees to a bet where he will date the first person to ask him each Monday morning, until that Friday afternoon. But one particular Monday morning the bet causes Kai to be covered in coffee and late to class, giving him detention. When he’s paired with Bryson in drama he’s so annoyed with him that Kai asks him out to make him say no. But he doesn’t…
Date Me, Bryson Keller features a “fake dating” m/m relationship, and is written by an #ownvoices author.
Heartstopper – Alice Oseman
Honestly, Nick and Charlie are like the most adorable things ever. If I could adopt them 12 times over I would. And Heartstopper is just one of the most wholesome stories I’ve ever read. (And by wholesome I mean it tackles some very serious topics in a gentle way without being condescending. Trigger warnings below.)
Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson attend the same school. They’re paired together in homeroom as part of a buddy system, and become friends. Then teammates. Then best friends. Then… maybe more?
Heartstopper features a m/m relationship (friends to lovers, unrequited love), a f/f relationship and a m/f relationship with a trans woman, but also covers topics such as abuse, bullying and harassment, eating disorders and being closeted. Oseman is a queer #ownvoices author.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Simon Spier is the same level of adorableness as Nick and Charlie. Which on a scale of 1 to 10 is “woodland animals wearing bonnets at a tea party, sitting on toadstool chairs and drinking from miniature versions of your grandmother’s good china”. Let’s be honest, it’s about a 23.
Simon is in high school and he’s gay. But he hasn’t told anyone. On the school’s anonymous message board he sees a post that he’s drawn to, and he responds. This starts a correspondence with someone named Blue, and soon Simon has fallen in love. But then the unthinkable happens, and Simon is blackmailed and then outed, crushing his hopes of figuring out who Blue is.
The movie of this (Love, Simon on Netflix) is great, and while I ADORE the scene with Simon and his dad (seriously I need a box of tissues just for this), the book has so many more secret, tender moments between Blue and Simon and their relationship is a bit different. Either way, you should definitely do both.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda features a secret m/m relationship, but also covers topics such as being closeted, coming out, being outed against your will and blackmail.
Check Please – Ngozi Ukazu
If you think Heartstopper is adorable, just wait until you read this gorgeous book. Seriously, Check Please is one of the sweetest books I have ever read. And, it’s only two volumes long, so it will hardly take you any time!
Eric Bittle, or Bitty, is a figure skating, pie baking, vlog making college student (who I would adopt in a heartbeat). He’s playing his first year of ice hockey for Samwell University, and he might be a little in over his head. Enter Jack, team captain, silent type, and all around gorgeous guy, to help Bitty learn the ropes on and off the ice.
Check Please features a friends to lovers m/m relationship. Ukazu is a BIPOC author.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee
Gentleman’s Guide is a lot of things, including a historical fiction story filled with action scenes, pirates, kidnapping, a journey across half of Europe with elements of magical realism. But for me it’s about Monty and Percy’s relationship where they pretend that the other isn’t in love with them for about 450 pages and then realise they’ve probably been dating for the past 4 years. Seriously. If you’re after a slow burn friends to lovers book, this is the one you have been waiting for.
Monty is the eldest son of a Lord / Baron / some title in England, and is soon to start learning how to run his family’s estate. But before all the boring happens, he’s set to take a tour of Europe (like a gap year) with his best friend, Percy. But, Monty is an idiot and causes chaos wherever he goes, so it’s bound to be an adventure they’ll never forget.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue features a friends to lovers, slow burn m/m relationship, but also covers racism, classism, parental abuse, and mental health and disability in the 18th century.
Camp – L. C. Rosen
Sticking with adorable for a bit longer, Camp is a book that I wish had been out when I was younger. This book will be out in Australia on 2 July, but I believe is already published elsewhere.
Randy has been going to Camp Outland (queer camp for teens) for years and looks forward to summer every year for this reason. He gets to be in the musical and hang out with his best friends who he doesn’t see the rest of the year. He also gets to see Hudson, his unrequited crush. But this year is different because Randy is different. He’s reinvented himself (more sports, no drama, short hair and no nail polish) to make Hudson notice him, because they belong together. But will Hudson like the real Randy if he shows himself?
Camp features a m/m relationship, and is written by an #ownvoices author. The story covers topics such as non-supportive family and stereotyping of ‘feminine men’ vs ‘masculine men’ (is this a type of homophobia?).
Only Mostly Devastated – Sophie Gonzales
Probably the last one on the adorable end of the spectrum is this gorgeous debut novel by (Aussie author) Sophie Gonzales. Set as a modern-day Grease retelling, where Sandy is actually Ollie.
Ollie and Will had the most spectacular summer ever. But when Will leave the lake to go home he totally ghosts Ollie. When a sudden change means that Ollie moves closer to Will unexpectedly, Ollie doesn’t really think about it. Until he sees Will at a start of year party his new friends take him to and tries to catch his attention. The only problem is, Will’s not out at school.
Only Mostly Devastated features a m/m relationship but also covers topics such as cancer, loss of a family member, being outed against your will, bullying and harassment.
They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera
If there is one book on this list that you will need tissues for, it’s this one. It’s also the only ‘futuristic’, possibly alternate universe book, and while it feels contemporary definitely has a science fiction element to it.
Just after midnight on the day that you will die, you get a phone call from DeathCast advising you that this is your End Day. Today is Matteo and Rufus’ End Day. They don’t know each other yet, but through the app Last Friend, for people who don’t want to spend their last day alone. This is the story of Matteo and Rufus’ last adventure where they tick off bucket list items, and maybe find their true love.
They Both Die at the End features a m/m relationship, and is written by an #ownvoices author. The story also covers topics such as accidental death (on page).
The Foxhole Court – Nora Sakavic
Ok, this book is as far off the adorable spectrum as you can get, but is completely full of sharp (but soft), broken kids who have felt rejected from… life. Plus a couple of psychopaths. Playing a very dangerous sport.
Neil Josten is on the run. There are some VERY bad people after him. But there’s one problem. Neil Josten loves Exy (it’s a made up sport that’s like a hybrid of indoor lacrosse, with the violence of ice hockey), and he’s good at it too. Probably a little too good. When Neil is headhunted for a college team, the Palmetto State Foxes, while playing in the town he’s currently hiding in, it’s either going to be the start of something great, or the end of it all. But can he trust his new teammates enough to win the game?
The Foxhole Court features a m/m relationship, but the series also covers topics such as parental death, abandonment, parental abuse, torture, assault, sexual abuse, rape (on page), recreational drugs, death by overdose (not on page), murder (on page), gun violence, physical abuse.
Captive Prince – C. S. Pacat
Ahh, yes. The quintessential enemies to lovers story. What else can I say? I’m a #Lamen stan. And I am not sorry. Although, this story is NOT for the faint of heart.
Damen, Crown Prince of Akielos, is sold into slavery by his half-brother, Kastor, when he usurps the throne. Even more unfortunate, Damen has been sold to his enemy, Prince Laurent of Vere. Laurent is gorgeous, but also cold, ruthless and calculating. But he has no idea who Damen is, as Kastor has told the world he died. And Damen needs to keep it that way if he ever wants to make it home alive to win his throne back.
Captive Prince features several m/m relationships, but the series also covers topics such as slavery, physical abuse, torture, rape (on page), murder (on page), sexual abuse (on page) and child abuse.
If you’re still with me, about 3 days after I posted last week’s f/f recommendations, I remembered more books that I wanted to scream about. So, I added them in late. Feel free to go to last week’s post and check them out!
Do you have any m/m recommendations for me?