SapphicAThon is back!
This is a read-a-thon focused on reading books with sapphic main characters (so, women who are attracted to women). While last round was about reading f/f books, this time all books with a sapphic main character qualify. It will run from February 1 (today!) to February 7, and it’s hosted by Jamieson @jamishelves, Elise @thebookishactress and Natasha @sapphicsolace.
Since I will probably be very busy this week, I don’t know how much I’ll be actually able to read – not much, probably – but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.
There are seven challenges; here’s my TBR + some reccomendations because I still hear that there are no sapphic books/no SFF with sapphic main characters.
It’s 2019 and that’s a lie.
1. Read the group book, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
I’ve had this on my TBR since I knew it existed and it’s a novella, so I’m for sure going to get to it and it will be my priority – I won’t be able to read much this week, but I should at least be able to complete this.
2. Read a book with a trope you love
Is “political intrigue” a trope? I don’t know, but I love political intrigue and my pick for this one is A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. It has been compared to Ancillary Justice, and if it really is similar to that, I know I’m going to love it. And I’m 90% sure the main character is a queer woman, so.
Sapphic books with political intrigue I liked:
- The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley: f/f/f love triangle, evil lesbians in space, biopunk horror, lots of intrigue, war.
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin: political fantasy about godhood, monstrous love interest, bisexual female & brown main character, f/m/non-binary – mostly f/non-binary – polyamorous situation.
- The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard, historical fantasy set in post-apocalyptic historical Paris, lots of political intrigue, there are fallen angels and a Vietnamese dragon kingdom in the Seine, and one of the three main characters is a queer woman in an established f/f relationship.
3. MC is a person of color
If I’m feeling adventurous and I don’t want to double up the challenge with Once Ghosted, Twice Shy – which is probably what’s going to happen, let’s be realistic – I’m going to read Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. If I remember right, the main character is bisexual.
Some sapphic books with a main character of color I liked:
- Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore: magical realism following a bisexual latinx girl; there’s a main m/f romance and a side f/genderqueer one.
- Final Draft by Riley Redgate: YA contemporary about a pansexual Ecuadorian plus-sized girl who is a writer and her struggles with anxiety. This book has one of my favorite f/f couples and the love interest is a Korean lesbian.
- The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang: a novella about grief and monsters set in a high fantasy world. It has an f/non-binary romance.
4. Read a book with a cover you love
I love space! And I love this cover. It may not be the most original cover ever but it’s pretty. Also, I know that A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White features an f/f couple and I hope it’s good, my previous experiences with “f/f in space” haven’t been the best.
Some sapphic books with beautiful covers:
- In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard: adult f/f fantasy romance, retelling of Beauty and the Beast in which the love interest is a Vietnamese shapeshifting dragon. I loved the romance in this one so much.
- Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant: sci-fi horror about people-eating mermaids and the scientists who are trying to prove their existence. It has many PoVs and two of them are a bisexual marine biologist and an autistic lesbian.
- Girs of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: an f/f fantasy story about girls who are forced to be the concubines of an evil demon king in a Malaysian-inspired kingdom. Beautiful romance, pretty descriptions, even better message.
5. A book that fulfills a prompt from the last SapphicAThon
I chose “under 500 ratings on goodreads” because sapphic books tend to be very underrated. My choice for this will be A Hidden Hope by Laura Ambrose (aka Laura Lam) which currently has less than 100 ratings. And it’s a novella! Which means I might be able to read it even though I’m really busy. Also, it should be friends to enemies to lovers, which is a trope I love – and so it could count for that prompt, too.
Some sapphic books with less than 500 ratings on goodreads:
- The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé: f/f horror following a main character with anxiety and what could or could not be a haunting. One of my favorite f/f books.
- This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow: three girls reconnect through music in this story about recovery and overcoming self-hate. Two of the three main characters are black, one is a teen mother, and there are both an m/f romance and an f/f romance.
- Into the Gray by Margaret Killjoy: an f/f high fantasy short story about a trans woman and her man-eating mermaid lover.
6. Read a book that doesn’t focus on romance
This could be both A Memory Called Empire and Dread Nation, but if I feel like it, there are so many other books I could choose. I’m going to say The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed because I own it, but it could be anything, really.
Sapphic books I love that don’t focus on romance:
- Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee: my favorite book, mass murder and magical math in space. This is a Korean-inspired space opera and book one has a lesbian main character. There’s no romance.
- The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz: a coming-of-age magical realism story following a bisexual Puerto Rican artist and her struggles with perfectionism. It might be my favorite standalone book.
- A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo: a very weird combination of slice-of-life and murder mystery about toxic friendships/relationships. It follows a Chinese-American lesbian and a messy f/f/f love triangle, but there’s no actual romance.
7. Read a book that one of the hosts has read
For this one – if I don’t choose to double it up with Dread Nation, the group book, or The Nowhere Girls – I’m choosing Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake, which I really should have already read. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it, so…
Sapphic books I liked that the hosts also have read:
- Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler: the first f/f romance that ended happily I ever read! This is a contemporary YA/new-adult crossover featuring a Korean girl realizing she’s a lesbian and falling in love with a bisexual girl, as well as an m/f friendship.
- Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust: a very quiet, slow-paced retelling of Snow White following two women, a princess and her stepmother – in which the stepmother isn’t evil and the princess falls in love with a female surgeon.
- Far From the Tree by Robin Benway: a story about three sibling who were adopted by different families or in foster care as they reconnect and learn more about themselves and their history. One of the three main characters is a lesbian.
Since I want to be realistic, I’m going to say I’m probably going to finish at most two novellas and a novel, and even then, only if it’s a good week. (February is Exam Time).
Have you read any of these? Are you joining the readathon?