In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day! Unless you’re recently single and constantly busy (like me) and will be spending the whole day hosting a nationwide event for college students (also like me). Nevertheless, whether you’re currently in a happy, healthy relationship or not*, I genuinely believe that there is a romance novel out there for everyone!
I recently realized that 80% of my bookish blabbering** is about books that fall under the science fiction and fantasy genres. Although SFF holds a large, arguably dominant space in my heart, believe it or not, I also enjoy reading romance (gasp!). Especially the kind of romance that’ll leave me feeling soft, vulnerable, warm and all sorts of mushy on the inside.
The somewhat enormous difference between SFF and romance books — as far as I’m concerned, I mean — is that I cannot seem to be able to binge-read on romance. Which would explain why I read the latter less frequently. But I digress.
Ever since I finished reading Natasha Ngan’s debut novel, Girls of Paper and Fire, I’ve low-key been in search of Sapphic romances in whatever it is I’m reading. I mean, is it entirely coincidental that when I read Somaiya Daud’s Mirage, I was absolutely hellbent on shipping Amani and Maram, instead of Amani with her heterosexual love interest? Um, of course not. Natasha has changed my life. I need more stories about girls kissing girls!
Which leads us to the crux of this post, friends. For 2019, I am hoping to pick up more books that have beautifully, unapologetically Sapphic relationships! I know it’s twenty-bi-teen already, but I don’t think we should be quick to close our doors to the fabulous gays. Honestly, all kinds and forms of queerness are worth celebrating — and for this post, I am incredibly happy to share a long list*** of Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day! And of course, this bookish list features gay girls, lesbians, bisexuals, and other wonderfully queer characters.
* Whatever your relationship status is, as long as you’re happy, I’m happy for you!
** An undoubtedly accurate percentage. Cough, cough.
*** This list contains affiliate links — which means that for every purchase you make, I will receive a tiny, albeit very helpful, commission at no cost to you! It’s a win-win for both of us + a fantastic way to support my blog!
RECOMMENDED BY ME!
🌟 Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Naturally, I had to kick off the list with this game-changing, NYT best-selling fantasy, which just so happens to be hugely inspired by Asian cultures (and y’all know how much I love anything Asian!). Girls of Paper and Fire follows the story of nine Paper Girls who serve the Demon King as his palace concubines — and yes, two of these beautiful Paper Girls fall in love with each other. It. Is. Amazing. And. Soft. And. Wonderful.
🌟 Start Here anthology edited by Brigitte Bautista & Ronald S. Lim
One of my all-time favorite releases from the #romanceclass authors! Start Here is an unapologetically queer anthology composed of meet-cute short stories with Filipino characters (all #ownvoices!). Among these 10 delightful stories, the following feature an F/F pairing: Come Full Circle by Bobbi Moran, Delubyo by Barbie Barbieto, Another First by Yeyet Soriano, and Lemon Drop Friday by Brigitte Bautista. For happy feels and that signature #romanceclass kilig, pick this up!
🌟 The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
This is actually the second book of The Bone Witch trilogy, which is another personal favorite of mine. Just when I thought The Bone Witch already had everything awesome — from dark necromancy to three-headed dragons to the best damn protagonist I’ve ever encountered (I love Tea so much omg it’s unreal!!!) — The Heart Forger came and quickly proved me wrong by introducing a delightful and endearing Sapphic side romance between two beloved characters! My heart is full and happy, friends.
🌟 The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
I’ve been on-and-off reading this book not because I don’t enjoy it (in fact, I’m really liking it so far!) but because I’ve been very busy. I’m hoping to finally finish this one within the month. Anyway, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali follows a Muslim teen with conservative parents. Things get a little bit more interesting and a little bit more chaotic when her parents catch Rukhsana kissing her girlfriend. I won’t say more, but Sabina Khan’s debut novel was released just last month, and y’all should definitely add it to your TBR!
🌟 Like Water by Rebecca Podos
I’ve been eyeing this title for what feels like forever, and I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Like Water, which tackles identity, millenial anxiety, and the complications of first love.
Set in a small New Mexico town, when she’s not performing as a professional mermaid at a water park or caring for her diagnosed father, Vanni distracts herself with hoardes of boys. Until she meets Leigh (insert knowing smirk here).
🌟 Final Draft by Riley Redgate
The story follows an 18-year-old girl who enjoys writing sci-fi. When Laila’s creative writing teacher is substituted for a sadistically critical, perpetually unimpressed replacement, she later finds herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Final Draft has been floating aimlessly under my radar for the longest time! I’ve heard that there’s a cute Sapphic romance between a pansexual, biracial Ecudorian girl and a Korean lesbian, which is definitely something I’ll be looking forward to once I pick this up.
🌟 Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard.
The synopsis of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel immediately reeled me in. This books shows promise of being a lighthearted, humorous contemporary read!!!
🌟 Soft on Soft by Em Ali
Soft on Soft is a lighthearted story about two fat girls falling in love, where one is an anxious homebody while the other is an extrovert with a soft spot for cats.
The book promises to appeal to “fans of something low on the angst and high on the fluff,” which — obviously — falls right into my reading interests. I really think Soft on Soft would be the perfect book for Valentine’s Day, so I’ll be scheduling my read for that day. Yay!
RECOMMENDED TO ME!
Admittedly, there are so many queer books out there that I still don’t know about! I am not as well-read as I would like to be in terms of LGBTQIAP+ diversity (but I am hoping to change that over time!). This meant that I had to turn to asking for recommendations from the friendly faces of Bookish Twitter!
I received more recommendations than I anticipated, and I was forced to limit the titles I’m featuring in this post (check out all the recommendations in this Twitter thread!). Nevertheless, I am extremely grateful for everyone’s help! This post literally could not be possible without the insight of amazing bookish friends. Make sure to visit their platforms and send heaping amounts of love!
🌟 Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Excerpt from synopsis: Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava.
🌟 The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
Excerpt from synopsis: Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm.
🌟 Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Excerpt from synopsis: Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.
🌟 The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
Excerpt from synopsis: As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.
🌟 Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
Excerpt from synopsis: While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.
🌟 How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Excerpt from synopsis: Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.
🌟 Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Excerpt from synopsis: Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.
🌟 Falling into Place by Sheryn Munir
Excerpt from synopsis: Romance is not for Tara. Embittered after a college fling, she vows to never fall in love again–especially since she believes there’s no future for same-sex love in her home in urban India. Then, one rain-drenched evening, an insane decision brings the bubbly Sameen into her life and everything changes.
🌟 We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Excerpt from synopsis: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun.
🌟 Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
Excerpt from synopsis: Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration.
🌟 Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Excerpt from synopsis: What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program – or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan – or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
🌟 This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow
Excerpt from synopsis: It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now — and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship. No contest can change that. Right?
🌟 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Excerpt from synopsis: Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
This post is part of the Valentines Blogger Countdown, which is hosted by Maybe Miss Molly. Check out the countdown schedule below and follow along!
💛 Day 2: Valentine’s Day Makeup & Fashion Inspo
💛 Day 3: The Sweetest Gifts
💛 Day 4: Valentine’s Day Ideas for Single People
💛 Day 5: The Origins of Valentine’s Day
💛 Day 6: Valentine’s Day Ideas for the Whole Family
💛 Day 7: Valentine’s Cupcakes
💛 Day 8: Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day
💛 Day 9: Valentine’s Gifts for Travellers
💛 Day 10: Mindful Date Ideas
💛 Day 11: The Perks of Dating a Mood Reader
💛 Day 12: Valentine’s Day Gifts on a Budget / For Students
💛 Day 13: Valentine’s Day & Mental Health
💛 Day 14: How to Enjoy Valentine’s Day Alone
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I’d love to hear from you!
🌻 Have you read any of the books featured in this list? Which ones did you enjoy the most?
🌻 What other Sapphic romance books would you recommend to read on Valentine’s Day?
🌻 What are your plans for this year’s Valentine’s Day?