Today kicks off Bisexual Awareness Week, the week when all unicorns suddenly become visible and pink, purple, and blue flags wave majestically o’er the land. In the past, we’ve celebrated this day with a roundup of bisexual books from over the years, but 2016 is such a gloriously bi-heavy year that it provides plenty to celebrate all on its own. Get your bi on below!
The Impostor Queen, by Sarah Fine
Elli’s entire life has been about preparing to become queen when the current Valtia dies and she, the chosen one, is infused with the magic of fire and ice. It’s a regal and pressure-filled existence, but it also comes with a handmaiden named Mim who’s not only Elli’s best friend but the object of her unrequited love. When the time does come for Elli to fulfill her destiny, and it turns out she isn’t the chosen one after all, she escapes in shame and finds solace in a band of banished criminals. But the more she learns on the outside, the more torn she becomes about her role in the world and whose future to fight for, especially with Mim back home still holding a piece of her heart, and Oskar beside her, claiming the rest of it. Not only is this a favorite YA fantasy of mine and delightful bi rep, but sequel The Cursed Queen will feature a bi narrator as well.
The Distance From A to Z, by Natalie Blitt
Abby’s desperate for two things: to up her French fluency and to get away from her family’s brutal obsession with baseball. And who does Abby completely fall for in her summer French program? The epitome of a baseball boy. But maybe the best thing Abby finds is the best friendship of her anxious roommate, Alice, the quiet star of this book you can’t help but ship with Abby,too. This is admittedly sort of a funny choice for bisexual “awareness” because the main character doesn’t seem to be there yet, but midway through reading this guy-girl romance, it becomes screamingly obvious to bi readers that Abby is just on the verge of figuring it out. If you’ve ever wanted to see what it looks like when you know a YA heroine is gonna figure out her sexuality in college, snatch this one up.
Gena/Finn, by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Gena and Finn’s friendship is the kind of fast and fierce beauty nothing inspires like fandom. When the two of them bond, it’s the beginning of an intense, all-consuming, soulmate-esque friendship that blurs all lines. The feelings are confusing, even for Gena, who has known she’s bi for years. Finn has a live-in boyfriend who’s looking to get married, Gena’s dealing with her own mental health issues, and the connection between the two girls that just won’t quit is throwing the last bits of stability they have left into upheaval. This isn’t a BFFs-to-lovers fairytale; it’s what happens when the idyll of the internet meets actual reality, and what happens in relationships that straddle the two. Given you’re reading this post on the internet, there’s almost definitely something for you identify with in this fandom-centric collaboration.
Not Your Sidekick, by CB Lee
Jessica Tran’s parents are superheroes, but she got a little shafted in that department on the genetics front. So how does a girl with no powers make her mark on the world? She gets an internship with a supervillain, of course! And the best perk of the job is that her new coworker happens to be her secret crush, Abby. But secrets seem to be the name of the game in Jess’s new world, and she’s not the only one hiding things. Suddenly, it’s not fun and games and parent-spiting anymore. Things are getting real…and dangerous. I don’t know how you can read that plot and know that Jess is bisexual and somehow not want this book, but…oh, you’re already buying it, aren’t you. Good life choice.
Whatever, by SJ Goslee
Things are pretty chill for Mike. Band! Girlfriend! Whatever. But no, wait, maybe the girlfriend thing isn’t going so smoothly after all. Maybe the girlfriend saw him drunkenly kiss…a guy? And why is his former (male) enemy suddenly looking so appealing? Life is definitely getting more confusing for Mike, but all the frat bro-y-ness of this book coalesces into a bi boy coming-of-age story YA has sorely needed, with a guy who ultimately proudly embraces the term, identity, romance, and happiness, and actively rejects those who might try to mislabel him based on his budding relationship with another boy.
Look Both Ways, by Alison Cherry
Brooklyn’s in a theater family, and she couldn’t ask to be surrounded by more acceptance or talent than she already is. So when she goes off to theater camp, her goal is to figure out where her strength lies, but she’s keeping her heart open to romance too. The latter pays off almost immediately when she meets the beautiful and compelling Zoe, her bi roommate whose open relationship allows the two girls to get close romantically. But the more Brooklyn figures herself out, the less sure she is that she and Zoe are on the same page. This story about all the ways one has to figure themselves out is a theater nerd’s dream.
As I Descended, by Robin Talley
I have gushed about Talley’s boarding school Macbeth ghost story so many times, I’m not even sure what’s left to say if you somehow haven’t been convinced yet to buy it and read it twice. But perhaps the fact that Macbeth stand-in Maria is bisexual will do the trick? She has also got a girlfriend, Lily, and if the two of them want to stay together after high school (and finally get to be out as a couple), Maria’s got to win a scholarship…which means pushing golden child Delilah out of the way. But one bad deed begets so many more, and Shakespeare’s got nothing on ambitious and traumatized teens.
Been Here All Along, by Sandy Hall
Kyle’s out as bi to his family and best friend, Gideon, but it’s telling his girlfriend, Ruby, that’s the true test. Ruby’s pretty chill about it, in fact; it’s Gideon who’s suddenly getting weird. See, while Kyle’s known he’s bi for a while, Gideon’s only just realizing he himself is gay…and totally head over heels for his taken best friend. Kyle tries to figure out why everyone’s being so weird, Gideon tries to keep his feelings for Kyle under control, and Ruby tries to figure out how she fits into this triangle at all…or maybe it’s a square? Anyway, cuteness abounds!
A Darkly Beating Heart, by Lindsay Smith
Reiko is piiiiiissed. And not in a strictly teenage angst kind of way, but in a “lash out and hurt everyone around her while absolutely destroying herself” kind of way. In order to keep her under control, her father sends her to be with family in Japan, but not being a Japanese speaker or naturally skilled at making friends makes her new home every bit as difficult. Then she triggers time travel, going back to 19th-century Edo, where she lives as Miyu, a girl with her own reasons for revenge. As more and more parallels between their lives are drawn, and Reiko becomes increasingly hellbent on making people pay in the past and present, she must also face the events and heartbreaks that brought her there. This book is absurdly compelling, and seeing such a great, dark genre-bender also feature an on-page bi heroine is just icing.
All the Feels, by Danika Stone
Liv’s obsession with her favorite movies, Starveil, has already been her downfall when it comes to her education, but now that her favorite character has been killed off, it’s officially ruining her life. She’s determined not to let Spartan stay down, even if it means having to engage in some ridiculousness to do it. Enter her bi best friend, Xander, who takes the role of Spartan for the fan movies Liv creates as part of her campaign to turn the future of Starveil around. The more into her plan they get, the closer it brings Liv and Xander, despite the fact that he’s taken. But when she takes a last stand at a convention, and he joins her, their fandom for each other might just be too strong to resist.
Labyrinth Lost, by Zoraida Córdova
Powers run in Alex’s family of brujas, but she doesn’t want them. Unfortunately, the only thing more dangerous than using her gifts is trying to give them back. Now her family is gone, trapped in a demonic wonderland, and Alex has only a brujo named Nova to trust to help her rescue them. Or does she? To her surprise, her best friend, Rishi, has joined the journey, too, and as they endeavor to help Alex find and embrace her powers, only one can truly win her heart.
Keeping Her Secret, by Sarah Nicolas
Riya’s starting a new school in the fall, and a new summer camp now, but she has no idea that her former best friend, Courtney, will be at both. The two haven’t spoken in years, not since a kiss tore them apart. Now Riya’s an out-and-proud bisexual, while Courtney’s still struggling to understand why no matter how many guys she kisses, none matches up to that one time with Riya. The more time the girls spend in close quarters, the more they realize that kiss wasn’t really the end of their friendship; it was the beginning of so much more.