1-tie) Justine Saracen - Sarah, Son of God
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 15, 2011)
Amazon: Sarah, Son of God
Beautifully written, with a lovingly described setting, original and likable characters and an engaging plot. --Jenna
Extremely well written and engrossing novel. I had a hard time getting into it at the beginning because my preference is a story from a male perspective; however, once I let that go and focused on the story, it certainly kept my attention. I was put off by the story's premise that a woman imitated Jesus because he died rather than resurrected, but I admire the sheer audacity of the writer's creative treatment. The plot was complex and the characters fully developed. Brava, Justine! Mi piace. --Janet
What happens when who we love forces us to change our view of who we are? Against her better judgment, Professor Joanna Valois takes on sexually undefinable Sara Falier as her assistant on a trip to Venice. The object of their research is a sixteenth century heretical book and the truth about the woman condemned to death for printing it. The book, a translation of an ancient codex, not only shattered the lives of nearly everyone who touched it, but 400 years later, could still bring half the world to its knees. Like nesting dolls, this story within a story within a story raises the question as to whether gender-breaking has not only challenged the boundaries of love and sexual desire, but altered the course of history.
Catherine Ryan Hyde - Jumpstart the World
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ember (November 8, 2011)
Amazon: Jumpstart the World
I wish I could give this book a 100. This was the best book I've read in a long, long time. It stays with me, and so the all the characters. And I think as far as YA books go, this is a must read for every YA who has ever thought they were "different." The writing is what most writers should aspire to do. It's simple, it's clean, it's tight, and it's what writing fiction should be all about. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone. If I had kids, I'd sit them down and force them to listen while I read it to them. – Ryan
Elle is a loner. She doesn't need people. Which is a good thing, because now she has to move out of her apartment so her mother's boyfriend won't have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door to her new place. Being with him is impossible: he's a grown-up and has a girlfriend. Still, Elle can't stop thinking about him. Frank isn't like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He's gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. Then Elle discovers that Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he's transgender. Elle's head and her heart explode; her world is turned upside down. But when an accident nearly takes Frank's life, Elle must search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.
2) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
Publisher: TVB Publishing; 1 edition (March 23, 2011)
Amazon: Building Arcadia
I really enjoyed the book. I especially enjoyed how in depth the author went into the incident as it’s called in the book and just how much it affected all three main characters. The book is well written with fantastic plot and character development. Overall, a fantastic book. --Danielle
A dark alley, an unprovoked attack. A lethal shooting. An accused man who can't remember holding the gun. For two best friends, an evening out gone horribly wrong. Musician Connor Adams can't remember killing one of the men who attacked him and his best friend and fellow musician Sam, who is gay. What he does remember is this: three man-shaped shadows coming towards them, a struggle, and Sam falling to the ground. But the attacker is dead, Sam lies in a coma, and evidence points squarely at Connor. Facing twenty-five years in prison and dealing with the grief of Sam's condition, Connor doesn't know if he should lean on his wife Kelly for support or divorce her and let her move on. As they struggle to find the truth of that fateful night under the public's eye, Connor, Kelly, and Sam realize that they need each other like never before and that their long friendship is growing into love. But can they get around forced separation and their reluctance to show their true feelings to find a way back to each other?
3) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Lulu Press (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/refuse/18738579)
A very rewarding novel. An excellent reading as young trans struggle through their lives. I really enjoyed the quickness of the story, immersing myself in the tale and reading almost straight through. I'd say you have a winner in this one. Congrats. Young, confused trannies going through the motions. Written very well, easily understood, showing their angst of being young or being a trannie. – Mick
"All writers are born in the wrong body, but it happens to be the reader’s good fortune that Elliott DeLine was literally born in the wrong body – even if he would never use a tacky cliché like that. 'Refuse' is a stunning debut “novoir” about an over-observant young outsider with really great hair who is outside everything – including the transgender community – but keeps a great deal bottled up inside. Funny, cynical, tough, vulnerable, honest, deluded, sagacious, self-loving and self-loathing, 'Refuse' is irresistible." -Mark Simpson, author of 'Saint Morrissey'
5) John F. Rooney - Unprotected Love
I must admit when I first started this book I didn’t think I was going to like it... but by about 10 pages in I couldn’t put it down. It kept me guessing the whole way through... I will definitely be looking for more of this persons work... I liked the fact that there was no major love interest... it was a brilliant police story. --Norma
6) Marshall Thornton - Desert Run
The author did an excellent job setting the scene; even before he started to clearly define when the story took place, I was able to get a sense of the time period. The writing was great and the setting was interesting. --Shanna
7) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush
Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works at a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can't seem to act on. His life is just fine, but only just fine. Everything changes when Vince's long-lost friend Griff shows up at his house in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff's girlfriend called them "lifebuddies" -- but Vince's love for Griff ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven't spoken in years.
8) Tomas Mournian – Hidden
When Ahmed's parents send him to a residential treatment center known as Serenity Ridge, it's with one goal: to "fix" their son, at any cost. But eleven months of abuse and overmedication leave him desperate to escape. And when the opportunity comes, Ahmed runs away to San Francisco. There, he moves into a secret safe house shared by a group of teens. Until they become independent at eighteen, the housemates hide away from authorities, bound by rules that both protect and frustrate.
9) L.A. Witt – Static
I have never read a novel with a transgender character before now. Perhaps to soften what can be a controversial topic, the author used science fiction to craft the story. The story is alternately narrated by Damon and Alex, in first person POV. A few times, this became problematic, yet readers need to see the story from both of their sides. I read fiction for escapism, and this book severely pushed the limit. Overall, it was a gripping story with a great HEA. Recommended. --Jem
10-tie) Giselle Renarde - My Mistress's Thighs
Erotic Transgender Fiction and Poetry by Giselle Renarde. A cross-dressing cowboy, a post-war pin-up, and a wolf in grandmother’s clothing all find a special home in My Mistress’ Thighs. This collection of erotic transgender fiction and poetry by Giselle Renarde makes room for everyone. There’s a secret solstice sacrifice, a case of spring fever, an online romance, and a Wednesday night dinner routine that’s anything but dull. This anthology includes erotic favorites, new surprises, and never-before-seen poetry.
Penelope Friday – Thrace
Publisher: Manifold Press
A collection of three short stories, each set on the planet Thrace, a not very popular destination due to its bleakness, and the resident alien population of Tsygons, an androgynous species blessed with three eyes and a long tail. Three interesting stories each of which in one way or another explores relationships between humans and aliens, and in some cases love and intimacy between the two. The theme of the ugliness of prejudice features strongly too. –Benjamin