Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 archive > June Challenge: I finished!

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments This thread is to mark your completion of the June challenge for the prompt: "a book with an LGBTQ+ character." You can join in with the group read of Middlesex or pick a different book to satisfy this challenge.

Please include the following:

Title:
Author:
What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*
Would you recommend?

*This can be a touchy subject for some people so please be respectful of everyone's opinions even if they are completely opposite of yours. At the same time please refrain from disparaging remarks about any select group of individuals. This is not the place for such debates. Thank you.

No other posts in this thread please!


message 2: by Taylor (last edited Jun 01, 2018 06:07AM) (new)

Taylor | 178 comments Title: Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen (I debated using this book as Jazz is a real person and not a character, whatever!)

Author: Jazz Jennings

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?

Jazz had to face many challenges especially being so young. I read this a couple months ago so what sticks out the most to me is the discrimination she experienced at school and within her soccer organization. It was so sad to read about a child missing out on opportunities because of who she is.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*

Yes, LBGTQ+ members of society are always facing various forms of discrimination!

Would you recommend?

Sure, it wasn't a great book but it was alright and very interesting to hear about her experiences growing up.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 897 comments Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Author: Becky Chambers

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
This isn't a "coming-out" book, this is a space opera where the main character, Rosemary, happens to be a lesbian. It's not the main focus of the story. Her problems are more being away from home for the first time, starting a new job, mingling with aliens etc. than anything specifically LGBTQ+ related. Her relationship has some issues (view spoiler) rather than because it is another female.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society?
Again, it's not that type of book. Everyone in the book is so accepting. It is full of characters with different sexualities, genders, races, disabilities and even species, and no-one bats an eyelid. It is so inclusive that it is just lovely to read and I hope society evolves to be more like this.

Would you recommend?
Yes! I loved this book. I haven't read many space operas but now I am hungry for more.


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 247 comments Title: The Black Tides of Heaven
Author: J.Y. yang

One challenge character had to face: In this fantasy story, children grow up non-gendered. They are not a he or a she until they decide to choose their gender. The MCs are twins, who as children, swore they wouldn’t not ever choose a gender. When they get to be twins, one twin chooses female, which matches her physical sex. The other twin is hurt by her decision to choose, and eventually figures out it’s because they do not feel female. The second twin chooses to be male.

This is difficult for him, because they live in a matriarchal society. Their mother laughs at him and acts insulting toward him as he is the first of her children to choose male. He feels ostracized and decides to leave for good.

I do think these are issues a transgendered person likely to face. Ostracism from friends and family, fear of sharing your decision with others, etc. So even though it was a fantasy book it was an excellent discussion on gender in society. I really enjoyed this one.


message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan | 334 comments Title: Garden District Gothic
Author: Greg Herren
What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? The main character, Scotty Bradley, is a P.I. who is juggling personal and professional responsibilities. The case in this book dredges up the past; it is a 30-year-old cold case involving the family of former schoolmates and his investigation causes friction with the police.
Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer* While the main character in this book is LGBTQ+, the challenges he faces in the novel stem more from the nature of his job. To me, that's relatable to just about anyone who is trying to balance work and personal life, so I'd say yes.
Would you recommend? Yes. I liked the setting (New Orleans) and found it to be a fast read.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura Meyer | 1 comments Hello! I finished Middlesex. The part that gets me every time with a book like this is how the character’s relationships either transform in ways that make you proud or make you cry. This one was a heart-wrenches for me, and I believe it’s alive and well. A connection for me was watching our graduates walk in their ceremony, and know that one battle is how they are “named” and my school believes giving people this respect is paramount.

Thanks,
Laura


message 7: by Monica (new)

Monica (monica020) | 59 comments Title: Barbary Station (Shieldrunner Pirates, #1) by R.E. Stearns
Author: R.E. Stearns
Challenge faced: She needed to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds in order to save herself and everybody around her.
Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Short answer yes. However, the challenge in this book could be applicable to anybody. This book is set very far into the future in a time when nobody cares who you love. She and her girlfriend have just graduated from college with degrees in Engineering and no job prospects because the economy is very bad. So they decide to become Space Pirates instead and get in over their heads.
Would you recommend? Yes


message 8: by Bert (new)

Bert (beckybug3) | 20 comments I finished this challenge early... way early (January). I chose Meddling Kids by E. Cantero.

Challenge faced: living. And figuring out what was behind the 'man in the mask'.

Everyone has to figure out how best to live their life and how to figure out 'hidden' aspects of those they encounter everyday.


Cornerofmadness | 462 comments Title: Soldiers of the Sun

Author: Jana Denardo

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? It wasn't really that kind of book. It's an urban fantasy about a team of demon hunters but they did have the challenge of being gay (and/or bisexual) in the 1930s

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? I guess if you consider there is still a crap ton of prejudice against LGBTQ people, then yes I do.

Would you recommend? If you like urban fantasy sure.

I also read a lot of LGBT stories and have finished these as well if someone is looking for something Unspeakable Words Skythane, Dinner at the Blue Moon CafeLime Gelatin and Other Monsters and even Six of Crows had gay characters but weren't the focus. A few of these are also #ownvoices reads


message 10: by Ron (new)

Ron (ronstjohn) | 27 comments This sort of category is becoming more than a little annoying, but it turned out easy for me by reading The Girl Who Played With Fire. Lisbeth Salander is definitely "B."


message 11: by Teri (last edited Jun 08, 2018 04:04PM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1324 comments Title: The Girl Who Played with Fire

Author: Steig Larrson

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
She didn't face too many challenges from being bisexual in this book because the relationship with another woman was kept quiet, but in the following book in the series it was a huge issue as it was something the newspapers couldn't write about it enough when she was charged for murder.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*
Ron in the comment above mentioned that this type of category is annoying, and I agree that it will be nice when, as a society, we can move past these types of labels. But for now, I think it is important for people to read books about LGBTQ+ people to gain understanding and empathy as there is still so much discrimination.

Would you recommend? Yes, I enjoyed the series, but would only recommend to those who I know can handle some of the grittier aspects.

While I filled this prompt earlier this year, I'm still reading Middlesex for the monthly challenge as it has been on my Want to Read list for a long time.


message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments Title: Love in the Time of Global Warming
Author: Francesca Lia Block

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
Aside from the end of the world? ;) All four main characters are LGBT in this book. They worry they won't be accepted by others in their community because of their differences from each other.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*
Yes. Transphobia, biphobia, racism, sexism, etc are present in the LGBT community, just like they are in other parts of society. Being open and vulnerable when you know people like you are discriminated against is scary.

Would you recommend?
Absolutely! I love the way Francesca Lia Block writes. Reading her books is like reading an impressionist painting. You know what's happening and have strong feelings about it, but everything is slightly blurred at the edges, inviting you to fill in the finer details yourself.


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Andersen (jessmary) | 16 comments Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? Callie had to face that she was different from everyone else, as all the other girls were changing with puberty, she wasn't. It wasn't until later that she realized how different she was. And then she had to come to terms with her gender identity and her sexual preferences. (I write her because most of the time in the book she identified as female, but I realize that ultimately he identifies as male.)

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*
I think this is something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ people, especially those who have questioned their gender identity, but I think even the parts of Callie coming to terms with her attraction to other girls rather than guys is something that LGBTQ+ people face at some point.

Would you recommend?
I would recommend this book. I think it could be a good jumping off point before moving into some non-fiction stories by LGBTQ+ people. I think Callie/Cal was a very sympathetic character. I think there were some great explanations of gender identity. I know there has been as much criticism of this book as praise, but I really enjoyed it and found it very thought-provoking.


message 14: by Cindy (last edited Jun 15, 2018 02:39PM) (new)

Cindy Title: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller

Patroclus was an awkward, shy kid that had to face exile, He would hide in closets where they stored olive oil. His dad was a King and wanted him to be like other boys growing up to be a prince. He had to find his place in a world at war.

Hard to say if this is something real life LGBTQ members face. This book is set in Ancient Greece. I would say not fitting in and feeling awkward is something everyone faces.

Would you recommend? Depends on if you want to read a love story between Achilles and Patroclus. If you were expecting a historical fiction read, you might be disappointed. Some of the love scenes were very explicit.


message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol Roote | 116 comments Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Author: Alison Bechdel
One challenge: coming out to her parents as a lesbian and wondering how they would react
Would others face the same challenge: Unfortunately yes
Recommend: Yes, although I liked the musical even more.


message 16: by John (last edited Jun 21, 2018 09:12PM) (new)

John | 79 comments Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
The main problem they faced we're being intersexed and not having any information and made to feel that there was something wrong with them.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society?
As someone who's not apart of the LGBTQ+ community I don't have enough knowledge to answer this, and I don't feel it'd be my place to make an assumption.

Would you recommend?
I would definitely recommend it was an interesting read and the writing style was not one I've encountered before.


message 17: by Sonali (new)

Sonali Ekka | 86 comments Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
In this book, the character Calliope suffers from ARD. She’s born a girl but on reaching puberty, she starts acquiring male features. The problem with her is that she nor her parents know of her condition. While puberty makes her girlfriends uncomfortable about the new changes happening in their bodies, it’s even more different for Calliope. The biggest challenge she faces is the absence of diagnosis, initially. How do you even tackle a problem when you aren’t even sure there exists one? And then when she learns about her condition, she has to deal with acceptance by her family and peers.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society?
Yes the biggest challenge LGBTQ+ members have to face is the acceptance by their own families and then by the society. There is an unreasonable and baseless fear and even abhorrence towards LGBTQ+ members, which makes it even more difficult for them to assimilate in the society. This fear forces many of them to hide their conditions, they are unable to seek proper medical attention when required. They have to face a lot of discrimination.

Would you recommend?
Yes, I’d recommend this book.


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen | 127 comments Title: Us Against You
Author: Fredrick Bachman
Issue faced: One of the MC's faces a number of issues... two being prejudices of masculinity in rural town, risk of tolinization
These seem on par with my experience of prejudices in rural communities.
Recommend? Yes! This was a great book and if recommend both it and Beartown to anyone. There are also enough other issues going on in this book that it could be a good option for people hesitant about this prompt.


message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Buley | 43 comments Title: The Love Interest
Author: Cale Dietrich

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? The main character needs to make a girl fall in love with him, however he is falling for the guy competing against him. He has to choose between his life or the life of the guy he loves.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer* I think the need to fit in with their peers to the point that they feel the need to hide their true feelings for someone else is a problem that faces real-life LGBTQ+ characters.

Would you recommend? Probably not, I just didn't enjoy this book that much and wish I would have chosen a different one for this prompt.


message 20: by Jess (last edited Jun 26, 2018 11:02AM) (new)

Jess Penhallow | 427 comments Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?

Cal had to come to terms with his gender identity as a biological male who was raised as a female and did not start to display male characteristics (physical and sexual) until puberty.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*

Cal faced many challenges in this book some were complicated by him being intersex but they were so well woven into general adolescent worries that they made him very relatable.

There are two challenges that I think are LGBT+ specific and that affect LGBT+ people today.

The first was his uncertainty of when to disclose his identity to a romantic partner. This is something that intersex and trans* people have to be very careful with due to the all to real fear of rejection or in many cases violence.

The second specific challenge is a bit spoilery (view spoiler)


Would you recommend?

100% yes this is my favourite book of the year so far!


message 21: by Angie (new)

Angie | 28 comments Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? Cal had to make a decision regarding what gender to permanently identify with. (Of course, there were many other challenges!)

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? I think that the decisions regarding what information to share and when to share such information is something that all members of the LGBTQ+ community must struggle with at some point of their lives.

Would you recommend? I wasn't overly fond of this book, so I would only recommend it if a reader is really into family sagas. To me, the history of the family detracts from Cal's story instead of enhancing it. The best part was (approximately) the last third, which completely focused on Cal.


message 22: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Ellwood (jpellwood) | 234 comments Title: This is How It Always Is
Author: Laurie Frankel

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face? This book was about how not just the character Claude/Poppy had to face things, but his/her entire family. How a secret can explode and change everything. And do you up and leave, or face things head on?

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? This is what I loved about this book. I am sure that this had happened and does happen to people all the time. It was real.

Would you recommend? I would definitely recommend this book. I laughed and I cried and and I cheered throughout the whole story.


message 23: by Cendaquenta (new)

Cendaquenta | 695 comments Read mine mid-June and forgot to post.

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan

What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?
There were a lot of characters, so correspondingly, a lot of challenges - Neil is still trying to get his very traditional Korean parents to acknowledge that he's gay even though he's had a boyfriend for years, Tariq is traumatized after being a victim of homophobic violence, Craig hasn't come out to his family, Avery is transgender and constantly worries whether other people can tell and how they perceive him, Cooper is accidentally outed and ends up homeless after his parents find his laptop open to a gay dating website.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Sadly yes on all counts.

Would you recommend? 100% and without reservation YES. It was amazing, beautiful, heartbreaking and heartmending.


message 24: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (baronessekat) | 111 comments Title: A Quilt Is Meant To Keep You Warm: Humor, Love and Misadventure in the Age of AIDS
Author: M.J. Hobbs
What was one challenge the LGBTQ+ character in your chosen book had to face?

This is the personal memoirs of a friend of mine about what he went through being a gay man just as AIDS was coming to notice.

Do you think that it's something that faces real-life LGBTQ+ members of our society? Personal opinions are all welcome here, but this is optional if you don't wish to answer*

Yes. Dealing with coming out, dating, sex and the fear of AIDS are all just as relevant now as they were then.

Would you recommend?

Very much so. This was funny, touching and, yes, made me cry at times. Highly recommend.


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