Much of what we see in media of bi and pan characters is often their struggle with being accepted. Rarely do we see their sexuality simply be a part of who they are, unchallenged and unquestioned and not the main struggle of their story. This has changed more recently as we see more casual and positive representation in movies and TV, but it can be hard to find books with the same kind of treatment. Pride is about accepting and uplifting your own and others’ identities, so we found 13 books with great bisexual and pansexual main characters. Take a look and don’t hesitate to add them to your TBR for this month!
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales (YA Romance)
Darcy Phillips has a secret: she runs an anonymous relationship advice service out of a locker at school. Not even her best friend and crush, Brooke, knows she’s the one behind the business. The truth is, she has more than one secret and she’s worried that if anyone finds out her true identity, they’ll all come out. And she is successful in staying anonymous. Well, kind of. Eventually, the entitled and annoying (and maybe even hot?) Alexander Brougham catches her retrieving letters from locker 89. In an attempt to protect herself, Darcy gives in to Alexander’s blackmail and agrees to help him win his ex-girlfriend back in exchange for him keeping his mouth shut. Easy peasy, right?
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (YA Contemporary)
I Wish You All the Best is simultaneously hopeful and heartbreaking. After coming out to their parents as nonbinary and being kicked out of their house, Ben De Backer moves in with their distant older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas. On top of that, Ben struggles with an anxiety disorder and hopes to get through the second half of senior year at a new school without drawing attention to themself. Nathan Allan is a charismatic, funny student who befriends Ben. They grow closer and soon enough their feelings also grow into something more. For Ben, what was a disastrous life change starts to look like a chance at a happier life.
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (YA Romance)
Grace Glasser feels physically and emotionally trapped. She has an unreliable mother who’s dating her ex-boyfriend’s dad. Nice. She lives on a small cape—a physical trap—and is essentially keeping her and her mother’s lights on herself by pulling together whatever change she can to pay the bills. As a 17-year old, all she can do to cope is lean on her best friend, focus on getting into a top music school in New York and keep her head down until graduation. Her plan is derailed by Eva, a girl with a connection to Maggie and her own problems she’s trying to leave behind. Eva distracts herself from her loneliness and grief by taking Grace on adventures. Grace develops feelings she didn’t plan on and when Eva tells her she likes girls, they both suddenly see beyond their own troubled worlds.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (Science Fiction)
This is a world where superpowers are common and just another part of life. Heroes and villains even offer internships under their guidance. For Jessica Tran, this is perfect. Her parents are superheroes and yet, she received none of their powers. And a life without powers means she resorts to padding her resume for college applications. Her latest addition is an ideal internship but there’s a minor catch: it’s for Andover’s most wicked super-villain. It’s not exactly what her parents might want for her, but she gets to spite them AND she gets to work with her secret crush, Abby. There’s also her new attraction to her co-intern, “M,” who seems to disappear when Abby’s around. It’s all a bit of fun for Jessica until she discovers a secret larger than the feuds between villains and heroes that takes her internship in a dangerous direction.
Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley (YA Contemporary)
Deposing Nathan is a heart-wrenching story about two boys who become entangled in each other’s lives. Nate grew up a model son. He had a strict, spiritual upbringing until he met Cam, who would upturn everything he thought he believed. Cam challenged Nate, pushing him to break rules and to accept himself for who he is. Nate pushed back. He was confused as the two became closer and more involved in each other’s lives. At the same time, they argued and fought often which led to a fateful night where Cam was arrested and Nate was left with a stab wound. Now, Nate’s expected to give a sworn statement that will send his best friend to prison. The problem is the story isn’t black and white. As Nate starts confessing what got them to that night, he risks ruining both of their lives.
The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James (Science Fiction)
In a life or death situation where you can only save a select few people, who do you save? Who do you sacrifice? How do you decide? This is the impossible choice Lowrie and Shen must make in The Quiet at the End of the World. After a virus causes global infertility, these two are the youngest people left on the planet. Living in a small, aging community in London, they spend their days in their rundown mansion digging up artifacts from history and looking for treasure. All is well until they discover something that threatens humanity’s survival. It’s up to them to decide how to save what’s left of the world.
Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant (Fantasy)
Caroline’s Heart follows Cecily’s journey in trying to bring back her lost soulmate, Caroline. After her death, all Cecily has left of Caroline is her heart. Though they say it’s not possible to resurrect the dead, Cecily has a spell in the works that improves every day. She’s so close to getting it right but then Roy, a quiet and stubborn cowboy, shows up fatally injured. The only way to save the stranger is by giving up an essential part of her spell and with it goes any possibility of seeing Caroline again.
In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens (YA Fantasy)
Prince Tal has forbidden magical abilities. He’s lived most of his life hidden behind palace walls as a result. But as he comes of age, he finally gets the chance to tour his family’s kingdom. Two days into his travels, his crew runs into a mysterious prisoner on a burning vessel: Tal’s first taste of adventure. Athlen is the charming and secretive prisoner to which Tal surprisingly feels an intense connection. The moment is fleeting, however, as Athlen escapes by leaping into the ocean and Tal is heartbroken knowing there’s no way he could have survived. Except he does. Days later, Tal runs into Athlen on land but before they can get to know each other, Tal is kidnapped by pirates. They hold him ransom in an attempt to reveal the rumored magic he holds and start a war. To save his family and protect the kingdom, Tal has to escape and Athlen might be his best shot.
Bad at Love by Gabriela Martins (YA Contemporary)
Bad boy meets girl. Girl hates bad boys. Or does she? Daniel is a member of the band Mischief & Mayhem and recently moved from Brazil to L.A. Sasha is an intern at a celebrity gossip magazine. She sees a chance to get close to Daniel and write a story that will get her name out there after they unexpectedly bump into each other. But as she learns more about him, she realizes he’s not the bad boy the tabloids make him out to be—he’s sweet, cute, and he’s hiding something big. Sasha must decide whether to publish the biggest story of the summer or be true to her feelings.
Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (Adult Romance, Fantasy)
After 10 years away, Cole Morrison returns to Jewel after a disastrous family Thanksgiving. His attempt to escape from his family and his past leads to a run-in with a beautiful stranger turning his time away from home into something more. Jesse Carroway is that beautiful stranger. The local Jewel witch. The owner of their family’s successful apothecary since their grandmother’s passing. Cole stumbles into Jesse’s shop and destroys some inventory. The only thing Jesse can think to do to fix the situation is to offer him a job to help make up the lost product and to help with the incoming holiday business. Not long after they start working together, Jesse gets to see the person behind Cole’s walls and as the nights go on, Jesse can’t help but wonder if magic led Cole to them or if he entered their life for another reason.
All These Gifts series: If I Were a Weapon by Skye Kilaen (Adult Science Fiction, Romance)
When dying alien ships appear all over the Earth, people start developing powers from the nanites the ships brought with them. As these powers reveal themselves, people start disappearing – or rather, being abducted. Deneve Wilder wakes up after the initial infection with the power to see visions of the future. To keep herself free, however, she stays on the move. In a different town, Jolie Betancourt received the power to set things on fire and one awful mistake shows her that solitude for her is safer for everyone. So when Deneve finds Jolie after having a vision of her being kidnapped, Jolie is not exactly welcoming. Deneve is determined to break through Jolie’s defensive attitude, despite everything in her telling her to keep moving. As they navigate their growing connection, they must continue running from whoever is using people’s powers for evil.
In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland (YA Fantasy)
Rovan has hidden her magic ever since her father died. He died protecting her from the fate of every other magical being in Thanopolis. They are all assigned a spirit that guards and, more importantly, controls them. Rovan’s specific power is that of a bloodmage and when she accidentally reveals this, she’s thrown into a world of mystery and lies. In her attempt to escape, she starts falling for two people she can’t trust and has no choice but to work with: the deceptively charming and rebellious princess, Lydea, and the spirit who is bound to Rovan and can control her body and soul, Lyrilos. The three eventually discover something that means the end of Thanopolis. Rovan must find a way to trust the princess and the spirit – or betray them – and simultaneously start a rebellion in both the mortal and underworld to save them all.
Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer (Science Fiction)
For fans of epic competition with high stakes at play, Crownchasers is a great series. Set in a world where space travel is as casual as flying to another country, a competition for the throne of the emperor ignites for the first time in seven centuries. Alyssa Farshot, next in line for the throne, expected her gravely ill uncle to name her as his successor. Instead, his dying wish was to call for a crownchase: a race in which representatives from each empire’s best families aim to find the hidden royal seal somewhere in the empire. The first to find it wins the throne. Though Alyssa spent her life distancing herself from her family’s legacy and would rather have wild adventures than be an empress, she can’t ignore her duty to her uncle and agrees to compete. She seems most likely to win, but the chase turns deadly and it becomes clear that the impact of the race extends beyond the empire.
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