“I’D TAKE A BULLET FOR THEM”. It’s something most of us have said about a fictional character at one point or another (or even someone IRL, let’s be real). But how could you not want to protect someone with your life? Well, even if you’re like, look, I’m selfish, and I kinda like how my life is going, TRUST ME, I’VE BEEN THERE. But even this cold Slytherin heart couldn’t help but step into the path of a speeding car if it meant saving one of these cinnamon rolls.
So today I’m going to share with you some queer characters I’d risk my life for! I JUST HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR THE QUEER CHARACTERS IN MY LIFE AND I WOULD PROTECT THEM AT ALL COSTS. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over there weeping in the corner because of how much I love them. I’m totally fine. Nothing to see here.
Enrique, The Gilded Wolves
I think I just fell in love with every single one of the characters in The Gilded Wolves, but I had an especially soft spot for Enrique. WHAT AN ADORABLE QUEER MUNCHKIN. He’s bisexual and sarcastic and nerdy, and I JUST LOVED HIM SO MUCH. I loved how his attraction to different characters was written about, and I could not have screamed more loudly when he got his kiss at the end. I THINK I WOKE UP THE WHOLE CITY, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. I need more of Enrique’s story immediately.
Felicity, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy
YAS QUEEN. Felicity is such a fierce aro / ace woman and I WOULD 10/10 TAKE A BULLET FOR HER. Not that she’s the type of person who’d ever need saving, because she is INCREDIBLE. She’s smart and sassy and more than capable of dishing out the sarcasm back at her disaster bi brother, Monty. I LOVE FELICITY SO MUCH. We’re 100% going to steal a pirate ship together and sail off to Sweden.
I have one word for you, Jack: SLAAAAAAY. Ugh, Jack is so fierce and so fearless, and I love him so much for that. I’m going to have to try and channel more of his confidence into my everyday life, because he’s always his unashamed self and doesn’t let anyone get in the way of what he wants. I loved how open he is about sex and how he serves the tea piping hot, ready to call out anyone who fetishises gay men or slut shames people. LOVE YOU, JACK. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING.
Frances, Radio Silence
FRANCES IS PROBABLY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME. She’s bi and nerdy and honestly super weird and draws fan art for this obscure podcast, and I’m HERE FOR IT. Her anxieties about finishing high school and going to uni is so relatable, and I was in the exact same position as her when I read this book. WE’RE ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH. Who Frances is at the end of Radio Silence is who I aspire to be in my daily life—just nerdy and awesome and unafraid to choose the path you want to go on, and not just do what’s “conventional”. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
Mateo, They Both Die at the End
I literally can’t talk about this book without crying, so LET ME GRAB MY TISSUES. Okay, here goes. Mateo was so sweet and so uncertain, and I JUST WANTED TO HOLD HIM. I loved the way we watched him take control of his life over the span of only a day and become the person he always wanted to be—the person who did the things he wanted to do and put every ounce of his being into those things—and I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’LL NEVER GET MORE FROM HIM. Mateo deserved so much better, and it’s safe to say I’ll never be over this book. Not even when I’m on my deathbed.
WHAT AN ICON. You won’t ever be able to convince me that Evelyn Hugo isn’t a real person because I CRIED PRETTY REAL TEARS OVER HER, GODDAMN IT. She’s just such a confident bisexual woman who called people out on their lies and was determined to be with the person she truly loved. THIS BOOK STABBED ME IN THE HEART AND I THANKED IT FOR THAT. If you haven’t read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo yet, believe me, it’s worth all the hype it gets—and then some.
Jimmy, I Was Born for This
OH MY SWEET QUEER CHILD. Jimmy is the embodiment of a cinnamon roll and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. I just want to protect him and make sure nothing bad ever happens to him and… *sobs quietly*. He’s just such a precious bean who gets overwhelmed at times and his anxiety is super relatable, and all I want is for him to be HAPPY. He’s gay and trans and LITERALLY AN ANGEL. Go out there and conquer the world, Jimmy!
I desperately need to take party tips from Rhy, please and thank you. BOY, DOES HE KNOW HOW TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. A week-long birthday? Yes please. And I just love how he brings back people of all genders to the castle, and then HIS RELATIONSHIP IN THE SECOND BOOK had me swooooooning. WE STAN A BISEXUAL PRINCE. It’s true. Us queers really do look good in crowns.
Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) | Book Review
Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.
He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.
But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.
As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…
This is a book I never knew how much I needed until I read it. Oh my god, it was spectacular! I had no clue what direction this book was going to take, and I just dived in knowing it was going to be about a fabulously gay boy in high school (which 100% had me sold already). But WOW! It’s not just about being unashamed of who you are and being that person completely, it’s also about gay stereotypes, slut shaming, and blackmail. And boy, did it take a dark turn at one stage. It went from being something as fun and affirming as Queer Eye to something with the same malevolence of You—with a good splash of Sex Education in there as well. I just couldn’t put it down!
My favourite thing about Jack of Hearts is all the lessons and advice that’s dished out. There are conversations about gay culture, respecting queer people and not fetishising the LGBTQIAP+ community, and how enjoying sex (and having lots of it) isn’t a bad thing if everything’s consensual. It was so refreshing to see sex and being gay talked about so candidly, and I loved how the author didn’t shy away from the grittier topics that so many novels avoid for fears of being banned. But Jack of Hearts went there, and it just felt so honest and real, and so many teens are going to be so grateful to have a book like this in their lives. I know I would have been when I was in high school.
I also loved Jack’s group of friends! Everyone was so supportive of each other, and I loved seeing them help one another and try to get to the bottom of what was going on with Jack’s mysterious (and frankly, quite terrifying) anonymous love notes. I had no clue who was going to be the culprit, and I loved trying to gather my own evidence and make cases for each of the people Jack mentioned. But I never could have guessed that ending! My only complaint is that the reveal happened a little too suddenly and the book ended too quickly, but that’s such a minor thing in my opinion. Everything about this book was so on point and I loved every second of it!
If you’re looking for a fun, sex-positive YA novel with a gay lead, look no further than Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts). It’s empowering, educational, unputdownable, and it’s a book that will have you screaming YAAAAS at the pages. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Who are some of your favourite queer characters? Are you planning on reading Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Penguin Teen Australia for providing me with a copy of Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) in exchange for an honest review!