If you didn’t know, this week is bisexual awareness week, and Thursday, September 23rd is bisexual visibility day! In honor of this celebration, I wanted to share some of my favorite books featuring bisexual characters. It should go without saying that this is a very slim list of my favorites out of a wide range of bisexual books; and if these don’t sound interesting to you, there are plenty more to choose from!
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
I recommend this joyful, empowering young adult book to anyone and everyone. I cannot recommend it enough because reading it just made me so happy. I’ll Be the One follows the dazzling Skye Shin as she takes the K-pop world by storm. After nailing the audition for a new K-pop reality competition show, Skye is thrust into the spotlight. But while her singing and dancing dreams are coming true, she is forced to confront the fat-phobic standards of the industry. While the book tackles a lot of important issues like fat-phobia and queerphobia, it is ultimately a celebration of being proud of who you are. Skye identifies as bi on page, as do other characters.
Trigger warnings: fatphobia, queerphobia, mentions of diet culture, mentions of racism
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Let’s be real: if you are reading this blog there’s a good chance that you have either already read this book or you have heard me talk about how much I love it. But One Last Stop is a really important bi book for me. Red, White and Royal Blue is very special to me as well, especially in terms of coming to terms with your sexuality (chapter 5, my beloved). One Last Stop is special in a different way. The novel follows twenty-three year old August. August is awkward, messy, and has no idea what she’s doing with her life. When it becomes evident that her subway crush, Jane, is actually stuck in time on the Q train, she resolves to get her unstuck. But pretty soon August and Jane are getting closer, and sending Jane back to her own time means never seeing each other again. I love that in many ways it’s a book about queer communities, both past and present. I was also thrilled to get to read a bi character like August. In many ways she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she’s awkward, she’s a virgin in her twenties, she hasn’t previously found her place. August’s character meant a lot to me.
Trigger warnings: drinking, marijuana use, depression and anxiety, memory loss and cognitive issues, semi-public sex, familiar estrangement, familial death, grief, missing persons, implied PTSD; as well as mentions of arson, hate crimes, the AIDS crisis, queerphobia, police violence, and childhood neglect
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
In Other Lands is a portal fantasy that is well aware it’s a portal fantasy. It’s an absolutely hilarious romp featuring three very loveable characters, including Elliot, a chaotic, snarky, bisexual who is our real-world link to the magic. The book follows Elliot and his friends, Luke and Serene, over many years as they grow up and progress throughout their schooling. One of the perks of this is we get to see them explore their sexual orientations on page. It is so funny, and it is also a great book on growing up and has a wonderful enemies to lovers romance. It is also the only book on this list with a male/male endgame.
Trigger warnings: biphobia, homophobia, bullying, child abuse and neglect, death, racism, sexism, violence, war
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
I absolutely adore all of the Brown sisters books, but Dani holds a special place in my heart because hers was the first story that I read. Danika is a Black, bisexual, pink-haired witch attempting to finish her PhD. She’s been burned before and doesn’t have time for love. Then Zaf, the hot security guard who works in her building, saves her from an elevator and the whole campus thinks they’re dating. Zaf wants to keep up this charade to get good publicity for his charity, and Dani can’t say no. This book is steamy, it’s cute, and it doesn’t erase Dani’s bisexuality even though she ends up with a man. And ultimately, I loved seeing Dani achieve professional and personal success.
Trigger warnings: grief, anxiety, death of close family member, car crash, panic attack
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
I have already talked about Perfect on Paper on this blog when I included it in my speed reviewing post. If you’re looking for a book that discusses bisexuality and biphobia, especially within the queer community, in detail, then this is the book for you. Darcy Phillips has been running an anonymous romance advice column out of locker 89 for years, but when Alexander Broughan discovers her identity, she has to help him win his girlfriend back so he won’t reveal her identity. This young adult book discusses what it means to be a young bisexual person, while also offering great plot and characters. And if you are interested in a male/male relationship, you can check out Gonzales’s If This Gets Out, co-authored with Cale Dietrich coming out in December 2021.
Trigger warnings: underage drinking and drug use, external and internal biphobia, cheating, vomiting, toxic parents, divorce, emotional abuse.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
While The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo holds less emotional attachment for me than most of the other books on this list, I also think that if you were only going to read one book on this list, I would say it should be this one. It is an incredibly well-written and emotionally gut-wrenching book. It follows the formidable Evelyn Hugo, a fictional golden-age movie star who has just offered her entire life’s story exclusively to completely unknown writer Monique Grant. And her life’s story is sensational; it includes seven husbands, but only one true love of her life in the form of fellow movie star Celia St. James. Evelyn is an amazing heroine, and her life weaved with Monique’s results in a compelling and emotional story.
Trigger warnings: mentions of abortion, abusive relationship, alcohol, biphobia, mentions of cancer, car accident, cheating, death, divorce, domestic abuse, physical abuse, racism, sexism, smoking, mentions of suicide, statutory rape
What is your favorite bisexual book? Let me know in the comments (I always need more recs!).