3 YA Books Tackling Bisexuality and Biphobia

It’s 2021 and some people are still dead set on erasing bi people. I don’t know what is, I don’t know what’s not clicking for them. Bi people are bi no matter who they date. Queer people are still queer even though they’re on a “straight-passing” relationship. That’s it.

And so, in light of some biphobic “hot takes” on YA Twitter about books with bi characters the other day, I wanted to boost books with bi rep that deserve to be read and digested.

Here I am recommending YA books with bi representation–books the tackle and navigate bisexuality, and/or address biphobia. There are a lot more books with bi rep, of course. But I wanted to focus on these three as the way they discussed bisexuality moved me, both as a reader and as another queer person. I’m hoping these books will move you, too!

Perfect on Paper

In Perfect on Paper, Leah on the Offbeat meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back

Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.

Darcy Phillips:
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.

However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.

Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.

Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?

Written especially for bi/pan readers, Perfect on Paper is truly heaven sent. It was the first thing I read this year and it immediately earned a place on my favorite 2021 reads list. Perfect on Paper showed a very tender and honest approach on biphobia. We see the main character address her internalized biphobia, her fear, and her doubts, and learn that being bisexual should never be defined by who you date.

Follow Your Arrow

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.

So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.

Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.

But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth.

Follow Your Arrow is another gem of a book. This book highlighted and discussed biphobia head-on, showing just how ugly and scary the community can be with its biphobic views. With additional themes like the power of social media, this book teaches us to challenge biphobia, to overcome it, and work towards a future where bi, pan, and other queer people don’t have to deal with it anymore.

Cool for the Summer

Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

Figuring out your sexuality can be confusing and messy. And Cool for the Summer takes us on that confusing, messy, and scary journey. Here, we see the main character navigate through new feelings, fears, doubts, and what it means being bisexual. This book takes an honest and heartfelt approach in coming to terms with your sexuality. It was a joy to read.

And there you have it! These three books have a special place in my heart. I hope you give them a chance!

How about you? Do you have more recommendations with wholesome bi rep? Go ahead and tell me in the comments! Would love to see other recs!

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8 thoughts on “3 YA Books Tackling Bisexuality and Biphobia

  1. I love Perfect on Paper and I’m currently reading Cool for the Summer right now and I’m enjoying it. Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale is one of my favorite books with bi rep and it’s such an underrated gem! Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy is another one that I’ve enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ooh i love this list!!! i’m so hyped for perfect on paper and i’m going to be reading it real soon, so seeing it on this list made me so happy!! great post~

    Liked by 1 person

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