Natalia Martinez on The Impact of LGBTQIA+ Representation & Book Recommendations—A Queer Booktuber

Today, Pride Month Features is bringing to you a booktuber who has always advocated diverse books, Natalia Martinez. Her recommendations are trusted by readers and today, she’s here to word the impact of LGBTQIA+ representation in books and follow this guest post with a list of queer books she most connects to.

Hi Everyone,

I am extremely honored to be on Fanna’s blog today as part of Pride Month, and as a person who is still trying to understand how they see themselves in the world and what labels fit best, I think its important that we are part of the conversation too. Normally from what you can see in my twitter bio I identify as Demi-Sexual/ Grey-Ace.

However, there are so many other questions rolling on in my head about where the romantic attraction of my identity lies. Maybe it will never lie anywhere and it will be as fluid as the ocean, which is why I prefer the term Queer for myself personally, it allows for more room otherwise I suffocate a little bit. Keep this in mind, no matter what age you are or where you are at in your journey, it’s OK, you don’t need to have it all figured out, because I sure don’t and this is where literature comes in for me and it has meant the world.

I am glad to live in a time where queer representation is part of the conversation, where books in both the indie and traditional publishing world are being written for us. Where I can maybe go experience an identity in a separate world to see if I can relate to their experience, to see if it sounds like me, feels like me, to be seen even in just bits and pieces. There have been many a debate around the idea of authors sharing what queer identities are represented in their books, because authors outside of the community think that a book shouldn’t sell just because it has queer content.

Here’s the thing though, there’s not enough of those books out there for us to just find them on the bookshelves, so I firmly advocate for #ownvoices authors sharing those aspects in their promo if it’s a main aspect of their story. 

As a matter of fact the first time I read a YA story with a Demi-Sexual main character & Bi-Sexual love interest, Technically You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson, it was because she had marketed it that way, with bullet points like these:

✓ Lots of Texting

✓ Nerds (school, gaming, conventions, K-drama, and more!) IMG_256

✓ Awkward/SLOW burn flirting IMG_257

✓ An M/F queer relationship (a-spec MC, bi Love Interest) IMG_258

✓ Strong feelings about Canada (and Ryan Reynolds) IMG_259

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

And I remember being shook at seeing a-spec listed for the MC, so I pre-ordered the book immediately. I was going to be able to see myself in a book for the very first time and I was ecstatic! You can guess what happened next: I loved it. ❤️️

I’ve seen an increase of marketing in this manner especially on twitter and I am forever grateful because it has led me to so many great books [that] I would have otherwise not picked up. I am not saying a book with a similar premise wouldn’t have been interesting on its own, but─

─I want diverse stories, I want to see myself on the pages of books I enjoy, I want others to find content they can relate to. 

In honor of this, I’ll share some books that have helped me in my journey of understanding who I am, by exploring love, intimacy, identity and emotions in different ways. Like the Himbo in #TheHalfofit, I always knew there were different ways to love, but I was pretending to understand the way I loved others. Queer books are my safe space and I will forever be thankful for the stories I have encountered since finding them. Below are some of my All Stars!

FOUR QUEER BOOKS RECOMMENDED BY NATALIA!

This Is How You Love The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Goldstone

✓ Doctor Who and Shakespeare vibes.
✓ Written in a letter format.
WLW romance against all odds! The stakes are high people, this is the Time War!
✓ Demi-Sexual Coded- a lot of emotional intimacy explored.
✓ Slow-Burn Extraordinaire.
✓ To be honest reading this book was one of the most surreal experiences as a reader. Its Sci-Fi, its romance, its space and time, its love and heartbreak all at once.
✓ The audiobook is amazing, using it to read along adds to the experience as well.

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

It’s Just a Red Carpet Rumor… or Is it?

✓ Bi-Sexual MC
✓ Lesbian/Chinese-American LI
✓ Hollywood Rumor Mill
✓ Age Gap Romance
✓ Let me warn you, the slow burn will burst your heart, but its so good!!

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

The Sound Of Stars by Alechia Dow

Can their love of books and pop music save the world?

✓ Demi-Sexual/Pansexual/Non-Binary Rep.
✓ Black Female MC with on point social commentary.
✓ Sentient Alien who finds he has emotions.
✓ Let’s not forget the Alien Invasion, Revolution, and smashing the patriarchy vibes too! and the World Building? Chef’s Kiss!
✓ It feels like watching a Korean drama, waiting, longing, and chaos but like the characters felt like me.

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

We Set The Dark On Fire Duology by Tehlor Kay Mejia

✓ Let’s look at these covers first. What?!! ❤
✓ This duology is one of those reads that you crave and just want to devour as quickly as possible but in a good way.
✓ These books are fast paced, with plenty commentary on society, expectations, love, immigration, politics, I mean you will learn from these books as much as you will enjoy them.
✓ WLW romance/ Enemies to Lovers trope.
✓ Dystopian future that feels more foreboding than unreal, incredibly vivid worldbuilding!
✓ And some of these plot twists, I was like Damn! Lol. Let’s say that both of these were one day reads, cause those chapter cliffhangers really get to you!

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon [Book 1] | Buy on Amazon [Book 2]

Natalia is Puertorican/Dominican born and raised, currently living in Georgia, USA. Books have always been both her escape and her refuge! She currently Co-hosts the #ConSaborReadingChallenge & is the co-creator of #includedlit, both initiatives to highlight marginalized communities. Natalia’s dream is to be an editor, so who knows, maybe one day she will be the mastermind behind one of your favorite books!

Twitter | Youtube | Blog | Goodreads | Instagram


Disclaimer: Affiliate link(s) in this post help me earn a little through every purchase you make by clicking on them, at no extra cost to you.

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22 / she | a desi blogger who loves books and anything related to stories! focuses on south-asian representation in literature, a writer working on a hindu eschatology-based fantasy.

2 thoughts on “Natalia Martinez on The Impact of LGBTQIA+ Representation & Book Recommendations—A Queer Booktuber

  1. Natalia is amazing and does so much for diverse books 😌 I’d never heard of Technically You Started It, so glad to add ut to my tbr!

    Like

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