So inevitably there’s been another discussion on Book Twitter about how’s there’s a “lack of sapphic or f/f books” and how those books aren’t hyped enough anyway, which, if you follow any sapphic creator, you know is just not true.
There’s definitely more m/m novels being published, but we also have to understand that a big portion of those books are written by (usually straight — but not always — white) women and actual queer men, especially queer men of colour, have not had the same opportunities to be published.
On the other hand, f/f books are almost always own voices, which is amazing (although, like with all publishing, there’s a significant lack of f/f books by women of colour being published). However, publishing has recently seen a massive growth in publishing f/f books or books with sapphic characters, and while there’s still a long way to go, to suggest that there’s none at all or no one is discussing them is just plain wrong. A fellow blogger, Charlotte from @ Tea Leaf Reads has a Goodreads shelf dedicated to wlw books that has almost 800 books on there! 800 books! And people are saying there’s no f/f? Come on!
Anyway, after this mini rant, I wanted to share some of my favourite f/f books that I’ve read and in the next few days or so, I’ll be sharing a list of all the f/f books I still have on my TBR.
(Also putting together this list, I’ve realised that mermaids and necromancers belong to the sapphics, and the sapphic only!)
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
- One of my favourite f/f books ever
- Csorwe, an orc, is supposed to be sacrificed to her god but she instead runs away with a suspicious man and begins a life of crime
- Oblivious lesbians! The romance is so wholesome
- Such a quiet fantasy but still packs a punch.
This Is How You Lost the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
- So beautifully written, I can’t deal
- Two agents on the opposite side of a time war fall in love through writing letters to each other over centuries
- The worldbuilding is unlike anything I’ve seen before.
Mrs Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
- Historical romance about two older women who fall in love while trying to steal from and destroy the life of one of their nephews
- Literally so funny, I was on the floor in tears
- The romance is so beautiful, one of the women doesn’t think she’s worthy of love and I just want to cry
- Never read a book about two older sapphics before!
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- Gideon is offered the chance for freedom by her childhood nemesis, Harrow: all she has to do is be Harrow’s cavalier during a deadly trial that will determine which necromancer will ascend to immortality and serve as the Emperor’s right-hand
- No romance but lots of sapphic pining! The two main girls HATE each other, but their love for each other develops so wonderfully
- Complex worldbuilding and amazing murder mystery plot set in space!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
- Another favourite book of mine! I read this in four days because I was obsessed
- Ead is a secret mage and has protected the Queen of Inys for almost a decade, but when the world is threatened by an apocalyptic dragon, her mission becomes much more harder, especially as she starts to fall for the queen too
- I would die for Ead and Sabran, I really would
- The SLOWEST of slow-burns
Black Iris by Elliot Wake
- If you like villainous women who take revenge into their hands and start killing men, then this book is for you!
- Laney had a horrible senior year and college is her chance to start anew and even makes new friends, but when a ghost from her past resurfaces, she’s going to use her new friends to help her get revenge
- The romance is so violent and fiery, these girls really want to see the world burn
Ash by Malinda Lo
- After the death of her father, Ash becomes a servant to her cruel stepmother. When she meets a dangerous fairy named Sidhean, she believes she’s found an escape, but then she meets the King’s huntress and Ash suddenly has to choose between the two
- This is a classic sapphic YA book and it’s basically a right of passage to read this book!
- So much fun, I love the fairy tale elements and the ending is so unique!
Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner
- You’ll see there’s actually quite a few murderous mermaid books on this list, hehe
- Every year, the Island sends warriors to kill mermaids in order to protect their people, and this is the first year they’re sending women warriors. Meela has to become a ruthless killer for her family, but the only problem is, she used to be friends with a mermaid
- Quite a violent book and such a page-turner
- FRIENDS TO ENEMIES TO LOVERS, YES PLEASE!
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
- This book scared the crap out of me
- A crew of scientists and entertainment stars are sent on a voyage to the Marianna Trench to find out what happened to a missing crew seven years ago after footage is released of them being attacked by mermaids
- Autistic rep!
- Stunning sapphic romance between a bi scientist and a lesbian autistic news personality.
A Lady’s Desire by Lily Maxton
- A historical novella about two ex-friends, Sarah and Winifred, who fall apart after Win gets married, but upon her husband’s death, she moves in with Sarah’s family and the two women have to relearn their friendship
- Really lovely romance — friends to hate to lovers
- Love how it shows how two women in love in a historical setting can make a life together
Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
- A young, newly crowned queen has to deal with dangerous plots and political intrigue, while trying not to fall in love with her new spymaster
- Comes out 1 June, 2020, but I got an ARC!
- Hand flirting belongs to the sapphics and the sapphics only!!!
- The romance is so beautiful, I was blushing.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- A reporter gets exclusive access to write about ageing Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo’s incredible life, including the seven husbands she had along the way
- This book hetero-baits and I love it
- Such a beautiful sapphic romance, but one that also suffers so much 😭
- Iconic sapphic book
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
- Yetu is a mermaid and the historian who holds the memories of her people, the descendants of pregnant African slave women who were thrown overboard by slavers. Once a year, she is able to let go over the memories and uses this chance to escape
- All Black cast and SUPER queer — literally everyone is queer
- F/F romance between a mermaid and a human, yes please 🥺
The Space Between by Meg Grehan
- On New Year’s Eve, Beth plans to spend the whole year alone, but when she comes across a girl in her garden, she starts to think about leaving her home
- Such a soft romance!
- Set in verse
- Discusses agoraphobia … and also has the cutest little puppy
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
- When Kitty befriends and falls for a cross-dressing singer, she leaves her small English town for London, where she becomes a singer herself while wearing men’s clothes. But when her lover breaks her heart, Kitty has to learn how to fend for herself
- Sarah Waters is like the Jesus of Lesbian Literature, and I’m making it my mission to read all of her books
- This is my favourite of hers! It’s basically one long story of a woman’s sexual education
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
- Ayla, a human, becomes a handmaiden to the Automae Princess Crier, who Ayla has sworn to kill after the King has killer her family
- Such an incredible book – human and robot falling in love!
- The romance is God tier
- The worldbuilding is so cool, I can’t wait for the next book!
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
- Ryann accidentally gets the new girl, Alexandria, hurt and has to spend time with her catching radio signals, as Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut.
- Literally so beautiful, K. Ancrum has the most amazing writing
- Hate to friends to love! Talking about space! What more do you need?
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole
- A novella from the Reluctant Royals series (which you should also read!)
- Likotsi’s love affair ended in heartbreak, but now she’s back in New York again and accidentally runs into the woman who broke her heart
- Second chance romance 😭 So sweet and fun!
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
- Another of my favourites!
- Each year, eight Paper girls are chosen to serve the demon king, but this year there’s a ninth. Lei is forced to become the king’s concubine and during her training, she does the unthinkable: she falls in love with another Paper girl
- TW: rape, sexual assault, sexual slavery — so be careful when reading!
- Discusses trauma in such a fantastic way!
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
- BIGGEST PLOT TWIST I’VE EVER READ
- Sue is hired by a fellow thief to become a rich gentlewoman’s maid in order to steal her fortune and have her locked in an asylum
- But uh oh, Sue starts to fall in love with this woman!
- Inspired by Dickens’ novels, it’s a bit slow but once the plot twists hit, you won’t stop reading.
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
- Violet moves to a sea-side village to live with her uncle after her brother attempts suicide, and she befriends a group of kids searching for a historical shipwreck
- This is quite a sad book, but really hopeful too — especially with the sibling relationship
- The romance is developed so wonderfully and realistically
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
- Lucy finds a letter to her late father from a Countess who needs someone to translate a French astronomy text, she decides to go herself and begins working with the Countess. Slowly, the two women begin to fall for each other, while reckoning with a sexist scientific society that wants to see them ruined
- So much sweetness! Two women overcoming their past hurt to come together
- Focuses on the importance of just being kind, and women helping women
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
- A coming-of-age story about Ijeoma during the Nigerian Civil War as she falls in love with a girl. But when that romance is discovered, Ijeoma soon learns she constantly has to hide a part of herself forever
- Such a devastating book about war, homophobia, religion and discovering one’s sexuality
- Ijeoma ruthlessly breaks down the issues many religions have with queer people and I love her for it
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
- Millie receives a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school in Scotland that even royals attend … and Milly’s roommate even turns out to be a princess. Problem is: she’s a massive bitch
- Such a cute romance, I was smiling the whole way through!
- If you like hate to love, read this!
One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
- Cherry’s husband makes a horrible wager with his friend, Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in 100 nights, he can have Cherry. So Cherry and her maid, and lover, Hero, regale Manfred with stories for 100 nights to keep him at bay
- Inspired by 1001 Arabian Nights
- Stories about stories, and the power and importance of women storytellers
- Graphic novel.
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
- Leah’s life is slowly unraveling: she has to worry about college, trying to come out as bi to her friends, and her friendship group is unravelling … but then she starts dating one of her closest friends
- A bit fan-servicey, but I really enjoyed this book!
- Some people had an issue with Leah being a bit biphobic herself, but I didn’t see it that way — even so, just letting you know
- Sort-of sequel to Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda
The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
- When Chris breaks up with her girlfriend and drops out of university, her only solace is the bookstore she works at. And when she meets the pretty new bookseller, Chris starts to think things may be looking up
- Pansexual rep! Filipino rep!
- Short and sweet, but discusses some important topics too.
Proper English by KJ Charles
- Another of my favourite f/f romances!
- Pat is looking forward to a quiet hunting trip but unexpected guests ruin her time, one of whom is her friend’s beautiful fiancé, Fen. However, the house party soon turns disastrous as one of the guests is murdered, and Pat and Fen must team up to find the killer
- MURDER MYSTERY WITH LESBIANS, YES PLEASE
- That wlw and mlm solidarity though 😭
- I adore Pat and Fen so much!
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
- Odessa is one of her kingdom’s master necromancers and when the city begins seeing an uptick in paranormal attacks, Odessa soon realises there’s a rouge necromancer out there intentionally sowing destruction
- One of my favourite romance tropes: falling for your ex’s sibling 👀
- Fantastic bi rep in my opinion!
- Can’t believe I haven’t read the sequel yet 😭
The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale
- Victoria finally finds a new fiddle player for her band in the form of Sawyer Bell. But as the women go on tour together, they start to fall for each other … but the tour won’t last forever
- The sex scenes 😍
- I just had so much fun with this book!
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
- Cassandra works with sea monsters and on her first solo mission, she’s kidnapped by the pirate queen Santa Elena in order to take care of a baby sea monster the pirate queen stole
- This book’s tagline should just read “lesbian pirates”, and it will sell ASAP
- Another book I haven’t read the sequel for, what a fake fan!
- ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
- Princess Denna is sent to Mynaria to meet the prince she’s been engaged to for years, but as she’s there, she begins to fall for his sister instead. But Denna has magic and is trapped in a country where they kill people like her
- I basically read this in a day, it was so much fun
- Falling for your fiancé’s sister? Hell yes
A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian
- Molly has left her life of thieving behind and focuses on seducing her employer’s prim and proper companion, Alice, instead. But when an unwelcome person from Alice’s past shows up, Molly dips back into the world she left behind
- A novella set in an m/m series, which is also fantastic
- Molly is such a shit, I adore her!
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
- I adore this graphic novel so freaking much!
- Mia is a new member on a space crew that rebuilds broken down structures on different planets, and as she thinks back to her final year at boarding school, Mia reveals her purpose for joining the crew: to track down her long-lost love she met at school
- Such beautiful artwork, I got chills from it
Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman
- When Flor, a Latinx outlaw, attacks a stagecoach, she kidnaps Grace who has run away from her home because she’s trans. Soon, the two women begin to plan to crash a Confederate party and steal important documents
- Adorable graphic novel
- So heartwarming and fun!
In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard
- Failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons, in order to tutor the dragon’s two unruly children. Terrified at first, Yên comes to see the kind side of the dragon and begins to think she make a life with Vu Côn
- Vietnamese retelling of Beauty and the Beast
- MONSTER ROMANCE … kind of
- Mainly a story about healing
Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman
- Yarn designer Clara is struggling to come up with new combinations when she sees Danielle’s paintings and becomes inspired
- Fluffy contemporary with a Jewish MC!
- Such a short, cozy read that I wish were longer.
A Hidden Hope by Laura Ambrose
- Natalie and El used to be writing critique partners who fell in love and then out of love. Three years later, they meet again at a sci-fi convention and their attraction to each other is ramped up
- Really enjoyed this, it’s so cute and nerdy
- Complains about the publishing industry, which I feel!
The Witch Sea by Sarah Diemer
- Meriel, a witch, has spent her whole life on an island preventing a sea god from getting loose. One day, Nor shows up to the island and as the two women get closer, Meriel starts to question her role
- Super short, I wanted more!
- The aesthetic is melancholy as hell, I love it
Into the Gray by Margaret Killjoy
- An immortal mermaid uses her lover to lure terrible men to their deaths
- Trans rep!
- When you help your lover kill and eat men 🥺
- I did say murderous mermaids belongs to the sapphics, so…
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
- Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, discovers a lost tea dragon and is swept up into the world of caring for tea dragons by tea shop owners, and begins to fall for their shy ward
- Such a beautiful graphic novel, the artwork is STUNNING
- So heartwarming and wholesome, I want to cry
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
- This is a piece of classic lesbian YA literature, a must-read!
- Liza and Annie meet at the Met and become fast friends. But soon their friendship develops into an intense romance, which quickly brings conflict to their families and schools
- I cry at the mere thought of this book
- Can be a sad read, but hopeful!
Always Human by Ari North
- In the future, technology has allowed people to make body notifications, but some people have sensitive immune systems that make that impossible. When Sunati meets Austen, she’s inspired by Austen’s bravery to not use mods and soon the women begin to fall for each other
- The world is so unique and cool
- By an Aussie author!!
Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill
- When Princess Amira rescues Princess Sadie from a prison tower, they become fast friends. As they travel the kingdom together, they have to defeat their greatest foe: a sorceress who has it in for Sadie
- Genuinely so adorable
- By the same author as The Tea Dragon Society
The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
- In the tenth court of hell, wealthy spirits are able to bribe the underworld bureaucrats to avoid torture, and Siew Tsin lives a comfortable life, married to the richest man in hell. But then her husband brings home a new bride…
- Such awesome worldbuilding and amazing use of Chinese mythology
- Short read but so much happens!
Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
- After her mother’s death, Princess Valentina’s father locks her in a tower where she spends years alone, until one day a girl passes by on her horse and Valentina sees her chance for freedom
- F/F retelling of Rapunzel 🥺
- While this book is sweet, it’s also about escaping an abusive situation and how to heal
It’s Not Like it’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura
- Sana is full of secrets: that her father may be having an affair, and that she might be queer. When she and her family move to California, Sana meets Jamie and falls for her, while also dealing with Jaime’s friends, a guy who keeps getting a little too friendly, and her dad
- This is both a really cute YA, but also a hard-hitting one
- Discusses racism across different communities
Rock and Riot by Chelsey Furedi
- Set in the 1950s, a group of teenage delinquents learn about gender and sexuality
- So charming and so effortlessly queer!
- Lots of sapphic characters and couples! Basically the entire LGBTQ acronym is included in this comic series!
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
- Set over a weekend convention, Charlie is an up-and-coming actress promoting her new movie while crushing on a fellow actress; while Taylor is determined to win a fan contest for her favourite fandom and falling for her best friend
- Autistic rep! (But not for the sapphic couple)
- So cute and so freaking nerdy! I relate hard haha
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- Rosemary joins a space crew to distance herself from her past but soon finds a family in the very diverse crew of the Wayfarer. When the crew is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tunnel a wormhole to a distant planet, their journey quickly goes awry and becomes dangerous
- Gays in space, found family, slow-burn romance … did I mention space?
- Quiet sci-fi
Have you read any of these f/f books? Which is your favourite? What f/f book do you recommend? Let me know!