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LGBT teens often don't see themselves in the coming-of-age books that are taught in schools. Here are 15 YA novels that fix that: 1. When Everything Feels like the Movies by Raziel Reid For Jude, life is one big movie set. Using his mother’s heels and make-up, he’s ready for his part. He’s got the love interest, the best friend, and the antagonist all in place. All that’s left is to watch the drama unfold. Jude is a feel-good character set in an authentically gritty world. Publisher’s Weekly calls the...
Melissa Broder is God, Melissa Broder is the Internet, she is pop culture, the iCloud, and all your fave sad girl memes rolled up into one perfect human being. Like, if Melissa Broder were an actual fruit roll up, her flavor would be, “sweet feminist oracle of truth and divine wisdom." She is a radical response to the myth that feminists can love themselves totally and fully and always. She speaks to the anxieties, pleasures, secrets, imperfections, and paradoxes that we all contain. Her writing...
Welcome to the first BUST installment of Ask Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbrarian! This is a column I’ve been running on my book blog for about a year, and I am really excited to move it to BUST and a larger audience! Basically, how it works is readers—just like you—send me an email (or tweet) asking for help finding your next favourite LGBTQ+ books. Then, I write you up a whole post with suggestions just for you! I’ve helped people find lesbian and bisexual dystopian YA,...
If you’re reading BUST, you probably already know that the Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction 1) features at least two women 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. It is named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel, and it has sure inspired a lot of lists of films, particularly those that fail the test, but I’d like to look at works that pass it. Here’s a short list of YA novels to add to your reading list that both...
The Governess by Richard Redgrave, 1844. During the 19th century, a gently bred young lady with no fortune, no family, and no prospects had few options for making her way in the world. She might hire herself out as a companion, of course. Or if she was particularly adept with a needle, she might take in a bit of sewing. Both were respectable, genteel occupations for a lady down on her luck and, as such, both are well-represented in historical novels. However, despite the undoubted romantic appeal...

  You can 100 percent still be a fangirl if none of these ex­tremes apply to you. Just because you don’t spend your time illegally downloading the Lifetime movies in which your favor­ite celebrities had three-word roles doesn’t mean you aren’t al­lowed to appreciate them. The fangirl way of life doesn’t belong in a box any more than my “I Met Li’l Sebastian at the Pawnee Harvest Festival” T-shirt belongs at the bottom of my closet. Wear it proudly, and don’t let anyone tell you what...
Yes, BUSTies, it's time to grab some colored pencils because it's happening -- Lisa Frank is making a coloring book just for you. The image above from Lisa Frank's Instagram is the only sneak peek into the rainbow wonderland so far, but from the way its looking it seems we should set our expectations high. Over the past couple years, the number of adult coloring books on the market has skyrocketed, proclaiming coloring's positive, meditative effects on the human psyche, young or old. For those of...
The following excerpt from BUST contributor Alison Flowers's new book, Exoneree Diaries: The Fight for Innocence, Independence, and Identity, out June 7, features Kristine Bunch, a woman wrongly convicted and exonerated of the murder of her 3-year-old son, who perished in a home trailer fire in Indiana. The book explores what happens to innocent people after the state sets them free and tosses them out into an unfamiliar world:  Wrongly convicted women face a unique set of challenges. Sexism lurks at every stage of the...
The ironic and barrier-breaking art from the '80s and '90s London—known as BritArt—simultaneously received praise and dismissal, while stomping itself into relevancy and public attention across the UK. Artrage! The Inside Story of the BritArt Revolution written by Elizabeth Fullerton, details the history of The Young British Artists as they swept the contemporary art scene by storm in the late 1980s. This book reflects back three decades, taking a closer look at the rise and popularity growth experienced by the YBAs in the '80s and '90s and...
Calling all Sweet Valley High readers! You can now have your face illustrated just like Sweet Valley High favorites Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield and friends! James L. Mathewuse, the illustrator behind the covers of Sweet Valley High, is now taking your requests. Consultations are free and portraits start at $200. In celebration of this exciting opportunity, we put together nine of the endless ways you can be your own Sweet Valley High cover star. 1. Grab your bestie and your shiniest lip-gloss, and strike a pose.  2. You can always go for...
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