As a librarian and avid reader, I hear the phrase “this is an important book” a lot. And while it’s true that there are many “important” books out there, sometimes these books are tough to read. Whether it’s the subject matter or the length or the writing style, “important” books sometimes sit on my shelf, unread. Gender Queer is an “important” book that is smart and accessible and a title that I would recommend to everyone, regardless of how they identify.
This graphic novel was beautifully drawn and had an amazing story to match. I am SO here for teen and young adult books that feature characters from different backgrounds and different lifestyles. What I liked about this book was the level of acceptance that was shown to the Prince and the message that everyone is unique and that’s ok. The author, Jen Wang, does a great job of sending a message without being preachy.
After a bit of a slow and somewhat confusing start, I ended up really liking this book. I wanted to read it for several reasons (sounded interesting, I like the fantasy genre, and it had good reviews) but the main reason was I heard that it featured some non-binary and polyamorous characters. It is VERY rare to see this type of representation in books, especially young adult stories. Honestly, my favorite parts of the book involved the relationship between the 3 main characters, Mairwen, Rhun, and Arthur. What happens in the forest was interesting but I was more curious about the dynamic between them and the other villagers.