Are We Not Hyping F/F Books Or Are You Just Ignoring Us?

So, we’re back with more discourse about f/f books. It’s been… a month or so since our last one, where m/m authors said they weren’t “interested” in writing f/f. Apparently, not only does f/f not exist but now no one has ever hyped it up ever! THAT’S NOT ALL! Apparently, f/f that doesn’t focus on coming out isn’t a thing, despite me reading about 100 books that prove that statement wrong.

I’m writing this post mainly because saying f/f books get no hype is 100% diminishing what myself and so many other bloggers I follow do: hype up f/f and recommend them. It’s incredibly disheartening to see hundreds of people in the book community say things like this when you know for yourself it’s false, and you try your hardest to recommend f/f. I don’t know how many f/f recommendations posts I have to make to get y’all to just fucking read one. 

I want to get one thing out of the way first. Even if you don’t read the rest of this post, acknowledge this: we hype up f/f. We recommend f/f. We tell you f/f books with tropes you ask for. We make lists for f/f books. We dedicate blogs to f/f books. We retweet/reblog/repost/discuss f/f books constantly. YOU DON’T LISTEN. YOU. DON’T. LISTEN.

Disclaimer: if there is something that prevents you from reading f/f, like a disability or you can’t afford to purchase books, this post isn’t about you. I completely understand how you might only be able to read audiobooks and you can’t afford them, your library doesn’t buy them, or you just can’t focus on them. If you’re a teen and can’t borrow/buy f/f books because you don’t want to be outed to your family: WE GET YOU. YOU’RE VALID. THIS POST ISN’T ABOUT YOU. This post is about the people who consistently complain about an apparent lack of f/f, when it 100% exists and they ignore it.

There are a lot of things I want to discuss in this post, but I think the most obvious thing is: you worship shoddy m/m representation from cishet female writers, but call all f/f “underdeveloped” and ask for it on a similar level. I’m sorry, but since when was Simon x Baz from Carry On, Adam x Ronan from The Raven Cycle, and whoever they are from The Foxhole Court good representation? When were they good LGBT+ or m/m representation? Tell me. I would like to know. I want to know why you want f/f representation on a similar level to them when they were never good in the first place. It doesn’t shock me that the authors writing these m/m relationships everyone wants “f/f versions of” are incredibly racist and have been called out on their disgusting representation of Asian people in the past.

Y’all will exalt the absolute bare minimum for m/m relationships, but think every f/f couple is underdeveloped. All f/f couples are powerful, you just can’t find a way to fetishize them and call them your “smol precious lil beans”. 

Popular m/m books written by women even say shit like “gay girls have it easier” (cough Simon VS The Homosapien’s Agenda cough) because men can fetishize them, but you’re blatantly ignoring the way you treat MLM in the exact same way. If you’re disgusted by women loving women, but think men loving men is adorable, I don’t know what to fucking tell you.

Let’s say something even more controversial: the only f/f you pay attention to is problematic. The f/f book I think everyone alive has read, but I won’t state the name, has appalling bisexual representation. However, it’s on every single “f/f recommendation” list by people who don’t read f/f often. The people I know who constantly recommend f/f hated the book or don’t recommend it at all. Book Twitter even hypes up YA contemporaries that have the worst representation I’ve ever seen. Ableism, toxic relationships romanticized, racism, and treating the WLW characters like shit? Check.

Another significant issue within the book community is you’ll hype up an f/f book for months before its release, then no one reads it when it comes out. Most recently, this was a problem for Tell Me How You Really Feel. People wouldn’t shut up about the book for months since it’s like an alternative version of Rory and Paris from Gilmore Girls, but barely anyone who talked about it read it. They just let the hype die down so they could ignore it. Before Her Royal Highness came out, everyone was excited for the “lesbian princesses” – first of all, one of them is a commoner and bisexual. Everyone compared it to Red White and Royal Blue and said they were excited about it, but they didn’t read it. It definitely has a bit of hype since I’ve seen it around, but it’s nowhere near as polarising as the m/m book it was compared to. Red White and Royal Blue almost has 20,000 ratings on Goodreads, Her Royal Highness has 2,000. Tell Me How You Really Feel doesn’t even have 700.

Should we go even further? The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum had considerable hype on Twitter prior to its release, and it has 500 ratings. It released in MARCH 2019 and it only has FIVE HUNDRED RATINGS. Red White and Royal Blue published in MAY 2019 and it has TWENTY THOUSAND RATINGS. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon was another polarising release this year, and it hasn’t even garnered more than 10,000 ratings on Goodreads. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan was published in November 2018 and only has 14,000 ratings. It may seem like a lot, but m/m books released two months ago have double that. Should we get into how Tell Me How You Really Feel, The Weight of the Stars, and Girls of Paper and Fire are all written by women of colour? Why are y’all worshipping the ground of cishet white female authors* writing m/m, but won’t give an ounce of attention to women of colour writing qu**r women of colour?

*Yes, I know Red White and Royal Blue is written by a bi author and I don’t hate the book at all, I just think the comparison of the way the book community will buy m/m in hoards but don’t care a bit about f/f new releases is irritating. The cishet was in reference to the m/m couples referenced at the beginning of this post.

If this doesn’t infuriate you, I don’t know what to tell you. Just click off my blog and never follow me on another platform again. 

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but in order for something to have hype, you have to read it. If you sit around and act like f/f books don’t exist, then no one reads it, and they get no hype. You’re directly contributing to the issue

I’d also like to point out: we absolutely, without a doubt, completely do hype up f/f. YOU. DON’T. LISTEN. TO. US. I’m not even talking about myself in this statement.

Off the top of my head, here are some bloggers who I know talk about/hype/review f/f books:

THESE ARE ALL PEOPLE I FOLLOW OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD. Google “lesbian book blogs” and you’ll get endless links to blogs dedicated to reviewing lesbian books. I don’t ever want to hear that we don’t hype up f/f books. We read, review, recommend, and share them. You don’t read them.

I don’t want to be self-serving in this post at all, but I have done a few posts hyping up f/f books in the past (especially to address discourse like this):

And, since f/f is so hard to find, let’s do a quick search on various websites to see if that statement is true!

Goodreads

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Some examples:

 

Google

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 4.44.46 pmSome examples:

 

Twitter

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I’m not going to link because you can already see them there. Just scroll through for yourself.

 

Tumblr

Some examples:

 

Just… ask someone?

If you looked at LGBTQ Read’s Tumblr, Dahlia Adler answers asks looking for specific recommendations. If you’re struggling to find something, literally just send her an ask. I definitely have. You can even ask her anonymously if you’re like me and hate messaging people.

I also included the links of people’s Twitters above, so I’m sure they’d be accommodating if you messaged/tweeted them asking for recommendations. Though, I understand if messaging people isn’t something you’re into, so – like I said – send asks to LGBTQ Reads on Tumblr.

 

Consequently, f/f books exist and people hyping them up exist, but people don’t read them. And if no one reads the f/f books we recommend, then they garner no hype. It’s not a hard concept to grasp.

Before you complain about the apparent lack of f/f, please just do a simple Google search or ask one of the people I mentioned earlier. If you message me on Goodreads asking for a rec, I could give you dozens. I love giving out f/f recommendations. Complaining does nothing.

 

Now, if I may recommend you some f/f books with less than 2,000 ratings that you’ll probably ignore, but I will literally beat your door down and force you to read it since y’all want to complain that no f/f books exist or hype up something before release date then never pull through and actually read it:

Image result for ariana grande talking to a wall

*My main genre is romance and contemporary and these are only recommendations that don’t have a lot of ratings on Goodreads. I’ve included “not a coming out story” on almost all of these because discourse on Twitter also stated that we apparently have no f/f romances that aren’t about coming out.

Contemporary

Horror/Thrillers

  • The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling: Adult, lesbian mc’s, not a coming out story
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power: YA horror, thriller, qu**r mc’s, #ownvoices author, not a coming out story 
  • After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott: lesbian mc, bisexual love interest, not a coming out story. READ THIS BOOK OR I WILL LITERALLY PUNCH YOU. HOW DOES IT ONLY HAVE 100 RATINGS?
  • Chase Me by Natasha West: Adult thriller, lesbian mc’s, not a coming out story
  • Meet You At The End of the World by Natasha West: Adult apocalyptic, lesbian mc’s, not a coming out story

 

Fantasy and Sci Fi

  • Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner: YA, paranormal, Pacific Islander MC, sapphic romance, not a coming out story 
  • Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist: YA paranormal, WLW mc’s, not a coming out story. I SWEAR TO GOD IF Y’ALL DON’T READ THIS RIGHT THIS SECOND
  • Crier’s War by Nina Varela: YA fantasy/dystopian, lesbian mc’s, #ownvoices author, not a coming out story
  • The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin: YA fantasy, not a coming out story

 

Adult Romance

 

Graphic Novels

  • Smut Peddler by Various Artists: literally every sexuality and gender identity is represented, not a coming out story
  • Waves by Ingrid Chabbert: lesbian couple, not a coming out story
  • The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin: WLW mc’s, not a coming out story

 

Image result for transparent roses

That’s all. I’m not going to ask you questions because I just want to hear your thoughts below. No recommendations, please. I have about 150 more f/f books on my TBR.

24 thoughts on “Are We Not Hyping F/F Books Or Are You Just Ignoring Us?

  1. this is amazing and i absolutely love everything abt this post, already screamed abt it with charlotte!! what a thing of beauty, honestly…… love me this no fucks given vibe :>>>>
    also a side note: twots isn’t ownvoices, kayla is bi & both the mc and the li are lesbians ✌️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MAHANA THIS POST. IT WAS SUCH A MIC DROP. I WANT TO FRAME IT ON A WALL. ugh I know that I have probably contributed to the problem in the past because I did retweet a tweet asking for f/f on the same level as those m/m ships, but this post was my daily reminder that I should be hyping f/f the same way I hype m/m. Reading this post made me feel so angry and mad! I knew it was a problem but you outlined it so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOUUUU!!!!! it’s okay, we all agreed with the post but the part where it said they wanted f/f couples like adam x ronan and other couples written by cishet white women was what a lot of us were mad abt because it’s not good rep in the first place lmao. but thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So thoughtful of you to write this Mahana… I know it in my heart but this just makes me realize I’m not doing enough to promote f/f… I’ll try and do a better job…
    Thank you for writing this !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post was so incredible, absolutely incredible and I loved every word of it. I want to send it to so many people, especially since f/f ships has been such a hot topic on twitter recently. I have seen so many posts saying how we needed f/f equivalents of m/m ships this week that it makes me want to scream and bang my head against a wall. Thank you so so much for this post, it should be required reading for everyone on book twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Those posts were the reason for this post because it just made me so mad. It’s so irritating seeing people act like there’s no hype whatsoever when you and your friends try your hardest to get people to read f/f but they just don’t. I’ve forced some of my friends who lowkey fetishize m/m to read f/f and they’ve loved all of them so it’s a slow process lmao. I honestly think there’s no hope for people on book twitter. They just read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and then act like they’ve saved f/f fiction

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This so much. Especially when I see people pretend that it’s about how much the characters are developed, as if – for example – Simon and Blue were the most developed, multi-dimensional characters in the world (Blue is… barely a character, honestly, and I’m saying that as someone who did like the book). It’s about internalized misogyny and homophobia. I can’t put into words how angry I am when I see reviews say things like “they would have been better as friends” about f/f couples – no, that’s the reviewer not being able to see any situation in which there aren’t men involved as anything but platonic, and that’s a problem!
    Also, I hate how people act like f/f is somehow a new concept every time any f/f book gets a lot of push from the publisher instead of only from wlw readers. Everyone right now is acting like Gideon the Ninth is the first book about a wlw in space to ever exist, when I can name seven other previous traditionally-published adult SFF books about wlw in space. Some of them award-nominated or award-winning. This isn’t “lack of hype”, this is repeated erasure.
    Anyway, thanks for the shout-out. I often feel like I’m talking to walls, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked Simon VS too but I definitely agree like I could name dozens of WLW mc’s off the top of my head who got more development than him. And you brought up so many thoughts that I didn’t really think of! I haven’t seen any of those reviews but BIG YIKES. THAT’S DISGUSTING. And lmaoooooo yes!!!! There are plenty of f/f books set in space AND there are other f/f necromancer books but people are acting like Gideon the Ninth is the new coming of Christ uhhh (I started it and it’s not even that good lol). Also, I’ve been recommending people Ice Massacre for over a year because they keep asking for enemies to lovers mermaid books but they just keep ignoring it and continue making those dumb posts like “IMAGINE a WLW To Kill A Kingdom!” like IT’S OUT THERE. YOU JUST WON’T READ IT BECAUSE YOU HATE WLW.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just love this post so damn much. I mean, it’s so true and isn’t an issue discussed enough??? Out of all the queer books I own, more than half are m/m, which is appalling, but all I can find. My local bookstore says they have stock of Tell Me How You Really Feel, but I asked in store and they had never heard of it. I’ve been dying for more rep, but at this rate, I’ll be 50 when we start getting it. Thank you so much for writing this post Mahana x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well there’s definitely a lot of f/f rep out there, the issue is a lot of people don’t know about it haha. I’m lucky that my library buys a lot of LGBT+ titles (they bought 20 copies of The Priory of the Orange Tree because there were a lot of holds on it) so I try my hardest to request holds of things I already own so they know it’s in demand and buy more copies ☺️ Thank you for reading! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t even say ”why do we still need posts like this” because at this point I don’t expect better. I’m tired of seeing people read one f/f for every 50 m/m and say they are excited about a new f/f release because that representation is sooooooo important and they love f/f books when they don’t read the book, don’t continue to talk about it. It wouldn’t feel so bad if they just ignored it. In that case they wouldn’t pat themselves on the back and get ally points.

    People might argue that even then they add to the hype, but those it matter when people might assume the book sucks since no one mentions it after release? Those is matter when the hype isn’t even high enough for my library to get the book? Right now I’m the only person who has Tell Me How You Really Feel on hold. I’m the one who requested the book. This is at the biggest library in my province.

    If the hype wasn’t enough for them to get the then it’s safe to assume that the kids who live even only 20 minutes away from the city have no chance of finding this book. The library in my town is tiny. I don’t think they have any f/f YA. I tried to get them to buy some of the more popular titles, but the most they would do was an interlibrary loan. I get it. The teen section gets less than 10 new books each month. But they have Carry On, they have Simon vs. (they even have the movie), they have Call Me By Your Name, they have What If It’s Us.

    It’s like a slap in the face. But I get it. In order for them to get the book it needs to have a French translation. But then again, they don’t have any f/f written in French either.

    Like

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