Books with Questioning Characters

Before I start this post I would like to ask you to take a moment and think about what’s happening in the world. Black people everywhere are fighting for their lives. They are being murdered only for who they are. Please do research, share resources, donate to one of the organizations that desperately need your help. I have linked a few below. We can’t stay silent anymore.

The Bail Project – This national (American) fund helps pay bail for people in need (including protesters). Once a client’s case has ended, the bail money is returned to the fund and used over and over again, so your donation here can go a long way. You can also visit The National Bail Fund Network to see a full directory of bail funds by state.

Communities United Against Police Brutality – This Twin Cities-based organization confronts police brutality by providing those in need with services, including but not limited to crisis hotlines and legal, medical, and psychological referrals. It also holds rallies, protests, and educational seminars alongside “routinely waging battles in the political and legal arenas to bring about changes in laws, policies, and practices that reduce accountability and allow police brutality to occur.” You can donate to its cause via PayPal here.

This twitter thread shows important petitions to sign:

More information about ways to help can be found on this website. And follow people that have been speaking out about the issue. On Twitter:

Some amazing Black creators that have been speaking out are @BeeButTired@yerabooknerdzoe@BowtiesBooks@femmeandfrills@TheNovelLush@itsmyoreads@mikaauguste@chanelletime@thatdisneychikBowtiesandBooks is also sharing a lot of important information on Instagram.

Don’t say you don’t have time to educate yourself. If you have time to read my post, you have time to educate yourself.

When I was younger, I was really struggling with trying to find out who I was, what I liked and who I liked. When I was 18 I came out as bisexual and that’s still how I describe myself. Back then I didn’t have access to a lot of queer books yet and I just told myself I was bisexual because I was attracted to both men and women. Later on, when I started to read more queer books and I was able to watch more series with queer characters and do more research, I was fortunate enough to realise that even when I didn’t know as much as I do today, I was right, I’m bisexual. But if I had books with characters that went through the same process as I did back when I first started questioning my sexuality, I would have felt so much better about it all, I wouldn’t be so confused and anxious and I wouldn’t feel as alone as I did back then. I hope that if you’re reading this and you don’t know how to identify, that these books might be a bit of solace for you. These characters might go through the same insecurities as you do. But you don’t have to suddenly find yourself through these stories, it’s perfectly okay to be questioning your sexuality for a while, to change it completely even after years. Your sexuality is yours and it’s up to you how you feel or express yourself.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

Odd One Out by Nic stone

Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish. 

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether. 

However you identify, whether you’re 100% sure of it, or still questioning, you are valid. Your feelings, doubts and insecurities are valid. You’re not less of a person if you’re not sure about who you are. Please don’t feel like you have to rush to understand yourself or your feelings. Take all the time you need. If you ever want to talk, you can always message me.

6 thoughts on “Books with Questioning Characters

  1. danielle pitter says:

    I just want to say you speaking out against police brutality and showing your favorite black bloggers, and your note at the end: “Don’t say you don’t have time to educate yourself. If you have time to read my post, you have time to educate yourself.” SAY THAT AGAIN!!!! You’re a real one for saying that. Your list was good too. I’ve read STARFISH by Akemi dawn Bowman a few years ago, and I sobbed, so I think Summer bird Blue is going to make me sob too?!


  2. Jayati says:

    As a 17 year old who’s questioning their identity, I love to read books with questioning characters because they’re really so relatable and make me feel less alone. Thanks for all the great recommendations! I really want to read Darius the Graet is Not Okay and Felix Ever After and I hope I can buy them soon!


  3. Olivia-Savannah says:

    Loved the beginning of this post and well, all of it! I am planning on starting Heartstopper tomorrow and am about halfway through Felix Ever After. I also have Darius the Great is Not Okay and need to read it soon! Thank you for sharing your personal story as well ❤

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe


  4. AhanaRao says:

    Fantastic list love! I know what you mean! Sometimes just reading about a protagonist having gone through, or feeling, or choosing a path like you gives just so much to the reader. ♥️Lovely post and I SO WANT TO READ HEARTSTOPPEr.


  5. Kristina says:

    Thank you for the recs xx

    I’ve been meaning to read heartstopper for a while already, but the odd one out just peaked my interest- adding it to my virtual wanna read!


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