1. Red (Life) – A book with a spirited protagonist totally proud of who they are. Someone who gives you LIFE!
– K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies“, Lucien Vaudrey being the character. Those books cut a hole in the wall I had between myself and the rest of the world, and apparently rainbow glitter started pouring out. I used to avoid pointing out why I liked this book or that one if it was a queer character who was the driving force. I’d concentrate on plot and just hint that this person is interesting. After I met Lucien – the world will just have to deal with it, much like I and anyone like I lived our lives surrounded by straight romance left and right (and I’m sure people of color can say the same about all the whiteness, for even I’ve had enough, thanks, but that’s exactly why KJC is life with her books).
2. Orange (Healing) – A book that made you, as the reader, find a deeper meaning or catharsis in your own life.
– I could give you the same answer as for red here. But for the sake of it… C.S. Pacat and the “Captive Prince” trilogy. Their dynamic just felt so natural, it unfolded without being questioned, and if it was, it was because someone out there decided they’re supposed to be enemies, because their fathers were. The rest was a matter of fact. The light bulb in my head not only lit up, it shattered. Because why WOULD anyone question heart’s matters, right? Right.
3. Yellow (Sunshine) – A book that fills you with so much joy it could brighten even your darkest day.
– Right now it’d probably be Becky Albertalli “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda“. It’s a double edged sword, really, but sometimes it’s only through pain that we find bliss, so it fits anyway: the kid has an accepting family, he was born this tall handsome man (aka – fitting his mental gender too), his friends were really mature about everything, and even in the moment of heat, they managed to take a step back, and recollect things back into the shape of friendship. It’s a book about someone who, after holding his breath, could finally exhale. It took him 4 years. For me it was more like 12 if not more. That’s what breaks my heart. But I hang on the idea that at least now… And that gives me some semblance of sunshine.
4. Green (Nature) – A book that is set out of this world — a reality different to our own.
– V.E. Schwab “Shades of Magic” trilogy. It’s mostly set in the Red London, while there’s two more (one of them being ours, mundane, magicless), and one that is more a legend than truth. A crown prince who is madly in love with previously a son of a respected man, now a… well, a pirate, I guess. I love how they allowed each other to explain things when the opportunity happened, something that rarely happens in books. And then there’s wonderful Kell, a mage so powerful he might as well be a black-eyed god, and yet so constantly scared for his loved ones that it drives him mad whenever they actually encounter danger. And of course, Lila. That is the most wonderful female character I have ever read. Ever. She’s strong, independent, and will do whatever she sets her mind on. You can’t tell her she can’t. Because, oh boy, she can. And you may come along, because she sure as hell won’t stay put just because you’d like her to.
5. Blue (Peace) – A book where one of the characters finds peace with a difficult truth.
– Austin Chant’s “Peter Darling“. It’s hard for me to dwell on this book, because it would’ve fit Orange answer too – I reached a point of breaking together with the character. We both had to admit to ourselves that some of the things we do, we do because it’s part of our idea of how we’re supposed to justify our words. While truth is, we don’t have to justify our words to begin with. This is a book about a transgender character having to accept the truth, stop try to justify it with faux gestures, and move past the fact that there’s people, even very close people, who can’t accept it.
6. Purple (Spirit) – A book that deals with LGBT+ themes and religion.
– Well, in a sense John Burdett’s books “Sonchai Jitpleecheep” fits, it’s just not the religion we’re so used to. They’re Buddhist there, and I enjoy the logic behind it. For instance, Sonchai has a partner who is what we’d define as transgender. To him it’s a simple matter: either a) your spirit left your body, and another spirit inhabited it to keep you, as a person, alive, and that spirit was of different sex than you, or b) you simply reincarnated into a body that didn’t fit your mind gender, possibly to learn something, and it is likely one of the hardest reincarnations you’ll have, thus not such a common one (for a lot of spirits have a choice, and avoid this one as much as they can due to discomfort it causes). Other choice of mine would be Shane Dawson’s memoir book “It Gets Worse” where he speaks of his own bisexuality in the face of being a firm religious Christian.