Book Recommendations with Varian – YA Science-Fiction/Fantasy With F/F Romances!

Book Recommendations: Young Adult SFF with F/F Romances. Images: Varian the toad wearing a shirt that reads 'Master Mischief was right about the cheese'

Welcome back to the Pond, friends! I hope you are all reading some wonderful books and are ready to add more to your to-read list today!

In case you’re new to the Pond’s recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has shown you their latest costume, they will always recommend a book that inspired that costume.

We have been blessed with more books that more sapphic representation lately, and I’m excited to share even more with you all today. I thought I would spice up today’s book recommendation post by recommending you all books that not only have f/f representation, but are also science-fiction/fantasy stories as well. Reading stories about queer girls always makes my heart happier, and I hope you all can add some of these books to your to-read lists!

An illustration of Varian the toad wearing a shirt that reads 'Master Mischief was right about the cheese'For today’s recommendation post, Varian made a very simple t-shirt. The text reads, “Master Mischief was right about the cheese”. This is a cool line from Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee, and it’s a shirt that one of Varian’s favourite characters, Jess, wears in the book! 😊

Thus, today’s book recommendation post will feature books with an f/f romance in young adult science-fiction/fantasy!


NOT YOUR SIDEKICK

C.B. Lee. Not Your Sidekick.

This is one of the first diverse books that I’ve read and will thus always have a special place in my heart! Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee is a wholesome and soft science-fiction story, and if you haven’t read this yet – you absolutely have to!

  • Follows Jess, a Vietnamese/Chinese-American teen doesn’t have any superpowers of her own, whilst her parents are the town’s superheroes. She decides to do an internship – only to find out it’s for the town’s supervillains.
  • This book has one of the most soft and wholesome sapphic romances I’ve ever read. It is so charming, lovely, and will make you smile.
  • You’ll also love the diaspora and Asian representation in this book, and the story is readable, fun, and sets up great foundations for the sequels!

Add Not Your Sidekick on Goodreads!


GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE

Girls of Paper and Fire, Natasha Ngan.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan is a favourite among many – and with good reason. This may be a challenging read for some, but the book’s thought-provoking and hard-hitting narrative makes it an absolute must-read.

  • Follows Lei, a girl from the Paper (lowest) caste, who is kidnapped from her village and taken to be one of the Demon King’s concubines as a Paper Girl. Struggling with her new role in the palace, she resists in the most dangerous way possible: by falling in love with another Paper Girl.
  • The relationship she develops with her love interest slowly and wonderfully, and the romance is meaningful in the context of the story and its implications.
  • Set in a Malaysian/Asian-inspired fantasy world, the story also tackles hard but important topics, such as autonomy, sexual assault, oppression, and resistance.

Add Girls of Paper and Fire on Goodreads, and read my review.


THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US

The Abyss Surrounds Us, Emily Skrutskie

I’m bringing back this old gem for any readers who don’t know about it! The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skurtskie is the science-fiction and pirates crossover that everyone wanted and it delivers on being a great read.

  • Follows Cas, a lesbian Chinese teen who trains genetically-engineered sea monsters, who is kidnapped by a pirate queen and forces her to raise and train a sea monster pup – or else her life will be forfeited.
  • The f/f romance is enemies-to-lovers and explores power dynamics and has a lot of angst. (Angst lovers? This book is for you.)
  • This book has sea pirates and kaiju-like monsters! The story explores themes of survival, finding yourself in the bleakest of times, and moral conflicts.

Add The Abyss Surrounds Us on Goodreads!


LABYRINTH LOST

varian - labyrinthlost.png

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova was probably the first book that I’ve read that featured a Latinx lead, and thus has a special place in my heart. This is a great paranormal/fantasy adventure and is wonderfully sapphic as well!

  • Follows Alex, a teen bruja who performs a spell to get rid of her bruja magic, but accidentally sends her family to Los Lagos.
  • Though the romance isn’t a focal point in this story, the bisexual representation is excellent and the f/f romance is soft and lovely.
  • The book also explores Latinx identity, belonging, family, and has coming-of-age themes, which I love!

Add Labyrinth Lost on Goodreads!


THE SEAFARER’S KISS

The Seafarer's Kiss, Julia Ember

If you love diverse retellings, f/f romances, and stories about mermaids, then The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember is a book for you!

  • Follows Ersel, a mermaid who befriends a shield-maiden stranded on a glacier – and the two fall in love, despite it
  • The story has some unexpectedly dark moments, but offers some refreshing twists that give a fresh spin on The Little Mermaid as how we know it. (Loki, the God of Lies, is a character in this book!) The book heavily features Norse mythology!
  • The f/f romance between Ersel and Ragna was lovely, and even goes further to explore how far we will go for someone – and at what cost.

Add The Seafarer’s Kiss on Goodreads!


I hope you all enjoyed today’s book recommendations! Though there are some great f/f books out there, I’d still love to see more, especially in the realm of young adult science-fiction and fantasy.

  • Have you read any of the book above? What did you think?
  • Do you have a book recommendations of f/f romances in YA SFF?
  • What is your favourite book with a f/f romance?

26 thoughts on “Book Recommendations with Varian – YA Science-Fiction/Fantasy With F/F Romances!

  1. Another great list CW! Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve read any books with a F/F romance in the SFF genres… Labyrinth Lost has definitely been a book I’ve been wanting to read…. did you continue on with the series and read the second book?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amanda!
      I don’t blame you to be honest; there really is a dearth of f/f in SFF, but I hope we’ll see more in the coming years.

      I didn’t actually read the sequel to Labyrinth Lost! But I may do so at some point; the story and worldbuilding was interesting and I wouldn’t mind a visit back to the series’ world!

      Like

  2. So all of these recs are ALREADY on my tbr but now I can bump them up even more because of course I need to read more SFF diverse books that other bloggers love. (Also side note, this is my first visit to the pond and I just wanna say that it’s ADORABLE!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah I love your recommendations so much, thank you for putting the time to write these down ❤ I really want to try and read Labyrinth Lost, it sounds like such a great read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I have the Seafarer’s Kiss, but I had absolutely forgotten about it (OMG isn’t that terrible?!) I’ll need to dig it out and read it! Also the cover with the paper cut out look is adorable.

    Like

  5. Once & Future is SFF with F/F as the main romance, and besides that, it’s queer all over the place! It’s also written by two non-binary authors, and it’s just great.

    The Abyss Surrounds Us is a title I’d never heard of, and sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard about ONCE & FUTURE! I’m hoping to read it soon (once I get through all the ARCs I have somehow accumulated), because it sounds like a great read.

      THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US is wonderful! Highly recommend it. I haven’t read the second book but I heard it’s just as great.

      Like

  6. Great recommendation post! I have a few of these on my TBR. I didn’t know that they’re f/f fantasy! Now I’m looking forward to reading them even more.

    My favourite F/F book isn’t actually a SF/F novel. — It’s called “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not…” by Julie Anne Peters.

    Like

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