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Book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Original photo by Sobham Panja
Culture > Entertainment

4 Sapphic Novels You Need To Read in 2024

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

As a lesbian, I don’t often see my identity reflected in literature. A lot of representation is sparse at best and nonexistent or harmful at worst. 

Luckily, as we move further into the 21st century, more and more sapphic characters are appearing in the pages of the books that we hold dear. Diversity is something to strive for, and it’s important to read stories from the perspectives of a whole host of main characters. So, without further ado, here are four sapphic books that you should read in 2024:

“I spent half my time loving her and the other half hiding how much I loved her.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of my favorite books of all time. Not only is the plot easy to follow, but the characters in this novel feel so real. It’s easy to forget that Evelyn Hugo is not a real movie star, but instead a character on a page. From the very beginning, this story grabs your attention.

The plot follows Monique Grant, an up-and-coming journalist, as she writes the biography of the famous movie star, Evelyn Hugo. Through Evelyn telling her story, the truth of her life is revealed – including the fact that Evelyn is a bisexual woman, and spent most of her life in love with her co-star, Celia St. James.

This story is one full of love, struggle, happiness and heartbreak. It’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read, and I highly recommend that everyone pick up the book at some point.

“…the human heart’s mysterious ability to love others is never wrong. Your heart will never ask your permission to love. It’s going to love whomever it was made to love, and the best thing you can do is follow it.”

Kelly Quindlen, Her Name in the Sky

Her Name in the Sky by Kelly Quindlen

Much more underground than the previous mention, Her Name in the Sky is no less special to me. This book was the first sapphic novel that really struck a chord with me, and for good reason.

The story follows high school senior Hannah Eaden and her friend group. Throughout the novel, Hannah slowly realizes that she’s fallen in love with her best friend, Baker Hadley. Unfortunately, the two go to an extremely religious school, and this mindset has been deeply ingrained in them. Throughout the story, the two girls deal with their own internalized homophobia, the homophobia of the world around them, and the struggle of how to manage it all.

This story carries the most accurate depiction of internalized homophobia (especially for someone coming from a religious background) that I’ve ever seen. It’s heartbreaking and lovely, an amazing story for anyone who has ever dealt with homophobia.

“I have done some of the best work of my life because of you. And I know you have done some of the best work of your life because of me. I don’t know a better way to explain what love means to two people like us.”

Casey McQuiston, I Kissed Shara Wheeler

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuinston

I Kissed Shara Wheeler is Casey McQuinston’s most recent novel, published in 2022. McQuinston published another sapphic novel called One Last Stop in 2021, which I won’t dive into, but is also a fantastic novel worth checking out.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler follows the story of Chloe Green, an alternate bisexual attending a very Christian high school. When the principal’s daughter, most popular girl in school and Chloe’s mortal enemy, Shara Wheeler, goes missing, Chloe takes it upon herself to find out what happened.

This book is much more lighthearted than the previous two, although it still has some very heavy moments. Casey McQuinston never fails to capture the subtle joys and oddities of queer life, which is very important in this book. With a lovable cast of characters and an incredibly sarcastic point-of-view, this story is definitely worth a read.

“Who was this woman whose smiles were made of fire?”

Jessica Rose, The World Above the Waves

The World Above the Waves by Jessica Rose

Would this really be one of my articles without a subtle self–promo?

My debut novel, The World Above the Waves, is a sapphic retelling of The Little Mermaid. The story follows Dwyn Atlantia, who, on her eighteenth birthday, makes a deal with a sea witch to become human, and is immediately caught in a love triangle between Prince Halloran and her personal guard (and ex-pirate), Jeneil Valor.

This story is fun, exciting, and heartbreaking at its best moments. It gives a different perspective to a fairytale that most of us grew up with knowledge of, slowly starting to put two princesses on the page together.

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or not, reading stories with characters that aren’t straight is a great way to expand your horizons and give a voice to minority identities. So, I encourage you to pick up one of these books and give it a read. I promise it’ll be worth your while.

Jessica is a first year English major at UCLA. She loves both reading and writing, having even published her debut novel "The World Above the Waves" in 2022. When she isn't delving into literature, you can find her playing d&d, listening to music, or wherever either her twin sister or girlfriend are. She's so excited to be a part of the Her Campus team.