Sapphic Books to Read While Listening to Hayley Kiyoko’s Expectations
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been waiting for Hayley Kiyoko to drop an album ever since the legend that is the Girls Like Girls music video happened. Well, about a week ago, we were actually blessed with a full-length Hayley Kiyoko album, filled with songs about being a woman who is attracted to other women! As I listened to the album on repeat a few hundred times though, I had to pause and think about all of the wonderful sapphic books that I had devoured during this long wait for Hayley Kiyoko’s album. And I thought about how many of them are the perfect accompaniment to this album. So here are a few sapphic books that you should absolutely read as you listen to Hayley’s latest album, Expectations:
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
Emi is a film buff who is struggling in the romance department. But when she finds a mysterious letter from an old-school Hollywood star, she is led to Ava, who is more complex than Emi could have anticipated. Everything Leads To You is a brilliant novel about love, family, acceptance and…well, film. It’s both sweet and complex enough to go perfectly with almost any of Kiyoko’s song on this album. Plus, I can definitely envision Emi and her fellow film buff friends creating the perfect music video to almost every single song Kiyoko has.
The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
Abby is a fashion-obsessed seventeen-year-old, so when she lands a summer internship at her favourite boutique, she is ecstatic. She’s surprised to find that she’s attracted to her fellow intern, Jordi. The Summer of Jordi Perez is an absolutely adorable book about first loves and well, all of those feelings that come with it.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed
I only recently finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so as soon as I heard Kiyoko’s ‘What I Need,’ that’s the book I was reminded of. The novel follows Monique Grant who has the opportunity to interview the film star Evelyn Hugo about her life. What she learns about Evelyn Hugo’s life is different from anything she could have expected, and includes a forbidden, and tumultuous romance, with one of her female co-stars. Evelyn and Celia’s relationship is complex for a whole host of reasons, but much of their strife comes from not being able to give each other what they need, and needing to hide their relationship from the rest of the world.
Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley
One of Kiyoko’s most relatable songs of the album—for me, anyway—is ‘Sleepover,’ where she documents the feeling of falling for a friend who has no idea how you feel. Something that, unfortunately, a lot of queer girls struggle with. Dating Sarah Cooper is about two friends, Katie and Sarah, who get mistaken for a couple. Sarah is more than happy to use the situation to their advantage, but Katie finds herself questioning her sexuality and her feelings for her best friend.
(You) Set Me On Fire by Mariko Tamaki
Allison Lee is making a fresh start at college, trying to reinvent herself. But she finds it difficult to fit in with the girls in her dorm. That is, until she meets Shar, who soon becomes the center of her universe. (You) Set Me On Fire brilliantly captures a rollercoaster relationship, and Allison’s coming-of-age through her often all-consuming love for Shar.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
While The Miseducation of Cameron Post primarily focuses on Cameron being sent to a horrific conversion camp, a lot of the novel is about Cameron trying to come to terms with her identity, and her feelings for other girls. This also comes with other girls trying to come to terms with their feelings for other girls, or rather opting to push it aside and ignore it. All of it being reminiscent of Kiyoko’s ‘He’ll Never Love You.’
Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Pretty much all of Kiyoko’s songs are the perfect accompaniment to Treasure, which is an adorable story about Alexis, a young black college student who meets a stripper called Treasure during her sister’s bachelorette party. When they end up sharing a class, they both begin to develop feelings for each other. But Alexis and Trisha (Treasure) are from two different worlds and they must find a way to overcome these differences and fight for each other.
Style by Chelsea M. Cameron
Style is another adorable book, except this one is hate-to-love and rife with feelings that the characters don’t understand, and often don’t know what to do with! When Kyle and Stella get paired up in their AP English class, their carefully planned lives are thrown into disarray, as something sparks between them that they can’t ignore.
Looking for more sapphic books and reads? Here are 100 Must-Read Lesbian and Bisexual Women Books.