I know that Pride Month has nearly passed, but I still wanted to publish a post recommending LGBTQ+ reads and novels that, though they aren’t specifically LGBTQ+ but still feature LGBTQ+ rep characters- these latter titles won’t include a synopsis – and as I have not yet read the novels in the last list, I won’t be including links. Some Notes: to ensure the post isn’t too long, I have not included book photos, but will include links to where you can find each one; and most of the synopses – apart from the last one which has been blockquoted – have been paraphrased in some sort of way.
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
When Tanner and his family moved from California to Utah three years ago, the bisexual teen was pushed temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school left, he plans to through his classes, and then leave Utah for an out-of-state college. However when his best friend Autumn dares him to take their school’s prestigious Seminar – honour role students who diligently toil over a book for 4 months – Tanner can’t seem to resist, and has a go – if only to prove to his best friend how ridiculous it all is. 4 months is so long…..though he’s half right. It is indeed a long period of time, but it only takes him a moment to notice Sebastian Brother; the Mormon prodigy who took part in the seminar last year and sold his own successful Seminar novel a year ago, and is now the class’s mentor….and it’s less than a month before Tanner is totally in love with him.
What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
Arthur is only in New York for the summer – but if Broadway has taught him one thing, it’s the the universe can throw you a showstopping romance when you aren’t expecting it. On the other hand, Ben wishes the universe would mind its own business; if it had had his back, he wouldn’t be carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s stuff to the post office. However when the two have a meet-cute at the post office, what exactly is the universe planning for them?
The Gravity of Us Phil Stamper
A successful social media journalist, with five-hundred-thousand followers and used to sharing his life online, seventeen-year-old Cal’s life is thrown into chaos and a media circus after his pilot father his selected for a highly publicised NASA mission to Mars, and his family has to relocate to Houston from Brooklyn. Meeting the sensitive Leon, a fellow “Astrokid” amidst the craziness, Cal quickly falls head-over-heals; their connection building along with the frenzy surrounding the mission. Yet when programme secrets get revealed, Cal needs to find a way to reveal the truth without hurting those most precious to him.
Last Bus To Everland by Sophie Cameron
Brody Fair feels as though nobody understands him. When he meets art student Nico, who takes him to Everland – a sort of “knock-off Narnia” that opens its doors every Thursday night at 11:21pm to Nico and his friends, and he finds his tribe. As this fascinating world’s doors begin to close however, Brody must make a difficult decision: stay in Everland with Nico and risk never seeing his family again, saying goodbye to Nico and leaving Everland behind.
Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman
Charlie Spring is a highly-strung, openly gay overthink in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School where he meets and befriends cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player Nick Nelson who is in the year above. Charlie is falling hard for Nick, but doesn’t think that he has a chance – however the world of love works in interesting ways, and something good may be just around the corner.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new at school. Like everyone else, she just wants to make friends and fit in, fall in love. But she has a secret, one she is keeping from everyone – including Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with. She used to be called Andrew…and unfortunately secrets have a way of getting out.
This is a book about loving yourself, and being loved for exactly who you are.
Carry On series by Rainbow Rowell (same as with Heartstopper, have linked the first book but it should be easy to find Wayward Son from there – and the third book when it comes out 🙂 ).
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One ever – at least, that’s what his roommate Baz says. He may be an evil vampire, and really annoying…but his nemesis is most likely right. Simon’s wand either doesn’t work or sets things alight – and to make matters worse his mentor is avoiding him, his girlfriend has broken up with him, and there’s a magic consuming monster wearing his face, running around wreaking havoc. His nemesis would be having a field day – but it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and the git hasn’t even bothered to show up.
The Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams (Ninth Rain,the first book, is linked – but should be easy to find the other three from there). (For older readers)
The great city of Ebora used to be beautiful -but its streets have become deadly and unsafe; stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless isn’t going to sit around,and wait for his death, while his storied ancestors’ world collapses around him – I mean, talk about a guilt trip. Much better stay alive and in the realm of the living, where there are women and wine filled taverns. When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him a job, he sees it as a chance to escape. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch who tends to set things alight, the idea of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts sounds a lot better than what he left behind.
However not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. The Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall..
The Musician and The Monster by Jenya Keefe (for older readers).
Ángel Cruz is a dedicated session musician, until loyalty to his estranged family forces him to work for Oberon: the feared and hated envoy from the Otherworld. Overnight, Ángel is taken from his life, his friends, his work, and trapped in a hideous mansion in the middle of nowhere, under constant surveillance, and with only the frightening fae for company.
Oberon’s poor understanding of humans combined with Ángel’s resentment and loneliness threaten to cause real harm to the pair. Then a long winter together in the mansion unites them in their love of music. Slowly, Ángel’s anger thaws, and he begins to realize that Oberon feels alone too.
Gradually, these two souls from different worlds form a connection like none other. But hate and prejudice are powerful things, and it’ll take all the magic of their love to stop the wider world from forcing them apart.
Features LGBTQ+ rep within the story:
Daisy’s Vintage Cornish CamperVan by Ali McNamara – Amazon
Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay by Ali McNamara – Amazon
Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop by Ali McNamara – Amazon (releases late July)
Books I hope to read before 2021:
Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
You Should See Me in A Crown by Leah Johnson
Bloom by Kevin Banetta
Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith
House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess
Zodiac Starforce #1 by Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau (artist)
(These are at the top of my list, but there are others I’d also like to read)
If you have any recommendations of your own (yes I know Pride Month is over but it doesn’t mean we have to stop giving LGBTQ+ book recommendations) please give them in the comments below :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.