Happy Pride Month everyone! This month went by so fast, and I bad for how little I’ve done to commemorate it. I considered doing something different to just recommendations, but in the end I decided that it is always a good thing to be recommending such important books. As Pride Month is over tomorrow, I think these would all make great summer reads. Or reads for any time of the year.
I would also just like to stress that whilst I am not LGBTQ+ myself, these were all books that were also well-received by members of the LGBTQ+ community (as far as I’m aware; please do correct me if I’m mistaken).
Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green came out this year, and is quite possibly the funniest book I’ve read. The fantastic humour in this book is also combined with the lovely storyline of two very awkward teenage boys exploring their sexuality and accepting yourself and others. I do also have a review of this book, where I talk about my thoughts on it in more detail!
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is one of my all time favourite contemporary YA. Jandy Nelson has the most poetic writing style, and Noah and Brian’s story is one of the most romantic and beautiful I’ve ever read; this book is so touching, and I cannot recommend it enough!
George by Alex Gino is the story of a young transgender girl. This book is Middle Grade rather than YA, which I think is really excellent, as there is (as far as I know) very little representation for transgender children in books. This book was quite simply written, but this made it super accessible, and the sort of book that will be so important to so many young people.
Release by Patrick Ness is his latest book, and I thought it was stunning (I have a review up if you want to hear about all it’s stunning-ness). As well as beautifully showing the protagonist, Adam, coming into his own, it also has the element of religion, and I think it’s really interesting to see how it fitted in with the story.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli is a book I read years ago and fell absolutely in love with it. This is such a beautiful story, and I adored reading Simon and Blue’s love story – it’s also being made into a movie which I am excited beyond belief for! And although I haven’t read it yet, I do want to mention Becky Albertalli’s latest book, The Upside of Unrequited, because I have heard that it is fantastic too, with lots of LGBTQ+ representation!
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson was the first book (I think) that I read with a transgender protagonist. This book was not only super informative and respectful, addressing hardships that are faced by transgender teens, but it was deeply touching and emotive.
Another story I completely adore is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. It is slightly different from the rest of the books on this list in the sense that it is not a love story. The theme of friendship is very strong, and I loved seeing Frances and Aled’s friendship grow. The main character, Frances, is bisexual, and Aled is demisexual – something that I loved to read in this story, as demisexuality is rarely even mentioned in YA.
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare had to be included in this list, simply for Malec. I decided to choose this book rather than The Mortal Instruments because, as Magnus puts it, he is a ‘freewheeling bisexual warlock’, and much of this book focuses on his and Alec’s relationship. So for fans of Malec, The Mortal Instruments, or just literally anyone, I think this is a book you will love!
I would love to know your thoughts on these books, and if you have any LGBTQ+ recommendations of your own. Happy Pride!