Hello, friends, and welcome to post number two in a series of posts I have planned for Pride Month! In case you missed the first post, I recommended books that feature f/f romances. Today, I thought I’d expand off of that and recommend some more books that feature LGBTQIAP+ characters. If a book title has an * next to it, that means it’s #ownvoices (the author shares the same gender identity or sexuality as the character). I highly recommend prioritizing #ownvoices stories in your reading when it comes to buying and reading books about people on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum. Without further ado, let’s talk about some books! Just a note: while I have plenty of favorite LGBTQIAP+ side characters/romances (Rhy from the Shades of Magic series, anyone?), all of the books I list here feature queer people as the main characters.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy* // A recent read that I adored. This one has amazing #ownvoices representation of bisexuality, and it also explores the idea of sexual fluidity– our main character, Ramona, has always identified as a lesbian, but she begins to fall for her childhood best friend, Freddie, who is a man. This is such a heartfelt story, and I recommend it to everyone.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate* // If you know me at all, you know this is my favorite book of 2017 so far. Jordan’s bisexuality in this book felt the most true to my own experiences with being bi of any book I’ve ever read. Personally, I also thought Noteworthy featured some great commentary on gender. (Here is a review by a nonbinary, queer reader who had a couple issues with the way some gender things were handled.) This book is just completely full of heart. You’ll fall in love with these characters.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire* // This book is a spin on the portal fantasy; it takes place at a school for children who have been to other worlds and are having to cope with being back in our own. Our main character in EHAD is asexual, and there is also a trans side character! Yay for some amazing, rare ace rep in YA!
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore* // A magical realism story about a trans boy who hangs moons from the trees and a queer girl who grows roses from her wrist. McLemore’s prose is lyrical and absolutely stunning, and I loved reading about Miel and Sam’s relationship. Definitely some of the very best YA magical realism!
Bad Boy by Elliot Wake* // Elliot Wake is probably my favorite New Adult author, and I love this latest release from him. Our main character, Ren, is a trans man who has vlogged his entire transition on YouTube. I learned a lot from Bad Boy about some everyday realities trans people face, and it made me reconsider some elements of my personal feminism that I hadn’t previously realized might be exclusionary. It was also an engrossing, thrilling story, with a totally swoonworthy romance.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo* // A wonderful coming-of-age story. We follow our main character, Amanda, a trans girl who transfers to a new high school after transitioning. This story was wonderful and also featured a cute romance. (Also, the cover model is trans, too! Woohoo!)
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera* // A Silvera book had to make this list somewhere! I decided to go with his debut, More Happy Than Not, because I think it’s beautifully honest and heartbreaking. Lots of great commentary on being gay and the effects of heteronormativity.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // There’s a reason this book is so beloved in the book community! Becky has this amazing gift for writing the most realistic teenagers ever. These characters jump right off the pages, and the romance here is sooooooo adorable.
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz* (#ownvoices for sexuality, but not for race) // The main character in this book, Etta, has one of the strongest voices of any protagonist I’ve ever read. I loved getting to read from her perspective. Etta is bisexual, black, and recovering from an eating disorder. This is one of the most underrated YA coming-of-age stories, in my opinion. Plus, it’s a queer book with a HEA!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // Another recent read I adored! It’s a YA historical fiction adventure featuring a queer male protagonist who’s in love with his (also male) best friend. It’s witty, hilarious, sexy, and impossible to put down. I think this book will enjoy a lot of success when it releases later this month!
WHEW. I hope you enjoyed these recs! Again, please go check out part one of these queer book recommendations to show books with f/f relationships some love!
Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorite books with LGBTQIAP+ main characters?
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