Today I’m coming at you with another recommendations post, I haven’t done one these for a while. So, today – as it’s the end of June (Pride Month) I thought I’d share some of my Favourite LGBTQ+ Books. This isn’t a full list, these are just some of the more recent ones I’ve read, as I have other posts similar. If you would like to see more I have Diverse Book Recommendations (although, not all these ones are LBGT), and A to Z of LGBTQ+ Books, or you can check out more HERE.
This post may include books I’ve mentioned before, but I’m going to bring them up again anyway, because I think we need more diverse books out in the world and some of these book I can not mention enough, and I think everybody should read them too. This list consists of 13 books, some of these are series. I’ll also link each of them to the goodreads page and my review if I’ve done a review of them. Okay, so let’s just get into the recommendations:
The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices – Cassandra Clare
I‘m going to start with my favourite author, I’m not going to sum up either of these series since the LGBT+ parts of both these series are more subplots rather than the main plots and everybody should by now have heard of these. The Mortal Instruments deals with a gay and bisexual character, both of which appear in The Dark Artifices too. The Dark Artifices deals with a transgender character which is revealed in Lord of Shadows, which is the second book, and features, Gay, Bisexual, and Lesbian Characters. Cassandra Clare writes amazing characters which you can’t help but love and very diverse cast of characters.
Signs of Love Series – Anyta Sunday
I read this series this year, and I loved them. I received the first two from netgalley, and it was so worth the read, the third one wasn’t on Netgalley though, so I bought the eBook after I read the first two. Each book features different characters, so you don’t have to read them in order, but I would definitely recommend reading them in the correct order as some of the character make appearances in some of the other ones. I‘m not going to say too much about this one. But this was such a witty, romantic, feel good series. I really enjoyed the easiness of the reading style. Everything was well written and flowed perfectly.
Better Nate Than Ever – Tim Federle
While this wasn’t one of my favourites I thought that I would add this here still, as it’s a middle grade series. LGBTQ+ Characters are a little more rare in Middle Grade books. In Better Nate Than Ever we follow Nate Foster as he sets out on a big journey to make his dreams come true. Nate dreams of starring in a Broadway show and with the ingenious help of his Best Friend Libby, he concocts an exciting plan. When his parents go on a weekend trip and leave Nate in the care of his teenage brother, Nate and Libby put their plan in motion and Nate finds himself on an overnight bus trip to NYC and to an audition for E.T.: The Musical.
The Amanzimtoti Series – Carmen-Shea Hepburn
Easily one of my favourite LGBT Series! Set in Amanzimtoti, South Africa, this series follows Wayne as he starts his final year of high school, when a childhood friend comes back into town, and all the drama associated with his return as Wayne struggles with what last happened between them years ago. The author’s depiction of South Africa as the backdrop for the story was also really enjoyable. I’d never read a book set in South Africa before reading this.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzie Lee
There was no way I could do a LGBT+ recommendations post without including this book. This is one of my absolute favourite books, if you haven’t read this yet, I need to read it. Monty and Percy are going on a grand tour of Europe before Monty is to inherit his Father’s estate and Percy to go away to a school. And Monty is falling in love with Percy. I was expecting this book to be boring. I thought nothing much was going to happen. But so much happens. And Monty and Percy. Honestly, these characters are so precious. And believe me, it’s 100% not boring. Also, I just realised I never did a review of this one. How have I still not reviewed this yet? So, keep an eye out for that, hopefully I can have the review up soon.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is written in first person by Aristotle. Ari is a fifteen year old who at the beginning of his summer break decides to go swimming at the local pool. Though he really can’t swim, never learned how. He meets Dante and a friendship blossoms. Chapters are short and to the point. Some in fact are only a few sentences long. Ari and Dante quickly became real people to me and I easily fell in love with them both. There is no complex plot with many moving parts. It’s just a simple story about two boys and how they discover themselves, the world and the part they play in it.
If I was your Girl – Meredith Russo
A beautiful story about a girl starting a new school and trying to fit it and in the process also falling in love. A contemporary YA romance about a transgender girl, written by a transgender woman. Starting a new school where nobody knows her, she can finally experience how it is to be a normal teenage girl falling in love with a boy. I think anyone, regardless of their age or identity would get something valuable out of this book.
I’ll Give you the sun – Jandy Nelson
The writing in this is so beautiful and it was one of my favourite books when I read it. I liked Noah and his story from the very beginning. It was mostly the parts about Jude and her stone-carving that I wasn’t so interested in but, as I’ve reached the end, I see how it all fit into the story. I loved how art played such a big role in the book, and although I’m far from an artist, I found myself opening up and understanding the huge impact art had on the characters’ lives.
Fourteen Summers by Quinn Anderson
Fourteen Summers is a New Adult LGBT Romance told from three POVs: Oliver, Aiden, and Max. Fourteen Summers is a coming-of-age tale that encompasses many different types of relationships – romantic, familial, and friendship. This novel was sweet and warm, yet had its moments when it became highly emotional. I highly recommend Fourteen Summers.
Simon vs the Home Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
This story follows seven gay teenage boys during a trans-formative and emotionally intense 48 hour period of their lives. There is Peter and Neil, who are in an established relationship; Ryan and Avery who meet and connect at a gay prom; Cooper, who is feeling lonely and dejected by the world at large; and, finally, Harry and Craig, ex-boyfriends-turned-best-friends, who are attempting to break a world record for longest kiss. This story is one that I feel needed to be told and most certainly needs to be read.
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
This book features 15-year-old Flynn whose girlfriend, January, goes missing. Under scrutiny because, as her boyfriend, he surely must know more than he admits to the police, Flynn starts to look into January’s disappearance himself and discovers that he didn’t know his girlfriend as well as he thought. The whole book is from Flynn’s POV.
From the start I really liked Flynn’s character, his journey of self discovery and character growth is what really made me love this story. Caleb Roehrig did a fantastic job bringing Flynn’s character to life and making his voice stand out. While trying to piece together January’s disappearance Flynn is also reflecting on his life and the secret he’s keeping. We did get a couple of twists, and a GLBT romance as well.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Luna, by Julie Ann Peters, is an exceptional book. Although, I only gave this 3 stars, I really liked it. There were a few things that could have been better but it was good. I liked the subject matter of this novel. This being said, I loved Liam’s character. It was beautifully written, with well developed characters. The focus of the book is extremely sensitive as it centres on a transgender teen. The narrator of the story is a fifteen year old girl named Regan. Her brother Liam is undergoing a gender transformation. At night, in the privacy of their rooms, Liam transforms to his female form known as Luna.
Maurice by E.M. Forster
E.M. Forster finished this gay-themed novel in 1914, and though he showed it to some close friends, he didn’t publish it in his lifetime. It eventually came out after his death, in the early 1970s. This book was far ahead of its time, therefore the publication after the death of the author in 1971, when society was ready to embrace its message. All I can say for anyone who wishes to read a classic from E.M. Forster, read this book! It was a pioneering work of its day. This is one of my favourite Classics and I would definitely recommend it if you’re interested in classics that feature LGBT Themes.
That’s all for now. Obviously there are a lot more LGBT+ Books out there and I’m excited to read a lot more in the future. Do you have any LGBTQ+ recommendations? Or any that you think I should read? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Let me know in the comments!