We all know by now that I can get very excited about queer representation in books.
I mean….. who doesn’t? And, this month is the PERFECT time for me to give you all some recommendations because… it’s Pride month!! Aka June!! Aka my birthday month!! Aka winter!!! Aka month of the gays!!
Rest assured, I will be making the most of this time to scream about books that have LGBTQIA+ representation and you all get to
suffer through enjoy it!!
So, today I have eleven books with queer characters to scream about and for you all to (hopefully!) read! There’s 5 m/m books, 4 f/f, 1 m/enby, and 1 aroace (for some of the books I listed rep, others… I didn’t) so hopefully you find something you like 🙂 I’m always open to finding recommendations too, so drop some in the comments ❤
(also guys i wish i had more to recommend especially by Black authors at this time so please prioritise those recs!!! i’m making a very conscious effort (especially this year and recently) to read more ‘diversely’ and therefore i would LOVE if you left some – preferably with POC to support at this time but if not that’s still okay and appreciated!!! i’m not kidding when i say leave recommendations i really want them!! so many!! please fill my tbr!!! i’ll adore you endlessly!!!))
I feel like I never talk about this book?? (Except… I do). And I’ve read it twice yet I still remember NOTHING?? But I know it’s absolutely amazing and you should read it.
It follows Laila and her struggle to please the new English teacher with her work. While it isn’t the MAIN focus, it also has a cute f/f relationship!! I died through it the first time since it’s so snarky and SLOW!!! Slow is the key word!!! The sheer power of the gay slowburn never ceases to amaze me (see: ari and dante. see: many other books i can’t think of right now.)
Final Draft’s MC is biracial, pansexual, and has anxiety. I guarantee you that if you even VAGUELY identify with one or more of these it will slam you in the face and you won’t recover from it. If you don’t, you’re missing out, but it still shows a teenager and her experience that is actually very common? And SO MANY reviews rave about how they get Laila in so many ways – including myself. Even if you don’t, it will still touch your heart.. hopefully. Maybe you have a cold soul.
I also have very mixed feelings about the MC’s name for Reasons. :))
rep: fat pansexual biracial (Ecuadorian + French Canadian) MC w/ anxiety, Korean lesbian LI
ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED
Only Mostly Devastated is the queer fluffy romance I didn’t know I needed!! It’s hilarious as well!!
This book was just completely adorable and if you’re looking for cute romcom, apparently-Grease vibes with a hint of angst and sad cinnamon rolls then this is for you!! There’s soft boys and messy boys and family ~drama~, so what’s not to love?!
It’s one of my favourite books so far this year – probably because of the balance between happiness and soft banter to death and sadness. Ollie and Will touched my heart and made me laugh and cry and it’s so important. Also!! Adorable messy boys!!
rep: gay MC, bisexual Venezuelan(?) LI, bisexual side character, fat POC side character, POC side characters
RED WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE
Speaking of books I laughed through, this novel!!! Might be the funniest book I’ve ever read!!! I think this book is on so many people’s recommendation lists, and I can see why.
Alex is a complete disaster bi and I LOVE and relate to that so much?? He’s an oblivious mess who constantly makes Bad Decisions and why is that the actual embodiment of me??? Then Henry is just out there trying to shove some sense into him… ‘maybe I’ve actually been in love with you??? maybe??’ ALEX IS CONFUSED.
That’s the whole plot of the book but I love them!! And the Gang™ is very pure and good at matchmaking :)))
rep: bisexual biracial (Mexican + white) MC, gay LI, bisexual major SC, and POC + queer cast
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This book means the absolute world to me. The messages and the characters mean so much to me and I cannot express my love more than mentioning it in every post. Which.. I do.
Tanner is fresh in the closet after moving to a small, religious town – and he’s okay with that. Then Seb comes along as a TA in a writing class Tanner was forced into by his friend and he starts enjoying class a bit more… a lot more… chaos is a given.
Disaster writer kids!!! Love!!! Angst!! Sadness!! Features everything you need to love a book!!!
YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT
I received this from my parents (along with a massive haul!! thank you!!! still not over that!!) for Christmas and can I just say that going into it I knew I was asking for a lot. Some may even say I was asking for… perfect. (that’s the last pun I promise!!! i cannot resist!!!)
Somehow, this lived up to it.
It has a featured m/m relationship, parents who are involved in the matchmaking of said relationship and who I am soft for, and it talks about the struggles of academic perfection and expectations!! The US sounds really stressful and thankfully the school I go to is not extraordinarily pushy ❤
Perks of this book that are NOT the sad, stressful parts: cute as romance, kinda enemies to lovers (!!), faith and using that to find peace, and the family!!! Who I adore so so much!!!
rep: Jewish bisexual MC (w/ anxiety?), Muslim gay LI, Jewish side characters
DRESS CODES FOR SMALL TOWNS
This book is so underhyped and I cannot recommend it enough. I feel like I have been talking about it more recently but that doesn’t change the fact I love it!!!!
Billie is such a beautiful protagonist to tell this story. She struggles with finding where she fits in her world of tight-knit friends and church services – struggles with finding where she fits and finding who she is. I love her so much and I’m awe of the writing and character development.
Something I loved about this book is that it didn’t preach – and to me, it had the message of you can stick with your faith and still be yourself and love who you choose. Billie definitely questions her faith throughout this, and wonders how much you have to believe in to believe – something I though was written very delicately and it felt authentic.
In this novel there are confessions, love notes, and ultimately there is a story about acceptance and understanding the world before the world understands you. It’s a story about love – platonic love, familial love, and yes, romantic love – and confusion between loves.
I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST
Even though I wanted to get to this in June, I only ended up getting it for Christmas last year, but it was worth the wait.
I probably should reread it but just, wow. It’s heartbreaking and so loving and I have a soft spot for ALL of the characters!! They’re all so wholesome and lovely and I WISH I could be as positive as some of them!!
Ben has lost so much and Mason Deaver portrayed their struggle and slow acceptance is such a way that you’ll cry and laugh and sob.
rep: nonbinary MC with anxiety and depression, QPOC (black?) boy in genderqueer/m relationship
TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL
This was on my last year’s TBR and I am so happy I got to it.
Like, I hoped I’d love it but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did?? (originally named a favourite but I have to revise that now whoops) It was a queer Gilmore Girls inspired enemies to lovers so I had REALLY high expectations of it and it lived up.
The enemies to lovers part was so well done – the whole time I was so desperate for them to hurry up and kiss!! I also felt the characters were a little one-dimensional and petty at the start which is probably the most annoying part??? HOWEVER push through it because it gets so much better!! I liked it so much after the first 20%!!
rep: lesbian Muslim MC, Mexican-Jewish lesbian MC
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
sjhfahjk this book. I feel like everyone knows about it by now but that doesn’t make me want to stop talking about it?? Even the horrendously long title isn’t putting me off??
It’s just a beautiful book and you’ll cry and laugh and walk away better off than you were before because you’ve just fallen in love with something new.
Ari and Dante follows two boys over two summers (and a school year but it doesn’t count) and their relationship as they grow and – slowly, delightfully slowly – fall in love. Fall in love with each other, fall in love with falling in love, and fall in love with themselves. They learn so much about themselves and each other and their families.
I love so many things about this book but I think the family relationships are my favourite thing. The contrast of the two is portrayed beautifully and I can’t think of a better family in a book.
Also!! I read it at the end of March and I reread it as my first Pride book recently because I love it so much – and like, two months is equivalent to a year at the moment.
rep: Mexican gay MC (w/ depression – heavily implied), Mexican gay LI, mostly Mexican side cast (family, etc)
NOT YOUR SIDEKICK
Okay I read this for Pride last year and while it wasn’t the be-all and end-all of f/f superhero things, it was much better than I was expecting.
I went into this thinking it was going to be a basic MG novel with unlikeable protagonists and token representation… when it was anything but. I got a beautiful YA story complete with a (predictable, yes, but in a cute way?) f/f romance that made my heart soar, and cultural representation that I know means so much to so many.
It’s sci-fi (I think???) and it features a bisexual Asian MC who lives in her older sister’s shadow… until stuff happens and things go DOWN. (that was a horrible description but it’s better if you go into it not knowing much!!)
rep: biracial (Vietnamese, Chinese) bisexual female MC (in f/f romance), trans male SC
SUMMER BIRD BLUE
To close off the post, I want to talk about a book that was actually on my last year TBR and I got to it then!! It’s such an amazing book and I hope I can convince you all to read it!!
It has an aroace MC and I love Rumi so much!! Her relationship with Kai, Mr Watanabe – her neighbour who was AMAZING and who I adore – and her coming to terms with her sister’s death (not a spoiler!!!) were all so beautiful and I simply adore the prose in this.
I cried during this – and I don’t even have a sibling. I can only imagine how hard hitting this must be if you do (especially a sister.) It talks about grief in a life-shattering way that will break your heart and smash it into a million pieces. One piece for every tear during this book.
rep: multiracial (Japanese, Hawaiian, white) questioning aro-spec asexual female MC, other multiracial characters (including Japanese, Hawaiian, Korean, Samoan, and white)
have any pride recommendations for me? excited for pride this year? read any of these books? are you like me and just rereading favourite books this june?
***also yooooo if you can go sign some petitions!!! lots of international links here :)))
also also i would’ve mentioned aftg on here because i’m too obsessed with it and it’s… pretty gay to say the least, but a) i need to sop thinking about it and that starts here, and b) i physically cannot bring myself to recommend it anymore since it’s so so bad (yet i love it so much why does my brain work this way)