a list of gay ass books i whole heartedly recommend and why

ok well this list has been a long time coming tbh but i’m finally motivated enough to do it and i PROMISE u i will forget something throughout the course of writing this, so please don’t hesitate to reblog with your own recs!!

disclaimer that most of these are white gay dudes, bc that’s what i’ve read and that’s what i’ve got. if u have more recs that are NOT white gay dudes, please PLEASE share. i need more of that in my life.

all for the game by nora sakavic @korakos (the foxhole court series)

  • summary: ugh man. ok so like. this series is the story of a kid (neil) who’s been on the run his whole life finding a home and finding a Reason To Stay in a family of exy players (exy is a made up sport - kind of like lacrosse and hockey had a baby). the team (the foxes) is made up of troubled kids and so there’s so much more to it too, with all the twists and turns and a whole host of shitty abusive characters i have to be vague here bc Spoilers but like. man. there’s a Whole Lot.
  • why: yOU FALL IN LOVE WITH ALL OF THE CHARACTERS. i’ve never seen a sports story like this where you get to know everyone’s story and character except check please before. the main characters are andrew minyard and kevin day (who is the jack zimmerman of the foxhole court series tbh what a Dork). it’s kids learning that their boundaries will be respected, it’s neil learning that he can have a home, can have this, it’s andrew learning that Some Things Are Worth Fighting For IT’S SO GOOD AND I’M SO GAY. (the first book is free to download!!!)
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: rape, csa, abuse, torture, etc etc etc are not good for you it’s chock full of it tbh

check please by @ngoziu​ 

  • summary: i lied a lil this one is a webcomic and not a book BUT it’s about a small gay kid named eric bittle from georgia goes to play hockey at an elite made up school, samwell. the captain of this team is hockey’s former golden child, jack zimmerman who has So Many Issues (god he is the kevin day of check please). there’s character development and sheneganins galore. 
  • why: ok listen. when i was first recommended this i was ALSO like. hockey? really? but man you start reading it and YOU CAN’T PUT IT DOWN. the art is GORGEOUS and the characters are SO WELL DONE and there’s so much EXTRA CONTENT.  i don’t even have anything else to say I LOVE CHECK PLEASE SO MUCH it’s gorgeous and adorable and portrays college life SO GODDAMN WELL it’s amazing. (there’s a point when a character makes an excel spreadsheet to figure out future plans for another characters and i DIED bc i have def done this before)
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: i guess like? anxiety/mental health stuff? but it’s mentioned a couple times and characters are dealing with it and stuff. can’t think of anything else. this one’s p vanilla actually.

the song of achilles by madeline miller

  • summary: like, if you’re reading this list you’ve probably already either read or been recommended this book at least a thousand times. i’m gonna do it again. it’s the greek myth story of achilles, told in the pov of his lover patroclus and follows them from kids to their deaths (this is not a spoiler the myth is like thousands of years old like come on). there is a war (u might have heard of it, it’s called the trojan war), a training montage, and a lot of gay ass kissing.
  • why: gorgeous writing. like honestly i couldn’t put it down for the whole night i was reading it. it’s beautifully written and talks a lot about legends and how legends are made (who lives who dies who tells ur story, amirite). and about humanity and living past your life through your deeds and what you can do and prophecy, etc, and a lot about what you’d give up for another person. 
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: mentions of homophobia, war violence, mentions of rape + slavery

the half life trilogy by sally green

  • summary: it’s a fantasy world where witches and magic exist, and the witches (co-ed term here) are split up into white witches (the Good Witches) and black witches (the Bad Witches) (gotta love that coded word terminology :/) and our protagonist, nathan, is half white witch, half black witch (and his father is like, the Most Powerful black witch so there’s that) so the story follows nathan and all of the white witches’ attempts to figure him out and control him and his powers and shit while nathan’s trying to fight them and find his dad. (nathan is like the epitome of Fucking Fight Me tbh)
  • why: ok i gotta be honest here i haven’t actually read the last one and apparently some #problematic shit goes down in that one, so approach this one warily. but man, this one also has a beautiful storyline and the plot is so, so interesting because the world is so beautifully done and intricate, and the characters are allowed to change and mature as the story goes on. tbh i’m probably the least excited about this series in this whole list, esp bc of what i’ve heard goes on in the last book but. it’s a good read.
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: abuse, torture, medical torture, etc

aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by benjamin allire saenz

  • summary: man this one doesn’t even really have a summary - it’s two kids growing up together and figuring out who they are and learning to love one another.
  • why: again, gorgeous writing oh my god (are u seeing a pattern). TWO NON WHITE NON STRAIGHT DUDES!!!! YUUSSS. anyway this entire book was gorgeous and talked about the Growing Up Not White In American thing wonderfully?? it’s also the first ya novel i read where the parents are as involved as they are and it’s amazing. it’s so sweet and so pure i love this book
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: i don’t remember anything overtly triggering about this book but i also read it a while ago so i could be wrong bUT it’s a Wholesome Pure book so i doubt it tbh READ THIS BOOK

i’ll give you the sun by jandy nelson

  • summary: this is the story of two twins, jude and noah, growing up in the world, coming to terms with sexuality, coming to terms with their past and who they are, and finding their family again
  • why: it’s told in two diff povs, one of noah in the Past and one of jude in the Present, and i am a Huge Sucker for that shit. noah’s entire sections are such powerful uses of language and when you see what they both turned into in jude’s present perspective it’s amazing. it’s growing up and healing and learning to love your family all over again and it’s amazing
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: mental health stuff, family stuff, mentions of suicide, there’s not a whole lot tho

the proxy series by alex london

  • summary: proxy is a dystopian story where the main character, syd, is the Chosen One and has to save the world, ft. knox, Rich Boy extraordinaire, and marie the Social Justice Warrior. syd’s super gay and knox is super bi and there are shenaginans. the sequel is after they’ve ~saved the world~ and it’s still sort of a dystopia, and then u meet liam, a bodyguard who is basically a giant puppy and is also Super Gay. oh yeah the dystopia part is that like, the super rich all get the poor “proxy’s” to take their punishment whenever they do something illegal/bad/whatever, and syd is knox’s proxy B)
  • why: proxy was the first one i read of all these books, i think? i loved it so much. so goddamn much. syd is the most soft most wonderful and knox is an asshole and also Trash Son and MARIE. ugh marie. anyway proxy does such a good job of talking about social issues on a large, well thought about scale. it talks about privilege and how it seeps into everything you do, even if you’re trying to help and have good intentions. also liam is adorable and wonderful and So Pure and you’ll never get to him if u don’t read the first book, so. the WORLD is also so intricately woven and so interesting to think about it feels like it COULD HAPPEN it’s really fun to read through!
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: uhhh, death, torture etc stuff

captive prince trilogy by cs pacat

  • summary: SHIT OK. um, basically. damen, our protag is the prince of a country that’s just been usurped by his half brother and then he gets sent to that country’s MOST RIVAL country, as a slave to the prince there. plot twist (that’s not rly a plot twist bc u find out in the first chapter i promise this isn’t really a spoiler but if u want u can skip ahead like a sentence anyway): DAMEN KILLED THAT RIVAL PRINCE’S OLDER BROTHER IN A WAR A WHILE AGO. ok potential spoiler over, moving on: the whole series is about them facing off against laurent’s uncle for the right of the throne and there’s a shit ton of political intrigue but a lot of laurent trying to make damen’s life as miserable as possible for a while before they both eventually start warming up to each other and then it turns into the sweetest most affectionate relationship and i want to Die.
  • why: dude. dude the political intrigue and plot twists in this book are TO DIE FOR. laurent is that character that you HATE SO MUCH at the beginning but then REASONS happen and as damen starts to fall for him you do too and it’s amazing it’s so amazing. their relationship is so pure and it’s SUCH A SLOW BURN. it feels REAL and unhurried and is so so so fun to read through.
  • (my tag for it on my blog)
  • maybe don’t if: oh god um, rape (NOT laurent to damen, bc that’s what i was worried about at first tbh), csa, torture, fucking slavery, abuse, a whole fuckton of shit tbh

two last shameless plugs:

dates! an anthology of queer historical fiction by @marginscomics

  • dates is a comic book anthology that my friend @zhgilbert​ edited and distributed and i contributed to! it’s full of queer historical fiction of all time periods and spans the entire globe, and has one rule: no one dies. my story for it, if ur interested, is called To War We Go and is about two gay girls finding love and peace in each other during the mahabharatha era of hindu mythology.

the carnalis series by @arcsismedia

  • i’ve only read the first book of this series, and only the first two are out, but i need to plug arcsis since i helped with its founding! carnalis is a fun, campy supernatural story centered around a redheaded lesbian named pemberly and it’s really fun to read. the gorgeous illustrations by @falloutgirlongirl​ also make the book SO WORTH IT. the first book is also free to read on the website!!
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fun fact: for absolutely no reason whatsoever, if you type “haiku” into the console of half-life: opposing force, it will display a randomly generated haiku for you

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| the aesthetic from video games concept arts|
| i very love the concept arts from video games!|
| Edits made by me :)|