Hi do you know any books like Ari and Dante where it's about a boy finding himself and possibly a love interest? I've tried looking and I can't find any :( and i guess it doesn't have to be lgbtq (but that would be a nice bonus) I'm just asking in general because no one seems to know any
Sure! Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig is a great one on this subject. Don’t be put off by that it’s also a mystery/thriller if that’s not your thing; he handles coming-of-age and sexuality really well and it has a good romance, too. I’d also recommend The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle. Adam Silvera’s stuff (which is usually what’s recommended to Ari and Dante fans) all has elements of this, but which of his books is right for you depends a lot on the level of tragedy you can handle with it and what kind of ending you need. (If harsher on all counts is OK, then definitely try More Happy Than Not. If you prefer these themes to be strong but a lighter read, hold out for his September release, They Both Die at the End, but, uh, take note of the ending as given in the title. History is All You Left Me has the most hopeful ending, but is the least about self-exploration, and more about grieving and mental illness and is deeper into real relationship experience than the others.)
Willful Machines by Tim Floreen is sci-fi, but also a boy in his first real romance with a boy while trying to balance his sexuality with a world that’s politically unfriendly to it, so might be good for this. If you’re cool with the finding himself part being pretty wholly centered on sexuality, True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan might be a good pick for you too. I also really highly recommend How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis, especially if you’re interested in a book where religion is a factor in finding yourself as a gay boy, and it’s also a good pick in this vein for a lighter read, as is One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva.
And they’re all gay; we don’t need to dip into non-lgbtq around here ;) Hope you find something you love!