a collection of m/m lgbt ya literature
note: i will add to this as i read more books
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
my rating: 5/5
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
genuinely one of the best books i have ever read. i love these boys so much!! the writing is poetic & refreshing. saenz doesn’t sell his characters short just bc they are teenagers, they are well rounded & thoughtfully written.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
my rating: 4/5
This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right. This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.
bless david levithan. basically this book is the world we all wish we lived in.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
harry potter if drarry was canon & draco was written well (*cough* im looking at you jk rowling *cough*)
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
The Foxhole Court (All for the Game trilogy) by Nora Sakavic
my rating: 100000/5
Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher. Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed. But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.
“gay sports” —@faeriedrugs
this series is so so good. if you are going to read one book/series of this list, it should be this one. every single character is so well thought out & interesting i just!!! i love it. the writing is wonderful, neil josten is my son. however, this series gets dark here is a full list of trigger warnings for the series. the books handle the topics VERY well, but i’d tread carefully nevertheless.
pretty happy ending (much happier than what i expected the ending to be at the start of the series)
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
my rating: 3.7/5
Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worryused to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before the car accident that changed everything. Enter: Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—okay, a hot guy—and falls, hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.
on the cover of this book, a reviewer described it as “laugh out loud sad” which is a very good way to explain the protagonist’s voice. think: percy jackson if rick riordan wrote about a gay teenager getting over the death of a family member while getting his first real crush. not a sappy romance, but a realistic depiction of what it’s like to date as a teenager. a couple parts of the book are told in the form of screenplays the protagonist is writing in his head, which is really cool & woven seamlessly with the rest of the narrative.
kinda happy ending
Half Bad (Half Life trilogy) by Sally Green
my rating: 3.7/5 simply because the ending wasn’t great!!!! sally green killed someone she shouldn’t have!! i am pissed!
Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves? (don’t worry the hetero romance won’t last)
despite the ending leaving something to be desired, this trilogy really is worth the read in my opinion. the themes are really interesting & in book 1 it’s a very character focused slower moving plot, but books 2 & 3 have much more action. i really enjoyed it. a few superb minor characters as well!
Hero by Perry Moore
my rating: 3.5/5
The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League. To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.
this book is really cute. a little campy (in a good way), but when i finished the last page i was smiling!!
pretty happy ending
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
my rating: 3/5
Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write. And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret – not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben … who doesn’t even know that love is possible. This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.
i didn’t… love it. i didn’t hate it either. the more i thought, the more annoyed i got at the main characters decision to essentially go back into the closet. the author’s voice had the almost campy feel adults often take on when trying to write as a kid/teenager, which i got used to but still annoyed me. it was worth the read, but didn’t stick with me. not a bad book at all, i’d still suggest you read it if you get the chance, but this is my least favorite book on this list as of now.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
my rating: 5/5
Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad.
i love this book! miller’s prose is nearly poetic and it is beautifully styled. this book took her ten years to write & you can tell.
sad ending, but so worth it
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
my rating: 3.5/5 (honestly i barely remember this book i read it in middle school i’m doing my best)
Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine. It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old - including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire - Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.
my fave john green book & i love david levithan. john green signed my copy of this book a few years ago.
kinda happy ending (if i remember correctly yikes)