Looking for some YA books with queer main characters to
read during pride month? Here’s a list of titles I’ve read and/or heard great
things about. Most of these were published within the past year or so. Feel
free to add on!
Know Me Well by David Levithian and Nina LaCour
Two classmates, one gay and the other lesbian, meet during
pride month in San Francisco and help each other through relationship problems.
me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Finally! A cute F/F novel where no lesbians die in the end!
The main character is an Iranian American with traditional parents.
Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Mystery/thriller about a closeted gay boy who’s girlfriend
goes missing, and he becomes the focus of her disappearance. I can usually
figure out what happened in mystery novels early on but this one had me
guessing until the very last page.
Abyss Surrounds Us and The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie
Lesbian pirates and sea monsters. Need I say more?
the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
This one’s like reading a modern day fairy tell starring a
trans boy named Sam, who’s family immigrated from Pakistan, and a Latina girl
named Miel who grows flowers out of her wrists. And there’s a glass coffin.
It’s super creepy.
of Geek by Jen Wilde
Y’all, this is set at SupaCon (like Comic Con!). There are
two narrators. Charlie, an Asian movie star who is bisexual, and Taylor, a
blogger who has ASP.
by E.M. Kokie
This one’s a little darker. It’s about a butch lesbian
doomsday prepper who accidently gets involved in a dangerous plot that could
get her and her family into some serious trouble. I liked this book because
Bex’s views about guns are completely different than mine. But that’s why we
read, right? To learn about people who are different from you.
Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
This book was pitched to me as a fantasy book about a
princess betrothed to a prince but she falls in love with his sister. It’s
PS: Dear Mrs. Coulthurst, thank you for Chapter 34
Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac
A f/f story set in Vancouver about a girl with anxiety who
goes to live with her dad and falls in love with a musician.
Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Like Sarah Dessen? You’ll love How to Make a Wish! It’s
about a girl, who’s bisexual, who falls in love with a biracial dancer. It’s
part love story, part mother-daughter story and super amazing and emotional!
Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Keep your tissues close. You’ll need them. Griffin’s
ex-boyfriend, Theo, drowns and he’s left devastated. He grows close to Theo’s
boyfriend, Jackson, who is one of the few people who knows what he’s going
Okay by Nina LaCour
Speaking of tissues, you’ll also need them for Nina
LaCour’s latest YA/NA crossover. Marin is staying at school alone for Christmas
holidays and her best friend Mabel comes to visit. It’s a tear jerker but also
amazing and beautifully written.
Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
I’m gonna cheat with this one because the main character
isn’t queer. BUT she has two moms, they’re a biracial couple, her twin sister
is a lesbian, and the sister’s girlfriend is pansexual. And her moms’ wedding
is a big part of the plot. Great book to read during pride month!
by April Daniels
Superhero novel with a main character who’s transgender and
a lesbian. I’ve read this and heard mixed reviews but for the most part, it’s a
good book if you like superheroes.
Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood
This is a f/f story that I’m not entirely sure how to
categorize. It’s part paranormal romance, part mystery/thriller, but could also
be NA. The love interest is a butch lesbian who’s a werewolf!
Mans Up by M-E Girard
Main character is a butch lesbian who comes from a
traditional Portuguese family.
Queen by Sarah Fine
If you’re a Clexa shipper, you’ll love The Cursed Queen. A
fantasy novel with a bisexual main character who falls in love with her
chieftain’s daughter. You can’t help but fall in love with Ansa and Thrya. And
the best part? No dead queer girls!
Well this as a cute little bi girl YA/New Adult romance <3 <3 <3
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde follows three friends as they attend a totally-supposed-to-be-SDCC-but-named-something-else-for-legal-reasons comic con. Charlie is an Chinese Austrailian bi girl and small time YouTube star still recovering from a bad break up with her toxic ex. They starred together in an indie movie that made it big and now she has to deal with him all weekend while they promote the film. Thankfully she has Alyssa, a much bigger YouTube celebrity and total crush to distract her. Then there is Taylor, a fat autistic girl with mental health issues who is secretly in love with their third friend Jamie.
What follows is a fast-paced, sweet, and gentle romance for both girls. Charlie’s burgoning relationship with Alyssa comes under a public spotlight and complete with YouTube videos and ship names. For Taylor it is finding her tribe at the con both with other fans of her favorite book series and a comic made by a fellow autistic girl. This allows Jamie, a character who is basically the most perfect guy best friend ever to turn their relationship romantic, even if it does set off a panic attack. Both girls work their way through however and come to lovely happy endings for now.
It was great to see Charlie use the word bisexual to describe herself MULTIPLE times. Including a scene where she confronts her ex about his biphobia. It’s also nice that her love interest has no objection to her being bisexual and doesn’t say anything rude, biphobic, or fucked up about it despite being implied to be a lesbian. Yes folks the bar for bi representation really is that low and yes I really am excited that Queens of Geek manages to clear it (because so many books don’t).
If I have any real complaint its that the story moves REALLY fast. There isn’t much time to let Taylor’s mental illness or Charlies new relationship settle in. In an author interview at the end of the book, it seems like this novel came out of Jen Wilde’s experience on WattPad, which explains to me the quick fanfiction-like pace. For those of you who do like to linger on characters, it will be over too soon. But for those looking for a quick read, the result is an enjoyable and very validating little love story.
“my gender is a triangle”; 3am gender journals/comics… if my work resonates with you i encourage you to take some time to reflect/create your own work relating to your identity that expresses your own experiences and feelings in your own particular way. this is my gender. think about yours. ~~good vibes y’all~~
12/20/2016 addendum: my longwinded, liberal artsy, sociologically conscious, and purposefully didactic response to criticisms on this post can be found here.
You all should read The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrustkie bc is has sea monsters and girls who love girls and Swift the girl pirate is so amazing I’d totally marry her if she let me. Also, Cas is a kickass MC.
Exciting news, I wrote a book! It’s a queer YA novel about fandom, and I can’t wait for you to read it.
SHIP IT is about fanfiction, queer shipping, and the fan/creator relationship, told from the POVs of both a fan and an actor. It’s an important story to me because I’ve lived on both sides of the fan/creator divide, and these are issues I think about a lot. Who has the authority to decide what’s canon? Who’s in charge of characters once they’re out in the world? Who gets to say who’s queer?
But anyway there’s also kissing and romance and jokes and Comic-Con shenanigans if that’s your jam.