Book List

40 LGBTQIA+ Reads for Pride

June 25, 2016
Chelsea Fought

June is Pride Month and to celebrate I wanted to put together a list of great YA featuring LGBTQIA+ characters!

This is in no way a comprehensive list (and throughout the process of putting this together I found a lot of great new books I added to my TBR pile, along with a bunch that comes out later this fall that everyone will definitely need to check out) but I wanted to create something that featured a range of genres, from contemporary to fantasy to horror to science fiction.

Take a look and share what your favorite books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters in the comments!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendaby Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, Simon gets blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated.

Proxyby Alex London

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. Syd is Knox’s Proxy. His life is not his own. Then again, neither is Knox’s. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.

Will Grayson, Will Graysonby John Green and David Levithan

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.

Bleeding Earthby Kaitlin Ward

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones. Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

American Girlsby Alison Umminger

Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card an runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined. She engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

More Happy Than Notby Adam Silvera

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

True Letters from a Fictional Lifeby Kenneth Logan

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy. But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?

One Man Guyby Michael Barakiva

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. When Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades, Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.

Lies We Tell Ourselvesby Robin Talley

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and the fact that they may be falling for one another.

Under the Lightsby Dahlia Adler

Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, but his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls… opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing.

The Miseducation of Cameron Postby Emily M. Danforth

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different.

Ask the Passengersby A.S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions–like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

The Inside of Outby Jenn Marie Thorne

When her best friend Hannah comes out the day before junior year, Daisy is so ready to let her ally flag fly that even a second, way more blindsiding confession can’t derail her smiling determination to fight for gay rights. Before you can spell LGBTQIA, Daisy’s leading the charge to end their school’s antiquated ban on same-sex dates at dances—starting with homecoming.

The Porcupine of Truthby Bill Konigsberg

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer helping his mom take care of his father. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who’s long held a secret regarding Carson’s grandfather. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson’s dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the “Porcupine of Truth” in all of their lives.

I Am Jby Cris Beam

J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was; a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible – from his family, from his friends…from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding – it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.

We Are the Antsby Shaun David Hutchinson

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

Two Boys Kissingby David Levithan

David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz

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—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.

Openly Straightby Bill Konigsberg

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 goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance. While that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. 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.

Anything Could Happenby Will Walton

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels–and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse. The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

Draw the Lineby Laurent Linn

After a hate crime occurs in his small Texas town, Adrian Piper must discover his own power, decide how to use it, and know where to draw the line in this stunning debut novel exquisitely illustrated by the author.

The Abyss Surrounds Usby Emily Skrutskie

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.

You Know Me Wellby Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other, and how they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Runby Kody Keplinger

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who’s not exactly sober most of the time. Agnes Atwood has never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules meant to protect their legally blind daughter. Despite everything, Bo and Agnes have a friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else. So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require confronting some ugly secrets.

Everything Leads to Youby Nina LaCour

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. But when a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feelby Sara Farizan

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual.

Not Otherwise Specifiedby Hannah Moskowitz

Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown. Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group…

The May Queen Murdersby Sarah Jude

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night. Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. But when someone goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

Highly Illogical Behaviorby John Corey Whaley

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him. Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in? Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond.

Far From Youby Tess Sharpe

Sophie Winters nearly died twice. The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick. The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

More Than Thisby Patrick Ness

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust…

If I Was Your Girlby Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

About a Girlby Sarah McCarry

Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There’s no room in her tidy world for heartbreak or uncertainty. But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past—and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future.

The Great American Whateverby Tim Federle

Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used 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.

The Bermudez Triangleby Maureen Johnson

“Their friendship went so far back, it bordered on the Biblical — in the beginning, there was Nina and Avery and Mel.” So says high school senior Nina Bermudez about herself and her two best friends, nicknamed “The Bermudez Triangle” by a jealous wannabe back on Nina’s eleventh birthday. But the threesome faces their first separation when Nina goes away the summer before their senior year. And in ten short weeks, everything changes.

Symptoms of Being Humanby Jeff Garvin

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl? Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

Seven Ways We Lieby Riley Redgate

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

None of the Aboveby I.W. Gregorio

Kristin Lattimer feels like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.” Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

I’ll Give You the Sunby Jandy Nelson

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways… until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life.

Carry Onby Rainbow Rowell

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 sets something on fire. 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.

3 Responses to 40 LGBTQIA+ Reads for Pride


  1. vampirelover94 says:

    I didn’t like the book I couldn’t get into the book at all it wasn’t as good as Fangirl.

  2. brojenkins says:

    How do I read this

  3. babygirl2003 says:

    it wont let me read it

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