The truth is that I’m not too picky with what YA I read. Sure, I have my limits (no more than 2 depressing books a month) but for the most part I don’t like to hold myself back. I like to read all genres, so I can enter all types of worlds and meet all types of people through literature. That being said, it’s certainly harder to “meet” some people than others-LGBTQ characters for instance. Characters in the LGBTQ community have the potential to teach me and readers everywhere so much, and I definitely don’t want to miss out. To that end, I’ve compiled this list of 9 YA LGBTQ books that I think everyone will love!
Did I get your favorites? Did I miss your favorites? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go. It takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
Tanner and Sebastian are two amazing characters who are experiencing similar feelings in very different environments. Tanner’s family is progressive, while Sebastian’s is conservative.
The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
Arielle’s life is a blur of new apartments, new schools, and new faces. Since her mother abandoned the family, Arielle has lived nomadically with her father as he moves from job to job. All she’s ever wanted is to stay in one place for an entire school year, and it looks like she might finally get her wish. With a real friend, Monica, who might be even more than a friend soon, things are starting to look up.
Arielle is a great character in general but it’s so interesting to watch her explore her bisexuality amidst the chaos that is her life.
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.
*spoiler alert* At first it seems like Greta is doomed to the “new boy in town, we must fall in love” trope. But it’s actually an old girl friend who has always been there for her that ultimately catches her heart.
Boy Robot by Simon Curtis
In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever. His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.
An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.
This book has it all. Isaak is an awesome protagonist and a part of the LGBT community. Plus, this book includes a transgender girl as well as both accepting family members and not so accepting family members.
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished.
More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.
This book has a gay love triangle! In the end, will it be Ozzie and Tommy or Ozzie and Calvin (his new love interest)? I can’t wait for you to find out!
We Are the Ants by 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.
Henry is dealing with an alien invasion while also mourning the loss of his boyfriend. Bottom line, this book gave me so many feels and I want you to be on my level, so you should read it.
The Great American Whatever by 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. 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.
Quinn is such a quirky and relatable character. You can’t help but love him. Reading this book is almost like reading the Perks of Being a Wallflower with a gay protagonist.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by 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—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.
This is a slow burning love story between Aristotle and Dante that I can’t say much more about without giving everything away! All I can say is—read it now!
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background at his Texas high school. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but none of those social groups get him…at all. When a hate crime spurs Adrian into action, he must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.
Watching Adrian come into his own and truly decide who he wants to be is magical and inspiring. You’ll be glad you were along for the ride.