Book List

20 LGBTQIA+ Love Stories You Need to Read

June 2, 2021
Jasmine Hodge
Riveted Editorial Board

We think about romance a lot around here, and are always searching for stories that explore love in all its glory. While these books aren’t all romances at their core, the love story in each of them is wonderful and complex. Here are 14 books with LGBTQ+ love stories you need to add to your list right now.

20 LGBTQIA+ Love Stories You Need To Read

1. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

A rich, dark contemporary fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. Voya’s love interest, Luc, is a trans man. One of Voya’s cousins, Alex, is a trans woman, and another, Keisha, is lesbian and demisexual. Liselle has a layered discussion throughout the book about how there’s more to all of us than our biology.

2. The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch

When a homophobic eblast outs Sky’s promosal plans he and his friends turn his 30-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to find the eblast perpetrator. This witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel is perfect for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.

 

3. The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott

Rachael Lippincott, co-author of #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart, weaves a captivating, heartfelt love story about learning who you are, and who you love, when the person you’ve always shared yourself with is gone.

 

4. A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson

Black Mirror meets What If It’s Us in this gripping, romantic, and wildly surprising novel about two boys lost in space trying to find their way home—while falling in love—from the critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants.

 

5. Bruised by Tanya Boteju

Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

 

6. Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. When a magical plague ravages the queendom and Wren’s father falls victim, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father. Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them.

 

7. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

 

8.  A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones in this thrilling urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto that follows a queer cast of characters racing to stop a serial killer whose crimes could expose the hidden world of faeries to humans.

 

9. When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

This book is filled with dark humor and magic as six teens attempt to fix some accidental magic that goes horribly wrong. There is also some complicated love as Alexis deals with her secret love for her best friend.

 

10. Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

I strongly believe that the greatest love story is one you have with yourself. In Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens Nima, a queer teen, navigates questions of identity and self-acceptance while discovering the magical world of drag.

 

11. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke. Nothing says love like trying to get to the bottom of a cult.

 

12. Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

Chris is a transgender teen still processing a frightening assault from last year. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister. When a near-fatal car accident brings them together, their rocky start makes them want nothing to do with each other, but they just can’t seem to stay away. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds. But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

 

13. All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick

Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend Carter, the town gold boy, unaware that he is cheating on her with Rosalie Bell. Rosalie is tired of maintaining a fake, straight relationship and hiding her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents.When an anonymous texter threatens to spill their secrets, Amanda and Rosalie become unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.

 

14. Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Maren’s dreams of a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia are whisked away when Kaia is kidnapped by the Aurati, the emperor’s prophetic agents. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold. With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

 

15. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Tanner Scott, who identifies as bisexual, comes to terms with his feelings towards Sebastian Brother, all while living in a conservative Mormon community in Provo, Utah. 

 

16. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Brooke struggles with her identity and trying to come to terms with her life when she meets Dani, a girl who really helps Brook change her perspective on what life is all about.

 

17. The True Queen by Sarah Fine

The True Queen by Sarah Fine

The third book in the Impostor Queen series combines fantasy, action, and romance. Elli and Ansa’s relationship, both platonic and romantic, is important as they try to keep their kingdom from crumbling. 

 

18. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Natasha didn’t expect Unhappy Families, her web series adaptation of Anna Karenina, to go viral. Nor did she expect the complications it would bring to her love life and coming out as a romantic asexual. 

 

19. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Artistotle 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. At first they seem to have nothing in common, but as they spend more time together, a friendship blossoms, and along with it a sweet romance.

 

20. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Queer punk girl Rosina Suarez is one of three protagonists who start an anonymous group to resist the sexist culture at their school in Amy Reed’s The Nowhere Girls. While not the primary focus of the novel, Rosina’s crush-turned-romance with sweet cheerleader Melissa definitely makes our hearts swoon.

 

Want more great LGBTQ+ reads? Try out these great books! 

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