21 LGBTQ Young Adult Books That We Highly Recommend

21 LGBTQ Young Adult Books That We Highly Recommend

Buy, borrow, or request these from your local library!


Scholastic Press, Reece T. Williams / Via byleahjohnson.com

Release date: June 2, 2020

What it’s about: In this adorable contemporary YA rom-com, Liz is running for prom queen, but not for the reasons you might think. Her town takes prom pretty seriously and offers a scholarship to the king and queen. So when the scholarship Liz was counting on to pay for college falls through, she decides to run. But things get complicated when Liz starts falling for Mack, a girl who is also running for prom queen. This lighthearted and fun read is sure to leave you in joyful spirits.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Jimmy Patterson Books, natashangan.com

Release date: Nov. 6, 2018

What it’s about: Set in the Asian-inspired fantasy world of Ikhara, eight girls are chosen to become the Demon King’s concubines every year, which is considered to be an honor. This year, Lei is forcibly taken from her village to serve as the King’s ninth. Oppressed and alone, Lei can think of nothing but escape. She wants to go back to her family, but she doesn’t expect to find comfort in another girl, Wren, who she slowly begins to fall for. However, Wren reveals a deep secret and Lei must make a choice: fight or flight. With a lush setting and rich world, Ngan creates a story filled with female empowerment, f/f romance, and complex characters.

You can also purchase the sequel, Girls of Storm and Shadow.

Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Barnes & Noble for $9.89, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Graphix, Alice Oseman / Via rcwlitagency.com

Release date: May 5, 2020

What it’s about: I love this graphic novel so much that it definitely warrants a re-read this month. Set in an English prep school, soft boy Charlie Spring forms a friendship with rugby-playing Nick Nelson. While Charlie is out, Nick is still struggling with his own sexual identity, but he knows Charlie’s friendship means so much to him. Both boys attempt to navigate high school and love in this adorable, joyful, and squee-worthy graphic novel.

Get it from Bookshop for $13.79, Barnes and Noble for $14.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Page Street, adibajaigirdar.com

Release date: May 12, 2020

What it’s about: Nishat comes out to her Muslim parents, but she doesn’t expect them to encourage her to hide who she is. That becomes a little complicated when her crush on a girl named Flávia grows. When a school competition encourages students to create their own business, Flávia and Nishat choose the same idea: henna. Nishat is upset that Flávia is appropriating her culture, and the stress and competition goes fierce. You’re going to fly through this one as your affection for Jaigirdar’s characters grow.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Bloomsbury YA, Krystal Balzer Photography / Via philstamper.com

Release date: Feb. 4, 2020

Why we’re excited: Cal is a popular 17-year-old social media journalist who is thrown into an even bigger spotlight when his father is selected for a NASA mission to Mars. Cal and his family move to Houston, where he meets Leon. Leon is another son of an astronaut, and the two grow close quickly. But when Cal uncovers secrets about his father’s program, he must decide how to move forward without hurting the people he cares about. Tender and heartfelt, this honest story is crafted with care and contains a romance that’ll leave you feeling like the heart-eyed emoji.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Random House Books for Young Readers, kevinvanwhye.com

Release date: May 19, 2020

What it’s about: Bryson Keller lives by a dare at Fairvale Academy: date someone new each week. The first person to ask him out receives the opportunity. But when Kai Sheridan asks him out, everything changes. As days go by, Kai gets to know Bryson on a deeper level but knows this surely can’t end well. Bryson is straight, isn’t he? This fantastic love story will have you instantly falling for Keller’s characters and their uplifting romance.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Ember, goodreads.com

Release date: Oct. 9, 2018

What it’s about: Coop has been in love with his best friend, Jupiter Sanchez, for as long as he can remember. Except Jupiter identifies as gay, and she might just be interested in the new girl, Rae Chin. But Rae has eyes for Coop…and maybe also Jupiter? Told in three different perspectives, we can’t help but love and admire the way Stone honestly writes about sexual identity, labels, fitting in, and fluidity. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s felt like they can’t quite pinpoint their identity.

Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Barnes & Noble for $10.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, harpercollins.com

Release date: May 5, 2020

What it’s about: Felix is a Black trans boy who has never been in love, yet desperately wants to experience it. He worries his marginalization won’t lead him to finding his happily ever after. When a student publicly posts his deadname, Felix seeks revenge — but he doesn’t expect his catfishing plan to land him in a quasi–love triangle. Callender crafts a beautiful novel full of authentic characters who explore identity and the love they deserve.

Get it from Bookshop for $17.47, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

9.

What If It’s Us
by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera


HarperTeen, Margot Wood / DECISIVE MOMENT EVENTS

Release date: Oct. 9, 2018

What it’s about: Ben is a NYC native, whereas Arthur is only staying for the summer to help his mother out in her law office. When the universe offers them a meet-cute at the U.S. Post Office, their exchange leads them to NOT exchanging phone numbers. Ben is trying to get over his ex, so is it worth even searching for Arthur? Arthur’s never had a boyfriend, so is he crazy for wanting to find Ben? In this heartwarming and joyful novel by YA superstars Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, we get dual point of views and a truly phenomenal story about love and friendship.

Get it from Bookshop for $17.47, Barnes & Noble for $17.43, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Make Me a World, akwaeke.com

Release date: Sept. 10, 2019

What it’s about: Jam is a black, transgender girl who lives in a utopian society called Lucille. This world is free of monsters, or rather, free from corruption, crime, and injustice. When Jam’s mother paints a creature and Jam accidentally brings it to life, Pet is born. Pet’s goal is to rid her world of monsters, but Jam has been led to believe there are none on her utopian world. That is, until Pet tracks down a monster in Jam’s best friend’s home. Though this powerful, poignant story is set in a world unlike ours, Emezi gracefully tackles real issues that reminds us all that we must not turn a blind eye to the monsters in our own world.

Get it from Amazon for $11.63, Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, abdaddy.com

Release date: June 4, 2019

What it’s about: It’s the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1989. Reza, a young and closeted Iranian teen, is new to NYC. Soon, he begins dating Judy, who quickly falls in love with him. But while Reza is pretending with Judy, he begins to fall for Art, who happens to be Judy’s best friend. It’s a love triangle of epic proportions where there’s more at stake than a broken heart. If you haven’t already read this, you need to — just get ready to really feel your feelings.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes & Noble for $12.59, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Simon Pulse, Tanya Boteju / simonandschuster.ca

Release date: May 7, 2019

What it’s about: Nima Kumara-Clark unexpectedly finds herself immersed in the drag scene on another side of town. The last thing she expects is to fall into a journey of self-discovery because of it. Boteju’s earnest novel poignantly expresses the importance of identity and fitting in for the first time.

Get it from Bookshop for $18.38, Barnes and Noble for $13.29, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, Hussina Raja

Release date: May 26, 2020

What it’s about: Bursting with brilliant and powerful prose, Atta’s YA verse novel is a coming-of-age story about a multiracial (Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican) gay teen who learns to embrace who he truly is when he discovers drag. You can’t help but root for, cry for, and celebrate Michael as a character. Atta’s story shines.

Get it from Bookshop for $17.46, Barnes and Noble for $16.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Jenny GG Photography / Via brittalundin.com

Release date: May 1, 2018

What it’s about: Sixteen-year-old Claire is a popular fan-fic writer obsessed with the show Demon Heart. Forest is an actor on the show. Both of their worlds collide when Claire attends her local Comic-Con in Indiana and asks Forest if he suspects his character is gay. Forest is offended, and when the disastrous panel goes viral, the Demon Heart PR team invites Claire and her mother on the rest of the convention tour to try and boost the show’s image. That’s when Claire gets an idea: She’ll try and convince the showrunner to make her ship canon. Lundin brilliantly creates a fast-paced and fun look into the Comic-Con world while also diving deeper into how it feels to question your sexual identity.

Get it from Bookshop for $9.19, Barnes & Noble for $9.99, or a local booktore through Indiebound here.


Bloomsbury YA, kalynnbayron.com

Release date: July 7, 2020

What it’s about: Sure, this one comes out after pride month, but I had to include it because it’s absolutely worth a pre-order. Two hundred years after Cinderella finds her prince, teen girls are required to appear at the Annual Ball. There, the men of the kingdom select wives based on the girls’ display of finery. Sophia loves Erin, and she would rather flee than go forward with this tradition. When she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum, she meets the last known descendant of Cinderella. Together, they decide they must bring down the patriarchy.

Get it from Bookshop for $17.46, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Swoon Reads, clairekann.com

Release date: June 4, 2019

What it’s about: Set in the small town of Misty Haven, Winnie has officially graduated high school and will go off to college in the fall. But she has her whole summer ahead of her first, which includes hanging out with Dallas and working at her granny’s diner. Winnie’s dream is to take over the diner one day, but that won’t happen if they can’t keep the doors open, so Winnie plans to enter a cooking competition to win extra money despite her grandmother’s protests. Kann’s contemporary story isn’t one to be missed, tackling subjects of queerness, body positivity, and growing up.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Louisa Wells / Via camryngarrett.com

Release date: Oct. 29, 2019

What it’s about: This one has been raved about many times before, so you’re absolutely going to want to pick it up if you haven’t already. It’s a brilliant story full of acceptance and inclusivity. Simone is a teen living her normal life. She also happens to have HIV. She’s the director of the school’s production of Rent and is testing the waters with a new boy named Miles. But, one day, someone leaves a note on her locker telling her to break it off with Miles or they’ll reveal to the entire school that she has HIV. Garrett powerfully portrays the importance of standing up for yourself.

Get it from Bookshop for $17.46, Barnes & Noble for $17.09, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Quill Tree Books, Dirty Sugar LLC / Via andreweliopulos.com

Release date: May 12, 2020

What it’s about: In this bewitching and magical novel, Sam and his friends live in a small town that looks down upon magic. He and his friends, James and Delia, are involved in a magic club, but foundations in their friend group begin to crack when Sam’s feelings begin to grow for James, who has gotten himself mixed up with the wrong kind of magickers over the summer. Can they overcome the problems that threaten to tear them apart?

Get it from Bookshop for $17.47, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Release date: Apr. 28, 2020

What it’s about: Told through poignant personal essays, George M. Johnson writes about his childhood, bullies, sexual identity, toxic masculinity, family, sex and relationships, and more. Captivating and honest, you’re not going to want to miss Johnson’s emotional memoir.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $16.49, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Feiwel & Friends, Kirsten Gilliam Photography / Via aminahmae.com

Release date: June 11, 2019

What it’s about: Sana Khan is a cheerleader, straight-A student, and overachiever. Rachel Recht has one ambition: to become a director someday. Rachel hates Sana, mostly because she believes she was the butt of a cruel prank at Sana’s hands in the past. After a certain incident on campus, both girls are forced to work together on Rachel’s directorial project — what could go wrong? In this heartwarming and fun-filled novel, Safi draws inspiration from the iconic Paris and Rory friendship from Gilmore Girls and creates a fantastic f/f enemies-to-lovers romance.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.


Duet Books, julianwinters.com

Release date: Sept. 10, 2019

What it’s about: Remy Cameron has always accepted the labels given to him by others. He’s gay, super likable, and confident. But when his AP Literature teacher assigns the class to write an essay describing who they are, Remy realizes he has to dig deeper to discover his truths instead of accepting how outsiders see him. Winters tenderly and profoundly writes a touching story about exploring your identity.

Get it from Amazon for $16.55, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

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