In honor of June being Pride Month, here are some of my favorite books with LGBTQ+ representation:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue– Mackenzi Lee
Adventure, humor, and romance? What more could you want out of a novel? This historical fiction follows Henry “Monty” Montague who isn’t exactly the gentleman his father has hope. As Monty embarks on a Grand Tour of Europe, he knows that upon his return, he is expected to take over his family’s estate. Unfortunately for him, he prefers the gambling halls overacting as a leader, and he’s harboring a crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. This novel is full of action, adventure, and love.
Ramona Blue– Julie Murphy
Ramona Blue is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something greater. But, when her childhood friend Freddie returns to her home of Eulogy, Mississippi, her feelings for him develop beyond friendship, causing Ramona to question her own sexual identity. This novel explores self-discovery, family dynamics, and romance.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo– Taylor Jenkins Reid
Everyone who’s anyone knows who Evelyn Hugo is. She defined Hollywood in the mid-twentieth century. Unfortunately, Evelyn is far more famous for having over seven husbands in her lifetime. Now, she is commissioning Monique, a journalist, to write the very first biography about Evelyn’s life. This is the first time Evelyn is being brutally honest about her life, her seven husbands, and the forbidden love no one ever knew about. This emotionally gripping read is full of mystery and intrigue, perfect for fans of Old Hollywood.
The Diviners– Libba Bray
Welcome to New York City in 1926. Evie O’Neil has just been exiled from her home state of Ohio to live with her Uncle Will, a curator for a museum of the supernatural. However, Evie has a secret- she can read the history of every object she touches. If that wasn’t bad enough, strange murders have been happening across the city, and no one knows who is to blame. It’s up to Evie and a band of diviners- others who have magical abilities- to solve these murders. This YA urban fantasy series explores both the good and bad of America in the 1920s through a diverse cast of lovable characters.
Carry On– Rainbow Rowell
Are you looking for your next Harry Potter fix? Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On follows sworn enemies Simon and Baz, roommates at the Watford School of Magicks. Baz thinks Simon is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. Meanwhile, Simon is pretty convinced that Baz might be evil and a vampire. Grudges aside, there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. The two find themselves together in more ways than one, as they work to save the day.
I’ll Give You the Sun– Jandy Nelson
Told in alternating timelines, Jandy Nelson’s, I’ll Give You the Sun follows twins Jude and Noah as they find themselves and repair their broken relationship. Once inseparable, Noah has always been quiet and artistic, pining for the boy living next door. Meanwhile, Jude has always been adventurous, wild, and spontaneous. Certain events set the two on different paths, and the novel explores the depths of their characters and their sibling bond.
Everything Leads to You– Nina LaCour
Everything Leads to You is a love letter to film. Emi is a young set designer who has already begun to make a name for herself in the film world. Despite being a hopeless romantic, Emi’s love life is kind of a disaster, as she has an on and off relationship with the same girl for years. However, when Emi finds a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend, she meets Ava who is unlike anyone she has ever met. This novel has an incredible love story wrapped into a compelling mystery with lifelike characters.
Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda– Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier has a secret that he’s been keeping from everyone- he’s gay, and he’s been emailing a boy with the pen name Blue who he’s starting to develop feelings for. His once drama-free world flips upside down when Martin, a fellow classmate, discovers Simon’s secret and begins to blackmail him. The rules are simple: Simon helps Martin score a date with one of Simon’s best friends, and Martin won’t blast Simon’s secret all over the school. Full of humor, wit, and heart, this is a perfect YA contemporary that explores sexual identity and contains lively friendships, romance, and a compelling narrative.
Shades of Magic– V.E. Schwab
Meet Kell. He is one of the last Antari- magicians who have the rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. Kell grew up in magic-filled Red London, serving the Maresh Empire. White London is hanging on by a thread and full of violence. While Black London is nonexistent, and Gray London mirrors the London ruled by King George III. Although Kell travels on the orders of the empire, he unofficially also smuggles artifacts from each of the different Londons. This series follows Kell’s adventures, along with thief Delilah Bard, Prince Rhy, and a pirate.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe– Benjamin Alire Saenz
When Aristotle and Dante meet, their lives are never the same. Aristotle is an angry teen whose brother is in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who feels alone in how he sees the world. Both loners who have nothing else in common, Aristotle and Dante develop a special, lifelong friendship.
Fun Home– Alison Bechdel
This graphic memoir follows author Alison Bechdel’s fragmented relationship with her late father, her sexual identity, and that of her father. Told with beautiful illustrations, this graphic memoir does not sugar coat Bechdel’s experiences with her family and within herself. It journeys through her childhood, through her adolescent and college years, and finally concluding at adulthood.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson– John Green & David Levithan
This novel follows Will Grayson and (you guessed it) Will Grayson. Although both Will Graysons live in Chicago, their paths don’t cross until one cold night on a corner of the city. Here, their completely different lives suddenly overlap as they work to create the best high school musical. Told in two alternating perspectives, this novel explores sexual identity, teen love, and friendship.