If you’re like me, you view summer as a time to catch up on your reading. I am no longer tied down by school projects or finals and can finally kick back at the beach with a book from my neglected TBR pile. June is the month to celebrate the end of school, the start of summer and, of course, Gay Pride! I wanted to pull together a list of some LGBTQ books to tuck into your beach bag or to read by the pool. Enjoy your summer and some of these wonderful titles.
1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This novel is told from the point of view of young shy artist Noah, who sees the world as potential paintings, and his daredevil, whirlwind of a sister, Jude. Both are incredibly close until a traumatic event rips their bond and leaves them barely speaking. Told from before and after the event, the reader is brought on a crazy ride of secrets, forgiveness, and what it means to be an artist.
2. Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Angela Katz-McNair is done being something he is not. After cutting his hair, buying boy clothes, and binding his chest, he takes on the name Grady and officially comes out as transgendered. But what feels natural for Grady is difficult for others to understand, and he struggles with others’ expectations of him.
3. Ash by Malinda Lo
In this beautiful retelling of Cinderella, Ash is left at the mercy of her vile stepmother after her father’s unexpected passing. Her only joy comes from the fairy tales her mother read to her as a child. When she meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her ability to care and love is reignited.
4. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
The title of this novel speaks for itself; two 17-year-olds, Harry and Craig, vow to break the world record for longest kissing session. This is merely the focal point for an entangled narrative filled with other teen boys navigating gender identity and dealing with long-term relationship difficulties and coming-out stories.
5. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Cameron is still discovering what it means to kiss a girl when her parents are unexpectedly killed in a car crash. Forced to move in with her highly religious aunt and grandmother, she does her best to cover up her sexual orientation. It works for a while until a new girl moves into town.
6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
It’s not easy when you are blackmailed in high school. That is what happens to Simon Spier when his email falls into the wrong hands at school. He doesn’t want his sexual identity to become everyone’s business, and he certainly doesn’t want the identity of the boy he’s been emailing to be discovered as well. High school just got more complicated.
7. None of the Above by I.W Gregorio
Kristin Lattimer has never suspected that there was anything different about her, until a doctor’s appointment reveals that she is in fact intersex. Kristin grapples with this shocking news and what it means for her life plan. When her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, she grapples with what others start thinking of her as well.
8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire S enez
This novel revolves around Aristotle, an angry and bitter teen, and Dante, a know-it-all. Neither has any friends, and they bond over their loner statuses. As they get to know each other, the two develop the kind of friendship that changes lives and spans forever.
9. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
Nina, Mel, and Avery have been an inseparable trio of friends since childhood. But everything changes when Nina leaves for the summer before their senior year. When she returns, she discovers her two best friends have fallen for each other. Their tight-knit friendship is put to the test as they discover what a friendship truly means.
10. Wide Awake by David Levithan
The presidential polls are in, and the next president of the United States is gay and Jewish. Duncan’s life seems to be going perfectly as the candidate he’s been rooting for is set to take up office. But soon, there is uproar, and the very election is called into question. Duncan soon discovers just what he is willing to believe in.
These are just a select number of titles about the LGBTQ community. What are some of your favorites?