10 YA books with LGBTQ+ representation to read now

Are you on the hunt for LGBTQ+ books that understand the experiences and identities of young adults? We’ve curated a list of must-read YA books that dive deep into the lives of diverse LGBTQ+ characters and their epic journeys. You don’t wanna sleep on these!

From heartwarming romances to thrilling adventures, these books offer representation and empowerment. Get ready to dive into these captivating stories that celebrate love, identity, and self-discovery.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

If you’re on the lookout for a heartfelt and beautifully written LGBTQ+ YA book, then Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is an absolute must-read! This captivating story revolves around the endearing relationship between Nick and Charlie, two boys who navigate friendship, love, and self-discovery.

Oseman’s writing captures the emotions and experiences of young love with authenticity and sensitivity, making it incredibly relatable. With well-developed characters and themes of coming out, acceptance, and mental health, Heartstopper is a poignant and impactful read that will leave you with a warm heart and a smile on your face, even if you’re already watched the wildly popular Netflix series.

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

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, friendship, and love? Then brace yourself for the captivating world of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This compelling young adult novel is not just a coming-of-age story; it’s a heartfelt exploration of identity, cultural heritage, and the complexities of human connection.

Through the beautifully written prose and thought-provoking themes, Sáenz takes you on a deep dive into the minds and hearts of Aristotle and Dante as they navigate the nuances of their Mexican-American identities. This book will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on your own journey while celebrating the power of friendship and the beauty of discovering who you truly are.

Felix Ever After by Kheryn Callender

Felix Ever After by Kheryn Callender is a young adult book that will take you on a powerful journey of self-discovery and love This compelling young adult novel offers an authentic and heartfelt exploration of identity, particularly focusing on the trans experience.

With its relatable characters, thought-provoking themes, and beautiful storytelling, “Felix Ever After” provides a valuable opportunity for readers to gain understanding and empathy for others who may be questioning their own identities. Not only does the book tackle important topics such as friendship, romance, and self-acceptance, but it also celebrates the diverse experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (who also wrote Red, White & Royal Blue) is a captivating book that will sweep you off your feet. Bursting with a compelling story of love and self-discovery, this novel explores themes of sexual identity and the complexities of relationships. With its relatable characters and heartfelt storytelling, this book offers a unique and thought-provoking reading experience that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

Into the Light by Mark Oshiro

Have you been craving a captivating read that dives deep into self-discovery, tackles challenging family dynamics, and unravels mind-bending mysteries? Look no further than Into the Light by Mark Oshiro! Follow Manny, a resilient protagonist who’s been cast out of his family, and Eli, a young man questioning his past, as they embark on an unforgettable journey of identity and truth.

With its gripping storyline, Oshiro’s signature raw emotions, and twists that’ll leave you gasping, this book is a must-read.

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender

If you’re ready for a journey that’s as much about self-discovery as it is about Twitter mishaps, then Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender should be on your reading list. Picture this: Lark, a Black neurodivergent and nonbinary teen, gets tangled in a web of social media chaos when an accidentally posted tweet about unrequited love goes viral.

This novel is not just about navigating the wild world of social media, it also dives deep into themes of accountability, honesty, self-love, and community. It’s character-driven, introspective, and explores intersectional identities, mental health, and polyamory.

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper is a coming-of-age adventure that follows four overachieving gay teenagers – Gabe, Sal, Reese, and Heath – who spend a summer exploring life beyond their rural Ohio town.

Think “Stranger Things” meets “Love, Simon,” but with less supernatural stuff and more personal growth. As they navigate new opportunities and challenges, they learn about independence, resilience, and the enduring bond of friendship. This lighthearted read is not just a celebration of queer youth; it’s also a testament to the power of dreams and the importance of staying true to yourself.

A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

Ever heard a love story told in verse? Get ready to have your heartstrings tugged by A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow.

This modern, lyrical tale follows two trans teens, Aaron and Oliver, who discover the inspiring story of two Revolutionary War soldiers believed to be trans men in love. Picture a blend of history and contemporary issues with a deeper dive into trans narratives.

As they navigate personal challenges, including a family situation that forces Aaron to move away, they find strength in their shared connection to the past. Critics applaud the book for its emotional depth and the way it highlights the revolutionary power of telling one’s story.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Looking for a read that puts a fresh spin on the classic prom queen trope? You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is your answer.

This book tells the story of Liz Lighty, a Black, awkward, and economically disadvantaged teen who decides to run for prom queen in her small, prom-obsessed Midwestern town — not for the crown, but for the scholarship that comes with it. Talk about turning stereotypes on their heads, right?

But things get complicated when Liz falls for one of her competitors. Critics rave about the book’s positive and inspiring messages about embracing your true self and demanding space in the world. Plus, it’s smart, cheerful, and has a great romance to boot.

Then Everything Happens at Once by M-E Girard

Then Everything Happens at Once by M-E Girard is a sex-positive tale that follows 16-year-old Baylee, who’s navigating first love, desire, and self-acceptance amid Covid-19.

Critics praise Girard for creating a realistic and emotional narrative and for her authentic portrayal of a confident, fat girl learning to love herself.

Time to turn the last page… but not the final chapter!

And with that, we’ve reached the end of our LGBTQ+ YA must-reads list! From heart-fluttering romances to soul-searching journeys, these books provide a colorful array of narratives that mirror and celebrate the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.

So grab your favorite blanket, a hot cuppa, and lose yourself in these stories that are sure to leave you inspired, enlightened, and ready to embrace your own journey of self-discovery.

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