50 LGBTQ+ Books (Must Read) For Teens

Sonia Akavan
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The LGBTQ movement has come a long way over the past decade. It’s nearly impossible to walk down the street or even look out your window to see that you are not alone. You are free to be who you are.

Literature has also followed the movement. From allegorical novels to graphic memoirs, we have a successful representation of the LGBTQ+ community in books for our youth. There are a lot of great books on the market right now that you can add to that library of yours or a child’s.

To help you get started we put together a list of 50 must-read books about being an LGBTQ+ teen. There is everything here from funny and quirky youth novels to memoirs.

NameCategoryProduct
BoomerangBest OverallBoomerang
The Fever KingBudget PickThe Fever King
Ace of ShadesUpgrade PickAce of Shades

1. Boomerang

Our rating: 9 / 10

Boomerang

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Pros:

  • Diverse and highly relatable
  • Extraordinarily well-written
  • Thoughtful and engaging

A Novel

This best LGBTQ book is written by James Moloney. The book was published by Penguin Australia, and it was first released in Australia in August of 2016. According to our research, it has been well-received by America, as well.

This novel is about the life and very high school experiences of a 17-year-old boy named Danny. He’s popular with both boys and girls, but he just can’t seem to get with the right guy. Both of his parents are having very serious problems that do not seem to be sorted out yet. He is an A student, and he’s in the running for a position on the Governor’s Scholar Program. All of his friends seem to be getting in serious relationship trouble.

2. Bloom

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bloom

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Pros:

  • Amazing and relatable LGBTQIA+ characters
  • Easy to read and fun book
  • Nicely illustrated
  • Deals with real life situations
  • Amazing cover
  • Adorable
  • Great for a book club
  • Deals with many types of bullying, and talks about how to deal with it
  • It's a graphic novel
  • Shows what it's like for someone to come out, and how to support them

Bloom is a beautiful novel that I sadly haven't heard anyone talk about. It's an all-ages book that deals with a lot of issues that the LGBTQIA+ community faces and is becoming more widely read.

3. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Our rating: 8 / 10

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

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Jack is a young bisexual savant who has learned that an adventurous life won’t fit into the mold of society, but that doesn’t stop him from seeking it out. He and his sister/best friend, Felicity, are off to the European continent for what Jack expects will be a, “Locally Unusual London Spring Break,” but Jack’s dream of dashing through the 18th-century with a flagon of his favorite claret turns to actual drama when Felicity reveals a secret of her own. Now Jack must keep his sister safe, and troubles are coming from all sides.

A rousing gay adventure that scooped up the award for Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction Novel at the Lambda Literary Awards in 2016 and 2017. The Montague Siblings Series is a charming new addition to queer YA history.

4. The Fever King

Our rating: 8 / 10

The Fever King

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The protagonist of The Fever King is a gay prince, so you know LGBT books for Teens read w.

Ill have a lot riding on the outcome. I really enjoyed this book because it was super fast paced, and it was told through alternating perspectives of three characters. It took me no time at all to finish, and I loved it. It has a really strong political aspect with a pretty good amount of world building going on, but I really enjoyed the hidden aspects to it.

The story follows the lives of three high school students living in a society where everyone is required to be a certain gender, and it is illegal for anyone to be transgender. Cal is forced to present herself as male, because she still thinks she’s a woman. Rae is trying to learn as much as she can about what it means to be trans. And then there’s Mackie, the star quarterback who has no idea what to do with himself now that he’s gay.

5. Timekeeper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Timekeeper

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Pros:

  • Embraces diversity, with LGBT+ characters
  • Well-developed plot
  • Deep and thought provoking topics

Cons:

  • Bit slow at time
  • Transitions between plot points were a bit rocky

In this fast paced story, Kricket Hollowell has lost everything that she has ever known. She is thrust into a world that is completely foreign to her, even though this world is what she has been looking for. Kricket has the unique ability to manipulate time and it is what makes her special. But it is also what gets her kidnapped.

The characters were well developed in this book. There is a lot to love. It was one of the best LGBT+ young adult fantasy novels I have ever read. If you are looking for a new LGBT+ series to curl up with, I highly recommend checking this one out.

6. Of Fire and Stars

Our rating: 7 / 10

Of Fire and Stars

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Pros:

  • Focuses on the power of female friendships
  • The themes of power and love are very powerful
  • The book will make you think about how two very different people can fall in love

Cons:

  • The romance is not at the forefront
  • No cliffhanger ending

The fantasy adventure YA novel "Of Fire and Stars" is the first in the new Skalderon series of sci-fi romance books by debut author Audrey Coulthurst. It is a highly anticipated book among readers of many YA genres.

The Skaldara Empire is one steeped in tradition. When Princess Dennaleia is caught with her hand in the cookie jar the punishment is harsh. She's stripped of her title, her status, her dowry, and her intended.

She wears shoddy clothes, is exiled to the country with her father who she has not seen in years, and is barely tolerated by the locals. It's only when she discovers a mythical power that she can control is she able to carve out a place for herself and her friends.

7. Heartstopper Volume One

Our rating: 7 / 10

Heartstopper Volume One

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Pros:

  • Fantastic LGBTQ+ YA novel!
  • Creates gorgeous imagery
  • Heartwarming romance
  • Emotionally gripping
  • Highly recommended
  • One of the best YA novels coming out today
  • One of best 2018 books! Amazing YA novel
  • Beautiful story

Cons:

  • Very emotional; could trigger some people
  • May not be ideal for younger readers

Newly arrived on a tiny island off the gulf coast of Florida,.

Where rumor has it your dreams come true. Smiling at the

Lottery of life, Charlotte expects her dreams will be, at last,.

8. The Red Scrolls of Magic

Our rating: 7 / 10

The Red Scrolls of Magic

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Pros:

  • A good story
  • Present day setting
  • Few typos

Cons:

  • A lot of foul language
  • Slightly confusing

The Red Scrolls of Magic (1) by Cassandra Clare is the first book in The Eldest Curse series. It's told from the viewpoints of three different characters. The setting is in present day, in London, England, by three teenagers, Emma Carstairs, Julian Blackthorn, and Emma's boyfriend, Mark Blackthorn.

Emma, Mark, and Julian are the only three non-magic wielders in their family. They're surrounded by a lot of magic and are expected to be normal children, but they have secrets they have to keep from the magic users in their family and the outside world.

Mark is the youngest out of the Blackthorn siblings, all of whom are trained to be warriors. He's the only which who is not allowed to use magic yet. Their father is an evil man who does horrible things outside of training them to be warriors.

9. The Music of What Happens

Our rating: 7 / 10

The Music of What Happens

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Pros:

  • Faezeh Hashemi is a genuine character, and I felt like I could really relate to her.
  • The relationships are believable, if not always healthy.
  • There’s a healthy dose of cultural conflict.
  • For a work of YA fiction, I thought the author did a great job of addressing ideas of faith without showcasing religion as the worst
  • The Music of What Happens examines a confusing time in the life of a teenage girl and the choices she makes as she grows up.

Cons:

  • I would have liked more background on her mother to understand why and how she became such a devout Muslim who was so disappointed with her daughter’s choices.
  • I found Faezeh’s reverence for her uncle very off-putting. It was handled well because the reader started to understand the gravity of the situation, but it took me a long time to get on board with that.
  • The book moved a little too slowly at the beginning, and I would have liked it more had the first fifty pages been condensed into a short prologue that got straight to the meat of the story.

10. Girls of Paper and Fire

Our rating: 7 / 10

Girls of Paper and Fire

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Pros:

  • Good world building
  • Diverse cast of characters

Cons:

  • Confusing and messy plot
  • Overly descriptive prose

From the publisher: "Girls of Paper and Fire follows two girls who are members of the Paper caste, which is oppressed by the ironclad rule of the Fire caste. In this rigid hierarchy, the girls of the Paper caste are expected to serve and protect their male counterparts at all times. And yet, there is mercy to be found amidst the most brutal conditions, and survival is possible if you are clever and lucky and quick."

"On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Nokami has only one wish: to use her powerful shapeshifting abilities to find out what happened to her father, who was captured by the enemy eight years ago."

"As heiress to her father's position as a diviner, Nokami is prohibited by tradition from taking up arms. But with the king's army failing to return and restore order, Nokami has no choice but to disguise herself as a boy and fight alongside her sister Yumiko in the king's army."

11. Picture Us In The Light

Our rating: 7 / 10

Picture Us In The Light

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Pros:

  • Realistic portrayals of LGBT teens
  • Shows the diversity of LGBT teens
  • Gay/straight relationship drama
  • A great book for the classroom

Cons:

  • Focuses on problems that LGBT teens experience.
  • Does not have a happy ending

A heart wrenching novel of a gay teen being disowned by her mother and having to deal with an abusive family, Picture Us in the Light, by Sarah L. Johnson, is a book that you will remember.

There are so many emotions wrapped into this story that it’s hard to even describe. It’s about a girl named Heather, whose mother finds her diary and leaves her to live in a group home.

Heather is brutally attacked by another girl, and then her mother decides to come back into her life and fight for her custody. Even though this book is very sad and deals with serious issues, it’s actually a joy to read because of Heather’s humorous and witty point of view.

12. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Our rating: 7 / 10

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Pros:

  • Funny
  • Well-written
  • Great for teenagers and young adults

Cons:

  • Not very long
  • Only available in print

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of the most highly-praised novels of the last decade. This book is set in Orlando, Florida and follows the main character, Simon, through a series of adventures. Simon is gay, and the book deals with an email thread that he sets up with another student from the school whom he became friends with earlier in the year.

The email thread eventually becomes public which causes chaos for the two characters and their families. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a best-selling novel for a reason: it is funny and touching and helps to deal with many of the issues that today’s teenagers are forced to face, particularly when it comes to coming out. It also deals with the aftermath of such things with a great amount of sensitivity.

This book is an excellent choice for young adults that will help them better understand their own lives and the lives of others.

13. The Love Interest

Our rating: 7 / 10

The Love Interest

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Pros:

  • A Sci Fi page turner
  • A realistic take on gay relationships
  • Discusses Pure Kismet

The love interest by Cale Dietrich is the first book from the Pure Kismet series which focuses on an app that matches people together. The story is so fun and entertaining with just the right amount of suspense to keep you glued to the page.

The book is both realistic and appealing to modern life because it focuses on the premise of finding dates on an app. Modern Romance is something a lot of teens experience.

It’s also the first book I’ve seen to address the topic of Pure Kismet, the phenomenon, which proves that even though you are not looking for love, the universe will find a way to put you with your “soulmate.”

14. Six of Crows

Our rating: 7 / 10

Six of Crows

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Pros:

  • Great target for male readers
  • Strong female characters
  • Quick pace, impossible to put down
  • Complexly layered, interesting, and engaging
  • Compelling central conflict

Summary:

Six of Crows has an amazing story and an immersive experience that will have you coming back for more. It’s chock full of strong characters and a conflict that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This book’s strong writing style, and compelling world-building make it a must-read for any fan of fantasy or science fiction. It’s a great book for adults and teens alike. *Book Source: Purchased* Review Source: Read *Note: This book is one of my favorite reads. It’s a gritty high-octane adventure that turns fantasy and sci-fi tropes on their heads. This is a series I can’t wait for the sequels to drop to find more of.

15. Autoboyography

Our rating: 7 / 10

Autoboyography

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Pros:

  • Inspirational For Gay Teens
  • Twenty Chapters
  • Insightful and Honest

16. If I Was Your Girl

Our rating: 7 / 10

If I Was Your Girl

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17. I Wish You All the Best

Our rating: 7 / 10

I Wish You All the Best

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Pros:

  • Unique Perspective of Moving Toward Coming Out
  • Great Supporting Characters
  • Quick, Easy Read
  • Practical Tips for Families Helping a Child Come Out
  • Straightforward Writing Style

Cons:

  • Some Small Red Flags
  • Made for Teenagers

This novel is one of the best young adult LGBTQ books my wife and I have ever read. It tells the story of 17-year-old Harper, a high school student in Greensboro, North Carolina, whose mother writes a letter to her before she died about coming out as gay. Harper is unsure what the letter is talking about, and decides to find out where her mother came from, and hence the novel begins.

The letter I Wish You All the Best is a quick, enjoyable read. As a lesbian myself, I'm always looking for new LGBTQ books that feature main characters coming out, and this book is a great one.

Although, it's definitely geared toward teens and pre-teens, it's a great read for adults too. It's a coming out story that every LGBT adult should, and probably has, read. You also get some great tips for families that are helping their children come out as gay.

18. Like a Love Story

Our rating: 6 / 10

Like a Love Story

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A coming-of-age story about a teenager who goes away to boarding school and struggles with his sexuality.

Told from the dual perspectives of Coby and Eminem, Like a Love Story is a passionate novel about two boys who fall in love and how their relationship survives.

When Coby is sent away to a private boarding school, he meets the charming and charismatic Eminem. The two form an instant bond and Coby is quickly infatuated with his roommate, but is reluctant to give into his feelings because he worries what others will think of them.

19. Summer of Salt

Our rating: 6 / 10

Summer of Salt

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A Graphic Novel

Author: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

20. Let's Talk About Love

Our rating: 6 / 10

Let's Talk About Love

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Valentina is a romantic. She's head over heels for her best friend, Naomi. But, unlike many romantic comedies that end with a kiss, this one might be different. Valentina is transgender and Naomi might not be so into her once she finds out. Let's Talk About Love is a sweet and funny story about friendship, first love, and what it means to transition from girl to boy.

Juniper has liked Rumi since she was five, but Rumi only is interested in boys. And then Juniper meets Aiden and starts to fall for him, and she can't help but wonder if her love for Rumi is just a phase. I've Been Meaning to Tell You is a lesbian love story that proves that sometimes you have to do something really weird to make a point.

By Califia-Reilly, Zachary.

21. You Asked

Our rating: 6 / 10

You Asked

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Pros:

  • New Adult genre
  • Flawless romance
  • Encouraging coming out story
  • Great Story Plot

Cons:

  • Parts of story can be underwhelming
  • Some might consider Thomas to be too perfect

You Asked for Perfect written by Kassandra Lea is an entertaining new adult romance that will give you butterflies in the stomach. It's one of those fluffy happily ever afters with a very prominent lip on each other.

The storyline is very typical, but if you're in the mood for a fun and bubbly romance, this book will be your fix. It's got the heartwarming feel that just about every love story needs.

For this storyline, you MUST have an open mind. Otherwise, you'll find yourself getting frustrated. Mel's kind of an idiot, but it's hard not to sympathize with her, and I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.

22. The Weight of the Stars

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Weight of the Stars

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Jamie begins to romanticize Caroline’s disappearance when she’s away playing softball in the city, but he soon finds out that it’s not as great as he thought it would be.

The Weight of the Stars is a thoughtful and captivating novel about a young boy who is caught in the middle of his sister’s mysterious disappearance, and is forced to confront a dark and terrible secret in his life.

The book simplifies the emotions of a father and son stranded together on a deserted island. The story is based in Ghana.

23. Carry On

Our rating: 6 / 10

Carry On

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Pros:

  • Romance and erotica
  • Humor
  • LGBT fiction
  • Unique plot

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell is a young adult fantasy novel set in the fictional world of Simon Snow. Simon Snow is the most powerful sorcerer in the world, possibly in history. With his friends, Baz, Penelope, and Agatha, Simon must stop the evil demon Acathla with his forbidden love for Agatha.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the humor of the novel. This was a really fun and enjoyable read. Would highly recommend it to just about anyone.

24. The Dangerous Art of Blending In

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Dangerous Art of Blending In

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Andrew Smith will make you want to quit school and run away to San Francisco and open an art gallery. The Dangerous Art of Blending in follows the story of Holden Wege, whose principal is secretly taking bets on when Holden will become the next gay suicide.

Holden Wege is the new kid, a social outcast in a wealthy town on the East Coast. He’s gay, he has tattoos, and he thinks he’s misunderstood. After bravely defending a classmate from being bullied, Holden starts to change how others see him.

A readable version of one of the most important classics in queer literature, this book is a passage to the past as well as a guide to the present.

25. Ace of Shades

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ace of Shades

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This novel gets its title from the mood-altering drug that the main character, an assassin named Henry "The Ace of Shades," is addicted to. When things start to unravel, he's at a loss.

Like all great urban fantasies, the world building in this novel recalls a different era: in this case, a Prohibition-style U.S. where magic has come out of the closet, but the government has responded by outlawing magic and controlling its use through a mysterious group of magic-using officials called the Order of the Knights of the Iron Dagger.

When Henry tries to quit using the drug, he finds himself in a whole lot of trouble. The Order is after his blood, and Henry doesn't even know it. He's aware that he's in over his head, but he doesn't know exactly what the source of his peril is, or why he's involved. He just knows that he needs to keep on running.

26. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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Pros:

  • Thoughtful
  • Funny
  • Well-written
  • Well-paced
  • Thought-provoking

Cons:

  • Romance-heavy
  • May not relate to some people

Greg thought he was headed for a lonely life, with a future that looked exactly like his past. A smart boy without any friends, he became an even lonelier young man with a strained relationship with his father, and unable to sleep at night because of his father’s sex toy business.

Then he meets Dante, the new boy in school. Dante is a sweet, sensitive soul who has a perpetually ditzy mother. This is a book about friendship and finding the courage to be who you are, about the search for love and acceptance.

27. Starworld

Our rating: 6 / 10

Starworld

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Pros:

  • Introduces LGBT themes
  • Main character is gay
  • Themes of friendship, first love, and relationships

Cons:

  • Some the scariest pages are the ones that don’t contain content (*cough
  • no, not the terrifying blanks pages, although… yeah)
  • Simpler and definitely less violent than many of those other books (NOT saying it didn’t leave me with feelings of dread)

28. Summer Bird Blue

Our rating: 6 / 10

Summer Bird Blue

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Comic-strip-style novel. Summer Bird has been emotionally damaged more times than she can count. Her parents are practically strangers to her, her older sister is something between a saint and a nightmare, and at first glance, Linda falls somewhere between "hot" and "an asshole." She's the one friend that Summer can rely on, until Summer screws it up, as she always does, once again. Summer's mom is sick, and maybe dying, and Summer doesn't really care. She certainly didn't ask for it to happen. She doesn't want to deal with it. All she wants is to stay ignorant of the situation. But the rest of the world has other plans. This beautifully drawn, honest novella shows the messy, twisted, loving, devastating relationships between mothers and daughters.

My Thoughts: This story will hit home with anyone who has struggled with mental illness in their family. It can hurt so much to watch someone you love be consumed by their illness. This story is violent at times, but there is a lot of love, too.

29. The Gilded Wolves: A Novel

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Gilded Wolves: A Novel

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Pros:

  • Entertaining, fast-paced
  • Wonderful mix of elements

Cons:

  • The book seems somewhat disjointed
  • Not enough character background

Laurel is an American girl living in Paris, France. She is an amateur archivist dedicated to stealing valuable items from the past. She steals from the rich to give back to the poor. She has been stealing from wealthy families for years.

Things are different for Nicholas. He has inherited his mother’s wealth, so he doesn’t have to steal to pay the bills. But, he is lonely. He seeks others like him, so he acquired a mansion full of inscrutable objects from the history of the world. When he meets Laurel, he wants to help her out, but there is a problem.

The book gets off to a slow start. It doesn’t really get into the action until you get, I would say, about 30% through the book. Then, it is clear that there is a lot of potential. It is an intriguing look at how the past can affect the present.

30. Jack of Hearts

Our rating: 6 / 10

Jack of Hearts

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Pros:

  • Great portrayal of a transgender teen
  • Positive message

Cons:

  • Art could be better, a few pages are troublesome
  • An unrealistic ending

Jack of Hearts (and other parts) is an award-winning LGBTQ book for teenagers that has a lot of positive messages about being yourself, loving others, and not being afraid to explore who you are.

Jack is a fifteen-year-old transgender teen who has the love and support of his family and friends, even his grandparents. But at school he gets bullied. He has one friend, Alexia, who sticks by him. Jack then meets a handsome transgender teen who wants to be a model. Jack helps him with his portfolio and models for him but when an unexpected friend of Jack’s gets in trouble and needs a lawyer he must decide if he’s going to choose himself.

31. I Was Born

Our rating: 6 / 10

I Was Born

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Pros:

  • Inspiring
  • Humorous
  • Thought-provoking
  • Award-winning

In this story, the main character, Rose, is required to do a show-and-tell to get into a certain summer camp at her school. She has to tell the class what her biggest dream is. She decides to tell the class about her passion for dance and demand that she be treated as someone who can also have a successful life in the arts.

The story is about the challenges Rose faces as she pursues her dream. Her story is both inspiring and entertaining. Readers will enjoy this story.

32. The Princess and the Fangirl

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Princess and the Fangirl

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This book features geeky princess Elodie who gets swept off her feet by her new geeky admirer who worships all things Star Wars. Jenny and Stephanie run into each other again when Stephanie runs into Sunny Bubble, who’s attending their school as an exchange student from Japan. Jenny is furious at herself for ever trying to have feelings for a person like Stephanie.

Elodie is over the moon to learn that she’s getting an exchange student of her very own. She’s always wanted to go to Japan, where she thinks she’ll finally make some friends. She’s convinced that Daichi will be her best friend and she can finally connect with someone who understands her. She quickly learns that Stephanie is this year’s exchange student, not the boy she was expecting.

33. When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel

Our rating: 6 / 10

When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel

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Pros:

  • Shattering Stereotypes
  • Heartwarming and Empowering
  • Full of Magical Realism
  • LGBT-Friendly

When the Moon Was Ours is a magical realism novel set in a small southern town. The story is about two Mexican-American teens, Lucia and Mateo, who are the kids of migrant workers. Lucia and Mateo each have a deep love for art and fantasy.

The book opens with the two working on an art piece at a local park until Lucia’s dad finds them and makes them leave. Lucia explains that her father doesn’t like Mateo because he’s gay. Her father is extremely religious and is a hardworking but extremely judgmental man who begins an affair with his boss’s wife.

Lucia’s family decides to move to Mexico and she is forced to go on hard labor jobs with her father and sister. Lucia and Mateo continue to communicate via letters and Lucia finds out her sister is in grave danger. She makes a plan to go save her sister and Mateo intends to accompany her.

34. Little & Lion

Our rating: 6 / 10

Little & Lion

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Pros:

  • Great coming-of-age story
  • Deals with a lot of social issues teens are dealing with today
  • Follows the ups and downs of Anissa and her friend Lionel
  • Non-traditional love story
  • Enjoyable and easy to read novella
  • Highly entertaining

Little & Lion is a YA novel by Brandy Colbert. It's a gripping and relatable story that showcases homophobia, divorce, abuse, and friendship all wrapped up in a small package.

The characters lead a compelling coming of age story that will keep you turning pages till the very end. This LGBTQ+ book is a great choice for teens looking for a fresh and entertaining story to read on a sunny summer day.

The storyline revolves around Anissa who has it all going for her. She's the leader of her school's cool kids and things are looking up, until she gets a text message that shatters her world. She tries to save face by turning to her childhood best friend to help her through the tough times, but things start to get complicated when she starts falling for him.

35. Gender Queer: A Memoir

Our rating: 6 / 10

Gender Queer: A Memoir

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Pros:

  • Honest and Caring writing style
  • Not only openly discusses the closeted life of a transsexual, but her relationship with her wife and children as well as other ties that have been changed.
  • She explores how the life of a transsexual is viewed by others through the lens of her own life experiences and how the people who viewed her have now changed.
  • One of the first transsexual books to be written that is a memoir.
  • Also, this book is a compilation of the knowledge she earned and gained from living her life as a transsexual.
  • Will help all people, not just for those of the LGBT community.

Cons:

  • She has a lot of language that a parent might not want a minor to hear.
  • This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is very inspiring to both adults and minors whose lives are profoundly affected by those who do not accept them.

Of Identity, Embeddedness and Imposition.

36. You Know Me Well: A Novel

Our rating: 6 / 10

You Know Me Well: A Novel

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Author: David Levithan

A novel that is written by a duo of authors but reads as one. "You Know Me Well" is a unique and interesting young adult novel that brings up the issue of same-sex couples being able to adopt children in a very mature fashion: a gay boy and a straight girl telling the story of how they met, fell in love, and eventually tried to adopt a child.

They have a lot of complications to their goal because of their sex pairing, but the novel also brings a fantastic message of acceptance, bravery, love and happiness, one that is rarely found given these circumstances.

37. What If It's Us

Our rating: 6 / 10

What If It's Us

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WHAT IF IT'S US is a charming and timely novel about finding love in the unlikeliest of places.

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it's that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs a little help, so he's making it his mission to bring his total opposite and eternally grouchy classmate, Arthur, a summer romance.

38. How It Feels to Float

Our rating: 6 / 10

How It Feels to Float

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Pros:

  • Excellent portrayal of a teen seeking sexuality and identity
  • Sad and funny all in one
  • Relatable
  • Transparent

Cons:

  • Drags a little bit in the middle
  • Narration could have been better

If you are in the pursuit of a good read, then look no further. How It Feels To Float is a book that I would highly recommend to all teenagers and adults who are seriously considering sexuality and its hardest and most important decision: happiness. It’s a book that’s a must read and is also a page-turner. It’s funny, sad, and raw, and altogether perfect. I loved the writing style, it was straightforward and very open about some of the deepest, hardest questions that teenagers have in dealing with their identity and sexuality.

The issues that are dealt with in this book are very important to discuss, especially in the time where we are now moving towards equality for all types of sexualities. There are only a handful of books out there that talks about this and this is one of the best. I must stress that this book does tackle difficult issues that deal with life and death, and may be difficult to chew for people who don’t like their books a little old-school with heavy themes.

39. The Lost Coast

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Lost Coast

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This is a short and surprisingly sweet and touching novel from Eli Easton. It tells the story of Chase Stratton, a gay teen who has just lost his boyfriend in a senseless murder. Chase’s life is turned upside down when he encounters a handsome Santa-like older man named Jacob, to whom he feels an immediate attraction. Jacob seems to be the only one Chase can turn to during this difficult time. Jacob introduces Chase to the world of BDSM, and their relationship develops in a way Chase never expected.

I loved Chase and Jacob’s relationship, although it is clear from the beginning that Jacob is very serious about BDSM and that he is ultimately going to push the newbie Chase into submission. Jacob is patient, though, and pushes Chase into his new world a little at a time. I enjoyed the scenes where Chase is beginning his journey into submission, but I wish there had been more of them.

40. Something Like Gravity

Our rating: 6 / 10

Something Like Gravity

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Pros:

  • Short and Sweet
  • Creates a Clear Mind-Picture

Nico isn’t able to play the piano. Yet the instrument fascinates him. He loves the piano the way he loves the ocean, or his own private pieces of sky. His mother gives him a special gift for his sixteenth birthday: a piano of his very own. It becomes a magnet for old Vladimir Horowitz videos on public television, and he tries to imitate Horowitz’s performance with the aid of his mother’s camera.

While he works on these recordings of a man he has never met, he develops a relationship with the instrument, the piano that wasn’t given to him but that he has grown to own. With the help of the camera, he learns to feel free with his body.

He doesn’t know whether he should be playing the piano or become one, so he does both. On the feast day of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, he finds his way to the place he belongs: on stage, with the piano.

41. White Rabbit

Our rating: 6 / 10

White Rabbit

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When 14-year-old Lucy looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see someone who’s secure in her body. She sees a fat monster staring back at her.

She doesn’t feel beautiful inside, either. Deep down, she believes there’s something wrong with her, that she’s unlovable and ugly.

When she hears the words “white rabbit” on the radio, the voice sounds just like her own. In an instant, she is pulled into a world where she’s the hero in a story that seems strangely familiar.

42. Reign of the Fallen

Our rating: 6 / 10

Reign of the Fallen

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Pros:

  • An emotional read
  • Multiple characters you can relate to
  • Humanity vs. Soulbrandt
  • Slow romance, but still romance

Soulborne is a rule-driven society. The book, Reign of the Fallen is written by adult author, Sarah Glenn Marsh and published by the Simon Pulse, a Publisher company in New York.

The story is of a 16 year old character, Callum. A badass strongman who seems to be harboring a secret. Callum is a strong lead character in the story and the only person who can stop a war. The story goes into the depth of his inner battle and how he handles it, especially when fighting the Fallen and the whole of the Soulbrandt family.

I liked the usual romance that is very slow but still in there. I would recommend this for anyone who is looking to read a new series, or anyone who likes to read fantasy. The other characters in the story are also really well written out, the archangel Michael is described in every detail.

43. Running with Lions

Our rating: 6 / 10

Running with Lions

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Pros:

  • Representation for the LGBTQ+ community
  • Raises awareness for homophobic cultures
  • Well organized
  • Great pictures in the appendix
  • Has a list of organizations for people in the LGBTQ+ community

A Memoir

Patrick Kearns has created an amazing memoir that gives any and all who read it valuable insight into running on a college cross-country team as a closeted gay student. Kearns’ story is very relatable and important for many people to read in this day and age.

Kearns gives an honest account of his struggles and triumphs over his four years of college. After having the opportunity to speak with him for a while, I was able to see the sexual and gender identity issues I had been having as compared to what he had been dealing with.

44. The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

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Pros:

  • Simple language
  • Amusing twists
  • Compelling themes

Cons:

  • Can be too complex for some readers
  • Nothing out of the ordinary

By Emily M. Danforth

Cameron Post is a young woman of 16 who becomes involved in a same-sex relationship. He is then sent to Godgate, a camp that has the capacity to turn kids against being gay. While there, he makes new friends and finds himself through his time in the camp as well as what he has to go back to when he’s released.

Four years after being sent away from home he is being told about his father’s death, and he goes back to Montana to attend his funeral. This book is thought-provoking and gives a different perspective to an issue that still faces today. Despite being eighteen years old, this book has earned a devoted following of young adults, and it is considered one of the top books for teens dealing with this situation.

45. Wild Beauty: A Novel

Our rating: 6 / 10

Wild Beauty: A Novel

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Pros:

  • Available internationally
  • Inspiring, well-written story
  • Gorgeous setting and great characters
  • Romance is well-done
  • Female friendships are portrayed well
  • Overall just a special book

Cons:

  • Unique formatting takes a bit of getting used to
  • I had a difficult time emotionally connecting with the story at times

Wild Beauty is an international bestseller that surprised me with its unique structure. We follow two separate timelines, one in present day and one in the 1920s, and back and forth between the two.

Sasha grows up in Scotland in the 1920s and loses a leg in a car accident. She is shipped off to live with her grandfather in the middle of the Russian tundra.

Willow lives in the early 2000s in Scotland. She runs away from home and wedges herself in a croft in Scotland on a whim. She meets Sasha's spirit in the woods and both get what they need from the encounter.

46. They Both Die at the End

Our rating: 6 / 10

They Both Die at the End

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Pros:

  • Deals with heavy issues
  • Unique premise

This is an excellent read for high schoolers because it helps to show them that with the right treatment and support, they don’t have to struggle alone or turn to suicide as a way out.

This book is also an excellent source of info to help parents who want to learn more and become better equipped to help their LGBTQ+ child.

This book is a unique and simple read. It is told in the form of two guys who are going to die. They talk about their interactions and how they manage their anxiety in the face of death.

47. Mask of Shadows

Our rating: 6 / 10

Mask of Shadows

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Pros:

  • Great action
  • Vivid characters
  • Touches on a variety of LGBTQ+ topics
  • Great diversity

The first book in the “Shadowdance” series, Mask of Shadows, is a fantasy novel written by one of the most prolific young adult authors of our generation. The story follows the story of a princess who is also a spy.

This is a story rich in detail and plot as you are introduced to a different world with a cast of characters who wear disguises and masks to hide their true identities. The story is full of action and touches on a variety of LGBTQ+ topics as the main character uses her skills as a spy to uncover a hidden conspiracy in the court.

Bottom line: An incredibly well crafted story for young adults that is sure to become a classic.

48. Release

Our rating: 6 / 10

Release

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Pros:

  • Interesting concept
  • Laughs and tears
  • Great characters
  • Natural progression of plot
  • Sexual content
  • Complex character-building
  • Humor

Cons:

  • Complex plot
  • The ending feels slow
  • Easy to get lost in the story
  • Too many characters
  • Ending feels rushed

Patrick Ness takes a queer dystopian concept and makes it his own. The plot moves naturally and is easy to follow, even though it is quite complex for a story about two people and a tree.

Two bodies, two souls, one body can't be a free soul.

49. The Brilliant Death

Our rating: 5 / 10

The Brilliant Death

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Pros:

  • Complex and engaging plot
  • Multiple character POV and perspective
  • Unique and international set
  • Significant and powerful themes
  • Great character development- all the characters are relatable and likable

Cons:

  • The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger- luckily the sequel is already out!
  • I really liked this book for multiple reasons! I liked the premise of the book and how the author showcased the characters- the main character was Kailen and it was being told from her POV, which was a nice change of pace.

The other characters that were showcased were Daxton and Tristan, both were very likable and relatable. There was the female version of Tristan, named Trista, and she was an interesting character.

The setting of the book was very unique and I haven't read anything about a kingdom like that before, so it was very refreshing to read about it. The way the plot flowed was done well, with twists and turns that were unexpected.

The story was about helping Kailen and her world in the afterlife, and we get to see Brakia's view of Kailen during those events. The plot is complex and engaging, and I can't wait to read the next one!

Conclusion

LGBTQ+ is a community that includes lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people and many more outside this list.

We have compiled this list of 50 books that every teen and young adult should read if they are in the LGBT+ community or simply want to learn more about diversity, and want to recognize their historical and cultural effect.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
BoomerangBest OverallBoomerang
The Fever KingBudget PickThe Fever King
Ace of ShadesUpgrade PickAce of Shades