Back to Blog

As you may know, June celebrates LGBTQIAP+ history and our identifying family members and friends! There are so many excellent books currently being published in the Young Adult genre, and we think it’s only fitting that we give these stories and fantastic characters the spotlight! (But I promise you, you don’t need to be a teen to enjoy the tremendous prose, compelling characters, and diverse perspectives!) Some are specifically about queerness, and for others, queerness is just one part of the author’s intersectional identity. And as many readers know, we love to see ourselves in the books we read! A great book will resonate with us as we empathize with the protagonist’s struggles and triumphs and encourage us to step into their shoes and see the world from their viewpoint.

So in honor of Pride Month and as a nod to the year that Same-Sex Marriage became legal in the United States, here are 15 books that center on the LGBTQIAP+ experience. And whether they are a lighthearted romance or a punch right in the feels, we know that you’ll find a favorite (or ten!)! 

(All summaries are from the publishers. Books by LGBT authors are marked with a rainbow emoji 🌈)

Need a library card? Please visit Get a Library Card to sign up for one today!

Arden Grey by Ray Stoeve🌈

An insightful, raw YA novel about a young photographer navigating toxic relationships and how they influence her identity

Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won’t talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn’t even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she’s got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn’t so reliable. Arden’s insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she’s jealous or if Jamie’s relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy—and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn’t okay, too. Filled with big emotions, first loves, and characters navigating toxic relationships, Ray Stoeve’s honest and nuanced novel is about finding your place in the world and seeking out the love and community that you deserve.

Omens Bite by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Something wicked this way comes…

Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, direct descendants of the Goode family, the founders of their town. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds–ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.

Grief has taken a terrible toll on the twins. Rather than bringing them together, their sadness has torn them apart, driving Mercy to attempt to save the crumbling Gates without her twin and Hunter into the arms of a dangerous goddess. While Mercy looks for aid from Khenti, Guardian of the Egyptian Underworld, Hunter begins to realize the goddess she’s allied with is more monster than deity. She needs her sister’s help, but Mercy is beyond her reach on an adventure that could cost them everything, including their world.

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi🌈

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution–and how youth lead the way.

After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille.

Bitter’s instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but  her  friends  aren’t  willing  to  settle  for  a  world  that’s  so  far  away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she  belongs—in  the  studio  or  in  the  streets.  And  if  she  does  find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost? 

This  timely  and  riveting  novel—a  companion  to  the  National  Book Award finalist Pet—explores the power of youth, protest, and art.

Serendipity by Marissa Meyer🌈

Love is in the air in Serendipity, a collection of stories inspired by romantic tropes and edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer.

The secret admirer.

The fake relationship.

The matchmaker.

From stories of first love, unrequited love, love that surprises, love that’s been there all along, 10 of the brightest and award-winning authors writing YA have taken on some of your favorite romantic tropes, embracing them and turning them on their heads. Readers will fall for this collection of stories that celebrate love at its most humorous, inclusive, heart-expanding, and serendipitous.

Contributors include Elise Bryant, Elizabeth Eulberg, Leah Johnson, Anna-Marie McLemore, Marissa Meyer, Sandhya Menon, Julie Murphy, Caleb Roehrig, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Abigail Hing Wen.

Coming Back by Jessi Zabarsky

A beautiful graphic novel fantasy romance that follows two young women who have to go on their own separate adventures to discover the truth about themselves and about each other.

Preet is magic.

Valissa is not.

Everyone in their village has magic in their bones, and Preet is the strongest of them all. Without any power of her own, how can Valissa ever be worthy of Preet’s love? When their home is attacked, Valissa has a chance to prove herself, but that means leaving Preet behind. On her own for the first time, Preet breaks the village’s most sacred laws and is rejected from the only home she’s ever known and sent into a new world.

Divided by different paths, insecurities, and distance, will Valissa and Preet be able to find their way back to each other?

A beautiful story of two young women who are so focused on proving they’re meant to be together that they end up hurting each other in the process. This gorgeous graphic novel is an LGTBQ+ romance about young love and how it can grow into something strong no matter what obstacles get in the way.

Cold: A Novel by Mariko Tamaki🌈

A boy, a murder, a girl, a secret. From award-winning author Mariko Tamaki comes Cold, a haunting YA novel about a shocking crime, told by a boy who died―and a girl who wants to know why.

Who was Todd Mayer, and why don’t any of his fellow students at Albright Academy seem to know, or want to say, anything about him?

Todd Mayer is dead. Now a ghost, hovering over his body, recently discovered in a snow covered park, naked and frozen. As detectives investigate Todd’s homicide, talking to the very people linked to the events leading to his death, Todd replays the choice that led him to his end.

Georgia didn’t know Todd. But ever since she heard about his death, she can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe because they’re both outcasts at their school, or because they’re both queer. Maybe because the story of Todd people keep telling feels like a lot of fake stories Georgia has heard people tell. Plus Georgia has a feeling she’s seen Todd somewhere before, somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be.

Told through the voices of Todd in his afterlife and Georgia as she uncovers the truth behind his death, Cold is an immersive, emotional, and provocative read.

Slip by Marika McCoola & Aatmaja Pandya

From Eisner-Award nominated writer Marika McCoola and debut artist Aatmaja Pandya, an emotional coming-of-age graphic novel for fans of Bloom and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me.

Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?

But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all—if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler🌈

Home Field Advantage has it all. A swoony romance, characters you will be cheering for from start to finish, and a plot that sucks you in from the very first page. An instant favorite, perfectly capturing the power in being true to yourself and fighting for what is right.” – Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart and She Gets the Girl.

Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.

The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.

Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.

Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari

Welcome to Happily Ever Island, the most pixie-dusted vacation a Disney fan could ever imagine.

Head-in-the-clouds romantic Madison and driven pragmatist Lanie are unlikely best friends, but the two would do anything for each other. So when Madison’s life starts to fall apart, Lanie agrees to join Madison for the test run of Disney’s newest resort experience during their first college spring break: Happily Ever Island―an immersive vacation destination, where guests can become their favorite Disney character for a week. Madison decides to go as the iconic princess herself, Cinderella, with Lanie as bow-wielding Merida. It’s not Lanie’s idea of fun, but she knows Madison needs her, and besides, she could use the break from her strenuous courseload anyway. Plus, maybe she’ll get to shoot things.

But once on the island, Lanie and Madison begin to drift apart. Madison finds herself either missing out or messing up all the enchanting moments she has dreamt her whole life about, and is forever running into their annoyingly perfect (and distractingly cute) vacation’s coordinator, Val. Meanwhile, Lanie unexpectedly finds herself swept up in the magic of it all. She strikes up a secret romance with Prince Charming―but there’s no telling whether he’s just playing a part.

In this delightful YA rom-com inspired by Disney fandom, get swept up in a whirlwind of laughter, tears, and more than just a touch of Disney magic.

This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron🌈

Would you tempt even the most dangerous fate to save the ones you love?

Briseis has one chance to save her mother, but she’ll need to do the impossible: find the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart. To locate the missing piece, she must turn to the blood relatives she’s never known, learn about their secret powers, and take her place in their ancient lineage.

But Briseis is not the only one who wants the Heart, and her enemies will stop at nothing to fulfill their own ruthless plans. The fates tell of a truly dangerous journey, one that could end in more heartache, more death. Strengthened by the sisterhood of ancient magic, can Briseis harness her power to save the people she loves most?

Bestselling author Kalynn Bayron continues the story of Briseis and her family’s unique magic in the sequel to This Poison Heart.

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa🌈

A witchy, atmospheric lesbian contemporary romance set in Salem—from the acclaimed author of Fans of the Impossible Life. Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Becky Albertalli.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.

But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life. Cynical Eleanor is quick to dismiss this promise, until real-life witch Pix shows up with an unusual invitation. Inspired by the magic and mystery of the tarot, Eleanor decides to open herself up to Pix and her coven of witches, and even to the possibility of a new romance.

But Eleanor’s complicated history continues to haunt her. She will have to reckon with the old ghosts that threaten to destroy everything, even her chance at new love.

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches is a romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.

The Queen of Junk Island by Alexandra Mae Jones

From debut author Alexandra Mae Jones comes a compelling, nuanced exploration of bi identity and body image with a ghostly backdrop—perfect for fans of Nina Lacour. 

Still reeling from a recent trauma, sixteen-year-old Dell is relieved when her mom suggests a stay at the family cabin. But the much-needed escape quickly turns into a disaster. The lake and woods are awash in trash left by a previous tenant. And worse, Dell’s mom has invited her boyfriend’s daughter to stay with them. Confident, irreverent Ivy presses all of Dell’s buttons–somehow making Dell’s shame and self-consciousness feel even more acute. Yet Dell is drawn to Ivy in a way she doesn’t fully understand. As Dell uncovers secrets in the wreckage of her family’s past–secrets hinted at through troubling dreams and strange apparitions–Ivy leads her toward thrilling, if confusing, revelations about her sexuality and identity.

Set during a humid summer in the mid-2000s, The Queen of Junk Island simmers with the intensity of a teenage girl navigating the suffocating expectations of everyone around her.

A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy🌈

Dumplin’ meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this heartfelt and funny contemporary romance inspired by Dollywood, about two boys who fall in love against the backdrop of a country music-themed amusement park, from debut author Brian D. Kennedy. Perfect for fans of Erin Hahn, Phil Stamper, and David Levithan.

Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar—a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs.

Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World.

Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet—and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything.

Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song? 

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

In this complex and emotionally resonant novel about a Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies, debut author Jen Ferguson serves up a powerful story about rage, secrets, and all the spectrums that make up a person—and the sweetness that can still live alongside the bitterest truth.

Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She’ll be working in her family’s ice-cream shack with her newly ex-boyfriend—whose kisses never made her feel desire, only discomfort—and her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago without a word.

But when she gets a letter from her biological father—a man she hoped would stay behind bars for the rest of his life—Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him, no matter how much he insists.

While King’s friendship makes Lou feel safer and warmer than she would have thought possible, when her family’s business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can’t ignore her father forever.

The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Forward March by Skye Quinlan 🌈

What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?

Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band―and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:

  1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
  2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that―let alone if she likes other girls.
  3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.

But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.

With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.