Happy Pride Month! If you’re looking for books with queer characters, here are my recommendations (click the links for plot summaries):
- Queens of Geek (Jen Wilde) (bi rep): A read that brought me to tears and resonated with me
- Not Your Sidekick (CB Lee) (bi rep): I was hooked by the bi poc main character who is tired of being a sidekick and overshadowed by her superhero sister
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid) (lesbian rep): Golden Hollywood actress and glamour icon Evelyn Hugo opens up in a rare and her last interview and what she reveals will leave you mindblown. CWs: domestic violence
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli) (gay and bi rep): Not Own Voices, but it means so much for many in the community. It’s a book that you would read over and over again. CWs: forced outing
- The Sidekicks (Will Kostakis) (gay rep): An emotional tale of friendship
- Ash (Malinda Lo) (bi and lesbian rep): A great f/f retelling of Cinderella. I also recommend Lo’s other books.
- If I Was Your Girl (Meredith Russo) (trans rep): An emotional and sweet read
- They Both Die at the End (Adam Silvera) (bi rep): Have tissues ready because you would love Rufus and Mateo. I also recommend Silvera’s other books.
- Leah on the Offbeat (Becky Albertalli) (gay and bi rep): This book resonated with me and we see a main character still figuring out their identity
- Sailor Moon (Naoko Takeuchi) (lesbian rep): Besides Sailors Star Fighter, Uranus and Neptune who are canonically queer, the characters including Sailor Moon are also interpreted as queer (the anime makes this more apparent; I see Sailor Moon and Jupiter as bi and Mercury as biromantic ace).
- Labyrinth Lost (Zoraida Cordova) (bi rep): A fantastic magical read about family and how you shouldn’t mess with magic and the dead. I can’t wait to dive back into its world with Bruja Born.
- The Shadowhunters series (Cassandra Clare) (trans and bi rep in The Dark Artifices. Gay and bi rep in The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and Bane Chronicles). I saw myself in Magnus Bane who is bi and Indonesian – the first I came across, so the series and character are pretty much special to me.
What’s on my June TBR?
- Every Heart A Doorway (Seanan McGuire) (ace and trans rep): Just finished this one and it was good – though I found the Japanese rep problematic. The main character is ace and there’s a supporting trans character.
- When the Moon was Ours (Anna-Marie McLemore) (trans rep): I can’t wait to read this as it’s also intersectional which is done well, I was told
Books I want to read hopefully very soon:
- Let’s Talk About Love (Claire Kann) (ace and biromantic rep)
- Running with Lions (Julian Winters) (bi rep)
- Boy Meets Boy (David Levithan) (gay rep)
- Wild Beauty (Anna-Marie McLemore (bi rep)
- Mask of Shadows (Linsey Miller) (non-binary and genderfluid rep)
- Everything Leads to You (Nina LaCour) (lesbian rep)
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy (Kathryn Ormsbee) (ace rep)
- Under the Lights (Dahlia Adler) (bi and lesbian rep)
Books with queer characters are growing but there are still underrepresented groups including people who are ace/aro and nonbinary. I definitely want more Own Voices and intersectional reads on my shelves since I mostly have books with gay characters and are written by non-queer authors.
Keep supporting LGBTQIAP+ books especially Own Voices and queer authors by buying or checking them out at libraries (or request if they’re unavailable). If you’re a queer writer and working on WIPs with queer characters like me, you got this.
Please feel free to recommend books especially underhyped ones and I’ll add them to my list. Also let me know if the books I’ve mentioned rep more identities – sorry if I didn’t pick up on them.
May your TBR be blessed with LGBTQIAP+ reads 🙂