Queer Books Your YA Lit Loving Heart Will Swoon Over | OMG Just Kiss Already, You Idiots
Queer Books Your YA Lit Loving Heart Will Swoon Over | OMG Just Kiss Already, You Idiots
You know that thing where I’m a librarian by day? That means I know a lot of books. Like, a lot. My goodreads has 514 books on it right now and that’s only what I remember to log, nothing compared to the number of books I’ve actually read. One of the topics I consider myself highly well read in is LGBT fiction, specifically for teens as, let’s be honest, YA lit is a guilty pleasure for so many. But it shouldn’t be guilty! We should just enjoy reading books, regardless. Yes, even you Twilight and 50 Shades folks, you should be allowed to enjoy your books sans guilt.
I’ve teamed up with some other awesome librarians to bring you all the best of the best YA, Middle Grade, and Children’s books covering a whole range of topics from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Throughout Pride Month, I’m going to be dropping lists of books that will make you feel all the feelings ranging from “for the love of god just kiss already!” all the way to actual tears of feels. Many books will cross over on lists and that’s an awesome thing!
Today’s list? OMG Just Kiss Already, You Idiots! A selection of books that will make you say exactly that. Got some that YOU love that aren’t here? Share them in the comments!
The award-winning novel about being out, being proud, and being ready for something else. Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself. (Goodreads)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. (Goodreads)
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. (Goodreads)
Set in the southwest in the 1980’s, this book is the perfect slow burn teen romance. Ari and Dante are very different but find themselves drawn to each other in a way they don’t understand. Dante craves approval: from Ari, his parents, and his peers. He is emotional and in touch with himself, even if he doesn’t always share it with those who are most important. He doesn’t have close friends until he meets Ari. On the other hand, Ari is distant, doesn’t tap into his emotions or body, and refuses to connect deeply with his peers or parents, preferring to focus on working out and dreaming about his much older brother who is in prison. He places all of his hopes and dreams on reconnecting with him and a relationship he barely remembers, despite, or perhaps because, his parents refuse to talk about him. When he meets Dante he become extremely protective, often beyond his own understanding. As each of them face the facts of their individual lives and their friendship, they learn about each other and about… you guessed it… love.
Will Grayson will grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.
It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical. (Goodreads)
Winger by Andrew Smith
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.
With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.
Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking. (Goodreads)
Simon Versus the Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli (now a movie)
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. (Goodreads)
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. (Goodreads)
Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.
The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer
At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.
Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life.
With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved.
Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame… (Goodreads)
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance. (Goodreads)
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- https://www.leewind.org/ (I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?)
- https://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks/rainbow-books-lists (Rainbow List)
- http://www.ala.org/rt/glbtrt/award/stonewall/honored (Stonewall Book Award)
- Dannie’s goodreads
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- Eti’s Goodreads
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- Ari’s Goodreads