11 Queer YA books that will steal your heart

June is Pride Month – a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world – and to start the celebrations off, author Kacen Callender has joined us in Caboodlers' Corner.

Kacen is the author of beautiful transgender love story Felix Ever After, here to recommend 11 Queer novels for teenagers that will steal your heart. 

What are you favourite LGBTQ+ novels? Tell us in the comments below! And don't forget those National Book Tokens when you head to your local bookshop for even more summer love stories. 


Kacen

"Queer contemporary YA hasn't always been as popular or well-known as it is now. Thanks to ground-breaking authors like Jacqueline Woodson and David Levithan, the genre for the YA audience was able to grow, with more and more authors coming into the fold to show how wonderfully diverse the queer community truly is, and by celebrating a vibrancy of life with characters who let today's teens (and many adults who weren't able to understand their identity at a younger age) know that they aren't alone."

 

 

I Wish You All the Best

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

Ben's story, one of the first nonbinary characters, clenches at the heart and has helped paved the way for many trans and nonbinary stories today.

You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

A celebratory romance where the Black queer girl, Liz Lighty, gets to be the winner for once. A masterpiece in voice and feel-good vibes!

Let's Talk About Love

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice navigates her identities as a biromantic asexual Black woman as she develops a crush in college in a powerful and informative and swoon-worthy story.

Late to the Party

Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen

Shy Codi gets to break out of her shell in a breezy yet emotional romance that tugs at the heart. I'm sure a lot of readers (myself included) will relate to the feeling of being late to the party!

The Summer of Everything

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters

Wes falls for his secret crush, Nico, in this unfolding summer romance with a fantastic cast of characters and great geeky vibes. The voice really grabs the reader and Julian's characters always feel like people I might actually know in real life.

The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Nishat and Flávia are in a childhood-friends-to-rivals-to-lovers romance that hits the sweet spot of many favourite beloved tropes while also discussing important topics like racism and cultural appropriation.

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

A beloved modern classic that inspired me to write my own YA Queer contemporary romance books, and continues to inspire many authors to this day! Simon is blackmailed in his secret romance as he struggles with the question of whether he wants to come out.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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

Truly one of the most beautiful YA books ever written (and one of my favourites of all time), this is another beloved modern classic that inspires everything that I write. Aristotle falls in love with Dante, but comes to learn so much more about himself.

The Black Flamingo

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Written beautifully in verse, Michael struggles with restrictive gender roles until he finds freedom through drag race performance as the Black Flamingo.

If You Could Be Mine

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

A stunning and heartbreaking story as Sahar falls in love with her best friend Nasrin in the face of oppressive anti-queerness.

The Passing Playbook

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

The Passing Playbook is about a queer trans teen, Spencer, who questions if he should come out as trans while falling for one of his football teammates.

 

About Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

From award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love – and, yes, he's painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it's like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What's worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he's one marginalisation too many – Black, queer and transgender – to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages – after publicly posting Felix's deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned –Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn't count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle...

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself. Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognising the love you deserve.

Discover these books and even more wonderful LGBTQ+ novels in your local bookshop

Felix Ever After

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