LGBTQ+ characters and story lines in Young Adult fiction has been something that we are starting to see a lot more of than in previous years. This has been after a long time of so many people campaigning and writing to make sure we see more LGBTQ+ characters in books. I wanted to write a post to share some of the YA books with LGBTQ+ characters or story lines and why it is important that we talk about these books. This is going to be a two part post as there are a lot of books I want to talk about. Here are some LGBTQ+ books that we should talk about!I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
“For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.”
This story is all about fandom and fame but it also is jammed packed full of LGBTQ+ characters. This is Jimmy Kaga, one of the main characters how is gay and trans. There is also Lister bird who is bisexual and pan-sexual and Bliss Lai who is also bisexual. There is also hints that one of the characters is ACE. Not only is this book incredibly for its representation of LGBTQ+ characters, it is also extremely diverse! I actually reviewed this book a while ago and you can find that here!
Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
“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 wing man 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.”
This is easily one of my favourite books of all time. It follows Simon who is gay but hiding his sexuality and the boy who he has been emailing, Blue, who is also hiding his sexuality. This book is an adorable LGBTQ+ love story that you won’t want to put down. This is also the book behind the wonderful quote “Why is straight the default?” quote! This book is incredible and is such a heartwarming LGBTQ+ story. It contains a male/male romance.
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
“When angels start falling from the sky, it seems like the world is ending. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.
As the world goes wild for angels, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, still reeling from her mother’s recent death and the sudden disappearance of her ex-girlfriend, she’s determined to stay out of it.
Then something incredible happens: an angel lands right at Jaya’s feet – and it’s alive …”
Again, this is another book I fell in love with as soon as I started reading it. This is such a wonderful novel with elements of fantasy trhoughout. Not only that but it has excellent LGBTQ+ characters. The main character Jaya id a lesbian POC and her love interest Allie is bisexual and also has cystic fibrosis. This book deserves all the love! It contains a female/female romance. I actually reviewed this book a while ago and you can find that review here. I also had the increidble opportunity to interview Sophie Cameron, the author of this book, you can find that interview here.
More Happy Than No by Adam Silvera
“Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.
As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?”
Yet another book that I couldn’t put down. This book tackles the horrible side of being part of the LGBTQ+ community, homophobia. Aaron is struggling to be happy after a member of his family dies. He is also facing struggles with his sexuality and the homophobia that he is facing. The topics Adam discusses in this book certainly need to be talked about and he does it wonderfully and makes it feel incredibly real. This book is another excellent LGBTQ+ novel and does have happy moments, don’t worry!
Skylarks by Karen Gregory
“Keep your head down and don’t borrow trouble is the motto Joni lives by, and so far it’s seen her family through some tough times. It’s not as if she has the power to change anything important anyway. Like Dad’s bad back, or the threat of losing their house.
So when Annabel breezes into her life, Joni’s sure they’re destined to clash. Pretty, poised, privileged – the daughter of the richest family in town must have it easy.
But sometimes you find a matching spirit where you least expect it. Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver …”
This is such a spectacular female/female romance story. It is heart-warming yet heartbreaking at the same time. Joni and Annabel’s romance is increidbly well built throughout the book and it extremely cute. Not one does this book have LGBTQ+ characters, the story line tackles class difference and the main character is working class.
What books do you think need recognition due to their LGBTQ+ characters or story lines? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to look out for part two of this series coming soon!