June is universally known as Pride Month! And before Pride Month comes to an end, we’re taking a look at YA novels that feature LGBT+ characters and themes. The world of YA novels has become one of the most representative of the LGBT+ community. This year is only half over, but there have already been a ton of great new queer YA novels that readers can sink their teeth into. There are comedies, romances, fantasy adventures, and even some thriller stories to satisfy your literary sweet tooth. Take a look at our queer novel selections!
1.Sword in the Stars
This new release is the highly anticipated sequel to Once & Future and follows the story of Ari and her Rainbow Knights as they travel back in time to pull off a Holy Grail heist – without altering the course of history. If you like the stories of King Arthur will some LGBTQ+ flair, then this is the story for you!
2.The Truth About Keeping Secrets
A YA thriller about a high school girl named Sydney who loses her father in mysterious circumstances. When Sydney spies home-coming queen, June at her father’s funeral, the two girls form an unexpected bond. But someone is unhappy about the new relationship and Sydney discovers that June has secrets of her own.
3.Late to the Party
Codi Teller hasn’t experienced many teen milestones like going to party or even being kissed. When she crashes a party with her two best friends, Codi finds herself under the wing of cool kid Ricky. Ricky introduces her to a summer of new experiences and a cute new girl named Lydia. Along the way, Codi realizes her cool new lifestyle comes with a price as she and her friends drift farther apart.
4.The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
Flora takes on a new identity as the pirate ship captain Florian in this YA novel. The pirates are on their way to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery. But Flora makes an unexpected connection with Lady Evelyn. The ship takes a sudden detour when the pair are drawn to free a captured mermaid.
5.Felix Ever After
Felix, a trans teen, has never been in love even though Love is his last name. He is proud of his identity but is shaken when an anonymous student at his school begins sending him transphobic messages. Felix fights back but his actions take him on an unexpected journey of self-love, romance, and re-discovery.
6.The Henna Wars
Life isn’t great for Nishat when she comes out to her Muslim parents and they dismiss her feelings. Nishat is stuck walking the tightrope between keeping her family happy and being who she truly is. When childhood friend, Flavia, walks back in Nishat’s life they fall for each other hard, that is until they realize they’re running rival henna businesses.
7.The Boy in the Red Dress
Millie is a young girl on New Year’s Eve 1929 who must solve a crime to prove the innocence of drag performer, Marion Leslie aka the boy in the red dress. As she dives deeper into the mystery, Millie must grapple with her growing feelings for both a handsome bootlegger and pretty waitress.
8.The Black Flamingo
In this YA novel, Michael struggles to find himself as a mixed-race, gay teen who is neither Black enough nor Greek enough for his parents. When Michael goes to university, he finds himself swept up in the fabulous world of drag and his alter ego, The Black Flamingo, allows Michael to become who he always wanted to be.
9.I’ll Be the One
Skye Shin is a talented Korean American performer. She’s determined to win a K-pop reality show searching for the next big star. Skye is also bisexual and overweight by K-pop beauty standards. So she finds herself scrutinized by the industry and fights back against the pressures imposed on her.
10.Out Now: Queer We Go Again!
As a follow up to the All Out anthology, Out Now takes you on a wild ride through a series of short stories composed by YA queer authors. There are stories for anyone about prom-crashing vampires, romance and cynicism. Plus aliens running for government, and the sword of the mighty god, Ares.