Recommended Books with Queer Joy and Happy Endings
By Angie Manfredi
Angie Manfredi is the Head of Youth Services for the Los Alamos County Library System (NM). She is a passionate advocate for diversity, literacy and children’s right to read whatever they wish. She served on the 2016-2017 Stonewall Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award committee. You can follow her on Twitter @misskubelik or her blog.
By Christopher Barzak
When Aidan’s childhood best friend Jarrod returns to their prosaic small town, Aidan feels as if the veil has been lifted from his life and he can suddenly see the world of mysteries – and monsters – all around him. Aidan begins to unravel the twisty truth behind the magical world that surrounds him as he and Jarrod forge an electric connection that makes the whole world seem possible. This is an outstanding, lyrical, meticulously crafted paranormal romance where gay love saves the day because heteronormativity never saw it coming.
By Nina LaCour
Emi, just starting out in Hollywood and trying to sort out her personal life, stumbles onto a mystery from Hollywood’s golden age that leads her to Ava. Ava and Emi have immediate chemistry though their previous life experiences have left them wary. As they pour over the mystery Emil has discovered and figure out how it connects to Ava, they fall into a sweet, lush love that perfectly dovetails with the book’s focus on Hollywood’s grandest stories.
By C.B. Lee
In a world where superheroes and supervillains are a normal every day part of life, being a superhero is a way to fame and fortune. Every member of her family is a super, but Jess is just an ordinary teen trying to get into college. When she takes an internship with a famous supervillain she’ll not only get to work with her crush Abby but also dig into the dark truths about what it really means to be a villain or a hero. The sequel picks up with the adventures of the trans supervillain Bells and a third book is on the way. These are fun fantasy novels that effectively play on pop culture tropes while letting queer teens take the lead, save the day, and have delightful romances.
By Laurent Lint
Adrian realizes the best way to survive at his small-town high school in Texas is to keep his head down and not call any attention to himself. He’s a geek who loves comic books and drawing and he’s gay so the last thing he wants is to catch the eye of the bullies. But when a fellow classmate is attacked, Adrian uses his art to fight back and, along the way, discovers his voice and rallies his community. This is a book that has dark moments but also a show of queer unity and resistance and a charming love story.
By Malinda Lo
Ever since her father’s death, Ash has sought solace from her lonely life and cruel stepmother in the old fairy tales from her childhood. She dreams that fairies will rescue her and even meets one who promises her grand things. But when Ash crosses paths with Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, they build a relationship that challenges everything Ash has ever expected. In this beautiful, layered retelling of Cinderella, Ash and Kaisa become a couple worthy of the best fairy tale endings.
Edited by Hope Nicholson
In this collection of science fiction and speculative fiction from Indigenous authors readers will meet a wide collection of futuristic adventurers in different settings. There’s two women falling in love on a spaceship bound for Mars, a virtual reality universe that might turn out to be better than the real one, and characters fighting techno dystopias for their freedom and right to define themselves. This collection is published for adults but has high teen appeal, especially for fans of science-fiction and fantasy, where they will find stirring stories of queer romance and resistance from a wide variety of Nations and experiences.
By Caleb Roehrig
Flynn is the last person to see his girlfriend January before she disappears. He knows he’ll come into focus as a suspect so he decides to take matters into his own hands and investigate. Along the way, Flynn must come to terms with the secrets he’s been keeping in his own life. This is a twisty mystery that also has a slow burn gay romance with a happy ending at the front and center. Flynn’s coming out is handled with candor and his swoony romance with the boy helping him investigate is integral to the plot and will leave readers grinning.
By Jen Wilde
Charlie, a vlogger and actress, is fresh off a very public break-up when she comes into the orbit of internet sensation Alyssa, her long-time crush. As they grow closer, Charlie discovers her feelings for Alyssa might actually be returned – but can the two of them actually find a way to get together under the chaotic glare of public attention? In this book set at a fan convention, readers are treated to a great romance set in the world of fandom, where strangers on the Internet can become close as family and sharing a fandom with a huge, diverse group of people is sort of like sharing a love story.