Today I am back with another Top 5 Wednesday! This post will feature my favourite LGBTQ+ books. If you aren’t sure what that stands for, it’s: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning and Others. In my firm opinion, this genre is incredibly important to represent, particularly in the YA community. It helps readers embrace who they are much more readily and seek out positive support networks. In the last year or so, there has been a huge surge of published LGBTQ+ novels. This makes me so very happy. Without further ado, here are my five rainbow treasures:
1.) ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE BY BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ
This coming-of-age story warmed my heart from start to finish. Aristotle (Ari) is a deep, troubled thinker whereas Dante is a happy-go-lucky kid with an open mind. The pair meet as children and together, form a strong friendship that carries them through to adolescence. Ari spends a long time denying who he is along with a fear that he won’t be accepted by his parents. Meanwhile, Dante is extremely comfortable in who he is, causing tension between them. I feel like a lot of gay teenagers will be able to relate to the struggles represented in this book.
2.) SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA BY BECKY ALBERTALLI
If you hadn’t heard of this book before, you surely have now with the recent release of the film adaptation Love, Simon. Simon lives a relatively normal life. He has a great family, solid group of friends, decent grades and extracurricular activities. However, he is hiding a big secret – he is gay. One day, Simon forgets to log out of the school computer he is using and a student discovers email correspondence between himself and an anonymous, closeted boy named Blue. The student uses this information to blackmail Simon and threaten to reveal his true identity before he is ready. Whilst the synopsis may sound dark, this book is really fun, lighthearted and adorable. It highlights the importance of courage and acceptance. The movie was just as wonderful in my opinion!
3.) MORE HAPPY THAN NOT BY ADAM SILVERA
More Happy Than Not is a sad story about a boy named Aaron Soto who lives in the Bronx. His father has just committed suicide, he is recovering from his own attempt to take his life and his family are struggling to find happiness again. Aaron loves his creative girlfriend Genevieve but when she leaves for art camp, he finds himself becoming closer to his new friend Thomas. It isn’t long before Aaron realises he might be gay but instead of embracing his identity, he begins to consider a memory-alteration procedure at the Leteo Institute in order to forget who he truly is. There is such a strong message in this book about embracing who you really are. I recommend everybody read it. Be prepared to feel all the feels!
4.) CARRY ON BY RAINBOW ROWELL
Basically, Carry On is the seventh book in a series nobody has ever read – meaning it takes off in Simon’s last year at Watford School of Magicks. This story is Rainbow’s version of Harry Potter fan-fiction. Simon is basically an anti-hero. He is the worst magician Watford has ever seen but since birth, he was dubbed ‘The Chosen One.’ Not only that, his roommate Baz (a suspected vampire) hates his guts. However, there is a fine line between passion and pleasure. I don’t want to spoil anything but the romantic relationship that forms is red-hot. It bumped my rating up to 5 stars!
5.) WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON BY JOHN GREEN AND DAVID LEVITHAN
Last but certainly not least, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson. In a strange twist of fate, two completely different boys (both named Will Grayson) meet on a cold night in Chicago. One is gay, the other straight. From that moment, their lives begin to overlap. I don’t want to give anything else away. Read it and see. It’s absolutely beautiful, especially the ending. I love that this book was written by two amazing authors. Also, the character of Tiny Cooper is simply adorable and I shall continue to sing his praises for years to come.
Thank you so much for reading! Please list any LGBTQ+ books you love and recommend.
Peace & Love xoxo