It’s June, which means Pride Month is in full swing. Now more than ever, queer stories should be told in a way that is unapologetic and proud. Queer people should not have to scour through the very depths of bookstores just to find a book with someone like them. Authors have heard the cry for these stories, and they have delivered. In honor of Pride, here are ten queer novels that are must-reads.
1. The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue
In this historical escapade, author Mackenzi Lee introduces us to the wild world of Henry “Monty” Montague. Monty is expected to take over as lord of his family’s estate upon his return of his Grand Tour of Europe- something the flirtatious and reckless Monty is not looking forward to. Rather, he’d like to spend his days indulging in every vice and pleasure he can get his hands on, including hopelessly crushing on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Monty plans to make his Grand Tour one last spectacle of hedonism before being confined to his stifling estate for the rest of his life, but a thoughtless decision quickly turns his Tour into a manhunt spanning Europe that challenges everything Monty has known.
2. The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats And Piracy
We’ve heard Monty’s story, but what about his sister? Escaping a dull life, and a completely unwanted marriage proposal, Felicity Montague has returned to England from Edinburgh with one goal in mind- enroll in medical school. Unfortunately for her, the men who dominate the medical field see her passion and knowledge as no more than a flight of fantasy. However, Felicity would do anything to see her dreams come to fruition, including taking up a mysterious young woman’s offer to help Felicity get to Germany, where Dr. Alexander Platt is looking for research assistants. The one problem? Dr. Platt is marrying Felicity’s former best friend, a relationship that she was hoping never would come back to bite her.
3. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon Spier is gay, not that anyone knows it. Not his family, not his friends, not his classmates, no one. No one except Blue, the anonymous student who he’s been emailing and slowly falling in love with. When the school’s resident creep, Martin, discovers Simon and Blue’s correspondences, he uses them to blackmail Simon into helping him date Simon’s friend, Abby. Simon, who doesn’t want his secret leaked, reluctantly goes along with it. When a homecoming disaster causes Simon’s secret to be spread all over the school, he has to face the scrutiny of his school, all while trying to discover who Blue is and what their relationship truly means.
4. Leah On The Offbeat
In this sequel to the acclaimed Simon Vs., Leah, Simon’s BFF, is always on the beat with a drumset in front of her. Real life’s rhythm, however, isn’t quite as easy to follow. Senior year has brought a lot of tension to her normally rock-solid friend group. Between prom, college, and Leah’s bisexuality that she doesn’t have the confidence to admit, she feels more like an imposter in the group than anything. When the fractures in the group truly start to show, and Leah realizes that those feelings she has for one of her friends might be more than just a tiny crush, she has to figure out how to stay on rhythm.
5. Red, White, & Royal Blue
When Alex Claremont-Diaz’s mother becomes President, Alex is quickly turned into the American equivalent of a prince. The media adores him and all of his charisma, but Henry, the Prince of Wales, doesn’t agree. When photos of an altercation between Alex and Henry surface in the tabloids, damage control becomes a top priority before U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. The solution? A fake, easily Instagrammable friendship between the boys. However, when the campaign becomes more than what meets the eye, Alex and Henry find themselves hurtling through a secret romance that could possibly upset the two nations more than anything.
6. You Should See Me In A Crown
YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by @byleahjohnson
To get out of her small, prom-obsessed town, Liz is forced to compete for the scholarship that comes with being elected prom queen. But then she miiiight fall for her competition…
🔗: https://t.co/zl7eqjHD16 pic.twitter.com/gMvBVGU0SJ
— Epic Reads (@EpicReads) June 3, 2020
In Campbell, Indiana, Liz Lightly doesn’t believe she can shine. But she has a plan, one that will get her out of her prom-obsessed midwestern town and into the elite Pennington College. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, something Liz learns when the financial aid she was relying on suddenly falls through. When she remembers that the school offers a scholarship for prom king and queen, she vows to put herself through the ever-trying gauntlet of petty high-schoolers and do anything to get to Pennington. Things get even more complicated when Liz realizes that she’s falling for her competition, the school’s new girl Mack. In this world of girls who will do anything to get that title, loving Mack might just ruin her plans, or make all of Liz’s dreams come true.
7. Peter Darling
What happens when the boy who never grows up finally leaves Neverland to do just that? Peter had lived out his boyhood dreams on the magical island of pirates, mermaids, and Lost Boys, but ten years ago, he finally resigned himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, made him realize that Wendy is not who he truly is or ever was. Upon his return to Neverland, Peter discovers that the place of his dreams has become more nightmarish than ever. The Lost Boys are no longer boys, and the war games Peter once played with them are now deadly. What shocks Peter the most, however, is his growing infatuation with Captain Hook, his old rival who doesn’t seem so villainous anymore.
8. Felix Ever After
Despite his name, Felix Love has never actually been in love with anyone. In fact, he feels like it’s so easy for everyone to find a lover except for him- the black, queer, transgender kid with a host of complicated feelings. Felix’s life takes a turn for the worse when an anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages, along with posting his deadname and pictures of Felix pre-transition on the internet. However, his plan for revenge causes him to land smack in the middle of a quasi-love triangle, making his complicated feelings even more so. As he navigates this sticky situation, he begins a journey of self-discovery that helps him figure out the most important relationship: loving himself.
9. How To Make A Wish
After a childhood spent with her unpredictable and unreliable mother, Grace Glasser just wants her own life. One where she isn’t trapped on the same tiny cape she lives on and where her dreams can actually become reality. All she needs to do is law low until graduation, after which she can hopefully go to a top music school in New York. Those plans are uprooted when Eva, a girl who believes in dreams more than anything, rolls into Grace’s life. Midnight rendezvous on the beach quickly become something more, and when Eva admits to Grace that she likes girls, Grace becomes hopeful for once in her life. Grace’s mother, on the other hand, is spiraling downward, something that Grace must handle before it gets any worse.
Repairing starship engines doesn’t exactly pay the bills, but Alana Quick has to do something to stay afloat. When a cargo vessel with a desperate crew comes looking for Alana’s spiritually advanced sister, Nova, Alana takes an opportunity and stows away on their ship. Hoping that her boldness will earn her a place on the crew, Alana learns quickly that the crew isn’t everything they seem. From a pilot that blinks out of existence, to the chief engineer who thinks he’s a wolf, to the captain that’s the human definition of egotistical, Alana has a lot to do to prove herself. Worse yet, she can’t seem to keep her eyes off that very same captain. When Alana learns that Nova is in danger, she needs to learn to juggle her budding crush with the planet-destroying threat that’s searching for her sister.