15 New YA Books To Add To Your Pride Month Reading List
There are countless ways to celebrate Pride Month, and books are definitely one of them. Of course, it's important to read diverse and Own Voices books all year round, but there is no denying that there is something special about diving into a huge stack of books with queer representation during the month that specifically seeks to bring to the forefront the importance of queer history, lives and accomplishments. If you're looking to read some books from a diverse selection of queer identities, young adult is a fantastic place to start. Thanks in part to the movement started by We Need Diverse Books and the authors who are striving to create a community that is more inclusive, so many books are now offering a wider range of voices and experiences than ever before, including many individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community.
All of the 15 books below are 2017 releases that offer a diverse range of stories and identities within the community. They range from contemporary to fantasy, and include gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and other perspectives that are not only super crucial to read from, especially during Pride Month, but whose stories are fresh, real, heartwarming, heartwrenching, exciting, moving and, above all, relatable. Make room on your TBR, because you're going to want to read all of these ASAP.
1'History Is All You Left Me' by Adam Silvera
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
2'Tash Hearts Tolstoy' by Kathryn Ormsbee
After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, "Unhappy Families," thrust into the limelight. She’s gone viral. Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina — written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever. And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL — if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.
3'Queens Of Geek' by Jen Wilde
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to prove she’s over her breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. But she meets Alyssa Huntington, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie — no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
4'The Upside Of Unrequited' by Becky Albertalli
Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love — she’s lived through it 26 times. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?
5'The Gentleman's Guide To Vice And Virtue' by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. He vows to make this escapade one last hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with Percy.
6'We Are Okay' by Nina LaCour
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
7'Ramona Blue' by Julie Murphy
Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, but her feelings for Freddie begin to shift, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.
8'10 Things I Can See From Here' by Carrie Mac
Maeve has been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver. Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
9'Little & Lion' by Brandy Colbert
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself; or worse.
10'At the Edge of the Universe' by Shaun David Hutchinson
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth — and then Tommy vanished. More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie. Ozzie soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking. When Ozzie is paired up with new student Calvin on a physics project, he begins to wonder if Calvin could somehow be involved. But the more time they spend together, the harder it is for him to deny the feelings developing between them. But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy–that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.
11'How To Make A Wish' by Ashley Herring Blake
All Grace Glasser wants is a normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father. Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up.
12'The Love Interest' by Cale Dietrich
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad? Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die. What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
13'Dreadnought' by April Daniels
Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl. It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
14'Radio Silence' by Alice Oseman
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favorite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken. Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past. Meanwhile, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.
15'The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life' by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief. Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is — but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?