Although this year has been crappy as hell, I think we can all agree that there have been some incredible book releases. Before anything is mentioned, I just wanna give a quick shout out to George Lester for inspiring this post with his incredible mini-series “The Twelve Gays of Christmas.”
So, as the New Year is approaching, I decided to leave you with some queer reads to make your year a little bit brighter. Shall we dive in?
1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
In this story, we follow Aristotle, an angry 15-year-old whose brother is in prison for possession of drugs, and Dante, a know-it-all who as an unusual way of looking at the world. The two boys met at a swimming pool, and at first, they seem to have nothing in common, but as they spend more time together they find that their friendship is something special. As the story develops, eventually they start developing feelings for each other. I love this book so much, because I think it’s just incredible to see someone fall in love with a person they already love so much. Their friendship is definitely one of my favorite aspects of this book, and seeing the friends-to-lovers aspect develop really warms my heart.
2. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Although this book came out in 2015, for me, it never gets old. This book is told from Simon’s point of view. Simon Spier is a closeted gay teen who prefers to save the drama of his life to the school’s play. When he’s been emailing a boy from his school and one of his emails get in the wrong hands, Simon gets blackmailed by his classmate Martin who wants him to be his wingman, and in return, he wouldn’t leak the emails exchanged by Simon and the other boy. So now, Simon has a whole lot of drama to handle, while his conversations with Blue (pen name of the boy he’s been emailing) get more and more flirty.
3. Carry On
Who doesn’t like a little queer mixed with some magic right? The follow-up novel to Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl introduces us to Simon Snow, the worst “chosen one” who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, thinks, anyway. And Baz might be an evil vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right, considering that half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. Of course, in this novel, we can see tons of similarities to Harry Potter, for the made-up series was inspired by it, according to the author. The Simon/Baz dynamic in Cath’s world can totally be compared to the Harry/Draco in ours. As not having read the book myself, I can’t say too much about it, except that if you loved the Harry Potter series and enjoy some Harry/Draco fanfiction, you might want to pick this up.
4. History Is All You Left Me
When his first love and best friend dies in a drowning accident Griffin sees his world turning upside down. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing someone else, 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 everything worse, the only person who could really understand what Griffin is going through is Theo’s new boyfriend, 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 of the puzzle of his life.
5. The Upside Of Unrequited
Although the LGBTQIAP+ characters and couples are not the main focus of the story, this book has plenty LBGTQIAP+ representation. In this book, we follow Molly, who’s had exactly 26 crushes and that resulted and absolutely 0 relationships. Molly has a twin sister, Cassie, who’s a lesbian. When Molly meets Mina (who’s pansexual), she thinks she would be the perfect girl for Cassie, and so when they meet, Molly can see she was right. Although when the two girls start dating and getting more serious about their relationship Molly feels left behind and abandoned. Besides the presence of Cassie and Mina as LGBTQIAP+ characters, the book also explores the family dynamic, between the twins, 2 LGBTQIAP+ moms and a baby boy.
6. They Both Die at The End
Our story follows Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio who on Sept. 5, a little after midnight, receive a call from Death-Cast, getting the news that they’re going to die in the next 24 hours. Mateo and Rufus are strangers and in need of a friend on their End-Day for different reasons. The two boys meet on an app called Last Friend and plan to meet up and spend their last day together. The story follows the two boys on their last day, living their last adventure and the lifetime of a single day.
7. Queens of Geek
This book revolves around Charlie who is a Chinese-Australian vlogger/upcoming actress who recently got out of a very unhealthy relationship. Charlie and her two best friends, Taylor and Jamie, have traveled all across the world to America to attend a convention called SupaCon to promote Charlie’s first movie. Attending this convention is Charlie’s way to show her fans, and herself, that’s she’s over this past relationship, and that’s when Alyssa Huntington comes into the picture. Charlie has had a crush on Alyssa for the longest time, and she realizes that this crush might not be as one-sided as she thought. Contrary to Charlie, Taylor deals with Asperger’s and anxiety, and so she likes to blend in and play it safe. However, she pushes herself out of her comfort zone to compete in a contest for a chance to meet her favorite author.
8. If I Was Your Girl
This story follows the main character Amanda who is a trans girl and is new to her school. As every new kid in school, all Amanda wants is to make friends. Although, because she’s trans, she holds back, even from Grant, the boy she falls in love with. When she starts getting to know Grant and spending more time with him, little by little, she lets him in, and as they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
9. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
This book is told from the perspective of Joanna Gordon, a lesbian who’s been out and proud for years. When her evangelist father decides to remarry and move them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome in Georgia, he asks Jo to closet herself again and to lie about her sexuality through the rest of her senior year. And, to everyone’s surprise, Jo reluctantly agrees. Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
10. Two Boys Kissing
Two Boys Kissing tells the story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds, who are competing for award of longest kiss and who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record — all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.
While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites — all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.
11. Of Fire And Stars
This story follows princess Dennaleia, who has been engaged to the prince of Mynaria for many years, and their marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire — a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Denna also needs to learn how to ride a warhorse, for it is something that’s necessary for this kingdom, and the person who’s going to teach her that is the sister of the betrothed, Princess Amaranthine — she goes by Mare.
While the two start to develop feelings for one another, a lot goes down in the kingdoms, and the marriage between Denna and the Prince is more necessary than ever — which is a problem since Denna is in love with Mare. The main problem is not that it’s a woman loving a woman, but the fact that Denna is in love with the sister of her betrothed. The two princesses are forced to choose between saving their kingdoms and each other.
12. How To Make A Wish
“How To Make A Wish” follows the protagonist Grace who has a very toxic and unhealthy relationship with her mother, Maggie, who’s an alcoholic. Since it’s the only thing she’s ever known, Grace believes that it’s a normal thing and is unaware of how toxic and harmful it is to her, and since it’s her mother, she has to love her, right?
In the beginning of the summer, a new girl named Ava moves in Grace’s best friend Luca, and instantly the two girls feel drawn to each other. After Grace finding out the other girl is a lesbian, and as a result of the two girls liking each other, they engage in a relationship during that summer. Though things are going well for the two girls, things between Maggie and Grace keep complicating, and Grace sees herself making tough choices.