Everyone wants to find characters in the books they read that they can see themselves in. For a lot of LGBT people, that was really hard to do growing up. And until recently, when we did find representation, it usually fell into harmful stereotypes and tropes. LGBT books would a lot of the time only focus on coming out, or have the characters suffer because of their sexuality, not to mention the characters themselves being pretty one-dimensional. But now, new books are coming out all the time that move beyond these tropes. Keep reading to find out about 6 LGBT books that represent the community in new, exciting ways!
1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Cemetery Boys is an urban fantasy YA novel by trans author Aiden Thomas, about a queer transgender boy named Yadriel who tries to summon a deceased family member to prove his gender to his family. However, the spell goes wrong, and Yadriel actually brings back Julian Diaz, a boy from his school who doesn’t know how to move on. This award-winning book centers queer and trans characters from underrepresented communities, and while it deals with typical trans issues like family acceptance, Yadriel is a great example of unique representation. For all these reasons, Cemetery Boys is definitely worth a read.
2. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Saoirse doesn’t want to fall in love again. Her heart got broken in a “breakupocalypse”, she’s moving at the end of the summer, and she just doesn’t have time for romance right now. But then Ruby comes along, and challenges her to have a typical summer romance without falling in love: to do all the montage-worthy activities without the serious parts. This book actually makes fun of the tropes itself, full of rom-com cliches in an ironic kind of way, but it also asks the question: can you have a falling in love montage without falling in love?
3. The Heartbreak Bakery by Amy Rose Capetta
When Syd (no pronouns) gets dumped, the next batch of brownies from the queer bakery where Syd works, The Proud Muffin, make everyone who eat them break up. No one believes Syd except the delivery person, Harley, who agrees to help solve the case. The Heartbreak Bakery is full of unique, fully realized queer characters that don’t follow any tropes. If you’re looking for a trans romance full of queerness without angst, this is the book for you!
4. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
When August falls for the girl on the train, she has no idea she’s getting into a wild, time-traveling whirlwind love story. Neither does Jane, who still thinks it’s the 1970s. As they work out a way to free Jane and get her back to her time, New York at the beginning of the gay liberation movement, their romance picks up, and soon Jane isn’t sure when she wants to end up. One Last Stop is full of great queer representation and pays tribute to queer history in very cool ways, and if the only trope to be found is a loving queer found family, sign us up.
5. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
Felix Love is Black, queer, and transgender, and just trying to survive high school and get a scholarship, although it bothers him that he’s never been in love. But when his deadname gets posted on the walls at school, he sets out for revenge and ends up in a love triangle that lets him discover more about himself for the first time. Felix Ever After deals with some of the negative sides of being queer and trans, but it also celebrates it, and the main character deals with the ways his identities intersect in really important ways. Plus, it’s a super fun, page-turning story that is hard to put down.
6. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
It’s been 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, and now, girls are required to go to the Annual Ball where men can choose their bride. But Sophia and her friends have other plans. This book is a retelling of Cinderella where queer girls plot to overthrow a kingdom—what more could we ask for? Plus, great QPOC characters that you’ll be rooting for from the very first page.
Find more book recommendations right here on Bookstr!