Underated YA Books to Read This Pride Month
Recommending books to teenagers during Pride month is always my favorite. As someone who reads and loves queer literature year-round, I love that there's an entire month every year where people are extra excited to get their hands on books about the LGBTQ+ community. We've all heard of Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, and while these are great books to start with, this year I wanted to share some of my favorite lesser known books to read this June.
Who doesn't love a good drag persona origin story? The Black Flamingo is an incredibly powerful story, (told in verse, might I add), of Michael's first year at college and the self-discovery that happens within it.
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One of my favorite books of 2019, Like a Love Story follows an Iranian boy new to the big city, an aspiring fashion designer who's uncle, a fixture of the LGBTQ+ community, is battling AIDS, and the out and proud son of a conservative family documenting the AIDS crisis through his art and how their lives all intersect. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, and you'll love every minute.
Centuries of familial magic, a mysterious forest monster, and a whole lot of dysfunctional teenagers, this duology is a perfecct binge read. A bit cheesy and cliche at times, I absolutely loved my time spent with these books and the Hawthornes, the Carlisles, the Saunders, and the Sullivans.
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There are two parallel timelines in this book. Yes, it's weird.
This is, first and foremost, a book about finding yourself. It follows seventeen-year-old Codi the summer before her senior year in which she decides to learn if there's more than just her nightly movie parties with her two best friends, Jakory and Maritza. What ensues is a few great parties, some awesome new friends, and of course, plenty of drama.
Anna-Marie McLemore is an absolute master of queer magical realism. Any of their books are fantastic, but as this is the one I'm currently reading, this is the one that's on my mind at the moment. It's about a girl who has flowers that grow out of her wrists and the sisters who want to steal them. Need I say more?
Set in summer 1977, this story follows two penpals confiding in each other about their lives, their secrets, and their identities. This book does have a heavy dose of homophobia rooted in religion, so if that's something you don't want to read about, this may be one to pass on.
This story does deal with heavier topics such as depression and suicide, but also has a healthy dose of aliens. Reader caution is advised, but if you're in the right headspace for something a little heavier, this book is fantastic.
It's a LGBTQ+ Grease retelling and it's an absolute blast. That's all you need to know.