LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations

Now more than ever it’s important to read books that accurately represent different cultures and identities, which help to educate us on various issues. LGBTQ+ books not only help people who can identify with certain characters and experiences establish a sense of belonging and acceptance, but also help people outside of these spaces learn more about different communities and demographics.
So, if you’re seeing an absence of LGBTQ books on your shelves, here’s a few of my top picks to get you started.

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
    If you’re a fan of books with fantastical elements, The House in the Cerulean Sea is one of my favorite LGBTQ fantasy books. The book is about Linus Baker, a lonely, rule-abiding case worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, tasked with investigating orphanages that house magical children.
    One day, Extremely Upper Management summons Linus and charges him with Marysas Island Orphanage, which is home to six supposedly dangerous magical children, as well as their caretaker Arthur Parnassus.
    During Linus’s stay at the orphanage, he grows closer to the children and Arthur and learns how to open himself up to love.
    This book is a really sweet, heartwarming story all about found family and how love can give you the courage to fight for what you care about.
  2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Set in both the present day and 1950s, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a historical fiction novel about the life of famous fictional actress Evelyn Hugo.
    Now a reclusive old woman, Evelyn is finally ready to share her story, choosing Monique Grant to write her biography detailing her glamorous career and the scandals surrounding the seven husbands she had along the way.
    Monique has no idea why Evelyn has chosen her and what she will reveal, but as she learns more about Evelyn, she realizes they may be connected in more ways than she knows.
    This book tells a story about forbidden love that’s full of twists and turns and a startling glimpse into the world of Hollywood and its racist and homophobic history.
  3. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
    If you’re looking for a rom com that is sure to bring you pure happiness, look no further than Red, White, and Royal Blue.
    This novel follows an enemies-to-lovers romance between Alex, the son of the president of the United States, and Henry, the prince of England. While the two are longtime nemeses, a confrontation at a royal wedding forces them to stage a fake friendship to calm things down in the press.
    However, this fake friendship quickly turns romantic as the two learn more about each other, which leaves Alex and Henry questioning how much they are willing to risk.
    This book is full of great banter, an amazing cast of diverse characters, and a romance that you just can’t help but root for.
    Einat Shayer, a junior marine and environmental biology and policy major, commented, “I really enjoyed this book because of how normalized Alex and Henry’s relationship was. A lot of the problems surrounding their relationship were due to who they were in the public eye rather than because of their sexual identities, which I found refreshing. I also like how it was very representative of different people’s experiences in the community, showing both sides of the spectrum in terms of how accepting Alex and Henry’s families were after hearing about their relationship.”
  4. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
    Another fantastic read by Casey McQuiston is her novel One Last Stop, which tells the story of August, a bisexual 23-year-old woman who just recently moved to New York City and meets Jane on the Q train subway line during her first commute to school.
    She thinks that she’ll never see this mysterious, charming girl again, only to continue to see her every time she gets on the train. Seeing Jane becomes the best part of August’s day until she discovers that the reason why she always sees her on the train is because she’s been displaced in time from the 1970s.
    Now August must do everything she can to help rescue Jane from the subway she is tethered to even if it means losing her forever.
    Once again, McQuiston includes an array of diverse, loveable characters whose antics and relationships will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.
  5. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
    A heartwarming story about a Black queer transgender teenager dealing with self-discovery and falling in the love for the first time, Felix Ever After is definitely a must-read.
    After an anonymous student begins to send him transphobic messages and posts pre-transition photos of him, Felix comes up with a plan to find out who is tormenting him so he can get his revenge.
    Initially, his best friend Ezra is on board to help him, but Felix starts to spiral, and thinking he knows who this anonymous student is, decides to start a catfishing scheme to find out the truth, which only leads to more confusion.
    The book is a powerful, emotional story about identity, friendship, and family dynamics with characters that jump right off the page.
    With recent controversies surrounding LGBTQ+ books, it’s important to note that these books are for everyone, regardless of whether or not you’re a part of the community. Without them, we would be missing out on many unique, important perspectives and experiences that can only add to our understanding of the world.