Hello fellow bookworms 🌈 In honor of it being Pride Month in June, I wanted to do another recommendation post! Last year I made a list of all the books with LGBTQ representation that I loved, but this year I was inspired to make an ‘If You Like This … Then You’ll Like That’ Post to highlight queer books that I feel have something in common (be it themes, tone, or characters) and can be recommended if you like one of them! I love writing these types of recommendation posts and this is why I have paired up 16 books (making for 8 pairs of bookish twins) that I love (meaning that I rated them higher than 3 stars). In addition, I’m also going to feature my Prideathon TBR at the very end of the post, as it’s the only June Readathon I’ll be participating in, and honestly, I’m very excited as I plan to read some amazing books I’m really looking forward to!!
- If You Liked This Book…Then You’ll Probably Like This: LGBTQ+ Edition #1 (Amy @ bookishheights)
- Recommendations: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels (Anniek @ anniekslibrary)
- 20 Book Recommendations with Casual LGBTQ+ Representation (Chaima @ bookswithchaima)
- 5 Black Non-Binary authors you should check out! (Esmée @ servillasspeaks)
- 7 new LGBTQIA+ contemporaries for your summer reading list & What do queer readers want to see in LGBTQIA+ books? (Kate @ readingthroughinfinity)
40+ queer books by Black authors to support this Pride month (and always) (Margaret @ weirdzeal)
- 16 Pride Month Book Recommendations! My Favorite Queer Books with Intersectional Representation (May @ foreverandeverly)
- LGBTQIAP+ books by Black author (Prideathon)
Both Radio Silence and You Asked for Perfect deal with Academic Pressure. The latter is a bit more focused on the constant anxiety that stems from school and being pressured to always succeed and be perfect, but Radio Silence also touches upon the topic. Both main characters – Frances and Ariel – are star students trying their best to get good grades and get into the college of their choice, but suffer under the weight of expectation and the school system telling them they are only worth as much as their grades. 😞 I definitely think they both have a similar tone and though Radio Silence it a bit more focused on the podcast element of the story, both books were very relatable to me and depicted realistic teenagers trying their best. We also get complicated, but strong friendships, as well as creative passions (Frances loves art and Ariel likes music, though he’s so fixated on the competitive aspect of his violin playing that he’s no longer doing it for pleasure). Both books perfectly show the complicated relationship that teenagers have with academic achievements and how fatal they can be for their mental health, if not balanced with healthy coping mechanisms and a lot of support!
- Radio Silence 🌈 Demisexual MC, Bisexual MC
- You Asked for Perfect 🌈 Bisexual MC
What unites both books is that they are incredibly nerdy. I love my books that deal with unapologetic fangirling and characters being giant nerds, which is why I love both Queens of Geek and Tash Hearts Tolstoy. The former is set at a huge fan convention, the latter is focused on a group of friends producing a webseries about Tolstoy’s work Anna Karenina. I love that both main characters have something they are passionate about e.g. Tay from Queens of Geek loves the Lady Firestone books and even cosplays as her hero while Charlie puts a lot of effort into her Youtube Channel and Tash is really passionate about the webseries she puts out. There are also so many lovely friendship dynamics – both books feature a close-knit trio of best friends that have stuck by each other for years. Tay, Charlie, and Jamie have been close since high school and are planning to go study abroad together. Tash, Jack, and Paul are childhood friends who produce the webseries together and always have each other’s back. If you love books centered around best friends being nerdy together these are your books! 💕
➽ Side Note: Tash Hearts Tolstoy is Free to read on Riveted Lit for the entirety of June!
- Queens of Geek 🌈 Bisexual MC, Sapphic LI
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy 🌈 Romantic Asexual MC
Though they have different genres, Carry On and Red, White & Royal Blue both entertained me so much. Carry On is one of my favorite books because it always puts me in a good mood and remains one of my favorite comfort reads! I love books that feature amazing banter between the characters – so that’s why I’d recommend also checking out Red, White & Royal Blue, as it’s also got many funny scenes and was a great entertaining read. Both books also share some of the same tropes that always appeal to me – they’ve got a hate to love romance with characters that always viewed each other as enemies ever since they meet … but actually they’ve been obliviously pining for each other all along 😉 Keep in my though that while Carry On is YA, Red, White & Royal Blue is actually an adult book and therefore features sex scenes as well. Nevertheless, both books get me in a good mood and have a lot of entertaining scenes that balance out the more serious ones that deal with the characters struggling!
- Carry On 🌈 Queer MC, Gay LI
- Red, White & Royal Blue 🌈 Bisexual MC, Gay LI
The Devouring Gray and Peter Darling share that slightly creepy and ominous atmosphere. The setting of both books is incredibly atmospheric. The Devouring Gray is set in the town of Four Paths, threatened by The Grey which is a sentient force that sucks people in but rarely lets them leave alive. It’s almost like a Monster and only the local founding families have the magical abilities to protect the town from it. This leaves us with a heavy, creepy vibe that dominates the story, something that I also felt while reading Peter Darling. In contrast to The Devouring Gray it’s a Peter Pan retelling and therefore set in Neverland, only that this setting is a lot more sinister than the Disney version. Peter’s Neverland is full of fighting and actual deaths in the war against Captain Hook. Plus there are a lot darker secrets hiding within Neverland, just like The Grey has a lot on store for the teenagers fighting to protect their town. If you like atmospheric and darker books I think that you’ll really like both books! 🖤
- The Devouring Gray 🌈 Bisexual MC’s
- Peter Darling 🌈 Trans Gay MC
They have a stark contrast in tone, but we’ve got superpowers and a corrupt government in both cases. Not Your Sidekick is the first book in a quartet about teens trying to overthrow a corrupt government. The story starts out focused more on the hero/villain dynamics as the world is defined by some people having superpowers – called meta-humans. The worldbuilding here is so interesting as we uncover more about the origin of the powers and get a look behind the curtains of the superhero representation in the media and all that it tries to hide. The Fever King is similar that way – it has special powers as well is set in a futuristic world ridden by disasters. Not Your Sidekick has magical powers because there was a solar flare, that also triggered a nuclear meltdown, while The Fever King has Witchings that gain their powers by a magical virus that kills the majority of those that come in contact with it. I like that both books have such an interesting magic system and feature teen characters try8ng their best. However, please note that The Fever King is a lot heavier and has a lot more content warnings that can be found here ❗❗
- Not Your Sidekick 🌈 Bisexual MC, Lesbian LI (Trans MC + Questioning Ace MC in sequels)
- The Fever King 🌈 Bisexual MC, Gay LI
I loved that both books have the secret identity trope – meaning that the MC doesn’t really know who the LI is in real life. Simon VS. the homosapiens agenda is kind of a classic when it comes to that trope, as the main character is e-mailing his crush ‘Blue’ who goes to his school … only that he had no idea who he actually is, providing us with a bit of a mystery. Technically, You Started It is similar in that way as the main character Haley goes to school with Martin Nathaniel Munroe II yet here there are TWO people with the same name, making her certain she is texting one of them … only she has no idea which one. Both books rely a bit on the mystery of who they are actually talking to and if they could ever meet in real life, as they fall in love via messaging. Technically, You Started It is even written entirely in text messages, while Simon VS. only includes the emails between Simon and Blue at certain intervals in the story. I was definitely rooting for both couples and think that both books are such great, fast-paced reads!
- Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda 🌈 Gay MC
- Technically, You Started It 🌈 Bisexual MC, Demisexual MC
There is so much love for music in both books, yet they also deal with emotionally abusive parents. The Brightsiders could be a tough read as the main characters Emmy deals with both emotionally abusive parents and girlfriend, which are toxic forces in her life, making it hard for her to lead a healthy life. The protagonist of How to Make a Wish – Grace – also deals with an emotionally abusive parent that is making it hard for her to follow her dreams and leaves her exhausted and hurt. Both Grace and Emmy love music as their passion, though they are at different stages in their life. While Grace is just starting out and hoping to get into her dream school by playing the piano, Emmy is the lead singer of her own band and already has amazing success, though that comes with its own set of problems. Despite their struggles, both girls have an amazing support system when it comes to their friends, so that’s why I think that they fit together really well!
- The Brightsiders 🌈 Bisexual MC, Genderqueer LI (uses he/him pronouns) + Nonbinary and Bisexual SC’s
- How to Make a Wish 🌈 Bisexual MC, Lesbian LI
If you love cute graphic novels you’ll definitely be right at home with Heartstopper and Mooncakes. I have recently gotten a bit more into reading graphic novels and I especially enjoy those that are mostly wholesome and make for great, comforting reads. Both Heartstopper and Mooncakes have a beautiful art style that really appealed to me, as I love visually aesthetic things a lot 💖 But they have a lot more to offer, as both books feature two really cute couples that melted my heart and had a great cast of diverse characters featured throughout the entire story. Mooncakes is a Fantasy story with witches while Heartstopper is a contemporary story focused around high school, but they give me the same warm, fuzzy feelings when I read them. So if you liked Heartstopper and want a more magical story than you’ll feel right at home with Mooncakes, though the former does have a few more volumes to enjoy while the latter is a standalone graphics novel!
- Heartstopper 🌈 Gay MC, Bisexual LI
- Mooncakes 🌈 Queer MC’s (one of them is also nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns)
- I Wish You All the Best (Mason Deaver) 🌈 Nonbinary MC, BI LI
- Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender) 🌈 Queer Trans MC
- Let’s Talk about Love (Claire Kann) 🌈 Biromantic asexual MC
- These Witches Don’t Burn (Isabel Sterling) 🌈 Lesbian MC, Bi LI
- The Sound of Stars (Alechia Dow) 🌈 Demisexual MC
- Dare Mighty Things (Heather Kaczynski) 🌈 Asexual MC
- Cemetery Boys (Aiden Thomas) 🌈 Gay Trans MC
- The Gravity of Us (Phil Stamper) 🌈 Queer MC
- The Fascinators (Andrew Eliopulos) 🌈 Gay MC
- We Set the Dark on Fire (Tehlor Kay Mejia) 🌈 Sapphic MC
I’m really excited to be participating in the month-long Prideaton hosted by Kav @ xreadingsolacex and Marta @ stellae thoughts! Obviously, this one is all about reading as many books with LGBTQ representation as possible, though there are also fun reading challenges available for those that would like something extra fun! 🌈 There is a Twitter Account with all the information about the prompts and hosts 💗
- BIRTH MONTH: APRIL ➽ nature cover ➽ The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi) 🌈
- FAVE GENRE: FANTASY ➽ magic ➽ These Witches Don’t Burn (Isabel Sterling) 🌈
- FAVE TROPE: CHOSEN ONE ➽ hyped book ➽ Simon vs. the homosapiens agenda (Becky Albertalli) 🌈
- FAVE FORMAT: PAPERBACK ➽ feel-good book ➽ Queens of Geek (Jen Wilde) 🌈
- BONUS BOOK ➽ Let’s Talk About Love (Claire Kann) 🌈
What are your favorite books with LGBTQ Representation? Feel free to recommend me some books down below! 🌈