Happy Friday! today I thought I'd share a list of some of my favourite lgbtq+ reads that are fun, easy, and adventurous. Of course I have a list a mile long of my favourite queer reads, but there are some of the ones I found were great when I wanted a shorter and/or quicker read or something that was just easy and a lot of fun. All of the books on this list are wonderful reads and I would highly suggest checking any of them out! All of them are young adult but within that category they range from contemporary and romance to fantasy.
Love Curse of Melody McIntyre - 3 words - Queer Theatre Kids, add in a romantic element and it can’t get much better. the times Melody has been in a relationship when her and the theatre crew has working on a show something has gone wrong - with the show that is. So as a superstition Melody’s friend insist that she doesn’t have a relationship while they’re working on the show. But things never go according to plan do they? I honestly loved this book so much. I love the idea that all the backstage theatre kids thing Melody's theatre romances have turned into a curse. Knowing her previous relationships during a show have all ended badly you can't help but root for Melody to have tis one go right. She thought she wouldn't have to worry about any relationships for the production fo Les Mis but she didn't count on Odile Rose being back at school long enough to be doing the play. I loved seeing their relationship grow throughout the book - even when Melody tried not to let it get too real. The meaningful conversations they had about the very different ways they grew up and their sexualities were really sweet to read. Of course, not everything can go perfectly - there is still a curse after all, right? This is always a book I come back to and love to recommend, especially if you're a theatre kid.
Heartstoppers - These graphic novels are not only sweet, with lovely illustrations, but also have elements of true to life situations that many people go through. The books follow Charlie and Nick through their journey of friendship to a romantic relationship throughout the volumes. Nick and Charlie are such a cute couple, and a bit oblivious at times which makes them all the more adorable, but they’re also relatable and not always perfect (making them even more relatable.) Volume 4 is definitely heavier than the other volumes in terms of the subjects that are talked about. It has an optimistic outcome but it does get serious mental illness - not without content warnings within the book. (If you’re curious about any content warnings you’ll find in the series Alice has them listed on her website under extras: content warnings)
Simon Snow Series (Carry On, Wayward Son, Any Way the Wind Blows) - This series is seriously adorable and so much fun to read. I sometimes joke about it kind of being like a Harry Potter fanfic (but better) and if you read the series I’m sure you’ll understand why I’ve said that. The trilogy follows Simon Snow (the chosen one who's not very great at living up to that title), Baz Pitch, and their friends in the mage world (the magic side of the world we live in) as they figure out friendships, relationships, and fighting a *few* evil creatures (most of whom are mainly after Simon in book 1.) There magicians (think more like wizards), vampires, dragons, and a ton more mythical creatures you can only imagine, all throughout the books. The third book in the series is a bit longer than the others, but I honestly have to say it's my favourite of the three. I felt like there was a bit more depth to the characters and a LOT more communication which I was glad to see. Overall, the whole series is a fairly easy read that keeps you entertained the whole time and might mess with your emotions on occasion.
Mooncakes - The cutest stand-alone graphic novel that has a childhood best friends to lovers trope, witches, and a non-binary werewolf. The illustrations have an autumn aesthetic to them which fits perfectly with the storyline. not to mention the illustrations themselves are stunning. Nova and childhood crush Tam meet again after not seeing each other for years and end up working together to help save Tam and take down a cult. Add in invisible parents, magical spirit creatures, supportive and adorable grandmas (yes, that is plural) and you get an amazing story. Not to mention the representation, both MC's are Chinese-American and queer, and Nova's two grandmothers, also little things like everyone completely respecting and using Tam's preferred pronouns (they/them) and referencing Nova's hearing aids multiple times. Kind of gave me Tea Dragon Society meets Sabrina vibes. Also the perfect book for a fall read.
Follow Your Arrow - Cece and her girlfriend Silvie are both social media influencers who are known for seeming perfect on screen and always being #relationshipgoals. But things on screen aren't always as they seem and after Silvie breaks up with Cece, Cece is left devastated, lost and concerned for her follower count. It gets even more complicated when she meets Josh, who doesn't do technology at all, and she wants to keep it so he doesn't know she's internet-famous. Of course nothing ever goes as planned and when Cece's secrets start catching up with her and things online start to go sideways she has to confront the very blurred lines between her private and public life. I really did love this book. It looks at the more hidden side of being an influencer and the constant worries and troubles that come with it. Worrying about followers, not wanting to be controversial, but also wanting so have opinions and share feelings. I liked looking at the not so perfect side of things as I always feel that it makes a story more realistic. It also discusses issues around bisexuality and biphobia which I feel like isn't something that's covered enough in books. I thought Jessica Verdi did an excellent job at covering the topics and not just on a surface level, but including some depth to them as well. It's an overall wonderful read that I can't recommend enough.
These Witches Don’t Burn - Honestly the perfect book for a fall read. This one is certainly a fantasy read with, of course, a hint of romance. I loved how adventure packed this book was, it certainly kept me on my toes the whole time. Hannah, an elemental witch who lives in Salem, is just an ordinary human girl to all regs (non-witches) keeping her life as a witch a secret for she'd loose her magic if she didn't. She lives most of her life as a, somewhat, ordinary teenager, going to high-school, parties, avoiding ex-girlfriends (who also happens to be an elemental witch), and crushing on a cute new girl in town. But when things start going awry - blood rituals interrupting end-of-year bonfires, mysterious car crashes, houses magically catching fire, and more, Hannah has to team up with Veronica (her ex) to get to the bottom of all these supernatural events. I never knew where this book was headed next and loved the suspense and anticipation in every chapter. This book does have a sequel - This Coven Won’t Break - which is already out (and I have yet to read - oops). Book 2 follows Hannah once again and this time with her new girlfriend as they attempt to take down the witch hunters trying to steal Hannah's magic.
I Think I Love You - A short yet very sweet sapphic romcom. Definitely a great book to read in a single sitting, that is a total feel-good novel. A group of friends enter a film festival but finding the right idea for their film is a bit harder than imagined. Emma, a die-hard for romance, wants a gay meet-cute romcom while Sophia, who is quite pragmatic, wants to go more artistic with their film with ideas from her time recently spent in Paris. The fun idea to enter the film festival all-together quickly turns to a lot of drama separating the friends into two groups to film their own entries. But feelings start to get mixed and blurred along the way for Emma and Sophia as they start to see each other differently. This was such a cute read with a happy ending, despite the film festival not going the way any of the originally anticipated. I also really loved the part with Emma coming out to her parents. It wasn't anything over the top nor were they upset or mad about it, but it felt more real to me. I liked that it wasn't just something that happened and then was done, but it took place and then was talked about later on when Emma and her parents realized that communication was truly key to make sure everyone is happy. Also can we all just apreciate how cute the cover is!
I hope you all enjoyed this list, I certainly enjoyed reading all of these books. I'm sure there'll be another list with even more titles in the future - I've got no shortage of queer books to read and share. Of course you can always find me sharing more titles over on my instagram @talesbetweenthepages. For now, I'll se you Monday for another book review!