It’s June, and that means it’s pride month. There are an abundance of books by, and about, people in the LGBTQ+ community, but unfortunately they don’t always get a shot in the limelight. During Pride Month, I think it’s more important than ever that we highlight these books. Here are five awesome LGBTQ+ books that you can pick up this month to celebrate:
1. Release by Patrick Ness
Patrick Ness’ Release is a strange book – but in the best way possible. If you’re fan of Ness, you probaly know that all of his books are wildly different. Release is no exception. Inspired by Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, the book follows Adam Thorn through one strange, eventful day of his life. Adam, who is the gay son of a pastor in a small American town, might find some sort of a release on this day. Just as this very real, very palpable story is happening, so is another more fantastic, more mythical one in the background. As Adam goes about his day, a recently deceased girl rises from the dead, searching for her own kind of release.
2. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
In recent years, more and more people have begun to speak up about the biphobia existent in our society. The kind of biphobia that is perpetuated both by the LGBTQ+ community, and those outside of it. Not Otherwise Specified deals with this kind of biphobia head-on. Not gay enough for her friends, bisexual Etta finds it difficult to fit in. She meets a talented girl in her group therapy – who is severely sick, – and tries to get away from her small town with its toxic mindsets through her own talents in dance.
There are times that Not Otherwise Specified is a difficult and heavy read. But Moskowitz manages to create a rather loveable character in Etta, and the book itself strikes the perfect balance between serious and lighthearted.
3. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Russo’s If I Was Your Girl was featured on our list of best books we read in 2016 – and it certainly lives up to that status. The novel tells the story of Amanda Hardy, who is transgender, and fears being able to fit into her new school. When she begins dating Grant, her fears grow even further, because sharing her secret might mean that her new friends, and new boyfriend, don’t see her the same way anymore.
There are, unfortunately, not a lot of books out there that feature trans protagonists, but this is one that not only tells a compelling story, but tugs at all of the right heartstrings.
4. Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley
Did you watch MTV’s Faking It? Well, Dating Sarah Cooper is basically Faking It, but eons better. No hate to Faking It, but Dating Sarah Cooper just does it so much better.
When best friends Katie and Sarah get mistaken for a couple, they decide to play along, leading to a whole mess of confusing feelings. This book is basically the perfect pick-me-up.
It’s sweet and funny, and just an overall enjoyable read.
5. Ash by Malinda Lo
The story of Cinderella as been retold so many times, whether this is through book form or movie form.
Malinda Lo’s Ash is the one that I enjoyed the most.
Featuring fairies, and a huntress, it’s a wonderfully fantasy-imbued retelling of Cinderella that mixes the light and the dark perfectly.
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