top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

LGBTQIA+ Summer Reads

By Carly Bennett, Rhys Wright, Becca Binnie and Rosie Green

The sun is shining (sometimes), the evenings are long and light… Summer is well and truly upon us. To celebrate the season, we want to share some of our favourite LGBTQIA+ summer holiday reads – the fun and fluffy kind that leave you with a smile on your face. In our humble opinion, these books are perfect to pop into your suitcase if you’re heading for a beach break or even to enjoy in your local park on a weekend afternoon as you get into the summer spirit.

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Lou Parker is going to have the best summer ever! Well, she will try to. There’s a slight hitch in her plan – she has to work as a giant dancing hot dog at Magic Castle Playland, watching her crush, Diving Pirate Nick, date the literal and metaphorical resident Princess.

Lou aims to win Nick’s heart anyway and enjoy her summer in the process. But as time passes and feelings spring up in unexpected places, Lou must reckon with a love she never saw coming and discover herself along the way – all the while dressed in a hot dog costume, of course.

Jennifer Dugan’s Hot Dog Girl is a fun, coming-of-age queer romcom that radiates boundless summer energy, making it the perfect read this season.

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

If you’re looking for a breezy novella to curl up with on the beach or during a long journey, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s queering of time travel romance is sure to leave an impact.

The novella follows a series of correspondence between Red and Blue, two women fighting for opposing sides in an endless war between two timelines. Their battlefield gibes and flirtatious one-upmanship give way to a powerful emotional connection that forces them to choose between love and loyalty to their own timelines. This is a mind-bending and exhilarating take on enemies-to-lovers like nothing you’ve read before.

It’s easy to get lost in the poetic language and witty wordplay as Red and Blue jump back and forth across time and space, making this novella pleasurable to read again and again; discovering new subtleties and nuances every time makes it all the more rewarding. This Is How You Lose the Time War hits the sweet spot of being a light and engrossing read and something you can keep coming back to.

Becoming Ted by Matt Cain

Published by Headline in June 2023, Becoming Ted by Matt Cain is a feel-good story and the perfect addition to your TBR (to be read) for when the weather warms up.

In the quaint Lancashire town of St Luke’s-on-Sea, Ted Ainsworth works at his family’s ice cream business. But in all honesty, Ted doesn’t even like ice cream and he’s never really wanted to work for the family business – he just never told his parents.

Ted’s childhood wishes are reignited when his husband leaves him struggling to find his way. From the ruin of his heartbreak, he spots an opportunity to build the life that he has always wanted; since he was a young boy, Ted has dreamed of becoming a Drag Queen.

This story of self-discovery follows Ted as he chooses between the path laid out in front of him and the one he can carve out for himself. In this charming tale about an ordinary man with an extraordinary dream, both the protagonist and the reader learn about love, friendship and the joy of being true to yourself.

Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

Melt My Heart is a fun and relatable young adult novel about future plans, first relationships and figuring out who you are and who you want to be. It will warm your heart with its touching coming-of-age story and sunny seaside setting.

Lily is excited to begin her Summer of New Things before university, but what started out as a means of becoming less nervous about her future leads to more questions about who she is and what she wants in life.

This book explores the experience of really liking someone but somehow knowing that it’s not quite in the right way or not quite enough. The romance Lily thought she’d found – and had grown up expecting to find – is missing; that is, until it shows up somewhere she had never expected, with all the affection and excitement that makes her realise this is how love is supposed to feel.

With all the feel-good vibes of a classic British summer – the beach, ice cream, evenings spent in a beer garden – this is the ultimate read for those precious days of sunshine.

bottom of page