We absolutely love a good story about finding your self-identity and who can resist a well-written LGBTQ+ romance? These stories are so integral to increasing LGBTQ+ visibility and diversity in literature, but it is also important for all individuals to be represented. Books can act as a source of reassurance for every reader, without gender identity or sexuality being the focus. That is why we are using this issue to bring you a list of fabulous books where you can be sure to find some LGBTQ+ representation, without the whole plot revolving around being part of the community.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker has been offered the job of a lifetime: an impossible heist with a reward so great, that he will be rich beyond his wildest dreams. But there is no way he can pull it off alone. So, Kaz recruits five unlikely companions to help him perform a heist that just might save the world - if they can keep from killing each other first! This book is perfect for anyone looking for some character-driven fantasy escapism, full of interwoven friendships and relationships, as well as a richly developed system of magic.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
While still full of Rowell’s signature mix of kissing and talking, Carry On is somewhat of a departure from Rowell’s usual style. There is still wit, friendship and romance abounding, but now there are also ghosts, vampires and monsters. Simon Snow might be the worst ‘Chosen One’ ever, or at least according to his roommate. But if you are looking for the cozy comfort of a contemporary YA romance with a fantasy twist, we think you will love this book!
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
This colourful and paranormal story follows Alex, a bruja from a long lineage of women with magical prowess. At her Deathday Party (which commemorates the anniversary of her death), everyone expects Alex to accept her place as the most powerful bruja in a generation. However, there is just one problem - she does not want her magic. But when Alex tries to get rid of her magic herself, she accidentally banishes her whole family instead. Left with only one option, she must travel to Los Lagos with a brujo that she cannot trust and bring them back. This book is brimming with both diversity and magic, a truly great read if you are looking for a different kind of mythology!
The Fever King by Victoria Lee
When Noam Álvaro wakes up in hospital, he is the only survivor of a magical incident that resulted in the death of his entire family. Left with technopathic abilities, he finds himself forced to make difficult decisions. As the son of undocumented immigrants, he has powers that give him the opportunity to make anarchist-level changes to a government that is determined to demonise a whole demographic - but at what cost? Will his new powers make him the unsung hero of a wrongly persecuted group of people, or will he join the ranks of the rich and powerful, as their oppressor?
Madness by Sam Sax
For those in need of a change of pace, why not add a touch of poetry to your reading collection? These poems cover numerous topics, so you are bound to find one that speaks directly to your personal needs. Regardless of which you prefer, Sax’s poignant, yet controlled manipulation of language shines through each of his poems. His pieces are concise in word length, but still manage to effectively carry powerful emotions, leaving you stunned by the time you finish reading.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis & Brooklyn Allen
After what can only be described as some of the most emotionally fraught couple of months, we have all followed the most recent US elections with bated breath. With that in mind, you would most definitely be forgiven for wanting some comic relief in your reading choices. What better way to achieve this, than through the endearing adventures of a group of scouts foraging in the woods and encountering supernatural creatures? Even better, why not set your literature to be read list aside and give this comic a go?
You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour
While we are taking a break from the usual LGBTQ+ tales of romance, spare a second to think about the type of relationship that is often neglected in some of our favourite literature… friendships! Through thick and thin, highs and lows and a whole bunch of quarter-life crises, follow along as this book documents the true meaning of friendship goals, reflected in our protagonists, Mark and Kate. This story is perfect for those who are currently struggling through their twenties and need a reminder that it does eventually get better.