• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Help me find good YA gay/*lesbian* fiction please? =)

Read YA Lit

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Apr 6, 2007, 1:32pm Top

I have read:

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez (I know there is a sequel to this, too)
The Year They Burned the Books, and Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

I'm sure there are more. haha.
Anyway, any suggestions? Thanks. =)

Apr 6, 2007, 1:37pm Top

I really enjoyed Lucky by Eddie de Oliveira. It's more of a bisexual book, but it's still very good.

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger was also quite good.

Many of Francesca Lia Block's books deal with gay/lesbian/transgendered issues.

Apr 6, 2007, 2:08pm Top

Apr 6, 2007, 2:13pm Top

I second Francesca Lia Block. I also really enjoyed a book called Girl Walking Backwards when I was in HS. I'll think more about it and get back to you.

Apr 6, 2007, 2:41pm Top

Apr 6, 2007, 3:08pm Top

Try Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit by jeanette Winterson. I read it in HS. It deals with growing up in a strict religious household and realizing that you are gay. I think it's a semi-autobiographical piece.

Oh yeah and Francesca Lia Block's Cherokee Bat and Weetzie Bat books are great!

Edited: Apr 6, 2007, 4:37pm Top

It's not the main focus, but there is a storyline dealing with being gay in high school in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (which is also just an all around great YA book)

Apr 6, 2007, 7:58pm Top

hey hey, i did half an honours thesis on the topic - have a browse through my library cause i have around 45 YA lesbian titles in there - a few i can mention off the top of my head include:

truth, dare promise
girl walking backwards
good moon rising
empress of the world

email me if you have any questions - i am more than happy to help

9msnulph First Message
Apr 6, 2007, 10:01pm Top

I would reccommend Iron Man by Chris Crutcher as a novel and Am I Blue? (a collection of short stories) to be taken in part or whole depending on your purpose.

Apr 7, 2007, 10:48am Top

Joyce Carol Oates has a book called "Sexy," which explores sexuality and sexual harrassment in school. Like most of her books, it's not a very comfortable read though.

Edited: Apr 8, 2007, 6:21pm Top

I didn't really like Girl Walking Backwards; it's dysfunctional, drug-filled, and depressing. And rather explicit.

I liked the already-mentioned Keeping You a Secret and Empress of the World, as well as the not-mentioned Kissing Kate. Oh, and I also liked Crush by Jane Futcher, although Amazon didn't review it that positively. (It may be because the main character is lacking in confidence and is easily manipulated.)

It all depends on what kind of book you want. Gritty and realistic? Optimistic and uplifting? Young adult fiction in general tends to be more of the latter (or, if the former, somewhat more censored) than adult fiction. And then also: do you want the traditional coming-out-to-oneself book? Or the already-out-but-dealing-with-life kind?

Anyway, this might help you out a bit:


There's an article for gay (male) teen fiction too, but it's a bit more disorganized.

Some gay-themed YA authors to look for are Julie Anne Peters, Nancy Garden, Brent Hartinger, and Alex Sanchez (although his books can grow tiresome). The selection's slightly bigger if it's beyond YA fiction, like Jeanette Winterson, who I don't really think of as a YA author, although I don't know her books terribly well.

Apr 8, 2007, 9:55pm Top

oh yea #10 I read Sexy by Joyce Carol Oates and you are right on target.

Apr 9, 2007, 6:52pm Top

rubyfruit jungle is another excellent one to start with - not strictly YA, but about growing up a lesbian, and patience and sarah - both historically important to YA lesbian lit.

Apr 10, 2007, 3:49pm Top

It's a good book, but Rubyfruit Jungle is a somewhat explicit for the YA category.

Apr 10, 2007, 7:09pm Top

#14, really? i found it less explicit than something like girl walking backwards which is squarely YA. maybe i need to re-read it. as as long as everything is consentual and healthy, well, it serves a good educational purpose.

it's nothing that the teens aren't thinking about or actually doing anyhow ;) ... that's just me though.

oh, one to avoid would be sugar rush which irritated me no end.

an lot of the older titles are worth looking into - happy endings are all alike is fantastic, though a little bleaker and hey dollface is one of my favourite YA books dealing with same-sex crushes between kids who don't know what way they are going yet.

Apr 10, 2007, 7:19pm Top


I agree that Girl Walking Backwards is explicit; it was, however, intended for an adult audience, although it became popular among teenagers. One thing about Rubyfruit Jungle though is that much of it is about her adult life, while the other book is entirely about a teenager.

17AtomicGirl First Message
Apr 10, 2007, 7:57pm Top

I've read two relatively new boooks:

- 7 Days at the Hot Corner by Terry Trueman. "Varsity baseball player Scott Latimer struggles with his own prejudices and those of others when his best friend reveals that he is gay."
-Split Screen: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies by Brent Hartinger. Two books in one that tell of Russel, who is gay, and Min, who is bisexual, as they face separate romantic troubles on the set of a horror movie.

Apr 11, 2007, 6:49am Top

#16 - ah.. i thought i had read somewhere that girl walking backwards was originally meant for an adult audience.... thought i may have just made it up - i am glad to have that confirmed. that intrigues me, because it is so clearly YA in a lot of ways, in regards to the teen angst. oh, and very similar to tomorrow wendy which came out originally in 1998 also, (now i think its available through that nifty print on demand reprint service, and you can still get it through amazon.com et al). have you read that, csokie637? i found it made girl walking backwards seem positively cheery - though it is thematically very similar. the late 90's were a bleak time for YA lesbian novels. everyone cheered up in the early 00's.

it's fascinating question of what defines a YA novel over an adult novel - things like clan of the cave bear et al, which i know most of my friends read as teenagers and subsequently taught us more about sex than sex ed. ever did.... i almost categorize that as YA, which may be heresy, as it was marketed for an adult audience without a doubt.

yet something like oranges are not the only fruit i wouldn't categorize as YA, possibly because of the way it is written? it's an intriguing question, perhaps worthy of another thread.

Apr 11, 2007, 2:20pm Top

If you want funny...

Absolutely, Positively Not by David LaRochelle is hilarious and I think thought provoking.

20waterlily First Message
Apr 11, 2007, 7:31pm Top

The fantasy books set in the Kingdom of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey have many characters who are gay or lesbian. One of the best books I have ever read is The Last Herald-Mage. The main character is a very human yet noble hero who is gay. There are no explicit sex scenes yet the character's intimate relationships are very important to the story, and are exceptionally moving. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy.

Edited: Apr 12, 2007, 9:57pm Top

In the same vein as #20, I'd recommend to fantasy fans The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce -- though since it's a follow up to the Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens series, I can't say how well it would stand on its own. Still, there's a very thoughtful and complex portrayal of a lesbian relationship there.

Apr 12, 2007, 1:36pm Top

Strange Boy by Paul Magrs has immense charm and likeability. It portrays a 1970s U.K. upbringing in a very effective manner. One of the best books Magrs has written.

23ataraxia First Message
Apr 12, 2007, 11:53pm Top

The Center of the World is beautifully written.

Edited: Apr 26, 2007, 6:07pm Top

I agree with the person who thought that Sugar Rush was a terrible book. The only book I've ever thrown in the trash because I didn't want to be responsible for somebody buying it second-hand from me. I didn't like Girl Walking Backwards very much either.
Empress of the World is very engaging--I liked it a lot. Looking forward to the sequel.
Francesca Lia Block is a genius although somewhat surreal. Violet and Claire is a teriffic book.
For a classic work that's quite amazing, try Rosemary Manning's The Chinese Garden. It's an adult novel about young adults but it's such a good (although odd) book.
For a slightly younger audience, Catherine Brett's SP Likes AD is good.
M.E. Kerr's Deliver Us From Evie is strong and convincing.
Ellen Wittlinger's Hard Love is pretty good.
Benediction by Diane Salvatore--Catholic school story, dated but interesting.
I didn't like Far from Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters.
Love Rules by Marilyn Reynolds--not very good.
I haven't liked the Brent Hartinger books I've read--The Geography Club and Last Chance Texaco. The plot situations seem predictable to me; but I may have just read too much YA genre literature.
Jacqueline Woodson, The House You Pass on the Way--I haven't read it yet but it looks good.
The Last of Eden, an early work by Stephanie Tolan--I just got this, haven't read it yet.
The IHOP Papers--also on my To Read list (it's a long list!).

Apr 27, 2007, 8:37pm Top

There's a book called m or f? by someone I don't remember... I just know it's pretty interesting. haha. Basically anything by Julie Ann Peters will work. Then Alex Sanchez had another book... I don't remember what it's called though. Anything by him will do though...

May 1, 2007, 11:22pm Top

Edited: May 6, 2007, 9:33pm Top

I am quite sure Last Chance Texaco didn't have anything gay in it... I think it's only Brent Hartinger's Geography Club series that has a gay storyline. Grand and Humble, too, has a character who's mentioned to be gay.

Sara Ryan's The Rules for Hearts came out recently, but I didn't like it as much as its prequel, Empress of the World. Battle's definitely not as cool when Nic's not around. The book's more cynical and less emotional. And I wasn't too thrilled with all the new characters, or the few details on Battle's parents. Their characterization seemed stronger in Empress of the World, although they showed up less frequently there.

May 10, 2007, 9:25pm Top

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

It is the first book in the series Mortal Instruments and was just released last month.

May 12, 2007, 4:11pm Top

Ursula K. Le Guin's most recent book Voices has a central character with a very interesting gender and sexual identity, while not being explicitly labelled lesbian or queer.

I'm a huge Francesca Lia Block fan, and think her range of writing across teen sexuality and desire is wonderful.

May 14, 2007, 2:36pm Top

Julie Anne Peters also wrote Luna: a novel, which features a transgendered character, though the story is narrated by her sister. It's excellent.

Jun 2, 2007, 5:44am Top

Aug 1, 2007, 4:29pm Top

Two books that I just read this summer could be what you might want. Since I'm heterosexual, I don't know how accurate the authors are in getting feelings right and whatnot, but it seemed to me like they did a good job.

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson has two main girl characters dealing with homosexuality. She explores everything, like coming out to your friends and family and questioning whether or not you are actually gay. The only thing that bothered me about this book was the fact that the really good guy, Parker, got left out in the cold!

The book Pretty Things has two homosexual characters as well. I thought the book was kind of a mess, but it's the only other book I could think of and I think Sara Manning dealt pretty well with the questions surrounding homosexuality.

Aug 1, 2007, 4:55pm Top

In Holly Black's newest release, Ironside, two of the secondary male characters from the first two books, Tithe and Valiant, become involved. However, I would highly recommend at least reading Tithe before you pick up Ironside. It will make a lot more sense.

Aug 1, 2007, 5:09pm Top

I've read Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, which I know is YA. Perhaps a little dated, but lovely story.

I recently finished The Tragedy of Miss Geneva Flowers by Joe Babcock which I enjoyed (and I will hopefully have a review up soon). I don't know that I would really classify it as YA, but other users have tagged it as teen fiction. (Although, that could mean fiction about a teenager, which would be accurate)

Sep 3, 2007, 2:10pm Top

if you didn't find enough here, you might try posting to the genderqueer group

Sep 5, 2007, 2:18pm Top

I'd like to second Dare, Truth or Promise - my 2 best friends in high school were girlfriends and this book really rang true for me with what I observed of their relationship, particularly the struggles they had with their families.

Edited: Sep 7, 2007, 10:51am Top

Although I haven't read it myself, Freak Show by James St. James has been getting a lot of positive reviews on the YALSA-BK listserv and is about a high school drag queen. Likewise, Hero by Perry Moore is about a homosexual male superhero (it's at the top of my TBR pile) has been getting rave reviews.

You may also find Worth the Trip (http://worththetrip.wordpress.com) helpful. It's a blog devoted to books for LGBTQ teens and has regular reviews - and a very recent post about the lack of lesbian protagonists in new LGBTQ novels.

Hope that helps!

*edited for finicky touchstones!

Sep 7, 2007, 12:16pm Top

If you like David Levithan and haven't read Wide Awake yet, I would suggest that one as well.

39treesoap First Message
Sep 19, 2007, 5:16pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Sep 27, 2007, 10:02pm Top

thanks, you're all amazing. I'll put these books on my list. XD

Sep 28, 2007, 9:36pm Top

Have you heard of the anthology, So Fey, edited by Steve Berman? I am waiting for my copy, it has some authors I really like.

42sara_k First Message
Sep 29, 2007, 1:11am Top

I recently read and enjoyed "Hello, Groin" by Beth Goobie.

"Parrotfish" by Ellen Wittlinger features a transgender character; it was pretty good - not all pretty nor all hate.

"Touching Snow" by M. Sindy Felin the main characted happens to be lesbian. I don't think it changed the story in a major way; I liked that. It was cool to have it be a part of the story but not what moved the plot - very normal.


Oct 11, 2007, 5:58pm Top

yareader2 already mentioned it but So Fey has some good stories for both genders. Some are absolutely atrocious but there are some real gems. Holly Black's story is particularly well written.

Dec 4, 2007, 10:01pm Top

Two books I've noticed on the shelf at work and have been meaning to read are Hero by Perry Moore and Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger. The former is about a teenage boy who is a superhero and who is gay, and the latter is about a transgendered teen. (Not necessarily gay or lesbian, but certainly dealing with some of the same issues.)

Dec 5, 2007, 9:29pm Top

There's a YA book called So hard to say that features a 13-year-old boy who discovers he is gay. I have yet to read it, but I hear that it is very good.

Dec 8, 2007, 10:16pm Top

Melissa Scott has written a set of superb sci-fi books that deal directly w/ gender issues, adolescence, art, AI, class/caste divisions...a host of very artfully interwoven topics. "Night Sky Mine" deals most explicitly w/ a teenage girl's discovering, among MANY other things, that she's gay..But then she's written other v. appropriate books: Dreaming Metal - perhaps the best treatment of art in sci-fi, ever; ShadowMan; and Dreamships could also be very good YA books in this field, although they weren't marketed as such.

She also wrote with her recently dead gfriend, a set of much more conventional high fantasies that are well written, but MUCH less imaginative.

47twigs3 First Message
Dec 10, 2007, 7:45pm Top

Swimming in a Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvaduria is an excellent YA tite about a teen boy in Sri Lanka coming to the realization that he is gay.

I thought the portrayal of his confusion, disgust and final understanding was very realistic.

Dec 10, 2007, 11:24pm Top

I am reading "Jack" and I find the confusion to feel very real. This isn't about a gay teen, but it's the pov of the child of someone who comes out of the closet and leaves his family.

Dec 19, 2007, 8:24pm Top

Brent Hartinger's Split Screen was a blast. Fun and frolic with great gay and lesbian characters. Of course it's a teen book so it deals with relationship issues, but all in the context of an overall story ... and without any of the heavy-handed- or heavy-heartedness so common. At the end it's hard to say which of these folks I liked the most.

Edited: Jan 14, 12:18am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jan 13, 2008, 1:34am Top

When I was in elementary school/junior high, I loved the book The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene. The main character is a pretty good example of a young teenage girl who is easily swayed by her peers against her better judgement. Her boyfriend "terrorizes" (for lack of a better word) a gay couple in town. Though the gay couple is a little too stereotypical, I liked how the friendship between the young girl and the couple develops. In the end, the girl stands up for what is right (equality and non-discrimination), but it still has a bittersweet ending. What I like most about the book is that it deals with the consequences of homophobia.

Feb 27, 2008, 1:39pm Top

Two of my three girls have read Luna and loved it. The third one is ready to read it. My oldest also liked Peter's book, Define Normal.

Edited: Mar 7, 2008, 1:07pm Top

I also enjoyed Wide Awake, a good read for our politically turmoiled time.

Mar 22, 2008, 4:07pm Top

Lots of good suggestions here! I wanted to add a new book, it's coming out sometime summer 08 I think, that I got a galley of: My Tiki Girl by Jennifer McMahon. I thought it was awesome, really beautiful and intense. Not too explicit, and a happy (but realistic, not ridiculous) ending.

Mar 22, 2008, 4:48pm Top

In the Graphic Novel section:
Potential and others by Ariel Schrag,
Dykes to watch out for series and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Several books by Maurice Vellekoop

Apr 21, 2008, 3:04pm Top

I just finished reading Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron and it is billed as young adult novel, although I found some of the emotional stuff quite adult. There is no sex in the book though and the principle character is eighteen and very sweet. I think this book is getting a lot of attention and will probably become even more popular once it is released in paperback.

Edited: Sep 22, 2008, 9:51am Top

Okay, so I'm a good five months late to this discussion, but I want to say two things. One, thank you! I will definitely be checking out some of the above suggestions.

And second, I want to recommend a couple of titles. I have recently read two very good books, both with a male teen gay protagonist. From what I understand, the books were no marketed to the young adult audience but, for my mind, they should have been. Both books are by Robin Readon.

I read her second novel, Thinking Straight, first after receiving an automated recommendation from Amazon.co.jp. I'll admit I bought it on a whim so that I could qualify for free shipping on another book I had purchased. I had no absolutely no expectations and was completely amazed by how good it was. I would have finished it in one sitting had I not had to leave for work halfway through. I finished it as soon as I got home!

After that, I sought out her debut novel, A Secret Edge. It, too, was fantastic. I felt that there was a small issue of Readon recycling her material in these books, but it's only brief and it happens towards the end of both books, so I didn't really detract from the story in my opinion.

But, really, both books are great. If you like reading smart and thought provoking YA literature from a gay male prospective, I definitely recommend them both.

Sep 24, 2008, 4:34pm Top

Robin Reardon appeared here a few months ago in the gay literature section. I always assumed she was a he, but maybe it's because A Secret Edge is about
a teenage boy. Is he a she?

Sep 24, 2008, 5:10pm Top

While not specifically a YA novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts by Canadian author Zoe Whittall is a great read, especially if you're Canadian.

Sep 25, 2008, 12:52am Top

#58, Robin is a lady. At first I assumed she as a he, but then I found her LT author page.

Sep 28, 2008, 10:58am Top

I read a book called Damned Strong Love by Lutz Van Dijk. It is based on a true story of a Polish teenager who falls in love with a German soldier during WWII. It appears that it may now be out of print, but is available used on Amazon at a reasonable price. I thought it was an excellent book.

Sep 30, 2008, 2:57pm Top

I believe Damned Strong Love was made into a movie a few years back.

Sep 30, 2008, 8:14pm Top

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it but Hello Groin by Beth Goobie is a very interesting title about sexual awakening.

You might also check out Totally Joe or The Misfits by James Howe.

And...Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock.

Oct 2, 2008, 7:49pm Top

Down to the Bone by Mayra Dole is a good YA book about a Cuban-American lesbian, and there's a graphic novel called Skim by Mariko Tamaki which is supposed to be pretty good.

Edited: Oct 20, 2008, 10:39am Top

>61 chilover:&62 I read Damned Strong Love yesterday based on your recommendation. It was good...disturbing, but good. I was able to get it through my library network.

Oct 20, 2008, 4:05pm Top

Deliver Us From Evie, by M. E. Kerr is excellent. Nothing really lurid or objectionable in it. Well written, highly discussable because of the author's use of language. She creates vivid images of a rural family and the consequences of being true to oneself. Most of the characters have secrets and/or identity problems of one kind or another.

Oct 20, 2008, 5:13pm Top

Ellen Wittlinger often writes excellent lesbian and gay characters in her novels. Hard Love is about Marisol a zine creator and young lesbian.

Oct 20, 2008, 6:16pm Top

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan was one of my favorites -- it is written through poems, and the characters are gay, straight, and lesbian... basically representing your typical high school students.

I also loved Annie on my Mind and Bermudez Triangle and Keeping You a Secret

Oct 21, 2008, 5:17pm Top

Dance on my grave by Aidan Chambers is really impressive!

Nov 4, 2008, 12:20pm Top

David Levithan's Wide Awake has as a narrator a gay 16 year old, but his best friends are a lesbian couple who attend his HS and work with him to elect the first gay Jewish president.

A political, exciting and topical book to read today!

Nov 4, 2008, 3:08pm Top

I'm reading Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman which has been fantastic so far. A perfect book for Halloween, if I had only started it last week instead of this one LOL! The main character is a gay teen and seems very realistically portrayed.

Nov 5, 2008, 4:56am Top

A comic book series liked by many women (hetero and homo) is Strangers in Paradise: The Collected Strangers In Paradise by Terry Moore.
It is a thriller, but foremost a story about the relationship between 2 young women.
(No, there are no superheroes in it nor any scantily clad women with crazy breasts). I would even rate it 12+

Nov 27, 2008, 8:36am Top

express of the world by sara ryan

Jan 1, 2009, 3:24pm Top

I'll second Deliver Us From Evie by M.E. Kerr -- actually, I've liked just about everything by that author, and several of her books deal with gay themes -- and Totally Joe by James Howe, which is adorable and my 13-year-old sister loved it when I suggested she read it.

House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle focuses on a straight girl, but has lesbian themes, and is part of the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Austin-O'Keefe-Murray series.

Maurice by E.M. Forster isn't young adult, but it's classic and pretty tame -- I like other of his books better, but I'll always encourage people to read Forster!

M or F? by Lisa Pademetriou and Chris Tebbets is cute, if you have a decent tolerance for embarassment -- I squirmed for the characters a few times.

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg deals with some homosexual history and has several possibly gay characters, and is as smart and enjoyable as anything she's written.

Am I Blue? is a good collection of GLBT short stories by some really great authors -- I especially like the title story.

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan I remember enjoying, but I was about fourteen when I read it, so I can't really get into specifics -- cute lesbian love story. I also remember liking The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson, but don't remember it very well.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is AMAZING. Really awesome. Main character's straight, but many major characters are queer -- and they go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show! It's like my youth.

Jan 1, 2009, 8:42pm Top

Read Geography Club, worst book I've ever read

Read Keeping you a Secret, Best book EVER, it put me to tears the 3d time i read it lol

Feb 2, 2009, 9:41am Top

Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World --I thought this book was so disappointing. E. L. Konigsburg is a genius and capable of so much but she needed some stern words from her editor on that one. I admit the treatment of homosexuality in 1940s Amsterdam was pretty interesting, but even this did not make up for what I can only call a very self-indulgent book.

Edited: Feb 9, 2009, 1:48pm Top

Looking back through my posts I noticed I didn't mention Saints of Augustine which I read a few months back. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

I thought I had posted about it before or even found the book from this thread but going back it is not there.

Feb 5, 2009, 4:05pm Top

Oh, I just read Hero by Perry Moore yesterday, and it is so, so wonderful. It's like Watchmen-lite. (I mean that in actually a really good way -- it's got more hope/heart than Watchmen, but does some really cool things that remind me of that comic.)

I'd definitely rec it for slightly older teens -- I wouldn't necessarily give it to a 13 or 14-year-old, unless they were fairly mature.

Edited: Feb 7, 2009, 9:04pm Top

Nothing new here. Just adding my opinion on previously mentioned stuff.

grl2grl: short fictions by Julie Anne Peters (whose touchstone refuses to work) is a personal favorite. She's an interesting writer, but she's very inconsistent (in my opinion avoid everything but Luna, grl2grl, Between Mom and Jo, and Define "Normal")

Also I absolutely adore Francesca Lia Block who I believe is soon to receive a Phoenix award for her Dangerous Angels series!

David Leviathan and Alex Sanchez are fine as brain candy.

Annie on my Mind is a classic and very sweet.

Feb 11, 2009, 1:37pm Top

Totally Joe by James Howe and The Torn Skirt are both good.

Feb 13, 2009, 4:20pm Top

The ALA has a new and pretty extensive list for 2009:


Feb 13, 2009, 4:50pm Top

You can check out a ton of good recommendations at my website www.gaybooksforteens.com, i did it as a project in college, hope that helps.

Feb 19, 2009, 10:35pm Top

Very cool!

Feb 20, 2009, 8:36am Top

I thought so, too. Thanks, Pheonix!

Mar 7, 2009, 3:39pm Top

I heartily recommend Wij, twee jongens, by Aline Sax. An English version was released in November, (We, two boys), but it's not on LT yet.
It's a historical YA novel centered around Adrian, a Flemish boy who emigrates to NYC with his family in 1910. Unfortunately, he is the only one to make it through the examinations at Ellis Island, and thus ends up stranded in turn-of-the-century New York, with nary a penny to his name and no knowledge of the language.
And then he meets Jack. :)

A wonderfully honest and romantic novel, and the author being a historian and having done *a lot* of research helps, of course. ;)

Mar 9, 2009, 7:30am Top

If you like fantasy books, Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan is really good. The gay part is in relation to the lead character's mother who leaves her husband and moves in with her female lover.

Don't think I know anymore, but if I come across any, I'll let you know. What types of books do you like?

May 7, 2009, 2:36pm Top

Deliver Us From Evie, by M. E. Kerr is very good.

May 7, 2009, 5:23pm Top

The only book that has a gay/lesbian character is Bermudez Triangle. I enjoyed it.
There is also My Most Excellent Year. One of the characters is gay. Those are the only ones I know of.

Edited: May 7, 2009, 9:30pm Top

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger is about a trans F2M teen. It's a bit clunky at times, but worth a look.

A truly excellent book is Luna by Julie Ann Peters about a girl who supports her transgendered brother as he transitions from male to female.

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan is about lesbian and bisexual girls at a gifted/talented summer camp.

If you're looking for children's books, an adorable picturebook to take a peek at is And Tango Makes Three about two male penguins who adopt an egg together.

May 18, 2009, 8:53pm Top

I just read the most excellent book on this topic:
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd...you can review it on my blog:http://www.libraryloungelizard.com/2009/05/vast-fields-of-ordinary-by-nick-burd.html

I loved this book!

May 20, 2009, 5:25pm Top

My name's Jere' M. Fishback. I just published a YA novel aimed at gay teens and young adults. The title is Josef Jaeger. Here's a link to the blurb:


Here's a recent review:


Feel free to visit my website to learn more about my book and other things I publish:


I hope some members of this group will have a look at "Josef Jaeger".

Jere' Fishback

Edited: May 20, 2009, 6:17pm Top

In this issue of Booklist they reviewed "The Vast Fields of Ordinary" by Nick Burd. Looks pretty good for gay male YA Fiction.

May 27, 2009, 10:35pm Top

Everything by Julie Anne Peters is awesome! Check out my 'LGBT' tag for more recs. Ones I particularly enjoyed are rated.

Jun 10, 2009, 3:13pm Top

Baby Be-Bop was very good. Get it while it's hot and before it's burned.

Jun 20, 2009, 7:42pm Top

My Most Excellent year by Steve Kluger was wonderful, funny and very romantically gay. There's three main characters. One of them is Augie, an American born Chinese who loves divas of the past and good musicals, and who slowly realises his falling in love with his new friend Angie. Really recommended!

Jun 23, 2009, 7:19pm Top

Don't you mean Andy? And I agree, One of the BEST books I've read this year. Highly recomended.

Nov 22, 2011, 2:12am Top

Try The Shell House by Linda Newbery. A friend had to buy a copy when he left school because he was too good to steal the library copy.

Dec 16, 2011, 10:56pm Top

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan is one of my favorites (the vague sequel was a let-down though).

Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden is a good one too.

Edited: Dec 18, 2011, 9:04pm Top

I read both Pink by Lili Wilkinson and A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend: A Novel by Emily Horner this year and enjoyed them immensely.

Oh, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a lot of fun.

Dec 19, 2011, 12:08pm Top

Edited: Dec 19, 2011, 7:51pm Top

I personally love the Gay Youth Chronicles. It isn't that the books themselves are mindblowing, but I get seriously caught up in the stories of the characters, who meet, fall in love and grow up to become adults, so there are a couple generations going on there. http://www.markroeder.com/ has all the info on those. They're strictly stories about gay couples, but there are a few lesbians thrown into some of the books. To be honest, I haven't really found anything else. I'm waiting until I finish to the end of the series before I go hunting. Do share if you find anything great. :)

It should be noted that some of these books are almost as good for /parents/ of gay/lesbian kids because it helps them to understand what the children are going through. As a teacher, some of the moments between parents and children touched me a great deal and made me think that I'd have to recommend the book to others I knew who were watching their child go through the same thing and didn't know how to express their support.

The more recent books are getting to be a little supernatural too, so ... there's a lot of variety...

Feb 8, 2012, 12:50am Top

Night Sky Mine by Melissa Scott is not well known, it seems..but a terrific Sci-fi / gender identification novel. Works on many levels. I'm not sure if she won the Lambda for this one, though I know others of her SF books did. She's excellent at both world building and character building.

Apr 7, 2012, 12:58am Top

I think the best are

1. sprout by dale peck
2. outtakes of a walking mistake by anthony paull
3. a secret edge by robin reardon

Apr 29, 2012, 10:43pm Top

This isn't gay or lesbian because the main character is trans, but I really enjoyed I Am J. Highly recommended to teens and adults alike.

May 2, 2012, 3:14pm Top

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Teagay is about a young woman who thinks her boyfriend is gay and her father is bi. It was written for young adults. It is written in verse (poetry) and quite interesting. I just finished it. I met Sarah at Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators workshop. It is a great book.

Nov 3, 2012, 5:29pm Top

Know Not Why: A Novel by Hannah Johnson, while maybe not strictly YA (the main character is 22), it's a really well-written, funny and heartfelt story about a guy who gets a job at an arts and crafts store in order to meet girls (because everyone knows that girls like sensitive guys, and what could be more sensitive than knitting and stuff, right?) and instead falls in love with his male boss.

Nov 9, 2012, 2:40pm Top

Wattpad.com has a bunch of those that you might like. Go look it up!

Jan 6, 2013, 10:13pm Top

Keeping you a secret is pretty good and I don't remember you by Stephanie Lennox is one of my favorites.
My best friend loves The Vast Fields of Ordinary have not read that one myself though.

May 29, 2013, 1:21pm Top

I am working on a presentation of my top ten LGBTQ books for 2012-2013. Some of my recent favorites have been:

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
Sin Eater's Confession
October Mourning: A Song For Matthew Shepherd
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Every Day
Don't Let Me Go

Mar 7, 2014, 4:00am Top

Geography club by Brent Hartinger
Something Like Summer by Jay Bell
Turning 16 by Perie Wolford
Trust me and Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno

are my favorite!

Mar 7, 2014, 3:32pm Top

In case it hasn't already been offerred, I just finished Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. Outstanding!

Apr 1, 2014, 2:59pm Top

Currently listening to Better Nate Than Ever which is about a fourteen year old who is uncertain about his sexuality (he comes out in the next book in the series)but he is a huge Theatre Musical Queen and he runs away from home to audition for a new musical based on the movie ET. It's delightful and very funny. The book is aimed for the thirteen year old set. The main character's best friend is also a theatre person and I presume she is leaning towards being a lesbian, although that isn't clear yet.

Aug 19, 2014, 10:08am Top

At the risk of being accused of self-promotion, may I suggest "Jimmy, Mrs Fisher and Me", a boy's own graphic-but-poignant story about life on London's meat rack.

Aug 19, 2014, 10:14am Top

I also recommend The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, posted earlier in May 29 2013.

Aug 19, 2014, 2:45pm Top

I recently read Far From You by Tess Sharpe, which was a mystery/thriller with a lesbian aspect. It's nice that we're seeing some books that include GLBTQ characters that aren't necessarily "about" that.

Aug 19, 2014, 2:52pm Top

I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe recently and it was seriously amazing.

Aug 24, 2014, 10:45am Top

*Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
*Hushed by Kelley York
*Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble (also her other books)
*Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg -- this one was one of my favorites
*Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
*Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
*One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

also Secret by Brigid Kemmerer is really awesome, but it's hard to recommend as it's the fourth book in a series (kind of paranormal)

Edited: Sep 25, 2014, 6:26pm Top

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis
The Book of David by Anonymous published by Simon & Schuster

Both are YA novels.

Nov 16, 2014, 6:12am Top

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
Would suggest "Jimmy, Mrs Fisher and Me", a boy's own story of life on London's meat rack.

Group: Read YA Lit

4,005 members

15,145 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,083,459 books! | Top bar: Always visible