Queer Books for Cool Kids (Young Adult!)

By Alex Abe's All Time Faves

By Alex Abe's All Time Faves

Curated recs from a very queer bookseller who loves kidlit. 

The Lost Coast

Amy Rose Capetta

$17.99 $16.55

Told in part from the point of view of Danny, the new witch in town, but it’s also told in shared-consciousness 3rd person from the rest of the coven, the students at their high school, the trees themselves, and a few unique narrators. It was such a unique and beautiful story, with wonderful little sprinkles of humor and queer magic thrown in. If you like Practical Magic but also The Raven Cycle with a bit of Stephen King-like-horror thrown in, this is a very good book for you.

Once & Future

Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta

$10.99 $10.11

GAY GENDERBENT KING ARTHUR IN SPAAAAAACE! I don't know how many times I have to say it. But if you love big, goofy ensemble casts, queers getting everything they deserve, and fierce social commentary, ONCE & FUTURE is a must-read.

Reverie

Ryan La Sala

$17.98 $16.54

All I heard was, “a gay kid has to fight an evil drag queen” and I was like okay. Yes. In addition to just being whimsical and hilarious, Reverie deals with a lot of stuff! Kane is a narrator who doesn’t remember most of the important bits of the story, and so untangling it alongside him is fun and confusing and a little bit scary. Kane's very up front with the reader about his struggles with mental health/depression, especially concerning the trauma of his “accident” and the internal struggle he has as the Hero of the story, facing off against a Villain he sees so much of himself in. It feels like Memento or Inception with writing that literally feels as confusing as a dream.

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Jen Wang

$16.99 $15.63

This is one I'm including on the YA list and MG list because while it is geared towards teen readers, I know a few younger kids who have loved it as well. MY CROPS ARE THRIVING this graphic novel is everything. it's so heartfelt and fun and it's got all the beauty of historical fiction w/ all the humor of modern language. both lighthearted and serious, but overall this is one with a very happy ending

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Adib Khorram

$10.99 $10.11

I cannot contain my love for this book. Whenever someone asks for a book about a queer teen that isn't romance, this is always my first grab. It's about family and roots and feeling lost/found & all the wonderfully confusing parts of being young & figuring yourself out. It had me going from laughing out loud to blinking back tears, and the sequel is coming and it's going to break me.

Sadie

Courtney Summers

$17.99 $16.55

Sadie is a big sister. Something terrible happened to her little sister. She's gonna do something about it. *deep inhale* QUEER PROTAGONISTS ok but also TRUE CRIME and VENGEANCE and DUAL NARRATIVES. this story is a feat of narrative skill and i love it with my whole broken heart

The Devouring Gray

Christine Lynn Herman

$18.98 $17.46

WOOD MYSTERY! You know, those mysteries that take place in the woods? That kind of have that deep nostalgia as if you grew up in the sort of old-school town where it takes place?

Wilder Girls

Rory Power

$18.99 $17.47

ENVIRONMENTAL HORROR! UNAPOLOGETIC SELFISH GIRLS! GIRLS DATING GIRLS! If you like weird, unresolved stories a la Twin Peaks or Buzzfeed Unsolved, this is a very good book for you.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

$14.99 $13.79

OKAY. THIS ISN'T GROUNDBREAKING TO INCLUDE ON A LIST OF QUEER YA BOOKS. HOWEVER. It was one of the first queer romances I ever read as a teenager and was a critical piece in my own coming out. This book stands out because it isn't about a kid in the closet, it's about a kid who hasn't even considered there's a closet to be in. No one talks to Ari about sexuality, and so Ari has never questioned his--until he meets Dante, and they have the beautiful friends-to-lovers romance we've all heard of. I mean, look at all the awards on that cover. If you haven't read it yet, what are you doing?

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Mackenzi Lee

$11.99 $11.03

Big bi roadtrip across Europe in the 1700s, with a contemporary voice and lots of laugh-out-loud moments. When this book was pubbed several people asked me who I paid off to have it written, because it is so incredibly My Thing.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Emily M. Danforth

$9.99 $9.19

This is an "important" book, because it deals with the trauma of conversion therapy and homophobia in the '80s. This is a good book because it does all that well, and the author knows what she was talking about.

Shallow Graves

Kali Wallace

$9.99

BI GIRL PROTAGONIST who is also kinda a zombie and goes on a hitchhiking road trip across the western US with her GHOUL FRIENDS (not a pun; she literally has ghouls for friends). lots of mystery and honesty and overall spookiness

Echo After Echo

Amy Rose Capetta

$17.99 $16.55

Ever thought, "Phantom of the Opera is cool, but what it's really lacking is some gays" WELL, DO I HAVE THE BOOK FOR YOU! All the creepy, haunting, darkness of your favorite theatrical tragedies + girl love & lots of fun with language & style!

More Than This

Patrick Ness

$10.99 $10.11

It's like Inception but better! And gay! A complete mind-f*ck and yet very tender.

They Both Die at the End

Adam Silvera

$10.99 $10.11

Adam Silvera is on a personal mission to ruin my life. All his books are sad, but this one LITERALLY WARNS YOU IN THE TITLE and yet the ending still broke my heart. Do you need a good cry? Do you like to laugh? THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END might be just right for you!

When the Moon Was Ours

Anna-Marie McLemore

$10.99 $10.11

This is beautiful romance about two complicated teens. One of those teens is a trans boy. I cannot put into words how much this would have meant to me as a teenager.

Blanca & Roja

Anna-Marie McLemore

$10.99 $10.11

McLemore's are kind of the only fairytale retellings I bother with anymore. They always pull from the forgotten tales, like this retelling of Snow White and Rose Red, with a bit of swan princess and shape-shifting boys thrown in.

We Are Okay

Nina LaCour

$10.99 $10.11

You know those stories that make you feel so complete and yet so hollow at the same time? This is one of those stories. If you give this book to a kid, it will live inside them forever.

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages

Saundra Mitchell

$18.99 $17.47

QUEER HISTORICAL FICTION ANTHOLOGY! I have found so many of my now-favorite authors through this amazing book. All the stories in it are stunning, and they range from the 15th century to the 1990s.

Nimona

Noelle Stevenson

$14.99 $13.79

Okay, kind of like Ari & Dante, I don't think this book is NEWS to anyone. But, if you haven't read it yet, you absolutely should give it a try. Really unique fantasy setting and lots of feelings about gender and self.

I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain

Will Walton

$17.99 $16.55

THE FACT THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THIS BOOK IS A LITERAL CRIME. This book is all about dealing with grief through poetry and finding yourself through figures you idolize and the people you hold dear. It is sad and beautiful and why don't more people read it?

Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World

Sarah Prager and Zoe More O'Ferrall

$9.99 $9.19

What is this? A nonfiction book? In MY Bookshop? Yes. This is a short and sweet little introduction to 23 queer icons, and while it's by no means the only book of it's kind, it's one that I appreciate because of it's conversational tone and really slamin' bibliography. A really good book to give to any teens searching for their queer roots.

Girls of Paper and Fire

Natasha Ngan

$10.99 $10.11

This is a story about a bunch of pretty girls taken from their families to be concubines to a demon king. Only, oh snap, they're gay and in love and staging a coup.

A Line in the Dark

Malinda Lo

$10.99 $10.11

The first half of this book is narrated by Jess, a depressed lesbian in love with her best friend. The second half is a murder investigation. NOT A FEEL-GOOD STORY, but dang is it good.

Shatter the Sky

Rebecca Kim Wells

$18.99 $17.47

do you like DRAGONS? how about NON-WESTERN YA FANTASY? how about GIRLFRIENDS QUESTING TO SAVE GIRLFRIENDS? now that i have your attention: SHATTER THE SKY is one of the most unique 1st-in-a-series i've read in a hot sec. 100% recommend for fans of the grisha trilogy, etc

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Mariko Tamaki

$17.99 $16.55

You know all those movies/TV shows/books where it's like, the girl has this boyfriend, and he's hot, but SO doesn't deserve her? And she's turning into someone she hates, but doesn't know how to find herself again? This is one of those stories, but for sapphics! (And also, any girls who dated girls in high school? This book gets it).

Crier's War

Nina Varela

$17.99 $16.55

Sometimes, I think, "I'm really bored with fantasy." Then a book like CRIER'S WAR comes and smacks me across the face (and I say, "thank you!). This is the first in what I'm anticipating will be a soul-consuming series with a slowburn sapphic romance and lots of star-crossed, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers drama. Sometimes I think about this book and sigh, out loud, like some Victorian poet.

The Afterward

E. K. Johnston

$17.99 $16.55

Tarnished Are the Stars

Rosiee Thor

$18.99 $17.47