What better way to recommend a few great LGBTQ books for Pride than by creating a little mini rainbow of queer books? These novels cover all the colors of the rainbow as well as a variety of genres and age groups, so you’re sure to find something interesting to read here. Pick your color and celebrate June the right way with these six incredible LGBTQ books for Pride.
This reverse heist story is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Along with her girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend / best friend, Nora is just trying to deposit some money at the bank that they raised for the animal shelter. But when men with guns barricade the doors, they’re suddenly in the middle of a bank robbery. Little do the robbers know, Nora isn’t Nora’s real name. In fact, Nora isn’t who anyone thinks she is. She was raised by a con woman and the dark secrets of her past could be the only thing that gets them out of this alive.
The idea of a reverse heist in and of itself is a great one, but the way this story unfolds, revealing Nora’s past alongside her attempts to thwart the robbers, is just masterfully done. Each of Nora’s past identities taught her something that could help her survive this ordeal, but revealing who she really is to the people she loves most is a nightmare all its own.
Drawing on fairy tale lore, Oyeyemi weaves a tale of family and magical travails all centered around one strange but common thread in folklore: gingerbread. According to Wikipedia Druhástrana might not exist, but for Harriet Lee, it is her homeland. It is also the origin of her infamous gingerbread recipe. There’s only one person who loves the recipe more than the Lees, though– Harriet’s childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval. Gretel’s role in Harriet’s life has been just as influential as the gingerbread, with a hand in almost everything, good and bad, that has happened to her since. And when Harriet’s daughter, Perdita, decides to track down her mother’s long lost friend, it sets off a retelling of Harriet’s childhood in Druhástrana, revealing complicated origins and unbelievable experiences in a magical land that may or may not even exist.
A bisexual witch looking for a hook-up and anything but love and the big-hearted former pro-rugby player who falls hard for her despite all her best efforts to keep him at an emotional distance. Talia Hibbert has become one of my favorite romance authors and this book is the main reason. Witty banter, loveable characters, believable romantic complications–it’s all the things I’m looking for in a good romance book.
If you’re not familiar with Taylor Jenkins Reid from one of her other books, Daisy Jones and the Six, then let me introduce you to one of your new favorite authors. Golden Age Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo, has never told her life story, nor divulged the true love of her life amidst a stunning seven marriages– until now. Told through the eyes of the young journalist stunned to be called upon to write Evelyn’s authorized biography and flashbacks as the actress recounts her life story. This book hooked me from the opening chapter and didn’t let me go until the stunning conclusion.
200 years after the death of the real-life Cinderella, all eligible young women are required to attend the royal ball to find a husband. But what about those who don’t want a husband? And the men who aren’t interested in a wife? For sixteen-year-old Sophia, it leaves her with only one choice: run. Away from the palace sanctioned story of Cinderella she’s always been told, Sophia meets the last living descendant of the famed princess and the fairy godmother who cursed her. And the real story isn’t at all what she thought.
I love fairy tale reimaginings that really bring a new take to the original. Kalynn Bayron’s world where fairy tales have been politicized is such an inventive and relatable one–not so far off from the world we live in in some ways and entirely alien in others. Her upcoming novel, This Poison Heart, presents another clever spin on a classic tale, this time reimagining The Secret Garden.
Akwaeke Emezi is a masterful storyteller who’s shown they can write literary fiction and fabulism just as well as young adult fantasy. In Pet, Emezi’s first young adult novel, Jam is a young trans girl living in a town that has banished all its monsters. That’s what all the children in Lucille are taught. But when Jam accidentally brings a creature from her mother’s painting to life, he claims to be tasked with hunting down a monster– a monster actively at large in Lucille. In order to help Pet and save the people being preyed on in Lucille, Jam must confront her own beliefs and the adults who refuse to believe their little town could be anything less than perfect.
Not enough LGBTQ books for Pride this year? We’ve got you covered with some more suggestions. Check out our reviews for One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, How To Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole, Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders, This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, and A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers.