2022 is set to be an exciting year for queer literature. Here's our list of 40 books for teens and adults with LGBTQ+ representation to be hyped about.
This started off as a list of 22 books, but quickly grew to 40 as it was too difficult to narrow down (and we could easily have included more). The growth we've seen the past few years in queer literature is encouraging, as is the increasing inclusion of more diverse characters in mainstream genres.
Reading books about and by minorities helps us understand different cultures, sexualities and genders. This can help break stereotypes and build empathy, which is always a good thing. Which ones of the books below will you be adding to your reading list?
For more diverse reads, check out these posts:
- 2022 Sci. Fi & Fantasy Releases By Authors of Colour (Part 1)
- 20 Fantasy Books with Fierce Female Characters
- 20 Sci. Fi & Fantasy Books with LGBTQ Representation
- 29 Must-Read Fiction Books by Black & Minority Authors
1. Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei
An irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best--and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way. A story about falling in love, finding your team (on and off the ice), and choosing your own path.
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Sports
2. Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson
A pulse-pounding thriller about an impenetrable dome around Baltimore that is keeping the residents in and information from going out during a city-wide protest. As an aspiring journalist, Jamal Lawson packs up his camera and heads to Baltimore to document a rally protesting police brutality after another Black man is murdered.
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia
3. From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos
Hannah has spent her whole life on the move. No roots, no family but her mother and brother, and no explanations. All that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror. A contemporary Jewish fantasy of enduring love, unfathomable loss, and the power of stories to hold us together when it seems that nothing else can.
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
4. Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
The first openly nonbinary contestant on America's favourite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut. Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for.
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
5. Milo and Marcos at the End of the World by Kevin Christopher Snipes
When Marcos moves to town, Milo is forced to acknowledge the feelings he's kept hidden, especially from his religious parents. As strange things start happening in their town, they soon begin to wonder if the universe itself is plotting against them in this young adult debut by the playwright and creator of The Two Princes podcast, Kevin Christopher Snipes.
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Dystopia
6. Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado
Stranger Things meets Get Out in this Sapphic Horror debut from nonbinary, Afro-Latine author Vincent Tirado. Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends, determined to save their city at any cost.
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
7. Youngblood by Sasha Laurens
Two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
8. Extasia by Claire Legrand
A new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village.
Genres: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal
9. Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
Drawing on ancient texts and modern archaeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world.
10. She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick
A swoon-worthy hate-to-love YA romantic comedy.
11. This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke.
A rollicking tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest.
12. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self.
13. All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
Jamie and Andrew are strangers, and two of the last people on Earth. They don't know what they'll find on their perilous journey ... but they may just find each other. A queer romance about courage, hope and humanity.
14. A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
A sweeping fantasy romance set against the backdrop of an Ottoman Empire-inspired world.
15. A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy
A heartfelt and funny contemporary romance inspired by Dollywood, about two boys who fall in love against the backdrop of a country music-themed amusement park.
16. Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May
In the aftermath of the First World War, a young woman gets swept into a glittering world filled with illicit magic, romance, blood debts and murder in this lush and decadent debut novel.
17. Earthflown by Frances Wren
A character-driven speculative novel exploring the water crisis, hyper-privatisation and love. Set in a London that has long abandoned the earth to the rising sea, the story takes a science-based approach to conventional fantasy archetypes.
18. Epically Earnest by Molly Horan
In this delightfully romantic LGBTQ+ comedy-of-errors inspired by Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, a high school senior works up the courage to ask her long-time crush to prom all while deciding if she should look for her bio family.
19. The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas
Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidioses compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes, in this electric new Mexican-inspired fantasy.
20. No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado
Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable. Except it's all fake.
21. We All Fall Down by Rose Szabo
The first book in a dark fantasy YA duology about the power and danger of stories and the untold costs of keeping magic alive.
22. Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist
A page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today's world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.
23. Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin
A teen girl must bring together two broken worlds in order to save her nation in this lush, Filipino-inspired young adult fantasy novel.
24. The Witchery by S. Isabelle
Fear and prejudice still fuel the uneasy truce between humans and witches who are forced to work together when the Haunting Season begins and Wolves rise from the swamp to feed. A bewitching debut, perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Zoraida Córdova, and Leigh Bardugo.
25. Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.
26. Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Will Chen, a Chinese American art history student at Harvard, has spent most of his life learning about the West - its art, its culture, all that it has taken and called its own. He believes art belongs with its creators, so when a Chinese corporation offers him a (highly illegal) chance to reclaim five priceless sculptures, it's surprisingly easy to say yes.
27. The Helheim Princess by Tiana Warner
A thrilling, intricate, and romantic #OwnVoices LGBTQ fantasy that builds on Norse mythology into a beautiful story all its own.
28. The Alpha’s Son by Penny Jessup
The first instalment in a thrilling new series, The Alpha's Son is a heart-wrenching Young Adult, wolf shifter romance; full of yearning, comedy, and adventure.
29. Kiss and Tell by Adib Khorram
A smart, sexy YA novel about a boy band star, his first breakup, his first rebound, and what it means to be queer in the public eye,
30. In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington
A coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.
31. These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall
The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich...or dead.
32. Spin Me Right Around by David Valdes
A sharp and funny YA novel that's Back to the Future with a twist, as a gay teen travels back to his parents' era to save a closeted classmate's life.
33. This is Why they Hate Us by Aaron H Aceves
This fun, irreverent summer romp is Netflix's Never Have I Ever meets What If It's Us about a high school senior determined to get over his unrequited feelings for his best friend by getting under someone else.
34. Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters
A deliciously geeky best friends-to lovers romance.
35. The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor
In this queer contemporary YA mystery, a nonbinary teen with autism realizes they must not only solve a 30-year-old mystery but also face the demons lurking in their past in order to live a satisfying life.
36. I’m So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson
A chance to rewrite their ending is worth the risk in this swoony romantic comedy.
37. The Loophole by Naz Kutub
A gay Muslim boy travels the world for a second chance at love after a possibly magical heiress grants him three wishes in this YA debut.
38. Flip the Script by Lyla Lee
In this simmering, joyous novel, I'll Be the One author Lyla Lee delivers a tender romance set between two brave teens who decide that when the script isn't working, it's time to rewrite it themselves.
39. The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant. What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor.
40. Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry
Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, this adventure-filled fantasy introduces readers to Cameron Battle as he begins his journey to greatness.
"As rights are won, we find more ways to talk about our gender, and we learn to accept different types of love more freely, we will need more stories that reflect our ever broadening experiences, but also show us what the possibilities are (...)" - Penguin Books
Based on our knowledge, the books in this list have LGBTQ+ characters in a main/prominent role; however, if you spot any mistakes don't hesitate to let us know.
This blog post was written by Lauren S. You can follow her reviews on Instagram @hobbitsbooksandbeyond
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We could not NOT make this pun. Inspired by sweet teenage love and characters who break the mould, this balm will keep your lips smooth as butter.