5 Queer Stories to Read During Pride Month

As I mentioned on Friday, I haven’t been consistent with my posts lately. If I had, I would have tackled this topic much sooner. I realize we’re already half way through Pride Month, but I couldn’t let it pass without recommending some of my favorite queer novels.

This is by no means a complete list of all the LGBTQ+ novels I’ve enjoyed. They’re all ones I’ve read within with last year and don’t want you to miss. If you can’t fit them in this month, make sure they make it to your To Read List!

5 Queer Stories to Read During Pride Month

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth

Historical fiction /Gothic Horror

This is a slow burn of a novel, the suspense builds beautifully with vivid imagery and lots of scares. But it’s so much more than a creepy novel. Our omniscient narrator takes the reader back and forth between two timelines, both focused around the supposedly cursed Brookhants School for Girls. One setting is the school in 1902, the other is the campus in modern day as it serves as a movie set.While it’s obviously about creepy goings-on, it’s also a story about sexuality and genre norms, about relationships, love, and family. There’s a lot going on here and the threads are maintained throughout. It’s an entertaining, gorgeous read that covers a ton of ground-there’s something for everyone.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

Literary Fiction

This was an eye opening read for me. I was expecting a juicy domestic drama. Instead, this is a heavy story that gives us a look into the lives of transgender people living in America. We get to know two transgender women during their years together as a couple, and after they split. The author explores motherhood and family in ways I’d never considered.

Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick

Contemporary romance

This is quite possibly the funniest romance novel I’ve ever read. Like, snort laughing out loud hilarious. Carter is a fabulous protagonist and all I wanted for him the whole time was for him to get his shit together and let himself believe he was deserving of being loved and happy. Prince Edgar is the first ever openly gay royalty and it’s a big deal. He struggles with all the expectations thrust upon him by society and tradition and the desire to please his family. He also needs to learn that he’s worthy of being loved for who he is as a person and not on the surface. . It’s a fun emotional rollercoaster of a read. It’s generally hopeful and positive, with powerful messages about self love and coming into your own despite others’ expectations.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Magical realism/Fantasy

This is an ultimately hopeful story about a group of magical children who live in a special home for such youths. Linus is the social worker tasked with conducting a visit to the home to make sure things are on the up and up. Linus lives his life by strict rules and this assignment makes him see the world in a new way. Along the way, Linus realizes he is willing and able to color outside the lines so to speak and it opens him up the possibility of love.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Contemporary romance/Magical realism

August is new to New York City and trying to find her way. When she sees the same gorgeous girl on the subway every day, she develops a crush. When she learns that Jane is not exactly what she appears to be, August’s becomes determined to help her. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two women, there are some very steamy semi-public scenes, which were great. I also loved how meeting Jane brought meaning to August’s life in New York City and connected her to her new roommates. Overall this is a story about found family, which always resonate with me. It’s also a wonderful exploration of different expressions of sexuality and gender. The characters are diverse and complex, even the minor ones. It was fun to get to know them all and watch their personal growth.

What are your top LGBTQ+ reading recommendations?

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