October 11th is celebrated as National Coming Out Day as well as part of LGBT History Month. In order to provide both mirrors and windows to teen patrons, here are some recent young adult fiction titles featuring LGBT+ characters.
- As I Descended by Robin Talley. A modern retelling of Macbeth set in a private boarding school
- Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown. Joanna’s family moves to a small Southern town and she is asked to go back into the closet for her senior year.
- The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne. Daisy wants to be Hannah’s best ally, but her best-laid plans blow up beyond what she ever imagined.
- Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz. Two friends meet online in chatrooms, and their fandom obsessions lead to more than friendship.
- Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki. Montgomery wonders what the preacher’s son thinks of her two moms.
- Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. Historical fiction focused on the integration of a high school, told from the perspective of a black student and a white student who want to be more than friends.
- Drag Teen by Jeffery Self. JT embarks on a road trip to win a drag pageant and pay his way through college.
- It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt. Mike’s family is trying to make sure he doesn’t turn out “soft,” but they’re in for more than they bargained.
- The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. Love and Death settle a wager using the lives of people in the midst of the Great Depression.
- Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Supernatural meets historical in this story of 1920s New York City.
- Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz. Etta isn’t butch enough for the lesbians at her school or thin enough for her eating disorder support group. A new friend may be her salvation.
- Far From You by Tessa Sharpe. People are used to Sophie’s lies and have doubts about her recovery as she attempts to solve a murder only she believes has happened.
- Bi-Normal by M.G. Higgins. Brent, a high school football star, develops a crush on a guy and wonders about his identity.
- Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler. Vanessa falls for a Hollywood costar. Now she has to choose between two things she loves.
- About a Girl by Sarah McCarry. Tally’s neatly ordered life becomes more complicated by a journey to find more information about her past.
- If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. Amanda is new to school, and although she plans to keep her head down and simply survive the year, she finds herself falling head over heels for Grant.
- Beast by Brie Spangler. Dylan meets Jamie in a support group for teens who self-harm, and he finds himself falling in love.
- Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark. Jess and Chuck embark on a cross-country road trip so Jess can attend her father’s wedding.
- Look Past by Eric Devine. Avery is threatened in light of Mary’s death. If he doesn’t reveal who he is, he may be next. Can he catch the killer before it’s too late?
- Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig. Flynn’s girlfriend has gone missing, but the investigation into her disappearance is getting too close to Flynn’s secret.
- The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. Leo is trying to keep his head down and survive school, but he ends up defending David in a fight, and his life becomes muc more complicated.
- When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. Miel and Sam are best friends, but the dangers Bonner girls threaten to take away their friendship and their magic.
- Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. After Max is raped, he goes to the doctor for the morning after pill, but he ends up pregnant. He must grapple with the trauma of rape as well as being intersex.
- None of the Above by L.W. Gregorio. Kristen discovers that she’s intersex when she’s in high school, and this secret is leaked to the entire student body.
- Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman. Alex has been socialized as a boy but decides she wants to live as a girl. Her family, her mother in particular, reacts badly to this decision.
There are numerous other lists of young adult books with LGBT characters (for example, here, here, and here), so this list focused only on recently published titles.
Are there any books we missed? Let us know in the comments!