The Ultimate Gay Reading List

Note: All listings are alphabetical by author’s last name within their section.

We are currently revamping this list on our Wiki to make it more inclusive and easier to find exactly what you’re looking for– please help us out! 

LESBIAN CHARACTERS AND PAIRINGS

Gravel Queen by Tea Benduhn

How Beautiful the Ordinary edited by Michael Cart

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer

Down to the Bone by Mayra Dole

Annie on My Mind  by Nancy Garden

Good Moon Rising Nancy Garden

Sister Mischief by Laura Goode

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Torn by Amber Lehman

Gravity by Leanne Lieberman

Ash by Malinda Lo

Huntress by Malinda Lo

My Tiki Girl by Jennifer McMahon

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle

Tripping to Somewhere by Kris Reisz

The End by Nora Olsen

Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters

Far From Xanandu by Julie Anne Peters

Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters

Rage by Julie Anne Peters

She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Grl2Grl by Julie Anne Peters

The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Empress of the World by Sarah Ryan

The Rules for Hearts by Sarah Ryan

Inferno by Robin Stevenson

The Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan

Please Don’t Kill The Freshmen by Zoe Trope

Pink by Lili Wilkson

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Love & Lies by Ellen Wittlinger

 

GAY  CHARACTERS AND PAIRINGS

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman

Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block

The Value of X by Poppy Z. Brite

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron

How Beautiful the Ordinary edited by Michael Cart

Dance on My Grave by Aidan Chambers

With or Without You by Brian Farrey

The Screwed-up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson

My Heartbeat by Garrett Freymanm-Weyr

The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

Jumping off the Planet by David Gerrold

Bouncing off the Moon by David Gerrold

Leaping to the Stars by David Gerrold

Two Parties, One Tux, and A Very Short Film About the Grapes of Wrath by Steven Goldman

Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez

The Price of Living by J. Lee Graham

Last Exit to Normal by Michael B. Harmon

Geography Club my Brent Hartinger

The Order of the Poison Oak by Brent Hartinger

Double Feature: Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies by Brent Hartinger

The Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger

Jack by A.M. Homes

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Totally Joe by James Howe

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

Freak Show by James St. James

Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger

Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg

The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey

Absolutely Positively Not by David LaRochelle

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan

Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan

Wide Awake by David Leviathan

Love is the Higher Law by David Leviathan

Absolute Brightness by James Lecesne

Dramarama by E. Lockhart

The Year of Ice by Brian Malloy

Twelve Long Months by Brian Malloy

The Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr

The Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina

Hero by Perry Moore

Sunblood by Maria Mora

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Exiled to Iowa. Send Help. And Couture. by Chris O’Guinn

Sprout by Dale Peck

Blood Hound by Tamora Pierce

Do You Know That I Love You by Mark A. Roeder

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen

In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan

Saints of Augustine by P. E. Ryan

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz

The Rainbow Boys Trilogy by Alex Sanchez

So Hard To Say by Alex Sanchez

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai

A Really Nice Prom Mess by Brian Sloan

Stick by Andrew Smith

Big Guy by Robin H. Stevenson

The Blue Lawn by William Taylor

Drama by Raina Telgemier

Please Don’t Kill THe Freshmen by Zoe Trope

Peter by Kate Walker

Dishes by Rich Wallace

My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr

A vigil for Joe Rose by Michael Whatling

Bad Boys by Diana J. Wieler

Teenage Rewrite by Brandon Williams

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson

Hushed by Kelly York

TRANS, POLY AND QUEER PAIRINGS AND CHARACTERS

I Am J by Chris Beam

Speaking Out– Anthology edited by Steve Berman

Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Freak Show by James St. James

F2M: The Boy Within by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

The End by Nora Olsen

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Blood Hound by Tamora Pierce

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger

20 comments

  • Steve Berman (3 years)

    FEMALE/FEMALE PAIRINGS

    Tripping to Somewhere by Kris Reisz is brilliant.

    MALE/MALE PAIRINGS

    Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez features gay Latino boys (and a transgender character)

    Vintage by yours truly

    QUEER

    Forthcoming anthology Speaking Out (Sept 2011) edited by yours truly offers inspirational and positive stories by many authors.

  • Ellen Wittlinger (3 years)

    Female/female: Hard Love and it’s sequel Love & Lies by Ellen Wittlinger

    Male/Male: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
    Totally Joe by James Howe
    Many books by Brent Hartinger and Alex Sanchez

    Trans: Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
    For more ideas see the website: I’m Here, I’m Queer, Get Used to It.

  • Mike Mullin (3 years)

    Female/female pairings (and a thoughtful and deeply affecting book about sexual abuse and cutting) Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

  • Dressa (3 years)

    Hero by Perry Moore is definitely my favorite ya lgbt novel. [:

  • Wendy (3 years)

    For your Tarns/Poly/Queer category, I would suggest:

    Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

  • Victoria (3 years)

    Thank you for all the suggestions everyone! These titles, and others will be added to the list shortly. :)

    @Dressa: What category would Hero by Perry Moore fit into?

  • Mary (3 years)

    M/M pairing, told from the POV of a female best friend: Twelve Long Months, by Brian Malloy

    F/F: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, by Emily Horner

    And of course, a classic M/M: The Last Herald Mage trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey

  • Shauna G. (3 years)

    Add Malinda Lo’s Huntress to the F/F list as well!

  • Lindsey (3 years)

    For M/M, the Rainbow Boys trilogy.

  • Holly (3 years)

    For M/M, ‘Boy Meets Boy’ by David Levithan is good.
    Also, ‘Empress of the World’ by Sarah Ryan features a F/F romance but the protagonist IDs as queer (I think) rather than ‘simply’ gay.

  • CP (3 years)

    Freak Show by James St. James

  • Melissa (3 years)

    The End by Nora Olsen has lesbian, bisexual and lesbian to transgendered pairings. And I don’t see it on the list. :)

  • Lady Laura (3 years)

    The following are all fantasy books, with M/M pairings and/or male gay characters:

    A great fantasy series with a main gay couple is the Black Magician Trilogy. But it’s only at the end of the 2nd book that the relationship developes, but still, both characters are wonderfully written. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough romance between them overall in the series, they deserved more!!

    Robin Hobb’s Rain Wilds Chronicles has several gay characters too, including one main POV gay character.

    Sarah Rees Brennan’s (she’s Irish!!) The Demon’s Lexicon series has a loveable main gay character, he’s hilarious!!

    The Moorehawk Trilogy by Celine Kernan (Another Irish lady!) has a gay couple in the 2nd book.

    These were all books I really enjoyed, so I highly reccommend them to all! :D

  • Nathalie (3 years)

    Holly Black’s Ironside has one of my favorite M/M pairings. It’s the last book of a series though, but all three books are great. Also, of course, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.

  • Courtney Belyea (3 years)

    I think you should add Tricks and Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. They both have gay characters in them.

  • CW (3 years)

    Trans:
    I Am J- Cris Beam

  • Nikki (3 years)

    M/M pairing

    The Screwed-up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson. Not only gay y.a., but one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

  • Kelley York (3 years)

    M/M pairing

    WITH OR WITHOUT YOU – Brian Farrey

  • Crayak (3 years)

    Amazing Science Fiction series is

    The Starstrider trilogy by David Gerrold
    Jumping off the Planet –
    Bouncing off the Moon –
    Leaping to the Stars –
    The lead characters brother is gay and has a relationship through out the series. Set in a future where students can get financial assistance for school if they allow their sexual orientation to be changed in order to control the population.

    Also “The Man Who Folded Himself” by David Gerrold
    The main character is given a time machine and in some instances meets himself for some bizarre encounters.

  • [...] The #Yes GayYA issue has finally wound down, and I hope we all learned an important lesson: if we want to read more QUILTBAG literature (in YA or any reading level), then we need to buy the QUILTBAG books already out there. If publishers see there’s a market, they’ll take on more projects. Here are some great lists to get you started: SF & Fantasy YA with Major LGBTQ Characters and The Ultimate Gay Reading List. [...]

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