June is Pride month, bookworms! To celebrate, we are coming to you with 12 book recommendations featuring queer characters. From anthologies to fantasy to romance, this list has it all!
Content Warning: The Honey POP encourages mindful reading and checking the author’s website for content warnings.
Love Letters For Joy By Melissa See
Love Letters for Joy is releasing on June 6th and follows Joy, an asexual teen, who is determined to be her school’s first disabled valedictorian. All she has to do is beat Nathaniel, her academic rival. Except everyone around her seems more interested in finding a romantic match. Now Joy is worried she’s missing out on a classic high school experience. For help, she writes to her school’s anonymous love letter writer but finds herself falling for the mysterious voice themself. This book sounds like an adorable love letter to all things rom-com and the perfect read to celebrate the end of the school year with!
Content Warnings: outing, aphobia.
Fake Dates And Mooncakes By Sher Lee
Fake Dates and Mooncakes is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside! We follow Dylan Tang, who is trying to win a teen chef mooncake-making competition to honor the memory of his mom and his aunt’s Chinese takeout business. There he meets Theo, a wealthy boy who convinces him to be his fake date to a family wedding. Did we mention it was in the Hamptons? But between all the family drama, Dylan finds himself falling for Theo for real. This Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians contemporary romance is a great heartwarming read. While romance is a central focus of this story, it also talks about family drama, Singaporean Chinese culture, and cooking! This book has something every reader will love.
Content Warnings: deceased parents, mention of alcoholism.
Cool. Awkward. Black. Edited By Karen Strong
Cool. Awkward. Black. is the perfect book for everyone trying to get out of a reading slump! With stories from critically acclaimed Black authors such as Tracy Deonn, Leah Johnson, and Isaac Fitzsimmons, this multi-genre anthology has everything from UFOs to school plays. Fans of historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, and romance are all represented in this collection of geek stories written by self-proclaimed geeks.
Content Warnings: racism, sexism, domestic abuse, death, homophobia.
A Tales Of Two Princes By Eric Geron
Bestselling author Eric Gerson is back with a royal romance! A Tale of Two Princes is about Edward, the prince of Canada, who is living a life of luxury, but is unsure how to tell the world that he’s gay. And Billy, who lives in a small town on a ranch, loves his town and his boyfriend but has always felt he was meant for something more. When the two boys meet by chance and discover that they’re long-lost twins (we know! It’s adorable), their lives are changed forever. We are huge fans of royal romance stories, and these “twinges” have stolen our hearts!
Content Warnings: homophobia, colonization, classism, death of a parent.
6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) By Tess Sharpe
A hard-hitting lesbian romance? We are sold! Penny and Tate have never gotten along, which is tricky since their moms are best friends that spend a lot of time together. But things go from bad to worse when Penny’s mother decides to be a living donor for Tate’s mom, and the families move in together to recover physically and financially. To keep the peace, the two girls agree to be nice to one another, but the problem is, they keep almost kissing, and it’s been happening their entire teenage existence. They’ve always ignored it before, but living across the hall from each other might cause their “almosts” to become something more.
Content Warnings: death of a parent, grief, panic attacks, mention of suicidal thoughts.
Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute By Talia Hibbert
Looking for a book with bi representation? Check out Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert! The author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, Talia Hibbert, is back with a YA contemporary all about Celine and Bradley. Celine is obsessed with conspiracy theories. She even has a social media account dedicated to them. But it’s not for everyone, and it’s the reason why she thinks Bradley, her ex-best friend, left her for the “cool kids.” Bradley, on the other hand, is seen as perfect as the star football player and an A+ student, and he’s even managing his OCD well enough. But when the two are forced to work together in a survival course in the woods, they’ll have to set aside their differences if they want to win the grand prize. And they just might spark a new kind of relationship along the way.
Content Warnings: parental abandonment, injury, panic attacks, bullying, OCD.
The T Guide By Gigi Gorgeous And Gottmik
Looking to read more non-fiction? We’ve got just the thing! The T Guide is written by two transgender icons, all about different aspects of being transgender. From gender spectrums to parenting transgender children, this book discusses a variety of topics using honest and hilarious personal stories.
Ander & Santi Were Here By Jonny Garza Villa
Are you a fan of hard-hitting contemporaries? Then check out the next book on our list! Ander spends so much time at his family’s taquería that they fire him so he can focus on getting ready for art school. Except, things don’t go according to plan when he meets Santiago, the new waiter, and the two quickly start to fall for one another. But when ICE agents come looking for Santi, Ander starts to wonder if their love can survive when it feels like the world is against them.
Content Warnings: deportation, racism, xenophobia, kidnapping, violence.
Baby Drag Queen By C.A. Tanaka
Baby Drag Queen follows transgender teen Ichiro who dreams of one day buying a camper van so that he can live with his mother off the grid. To help support his mom, he takes a second job performing drag at a local club. There he learns of a contest with a large cash prize that would finally allow him to buy the camper van. But when some of his friends discover that he performs drag, he worries about what they’ll think.
Transmogrify! 14 Fantastical Tales Of Trans Magic Edited Gy G. Haron Davis
Next up is another anthology for everyone that loves short stories! Transmogrify! celebrates trans and gender nonconforming characters set in magical worlds. With stories from authors like AR Capetta, Mason Deaver, and Emery Lee, this star-studded collection is a celebration of magic.
Content Warnings: transphobia, suicide, dysphoria, ableism, deadnaming, cancer, death of a parent, child death.
Loveless By Alice Oseman
We absolutely love Alice Oseman’s work, so we knew we had to include one of her books on this list! Loveless follows Georgia, who’s never had a crush on anyone but is sure she’ll find the right person someday. When she starts university with her best friends, things are looking great, and she even finds her place in the Shakespeare Society. But when her plans for romance cause problems in her friend group, she begins to wonder why everyone else seems to find falling in love so easy. Soon Georgia is learning about asexuality, but this makes her even more confused than before. Follow Georgia on her journey to discovering exactly what love is, and how it doesn’t only apply to romance!
Content Warnings: internalized aphobia, verbal aphobia, references to past emotionally abusive relationships, and bullying.
The 99 Boyfriends Of Micah Summers By Adam Sass
Do you love a good meet-cute? Well, Micah Summers runs a popular Instagram account all about them! Except that they’re actually all fake. On his account, he draws each crush and posts about their imaginary dates. One day Micah works up the courage to flirt with a boy on the L, but before he has the chance to ask for his number, the guy rushes off the train, leaving his vegan leather jacket behind. Determined to return it, and finally ask him out, Micah and his friends team up to find the mystery boy. With plenty of romance and charm, this book is perfect for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue and What If It’s Us!
Content Warnings: toxic relationship, panic attacks, homophobia.
These romances make our hearts swoon! If you need us, we’ll be busy reading them for the foreseeable future 😍. What books are you reading to celebrate Pride? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @thehoneypop!
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Find Paige on Instagram @pagebypaigebooks. Paige is a bookstagrammer and blogger who loves all things bookish. From fantasy to mystery she can’t get enough! She’s always ready to recommend you a book and she can talk about her favourites all day. When she’s not reading, you can find her watching Marvel movies, playing video games, and taking bookstagram photos.