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READING LIST: Gay And Lesbian Main Characters In YA Lit., as recommended by FYCD followers

  • Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
    Recommended by imacolfersexual: Quite old, from the 80s I think, and often seen as the original lesbian romance novel.
  • Ash by Malinda Lo
    Recommended by littlegreenballoon: One of my favorites! It’s a retelling of Cinderella with an awesome lady-knight romantic interest.
  • Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan
    Recommended by Anon
  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
    Recommended by thehappyexistentialist: It’s a slender novel about a teenage boy from a very progressive, gay friendly town who asks a boy he meets in a bookstore to prom. I’d rec it to anyone looking for a cute, fluffy read. So many teen novels dealing with LGBT characters are dark and angsty, since the characters are often struggling to find their identities, but the MC of this novel is very sure of himself and his sexuality. It’s a nice change of pace.
    upvoted by: Anon, ddeluge, iamfandomspazz, likeafallenangelinlove
  • Captive Prince by S. U. Pacat aka freece
    Recommended by Anon: Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave. The summary makes it sound like pwp, but in reality, it’s a world of political intrigue, astonishing plots and gorgeous characterisation. The romance is slow burning, yet the tension is tightly woven.
  • Circle of Magic & The Circle Opens Series by Tamora Pierce
    Recommended by Anon: I’ve got one series I can think of with a black lesbian lead character, though she doesn’t really have any development on that until .. well, at least six books if you read it all of it chronologically. If that counts. It’s in Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets (only one novel of the second set features this character) and The Will of the Empress, which comes last among the books but is the one that deals a lot with Daja’s sexuality.
    upvote for author by: Evvy
  • The Center of the Worldby Andreas Steinhofel
    Recommended by savetheheathenshilaryfaye: (or Die Mitte der Welt in the original German) is about a seventeen year old named Phil who only knows his father as “Number Three” on his mother’s list of affairs. He’s always felt like an outsider, and then he meets Nicholas, whom he falls head over heels in love with.
    It’s been a while since I read it but I found it a beautiful novel, especially when evoking that sense of not belonging in the place you’ve always lived, and trying to find your place in the world. There’s a lot of building around relationships and Phil’s uncertainty about who he is. Without getting too spoilery, one of my favorite things is that while the ending was sort of bittersweet, it was also hopeful—a feeling we don’t always get with gay lead characters.
  • Dance sequence by Aidan Chambers
    Recommended by isthisawaltz: full of gay/questioning characters. They don’t all have gay leads: Dance on My Grave and Postcards from No Man’s Land are the ones which most clearly do. Dance is about a gay relationship, and Postcards is about a boy trying to work things out generally, with results he didn’t expect (trying not to spoil!) They’re some of my favourite young adult novels and well worth a read (especially Postcards) - the whole sequence is great, too, but they tend to make me cry!
  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
    Recommended by prokrastina
  • DRAMA series by Paul Ruditis
    Recommended by Anon
  • Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
    Recommended by wishhouse: Trigger warnings though
  • Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
    Recommended by imacolfersexual
  • The Farthest Shore by Ursula K LeGuin
    Recommended by
    reyairia:I think it’s implied that one of the two protagonists of The Farthest Shore by Ursula K LeGuin, Arren, is gay. It’s a fantasy novel and the third in a series of books, in this particular story Ged and Arren have to look for the cause of why magic is disappearing from the world. I personally recommend anything by the author, she’s well known in fantasy fiction circles but a little obscure outside of them. It was written in the 70s as a kid’s book tho so it’s more implied than anything else.
  • Gravel Queen by Tea Benduhn
    Recommended by iamfandomspazz: Gravel Queen by Tea Benduhn is a great YA story about growing up and coming to understand yourself. The main character, Aurin, finds herself accidentally throwing off the balance in her long-established threesome of friends when she and her new friend Neila begin to fall for each other, as Aurin’s best friend feels left out and jealous. This book is incredibly real and very well-written, and definitely worth more than one read.
    upvoted by: imacolfersexual
  • Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
    Recommended by Anon
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
    Recommended by writerlyintent: The narrator isn’t LGBT, but two of her best friends are lesbians so it kind of counts? The books are great on many levels and the homosexuality (which is hinted at in the beginning and becomes explicit in the last book) is just one of them. Bray does it really well in that the sexual orientation of these characters isn’t the biggest thing about them (even though it’s set in Victorian England so it was a much bigger deal), but rather just another aspect.
  • Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
    Recommended by imacolfersexual: It’s about a group of high school students in a small town in America who form a sort of secret club at their school under the guise of a ‘geography club’, originally for LGB kids to meet up and talk etc, but then some straight kids join too and it becomes sort of a friendship club I guess. It’s a great book, and also has two sequels. + Another author Alex Sanchez has written several great series’ and books with gay protagonists, I would recommend all of them
  • Hero by Perry Moore
    Recommended by illonink:
    Thom is a gay teen with developing superpowers and he has a single father who is not only homophobic but despises the super team he was once part of, despite having no powers. Thom secretly joins a beta-team for the super-powered league, while also developing a crush on a mysterious boy at the gym. But the League is not all-knowing and all-right, and to have the truth out Thom will have to test their authority and, even more frightening, expose himself.I was in middle school and heard girls in the YA section talk about the book’s protagonist. I read the description and bought it right away. This was around four years before I even knew I was bi, but I was excited by the underrepresented character, the unaired viewpoint. Although it’s rather cheesy at times, it’s got very real characters, a rather entertaining romance subplot, and a well-imagined world.
    upvoted by: Anon, likeafallenangelinlove
  • Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters
    Recommended by likeafallenangelinlove
  • Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
    Recommended by likeafallenangelinlove
  • The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
    Recommended by iamfandomspazz:
    A good fantasy series with a LGBTQ main character. I’ve only just started the first book, but so far it’s pretty inventive in character and story, and Vanyel, the main character, happens to be gay rather than being a character whose story and personality is all about being gay. It’s very engaging thus far!
    upvoted by: Anon
    conditionally upvoted by
    unorigelnal: I want to say The Last Herald-Mage by Mercedes Lackey, but for all that I love those books, the trilogy is a posterchild for the idea that gay characters don’t get a happy ending (or middle, or beginning, come to that).
  • Ink Exchange (Wicked Lovely #2) by Melissa Marr
    Recommended by i-have-completely-lost-myself: In the Dark Court’s attempt to restore their power, the Dark Faery King uses humans to feed his court and quell rebellion. Why I Recommend: Technically the whole series fits, but the two male main characters in this book are bisexual and Melissa does a nice job of making them fit into the world seamlessly without their sexuality being the focal point. It’s not a coming out story, which is hard to come by in YA.
  • The Miseducation Of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
    Recommended by meansmotiveopportunity: A really great book with a lesbian lead character. It’s the first book in a long time that’s truly touched me.
  • Modern Tales of Faerie series (Tithe, Valiant, Ironside) by Holly Black
    Recommended by miserelysia: (The books) have a prominent character who is gay. He’s not the Lead Character, but he plays pretty important roles in Tithe and Ironside at least (Valiant is about a different character group in the same overall story, so he doesn’t feature in it).
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
    Recommended by larkiethings: Probably already been mentioned, but there is a gay supporting character (unfortunately not the lead, I like him better) in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. He doesn’t hook up with his boyfriend until the third book, and I am currently suffering through intense relationship problem feels with the fifth (sixth isn’t out yet), and they don’t get enough screen time so to speak but they’re there and represented.
  • The Page Turner by David Leavitt Nad
    Recommended by prokrastina
  • Pretty Things by Sara Manning
    Recommended by wonderenlightening: Brie is in love with her best friend Charlie who is in love with serial heart-breaker Walker who is in love with Daisy who is in love with her girlfriend. (I’m pretty sure that’s whats on the back of the book). I absolutely love this book but it might be out of print because i can never find it (so maybe I shouldn’t rec. it?? oop). I found it very interesting because its switches perspective (clearly) between the 4 main characters and deals with various sexualities
  • Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson
    Recommended by cupcakemichi: Not gay, but the main character in Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson (the companion novel to Ultraviolet, which you should read first) Tori is asexual, and the author did the research!!! It also involves a lot of mental illness stuff, and the main character of Ultraviolet has synaesthesia. Overall well researched in all areas. And asexy main characters… errr… one. But accurate. :)
  • The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
    Recommended by ddeluge: It is a short book told from many, MANY points of view, but one of the stories is told by a gay male. It is very powerful, as it also includes the voice of a girl struggling with an eating disorder, a girl succumbing to massive amounts of pressure, and just a whole array of people just trying to figure out who they are. It has been a while since I read it, but I remember being very moved by the novella. There is something relatable about every story.<3
  • Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
    Recommended by Anon
  • Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill
    Recommended by imacolfersexual: Very ‘pink teen fiction’ but I think it’s interesting to have a gay girl still fit into that stereotype.
  • Thinking Straight by Robin Reardon
    Recommended by likeafallenangelinlove
  • The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
    Recommended by Anon
    upvoted by: likeafallenangelinlove
  • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
    Recommended by moderntrickster: For the splatterpunk/horror fan; The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks doesn’t have a traditionally gay/lesbian lead character but the twist at the end definitely makes it a recommendation for anyone’s queer reading list. It’s definitely not to everyone’s taste, though, as it deals with mental illness, murder, etc., but it’s one of my favorites. I would recommend reading queer authors too - Chuck Palahniuk, Clive Barker, so on.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
    Recommended by simpaticonebula: 2 guys named will grayson meet. will B starts dating will A’s best friend, who is gay. both boys learn to deal with teenager issues and whatnot. also shenanigans. Read it because it’s very funny and has a straight male character who is best friends with a gay character,which is uncommon, in most YA literatuee, although it’s a recurring theme in books by david Levithan.
    upvoted by: sukialanna

Additional:
rollingwithchinchillas
forwards us to this list.
courtneyhammett recommends anything by Alex Sanchez.
gehayi gives us several links to more reading lists.


This has been FYCD.

ME GUSTA - Pen
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