Happy Pride Month, all! I've been celebrating the month by supporting local queer and trans businesses, and of course, reading a bunch of books with some great representation! In honour of June, I've decided to compile a list of five of my all-time favourite 2SLGBTQIAP+ books. I've read some great books over the years, and as I add to my collection, I'm sure this list will grow. For now, here is, in no particular order, some of my favourite books in honour of pride month.
1. Cemetery Boys by: Aiden Thomas
Featuring a trans male protagonist and a queer romance, Cemetery Boys was an absolute delight to read. We follow Yadriel, a teen brujo who performs a ritual that accidentally releases the ghost of Julian Diaz back into the physical world. Julian and Yadriel end up growing closer as Yadriel tries to prove himself to his family and Julian attempts to set things right with his before he can rest in peace. Aiden Thomas seems like the loveliest person ever, and I will now read whatever they write. This book is perfect for the Fall months, in my opinion, and is Own Voices for queer, trans, and Latinx representation!
2. Jonny Appleseed by: Joshua Whitehead
Jonny Appleseed is a Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer young adult who works as a sex worker in the big city, while remembering the stories his kokum told him as a child. When his kokum dies, Jonny travels back to the reservation for her funeral, and recounts his childhood on the rez and all of the people who influenced his youth. I cannot recommend this book enough. Oji-Cree/nehiyaw two-spirit/Indigiqueer writer Whitehead makes Jonny come alive with each page. Whitehead has such a profound way of writing, and I would recommend this book to anyone looking to read more from Indigenous authors.
3. Heartstopper by: Alice Oseman
In this graphic novel series, Nick and Charlie navigate school, sports, and crushes as they go through high school developing a relationship with each other. Charlie is openly gay, but Nick is still coming out as bisexual, but the two have each other and an eccentric group of friends to help them through. Queer joy is so needed. This series is light-hearted, fun, with bisexual and gay representation. If you need a break from reading trauma, this series is for you.
4. The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea by: Maggie Tokuda-Hall
I find this book to be so underrated. I need everyone to give it the hype it deserves. In this book, Flora/Florian is a genderfluid pirate who takes on the identity of a man on the ruthless pirate ship Dove, in order to earn the respect of the crew. While on the ship, Florian is tasked with looking after Evelyn, a wealthy young lady who is being shipped off to another district to be married. Evelyn grows close to Florian and teaches him how to read, and when she learns that Florian also goes by Flora, she becomes determined to help her escape their shared brutal situation on the ship. But, Evelyn and Flora will soon become caught up in a dangerous plot once a mermaid is caught on the ship and exploited for her blood. This book has it all: pirates, mermaids, a genderfluid main character, a strong queer relationship. Hall built this story up so well despite its many elements, and I thought the world was captivating.
5. I Wish You All the Best by: Mason Deaver
When Ben is thrown out of their house by their parents for coming out as nonbinary, their only option is to move in with their estranged older sister Hannah and her husband, Thomas. Ben struggles to adapt to their new life in a new neighbourhood, and begins therapy to help cope with their anxiety disorder. At their new school, a friendly boy named Nathan helps Ben find their way through senior year, and Ben begins to find hope in new beginnings. This book starts off tough with Ben going through major trauma with their parents. However, as the book continues, Ben is able to go onto a path of healing. This book has a great sibling relationship between Hannah and Ben, as she really educates herself on how to best help Ben. With Own Voices non-binary representation, this book really is a hit.
Like I said, this list could go on forever. I hope you all have a lovely Pride Month, and if any of these books resonated with you, let me know! What are your favourite 2SLGBTQIAP+ books?
Emily @ Paperback Princess