Reading List

Books are listed alphabetically by title. Please let us know if there are other titles you'd like to see added to our list!

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Haffling by Caleb James

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn't help, and his mom's schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care. When Alex's mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling. As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

Gay

Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis

Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis

Teenage twins Ysabel and Justin Nicholas are lucky. Ysabel's jewelry designs have already caught the eyes of the art world and Justin's intelligence and drive are sure to gain him entrance into the most prestigious of colleges. They even like their parents. But their father has a secret—one that threatens to destroy the twins' happy family and life as they know it. Over the course of spring break, Ysabel and Justin will be forced to come to terms with their dad's new life, but can they overcome their fears to piece together their happy family again?

Gay

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Since his parents' divorce, John's mother hasn't touched him, her new fiancé wants them to move away, and his father would rather be anywhere than at Friday night dinner with his son. It's no wonder John writes articles like "Interview with the Stepfather" and "Memoirs from Hell." The only release he finds is in homemade zines like the amazing Escape Velocity by Marisol, a self-proclaimed "Puerto Rican Cuban Yankee Lesbian." Hanging around the Boston Tower Records for the new issue of Escape Velocity, John meets Marisol and a hard love is born. 

While at first their friendship is based on zines, dysfuntional families, and dreams of escape, soon both John and Marisol begin to shed their protective shells. Unfortunately, John mistakes this growing intimacy for love, and a disastrous date to his junior prom leaves that friendship in ruins. Desperately hoping to fix things, John convinces Marisol to come with him to a zine conference on Cape Cod. On the sandy beaches by the Bluefish Wharf Inn, John realizes just how hard love can be. 

With keen insight into teenage life, Ellen Wittlinger delivers a story of adolescence that is fierce and funny — and ultimately transforming — even as it explores the pain of growing up.

Lesbian

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Harmonious Hearts by various authors

Celebrate with Harmony Ink Press as we recognize the talented winners of our first annual Young Author Challenge. This anthology showcases the LGBTQ genre’s best up-and-coming-authors between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one. The transition from childhood to adulthood is never easy, and growing up presents unique challenges for LGBTQ youth. Confusion, bigotry, and struggle transcend time and place, but fortunately, so does love. Travel with these exceptional young authors from country cottages to big cities, into the past and the future, from fantastic lands of magic to the recognizable landscapes of our world. Regardless of the setting, the characters in these stories, along with families, friends, lovers, and allies, fight to claim their places in life. Their identities and situations are different, but the young people in this collection share the strength and courage to succeed, sometimes against great odds, and they invite you to join them on their journeys.

LGBTQ

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True Colorz Honor Roll

Hat Trick by Jeff Adams

Simon Roberts’ plan for his senior year is simple -- help his high school hockey team win the state championship and earn a college scholarship so he can get away from his dysfunctional family, especially his belligerent father and obnoxious older brother. When the Central High Falcons open their season with an away game, Simon is forced to deal with the problem he’s struggled with for months -- his crush on teammate Alex Miller. After the game that night, Alex makes an unexpected announcement -- he’s gay, and in love with Simon. Simon’s elated but scared to openly acknowledge that he’s gay, especially with so much at stake in their senior year. Now that they’re out to each other they have to decide what to do next. Should they date? Should they keep things between them secret? What about the team? Can Simon and Alex hide that they’re more than friends from the guys they spend so much time with? Then a simple kiss is witnessed and their secret is out. The team fractures, and Simon’s family explodes as news about the gay hockey players quickly spreads. The guys must figure out how to move forward with everyone watching. Being the center of attention was in no way part of Simon’s plan for the year. Can Simon juggle school, commitments to the team, his new relationship, and an unexpected tragedy all before the end of the hockey season?

Gay

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True Colorz Honor Roll Free Read

Hat Trick Overtime by Jeff Adams

Continuing the adventures of Simon and Alex from the best-selling book, Hat Trick, this free story follows the boys into college. They have settled into their freshman year playing hockey for the University of Michigan. After an outdoor game in Detroit, the two break away from their teammates to enjoy time alone under the magical Christmas lights.

Gay

The Haunted Glade by Hayden Thorne

The Haunted Glade by Hayden Thorne

Legend talks about a haunted glade somewhere deep in a nearby wood. While most residents of a tiny village regard those fireside stories as nothing more than cautionary tales meant to keep children in line, curious adolescents attempt to solve the puzzle of the haunted glade. Rumors of a strange twilight melody that seems to come from somewhere in the wood only feed youthful recklessness, and no one but the village potter knows the truth behind this mysterious music. He alone in his generation has heard the haunted glade’s call, and he knows that someone among those young adventurers is now being summoned, as well. The task of finding that special boy and grooming him for his destiny falls on Irwin’s shoulders.

Gay

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Have You Seen Me by Katherine Scott Nelson

Chris and Vyv have always been close -- as the only two 'weird' kids in their small Midwestern town, they've often depended on each other to survive. But their friendship will be put to the test when Vyv runs away and continues to communicate with Chris in secret. All summer, as the search for Vyv mounts, Chris tries to avoid the pressure by working for Albert, an off-the-grid survivalist writer building an anarchist compound from an abandoned house and barn. But as Albert's plans for the future grow more apocalyptic, and Vyv's emails gradually become more terrifying, Chris will face the complete upheaval of everything he's ever known. The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography is proud to present Have You Seen Me, the debut novella of local author Katherine Scott Nelson.

Gay, Bisexual

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The Healer by J.L. Bowen

Thirteen-year-old Armond Costa heals in three days, no matter what abuse his uncle and aunt inflict upon him. On his fourteenth birthday, he sprouts wings and discovers his aunt and uncle had lied to him. He's the lost Golden Demon's Healer. His father, King of the Golden Demons, insists he return with him and save his people from being persecuted by their mortal enemies, the Dark Demons. Now, Armond must choose between the Ellis brothers and seventeen-year-old Rusty Owens -- the only family he's ever known -- or condemn the Golden Demons to extinction.

Gay

The Heart Has Its Reasons

The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content 1969-2004 by Michael Cart, Christine A. Jenkins

Society does not make it easy for young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to find accurate, nonjudgmental information about homosexuality. It makes it even more difficult for young homosexuals to find positive role models in fiction either written or published expressly for them or if published for adults relevant to them and their lives. The Heart Has Its Reasons examines these issues and critically evaluates the body of literature published for young adults that offers homosexual themes and characters. Cart and Jenkins chart the evolution of the field of YA literature having GLBTQ (gay/lesbian/bisexual, transgendered, and/or queer/questioning) content. They identify titles that are remarkable either for their excellence or failures, noting the stereotypic, wrongheaded, and outdated books as well as the accurate, thoughtful, and tactful titles. Useful criteria for evaluating books with GLBTQ content are provided. Books and resources of all types are reviewed based on a model that uses the category descriptors of Homosexual Visibility, Gay Assimilation, and Queer Consciousness/Community. An annotated bibliography and a number of author-title lists of books discussed in the text arranged by subject round out this valuable reference for teachers, librarians, parents, and young adults.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning

Heart of Graymoor, The (Gay Youth Chronicles #23) by Mark A. Roeder

The Heart of Graymoor (Gay Youth Chronicles #23) by Mark A. Roeder

Skye Mackenzie has dealt with the supernatural most of his life, but he’s never before encountered the likes of the adventure that is about to descend upon him… An oddly attired, unconscious boy appears in Graymoor Mansion at the same time a horrific storm begins. When the boy awakens, Marshall, Skye, and the others discover that their visitor is from another world—a world where elves walk, dragons fly, and fairies are real. While Marshall searches for a way to return Wuffa to his world, he discovers an ancient prophecy which explains the boy’s appearance and mentions Marshall and Skye by name. Not only must Marshall and Skye find a way to return Wuffa to his own world, but they must discover the hiding place of the Heart of Graymoor and return it to Graymoor Mansion to keep the forces of darkness from destroying two worlds. “My entire life had been leading up to this quest. I knew in my heart it was true. Everything that had come before was just practice.” ~Skye

Gay

Heart Sense by K.L. Richardsson

Heart Sense by K.L. Richardsson

The only son of a traveling merchant, Katjin spends his summer in the clan lands with his grandparents. He wishes his father, his apa, would take him along, but despite the promises that someday he’ll get to go, Katjin is left behind while his apa heads away on business that seems more and more suspicious the older Kat becomes. During one such summer, Katjin finds Mikael, a lost young man, who draws Kat to him by answering his song. In a world where the Empire brands all people as either ‘paths, people with psychic talent, or as non-’paths, Mikael is remarkable in that he has no brand. Fearing that the cavalry, who are arriving to recruit new members, will find Mikael in their clan and bring the Empire’s fury down upon them, the clan sends Kat and Mikael to hide away until it is safe - along with his cousin Soren to keep them both safe. Knowing the best way to keep Mikael from being taken is to make him a member of the clan, Soren and Katjin plan a blood bonding ceremony, but they have no idea what kind of trouble they’ve started with their actions. Katjin learns soon enough that he won’t be able to escape his bond with Mikael, and that danger lurks around every corner. Danger that he never knew existed. Can he keep Mikael safe long enough to figure out exactly what their future holds?

Gay

Heart Song by K.L. Richardsson

Heart Song by K.L. Richardsson

After a daring rescue, and the realization that Katjin and Mikael's empathic and physical bond isn't going to go away on its own, the two boys are exiled from the Clan Lands for training, accompanied by Katjin's sometimes-rival, sometimes-friendly cousin, Soren. As Lowlanders and Clanfolk alike both fear and revile the demonic Shahi, all three of the boys are surprised to learn that that's their destination: the mythic lands of the Shahi, located over mountains that few dare to cross. In the Shahi lands nothing is what they thought it would be. While most Shahi are magic users, none eat babies or breathe fire as the stories always told. Katjin and Mikael's taskmaster, Tai, however, could be one of the monsters of old, the way he tries to manage the psychic bond between Katjin and Mikael. As the boys strain against Tai's iron rule, they realize just how out of control their combined powers are, and how much they'll have to work together to control them. Before they can, though, word comes to the Shahi land of the whereabouts of Soren and Katjin's kidnapped clan, and the three boys rush off to try to save them. Can the boys overcome all of their doubts, or will their relationship work against them?

Gay

Heart's Price by K.L. Richardsson

Heart's Price by K.L. Richardsson

First, they abducted Mikael. Then they kidnapped Soren's family and killed his parents. Now, they may succeed in ending Soren's very world. It's time to stop them. Soren's life changed the moment his cousin Katjin brought home a renegade heart-sense. Forced to act as guardian over the wayward pair, Soren created his own mess when he bound Katjin and Mikael in a ritual so old people had forgotten its consequences: a bond between two people so strong that it kept them physically together. Soren's world has turned upside down, from the kidnapping and valiant rescue of his family, to his exile from the plains he grew up in. Now Soren's going to turn the tables on the very Empire that has been hunting him for over a year. Partnered with Aidan, the Shahi firepower, and Aya, lost twin of an Empire 'path, Soren finally has to put the great plan to topple the Empire's hold on the Clanfolk in motion. Even with the support of his rebel uncle, Soren begins to doubt his ideas with every step. His need to save lives only adds to the inner struggle that Aidan, Soren's closest friend and ally, seems to be going through, and all Soren can do is keep his act together, damn the consequences. Soren's learning that everything, from victory to love, has its price.

Gay

Heartless (Keeping Secrets, Book One) by J. Roman

Heartless (Keeping Secrets, Book One) by J. Roman

For gay teens in the South, Erwin High School is as good as it gets. The prevailing liberalism means being gay doesn’t have to be the focus of your life—which frees up seventeen-year-old Jason Strummer to take on the role of bully. Jason understands his beauty and power and has a reputation to match his attitude. No one but his best friend suspects the cruelty Jason hides behind is a ruse to keep his hellish private life out of the public eye. Jason has only loved one boy in his life, and that crush on Tommy Johnson ended so badly that they’re no longer on speaking terms. When an ex-lover threatens Jason and Tommy steps in to help, the heartless playboy can’t help but fall a little bit back in love with him—but Jason will have to choose between keeping Tommy or his secrets.

Gay

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Heavyweight by MB Mulhall

Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with his hands all over members of the same sex, pinning their sweaty, hard bodies to the wrestling mat. When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class. Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore. As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, de-friended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.

Gay

Hello, I Lied by M.E. Kerr

Hello, I Lied by M.E. Kerr

From the award-winning author of Deliver Us From EvieWhen Lang Penner has the chance to spend his sixteenth summer at the ritzy East Hampton retreat of retired rock star Ben Nevada, he knows that it will be a summer he'll never forget. But even Lang is surprised at what happens -- he finds himself coming out to his friends, re-evaluating his relationship with his boyfriend, and most shockingly -- falling in love with a girl. From acclaimed author M. E. Kerr, this is a powerfully moving novel of a young man's struggle to come to terms with his sexuality, his emotions, and ultimately himself. 

Bisexual

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Here's to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst

Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back. That's the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn't long before social services figures out that Dusty's parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they've never met. Dusty's new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don't seem to need him anymore, and he can't stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he's straight. Problem is, he's pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can't get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life. Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty's determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?

Gay

Hero by Perry Moore

Hero by Perry Moore

Thom Creed is used to being on his own. Even as a highschool basketball star, he has to keep his distance because of his father. Hal Creed had once been one of the greatest and most beloved superheroes of The League--until the Wilson Towers incident. After that Thom's mother disappeared and his proud father became an outcast. The last thing in the world Thom would ever want is to disappoint his father. So Thom keeps two secrets from him: First is that he's gay. The second is that he has the power to heal people. Initially, Thom had trouble controlling his powers. But with trail and error he improves, until he gets so good that he catches the attention of the League and is asked to join. Even though he knows it would kill his dad, Thom can't resist. When he joins the League, he meets a motely crew of other heroes, including tough-talking Scarlett, who has the power of fire from growing up near a nuclear power plant; Typhoid Larry, who makes everyone sick by touching them, but is actually a really sweet guy; and wise Ruth, who has the power to see the future. Together these unlikely heroes become friends and begin to uncover a plot to kill the superheroes. Along the way, Thom falls in love, and discovers the difficult truth about his parents' past. This is a moving, funny, and wonderfully original novel that shows that things are not always what they seem, and love can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Recommended Age: 18+ 

Gay

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A Hero's Tale by Stephen A. Spellman

Mr. Ireman is on his way from New York City to visit his in-laws across the country when he discovers that his plane has been hijacked by knife- and bomb-wielding terrorists. Now, John is no hero. He’s nothing more than a simple man with a simple life. But once his very existence is plunged into imminent danger, he finds that there can be a hero in the most unlikely of packages. As the life or death drama plays on, he, as well as his fellow passengers find that in each of them there lies a well of untapped and insurmountable strength. The terrorists began with the upper hand, but by the end of the flight, it is the passengers who are in control of their destiny.

Gay

Hidden by Tomas Mournian

Hidden by Tomas Mournian

When Ahmed's parents send him to a residential treatment center known as Serenity Ridge, it's with one goal: to "fix" their son, at any cost. But eleven months of abuse and overmedication leave him desperate to escape. And when the opportunity comes, Ahmed runs away to San Francisco. There, he moves into a secret safe house shared by a group of teens. Until they become independent at eighteen, the housemates hide away from authorities, bound by rules that both protect and frustrate. Ahmed, now known as Ben, tries to adjust to a life lived in impossibly close quarters with people he barely knows, all of whom guard secrets of their own. But even if they succeed in keeping the world at bay, there's no hiding from each other or from themselves. And there's no avoiding the conflicts, crushes, loneliness, and desire that could shatter their fragile, complicated sanctuary at any moment. . . "This fresh and original novel defies easy labels. It's knowing yet vulnerable, observant yet naive--a wholly unique and compelling read." --Rachel Cohn, New York Times bestselling author Tomas Mournian attended U.C. Berkeley. A freelance journalist, he's written articles for The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Los Angeles Magazine, OUT, In Style and Marie Claire. His investigation journalism ("Hiding Out," "Anywhere But There," and "Girls Sent to Institutions") has been recognized with awards from the Peninsula Press Club, East Bay Press Club and NCCD Pass awards, with nominations by the GLAAD Media Awards and Pulitzer. Writing under a pseudonym, his plays have been produced internationally. He held the Eli Cantor Chair at The Corporation of Yaddo and lives in Los Angeles.

Gay

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Hideous by Devon McCormack

Eight years ago, Luke Retter witnessed the brutal murder of his mother and sister at the hands of his demon-possessed father. He survived but lost a hand and an eye. The demon also burned its emblem into his skin, marking him as a cursed. Those who bear this mark are at risk of becoming possessed themselves, so they are monitored and enslaved by the state-run UCIS. Working as a slave is hard, but Luke prefers it to the possibility of being controlled by the demon. One night, Luke wakes to find his worst nightmare coming true. His father's demon has returned. In a panic, he runs to the only person who might be able to help: Zack, a cursed who ran away from the state and created an underground community to protect other fugitive curseds. Zack helps him suppress the demon. But the city's become a time bomb, and Luke's demon itches to escape. With the UCIS closing in on Zack's underground operation and Luke's demon crafting its own, nefarious plot, Luke realizes that he must take a stand.

Gay

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The Hiding Place by Wayne Mansfield

Like a million other young gay men, Bryan keeps his sexuality hidden because it’s safer that way. Yet other guys know he’s different -- they sense it, and make Bryan’s life pure hell. At home, things aren’t much better. He barely acknowledges his alcoholic father, and his mother has little time to spend with her family. So Bryan is alone, with no support, no shoulder to cry on. Years of torture and torment, of name calling and humiliation, have taken their toll. Bryan does what he can to make new friends, but in trying to be something he’s not, he makes a huge mistake. Unable to cope with the repercussions, Bryan spends more and more time in a fantasy world he has created for himself. In this private world he is handsome, an object of desire. He is loved. Is the hiding place as perfect as it seems? Or will Bryan go too deep and not be able to come out again?

Gay

His Biggest Fan by J. Tomas

His Biggest Fan by J. Tomas

My best friend Ross is Adam Blue’s biggest fan. Adam’s the lead singer of the popular rock group, Viral Blue, but to Ross, he’s some sort of rock god. I don’t get it. Ross has all their albums, reads all their interviews, watches all their videos, and knows every little thing about the group — and Adam — by heart. He’s convinced it’s his destiny to run away with the band. He’ll tell anyone he and Adam are soulmates … especially me, and I’m sick of hearing about it. In all the time we’ve known each other, Ross has never looked at me the same way he moons over Adam. I hate that guy, and I don’t even know him! Sometimes I think he’s Ross’s BFF and not me. When I hear VB’s coming to town, I decide to treat Ross to the concert. Show him a good time, show him how I really feel. But with Adam Blue gyrating his hips onstage, will Ross even notice I’m there?

Gay

Hit the Road, Manny by Christian Burch

Hit the Road, Manny by Christian Burch

Cue the pretend drum-roll: Keats's parents have a big surprise. No, they're not having a new baby. It's -- wait for it, wait for it -- a family road trip! Okay, so this is not exactly the birthday present Keats had in mind (no iPod?!), but when Dad parks a rented RV in the Dalinger's driveway, Keats piles in with the rest of his family -- and the manny, of course -- bound for the open road. From the big skies of farm country to the bright lights of Las Vegas, this, in typical manny fabulousness, is an all-American adventure filled with more Glamour-dos than Glamour-don'ts. But a stopover at the manny's childhood home is making the manny feel not so fabulous. Why can't his parents ever accept him for who he is? And Keats, at first, sees their point. Why does the manny always have to be so interesting?

Hit the road for more manny shenanigans, where it's all about Elton John, Diet Coke, and being brave enough to be yourself.

Gay

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Home for Wayward Ladies by Jeremy Blaustein

When used correctly, friendship is the most powerful weapon known to man. Fresh out of Mackinaw Conservatory’s School of Theater, Eli, Hunter, and Nick have relocated to Manhattan’s Upper-Upper West Side bound by an oath that friendship shall conquer all. Amid bitchy brunches and failed one-night stands, these friends- as promising as they are promiscuous are on a quest to have their voices heard over the roar of the city.When they get a chance to work in summer stock, this “family” is forced to find out the hard way what it takes to become the ultimate anything: a somebody. Day jobs pay bills and hand jobs stroke the ego, but handling betrayal with grace is the best way to prove who is a true Lady. “The Home for Wayward Ladies made me laugh out loud, but with a lump in my throat for those funny, warm, real and delightful characters. They're your brother, your son and your friend and it's a treat to hang out with them and hear their very honest and smart voices. I wanted to adopt them all.” - Iris Rainer Dart (Beaches) "The Home for Wayward Ladies isn’t just funny. It’s laugh-out-loud, read-out-loud-to-your-friends, snort-a-cocktail-out-your-nose, lose-bladder-control kind of funny. A gem of a debut in the effervescent tradition of P.G. Wodehouse, Patrick Dennis and Armistead Maupin" - Marc Acito, (How I Paid for College)

Gay

House You Pass On the Way, The  by Jacqueline Woodson

House You Pass On the Way, The  by Jacqueline Woodson

Staggerlee is used to being alone. As the granddaughter of celebrities and the daughter of an interracial couple in an all-black town, she has become adept at isolating herself from curious neighbors. But then her cousin, Trout, comes to visit. Trout is exactly like Staggerlee wishes she could be: outspoken, sure of herself, beautiful. Finally, Staggerlee has a friend, someone she can share her deepest, most private thoughts with. Someone who will teach her how to be the strong girl she longs to be. But is Trout really the girl Staggerlee thinks she is?

Bisexual

How Beautiful The Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity
by Michael Cart

How Beautiful The Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity by Michael Cart (Editor)

A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister's skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy's love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had "an accidental romance." And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn't seen for fourteen years. Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today's multifaceted and quickly changing world.

Gay, Transgender

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater (Edward Zanni #1)
by Marc Acito

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater (Edward Zanni, Book One) by Marc Acito

Columnist and first-time novelist Marc Acito has been called the "gay Dave Barry." But don't expect to find riffs on bad traffic, pirate-speak, and all-writer rock bands in Acito's debut, How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater. As stated in the title, this book finds humor and adventure mainly in those topics that would most appeal to a stereotypically gay audience: musicals, piano bars, and sex, sex, sex.

Did I mention the sex? By the end of the book, the teenage characters are so liberated that they'd probably find an evening at Studio 54 slightly mundane. All kinds of interesting scenarios arise when Ed Zanni, a bisexual high-school drama club star from suburban New Jersey, is denied tuition to Julliard by his well-to-do father and wicked step mother. Fortunately his close friends, Paula (ample of body, unlucky in love), Kelly (Ed's cheerleader girlfriend), Doug (his football player love interest), Natie (a nerd with a gift for white-collar crime) and Ziba, (a regal, Middle Eastern beauty), are very willing to engage in fraud, forgery, and blackmail to help him pay for drama school. Ah, high school.

Recommended Age: 18+

Gay

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

Eighteen-year-old Castaway Planet fans Brandon and Abel hate bad fan fiction—especially when it pairs their number-one TV crushes of all time, dashing space captain Cadmus and dapper android Sim. As co-runners of the Internet’s third most popular Castaway Planet vlog, they love to spar with the “Cadsim” fangirls who think Cadmus will melt Sim’s mechanical heart by the Season 5 finale. This summer, Brandon and Abel have a mission: hit the road in an RV to follow the traveling Castaway Planet convention, interview the actors and showrunner, and uncover proof that a legit Cadsim romance will NEVER, EVER HAPPEN. A Brandon and Abel romance: also not happening. Brandon’s sick of his struggle to make “gay and Catholic” compute, so it’s safer to love a TV android. Plus Abel’s got a hot new boyfriend with a phoenix tattoo, and how can Brandon compete with that? But when mysterious messages about them start popping up in the fan community, they make a shocking discovery that slowly forces their real feelings to the surface. Before they get to the last Castaway Planet convention, Brandon’s going to find out the truth: can a mechanical heart be reprogrammed, or will his first shot at love be a full system failure?

Gay

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Hunters by A.M. Burns

Bigfoot hunters prowl the forests of Cripple Creek, Colorado. That doesn’t sit well with Thom Woodmen—a Bigfoot—albeit the runt of his family. Being the smallest has advantages; Thom, in disguise, gets to attend high school, and he’s not expected to accomplish much in life. All that changes when he comes across a distressed human in the forest. Ben Steele is new to Cripple Creek High School, and after a harrowing experience in the woods near his new home, he quickly falls in with Thom Woodmen and his circle of friends. So what if they like to hang out with nature? Ben’s got nothing better to do. Trouble is, Ben can’t seem to stay out of it—trouble, that is. However, in saving young Ben’s life, Thom inadvertently kick-starts a bonding process that’ll change both their lives forever. With the support of family and friends, Thom learns to accept bonding with the human boy. But with the danger overrunning Cripple Creek lately, Thom may be cut down before he can confess his secret and his love.

Gay

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn't shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people's survival hangs in the balance. To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls' destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever. The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo's highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.

Lesbian

Hushed
by Kelley York

Hushed by Kelley York

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.

Gay