TOP 10 YA LGBT BOOKS

With the recent strides the US and Mexico have taken toward equal rights for all, sexual orientation regardless, it's safe to say that it has been the time of grand achievements for the LGBT community. But as one of the authors featured below points out in the introduction to her book (we're talking about Robin Talley) there are lots of strides yet to be made.

As book lovers and book bloggers, we know of one way to both celebrate and educate - to honor the steps taken and work towards the steps ahead.

Read LGBT literature.

And never has LGBT literature had as big of an impact as in the YA community, nor has it ever been as widespread in any other category. So this week for our top 10, we are choosing the 10 YA books which center - at least partially - around LGBT themes, and which everyone should read.




1. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley



1959, Virginia, The United States. The Civil Rights movement has lead to the country taking its first steps toward racial desegregation. Sarah Dunbar and a few fellow African-American students are about to set foot in a previously all-white school; in a school that doesn't want them; in a school where racial intolerance and hatred run rampant. Studious, church-going and law-abiding, Sarah Dunbar suddenly finds herself a target of provocation and outright hatred. Along with her friends, therefore, Sarah has quite enough to deal with. But when she falls in love with Linda Hairston, the editor of the school paper and the chief voice of racial intolerance in school, Sarah will learn that some trouble comes with company, and some love will not be silenced. And sometimes, this love can overcome even the bitterest of judgment.



2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky



Charlie is a wallflower. He lingers on the sidelines, he observes, he contemplates and writes down. But soon, Charlie will find his quiet existence on the fringes challenged in the most radical of ways. In this coming-of-age story, Charlie will deal with love, loss, violence, friendship, guilt and an overwhelming realization of how easy and how hard it is to grow up. And through his friend Patrick, Charlie will learn a lesson about coming out, about self-actualization, about learning to be comfortable in one's own skin.





This Michael L. Printz, Stonewall and Pura Belpre book award-winning novel tackles not only LGBT themes, but issues of family, identity, friendship and belonging as they correspond to two Mexican-American teenagers on the cusp of growing up. Aristotle's brother is in prison, and he goes through his days angry at the universe itself. Dante, meanwhile, absorbs the universe as if it were a puzzle to be solved. As the two team up and begin to unravel each other's secrets, they discover fundamental truths about themselves, their families, and the universe itself.



4. Ask The Passengers by A.S. King



Astrid Jones doesn't understand labels. She doesn't understand why the world needs to label her as straight in order to accept her. She doesn't understand why a girl she likes needs to label her as gay in order to love her. She doesn't understand why her family is labeled a family when they don't pay attention to each other. And she doesn't understand why her friends need to label her as anything in order to be her friends. So instead, Astrid lies in her backyard, watching planes make their arcs across the sky, and she asks these questions of the nameless passengers. Who am I outside of my relationships? Who am I outside of all these labels? Who am I?



5. Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour



Everything Leads To You marries the glamorous world of the Hollywood film industry and a young set designer's attempts to fit in: fit into this cutthroat business world, fit into the movies which she so dearly loves, and most importantly, fit into a relationship with the last girl she had ever expected to like. Because Ava is nothing like the movie characters Emi admires. Ava is nothing like the actresses Emi watches from afar. Ava is not quite the person Emi aspires to be. But Ava is also nothing like the girls Emi has liked in the past - the ones who broke her heart. So in Everything Leads To You, a young, talented designer in Hollywood is about to step out of her comfort zone and embrace everything she has never known before - a new romance, a new perspective, a new understanding of family, friendship and the world.



6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth



In this fantastic blend of Christian faith and homosexuality, Emily M. Danforth tells the story of Cameron, a closeted lesbian whose parents die tragically in a car crash, and who is forced to move in with her aunt and grandmother in Montana. Cameron is told to stay under the radar, not to cause even the smallest of the ripples - a hard feat when you're a lesbian in this conservative, rural community. A harder feat still when a new girl drives into town - a perfect girl with a perfect boyfriend, who ignites Cameron's heart and challenges everything she has been taught to believe about herself and the world around her. 



7. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson



In a provocative, stunning tale of family, love and secrets, Jandy Nelson tells the story of Noah, a quiet, secretive boy who falls in love with his next-door neighbor, and of Jude, Noah's boisterous, daredevil twin sister. When a rift causes Noah and Jude to fall out and break their once-close bond, both are left to tell the story of where it all went wrong - but neither with enough details to piece the whole puzzle together. For it is only through family, love and loyalty that one can unravel the whole mystery of their life.



8. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan



John Green and David Levithan tell the story where Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. Two boys from different lives, from two opposite parts of the country, are about to be thrown together in the most bizarre twist of fate - not least because they share the same name. Thus begins a lesson of "it is not something you choose, it is something that just is" - the 'it' in question being, of course, love.



9. Every Day by David Levithan



'A' claims no self, no I, no gender to speak of. 'A' instead claims souls. Every day, they find themselves in a new body, a new life, a new perspective on it all. But when 'A' wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, they are no longer content to wake up in a new body every day. They want to stay. This is the soul where they belong. Except it isn't one which belongs to them.


10. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera



Adam Silvera's incredible new debut novel is, indeed, more happy than not. Because Aaron Soto grieves a lot of things in his life: he grieves his father's suicide, he grieves having grown up poor, he grieves his absentee friends, his tired family, and a girlfriend he can't quite seem to love. But there is Thomas - a new boy who grieves little, who challenges ideals, who is captivating beyond anything Aaron has known. And suddenly, the thing Aaron grieves most about himself is being gay. Thankfully, a new experimental mind-altering procedure seems just the answer he needs: he can erase every thing about himself which he has ever minded. But even as he is making the choice, Aaron is left to wonder: can one really stop being who they really are? And should they be forced to try?






We suspect that this post will be the first in a series. In terms of categories, YA literature really is one of the foremost leaders and champions of LGBT rights - both in the books themselves and in the authors' many lectures on the topics at conferences, conventions, etc. So we had an abundance of YA titles to choose from for this video. If you are interested in more YA LGBT recommendations (or have any to recommend to us!), please feel free to leave us a comment below and let us know, or find us on social media below.



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TOP 10 YA LGBT BOOKS
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