Happy Pride Month, readers! We believe there’s no better way to celebrate than by reading books where queer characters are the heroes of their stories. These 12 books are just a small sampling of the great work available and we encourage readers to read work from these authors not just this month, but all year long. Join us in celebrating, and dive in!

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor’s novel takes place during the course of a single weekend in a Midwestern university town, following Wallace, a gay Black graduate student, and the white classmate he begins a secret relationship with.

Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera

Adriana Herrera’s latest romance finds Desta, a Dominican-American emergency relief worker, returning to Ethiopia. He’s surprised to find solace in the country where he lost his father, and even more so to find it in Elias Fikru.

King of the Rising by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender concludes the Islands of Blood and Storm duology with a tale of what happens in the wake of a revolution. Readers looking for a contemporary YA story can also dive into Callender’s Felix Ever After!

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Leah Johnson’s YA debut takes readers to Campbell, Indiana where Liz is hoping to earn a scholarship for college by winning the coveted title of prom queen and trying not to fall hard for Mack, the new girl in school and her competitor.

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang

Fans of fairytale retellings can look forward to this rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood” from S.L. Huang, which follows Hou Yi the Archer and Rosa on a quest to stop sunbirds from tearing apart the countryside.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

Jordan Collins’ romance book club is floundering, but having Rex, the new employee at his local bookstore, join might be just what the club (and Jordan) need—if the two can stop antagonizing each other long enough to make a plan.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

In Mark Oshiro’s YA fantasy, storyteller Xo meets and begins to fall in love with Emilia, the mayor’s daughter, while on a treacherous journey across the desert in search of her destiny.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Earlier this year, Aiden Thomas discussed their debut journey in an interview with We Are Bookish, and shared the inspiration behind this YA fantasy about a Latinx trans brujo who accidentally summons a ghost and needs to send him back.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby’s latest collection offers hilarious and relatable commentary on marriage, getting older, helping raise step-children, and everything in between.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

Trung Le Nguyen blends a contemporary story with fairytales in this stunning YA graphic novel. Tiến is struggling to come out to his Vietnamese parents, but starts to find the words through the mythical stories they read together.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Lin, the heir to the emperor, sets off on her journey to reclaim her throne in the first installment of the Drowning Empire series.

Homie by Danez Smith

Those looking to dive into verse will not want to miss Homie. Danez Smith explores queerness, race, and love through the lens of friendship in this moving poetry collection.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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