The month of June spawns both omnipresent rainbows and highlights on LGBTQ+ artists and public figures, as well as my personal favorite: the expanded advertisement of queer books. Here are some of the best ones I’ve found across a range of genres. I hope you’ll enjoy them too!
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
This coming-of-age novel is perfect for rom-com fans. It features countless references to the movies we know and love while putting a queer spin on them as Saoirse breaks her “no relationships” rule to spend a summer of cliches with Ruby. Will a summer of fun be exactly what Saoirse needs to keep her mind off the stresses of her everyday life, or has she forgotten one key aspect of The Falling in Love Montage: that at the end, the characters actually fall in love?
The Story of Silence by Alex Myers
Those who love legends and fairy tales are sure to find a new favorite novel in The Story of Silence. Silence, born a girl but raised as a boy, is only in a position to inherit as long as they keep the circumstances of their birth a secret. Through a series of careers, battles, and friendships (and with a touch of magic), Silence embarks on a journey of self-discovery as they attempt to find their place in a world that asks them to bend at every turn.
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
If comic books, Romeo and Juliet, and modern retellings pique your interest, then you’re in luck! Verona Comics places Ridley, whose parents own a huge comic-store chain, and Jubilee, whose stepmom owns an indie comic book shop, in a meet-cute at a comic convention prom. Between their secret romance, Ridley’s secret identity, and, well, the comic book superheroes, it’s a perfectly nerdy take on a well-known classic. It focuses on mental health and is not exactly a romance, but the diversity of sexualities and experience with sexual orientation make it the perfect book to read during pride month.
What If It’s Us? by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
The well-loved writers of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and They Both Die at the End team up in a New York-based whirlwind summer romance told from the point of view of Arthur, a firm believer in the power of the universe, and Ben, who is trying to have some sense of finality in regards to his ex-boyfriend. They meet in a post office, and after a series of mishaps, they find each other, go on a few “first” dates, and decide to see where the summer takes them. This book and its sequel, Here’s to Us, are personal favorites of mine, with frequent musical theater references, relatable writer anxieties, and a diverse cast of characters.
I hope at least one of these books matches your interest areas and that you’ll read it. Happy reading, and happy Pride!