The Ultimate Guide to LGBTQ+ Young Adult Novels

Written: editor | April 18, 2023

The Complete Compendium of LGBTQ+ Works Intended for Young Adults


So, you’re a youngster who identifies as LGBTQ and you’re a voracious reader. You are looking for a piece of literature that is relatable to your life, but unfortunately, there is not a great deal of LGBTQ+ young adult fiction available. You’re in luck because we have precisely what you need: a list of novels published by LGBTQ+ authors and/or featuring LGBTQ+ characters. Through narratives that will blow your mind, each one investigates a different dimension of what it means to be queer in the United States of America in the present day.

Written by Chris Weitz, “The Young World”

Imagine living in a time when it was possible to stop the passage of time, and then picture yourself as one of the few teenagers who not only possesses this power but also has the obligation to utilize it to save the planet. This is the idea of Chris Weitz’s The Young World, a science fiction novel about a group of youngsters who are stranded in limbo as they try to find their way back home through various portals that take them all over the world. The story is about a group of kids who are trying to find their way back home through various portals that lead them all over the globe.

After being cryogenically frozen for twenty years, the protagonist of the book, Jon-Tom (often referred to as “JT”), finally emerges from his hibernation at the beginning of the story. He makes friends with other teenagers who have had comparable experiences: Zadie was put to sleep around the year 2008 because her father believed that she would be safer that way in the event that there was another terrorist attack on American soil, which there was. JT has been unconscious since the year 1998, while Kira was put to sleep after the events of 9/11. Readers will gain an understanding of friendship in all its guises as they watch these four characters work together to find a way back to their homes while also assisting each other along the way. These characters’ antics will cover topics such as romantic relationships between males and females of all ages (and even between two males), familial bonds between parents and children of all ages, and more.

Mackenzi Lee’s “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” is the book in question.

The story “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” takes place in London in the year 1765. The story focuses on Henry Montague, his best friend Percy, and their servant Thomas, who occasionally develops romantic feelings for Henry. The three of them are currently traveling throughout Europe while attempting to stay out of legal trouble.

The characters are developed exceptionally effectively throughout the course of this novel; each of them possesses a distinctive personality that enables them to stand out as individuals within the context of their group dynamic. When it came to describe what each character looked like, I particularly loved how Lee didn’t shy away from any themes. For instance, she gave Henry dark complexion and curly hair rather than making him lighter-skinned than everyone else because he wasn’t Caucasian, which is something that happens fairly often. Even though there were some disagreements between them at times, it seemed like overall they truly cared about each other’s feelings, which added depth into understanding why certain decisions were made later on in the story line. Another aspect that helped these characters seem more realistic was how strongly connected they were with one another.

Maggie Stiefvater’s series titled “The Raven Cycle”

Maggie Stiefvater has written four books in her series titled “The Raven Cycle.” The first edition was issued in 2012, and the most recent edition, number four, was out in 2017.

The main character of this story is a young man of teenage years named Kate Hudson, but he is better known by his nickname Gansey (which rhymes with “jane”). He makes his home in a made-up place that the locals name Glenwood Springs. The events of the narrative take place during his senior year at a private high school. It is there that he becomes acquainted with three other students: Ronan Lynch, Adam Parrish, and Blue Sargent (who possesses certain magical skills). They band together to form The Raven Boys, a group that is committed to finding Glendower so that he can assist them in fulfilling their various desires for power, money, or love, and they set out on an epic quest across America to search for clues about him along with some mysterious figures from their pasts who may hold keys to unlocking the location of Glendower!

“Dumplin’” is a song written by Julie Murphy.

The film “Dumplin’” tells the story of Willowdean, a young woman with a larger-than-average frame who, in an effort to win her mother’s approval, competes in a beauty contest. The book has been lauded for the positive portrayal of a diverse range of body types that it offers, but it has also been criticized for the use of the term “fat.”

The author Patricia Lynne Duffy’s “S.S. Oliver”

This is a tale for middle school readers about a girl who is not very good at being a witch, but all she wants is to find her mother. The work is titled “S.S.”

In this novel, the protagonist, Sophie, embarks on a voyage from her native Ireland to the United States aboard the ship SS Oliver. Along the route, she makes new acquaintances and discovers more about who she is. Because the narrative is presented in the style of verse, it is simple for children to read either on their own or with the assistance of an adult reading aloud to them.

Written by Victoria Schwab, “The Near Witch”

A girl who goes to school in a nearby village is the protagonist of this tale.

Her mother is being persecuted for being a witch, and in order to clear her mother’s name, the daughter will have to embark on an exciting journey.

This book tells the story of a girl’s quest to save her mother and what takes place when she finally reaches her destination.

Written by Ruta Sepetys, “Salt to the Sea”

Ruta Sepetys is the author of the historical fiction novel “Salt to the Sea,” which is geared toward young adults. The year is 1945, and the plot centers on four major protagonists who are attempting to escape Nazi Germany in a ship called the Wilhelm Gustloff. They are attempting to make their way to safety.

The book has received appreciation for its realistic depiction of the events that took place during World War II as well as for its compelling characters, all of whom must contend with struggles that will have a long-lasting impact on their lives. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff on January 30, 1945 was one of the biggest maritime disasters in the history of the world. There were over 9,000 casualties, which is more than twice as many deaths as occurred on the RMS Titanic. The story itself is based on these actual events.

Reading novels intended for young adults is a fantastic approach to learn more about yourself.

Reading novels intended for young adults is a fantastic approach to learn more about yourself.

It should come as no surprise that many LGBTQ+ young adults look to books for support, comfort, and direction because reading is an essential component of maturing into an adult and learning about oneself. Reading helps us comprehend the world around us better by allowing us to put ourselves in the shoes of other people. This is especially beneficial for individuals who may not know anybody else in their personal circle who identifies as LGBTQ+.

This can make you feel less alone and less terrified when things go rough (which they will). Young adult novels are frequently written from the perspective of teenagers dealing with comparable challenges as you do now or may face later on in life. It also provides you with another person’s viewpoint on what it means to be queer, which is something that a lot of people don’t have access to since they live in tiny towns where there aren’t a lot of queer people around them!


We hope that this list has inspired you to read some books that will help you discover more about who you are as a person. If there is one thing that we want to stress, it is the idea that there is no one correct way to identify as LGBTQ+. There is such a wide variety of lived experiences within the community, and they all deserve to be represented in various forms of media, including books written for young adults. Therefore, do not hesitate; choose one of these books to read immediately and get started!