June is Pride Month—a month dedicated to celebrating love and the freedom to love whoever you choose!
Literature is one of the best ways to open your mind and increase your empathy. Whether you’re reading about people, cultures or orientations that are familiar to you or completely new, diving into the intricacies of others’ lives will increase your understanding, tolerance and ultimately, your capacity to love.
Here are 7 #LGBTQ books to read this month to celebrate Pride!
Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links—that means I get a small commission of any sales made from the links below, but the price is the same for you whether you purchase via my link or directly from Amazon 🙂
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
AUTHOR: Taylor Jenkins Reid
GENRE: Historical Fiction | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: In The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood legend, growing to the height of fame in the 1960s.
While Evelyn had a thriving and memorable career on camera, she was even more infamous for her personal life, especially, her seven husbands.
Now, retired and coming towards the end of her life, Evelyn contacts an unknown journalist, Monique, to author her biography—promising insights into her life she’s never granted to anyone before.
But the seemingly connectionless tie between Evelyn and Monique becomes more clear, and more significant, as Evelyn shares her untold story of heartbreak, hard lessons and forbidden love.
2. Red, White & Royal Blue
AUTHOR: Casey McQuiston
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Romance | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: In Red, White & Royal Blue, Alex, the first son of the United States, and Henry, the Prince of Wales, are forced to spend time together in an urgent attempt to mend political images after a very public altercation happens between them.
During their staged bromance, Alex and Henry build an unlikely friendship, surprised to actually enjoy each other’s company. Alex has always been sharp-witted and quick to speak his mind, but when he pulls his usual antics on Henry, his seemingly stuffy and boring arch nemesis, he finds he’s bitten off more than he can chew. What Alex thought was just a blooming new friendship turns into a relationship he didn’t even realize he wanted.
Now, Alex can’t get enough of Henry. He yearns for him, wanting every inch of him at every moment of the day.
But image is important—especially when you’re two of the biggest figureheads in the world. Coming out is not in line with the crown or Alex’s mother’s current campaign for re-election.
When Alex realizes his idyllic “love is all you need” mentality has been nothing but a farce, his entire world comes crashing down. But the real question is—will Henry be there to help him mend a new one?
3. One of Us is Lying
AUTHOR: Karen M. McManus
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction | Psychological Thriller | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: In One of Us is Lying, four students become murder suspects after a terrible incident in detention—a boy, Simon, dies from drinking water laced with peanut oil.
The circumstances of his death are strange to begin with, but the most vexing part is that all four of the other students in the room were the topic of Simon’s latest post on his infamous gossip app, the post scheduled to go out the next day.
As the investigation progresses, the Bayview Four, the nickname given to the accused, grow closer as they realize something’s not right—there’s definitely more to the story.
As their secrets start to reveal themselves, spiraling their lives and the investigation out of control, they realize their reputations are the least of their worries.
4. Mrs. Everything
AUTHOR: Jennifer Weiner
GENRE: Women’s Fiction | Coming of Age | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: Mrs. Everything is the story of Jo and Bethie Kaufman, two sisters coming of age in the ’50s and ’60s. Growing up, Jo and Bethie got along well, despite their differences. Jo was sporty, good in school and harboring a secret that caused her to build heavy walls around herself. Bethie was girly, felt alive in the center of a stage and would go to any length to look the part of the glamorous star she believed she was meant to be.
But as time passes, Jo and Bethie grow apart.
Jo finds herself conforming to all the ideals and expectations of women in modern society, despite her earlier iconoclast years. After fighting so hard to stay out of the cookie cutter mold, pure exhaustion leads her to fall right in the middle of it.
Bethie finds herself lost, literally and figuratively. After a devasatting and traumatic experience, Bethie wanders the world, sleeping on park benches, eating whatever food she can find and roaming farther and farther away from the idyllic life she’d always wanted.
But as the sisters get older they both start to realize that there’s never a time when one must stop trying—it’s always possible to change your own circumstances. Instead of letting their lives happen to them, they finally realize that it’s their personal responsibility to mold their experiences into the lives they truly want.
5. I’ll Give You the Sun
AUTHOR: Jandy Nelson
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: I’ll Give You the Sun is the story of twins Noah and Jude. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of the two, presented during different years throughout the story.
Sometimes they’re NoahandJude—thick as thieves and existing almost as one entity—and other times they’re Noah and Jude—distant, cold, and unsupportive of each other.
This is a book that boldly and expertly tells of the griefs of love, the excitement of hope, and the necessity of surrendering.
6. Conversations with Friends
AUTHOR: Sally Rooney
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: Conversations with Friends is the story of university student Frances. Her best friend—and former lover—Bobbi make friends with an older couple.
At first, Frances feels out of the loop when she sees how well Melissa and Bobbi are getting on, but soon, Frances and Melissa’s husband Nick—a gorgeous actor—start to hit it off. It escalates quickly, Frances and Nick sleeping together. But emotionless Frances is learning that she can’t always cover up her feelings with sarcasm and wit.
This is a story of love, but it’s a deeper one of friendship and finding out who you really are the hard way.
7. White is for Witching
AUTHOR: Helen Oyeyemi
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | Magical Realism | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: White is for Witching is the story of Miranda and Eliot, twins whose mother has passed away, leaving them and their father Luc overtaken by grief.
Miranda begins to pull away from her brother and father as her pica—an eating disorder that causes her to crave non-food items like chalk and plastic—begins to rule her.
On top of the mental issues she’s battling, she starts to see and interact with the spirits living in the walls of her family’s chilling house. And these spirits are not just random wayward souls, they’re the late women of her family tree, including her mother. Now they’re trying to pull Miranda deep into the walls with them, to reside forever.
8. The First Bad Man
AUTHOR: Miranda July
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction | LGBTQ
SUMMARY: In The First Bad Man, Cheryl is a middle-aged single woman, desperately lonely and desperately pathetic. She works at a non-profit women’s defense organization, where she’s convinced she’s made love with one of the board members in their past lives, even though they haven’t yet slept together in this lifetime.
When her bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter Clee can stay with her, Cheryl is too meek to say no. She soon finds herself hosting a rude, disrespectful and incredibly beautiful young girl.
Cheryl and Clee don’t get along well at first, until they start to engage in a strange activity that neither of them speaks about, yet they both start to crave it desperately. As Cheryl and Clee’s relationship starts to grow stronger, Cheryl realizes that she’s growing stronger, too.
What are some of your favorite #LGBTQ books? Share them in the comments below!