7 Books to Read in Honor of Pride Month
Hello Swoon Readers!
It's June, which means it's PRIDE MONTH! So we here at Swoon Reads are going back to our roots and indulging a little romance;) We recommended a few LGBTQIA+ books last month (such as When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, and Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde), but here are some more LGBTQIA+ young adult romances, old and new, that we just can’t put down!
Lena Newman is your average high school senior—she loves her friends, she’s dating a cute football player, and she still can’t decide what she wants to study in college. Everything seems just fine—until someone comes to shake up Lena’s life. Enter Juliet, the cool, confident, openly lesbian new girl. Lena befriends her and soon discovers that her feelings for Lena may go beyond friendship. Will Lena follow this unforeseen path, wherever it leads? Or will she stick with the life she always thought she wanted?
It’s 1987 and Aristotle is bored and angry—the summer is blazing hot, he has no friends to pass the time with, and no one in his family will talk about the fact that his brother going to prison or why. Desperate to get out the house and do something, Aristotle goes to the public pool to swim, even though he doesn’t know how. That’s how he meets Dante, an unusual boy who offers to teach him how to swim. Though they have practically nothing in common, the two boys quickly develop a deep friendship, swimming, star-gazing, and sharing secrets as the summer passes, and their feelings towards one another begin to change. Aristotle and Dante learn how friendship can change lives as they discover the kind of people they want to be.
Meg and Linus are best friends, bound together by their shared nerdiness and their shared queerness. When Meg gets dumped by her long-term girlfriend, she distracts herself with a project—setting up Linus with his crush, Danny, the new kid that he tutors. Meanwhile, Linus has his own project to deal with when Meg’s ex contacts him, worried that she’s made a mistake. Friendship comes first in this novel as Meg and Linus try to fix each other’s lives instead of their own.
High school junior Jordan Sun has a problem—her low Alto 2 voice has kept her from getting cast in the school musical for three years straight and now her college applications are in jeopardy, not to mention her spot at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. So Jordan has to get creative. When a spot in the Sharpshooters, the prestigious all-male a cappella group, opens up, Joran auditions—in drag. And she gets in! Now she must keep up the charade and balance her double life, making new friends, crushing on a guy and a girl, and figuring out what it means to be herself.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won't be able to see past it. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It's that she's trans. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?
In this charmingly unusual novel, two teen spies, Caden (a Nice) and Dylan (a Bad) are assigned to seduce Juliet, a future genius and current high-school student who is of interest to their agency. Only one of them can be her Love Interest and spend his life at her side, spying on her. The other will be killed. But as both boys vie for her attention, they soon realize they’re not interested in Juliet—they’re interested in each other.
In this dystopian retelling of The Odyssey, an earthquake and subsequent tidal wave have destroyed Los Angeles, and the monsters created by a madman roam the country side. Seventeen-year-old Pen, left behind after the water sweeps away her whole life, sets out to search for her lost family. She collects a few fellow travelers along the way, and as they navigate the wasteland of the west coast, dodging monsters and mayhem, Pen learns how to be brave and how to fall in love.
That’s all for now! We hope you enjoy these books as much as we did, and that you’ll feel inspired to share them with as many people as you can!