Queer YA Romance Reads Teens Will Love

Spring has sprung, and if that doesn’t get you in the mood to read a sweet romance read with all the feels, I don’t know what will! I have loved seeing the rise of inclusive YA love stories featuring love stories between teens of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The following are recently released or soon-to-be-released YA romance reads with representation across the LGBTQ spectrum.

no no 9780593403105 They Hate Each Other by Amanda Woody

In a debut that Publishers Weekly calls “raucous,” bisexual high school seniors and longtime rivals Jonah Collins and Dylan Ramírez engage in a fake-dating scheme to appease their respective friend groups. What starts as a drawn-out game of playing pretend turns into something more when the fake couple begins to learn things about each other that they never expected.

9780593568583 The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars

In this YA debut that Kirkus Reviews calls “lighthearted and fun,” transgender Noah Byrd is the new kid at school, looking to fit in however he can. He joins the Football and Lamborghini After-School Club, but at the first meeting, he learns that it’s a covert Borrow a Boyfriend Club, where people needing a plus-one to a school event or dance can rent a boyfriend for the night. Before Noah is granted membership, he must pass three tests to prove his dating skills. And so begins an enemies-to-lovers romance between Noah and the club’s president, Asher Price.

9780593530498 Just Another Epic Love Poem by Parisa Akhbari

Parisa Akhbari’s debut novel is a joyous, moving ode to queer love and friendship. “The Book” is a journal that best friends Mitra Estefani and Bea Ortega have been filling with a never-ending poem. It’s where they can be their most authentic selves, completely safe and open. But Mitra has one secret she hasn’t put in The Book: she’s in love with Bea.

9781641295345 Skater Boy by Anthony Nerada

This YA contemporary debut, called “endearing and nuanced” by Kirkus Reviews, follows closeted Wes MacKenzie as he navigates his senior year. He’s failing classes, has anger issues, and is preoccupied with the recent implosion of his parents’ relationship. But when openly gay Tristian Monroe catches his eye, Wes imagines a brighter future for himself — one where he graduates and gets the boy.

9780593645796 Caught in a Bad Fauxmance by Elle Gonzalez Rose

Devin Baéz is spending his winter break at his family’s Lake Andreas cabin in Florida after his first semester at CalArts. His plans to relax and work on an internship application are upended when his family’s rivalry with the Seo-Cookes heats up after the Baézes put their cabin on the table in a high-stakes bet. When Julian Seo-Cookes ropes Devin into a fake dating scheme, Devin sees it as the perfect opportunity to do some recon in enemy territory — but he’s in for a surprise when feelings get in the way. In a starred review, School Library Journal called this “a sweet, hopeful LGBTQIA+ love story” and “a must-have for teen libraries everywhere.”

9780399553097 Ryan and Avery by David Levithan

Readers first met Ryan and Avery in David Levithan’s award-winning, bestselling 2013 novel, Two Boys Kissing. Ryan and Avery tells the story of the boys’ first ten dates, beginning the night they first meet, at a queer prom. With writing that, as Kirkus puts it, “overflows with earnest emotion and understanding,” Levithan explores the way the boys navigate first love, supportive and unsupportive family members, and queer identity.

9780525555278 Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Get swept into a story of forbidden romance and peril set in 1950s San Francisco. When Lily and Kathleen fall in love at a lesbian bar in Chinatown, they put themselves and their families in jeopardy. With Lily’s father in danger of being deported, the girls will risk everything for their love. Winner of the National Book Award and a New York Times bestseller, this queer romance is a must-read.

9780593569955 Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee

In a “frothy debut [that] skillfully utilizes beloved rom-com tropes” (Publisher’s Weekly), seventeen-year-old Kevin Tang is trying to help his family’s Singaporean Chinese restaurant stay above water and avoid eviction. He thinks they’ll be in the clear if he can win an annual mooncake-making contest. But suddenly, wealthy customer Theo Somers is everywhere, and he made a donation to the restaurant! Determined to thank him, Kevin gets ferried into Theo’s wealthy, foreign world and somehow finds he can be himself with Theo more than ever.

9780593484920 The Rules of Us by Jennifer Nissley

Henry and Jillian have been together forever — until they come out to each other as gay during a heart-to-heart at the junior prom. They do everything together — they even applied for the same competitive scholarship so they could go to college together — but summer brings new experiences that push both Henry and Jillian out of the comfort zones they’d carefully constructed for themselves.

9780593698327 Hearts Still Beating by Brooke Archer

The Last of Us meets a love story about two girls dealing with the aftermath of of a zombie apocalypse. Mara and Rory haven’t seen each other since their first kiss two years ago — right before Mara was infected by the (mostly) deadly virus that swept the globe. But now a treatment has been found. Reunited, the girls struggle with their pasts and the people they’ve become since they first fell for each other.

9780593435137 Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett

In this bubbly rom-com Kirkus calls “equal parts funny, romantic, and affirming,” Mahalia wishes she could have had the sweet sixteen bash of her dreams. She also wishes that coming out wasn’t a thing and that people weren’t assumed straight until proven otherwise. As a solution to both, she dreams up an epic coming-out party. But she needs to save up for it and plan it — all while studying for the SATs and crushing on the new girl from Ireland, who also has a boyfriend.

9780593616390 The Breakup Lists by Adib Khorram

In The Breakup Lists, YA darling Adib Khorram gives us a queer rom-com set in the world of high school theater. Jackson Ghasnavi is happy to work as a stage manager for his high school’s theater department and live vicariously through his sister Jasmine’s romantic life. But living in the background gets complicated when the boy his sister is crushing on catches his eye, too. Khorram stole readers’ hearts with his award-winning, bestselling 2018 debut, Darius the Great Is Not Okay, and this is sure to be another fan favorite.

9780593623398 Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris

This country music-inspired story splits its time between the present and 1963. When legendary country singer Decklee Cassel’s longtime songwriting partner dies, their adoring public anticipates unveiling her time capsule — but it’s found empty. 17-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase joins a scavenger hunt to find the real capsule and learn the truth about Cassel’s rise and fall from fame.

9780593696866 Playing for Keeps by Jennifer Dugan

Ivy and June’s romance is built on commonalities. They’re each navigating grief, pressure from parents, and athletic aspirations (Ivy wants to be a referee for the NFL; June intends to become a baseball pitcher). But Ivy is refereeing June’s games, and it’s against the rules for players and refs to date. When their love clashes with their dreams, the two have a difficult choice to make.

The post Queer YA Romance Reads Teens Will Love appeared first on Brightly.

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