Rejection, illness, and tragedy. We’ve read it, we’ve lived it, we know the drill. Enough already! If the dreary present is leaving you with a craving for escapism and happy endings this list is for you. The protagonists in these stories may face some obstacles along the way, but they do so with their chosen families by their side. These titles will make you sigh with the warmth of unconditional friendship and the satisfaction of an adventure come to its close. Oh, and she definitely gets the girl in the end!
This stunning debut novel from Thomas is detailed, heart-rending, and immensely romantic. I was bawling by the end of it, but not from sadness: I just felt so incredibly happy that this queer Latinx adventure will get to be read by other kids. Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don’t miss this book.
—Mark Oshiro, author of Anger is a Gift
In bright, dynamic art, Leyh packs Snapdragon's world with an array of wonderful characters, full of quirks and contradictions, who represent a variety of ethnicities, sexualities, and gender expressions. Full of magic and humor, this intersectional, layered tale offers joyful and affirming depictions of social outsiders and comfortably complicated families.
Tamaki explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink… A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning teen romantic adventure novel about a roguish young bisexual British lord who embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of 18th century Europe with his male best friend/secret crush. Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
A People's History of Heaven offers a portrayal of an impoverished urban community in India which acknowledges the hardships this community faces but is not written like tragedy-porn. Instead, Subramanian's focus is the ways in which the members of the community fiercely show up for one another across difference to not only survive, but to carve out joy in their ironically (or perhaps aptly) named neighborhood called "Heaven." The book also features gender variance with loving community support!
Mooncakes transported me to a gorgeous magical realm that I never want to leave, and introduced me to lovable characters who stuck with me long after I finished reading. This graphic novel is the joyful fantasy romance we all need right now, and it might just restore your faith in magic.
—Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan is a stand-alone portal fantasy in which the reader follows Elliot Schafer—a redheaded bisexual boy with a fantastically bad attitude and sharp tongue—through his adolescence, primarily spent in a magical land on the other side of a mostly-invisible border wall located in rural England… [A] satisfying, thoughtful, and fun read. Brennan balances politics with relationships; she handles complex ethical and moral arguments with humor and aplomb.
—Lee Mandelo, Tor.com
This work of speculative fiction is a profoundly thoughtful exploration of female friendship, love, growth, and identity.
When prom night goes awry and ends in an accidental death, a group of ride or die friends - and witches - have to sort it out or face the consequences. Will they be able to revive Alexis’ deceased prom date? Will Alexis finally be able to admit to her best friend that she loves her?
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. Unbelievably sweet, soft, and gorgeously illustrated!