Book Recs: Neurodiverse Characters

This rec list comes from a request I got on twitter for LGBT books with neurodiverse characters. Obviously, neurodiversity covers an enormous spectrum, so I’m in no way attempting to cover all that (and if you look at the list, you can probably see where there are gaps, i.e. rep that isn’t anxiety, depression, PTSD, because sure those are the most common disorders but there’s a lot more out there).

What I’m attempting to give you here is a handful of recs (ownvoices where possible, elsewise covered respectfully) to start you off. And, as ever, I would happily take recs from you in return. (Also I have extended the rec list to feature 12 books instead of the usual 10 just so I can broaden the variety here.)

P.S. I’m only giving the rep for the neurodiverse LGBT character(s) in the book, even if there are more LGBT or neurodiverse characters in all. If that makes sense.


Six Goodbyes We Never Said


Candace Ganger
Rep: bi/pan mc with OCD, anxiety (GAD) and depression (ownvoices)

Why Should I Read It?

If you want a book that has casual bi/pan rep, but also no romance, then look no further. Six Goodbyes We Never Said instead centres on grief and friendship (among other themes) and has a wonderfully unique writing style.


A Tiny Piece of Something Greater


Jude Sierra
Rep: gay mc with cyclothymia (ownvoices)

Why Should I Read It?

Ownvoices representation and a really soft and cute romance, what more could you possibly want from a book?


I Wish You All The Best


Mason Deaver
Rep: nonbinary mc (ownvoices) with anxiety

Why Should I Read It?

Read this book about a nonbinary teen, they said. Get your heart broken and then taped back together, they said. And by they, I mean me.


The Outside


Ada Hoffmann
Rep: wlw autistic mc (ownvoices)

Why Should I Read It?

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t read this one. But people I trust have liked it, and it’s ownvoices rep too, so obviously it has to be on here.


The Truth About Keeping Secrets


Savannah Brown
Rep: lesbian mc, bi li with anxiety, PTSD and depression

TWs: emotional abuse, mentions of self harm (see full list)

Why Should I Read It?

Who doesn’t love a thriller, and who doesn’t love a gay thriller on top of that. In this case, the neurodiversity rep is a side character (but a pretty major side character), though the main character may be read as such too, I’m not sure.


The Wicker King


K. Ancrum
Rep: bi mc with anorexia, anxiety and depression, side character with catatonic depression, bi mc with peduncular hallucinosis

Why Should I Read It?

Given that Anna is basically a one-person K. Ancrum hype squad, there was absolutely no way she would have let me get away with not including this book on the list. But, honestly, it’s not like she’s wrong here.


We Are the Ants


Shaun David Hutchinson
Rep: gay mc with anxiety and depression

Why Should I Read It?

I am reliably informed (by Anna, so maybe less reliable) that “you know how in “once more, with feeling” buffy can’t stop dancing her final number, until spike catches her & sings that life is just living?? this feels a lot like that, only it’s gay & there’s science™”. Whatever that means.


A Light Amongst Shadows


Kelley York & Rowan Altwood
Rep: bi mc with substance use disorder

TWs: implied torture, child abuse

Why Should I Read It?

Okay, so, sure, maybe substance abuse disorders is pushing it with neurodiversity, but, if that one module I did on behavioural neuroscience has taught me anything, it’s that addiction works on your dopamine system (among others), so is literally changing the architecture of your brain so. It counts in my book (and also, yes, I did just want to rec this one).


Far From Home


Lorelie Brown
Rep: bi mc with eating disorder

TWs: eating disorder

Why Should I Read It?

The best “I married a woman so she could get a green card and oh shit I might be falling in love with her”. Hands down.


Amelia Westlake


Erin Gough
Rep: lesbian mc with anxiety

Why Should I Read It?

Do you want some gay hate to reluctant partners in a venture to we’re destroying the patriarchy together to oh shit we’re in love? (The answer is, obviously, yes.)


Red, White & Royal Blue


Casey McQuiston
Rep: bi mc with ADHD, gay li with depression

TWs: panic attack, outing

Why Should I Read It?

You: Charlotte you rec this so much, give it a rest.


History is All You Left Me


Adam Silvera
Rep: gay mc with OCD (ownvoices)

Why Should I Read It?

If you want to cry over a book (and sometimes you do need to, don’t you?), then this is the book for you. It’s one you’ll need the tissues to hand for (and the chocolate and/or other endorphin boosting foods). But don’t worry, there is at least a happy ending here.


That’s it for this rec list. Are there any you love that we haven’t included on here? Let us know!


19 Replies to “Book Recs: Neurodiverse Characters”

  1. I hadn’t heard of a bunch of these that sound awesome. You should totally read The Outside if you haven’t though. And for other queer ND rep I always rec Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan. Its an m/m dual pov between an autistic guy and a guy with suicidal depression and anxiety


  2. Thank you so much for this list!! I’ve been looking into finding and reading more books with neurodiverse characters because I don’t read enough of them but I had no idea where to start! This post provides perfect starting points though, so thank you again!!

    I LOVED RWARB and IWYATB, and I’m really looking forward to We Are the Ants, The Outside, and Six Goodbyes We Never Said. Amelia Westlake sounds so amazing too! A bad girl and good girl romance – sign me up please!

    Liked by 1 person

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