Book Recs: Warm LGBT Hug Books

We asked what rec lists you guys would like to see & got this gorgeous request that maybe, possibly we have almost fought over. Just maybe.

So anyway, the request was: “wholesome books full of queer characters if possible, essentially just books that feel like a big queer warm hug because I cannot handle reading anything else”. You would fight to recommend people books like that, too, wouldn’t you? Enjoy then!

inbtwn

Felix Ever After

Kacen Callender
Goodreads
Rep: Black trans demiboy mlm mc, Black Bengali mlm li, lesbian sc, mixed-race Black, Puerto Rican & white gay sc, poc sapphic sc, sapphic sc, gay sc, nonbinary sc
TW:
transphobia (exposing old pictures and deadname, transphobic messages), mentions of past emotional abuse, absent parent

Why Should I Read It?

Nothing else could have started this list. Not only are most of the characters LGBT, they often talk about their experiences, they share & compare, they feel comfortable. And the reader, in turn, feels warm and loved. It’s also just a super beautiful and hopeful book, and very clearly written for the trans kids out there.

inbtwn

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

Benjamin Dean
Goodreads
Rep: Black mcs, Black gay sc, nonbinary sc, lesbian sc

Why Should I Read It?

This one was Charlotte’s choice, but only because I haven’t had the chance to read it myself yet. Like she says, ‘it’s a book that’s very much about love. Love for your family, but also love for the LGBT community, and that’s probably the major reason it had me crying. Every page was suffused with that love and it showed throughout the book. So, really, I think it’s a book that everyone, no matter what age, should read.’

inbtwn

The Sky Blues

Robbie Couch
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc, mlm li, Black sc, Iraqi sc, trans sc, autistic sc, gay scs
TW: homophobia, racism, f-slur, past car accident, past death of a parent, vomiting

Why Should I Read It?

On goodreads I really so far only said: “many thoughts, head full (of love)”, and that is about right. It’s an absolutely lovely story about a gay boy who wants to ask out his crush to prom, about his friend who is helping him, but then most importantly: about a whole school coming together and standing by him. That overwhelming feeling of community really just made my heart grew like three times in size. It’s only coming out in April, but it’s so very worth the wait.

inbtwn

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Mariko Tamaki (writer) & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (artist)
Goodreads
Rep: half-East Asian lesbian mc, lesbian li, poc gay character, Black gay character, Black sapphic characters, lesbian character
TW: homophobia, cheating, unwanted pregnancy, abortion

Why Should I Read It?

This is a story about a bunch of lesbians. Literally. There’s even a coffee shop where (accidentally? or not so much?) only lesbians work. It’s a little bit unreal to witness that; YA books usually don’t let us see even one lesbian who actually uses the label, let alone a group of them. And yes, there are arcs here that are somewhat tragic or at least sad, but in the end this will leave you hopeful.

inbtwn

Weak Heart

Ban Gilmartin
Goodreads
Rep: mlm mc with anxiety, Filipino mlm li, wlw mc, Black lesbian li, nonbinary sc
TW: magic requiring self-harm, gore, blood, drowning

Why Should I Read It?

This one feels a little like a fic, and if you’re anything like me (and Charlotte), you know perfectly well that’s basically the highest praise you can give a book. There’s this attention to feelings and emotion, this very specific brand of high stakes. And most of all of love for the characters, of love between the characters, and love that you will feel after reading.

inbtwn

Abroad

Liz Jacobs
Goodreads
Rep: Russian Jewish gay mc, Black gay mc, bi mc, Indian lesbian sc, trans mlm sc, Black sc, mlm sc, lesbian scs

Why Should I Read It?

If we’re talking books about a group of LGBT folks who love each other, this is close to the best thing I can rec you. And it’s very much a story about growing into yourself, about becoming more confident in your own skin, about loving yourself & letting others see how much you shine. About discovering parts of yourself you never thought existed, and embracing them.

inbtwn

On a Sunbeam

Tillie Walden
Goodreads
Rep: sapphic mc, Black sapphic li, Black sapphic sc, Latino sapphic sc, nonbinary sc, sapphic parents, sapphic scs

Why Should I Read It?

The list of rep above makes it obvious, but let me say it again anyway: almost everyone in this story is sapphic. And there are no men. That alone should be a good enough reason to read it, let’s be real! But it’s also so wholesome and absolutely will restore your faith in humanity.

inbtwn

Camp

L.C. Rosen
Goodreads
Rep: gay Jewish mc, half-Korean gay Jewish li, Middle Eastern gay Jewish sc, demi lesbian sc, Afro-Brazilian-American sapphic sc, Black trans sc, nonbinary sc, gay scs

Why Should I Read It?

Camp might seem like a gay rom-com at the first glance, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, it’s absolutely hilarious at times; yes, the romance is a vital part of it; yes, it appears sweet and simply fun. But underneath it’s shimmery-glimmery facade, it’s a story of growth and learning to love yourself, each and every part.

inbtwn

Two Boys Kissing

David Levithan
Goodreads
Rep: gay mcs

Why Should I Read It?

It’s one of those books where it’s nearly impossible to put into words why it’s as good as it is, simply because it made you feel so much. And frankly, I was not ready for a single gay emotion that this has evoked in me, but I’m so very thankful. If there is one single book that truly can feel like a warm hug from all the gay men who have lived before us, it’s this one.

inbtwn

One Last Stop

Casey McQuiston
Goodreads
Rep: bi mc with anxiety, Chinese-American lesbian li, Black sapphic sc, Puerto Rican-American trans sc, gay Jewish sc, Black gay sc, Black pan sc
TW: past homophobic violence, off page death

Why Should I Read It?

I had a whole conversation with Charlotte regarding which of Casey’s books should I include, but ultimately this is my rec list. As much as I love the gang from Red, White & Royal Blue with my whole heart, as much as the idea of the love letters with quotes from historical gays surely awakened something in me, One Last Stop awakened so much more. It’s magical, it’s so very sapphic, it’s full of characters I would do anything for! Truly a gay history lesson wrapped up in a found family wrapped up in a rom-com wrapped up in, once again!, a love letter to the LGBT community.

inbtwn

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6 Replies to “Book Recs: Warm LGBT Hug Books”

  1. i love this post so much omg 🥺 i agree that felix ever after really makes the reader feel warm and loved!! and yes, i adore the fact that there are no men in on a sunbeam and every character is sapphic 😌

    ahhh me, my dad and the end of the rainbow sounds amazing and i can’t wait to read it 😭 i hadn’t heard of abroad or the sky blues, but they both sound so good!! and i’m extremely excited for one last stop, so i’m very glad you loved it 💕 thank you so much for this wonderful post, anna!! 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. so happy u liked the rec list!!
      the sky blues was one of my favourite reads of the last few months, it’s just so warm and lovely! and one last stop is somehow even BETTER than rwrb so u should definitely be excited!

      – anna

      Liked by 2 people

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