Must-Read Gay YA

Boy meets Girl. Girl smiles at Boy. Boy falls in love with Girl. Girl explains that she’s not interested in Boy, or boys in general. Girl meets Girl. Girl smiles at Girl. Girl and Girl live happily ever after.

In Girl From Mars, by Tamara Bach, 15-year-old Miriam longs for new experiences, and when she meets her new classmate Laura, she falls in a big way. Being a teenager in love (much less a gay teenager in love) is never easy, and as Miriam struggles to balance her life with her new feelings, she ends up lying to her friends and her family in the process. Her confusion isn’t helped by the small-minded people of the German town she lives in. In its English translation (the book was originally written in German), this novel is quirky and honest and a true must-read, so it’s lucky that you can start reading Girl From Mars for a limited time here on Figment!

Gay YA is a hot topic in publishing today. The market for young-adult literature of all kinds is booming, and while there’s still a lot of room to grow, there have never been so many options for readers who want love stories that reflect the full spectrum of romantic possibilities. Girl From Mars is a new addition to our list of gay YA must-reads, but here are some of our other favorites:

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Amidst the chaos that occurs when a plane of Miss Teen Dream hopefuls crashes on a seemingly deserted island, two contestants start a relationship. One of the girls has been comfortable with her sexual identity for a long time, while the other is struggling to come to terms with hers. Plus, there’re snakes and bombs and conspiracy and commercial breaks and lots of Teen Dream-worthy pageantry.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

These two crowd-favorite YA authors teamed up to write a book about two boys named Will Grayson. One Will is straight; the other is gay. The book also features Tiny Cooper, who has to be read to be believed (and instantly loved). The two Graysons don’t meet until halfway through the story, but their lives immediately become linked in a very meaningful way.


The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Nina, Mel, and Avery have always been inseparable. But when Nina leaves for the summer to take a Stanford leadership class, she returns to find that Mel and Avery have become an item. Suddenly the triangle is feeling a little snug, and Nina’s not sure their friendship can withstand the change.


Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan

Twins Judy and Kyle Renneker have both fallen in love with the new exchange student, Garret. Who doesn’t seem to mind leading them both on? And who claims to be a vampire? This book is the best kind of witty; it’s clever and funny and you will be better for having read it.


Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

When Skim, aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, falls in love in the wake of a friend’s suicide, the timing isn’t right. It doesn’t help that Skim is falling in love with one of her teachers. Who’s been meeting with her secretly. Who is a woman. Set in the early ’90s, this graphic novel manages to encompass the whole of the oft-sought teenage experience.


Ash by Malinda Lo

This story is a  dark and moving retelling of the traditional Cinderella story. Ash has dreamed of being stolen away from her miserable life by fairies, and when she finds Sidhean (a dangerous fairy prince) she thinks her dreams have come true. When she meets the prince’s huntress, Kaisa, she realizes her heart may not be with the prince, though he’s about to claim her hand in marriage.

4 thoughts on “Must-Read Gay YA

  1. I was so hoping that Hero by Perry Moore would be on this list. It’s hands-down one of my favorite reads from this past year. But, since you included the amazing Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I’ll try to forgive you. 🙂

  2. Some other overlooked books that should make the LGBTQ YA book list:
    Hello Groin – Beth Goobie
    A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend – Emily Horner

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