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    27 Fantastic LGBTQ+ Books To Read Before 2020

    Let's Get Books Today, Queens.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the best LGBTQ+ books they've ever read. Here are their beloved recommendations!

    1. At the height of the Biafran civil war, Ijeoma and Amina meet. Neither woman will ever be the same. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is a story of love, shaken faith, and resilience.

    Granta Books / Via


    Price: £1.89 on Kindle, £6.47 paperback, £3.52 hardcover.

    2. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston follows the love story between Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the American president, and Henry, the Prince of Wales.

    St. Martin's Griffin / Via


    Price: £7.59 on Kindle, £9.35 paperback.

    3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara tells the story of four graduates who move to New York and how their relationships struggle and deepen over the decades. This story about pride, addiction, friendship, and trauma was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

    Amazon / Via

    "A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara."


    "The only book so far to genuinely make me weep. It's a long book, but so worth the read, and well represents the queer community as well as the experience of being an adult who has experienced childhood trauma. "


    "It portrays a beautiful relationship between Jude (the protagonist) and his best friend/partner Willem."


    Price: £6.99 on Kindle, £7.19 paperback, £2.19 hardcover.

    4. Madeline Miller's debut novel, The Song of Achilles, is a queer re-telling of Homer's The Illiad (because we all know that the real love story of The Trojan War was Patroclus and Achilles). Warning: do not read without tissues nearby.

    Bloomsbury Paperback / Via



    Price: £5.55 on Kindle, £6.47 paperback.

    5. Set in the 1970s, Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran is a witty, moving, and electric masterpiece. Anthony Malone, the protagonist, leaves his closeted life behind for the wild, wonderful, and hedonistic New York gay scene. But Malone soon grows tired of crazy nights at Fire Island and begins to search for a deeper connection.

    Vintage / Via

    "Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran. A beautiful book."


    Price: £4.99 on Kindle, £6.47 paperback, £30.98 hardcover.

    6. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson is a semi-autobiographical novel about a girl growing up in an evangelical community.

    Vintage / Via

    "A classic novel, featuring lesbianism and coming out in a very religious home and town. It has a sad ending, and you really feel for the main character."


    Price: £4.99 on Kindle. £5.93 paperback, £17.37 hardcover.

    7. If you loved the film Love, Simon, you'll probably love its inspiration, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda even more.

    Penguin / Via


    Price: £3.49 on Kindle, £5.65 paperback, £8.60 hardcover.

    8. In They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, Mateo and Rufus meet through "Last Friend," an app designed to connect people who are both going to die in 24 hours.

    Simon & Schuster / Via

    "They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera – both boys find out they’re going to die on the same day and so it’s a twisted book of love and friendship making you almost forget the title."


    Price: £0.99 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    9. We all know Alan Cummings is a queer icon but apparently?!? He's also?!?! An author?!?! His novel Tommy's Tale deals with issues like commitment, parenthood, drugs, and trying to find your purpose before you turn 30.

    It Book / Via


    Price: £12.32 paperback.

    10. Magic and mystery collide when a handsome ex-Pinkerton agent and a reserved linguist must work together to solve a murder. If you ever shipped Watson/Sherlock or Harry/Draco, Widdershins is for you.

    Amazon / Via

    "Two broken men meeting each other and finding love and family – and fighting a whole host of Lovecraftian evil. Utterly wonderful."


    Price: £0.99 on Kindle, £7.99 paperback.

    11. Based on a true story, The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater explores hate crimes, class difference, and the failings of the American justice system.

    Wren And Rook / Via

    "A true story that broke my heart. It shows trans teen Sasha live through a hate crime that changed their life, but it also shows the side of Richard, the young black teen who did it. It focuses on race, discrimination and the way the justice system is so fucked up."


    Price: £3.99 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    12. Kate Lawson's Loving Henry follows the story of three characters connected by one adoption.

    Eos Publishing / Via

    "Loving Henry by Kate Lawson is pretty good."


    Price: £4.07 on Kindle, £10.99 paperback.

    13. In Skylarks by Karen Gregory, Joni falls for Annabel, the beautiful daughter of the richest family in town. Meanwhile, Joni's family is struggling to save their house from foreclosure. This distance between them feels insurmountable, but Joni and Annabel find out that together, there is little they cannot overcome.

    Bloomsbury YA / Via

    "Skylarks by Karen McGregory. 'Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver.'"


    Price: £4.83 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    14. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a spy novel about two young men locked in a deadly competition.

    Square Fish / Via

    "You start off not knowing that it’s an LGBTQ+ book. But as the relationship between the two male main characters develop, they start to learn more about themselves and their sexuality. That just makes it all the more better."


    Price: £6.01 on Kindle, £6.99 paperback, £8.42 hardcover.

    15. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neil tells the story of two young boys in Ireland during the Easter rising.

    Simon and Schuester / Via

    "A little known book set in Ireland in the early decades of the 20th century. The book I always go back to and can flip to any random page and happily read."


    Price: £7.19 paperback

    16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz follows two isolated teenagers, Aristotle and Dante, as they become friends and then something more. An extremely well written, character-driven slow burn, this book is technically YA, but can (and should) be read by all ages.

    Atria Books / Via

    "Of course, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. 😊"


    Price: £4.99 on Kindle, £6.45 paperback, £13.91 hardcover.

    17. Aki, the protagonist of Our Own Private Universe, knows that she's bisexual, and a vacation to a small Mexican town (where the older, more experienced Christa lives) seems like the perfect opportunity to explore her sexuality.

    HQ Young Adult / Via

    "The main character Aki, is very clueless and has no information about lesbian relationships, and gets so nervous and embarrassed going into a drug store and asking for information and protection. Aki is also very resistant to label her sexuality, by the end of the book she realises that it’s okay to be bisexual and loves herself so much more for it. I’ve never read a book where the main character felt so much like me!"


    Price: £3.49 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback, £1.68 hardcover.

    18. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a beautiful, but gut-wrenching novel about how we deal with loss and uncertainty.

    Dutton Books / Via

    "We Are Okay by Nina LaCour – probably one of my favourites. It’s a subtle romance, but also deals with harder topics such as depression and coping with death. It’s beautifully written and makes you cry."


    Price: £10.99 paperback, £14.07 hardcover.

    19. Maria and Lily are the ultimate power couple, and they will do anything to achieve their ambitions – anything. As I Descended is a fantastic queer retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth and a must-read.

    Harper Collins / Via

    "Loved the rewriting of a classic story, and the horror elements were so well written. I love stories that normalise same-sex relationships, rather than making it a big deal the relationships are part of the story, just like heterosexual relationships are."


    Price: £3.49 on Kindle, £7.99 paperback, £2.17 hardcover.

    20. Amanda Hardy has just started a new school, a school where nobody still thinks of her as Andrew. And she wants to keep it that way. Partially inspired by author Meredith Russo's own experiences, If I Was Your Girl is an absolutely essential read.

    Usborne Publishing / Via



    Price: £1.87 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    21. Also by Meredith Russo, Birthday is novel about two best friends struggling to embrace their true identities.

    Usborne Publishing / Via

    "I love anything LGBT but this was just so heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. The fact that it was told by both of the main characters added another level to this as well."


    Price: £3.79 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    22. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is a fun and touching story about people finding themselves and their community in 1970s San Francisco. Also, the series has been adapted for a miniseries starring Ellen Page on Netflix!

    Black Swan / Via

    "Tales of the City were my must-haves. They're inclusive, and the series has grown with the times. I still love them now."


    Price: £4.99 on Kindle, £6.47 paperback, £0.95 hardcover.

    23. Who Killed My Father is simultaneously a story about author Edouard Louis's relationship with his father and a scathing critique of homophobia, toxic masculinity, poverty, and the policies that enforce and create these injustices. It is a eulogy, a call to action, and a must-read.

    Harvill Secker / Via


    Price: £7.99 on Kindle, £7.91 hardcover.

    24. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a breathtakingly written, highly relatable novel about being fifteen and being trans.

    David Fickling Books / Via

    "Focusing in on the 'T' part of 'LGBTQ+', the story of David Piper's ongoing struggle with revealing his true identity both to his parents and the rest of the world as a whole, coined with the discovery of a twin flame in the most unlikely of people, opened the eyes of fifteen-year-old me to the world of the LGBTQ+ in an accessible, enthralling and believable manner."


    "It’s such a lovely book that reflects on what it’s like to be a trans teen."


    Price: £4.28 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback. £0.50 hardcover.

    25. Kimia Sadr, the protagonist of Disoriental by Negar Djavadi, fled Iran when she was ten and now lives in France. Iranian history and politics overlap with family drama as Sadr looks back at heritage.

    Europa Editions / Viaégar-Djavadi/dp/1609454510/

    "Disoriental by Negar Djavadi. The narrative voice and the easy movement across time and place are mesmerising."


    Price: £7.47 on Kindle, £12.17 paperback.

    26. Call Me By Your Name was one of the best films of 2017 and now I burst into tears whenever I listen to "Visions of Gideon." But before it was a tearjerking movie, Call Me By Your Name was a critically acclaimed, tearjerking book.

    Atlantic Books / Via

    "Call Me By Your Name. One of the best love stories of all time. Oliver and Elio's relationship is so special and sad. Plus it's set in Italy. Magnificent."



    Price: £1.90 Kindle, £2.00 paperback, £18.10 hardcover.

    27. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the story of a young woman sent to a gay conversion camp, inspired the critically acclaimed film of the same name.

    Penguin / Via

    "This book really hit home for me, especially as a young girl battling with her sexuality and her faith. It’s written beautifully and perfectly demonstrates what life can be like in that situation and Cameron’s decision to just no longer be disgusted with herself was a liberating experience for me."


    "This book stayed with me for such a long time and I find such joy in reading it again and again. It really shows the reality of what homophobia is like and the way religion has such an effect on it."


    Price: £4.99 on Kindle, £5.75 paperback.

    Note: submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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