10 books to read during Pride Month

June 2, 2022

By The Lighthouse Staff

In times when LGBTQ books are being banned in schools and homophobic and transphobic laws are being passed across the country, it is more important than ever to read LGBTQ literature. Here is a list of 10 powerful books to read this Pride Month:

“Cemetery Boys” (2020) by Aiden Thomas is about Yadriel, a gay Latino trans boy who longs to be recognized as equal in his family. Because of his gender, he is not seen as a real brujo (witch), and is excluded from his family rituals and obtaining their powers. To prove himself worthy, he conducts a ritual with his cousin Maritza to locate their deceased family member, Miguel. Everything goes wrong when Yadriel accidentally summons the wrong ghost, Julian. Curious as to why Julian was called upon instead of Miguel, Yadriel and Maritza discover more than what they expected.

“History is All You Left Me” (2017) by Adam Silvera is an exploration of loss, love and yearning that focuses on Griffin’s life after the death of his first love and ex-boyfriend Theo. Despite their relationship ending, Griffin is certain there will be a time when they will reunite. At Theo’s funeral, Griffin meets Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death. While the two are not fond of each other, Griffin ultimately realizes Jackson is the only person who understands his grief and complicated feelings. This novel includes flashbacks that convey the intricate relationship between Griffin and Theo.

“I Kissed Shara Wheeler” (2022) by Casey McQuiston is a young adult mystery that takes place in Alabama. Chloe Green is committed to becoming valedictorian, and the only thing standing in her way is Shara Wheeler, Willowgrove Christian Academy’s it-girl. Chloe’s life takes an unexpected turn when Shara kisses her in a school elevator and disappears on prom night. Chloe is determined to find out where Shara has gone, but all that is left behind are cryptic pink letters reserved for Chloe and the two other people Shara kissed that day: Shara’s neighbor Rory and her boyfriend Smith. As the unlikely crew sets out to find Shara, a story of acceptance and self-discovery unfolds, secrets are revealed and new relationships form.

“Lakelore” (2022) by Anna-Marie McLemore chronicles the adventure of Bastián and Lore, childhood friends reunited after being the only people to have seen the enchanted world underneath the lake. Bastián and Lore are both Mexican, neurodivergent and nonbinary tied together by their similar identities. Bastián and Lore face a conflict when they realize the world underneath the lake has begun leaking into the real world. Together, the pair must do all they can to prevent the lake’s world from getting out, even if that means learning to trust each other.

“Loveless” (2020) by Alice Oseman shines a light on a lesser-known identity. Georgia has never been in a relationship before, so when she goes off to Durham University in England, she hopes love will find her. Whether it is romcoms or fanfiction, Georgia is invested in all things romance, but when she has her first kiss, she is repulsed and confused. She struggles with her lack of romantic feelings, but once her friend Sunil educates her on asexuality, she finally finds a term to describe herself.

“Ophelia After All” (2022) by Racquel Marie tells the story of Ophelia, a Cuban-American high school senior who is known for her obsessions with gardening and boys. However, after she finds herself fixated on her classmate Talia, she realizes she might not only be obsessed with boys. Juggling friendship drama and newfound feelings, Ophelia is afraid and overwhelmed. Ophelia’s complex emotions make this coming-of-age novel especially authentic and relatable.

“Pet” (2019) by Akwaeke Emezi is about Jem, a curious Black trans girl growing up in the seemingly perfect city of Lucille. Jem has been taught that evil people, better known as monsters, do not exist, but as her mother’s painting comes to life and a creature named Pet informs her that there is a monster in her best friend’s house, disbelief fills her mind. 

“Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets” (2019) by Gayle E. Pitman is an insightful nonfiction text outlining the events leading up to and following the Stonewall Riots, which began on June 28, 1969 after police raided a gay bar in New York City. In this book, the author provides a series of historical photographs, excerpts from newspapers and interviews to give readers a clearer understanding of LGBTQ activism. 

“The Henna Wars” (2020) by Adiba Jaigirdar is set in Dublin, Ireland and navigates through Nishat’s life after coming out to her parents as a lesbian at her cousin’s wedding. Her parents react in silence, leaving Nishat feeling out of place, but luckily, her supportive sister Priti gives her guidance. One day at school, Nishat’s teacher announces a business competition, which prompts Nishat to start a henna business. However, she is left frustrated as she realizes her crush Flávia also begins a henna service. This novel addresses heavy, but important, topics including cultural appropriation, homophobia, racism and religious bigotry.

“The House in the Cerulean Sea” (2020) by T.J Klune follows Linus Baker, a sweet middle-aged man who lives a quiet, ordinary life. Linus works as a social worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, where he visits orphanages and ensures that the children are treated with care. He is ordered to investigate Marsyas Island Orphanage for a month, which is home to six magical “dangerous’” children and their caretaker, Arthur. These magical children face discrimination because of their differences. As Linus spends more time with the children, he becomes engraved with their uniqueness and falls in love with Arthur, their caretaker.

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