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The Best 2024 LGBTQIA+ Books To Add To Cart ASAP

As much as I love just about every book written by Dolly Alderton, it’s time to shelf the heterosexual stuff and get your queer on. It’s June, also known as Pride Month, and the opening of Feral Rat Girl Summer. I want more Harry and Barry, Sally and Suzie, and everything that falls in between: LGBTQIA. I want the whole damn alphabet!! This girlie likes guys and girls in her bed and in her books! So I’ve rounded up the best queer books to dive into this summer, whether that’s at the pool, the beach, the cafe where your fave they/them barista with a nose ring works, or in your own damn apartment. Happy reading to my favorite people!!

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Hot Summer by Elle Everhart

Hot Summer by Elle Everhart
 $19.00

Love Island is out, and books about shows like Love Island are in. A woman joins “Hot Summer,” a hit reality dating show that is definitely not copying Love Island as COPYRIGHT EXISTS. Cas Morgan is eager to make herself an audience favorite and spend the next eight weeks in the hot Cyprus sun. If she makes it to the finale, she gets a big promotion at work!! What she doesn’t count on is Ada, the fellow contestant for whom she falls head over heels. Will she stick to her script or go for gorgeous Ada? Best read in a bikini by the pool, duh.

In Tongues by Thomas Grattan

In Tongues by Thomas Grattan
 $25.20
 $28.00

Call me hot? Alright, sure. Call me a muse? Instantly naked and yours for the taking. That’s basically what happens to 24-year-old Gordon, a Minnesota boy who goes to New York City because where else can a gay man go? He starts dog walking for a wealthy couple/gallery owners, Phillip and Nicola, and the lines start to blur between employee, muse, lover, and mentor. It’s witty, intellectual, and very sexy. Eat the rich, but no truly.

Housemates by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Housemates by Emma Copley Eisenberg
 $26.10
 $29.00

IDK what it is about art, but it is just so queer, and I love that. This time, we’ve got two young housemates who embark on a road trip across America to fulfill an inheritance. One is a photographer, and the other is a writer, aiming to document America through words and photographs. Over the next three weeks, they try to make sense of themselves and the world they live in and embrace their sexuality and artistry. It’s such a celebration of queer life, and it makes me feel SO happy.

Four Squares by Bobby Finger

Four Squares by Bobby Finger
 $26.97
 $29.00

This novel is split between the 1990s and the present day, between a young writer building a community in New York City and his lonely life 30 years later. When Artie ends up alone and injured, his independent lifestyle is stripped away and he is sent to the local LGBTQ senior center down the street, where people are celebrating life. Artie is forced to stop dwelling in the past and finally take a second chance at truly living. Excuse me while I sob for 300 pages. Old people just get me so emosh, guys.

Evenings and Weekends by Oisín McKenna

Evenings and Weekends by Oisín McKenna
 $30.00

As a fake Brit and Swiftie, I’m obsessed with books set in LONDON TOWN, and this one does not disappoint. This book takes place over a weekend of a heatwave, where the soaring temperatures are matched with simmering tensions and secrets. Maggie is 30, pregnant and broke, and she is moving back to her small town with her boyfriend, Ed. Meanwhile, Ed is trying to run from his cheeky past with Maggie’s best friend, Phil, and is mourning his own lost dreams. Phil hates his office job and lives for the weekend, all while harboring a crush on his housemate Keith. But Keith has a boyfriend, so is there space for three in this relationship? Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, there’s Phil’s mom, Rosaleen, who has come to London to tell him she has cancer. Shit is getting real, my friends.

Thirst by Marina Yuszczuk

Thirst by Marina Yuszczuk
 $22.75
 $28.00

Twilight, but make it sapphic? I present you Thirst on a sexy, silver platter. Set in Buenos Aires across two different time periods, this novel is all about female agency, desire, and fragility. A vampire arrives in the nineteenth century and must adapt and intermingle with humans. In the present day, a woman grapples with her mother’s terminal illness and her own relationship with motherhood. She meets the vampire in the cemetery, and something ignites between them, something they can’t escape. Literally sapphic vampires?? Sapphic fucking vampires. Sapphic fucking vampires. Bite me, babe.

Here for the Wrong Reasons by Annabel Paulsen and Lydia Wang

Here for the Wrong Reasons by Annabel Paulsen and Lydia Wang
 $18.99

This is another sapphic story about a dating show, and I am NOT complaining! Honestly, if I went on The Bachelor, I’d be too distracted by all the amazing women. This time, two women are competing on “Hopelessly Devoted” for the heart throb of the season, Josh Rosen. Krystin wants a hubby, a horse, and a place to hang all her competitive rodeo blue ribbons (cowgirl, love it). Lauren is here for social media followers. Instead, they’ve only got eyes for each other, and they need to decide what they want more. 

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh
 $28.00

Are you ready for a firm whack in the feels? Obiefuna’s father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and the family’s apprentice and promptly banishes his son to a Christian boarding school. Alienated from everyone he loves, Obiefuna begins a journey of self-discovery and blossoming desire. We also get the perspective of his mother, Uzoamaka, who grapples to hold onto her favorite son and truest friend. This is a stunning tale of love and loneliness, freedom and politics, and the queer experience from different angles. Enjoy crying so hard your contact lens falls out!!

The Future Was Color by Patrick Nathan

The Future Was Color by Patrick Nathan
 $26.00

If you like your books more on the intellectual side, look no further than this dazzling novel about the Golden Age of Hollywood from the perspective of a queer Hungarian immigrant. Literally, that sentence alone should be enough to convince you, but I’ll continue on the shy chance it’s not. George is working in 1950s Hollywood in a studio system filled with possible communists and spies, closeted men along Sunset Boulevard, and the intertwining truths of love, persecution, and guilt. A famous actress offers him a writing residency at her estate, but George quickly becomes an ornament to be carried around, and his trauma is contrasted by sheer decadence. A masterpiece!

Kissing Girls on Shabbat by Sara Glass

Kissing Girls on Shabbat by Sara Glass
 $26.03
 $27.99

A memoir with this title? Sign me up immediately. Sara takes us through her experiences growing up in the Hasidic community of Brooklyn’s Borough Park, where she was caught between her desires and what was expected of her. Trapped in a loveless arranged marriage and tormented by her attraction to women, Sara made the impossible decision to walk away from the world she knew. This was only the first of many mountains to climb, including a custody battle, divorce proceedings, a shocking sexual assault, and more. This is by no means an easy read, but it’s definitely a necessary one.

A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women’s Culture by June Thomas

A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women's Culture by June Thomas
 $27.90
 $30.00

Let June the journalist (this sounds like a Bob the Builder character) take you through the six holy lands of the queer woman. From the intimacy of a dark lesbian bar to the cottage core nature of a rural commune, this is a book about what is gained and lost in the shift from the exclusive, tight-knit women’s spaces of the ’70s toward today’s more inclusive yet more diffuse LGBTQ+ communities. Best read somewhere in public so you can meet the next love of your life — she’s a reader.

Medusa of the Roses by Navid Sinaki

Medusa of the Roses by Navid Sinaki
 $27.00

After exploring all those queer places, we’re heading somewhere very different: Modern-day Tehran. Anjir and Zal are childhood best friends turned adults in love, but they live in a country where being openly gay is criminalized. Zal disappears despite their plan for him to surgically transition and run away together, leaving Anjir on a quest to find out what happened. Along the way, he encounters his troubled mother, addict brother, and a new friend, Leyli. It’s a gritty tale woven in with ancient Persian and Greek myths, fused into a debut novel so good you’ll skip all your summer days’ plans. 

The Default World by Naomi Kanakia

The Default World by Naomi Kanakia
 $17.95

If you’ve ever dated a supposedly woke leftist millennial tech guy, this book is for you!! It follows Jhanvi, a trans woman who plans to marry her friend/hookup Henry for his company’s generous healthcare benefits. Instead, she is drawn into his privileged friend group, where she finds it hard to separate the glamour from the truth. It’s like The Great Gatsby in the Age of Amazon and a dark take on the “found family” concept. 

But How Are You Really? By Ella Dawson 

But How Are You Really? By Ella Dawson 
 $26.04
 $28.00

I am so glad I stumbled upon this novel. I was hooked simply by the mention of a “burned-out bisexual.” (“Is this fucking play about us?”) The protagonist, Charlotte, unwillingly attends her five-year reunion and is forced to face her past, including an estranged chosen family and the one that got away. Suddenly, this terrible situation doesn’t seem so terrible, but rather, it is a chance to go back in time. It’s the perfect summer read for the girlies who pay taxes and pluck chin hairs but somehow still don’t feel like adults. 

Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura

Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura
 $23.99
 $28.00

I’m obsessed with books where the narrator is figuring things out at the same time as us, and this is perfectly captured in this exciting debut novel. Tatum Vega has finally found peace, living in Chile with her partner, Vera, and spending her days surrounded by art. But a reporter calls to dredge up the past. Tatum spent a decade in New York City obsessed with the famous author, M. Dominguez, who has now been accused of assault. Tatum is forced to reexamine that all-consuming relationship and question why it left such a mark on her. If I could literally eat a novel, it would be this one, GOOD SOUP.

A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins

A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins
 $22.07
 $27.00

There are those main characters you immediately relate to, only to keep reading and realize what a bad thing that is (oops!). That’s Helen, a jittery attorney with a self-destructive streak who is distracting herself by hooking up with lesbian couples. But when she gets in deeper than she expected with Catherine and Katrina, a childhood tragedy begins to drift to the surface, and she might need to speak to her incarcerated father for answers. If you’re one of those people who rolls their eyes at reviews complaining about explicit sex scenes, buy this book immediately.

Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrash

Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrash
 $15.19
 $18.99

I’m sorry, Satanic Panic and a queer main character? I don’t know what I did to deserve this incredible novel, but I eagerly accept it. Lacey was thirteen years old and growing up at her hippie parents’ rural daycare center when the Satanic Panic hit. Suddenly her parents were arrested on bullshit charges as a result of the mass hysteria sweeping the nation. Lacey is adrift, running with the wrong crowds and making choices that will haunt her. As an adult, she has a beautiful girlfriend and a seemingly normal life as the law clerk for an illustrious judge until one misstep causes it all to go very, very wrong again, and the truth comes to the surface.

All the World Beside by Gerrard Conley

All the World Beside by Gerrard Conley
 $21.11
 $28.00

Queer historical fiction is just *chefs kiss*. This time, we’re in 18th-century Puritan New England!! Reverend Nathaniel Whitfield and his family are godly pillars of their small-town community, attracting Christians from across the New World. One such Christian is Arthur Lyman, who is captivated by the reverend. Their bond grows more passionate, and they find themselves in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and judgments through which they struggle to see a future together.

These Letters End in Tears by Musih Tedji Xaviere 

These Letters End in Tears by Musih Tedji Xaviere 
 $20.91
 $27.00

Okay, make sure to have snacks and tissues in-house when you tackle this gut-wrenching book. But the best books make your tummy hurt even more than a four-cheese pizza, so we’re going to persevere as it is worth it!! This sapphic love story is set in Cameroon, a country where same-sex relationships are punishable by law, between Christian Bessem and Muslim Fatima. Thirteen years after they were discovered and Fatima disappeared without a trace, Bessem is a university professor who occasionally and secretly dates other women. She spots a mutual friend for the first time in years, the last person who may have seen Fatima, and embarks on a search for her lost love. 

How It Works Out by Myriam Lacroix

How It Works Out by Myriam Lacroix
 $25.11
 $27.00

A queer love story, or rather over a dozen queer love stories packed into one triumphant novel. Through a series of hypotheticals, we get to follow the arc of Myriam and Allison’s relationship. What if they were B-list celebrities? What if one was a CEO and the other a lowly worker bee? What if they became mothers by finding a baby in an alley? On and on it goes, the fantasy of early romance unraveled by the violence and reality. This is for the daydreamers who are on their fourth coffee of the day and haven’t got a lick of work done — it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.

How You Get the Girl by Anita Kelly

How You Get the Girl by Anita Kelly
 $12.74
 $16.99

Sports romance, but it’s the basketball coach and a foster parent of a teammate. Oh, and make it sapphic as fuck? I’ll have that, thanks! Coach Julie Parker knows that super-hot ex-WNBA baller Julie is out of her league, but she convinces her to step in as her assistant coach. Julie hasn’t been on a court since her career-ending injury, but she can’t resist adorable and nervous Julie. Later, she helps her navigate her dating life, too, and things take a turn for the better… Sapphic slow burn, gimme.

The Sins of Their Bones by Laura R. Samotin

The Sins of Their Bones by Laura R. Samotin
 $16.50
 $19.00

Obviously, I didn’t forget about my fantasy lovers out there. So, here is high-stakes fantasy, but make it queer! I present this Jewish folklore-inspired reimagining of 19th-century Eastern Europe. Dimitri Alexeyev used to be the Tzar of Novo-Svitsevo, but a civil war instigated by his estranged husband, Alexey Balakin, has left him a broken man. His spymaster, Vasily Sokolov, plans to sneak into Alexey’s court to overthrow and kill him. But thanks to dark magic, this won’t be as simple as it sounds and will require Dimitri to make some impossible choices about his ex-husband and the spymaster he’s come to love.

Cover Story by Rachel Lacey

Cover Story by Rachel Lacey
 $6.87
 $16.99

Hmm, how could you make The Bodyguard even better? What if they were both women?!? Natalie Keane is giving Sydney Sweeney in this book; she is a glamorous actress at the top of her career. A new threat causes her to agree to extra security, but only if it is kept under wraps. Meanwhile, Taylor Vaughn has made a career as a bodyguard to the stars and agrees to masquerade as Natalie’s girlfriend while protecting her. Naturally (and thankfully), the lines soon begin to blur… Squealing, literally squealing.

These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart by Izzy Wasserstein

These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart by Izzy Wasserstein
 $15.95

A sci-fi novel set in Kansas City with a trans-woman protagonist? Let’s do it, babe. Dora hasn’t been back to her old commune in years, but when her ex-girlfriend Kay is killed and everyone there is a suspect, she knows that she is the only person who can solve this murder (love the confidence). She soon discovers that Kay’s death is only one of several horrible incidents. A strange new drug is circulating, people are disappearing, and now Dora is being attacked by assailants from her pre-transition past. She must uncover a twisted conspiracy, all while navigating a new relationship. That’s a lot. 

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle
 $24.29
 $26.99

You had me at the title. Misha is a jaded scriptwriter who has spent years working in Hollywood and has finally been nominated for his first Oscar. But when producers pressure him to kill off a gay character in the upcoming season finale “for the algorithm,” things take a turn for the worst. He starts being stalked and attacked by movie monsters from his own filmography (talk about your past coming back to haunt you). It’s somehow hilarious and terrifying, and everything in between.

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao
 $16.99
 $19.99

I will never forget about my aces out there, so this pick is especially for you lovely people! This is especially good for fans of Sex Education, in particular the final season. Sophie Chi has long accepted her aromantic and asexual identities and enjoys anonymously running “Dear Wendy,” an account that offers relationship advice to fellow students at Wellesley College. Jo Ephron is a fellow first-year student who creates a “Sincerely Wanda” account, never intending for it to take off as it does. The two of them are soon engaged in an online feud, but in real life, they’re getting closer than ever, bonding over their shared aro/ace identities. Will this friendship survive the truth when it eventually comes out? The PERFECT comedy to enjoy at the beach. 

Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman
Fleurine Tideman, a European-based copywriter. She’s interesting (cause she’s from Europe), speaks multiple languages (again, she's from Europe), and is mentally unhinged (despite socialized healthcare). You can find her European musings on Twitter @ByFleurine and her blog, Symptoms of Living, both of which are written to the sounds of unhinged Taylor Swift playlists.