Do you remember the first time you felt seen in a piece of media? Many of us had to reach for scraps when we were younger, secretly watching episodes of Glee when our parents weren’t home. Slowly but surely, the amount of content with authentic representation has been expanding.
When I was a teen, I had to dig to find books that had any type of gay voices, let alone any trans experiences. In 2020, I read Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and my world flipped. It gave me the courage, words, and comfort I needed to be my authentic self.
LGBT+ Young Adult books are an incredibly important source not only to see yourself represented but also to read about young queer people finding community, going on adventures, and finding happiness. 2023 has no shortage of wonderful queer stories coming out, and EveryQueer is here to start you off with an awesome list of queer novels coming out in 2023.
As You Walk on By by Julian Winters
January 17th, 2023
Julian Winters does it again in this charming YA contemporary novel described as “The Breakfast Club meets Hardly Can’t Wait.” If you’re looking for some queer fun with a reminder that you’re not alone, this is the book for you. Theo Wright thinks he has it all mapped out, including getting into Duke and promposing to his crush. But when things don’t go to plan, he finds himself hiding during the party, eventually joined by others also avoiding their current reality.
Another Dimension Of Us by Mike Albo
January 17th, 2023
This science fiction “The Breakfast Club meets Stranger Things” story ascends time and space for love. Following two timelines (1986 and 2044), Another Dimension of Us tells a story of friendship and queer love. There are heavy topics throughout, from the AIDS crisis to an unnamed 2044 virus that feels similar to today’s COVID pandemic. If you’re looking for a creative, time-bending novel with queer representation, this could be the book for you.
Always the Almost by Edward Underhill
February 14th, 2023
If its beautiful cover didn’t immediately draw you in, its storyline definitely should. Edward Underhill’s YA debut entails a sixteen-year-old trans pianist, Miles Jacobson, and his struggle with feeling like enough for others and himself. With fake dating, a cute cartoonist love interest, and beautiful prose, you can’t go wrong by picking up this book that centers trans joy and self-love.
And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner
February 14th, 2023
Aaliyah is struggling with situations at home and being outed in her junior year. But she’s ready to face senior year head-on and live for herself. However, senior year is coming with its own set of hurdles, including new crushes and not wanting to ruin old friendships. This book encapsulates the fun and exciting, but also sometimes messy, feelings of crushes and the importance of friendship.
She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran
February 28th, 2023
She Is a Haunting is perfect for horror fans. Jade Nguyen goes to Vietnam expecting to do what she can to get through the time she has to spend with her estranged father. But when ghosts and hauntings start to appear, she can’t ignore them. This encapsulating, horrifying, yet beautiful book is sure to keep you on your toes.
Study Break edited by Aashna Avachat
March 7th, 2023
College can be a fun but stressful time full of meeting new people, having new experiences, and questioning yourself. This anthology contains short stories that portray a variety of college experiences through different lenses. Featuring excellent Gen Z authors, Study Break will immerse you in the ups and downs of college life.
The Quiet and the Loud by Helena Fox
March 28th, 2023
A heartbreaking yet uplifting and hopeful novel, The Quiet and the Loud tells the story of George, whose past and present dismantle her hope of steadiness. The story explores trauma, mental illness, and climate anxiety in an honest and authentic way. With complex characters that weave their way into your heart and themes of courage and love, Fox gives us yet another beautiful novel that we highly recommend to those that want to steep in the intricacies of life and advocating for yourself.
Tell Me How It Ends by Quinton Li
April 9th, 2023
Quinton Li’s tale is great for fans of fantasy and magic. Queer witches, tarot, and a time sensitive mission, what more could you want?
Queer Power by Dom & Ink
April 18th, 2023
This eye-catching, nonfiction book is sure to be a future staple when it comes to learning about and celebrating current-day LGBTQIA+ icons. With gorgeous illustrations and informative details, Queer Power depicts a variety of LGBTQIA+ activists and legends, including Julian Gavino, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and Alok Vaid-Menon. Tips on coming out, allyship, support, and more are seamlessly interwoven throughout the book. A joy to look at and read, this is the perfect book to give to anyone passionate about the LGBTQIA+ community.
This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham
April 25th, 2023
Another exciting horror novel to add to your list, This Delicious Death takes place in a society that underwent an outbreak that turned people into ghouls. Scientists were able to create a fake version of human flesh for the ghouls to eat, which allowed the world to turn back to normal, sort of. We follow four ghouls at a music festival, and when one of them ends up eating a real human, chaos ensues. The ghouls discover that someone is drugging them to turn this way, and they know they must put a stop to it.
Chasing Pacquiao by Rod Pulido
May 2nd, 2023
Centering on a queer Filipino-American teenager, this contemporary YA novel showcases the ultimate highs and lows of his experience. Bobby wants to stay out of sight, but when he’s outed, he’s forced to come out of hiding. This book is heartwarming, honest, and a great coming-of-age journey.
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher
May 2nd, 2023
Are you a fan of historical fiction? How about queer historical fiction? Then Gwen and Art Are Not in Love may be the perfect book to add to your 2023 to be read list. Gwendoline and Arthur are bound to marry, but don’t like each other. They agree to have each others’ backs and while Gwen falls for her knight and Arthur starts liking Gwen’s brother, romance and fun ensue.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude
May 9th, 2023
Mental health is an important conversation, and Jen St. Jude’s book does not shy away from it. Full of love, healing, and connection, If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come tells the story of Avery Byrne learning to find support and help the ones she loves as the world is coming to an end.
Venom & Vow by Anna-Marie McLemore & Elliott McLemore
May 16th, 2023
Anna-Marie McLemore’s prose has always blown us away, and we’re sure that Venom & Vow will be no exception. Starring a transgender prince, a future queen, an assassin, and a reluctant kingdom heir, this YA fantasy is co-written by Anna-Marie McLemore and Elliott McLemore. Full of wonderful queer representation and intriguing court storylines, this is a book you won’t want to miss.
Things I’ll Never Say by Cassandra Newbould
June 6th, 2023
Casey has recently lost her twin brother to an overdose, and her best friend group goes down from four to three. Full of complex emotions, Casey is thrown into dealing with immense grief over her brother and new-found crushes. This story of queer friendship, queer love, and grief will take you on a coming-of-age journey and immerse you in the lives of characters you won’t want to let go of.
Love Letters for Joy by Melissa See
June 6th, 2023
Joy is focused on becoming the first disabled valedictorian at her high school. But when she sees everyone else in relationships, she wants to share in that experience. She knows that being asexual doesn’t mean she can’t have a high school love. Through a series of love letters, she falls for the last person she’d ever expect to.
Old Enough by Haley Jakobson
June 6th, 2023
This is probably categorized as New Adult and not Young Adult, but we couldn’t help but put this book on our list. The writing pulls you in from the first page. Savannah Henry is in her sophomore year of college, finding her queer community, and crushing on someone in her Gender Studies class. However, she’s also put in a situation that forces her to unpack the trauma she has been through. You can feel all the new, awkward, and exciting emotions that come about during college so clearly through the narrative voice. Topics of trauma, healing, and queerness are talked about so honestly and openly, we couldn’t put this book down.
The Dos and Donuts of Love by Adiba Jaigirdar
June 6th, 2023
We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty drawn into this book from the title alone. We became even more intrigued as we read the description. A baking competition full of new and old flames makes things complicated. But Shireen Malik is determined to ignore these distractions to win money, and more importantly, bring hype to her parent’s donut shop. Will she succeed?
Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler
June 13th, 2023
Dahlia Adler’s 2021 Cool for the Summer had us loving the authentic self-discovery and nuanced characters. We cannot wait for Going Bicoastal to continue our love of Adler’s work! Natalya Fox has to choose between NYC with her dad, and the girl she’s crushing on, or the chance to repair her relationship with her mom in LA, and a new guy she didn’t expect. This book follows both storylines in a fun, queer rom-com.
The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars
September 12th, 2023
This heartfelt and funny rom-com about a trans boy just wanting to be seen as who he is should be at the top of your TBR list for 2023. Humor, joy, and love are sure to ring throughout, with themes of self-acceptance and authenticity at the forefront. Don’t miss out on Powars’ stunning debut!
We hope you find many books and other pieces of media that speak to you in 2023!