It’s officially September, Autumn and Gilmore Girls season! There is nothing more Autumnal and cosy than sitting in front of the TV with a hot chocola...
The queer coming-of-age graphic novel "Heartstopper" by Alice Oseman has taken the young adult literary world by storm and has become a hugely successful Netflix series starring Kit Connor and Joe Locke. Its portrayal of a blossoming romance between two Grammar school boys has captured the hearts of young adults and teens worldwide.
If you are a fan of Heartstopper and are looking for more books that feature queer protagonists, you're in luck. We've compiled a list of 25 queer novels that you'll love. These romance books celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and offer powerful narratives that will leave you feeling seen and heard. We have a include a mix of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Asexual and Trans stories so we hope there will be something you love.
Whether you're looking for a new favourite or simply seeking to expand your LGBTQIA+ reading list, these books are sure to capture your attention and touch your heart.
Our recommendations for Queer novels you’ll love if you enjoyed Heartstopper include:
- Imogen, Obviously - Becky Albertalli
- The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen - KJ Charles
- Paris Daillencourt Is About To Crumble - Alexis Hall
- Convetionally Yours - Annabeth Albert
- Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date - Ashley Herring Blake
- Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz
- On A Sunbeam - Tillie Walden
- Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating - Adiba Jaigirdar
- The Passing Playbook -Isaac Fitzsimons
- Cheer Up: Love and Pom Poms - Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
- Pumpkin - Julie Murphy
- Home Field Advantage - Dahlia Adler
- Check Please - Ngozi Ukazu
- One Last Stop - Casey McQuiston
- The Tea Dragon Society - Kay O’Neill
- How To Be An Ace - Rebecca Burgess
- Bingo Love - Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, Joy San and Cardinal Rae
- The Times I Knew I Was Gay - Eleanor Crewes
- Late To The Party - Kelly Quindlen
- Running With Lions - Julian Winters
- Verona Comics - Jennifer Dugan
- The LumberJanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
- Mooncakes - Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
- The Queer Principles of Kit Webb - Cat Sebastian
- Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster - Andrea Mosqueda
Imogen, Obviously - Becky Albertalli
New York Times bestselling author Becky Albertalli skilfully delves into the complexities of sexuality, identity, and friendship, using humor and insight to bring these themes to life.
Imogen Scott may identify as heterosexual, but she's an unwavering ally to the LGBTQ+ community and is deeply involved in the Pride Alliance. She's well-versed in queer media discourse, even more so than her own queer sister, and has two close queer friends: Gretchen, a fellow senior in high school, and Lili, who is thriving in college with a new group of queer friends.
Imogen is excited for Lili and eager to support her in any way she can, even if that means stretching the truth a bit. When Lili reveals that she's told her new friends that Imogen and Lili used to date, Imogen plays along despite being straight herself. And as she spends more time with Tessa, Lili's best friend, Imogen starts to question her own sexuality and whether she was ever as straight as she thought she was.
The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen - KJ Charles
Celebrated author KJ Charles presents a Regency romance filled with adventure, mystery, smugglers, and a life-changing love story that fans of Bridgerton and Poldark will surely adore.
Gareth Inglis has grown up without a father and has become accustomed to loneliness and disappointment. Despite this, he yearns for a deeper connection. When he meets a charming man in a London molly house, he falls madly in love. But everything falls apart, leaving Gareth alone once again. However, fate has a surprise in store for him - his father's death elevates him to the rank of Sir Gareth, and he inherits a grand house in the remote and infamous Romney Marsh, along with a family he has never met.
The Marsh is a strange and desolate place, known for its ruthless smugglers and dangerous gangs. Gareth soon discovers that one of these smugglers is someone he knows all too well - Joss Doomsday, his former lover. Joss has been in charge of the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a young boy. When Gareth agrees to testify against Joss's sister, Joss is quick to act, leading to a reunion that is far from happy. Despite their turbulent past, neither Joss nor Gareth can resist the powerful attraction between them.
As they rekindle their romance, they face new dangers lurking on the bleak and unforgiving Marsh. Gareth finds himself in peril from all sides, and he and Joss must trust each other not only with their hearts but also with their lives. Will their love be strong enough to overcome the secrets and dangers that threaten to tear them apart?
Paris Daillencourt Is About To Crumble - Alexis Hall
Meet Paris Daillencourt - a passionate baker plagued by constant self-doubt, leading him to feel like a directionless and curdled mess. Despite his love for baking, Paris believes he's not good enough. So when his roommate enters him into Bake Expectations, one of the most popular baking shows in the country, Paris is sure he's going to be eliminated in the first round.
But to his surprise, not only does Paris impress the judges and win the first challenge, but he also catches the eye of Tariq Hassan, another contestant who is charming, confident, and cute. While Tariq is his competition, Paris can't help but be drawn to him.
However, when the show's fanbase turns hostile and confirms Paris's worst fears, his growing romance with Tariq and his success on the show may not be enough to overcome his fear of failure. Paris knows he must find the strength to silence the hecklers in his mind if he wants to find happiness. Because Paris deserves the sweet things in life, and he must learn to believe in himself and his abilities.
Conventionally Yours - Annabeth Albert
Looking for a LGBTQIA romance that combines enemies-to-lovers, road trips (with some steamy kissing scenes), gaming, conventions, and all the best parts of nerd culture? Look no further than True Colors.
Conrad Stewart may seem like he has it all - he's popular, charming, and always the life of the party - but the reality is far different. He's struggling to keep his life together and avoid a total meltdown. Meanwhile, Alden Roth is brilliant, guarded, and driven, the very image of perfection - but he too is hiding some deep-seated issues.
When the two biggest fans of their favourite game are forced to embark on a cross-country road trip to the ultimate fan convention, they initially can't stand each other. But as they spend more time together, they discover a deep connection that neither can ignore. However, with the upcoming Odyssey gaming tournament looming, each of them has their reasons for needing to win - even if it means sacrificing the chance at a truly magical love story.
Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date - Ashley Herring Blake
In this clever and heart-warming romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake, a fake relationship following a disastrous one-night stand quickly becomes something more.
Despite being surrounded by loving couples, Iris Kelly is content with her commitment-free hook-ups and has no interest in dating or romance. However, as a romance author facing writer's block on her upcoming book, she finds herself in need of inspiration. After a terrible one-night stand with a woman named Stefania, who turns out to be named Stevie, Iris auditions for a local play and is surprised to find Stevie there as well. To save face, Stevie asks Iris to pretend to be her girlfriend, and Iris agrees, hoping that the experience will give her material for her book.
As Iris and Stevie navigate their fake relationship, they find themselves growing closer and struggling to keep up the act. With their feelings becoming more and more real, they wonder who will make the first move to turn their fake relationship into something genuine.
Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz
Benjamin Alire Saenz's award-winning novel, a beloved cult classic, tells a story of family, friendship, and first love that will captivate readers who enjoyed Adam Silvera's They Both Die at the End, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Call Me By Your Name.
Aristotle is an angry teenager whose brother is in prison. Dante is a know-it-all with a unique outlook on life. When the two boys meet at the swimming pool, they appear to have nothing in common. But as they start to spend time together, they form a special bond - the kind that can transform lives and last a lifetime. Through this friendship, Ari and Dante discover the most significant truths about the universe, themselves, and the type of people they aspire to become.
This powerful and emotional novel, a Printz Honor Book, follows two young men as they learn to open themselves up to love, even when the world seems to be against them.
On A Sunbeam - Tillie Walden
From the acclaimed author Tillie Walden comes the epic graphic novel, On a Sunbeam, which follows a girl's journey to the ends of the universe in search of a lost love. The story spans two timelines and explores the themes of second chances and the power of love. In one timeline, a restoration crew travels through space to rebuild broken structures and uncover the past. In the other, a student at a boarding school falls in love with a mysterious classmate but experiences the pain of loss. Through stunning artwork and Walden's inventive storytelling, On a Sunbeam takes readers on a breathtaking journey of love and quest for a happy ending.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating - Adiba Jaigirdar
In this heart-warming queer YA love story, Hani Khan and Ishu Dey couldn't be more different from each other, and they definitely don't like each other. But when Hani's friends don't believe she's bisexual, she panics and tells them she's in a relationship with Ishu, a girl they can't stand.
Meanwhile, Ishu hopes that pretending to date Hani will boost her chances of becoming head girl at their school. As they navigate their fake relationship, they start to develop real feelings for each other. But not everyone wants to see them together, and obstacles stand in the way of their happily ever after. For fans of Becky Albertalli, this is a touching story about love and acceptance.
The Passing Playbook -Isaac Fitzsimons
In this heartwarming LGBTQ+ romance, meet fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris. He's a self-proclaimed nerd, a devoted big brother, and an aspiring soccer player. Oh, and he's also transgender. After facing relentless bullying at his previous school, Spencer moves to Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio, where he finds acceptance and a chance to start over.
At Oakley, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. He's got a shot at making the varsity soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even a budding romance with one of his teammates. But there's one problem: no one at Oakley knows that he's trans. Spencer is passing as a cisgender boy.
When a discriminatory law threatens Spencer's right to play on the soccer team, he's forced to make a difficult decision. Will he stay silent and watch from the sidelines, or will he take a stand and fight for his right to play? The catch is that coming out as trans could mean losing everything he's worked so hard for, including the chance to be with the guy he's falling for. This heartwarming and uplifting novel is perfect for fans of Love, Simon and Friday Night Lights.
Cheer Up: Love and Pom Poms - Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
Annie is a bright, introverted lesbian gearing up for her final year in high school. Despite being urged to join the cheerleading team by her peers and parents, Annie prefers to keep to herself. On the other hand, BeeBee, a trans girl and Annie's former friend, is determined to keep her grades up and maintain an active social life to appease her parents, who support her transition.
As they both navigate the pressures of squad training and social expectations, including the challenges that come with being queer youth, Annie and BeeBee unexpectedly reconnect and revive their friendship. But as they spend more time together, they start to realize that their feelings for each other might be more than just friendship.
Pumpkin - Julie Murphy
Step into the world of Julie Murphy's Dumplin' with this final companion novel that brings back the feel-good vibes. Waylon Russell Brewer is a gay, overweight teenager living in Clover City, West Texas. His only escape plan is to move to Austin with his twin sister, Clementine, and embrace his true self. But when Clementine's sudden decision derails their plan, Waylon finds himself at a crossroads.
After being dumped, Waylon auditions for Fiercest of Them All, his favorite drag show, but when the audition tape goes viral among his peers, he's nominated for prom queen as a joke, along with Clem's girlfriend, Hannah Perez, who is nominated for prom king. Deciding to make the most of it, Waylon and Hannah embark on a glittery campaign that takes them on an unexpected journey.
As Waylon runs for prom queen, he learns that it's more than just a title. Along the way, he discovers the true meaning of friendship, the power of self-expression, and the sweet feelings that develop between him and the infuriating, yet charming, prom king nominee, Tucker Watson. Join Waylon on his journey as he learns to embrace his inner queen with the help of some fabulous friends.
Home Field Advantage - Dahlia Adler
In Home Field Advantage, a delightful new f/f romance by the author of Cool for the Summer, a cheerleader and the school's newest quarterback compete to win, but find themselves falling in love.
Amber McCloud aspires to become cheer captain, but the team is reeling from the loss of their former quarterback in a car accident. When Jaclyn Walsh joins as the new quarterback, Amber's plans are further complicated by the revelation that Jack is actually a girl. The team is resistant to being led by a female quarterback, and the cheerleaders are unhappy with the changes. The situation worsens when Robbie's replacement outshines him and causes anger among the Atherton Alligators.
Amber tries to create unity, but she realizes that her future with the squad and her friends is in jeopardy if she doesn't help them take Jack down. However, as she and Jack fall for each other, Amber must choose between her dream and her heart, and stand up for Jack and what she truly wants. Dahlia Adler's Home Field Advantage is a charming romance about fighting for love and following your heart.
Check Please - Ngozi Ukazu
Eric Bittle is no stranger to success. He's a former Georgia junior figure skating champion, a talented vlogger, and a budding pastry chef. However, when he begins his freshman year playing hockey at Samwell University in Massachusetts, he quickly learns that he's in for a completely new challenge. This isn't like the co-ed club hockey he played back home in the South.
For starters, there's checking, and then there's his captain, Jack, who is both attractive and brooding. Check, Please!: #Hockey, the first half of the wildly popular webcomic series, follows Bittle as he navigates his way through the ups and downs of college life, bro culture, and self-discovery during what should be the best four years of his life.
One Last Stop - Casey McQuiston
In One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, August, a cynical 23-year-old, moves to New York City with the belief that magic and love stories only exist in movies. She expects her life to be mundane, waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and living with odd roommates. Her daily commute is nothing more than a tedious routine, until she encounters Jane on the train.
Jane is breathtaking, with her rough exterior, edgy hairstyle, and soft smile. She's a mystery, but also charming and impossible to ignore. When August's day takes a turn for the worse, Jane shows up in a leather jacket to save the day. August can't help but crush on Jane, but there's a problem: Jane is literally from the 1970s, displaced in time.
As August tries to help Jane, she realizes she must believe in things she thought were impossible. One Last Stop is a big-hearted, magical, and sexy romance where August does everything she can to save the girl lost in time.
The Tea Dragon Society - Kay O’Neill
The Tea Dragon Society, by the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After, is an enchanting all-ages book that tells the tale of Greta, an apprentice blacksmith, and her encounters with the captivating world of tea dragons.
While strolling through the marketplace, Greta stumbles upon a lost tea dragon and is introduced to the disappearing tradition of tea dragon care-taking by the gentle proprietors of the tea shop, Hesekiel and Erik. As Greta befriends them and their timid charge, Minette, she observes how the practice enhances their existence - and ultimately her own.
How To Be An Ace - Rebecca Burgess
“When I was in school, everyone got to a certain age where they became interested in talking about only one thing: boys, girls and sex. Me though? I was only interested in comics.”
From childhood through adulthood, Rebecca struggles to understand their lack of sexual desire and why it sets them apart from their peers.
As they grow older and navigate the pressures of school and work, Rebecca becomes increasingly aware of the ways in which society prioritizes sex and romantic relationships. Despite feeling like they don't quite fit in, Rebecca tries to force themselves into relationships in order to conform, only to experience anxiety and OCD.
In this empowering memoir, Rebecca takes readers on a journey of self-discovery as they learn to embrace their asexual identity and find acceptance in a world that often doesn't understand. With humor and heart, Rebecca's story offers an unparalleled insight into asexuality and the importance of mental health.
Bingo Love - Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, Joy San and Cardinal Rae
In 1963, Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray fell in love at first sight during a game of church bingo. However, societal and familial pressures separated them, leading them both to marry men and start families of their own. Decades later, when they reconnect at the same bingo hall in their mid-60s, they discover that their love for each other has not diminished. Despite the challenges they face, these grandmothers summon their courage and strength to pursue the love that was denied to them earlier in life.
Bingo Love, Written By Tee Franklin (Known For "The Outfit" In Nailbiter And Love Is Love) And Illustrated By Jenn St-onge (Of Jem & The Misfits), Is A Heartwarming Tale Of Love, Family, And Resilience That Spans Over Six Decades.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay - Eleanor Crewes
Ellie has always been unsure of where she fit in and who she truly was. Even as a girl, she dressed in black, idolized Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and struggled with dating boys while her friends found it easy. As she got older, her fears and sense of not belonging only grew deeper. From her first communion to her first girlfriend, Ellie recounts her journey of self-discovery through a mix of self-denial, awkward experiences, and everyday bravery.
With stunning illustrations, The Times I Knew I Was Gay is a refreshing and humorous self-portrait of a young woman finding her true self. This book is a reminder that coming out can be a continuous process, that one's identity is not just about falling in love with others but also about coming to terms with oneself. It is a vibrant and uplifting read that will resonate with anyone who has ever taken the time to explore their true identity.
Late To The Party - Kelly Quindlen
Codi has always been cautious, never daring to venture out of her comfort zone. She's never been kissed or attended a party, not just because of her sexuality but also because she spends most of her time with her best friends Maritza and JaKory, watching Netflix in her basement.
When Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is skeptical, convinced they wouldn't fit in with the cool and straight crowd. But after stumbling upon Ricky, a cool kid, kissing another boy, Codi forms an unexpected friendship with him. In exchange for keeping his secret, Ricky introduces Codi to a world of new experiences and a cute girl named Lydia. The only problem? Codi keeps it all a secret from Maritza and JaKory.
Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen is a relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, and what it truly means to be a teenager. It's a touching ode to those who take their time to bloom and for the wallflowers who feel like they don't quite fit in.
Running With Lions - Julian Winters
Sebastian Hughes, star goalie of the Bloomington High School Lions, should be thrilled about his senior year. His teammates are exceptional, and his coach encourages players to be themselves. However, when Sebastian's estranged childhood best friend, Emir Shah, shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes that the team's triumphs may depend on the one person who despises him.
To win back Emir's trust, Sebastian is determined to reconnect with him for the Lions' sake. But to his surprise, spending time with Emir on the pitch, wandering the town's streets, and bonding on weekends leads to something more profound than just friendship between them. Late to Bloom is a tender and uplifting story about self-discovery, friendship, and love.
Verona Comics - Jennifer Dugan
In this quirky and heartwarming YA contemporary novel by the author of Hot Dog Girl, two teens find love in an indie comic book shop. Jubilee is a talented cellist who divides her time between her stepmom's comic shop and preparing for a big audition. Meanwhile, Ridley struggles to please his parents, who own a major comic store chain, and deal with his own anxiety.
When they meet at a comic convention prom, they feel an immediate connection. But their parents' ongoing feud makes it difficult for them to pursue a relationship, especially since Ridley's anxiety is getting worse and Jubilee is struggling to balance her audition and their growing romance.
As they navigate their feelings and the challenges they face, they begin to wonder if love is enough. Can they make it work, or will they need to let go for the sake of their own well-being?
The LumberJanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
Join Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they embark on an epic summer adventure filled with supernatural creatures and wild quests! Lumberjanes is a punk rock-inspired comic book series that will capture the hearts of fans of all ages. With its unique blend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gravity Falls, this story follows five fierce teenage girls who take on monsters while solving mysteries that could affect the entire world.
Lumberjanes is a must-read with its dynamic artwork from Brooke Allen and talented writing from Grace Ellis, alongside the acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson. Don't miss out on this spectacular series that celebrates the power of friendship and girl power.
Mooncakes - Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
This is a tale of love, witchcraft, family, and demons. Nova Huang is not your average teen witch; she's well-versed in the art of magic and helps her grandmothers run their bookshop, investigating supernatural happenings in their town.
One night, while following reports of a white wolf, she stumbles upon Tam Lang, her childhood crush, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been on the move for years, unable to call any place home.
With dark forces closing in on him and his wolf magic, Tam turns to Nova for assistance. As they navigate untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties new and old, their childhood affection reignites in this bewitching tale of self-discovery.
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb - Cat Sebastian
Cat Sebastian, a highly acclaimed author, makes her trade paperback debut with a mesmerizing historical romance that tells the story of a former highwayman who is reluctantly reformed and the aristocrat who might just steal his heart.
After retiring from his days of stealing, Kit Webb is now running a coffee shop and yearning for the thrill of thievery. One day, a handsome but haughty aristocrat walks into his shop and Kit realizes that he can't refuse anything that this highborn man desires.
Percy, Lord Holland, is in dire need of a book that once belonged to his mother and could be the key to his salvation. In order to get it, Percy must act against his gentlemanly demeanor and hire Gladhand Jack, the rough highwayman who is now Kit Webb. Although Percy is more comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than in the company of criminals, he finds himself both frustrated and electrified by his attempts to hire the former thief.
Despite Kit's refusal to participate in the robbery, he agrees to teach Percy how to carry out the deed. As the lessons in thievery begin, Percy discovers that he's desperate to commit more than just theft with Kit. However, when their carefully laid plan goes awry, and startling revelations threaten to tear them apart, can their stolen hearts endure the obstacles in their way?
Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster - Andrea Mosqueda
Andrea Mosqueda's young adult debut is a character-driven story about Maggie Gonzalez, a Texas native who urgently needs a date for her sister's quinceañera. Despite her messy and imperfect life, Maggie is content with her family, friends, and aspirations of becoming a music photographer. However, as she searches for a suitable escort, Maggie is forced to confront her complex feelings for her best friend and first crush Amanda, her persistent ex-boyfriend Matthew, and the enigmatic newcomer Dani, who carries her own emotional baggage.
As Maggie's relationships become increasingly tangled, she grapples with uncertainty about her future and the impact it will have on those she cares about. In the midst of this romantic turmoil, Maggie struggles to find clarity in her photography, leading to unexpected consequences. With the clock ticking down to the quinceañera, Maggie must find a way to avoid disaster or take a risk and embrace the unknown.
If you're a fan of Heartstopper, there are so many other incredible queer novels out there that are waiting for you to discover and our list is just a small fraction of the diverse talent that is out there. There are so many new LGBTQIA+ romance and coming-of-age stories to explore. Our list of 25 queer novels books offer diverse representation, heart-warming love stories, and important messages about identity, acceptance, and self-discovery.
Thanks for reading "If You Love Heartstopper, You’ll Love These 25 Queer Novels" on January Media.