Gone are the days where we had to search and scour the earth for queer content in YA books, settling for the one Gay Book of the Year, stereotyped GBFs, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references. I will not miss those days! (Of course, self-published authors and small presses have been bringing us this content for decades, but those weren’t easy to find for the casual reader, especially those who depend on libraries for their reading material.)
2019 is bringing us an abundance of YA books of all genres with queer characters, and I am here for it! Here are 25 LGTBQIA+ YA books coming out in 2019 that you can preorder right now.
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon (1/15/19)
We need more complicated friendships in YA and this book is poised to deliver. Sophie gives her best friend and secret crush a kidney, hoping he’ll finally love her back. But after the transplant, Peter is drawn to Chase and Sophie grows increasingly bitter.
Bloom by Kevin Panetta, illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau (1/29/19)
A graphic novel full of baked goods and blushing, flirty boys? Yes, please. Ari wants to escape his family bakery and move to the big city with his band, but when he interviews Hector as his replacement, love starts to bloom.
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan (1/29/19)
When her conservative Muslim mom catches her and her girlfriend together, Rukhsana is sent to stay with her extended family in Bangladesh, where she finds intolerance, but also the courage to take control of her life.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (2/26/19)
The publisher need not say anything more than “perfect for fans of Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore.” Danielle Vargas attends a school meant to groom her for a life of luxury under a false pedigree. Upon graduation, she’s asked to spy for a resistance group fighting to bring equality.
The Fever King by Victoria Lee (3/1/2019)
“Every character in The Fever King is queer.” This book meshes together magic and technology when Noam wakes up the sole survivor of a viral magic with the ability to control technology.
You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman (3/5/19)
Ariel is the perfect college applicant with a resume a mile long, until he fails a calculus quiz. Despite his best efforts, his grade keeps sliding, so he enlists the help of a tutor who turns out to be far more interesting than calculus.
Proud by various, compiled by Juno Dawson (3/7/19)
A LGBTQ+ anthology from some top YA authors, as well as new authors, illustrated by artists from the LGBTQ+ community.
The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum (3/19/19)
Despite first spurning Ryann’s offer of friendship, Alexandria needs her help after an accident that leaves her with a broken arm. Every night, Ryann helps Alexandria onto the roof where she can catch daily radio signals from her mother, an astronaut on a one-way trip. Their silence slowly grows into friendship, and then to something more.
Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale (3/19/19)
The summer after high school graduation, Babe is dealing with the prospect of her two best friends heading off to college, a reckless kiss, an ex-girlfriend, and a tourist boy who’s only in town for the summer.
A Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson (4/2/19)
This one’s going to make me cry, isn’t it? Pitched as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Code Name Verity, there’s no doubt. Tomas and James are two boys falling for each other and trying to make it back home to their families in the middle of a war zone.
The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown (4/16/19)
Told in “past and present” timelines, this book tells the story of first love and first loss and learning how to be whole again when you’ve lost the person who changed your life.
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst & Paula Garner (4/16/19)
A loner and a popular teen forge a connection via text messages that become Starworld, a private universe full of adventure and understanding.
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (4/30/2019)
As someone who was once paid to dress as a banana, this book seems just up my alley. Bonus: it’s a coming-of-age romance that takes place at a theme park during the summer.
Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan (5/7/19)
Mac finds a cryptic message from Connor, his best friend and a serial killer’s last victim, and is drawn into the search for a killer who could be closer to home than ever expected.
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju (5/7/19)
It’s time for me to admit my weakness to awesome comp titles. Just say “Judy Blume meets RuPaul’s Drag Race” and I’m hitting the preorder button as hard as I can.
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra (5/14/19)
Two boys are assigned to be weekly pen pals for English class and develop a friendship that grows into love, but homophobia, bullying, and family secrets may tear them apart.
Going Off Script by Jen Wilde (5/21/19)
Bex gets an internship in the writers room of her favorite TV show, but it turns out not to be everything she dreamed of. She soon finds herself fighting her boss to save a lesbian character on the show.
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling (5/28/19)
Hannah, an Elemental witch, has to work with her ex to uncover a deadly Blood Witch terrorizing Salem. In the process, she meets a cute ballerina who’s new to time.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (5/28/19)
Ben moves in with their older sister and her husband after they’re kicked out of their parents’ house for coming out as nonbinary. They just want to survive the last half of senior year, but funny and charismatic student Nathan decides to take Ben under his wing.
Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas (6/4/19)
Kalyn has to move back to the small town where her father committed a brutal murder. Gus is either known as the “disabled kid” or the son of a murder victim. They form a deep friendship, but then their family pasts break into the national spotlight.
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (6/4/19)
Three teens in New York City in 1989 navigate friendship, love, and the AIDS crisis.
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann (6/4/19)
I went gaga over this cover when it was released a few weeks ago. Winnie is well on her way to a final perfect summer before heading off for college. When she becomes her small town’s Summer Queen, she’s forced to take center stage and finds herself terrified of the spotlight.
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (6/11/19)
This book gives us the cheerleader/valedictorian/overachiever-type Sana and the artsy director Rachel in an adorable classic enemies-to-lovers romance (one of my very favorite tropes!).
Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells (7/30/19)
When her girlfriend is kidnapped by the emperor, Maren decides to steal one of his coveted dragons and rescue her. In the process, she uncovers dangerous secrets, a brewing rebellion, and possibly a great destiny.
Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman (8/6/19)
An attempted NYC hookup leads Aidan to a dead guy and a case of mistaken identity that puts him on the run from not only the FBI and cyber-terrorists, but also his friends and family.