16 Pride Month Book Recommendations! My Favorite Queer Books with Intersectional Representation

If you didn’t hear, it’s Pride month and I have LOTS OF BOOKS TO REC.

I’ve read almost 100 books with queer rep, and I have SO many books that I could recommend you read for Pride month, but today, I thought I’d narrow it down to 16 books with intersectional queer rep!

Intersectional rep is very important to me, as a queer POC mentally ill teen, so I wanted to highlight books I love that featured it. Too often we see white gay books dominating LGBTQIAP+ book lists, and I wanted to show some love to some other, equally deserving books.

And yes, I’ve pretty much screamed at you about all of these books already. Is that going to stop me from screaming about them even more? No. (But I did try to include SOME “quieter” books that definitely deserve more hype!!)

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GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)Shut up I know I talk about this book endlessly already but would this REALLY be a Pride month rec post from me if I didn’t include this??

I am in love with this book, and I will be eternally, because it features two sapphic Asian girls in a relationship (in a fantasy!) and it’s the first time I’ve seen that. And it’s even more meaningful to me because it’s about overcoming oppression (and also sexual abuse and rape, but that’s luckily something I have no experiences with).

Taken from my review, “The book as a whole is a gorgeous voice for all Asians, queer girls, and those who keep fighting even when everyone tries to push them down.” It’s just such a powerful, beautiful story, and it’s one I’ll hold forever dear in my heart.

⇒ rep: sapphic Asian female MC and LI, all-Asian cast

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THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoBy this time, you’ve probably heard the book community (and myself) yell a hundred positive things about this book already, but I’m here to yell more things!!!!

If you want to miss out on this beautiful, heartbreaking, emotional book about the beautiful, heartbreaking, emotional story of two women who love each other, in a time where their love and existence is hated, by all means, don’t read this book!! But if you DO want to know what it’s like to experience this story, prepare for lots of crying, a well-written portrayal of the complexities and nuances of people as human beings, and an obsession with this book forever!!

(Also, amazing queer POC rep and how those parts of your identity are often erased by society.)

⇒ rep: bisexual Cuban female MC, lesbian LI, gay side characters

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ARISTOTLE AND DANTE

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)(…Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Listen, I love the book with everything in me but the title is just so LONG.)

I reread this book earlier this year, and every day (but especially this month) I am tempted to read it yet again. It’s just beautiful and beautifully written about beautiful characters and a beautiful romance and is just EVERYTHING. I don’t think it’s possible that I’ll ever get over this book (in fact, I reread some scenes yesterday and cried).

Reading this book for the first time two years ago was like, “Okay, wow, that was a gorgeous book,” but not having a specific connection to it. Rereading it now hurts, because I saw so much of my depressed gay self in Ari, but it’s so validating and meaningful and I just adore this book so much.

⇒ rep: depressed (not explicitly said but HEAVILY implied) Mexican gay MC, Mexican gay LI, a lot of other Mexicans

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ANGER IS A GIFT

Anger Is a GiftIf you think I’ve already recommended all the brutal, beautiful books, think again. This book is an exploration of the horrors of police brutality and racism, and its effect on people just trying to live their lives. It’s so incredibly difficult to read, because the author portrays all of these terrors so intensely real, but it’s such an important book.

This book was the book that I cried the most over last year, if that tells you anything. It’s heartbreaking, achingly well-written, and genuinely amazing.

⇒ rep: black Latinx gay MC with anxiety, Latinx gay (?) LI, literally so many queer POC side characters (mainly black and Latinx, bi, ace, demi, lesbian) + disabled wheelchair user and Muslim side character

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THE FEVER KING

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)Honestly I still don’t really have the words to describe this book? Because reading it was an experience. There’s a lot going on, and I adore all of it: amazingly written complex (and morally ambiguous) characters, important themes like immigration, a compelling magical and scientific world, and!! heartbreak!!!

I said in my review, “If you’re looking for gay, moral greyness, and a soul-crushing, heartbreaking book, this one’s for you,” and I still stand by my words. I fully recommend this with my whole heart!!

⇒ rep: all-queer cast, bisexual biracial (Latinx, white) Jewish refugee sexual abuse survivor male MC, gay POC Jewish LI

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RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

Red, White & Royal BlueSo I JUST finished this, from my Pride TBR this year, but it was too good (as in: one of my new favorites) to not put on this list!!!

Like I predicted, all the signs (gay and funny) were pointing to me liking this, but I didn’t expect to tear up over this!! It’s an absolutely beautiful book with the sweetest, heartwarming romance, and the humor is just so PERFECT—read this book no matter what, but Especially if you’re feeling down or sad (that’s what I did and it instantly cheered me up).

And it’s also just… super meaningful to me in so many ways? Like, here I am, a closeted bi teen living in the US, and here is a bi First Son of the US who is proud of who he is. (And also, a smaller thing, but specifically as a liberal from Texas?? This book made me so hopeful for Texas’ future, even though I know it’s fictional.)

⇒ rep: bisexual biracial (Mexican, white) male MC, gay LI, bisexual female major side character, and various POC + queer side characters

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PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT

Picture Us in the LightI don’t think I’ll ever get over how CRIMINALLY UNDERHYPED this is. Because it’s an absolutely phenomenal book. I think the best way to go into it is without knowing much about it, because it makes the twists and turns even more surprising.

But know that this story is about more than you think: about people as human beings, chasing dreams, friendship and family, and so many current issues (that I don’t want to “spoil” because like I said! it’s an even better experience when you don’t know as much). And it may seem like a lot, but the beautiful writing blends it all together and makes it work so seamlessly and flawlessly.

⇒ rep: gay Chinese MC, multi-gender attracted Chinese male LI, lots of other Asians

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BOOKS BY ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE

Anna-Marie McLemore writes some of the prettiest books out there: Her prose is so vividly beautiful and there is no end to how much I adore her and her books. Here are two of her books that feature intersectional queer rep:

When the Moon Was OursWHEN THE MOON WAS OURS

This will always forever be my favorite McLemore book. There’s just something so profoundly and deeply beautiful about it, and I’ll never get over these beautiful characters. Miel is literally magical and Sam is the sweetest boy ever, and their relationship between them is so good!!!

⇒ rep: queer Latinx female MC, Italian-Pakistani trans boy

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemoreWILD BEAUTY*

You’ve heard of love triangles, and love squares, and you’re annoyed at both. But this is a love pentagon, and it’s five sisters all in love with one girl and you’re NOT annoyed because it’s sapphic!!

Okay, but truly, this book is (surprise surprise) beautiful. The family in this book is intriguing to read about, and I absolutely love the themes of colonialism that McLemore managed to tackle.

⇒ rep: a whole bisexual Latinx female family

*Don’t roast me about the “RTC”.

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SUMMER BIRD BLUE

Summer Bird BlueThis book is just so deeply emotional, and I love it despite how much it made me sob. Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books are always so gorgeously written, and if you know me, you’ll know that both this and her debut have a lot of meaning to me.

It’s about grief, and it’s hard to read, especially if you’re a sister or sibling. I knew I connected so much as an older sister myself, and that just made me cry more. But this book also has amazing questioning rep, done in a way I’ve never seen before? As an aro-spec and ace-spec person, this book captured some of my feelings exactly and I’m so grateful for it.

⇒ rep: multiracial (Japanese, Hawaiian, white) aromantic-spectrum asexual female MC, other multiracial characters (including Japanese, Hawaiian, Korean, Samoan, and white)

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BOOKS BY K ANCRUM

From only the two books she’s released, I already know K Ancrum is going to be an author whose books I continually adore. She’s just an absolutely amazing writer with the ability to capture your attention from the very start, and hold it until the end when you’ve become obsessed.

The Weight of the Stars by K. AncrumTHE WEIGHT OF THE STARS

This book is just so softly and subtly gorgeous. From the found family trope to the space aspect to the sibling relationship, everything is written in such a compelling way. There’s just so much love in this book, platonic, familial, romantic, and self-love, and it’s beautiful. (Also, gays in space!!!)

⇒ rep: black lesbian MC in poverty, sapphic LI, black bisexual side character in poverty with selective mutism (?), many other queer POC side characters

The Wicker KingTHE WICKER KING

I want to reread this book so much, because I feel like I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have my first time around? It’s such a messed up book but also such a GOOD book. K Ancrum handles the complexities surrounding the main characters’ relationship and mental health so well. God she just writes beautifully okay!!!

⇒ rep: bisexual male MCs both with mental illnesses (not 100% sure what they are), POC side character, polyam relationship

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BENEATH THE CITADEL

Beneath the CitadelI hate how few people seem to know about this book!! Because it’s so good, and it features heists, magic, a diverse found family, and surprising twists and turns (as well as an extremely shocking ending to top it off!). I found it to have a unique storyline, and I just really enjoyed reading it!

And it’s subtle, but this book shows how the younger generation is often forced to fix the mistakes of their older counterparts, yet also acknowledges and praises the fact that teens are capable of making change, and I absolutely loved that.

⇒ rep: POC female MC, POC bisexual male MC, gay MC (abuse survivor), fat asexual female MC with anxiety

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THE GILDED WOLVES

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThis book is one of those books that’s just so much FUN to read, but also holds a lot of meaning. It’s about heists, carried out by a diverse group of people who become a family, and also happens to be written with gorgeous prose, and it’s genuinely such an enjoyable book.

Plus, the representation in this book is amazing. Not only the amount of it, but how it’s written—biraciality, race and Judaism in Europe during this time period (late 1800s), and more—were so accurate and meaningful and an important spotlight on the darkness in a time considered to be bright and lively.

⇒ rep: Algerian-French male MC, Indian female MC, autistic Jewish female MC with anxiety, Filipino-Spanish queer male MC, black queer male MC

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LIKE WATER

Like WaterAnother lesser-talked-about book! I think one of the strongest parts of the stories is how… artfully the characters are portrayed. They are flawed, and you know this and they know this and the author knows this, and those flaws are written so well to complement them overall.

I definitely recommend this book to people who are more fond of character-driven books, because it’s a quiet book in both the sense that it’s not very hyped AND not much happens plot-wise and focuses a lot on the characters. But it’s a beautiful story and a quick read as well!

⇒ rep: Mexican bisexual female MC, Latinx family, genderqueer lesbian LI

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FINAL DRAFT

Final DraftThis book is genuinely so good, and it makes me so sad that few people have heard of it! It’s the most wonderful slowburn romance between a writer and her snarky best friend and the dynamic is SO good. It’s such a real book, and written gorgeously too. I’ll let my friend Elise, the main reason I read this book, sum it all up: “This is one of those rare books that is an organic piece of life itself.”

(P.S!!! If you want to read this book this month, read it with the Dragons and Tea Book Club that my friends Melanie and Amy run on June 10th!!!!)

⇒ rep: fat biracial (Ecuadorian, white) pansexual female MC with anxiety, Korean lesbian LI

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NOTE RE: SIX OF CROWS

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Okay, so yeah, I’m giving it SOME recognition by including this note, but I wanted to talk about why I’m not *officially* including Six of Crows in this list. I’ve seen so many posts that list this as one of the only fantasies with queer rep (along with like, Carry On), but I just gave you four other fantasies in this post that have queer rep PLUS other rep???? (And I could name a lot more, if I didn’t want to make this post longer and weren’t confined to the constraints of intersectional rep and me actually liking/having read the book.)

I could have just left it off this list without saying anything, but it really bothers me whenever Six of Crows is put on the pedestal of being the most diverse fantasy out there (no) or one of the few YA fantasies with queer rep (no). I love this book with my whole heart, but the way some people treat it frustrates me to no end and this is me being petty.

(I do want to say that it has intersectional queer rep though, because I still find that important to boost and I feel like the fandom often forgets about the other parts of the characters’ identities that’s not their queerness: fat bisexual female MC, black bisexual male MC, and gay MC with dyslexia.)


shall we chat

what are some of your favorite books with intersectional queer rep?? (also gentle reminder to not use the “queer” if you’re not a part of the community! it’s a slur reclaimed by some) do you have any recommendations for Me?? tell me some books you’re reading for Pride, if any!!

p.s. sorry for how long this post was, let’s just say it took me a really long time to write it all and I was not about to delete hours of work!!!

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54 thoughts on “16 Pride Month Book Recommendations! My Favorite Queer Books with Intersectional Representation

  1. Okay I loved this post so much, like, hello all time fave post? I love Evelyn Hugo, GOPAF and SBB so much and I’m so happy it’s here!

    Another fave with intersectional LGBTQIAP+ rep is Darius the Great Is Not Okay (which I read from your rec, actually!) It’s my only 5 star rating this year, and it’s so diverse omg!

    I’m so happy these are books that you love, especially since I’m planning on reading quite a few of them this month to celebrate Pride, like Anger Is a Gift + RW&RB! Super excited for this month’s reading :)) All the rest of the books sound amazing and I can’t wait to check them out! Again, amazing post and happiest of reading ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh Taasia!!! Thank you so so much ❤ And aahh I love those three books so much and I couldn't not include them!!

      Oh god lmao, when you said Darius I had a mini heart attack and wondered why I didn't include it in my post. I love the book so much but personally feel like the queer rep was very minimal, and I don't think I would have known he was gay if I hadn't heard it from the author himself haha. But I'm so so happy you loved the book (and got it from my rec!!) ❤

      And aahh I'm so excited to hear that you're planning on reading Anger is a Gift!! It definitely deserves more readers/hype 💖 Have a great Pride!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES, to all of these! This is an excellent list. I just ordered both RW&RB and The Weight of the Stars, and I can’t wait to get started!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhhh so many of these are on my tbr! I NEED RW&RB (it was supposed to arrive Tuesday but it’s still not here 😭) and K Ancrum’s books have been on my tbr for aaaages but my library doesn’t have them so I’m probably gonna need to buy them and that just,,, hasn’t happened yet bc broke. Same with Final Draft mostly bc it’s so SHORT to spend $20 on 😭

    And omg I didn’t know Picture Us In the Light was queer??? Or that it had asian rep either actually wow way to go @ me.

    Beneath the Citadel is so underrated tho, seriously. Like it’s not an all time favourite of mine, but still I was pretty darn good and almost nobody’s talking about it?? I think I only even heard about it from you? But it’s sooooo good

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh I hope RW&RB arrives soon!! Waiting on a book is so hard. And oh no, is it possible to request K Ancrum’s books at your library? And I definitely see where you’re coming from, when you’re broke you have to make every cent count 😎😭 Yes, Picture Us in the Light is queer!! There’s a lot going on but it’s 100% there.

      I really loved Beneath the Citadel and I wish more people read it!! I only know a few people who’ve read and loved it but that’s pretty much it ://

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this list , May! I’ll definitely look into some of these ^^
    I’ve already read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which I loved, and Wild Beauty, which I liked too. I’ve also read The Weight of the Stars, but unfortunately, I’m not a big fan …
    This month I’ve read The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali (featuring a Blangladeshi Muslim lesbian) and I’m currently reading How to Make a Wish (featuring a bi girl living with her emotinally abusive mom, and a lesbian girl).
    Happy Pride!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course!! It’s my pleasure 💖 And I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like The Weight of the Stars! I definitely get why it might not appeal to some people. Oh, I’m excited to read Love & Lies at some point in the future, and I absolutely adored How to Make a Wish!! Happy Pride to you too 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. THANK YOU. I’ve honestly found so many LGBTQIAP+ recs from you May, and you have honestly helped so much with this.
    I really want to reread Ari and Dante too because like you, I think I’ll relate more on the second read? And oh yes Girls is absolutely on this list and I love it. Thank you again May 🌈💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fab post May! So many good recs on here, and I 100% agree with you about Six of Crows. It’s one of my all-time favourite books, but it shouldn’t be listed as the sole queer fantasy when people give LGBTQIA+ book recs. There are other really good queer fantasies out there that deserve love and attention.
    Also, guess who is reading Evelyn Hugo and The Weight of the Stars this month? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much, Kate!!! ❤ Yeah, SoC is definitely one of my all-time favorite books but the way people treat it upsets me 😔

      And YES!!!! Those were the two books I voted for on Instagram and I am SO excited to see your thoughts 👀👀

      Like

  7. I’ve read ari & dante and SOC and i absolutely adored them!! I wanted to read seven husbands of evelyn hugo,,,,but it’s pretty expensive where I live so I’ll have to wait.
    I’ve seen you talk about girls of paper and fire a lot,,,guess it must be a nice book which means I should most definitely read it. Also RW&RB!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This post was so good! I’m so happy that you were able to see yourself in these books! And I definitely agree with you that Soc is put on such a high pedestal when there are many more diverse and own voices books out there. As someone who considers it an all time fave, I still appreciate it but now I definitely am gonna think twice before recommending it. I feel like all of these book are in my tbr, especially RWRB (desperately wanna read it but it’s unavailable everywhere because it has to be famous WHYY just kidding but still), and The Fever King, which I’ve been meaning to read since like,, early last year and I still haven’t gotten to it?? How? Summer Bird Blue is in my highly unrealistic June TBR and I’m really hoping that I’ll still manage to squeeze it in along with all the books I have to read in June!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh thank you so much, Caitlin!! Oh yes, I definitely adore SoC with my entire heart (one of my favorite books of all time), but the way some people treat it really upsets and frustrates me 🙃

      Oh, I hope you’re able to read RW&RB sometimes soon, since you’re having accessibility issues! I anticipated that so I went ahead and bought it (which I almost never do, so I had very high expectations 😂). And oh I hope you get to read Summer Bird Blue for your June TBR, it’s such an amazing, beautiful book!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for all the recommendations! This is such a well put together post and I loved reading it. ☺️ I haven’t read a lot of the books you mentioned, but nearly all of them were already on my TBR and I added the ones that weren’t!

    I’m so glad you ended up loving RW&RB! I’m so hyped for it because of all the reviews I’ver read. Same with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and like…all the other books you mentioned too. Great post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh of course!! It’s my pleasure ❤ And I'm so excited to see your thoughts on all the books you haven't read yet, Olivia!! And yess I was so glad I ended up loving RW&RB — I was confident I would but there was still a tiny part of me scared that the hype would let me down 🙈💖

      Liked by 1 person

  10. AHH WHAT A LIST I’m so glad you published this, your recommendations are amazing. ❤ I loved The Fever King and RW&RB SO much, these books were so, so so good. I really want to read some McLemore's books eventually, as well as The Weight of Stars as it sounds amazing and you already made me want to read it before. I can't wait!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. May, this is such a beautiful and perfect post, I love it! ♥️
    I think you’ve mentioned pretty much all my favourite books (and a lot of books I want to read INSTANTLY now), so I don’t have any recommendations to add.
    But I’m currently reading The Fever King and loving it so much!! I’m already afraid of finishing it, because it’s so amazing, but I’m probably gonna choose a book from this list to read after 💕💕

    Like

      1. I just realised that I never replied to this, I’m so sorry! BUT YES! The ending did break me but The Fever King still such a great book! Definitely one of the best I read this year ♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Yay for this list!! And I’m so glad I’ve read most of them (and a lot are on my TBR eep). Also for The Wicker King, I’m like 90% sure August is biracial too? It said it one of his police arrest forms I believe in the description? But omg I just read The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta and SO DIVERSE. Like queer (that was several of the characters claimed identity), fat, Philippine, enby, polyam, bi…and like I’m pretty sure undiagnosed adhd too. It was SO GOOD to just read a book that was so lovingly inclusive.

    I also loved How It Feels To Float which is an Aussie one, but queer-questioning girl MC with mental illness. And Darius the Great with biracial Persian depressed fat MC and Let’s Talk About Love with black/ace protagonist. 💛💛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so happy you’ve read most of these books too! And oh, I didn’t know that about The Wicker King, thank you for telling me! Even though I read it just last year, I don’t remember many details about it (I definitely want to reread it, especially after you hyping it so much!!). And ahh I’m SO excited to read The Lost Coast, it sounds amazing and I’m so happy to hear it’s so diverse!!

      How it Feels to Float sounds amazing?? I hope I can get my hands on it soon. And yes I adore Darius!! 😍

      Like

  13. Girls of Paper and Fire is really good, I just read it last week. Have you heard of Sawkill Girls? It’s an awesome wlw book.

    Like

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