Niru and Meredith, highschoolers in Washington, D.C., are outstanding students, runners, best friends and more, until Niru faces the facts of being gay. Once his Nigerian parents discover his sexual preferences, Niru is beaten by his father and taken to the parish priest, who recommends a return to Nigeria to be "cured." A powerful, poignant coming of age tale, this story spotlights the joy of carefree youth careening toward tragic destinations!
George's titular character is a transgender 4th grade girl whose unwavering faith in herself provides a model for all readers to aspire to. The supportive relationship that George has with her best friend Melissa assures readers that, with friends who encourage you to be your most authentic self, anything is possible.
This vulnerable autobiographical manga is tremendously moving, honestly beautiful, tragically funny and surprisingly unerotic. The way Nagata views pain, expectations and adulthood as she learns to cope with her sexuality as well as her depression is what makes this raw and messy story all around remarkable and painfully relatable. This isn't a pretty story, but it is worth it.
This short story collection celebrates the chance encounters and first connections that teens invariably make in their romantic lives. The stories are diverse in genre and perspective, and flutter with balanced doses of hope and heartbreak. Read somewhere cozy with a cup of something warm and sweet.
This book is nonstop shenanigans and I adored every page. It tackles everything controversial for its time, piracy, infidelity, homosexuality, but the most wild...a brilliant female. It does have its heartbreaking moments, but at its core it's an adventure story, a love story, and a story of growth and acceptance. Most of all, it has a queer protagonist with a happy ending, and that means the most.
This is hands down my favorite book of the year. Boyne has written a story that is heartbreaking, rage inducing, and often laugh-out-loud hilarious. The story covers 70 years in the life of one unforgettable Cyril Avery whose life mirrors the development of Ireland from near-medieval Catholic clergy control to the modern, more accepting country it is today. Characters you will love, characters you will hate, all of them will rattle around in your head for months, if not longer.
Jess and Angie are best friends, so when Angie comes out and starts dating Margot, a rich girl from a different high school, Jess tries to be supportive. Jess has secretly loved Angie for a long time - and she doesn't plan on losing their relationship to the shark-infested waters of Angie's new, cliquish social circle so easily. But then a girl goes missing after a wild house party, with Jess and Angie right in the middle of it. And both of them are lying. Spooky, contemporary queer YA packed with morally complex female characters!
I love everything about My Lesbian Experience. Nagata is extremely open about her struggle with mental illness and unfulfilled need for human connection in a resoundingly familiar way for anyone with any sort of developmental disorders or social anxiety. The traditional manga-style drawings help to further convey her sense of mental infancy that is at odds with her physical body and societal expectations - a feeling that isn't explored much outside of studies on autism. A highly empathetic must-read, especially for anyone interested in "abnormal" human psyche.
This is one of my favorite books of 2016. Mark Seliger (whose works you have undoubtedly seen on the covers of Time Magazine, Rolling Stones, and GQ) does a phenomenal job of capturing both the portraiture and resilience of the trans people of one of New York's most prominent LGBTQ communities.
A heartbreaking and intense memoir about Conley's experience in a 12-step ex-gay conversion program and more deeply, his knotty, complicated relationship with his parents. Conley's deeply embedded trauma from the shame-based dogma in his father's ministry and the sorrow he experienced in conversion therapy is both infuriating to behold and beautiful to read. He holds true to a non-condemning world where no one is demonized nor are they a saint.