NATALIE BLAKE | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION
Mint book club: LGBTQ+ edition
I adore books. To be dramatic: I am a human made up of ink prints and paper cuts. My personality consists of books — books whose characters broke me down and whose words stitched me back together. As a queer person of color, I have gotten to a point in my life where I do not like to consume media that is not diverse. This need doubles when it comes to books, especially because books cost more than a meal. I have compiled a list of LGBTQ+ young adult novels whose very existence has become part of my own. This list includes male, female, trans, and non-binary characters who find themselves, a family and sometimes someone to love.
“The Foxhole Court” by Nora Sakavic
This is the first book in the trilogy. Neil Josten is a runaway who joins a collegiate team for a sport called Exy. Despite the murder, mafia and cigarettes, Neil finds a family in his teammates and a “nothing” with a murderous 5-foot blonde named Andrew Minyard.
“Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley
In 1959, being black was really hard — still is. Being black while integrating into a white school and also crushing on a female columnist is even harder. During a project, Sarah Dunbar and Linda Hairston begin to understand each other deeper than either girl expected.
“Gracefully Greyson” by Ami Polonsky
The overwhelming urge to adopt this trans baby is unavoidable. Grayson Sender imagines herself in the pastel, sparkly dresses she draws on her school notes. While performing the role of Persephone, Grayson embraces her identity.
“Georgia Peaches and other Forbidden Fruit” by Jaye Robin Brown
Joanna “Jo” Gordon is asked by her father to hide her sexuality after they move to a new town. However, Mary Carlson is far too pretty, and Jo is far too into her to properly function. Jo explores her connection with religion, Mary and her parents.
“Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer” by Rick Riordan
This is the first book in a trilogy. Norse demi-god Magnus Chase is a dead, homeless, hot mess with a penchant for incredibly dry sarcasm. He falls for genderfluid, child of Loki, Alex Fierro and their antics are kept in check by axe-wielding Samirah al-Abbas.
“Symptoms of Being Human” by Jeff Garvin
Riley Cavanaugh, a genderfluid teen, is trying their best. Riley runs a popular blog where they write about their identity. Ignoring the bullying from their peers, Riley makes friends with a Star-Wars obsessed Solo and a badass friend turned love interest Bec.
“Check Please!” by Ngozi Ukazu
Don’t like long books? Check out this comic. Eric “Bitty” Bittle loves boys, baking, vlogging and skating. He joins Samwell University’s hockey team and gains a family of barely adults with terrible nicknames and questionable life skills.
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Tears will rain down into the pool of these boys’ character development and self-exploration. Mexican-American teens Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana meet at a pool and bond over their existential names and also kinda fully fall in love.