One of the rarer things in gay YA is books geared toward younger teen readers. Walton’s debut is forever on my rec list for having a 14-year-old protag dealing with a crush on his straight best friend and…that’s mostly it. It’s real, it hurts, and it’s life.
When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.
Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.
The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.
Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.
Buy it: Amazon * B&N * Book Depository
This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy (Contemporary MG)
The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding (Contemporary YA)
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (Contemporary YA)
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (Contemporary YA)
Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows (Contemporary YA)
Bonus, coming in October: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Sci-Fi YA)
Bonus #2, coming in 2018: Dear You by Joanne Rocklin (Contemporary MG) and And She Was by Jessica Verdi (Contemporary YA)
These are all dual-POV books in which at least one POV belongs to a queer character and the other belongs to a close friend, not a love interest.
Run by Kody Keplinger
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Bonus: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is tri-POV, and two of those POVs belong to BFFs who are a gay guy and a straight girl;
Bonus #2: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman is single POV, but the BFFship is the core relationship of the story, and both BFFs are queer (bi and demi, respectively)
The truth is, I kind of take for granted that everyone’s read this fabulous Stonewall Award-winning MG about a trans girl named Melissa, by the wonderful Alex Gino, but I have to make sure just in case you haven’t, right? And we all want to put our support toward LGBTQIAP+ MG to make sure we get more of it, right? So, if you haven’t fallen in love with this one yet, make this month the month you do! (And yes I realize this isn’t technically a backlist book for the author, but the feature just means a book is more than a year old, so!)
BE WHO YOU ARE.
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
To quote from the author’s website on where to buy:
Laurel Bookstore is your most reliable source for signed copies of GEORGE. GEORGE can also be bought at your favorite book retailer. Independent bookstores like Powell’s, Books Inc, Oblong Books & Music would be glad to help you out or use Indie Bound to find an independent bookstore near you. GEORGE is also available at iBooks, Google Play, or Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Amazon!