Posted in Books, Writing

5 (More) LGBTQ Novels to Read if You Want to be a Writer

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As a gay person, I absolutely love to read LGBTQ novels, both for adult and for younger audiences. Earlier this week I shared five of my all-time favorites.

Below are five more I also adore with all my heart!

1. Better Nate Than Ever, by Tim Federle

This is one of the few middle grade novels to be published that has a homosexual character at its center, and it’s a wonderful, inspiring read. While at the beginning of eighth grade, Nate isn’t entirely sure if he’s a homosexual or not, it’s pretty obvious from the beginning that he is gay, and I loved the way Federle handled this aspect to the character. Federle wisely never makes a big deal out of Nate’s sexuality, but he also never truly hides it either. Better Nate Than Ever is a brisk, entertaining read that keeps the reader entertained all the way through.

2. Close Range: Wyoming Stories, by Annie Proulx

This collection features the famous novella, Brokeback Mountain, which is one of my all-time favorites. Even if you’ve seen the Oscar-winning film from 2005, do yourself a favor and read the breathtaking novella in Proulx’s truly impressive short story collection. Her prose is always simple and vivid, treating a loving relationship between two men as something entirely beautiful. The descriptions of the setting are gorgeous, too, giving the story a specific sense of place. So many of the lines give the reader specific images of what Brokeback Mountain looks like, and showcase the love and heartache the main characters are constantly going through.

3. Golden Boy, by Abigail Tarttelin

I love so much about Golden Boy, and Tartellin’s use of the multiple POV in first person, present tense, is spectacular. I’ve read multiple POV in other novels before, but I think what Tartellin does is even more impressive because she balances six points-of-view and brings complexity and a sharp, unique voice to each one of them. Tarttelin’s book is a unique YA novel in that most young adult fiction depicts a teenager’s coming-of-age through familial hardship and emotional obstacles but never as literally as depicted in Golden Boy. Being a teen is hard, and Max has to deal with one of the greatest adversities any teen could possibly imagine: being intersex. This is an absolutely spellbinding read.

4. Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey Whaley

This is a terrific young adult novel that treats its subject matter with dignity and great attention to detail, and features three-dimensional teenage characters with necessary flaws and dreams for the future. This is the third young adult novel Whaley has written, and he infuses his work with a genuine YA voice and engaging, realistic teen dialogue. The author shows in detail what the main character Solomon’s illness does to him both physically and mentally, proving that breaking free from the agoraphobia will be a major challenge. But if his intense fears weren’t enough, Solomon is also gay, and this LGBTQ element brings even more depth and emotion to this riveting novel.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

What a treat this book is, spending time with these characters, following their joys and their pains, and then getting to see the film, which is a beautiful companion to the book. I guess I needed to be more well-read, or more willing to get in touch with my emotional side, because for some reason this book didn’t hit me as hard when I read it by chance one weekend during high school. But the second read, and all the reads since then, of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which features a memorable LGBTQ character of his time, have brought me nothing but joy.

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