Reading the Rainbow

Happy Pride y’all! This month is a time to celebrate and honor the profound impact that LGBTQIA+ folks have had in the world and come together in pride and affirmation. Like every good introvert, I’ll be celebrating at home with my books. Last year, I made it a goal to read more own voices books by LGBTQIA+ authors and I found so many great reads! It’s such a thrill to me to see more authors getting the chance to tell their stories, and I’m hopeful that publishing companies will keep up with diversifying the industry.

So, to celebrate the start of Pride, I’m offering some suggestions for Reading the Rainbow. Just for fun, I organized my suggestions in order of the Pride flag. I’ll be reading one book for each color this month, and I hope you’ll feel inspired to pick up something new!

Red

Odd One Out by Nic Stone: Courtney, Jupe, and Rae explore their sexuality and their budding attractions for one another in this thoughtful, poignant novel.

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers: After a girls trip to Vegas turns into a drunken marriage for Grace Porter, she flees her life in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez: Set in a near-future world where an oppressive regime is incarcerating the LGBTQ+ community, this is a disturbing, thought-provoking tale.

Orange

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn: A heartwrenching intergenerational tale of womanhood following Patsy as she leaves her family in Jamaica behind to start a new life in the United States while her daughter Tru grapples with her abandonment.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta: A young Nigerian girl begins a powerful love affair with another girl from a different ethnic community in this moving story with authentic characters.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: In this stunning, warm, and powerful story, Felix Love, a transgender seventeen-year-old, attempts to get revenge by catfishing his anonymous bully, but lands in a love triangle with his former enemy and his best friend.  

Yellow

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert: Dani agrees to fake-date her friend after a video of Zaf “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral in this funny, steamy romance.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett: In this darkly humorous, offbeat story, Jessa-Lynn Morton takes over her family’s failing taxidermy shop and pursues less-than-legal ways of generating income while struggling to find her place in her family.

I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee: Skye Shin is determined to overcome the biases she faces by competing on a reality show to become the next K-pop star in this feel-good, fun story.  

Green

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry: A playful, nostalgic tale of witches and field hockey following the athletes of a field hockey team who pledge allegiance to the devil in exchange for victory.

Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters: A trans woman, her destransitioned ex, and his cisgender lover build an unconventional family together in the wake of hearbreak in this witty, heartwarming story.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen: Folding in three parallel narratives, this gorgeous, unconventional graphic novel centers on Tien, a young teen who’s trying to tell his parents that he’s gay. 

Blue

Memorial by Bryan Washington: A Japanese-American chef and a Black daycare teacher begin reevaluating their relationship in the wake of major changes in this moving, fast-paced, reflective story.  

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: This imaginative, engaging novel follows Mateo and Rufus as they meet each other and embark on a relationship on their last day alive.

The Love Study by Kris Ripper: Things don’t go quite to plan when Declan hatches a plot to go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went on YouTube in this heartwarming, thoughtful story.

Purple

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi: In a near-future society that claims to have gotten rid of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from Jam’s mother’s painting and declares that it is hunting a monster in this compelling, atmospheric book.

Disoriental by Négar Djavadi: A compelling, sweeping story following a young Iranian expat who is inundated with her own memories and the stories of her ancestors while in the waiting room of a fertility clinic.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: When a scholarship for college falls through, Liz’s only hope for funding her education is in becoming her school’s prom queen in this feel-good, funny story.

White

Like Water by Rebecca Podos: Spending the summer working at her family’s restaurant, Vanni is forced to ask herself big questions when she finds herself drawn to genderqueer Leigh in this moving, coming-of-age tale.

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala: In this candid, lyrical novel, an Ivy-League-bound athlete struggles with his parents’ brutal response to his sexuality.

Hero by Perry Moore: When Thom is recruited join the League of Superheroes, it’s up to him and an oddball group of recruits to save the day in this fun and funny story.

Pink

Docile by K.M. Szpara: In a world in which debtors sign up to become submissive servants to the rich and powerful, Elisha finds himself confusingly attracted to the man who purchased him in this bleak, disturbing tale.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall: While competing in a baking competition show, Rosaline Palmer finds herself romantically drawn to two people in this delightful, funny story.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Nishat struggles for acceptance after coming out to her parents and finds herself drawn to a beautiful and charismatic girl who becomes her rival in a school project in this fast-paced story with authentic, richly drawn characters.

Light Blue

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan: Paul falls hard for Noah, but when Noah walks out of his life, Paul has to find a way to get him back and make everything right again in this funny, offbeat story.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer: To avoid his ex-boyfriend’s wedding, Arthur embarks on a life-changing international journey in this engaging, lyrical novel.

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver: Thrown out of their house after coming out as nonbinary, Ben moves in with their estranged sister and struggles through the last half of their senior year while bonding with a charismatic new friend in this moving, engaging story.

Brown

Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai: A poignant coming-of-age novel chronicling a Sri Lankan boy’s loss of innocence as he grapples with family conflict, growing racial tension, and his sexuality.

Camp by L.C. Rosen: In this candid, funny story, Randy has a plan to reinvent himself to woo the hottest boy at camp, but is it really love if Randy isn’t being his true self?

We Had No Rules by Corinne Manning: A cast of queer characters explore the choice of assimilation over rebellion in this incisive, engaging collection of short stories.

Black

Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor: In this candid, reflective collection of short stories, Taylor introduces a trio of characters who become enmeshed in desire and violence.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth: Centered around a mysterious New England boarding school, this compelling, lush horror-comedy follows characters across different time periods exploring themes of sexuality, female agency, and authenticity.

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan: A moving, powerful story following teens Sahar and Nasrin who love each other in secret until Nasrin’s parents announce their daughter’s arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution. 

I love that these books encompass a wide variety of genres and target audiences! Do you have any suggestions to add? What are you reading to celebrate Pride and beyond? Let me know in the comments. My TBR is ready!

Published by Kristi

Hi there! I am Kristi, a book obsessed human with strong opinions. Join me as I read across genres and do the work to find you the best of the best books.

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