Celebrate Pride: New Young Adult Fiction and Graphic Novels

Young Adult Fiction and LGBTQIA Fiction go hand in hand. Characters finding themselves is a familiar theme in YA, and more and more titles have teens making discoveries about their sexual orientation and gender identification. And if they're not finding themselves, they're falling in love--sweet romances with boys meeting boys and girls meeting girls. Whatever you're looking for, these new YA and Graphic Novel titles are a great way to celebrate LGBTQIA pride!

The Iowa City Pride Fest & Parade is June 15th. This year ICPL is curating lists of LGBQTIA+ books to support Iowa City Pride. This list is a part of that series of recommendations.

Bloom

Kevin Panetta

GRAPHIC NOVEL Panetta
LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Young Adult

"Baked with love! Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band--if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom...that is, if Ari doesn't ruin everything."--Page [2] of cover.

The love & lies of Rukhsana Ali

Sabina Khan

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Khan Sabina
LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali is looking forward to going to Caltech and getting away from her conservative Muslim parents' expectation that she will marry, especially since she is in love with her girlfriend Ariana--but when her parents catch her kissing Ariana, they whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh and a world of tradition and arranged marriages, and she must find the courage to fight for the right to choose her own path.

We contain multitudes

Sarah Henstra

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Henstra Sarah
LGBTQ+, Young Adult

As penpals for a high school English assignment, poetry-loving sophomore Jonathan and popular-athlete senior Adam explore their growing relationship through a series of letters.

Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me

Mariko Tamaki

GRAPHIC NOVEL Tamaki
LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Young Adult

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem. Maybe it's Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love. Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

The meaning of birds

Jaye Robin Brown

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Brown Jaye
LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Before: Jess has always struggled with the fire inside her. But when she meets Vivi, everything changes. As they fall for each other, Vivi helps Jess deal with her anger and pain and encourages her to embrace her artistic talent. And suddenly Jess's future is a blank canvas, filled with possibilities. After: When Vivi unexpectedly dies, Jess's perfect world is erased. As she spirals out of control, Jess pushes away everyone around her and throws out her plans for art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever. Right when Jess feels at her lowest, she makes a surprising friend who just might be able to show her a new way to channel her rage, passion, and creativity. But will Jess ever be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi? A beautiful exploration of first love and first loss, this novel effortlessly weaves together past and present to tell a profound story about how you can become whole again when it seems like you've lost the most important part of yourself.

The princess and the fangirl : a geekerella fairy tale

Ashley Poston

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Poston Ashley
LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Return to the geek-tastic world of Starfield fandom with a tale of a superstar and a superfan who swap lives in this sweet and funny companion novel to GEEKERELLA. Movie star Jessica Stone can't go up onstage at another con and pretend to love Starfield anymore--except that she's contractually obligated. She never dreamed she'd be playing Princess Amara for life, but people love Princess Amara, and for better or worse, Princess Amara has Jessica Stone's face. But. it turns out, so does someone else. Imogen Weatherby is just another Starfield fan hitting up ExcelsiCon--except that she happens to look an awful lot like Jessica Stone (and no, you're not the first one to point it out). When Jess spots Imogen, she has a brilliant idea: swap places. Jessica can live her life out of the spotlight while Imogen pretends to be her on the rest of the con circuit, and Imogen can ditch her crappy barista job and finally get to see something beyond her hometown. But Jess doesn't anticipate actually liking Imogen's life--or Imogen's gorgeous best friend, Hana, who might just be the person Jess needs to forget about her ex. And Imogen loves being Jess Stone--and might even love this super talented artist, Tamaki, who she keeps bumping into. Except Tamaki thinks she's Jessica Stone. When an obsessive fan finds out the truth and threatens to expose Jess for the fake geek girl she is, it will take both Jess and Imogen to stand up for the truth: That there is no such thing as a fake geek girl. That if you are a fan, then you are accepted. And that even if you aren't a fan, you are worthy. That you are not invisible. That what you love matters. From the acclaimed author of Geekerella, this geeky spin on The Prince and the Pauper is a perfect story for geek girls of every fandom.

Kiss number 8

Colleen A. F. Venable

GRAPHIC NOVEL Venable
LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Young Adult

"Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be... until all of a sudden, it's not. Her dad is hiding something big--so big it could tear her family apart. And that's just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam... because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat. Just like that, Mad's tidy little life has gotten epically messy--and epically heartbreaking. And when your heart is broken, it takes more than an awkward, uncomfortable, tooth-clashing, friendship-ending kiss to put things right again. It takes a whole bunch of them."--Page [2] of cover.

How (not) to ask a boy to prom

S. J. Goslee

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Goslee S. J.
LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and very, very single. He's never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It's not like Penn Valley is exactly brimming with prospects. Nolan plans to ride out the rest of his junior year drawing narwhals, working at the greenhouse, and avoiding anything that involves an ounce of school spirit. Unfortunately for him, his adoptive big sister has other ideas. Ideas that involve too-tight pants, a baggie full of purple glitter, and worst of all: a Junior-Senior prom ticket.