If you liked this, try this | LGBTQ+ books, part 2!

Last year around this time, I posted part 1 of If you liked this, try this: LGBTQ+ books. And fun fact, that is the most viewed post on my blog!

So I have returned in celebration of Pride month to bring you ten more recommendations of LGBTQ+ books based on semi-popular (mostly) non-LGBTQ+ books. The title kind of says it all, so without further ado, let’s get into this post!

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If you liked the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan…

try In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Similarities: snarky narrator, magical training camp, great group of friends, following characters through teen years

If you, like me, have spent a not insignificant portion of your life trying to recapture the joy of reading Percy Jackson for the first time, I have good news for you! And that good news is In Other Lands, a hilarious portal fantasy with a bisexual main character and one of my favorite slow-burn romances. Seriously, I cannot recommend this enough.

If you liked An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

try Crier’s War by Nina Varela

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Similarities: fighting against an oppressive regime, characters on opposite sides of a conflict falling in love

Dark, oppressive fantasy-esque world with unique worldbuilding? Check. Two people who are technically enemies and who probably should not be falling in love, but do anyway? Definitely check. Both of these books have a similar feel in my mind, so I’m sure that if you liked one, you’ll like the other! And Crier’s War features a main sapphic relationship.

If you liked Vicious by V.E. Schwab

try If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

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Similarities: dark academia, morally gray characters

Even though If We Were Villains doesn’t have the supernatural elements of Vicious, the two would most likely appeal to similar readers. If We Were Villains centers around a group of Shakespearean actors and a mysterious death that occurs on their campus, while Vicious is about the rivalry between two superhumans after a mysterious death on their campus. Hmmm. Also, both start with the main character leaving prison after ten years. Coincidence??

If you liked Sadie by Courtney Summers…

try Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

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Similarities: road trip, survivors of sexual assault, emphasis on female friendships

Although Sadie is more focused on the revenge aspect, both of these stories center around women recovering (in their own way) from sexual assault. Sometimes that means hunting down a pedophile, sometimes it means rescuing a magical cat. Also, both of these books made me cry, so there’s that. As I recall, it’s hinted that Sadie is queer, though Are You Listening? deals more with the two main characters’ queer identities.

If you liked Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor…

try The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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Similarities: bookish protagonist discovering magic, rich worldbuilding of legends and stories

For both of these books, the word “dreamy” feels like the perfect descriptor, with beautiful language that you can just fall into. Even though Strange the Dreamer is more high fantasy, The Starless Sea is just as fantastical and magic. Not to mention that Lazlo Strange and Zachary Ezra Rawlins would probably get along really well. The Starless Sea features a gay main character and a prominent queer relationship.

If you liked Turtles All the Way Down by John Green…

try Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby

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Similarities: emphasis on mental health, introspective writing

Yes, I used Turtles All the Way Down in part 1 of this, but I couldn’t think of any better comparison! While Turtles deals with the main character’s OCD, Hurricane Season is about a young girl and her relationship with her father, who has bipolar disorder. These are both incredibly well written books that will hit you right in the heart. In Hurricane Season, we have a sapphic main character and several other major queer characters.

If you liked The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

try Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

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Similarities: New York City setting, children of immigrants finding their voice

I cannot pass up the opportunity to recommend both of these books, because they’re both incredible! They might have quite different stories, but they each left me with similar feelings, and both deal heavily with race and navigating you cultural identity within New York City. Like a Love Story focuses on several gay characters and centers around the AIDs crisis of the 80s and 90s.

If you liked Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones…

try The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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Similarities: whimsical and magical writing, great characters, found family

I mean, even their covers look similar. It was meant to be. Once again, this is more a case of the themes and general feel of these books that tie them together, rather that specific plot things. Both are overflowing with heart, and The House in the Cerulean Sea — all about a social worker sent to oversee a remote orphanage of magical children — feels a lot like Howl’s Moving Castle for an adult audience.

If you liked The Diviners by Libba Bray

try Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

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Similarities: ghosts, teenagers with special abilities

Even though The Diviners takes place in 1920s New York and Cemetery Boys takes place in present day Los Angeles, they have similar spooky vibes. I have no doubt that anyone who enjoyed the ghostly and mystery aspects of The Diviners will also love Cemetery Boys, which is all about a trans boy and the ghost that he accidentally raises trying to figure out mysterious disappearances.

If you liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

try You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

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Similarities: coming-of-age stories, finding community, emphasis on friendships

In many ways, You Know Me Well — which follows two teenagers becoming friends during San Francisco’s Pride — feels like the descendant of a book like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which laid the foundation for so much of today’s YA contemporary. Both are quite short stories that pack an emotional punch and deal heavily with growing up and the strange feeling of being young and not quite sure who you are yet.

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Have you read any of these books? What LGBTQ+ books do you recommend?

x Margaret

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30 thoughts on “If you liked this, try this | LGBTQ+ books, part 2!

  1. this is so good!! I ALSO felt like The House in the Cerulean Sea was similar to Howl’s Moving Castle, with the general feel!! Love how we had the same thought without even discussing it 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love this post, Margaret!! 🥰 I absolutely loved Vicious and have heard people talk about If We Were Villains – they definitely give off such a similar vibe, so I have to get around to reading the latter, it really intrigues me! I’m all here for morally grey characters 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh this is such a great post, I love recommendations like that so much!🥰 I loved An Ember in the Ashes and heard incredible things about Crier’s War, i can’t wait to read it now 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Crier’s War SO DAMN MUCH – I knew it would be good, I’d heard basically nothing but great things before I picked it up, but I was still surprised by how much I adored it. Can’t wait for the sequel. I think If We Were Villains and Vicious are a good comparison!! I liked both of those quite a bit. I mean, I was already excited for Cemetery Boys, but The Diviners comparison has me 😍😍. Can’t wait. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh that’s amazing – I’m so glad you’re expectations for Crier’s War were exceeded! 😀 And yes, If We Were Villains and Vicious just fit together. Yay, I’m glad the comparison to The Diviners could get you excited about Cemetery Boys!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES to the pjo -> in other lands one! elliot definitely reminded me a bit of percy (though perhaps elliot was a tiny bit smarter lmao), and i also really loved how they both featured homey camps! and aahh seeing you compare sadie and are you listening? makes me want to read are you listening? so much more!! i loved tillie walden’s on a sunbeam so much, so i’m just waiting for when my library has a copy of are you listening? because it looks so amazing and tillie walden is such a great artist ❤ loved this post, margaret!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elliot and Percy have so much in common!! Though you’re right, Elliot probably has at least two brain cells compared to Percy’s one 😉
      Yesss I can’t wait for you to read Are You Listening, especially since you loved On a Sunbeam!! Tillie Walden’s books are always incredible. I hope you’re able to get it soon! Thanks so much, May ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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