Compiled by the LGBTQ+ Society, we share a list of queer books for everyone, complete with trigger warnings and availability in the BCU library.
1. Wranglestone (Darren Charlton)
Wranglestone is a queer YA novel set in post-apocalyptic America. A community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there’s nothing to stop them from crossing the ice. Then Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he’s forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he’s always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over. But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary’s secret past.
Trigger warnings: Mild gore, homophobia and death
2. One Last Stop (Casey McQuinston)
One Last Stop is a romance novel written by American author Casey McQuiston. The novel is about a woman named August Landry, a cynical pseudo detective, who finds love in a woman she meets on a subway named Jane Su, a punk Lesbian from the 1970s who has been misplaced in time and is trapped on the subway.
One Last Stop is an epic, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
Triggering warnings: Homophobia, Police Violence, AIDs crisis, Racism
3. Songs of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
Set during the Greek Heroic Age, it is a retelling of the Trojan War as told from the perspective of Patroclus. The novel follows Patroclus' relationship with Achilles, from their initial meeting to their exploits during the Trojan War, with focus on their romantic relationship.
✨ Available in the BCU library
Trigger warnings: War, Physical Violence, Death, Kidnapping
4. Orlando (Virgina Woolf)
Orlando is a biography written about a fictitious character, Orlando, which was inspired by Virginia's real-life friend and lover Vita Sackville-West. The story spans over 400 years where Orlando's life changes from man to woman, from century to century.
✨ Available at the BCU library.
Trigger warnings: sexual abuse, racism, anti-Semitism, mental illness, and suicide.
5. The Henna Wars (Adiba Jaigirdar)
The Henna Wars is a young adult novel by Adiba Jaigirdar. Set in Dublin, the book follows Nishat, a Bangladeshi teenager who comes out as a lesbian while in high school. The story explores friendships, family and loving yourself in a beautiful way, exposing all the raw beauty but also pain of the life of a young Bengali lesbian.
✨ Available at the BCU library
Trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, bullying, and a character being outed
6. Iron Widow (Xiran Jay Zhao)
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises – giant transforming robots that battle aliens beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that their female co-pilots are expected to serve as concubines and often die from the mental strain.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, her plan is to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But after miraculously surviving her first battle, Zetian sets her sights on a mightier goal. The time has come to stop more girls from being sacrificed.
Trigger warnings: Violence, Abuse, Discussion of SA, Alcoholism and Torture
7. Heartstopper Vol. 1-5 (Alice Oseman)
Heartstopper is an ongoing LGBTQ+ young adult graphic novel and webcomic series written and illustrated by British author Alice Oseman. It follows the lives of Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring as they meet and fall in love. The series is an expanded adaptation of Oseman's 2015 novella, Nick and Charlie, although the characters originally appeared in their 2014 novel, Solitaire.
✨ Available in the BCU library
Trigger warnings: Bullying, Homophobia, Eating Disorder, Self-Harm
8. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (Ashley Herring Blake)
A clever and steamy queer romantic comedy about taking chances and accepting love – with all its complications. Perfect for fans of Alexandria Bellefleur, Casey McQuiston and Rosie Danan. Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls – nothing is there for her except memories of a lonely childhood. Her life now is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her. When Delilah’s estranged stepsister pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a large check, Delilah finds herself back in Bright Falls once more. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had, after all.
✨ Available in the BCU library
Trigger warnings: Divorce, Death of a Parent, Alcohol, Bullying, Cheating
9. Plain Bad Heroines (Emily M. Danforth)
Plain Bad Heroines is a sapphic-gothic haunted house novel. The story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths.
Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara.
Trigger warnings: Death, Suicide, Mental illness, Gore, Grief, Sexual assault
10. Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender)
Felix Ever After is a young adult novel written by Kacen Callender and published in 2020. The story is narrated by a Black trans teen as he grapples with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages – after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned – Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle.
Trigger warnings: Misgendering, Transphobia, Bullying, Outing, Racism
11. Like a Love Story (Abdi Nazemian)
Set in New York City in 1989, at the peak of the AIDS crisis, Like a Love Story follows a trio of teens as they navigate heartthrobs and heartaches alongside the hysteria and activism that arose in the wake of the epidemic.
Trigger warnings: AIDS Crisis, Homophobia, Abuse, Racism, Self-harm
12. Red, White and Royal Blue (Casey McQuinston)
What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
Alex Claremont-Diaz is handsome, charismatic, a genius – pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House ever since his mother first became President of the United States. There’s only one problem. When the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an altercation between Alex and Prince Henry, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
✨ Available in the BCU library.
Trigger warnings: Addiction, Homophobia, Racism, Outing, Sexual Abuse
13. Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex (Angela Chan)
An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that's obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
14. This Book is Gay (Juno Dawson)
A funny and pertinent book about being lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious - for everybody, no matter their gender or sexuality. Former PSHCE teacher and acclaimed YA author Juno Dawson gives an uncensored look at what it's like to grow up as LGBT.
15. None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary (Travis Alabanza)
In None of the Above, Travis Alabanza examines seven phrases people have directed at them about their gender identity. These phrases have stayed with them over the years. Some are deceptively innocuous, some deliberately loaded or offensive, some celebratory; sentences that have impacted them for better and for worse; sentences that speak to the broader issues raised by a world that insists that gender must be a binary.
16. We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir (Samra Habib)
A memoir of hope, faith and love, Samra Habib's story starts with growing up as part of a threatened minority sect in Pakistan, and follows her arrival in Canada as a refugee, before escaping an arranged marriage at sixteen. When she realized she was queer, it was yet another way she felt like an outsider.
So begins a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. It shows how Muslims can embrace queer sexuality, and families can embrace change. A triumphant story of forgiveness and freedom, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt alone and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one's truest self.
17. The Beginner's Guide to Being A Trans Ally (Christy Whittlesey)
This easy-to-read guide offers information and advice to anyone wanting to understand more about trans experiences. It explains what gender identity is and arms you with the correct terminology to use. Filled with real-life examples and FAQs, it offers helpful strategies to navigate respectful conversations, speak up against transphobia and create inclusive relationships and spaces. It's the ideal tool for anyone wanting to become a better ally to transgender and/or non-binary people.