Queer characters and stories are underrepresented in YA fiction. Though many YA novels featuring LGBTQ characters and themes are award-winning, there are not enough being published, which makes it all the more important to recognize those books that are actually hitting shelves.
I’ve always been interested in yound adult literature with LGBTQ themes or characters. Here’s a look at the 2014 releases in YA that feature lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer characters that I’ve been able to find so far.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kiklan
This is nonfiction—interviews and portraits of six transgender or gender-neutral teens, due out in February.
Shadowplay by Laura Lam
This is the follow up to last year’s Pantomine, available now.
Changers, Book One: Drew by T. Cooper and Allison Glock
This is a paranormal book in which certain members of the population change genders each year. It got a good review from Kirkus and sort of reminds me of the premise of Every Day by David Levithan. It will be released in February.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
This is a crazy sci-fi with a bisexual main character—also about “survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.”
Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis
It’s clear from the description this one has LGTBQ themes. Forbidden lesbian love in Iran in the 1980s. It is a possible read-alike for If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. It’s from a small press and I haven’t seen reviews. It’s due out in April.
The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
This basically sounds like the plot of the movie But I’m a Cheerleader. Hopefully it’s as funny. The Summer I Wasn’t Me is due out in April.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
From what I can tell (I’m just starting it) this is mostly a murder mystery, but there is an undercurrent of same-sex attraction between the main character and her best friend.. Far From You is due out in April.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
This one is about lesbians in the film world, and Nina has said she intended to explore a relationship between young women rather than coming out and accepting one’s sexual identity. Everything Leads to You will be released this May.
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
This is a gay teen romance from an Israeli/Armenian author due out in May.
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
I can’t stand Cassandra Clare’s writing, but more power to her for having a gay couple in her story. The latest installment in The Mortal Instruments series is due out in May.
Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters
Julie Anne Peters has been writing lesbian YA fiction for years. This one has a dash of murder mystery and betrayal, and is due out in June.
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Childhood friendship turned gay romance in art class, due out in June.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
This is a historical lesbian romance due out this fall.
I’m committed to spreading the word about LGBTQ fiction, particularly for young adults. These are the titles I’ve come across in my research, but I hope there are more! Do you know of any additional 2014 releases in young adult literature that feature LGBTQ characters or themes? Please let me know in the comments!