In general, queer literature tends to get less press than other genres, although increasingly, LGBTQ+ stories are getting the attention they deserve. Still, many excellent books are underrated on Goodreads (aka have less than 5,000 ratings). I wanted to give them a little extra love, and I hope you will too!
Idea taken from Kat Impossible.
10 Underrated LGBTQ+ Books
Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield
The Alice Payne novellas are time traveling adventures centered around women of color (one is queer) from different time periods. They are fun, feminist, and philosophical.
Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi
A literary novel about a Nigerian mother and her twin daughters breaking apart and coming back together. It’s a book about love, travel, trauma, and the liminal space between mental health and spiritualism.
Camp by L.C. Rosen
An adorable YA novel about a diverse cast of queer kids attending a supportive summer camp. The premise is ridiculous (an effeminate gay teen goes masc to win over his crush) but handled with surprising care.
The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith
A beautiful fantasy graphic novel about two young twins who escape a royal slaughter into a magical convent for girls. One wants to get back to his life as a prince and reclaim his throne, while the other realizes she feels more herself as a girl and hesitates to leave this refuge.
FINNA by Nino Cipri
What if IKEA was a(n actual) dangerous labyrinth that passes through wormholes into different worlds? This delightful novella places two underpaid employees going through a breakup in life-or-death situations and, in the most queer story imaginable, centers on successfully rebuilding a relationship after romance.
Flamer by Mike Curato
A black and white YA graphic novel that uses color for emotional effect about a young Boy Scout coming to terms with his attraction to his bunkmate in honest, heartbreaking, and joyful scenes. His dreams of the two of them acting out fantasy romances are priceless!
Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
Queer Shakespeare geeks rejoice! This short novel follows a post-The Tempest Miranda back to Milan where she must confront the ghosts of her past while navigating falling in love with a woman.
Naamah by Sarah Blake
If you’ve ever wished the Bible were gayer and more feminist, this is the book for you! Noah’s wife Naamah is given a voice as she struggles with living through a disaster that killed her female lover and wrestles with what it means to relate to the god who caused such tragedy.
Trans-Galactic Bike Ride edited by Lydia Rogue
A novella anthology of short stories centered on trans narratives and biking through space…weirdly specific and utterly delightful! I guarantee that some of the stories will be your flavour, though who knows which ones that will be.
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
An excellent fantasy novel about a lesbian orc who works as a wizard’s assassin and struggles with her life’s meaning after fleeing a cult who wanted to sacrifice her to appease an ancient god. That should be all you need to know to be assured that this is so much fun!
What underrated LGBTQIA+ books do you want to boost?
Leave a comment and let everyone know about them!
Happy to see you take your own spin on the kind of post I did, which was also inspired by other bloggers 🙂 there’s never a bad time to shine some light on deserving LGBTQ+ titles. I’m definitely going to take a closer look at a couple of these myself.
Thanks, Kat! I look forward to seeing your reviews of some of these books and see if we felt similarly! 😁
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I just finished Stealing Thunder by Alina Boyden for my Bookclub and it’s brilliant. I’m in love. Though it def made me very aware of how queer characters are treated in standard novels. I’m doing a double this month with the second book.(https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/stealing-thunder/9781984805461-item.html)
That looks really interesting! I’ve added it to my library queue. 🙂
If you read a lot of queer books, you might enjoy the Summer Book Bingo I’m running right now: https://roarcatreads.com/2021/05/27/2021-lgbtq-summer-book-bingo/.
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