Celebrate Pride Month with LGBTQIA+ Novels

Four+novels+%E2%80%94+Loveless%2C+Heartstopper%2C+Ophelia+After+All%2C+and+Aristotle+and+Dante+Discover+the+Secrets+of+the+Universe+are+shown.+Celebrate+Pride+Month%2C+a+month+dedicated+to+the+LGBTQIA%2B+community%2C+by+reading+these+four+books.

Sri Addagarla

Four novels — Loveless, Heartstopper, Ophelia After All, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe are shown. Celebrate Pride Month, a month dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community, by reading these four books.

It’s officially Pride Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to read LGBTQIA+ themed books? Wildcat staff writer Sri Addagarla compiled a list of books by queer authors following queer characters. From bestselling graphic novels to Stonewall Book award-winning novels, here are four novels that are essential to read during Pride Month. 

Ophelia After All by Raquel Marie (Feiwel & Friends)

Raquel Marie’s debut novel is a heartfelt tale of identity, discovery, and queerness. 

Ophelia is grounded by her interests: her Latina heritage, her love for rose gardening, and her boy-craziness. But her growing feelings for her new friend Talia plant a seed of doubt in Ophelia’s mind, making her realize that she isn’t the boy-crazy romantic she thought she was. 

Along with a diverse cast of characters (many also LGBTQIA+), Ophelia navigates heartbreaks, the end of high school, and her queerness. Marie’s prose shines as she chronicles Ophelia’s struggles with accepting herself. The dramas of high school and Ophelia’s struggles with her identity feel authentic and unpredictable.

Ophelia After All is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, self-discovery, and coming-of-age that will surely win readers’ hearts. 

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (Scholastic, Inc.)

Heartstopper (recently adapted as an original Netflix series)  is a wholesome story of queer love. It follows Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, two British teenagers assigned to the same class. Whilst they fall for each other, they grapple with self-discovery, homophobia, friendship, and mental health.

Heartstopper doesn’t hide the high and lows of life, making it relatable for readers. Oseman handles the topics of mental health and self-discovery with care but balances the emotion with fun, lighthearted romance. 

Heartstopper also follows other LGBTQIA+ characters like Elle, who is transgender and struggles to fit in. Lesbian couple Tara and Darcy also contend with prejudice and homophobia from their peers. 

A “heartwarming” story at its core, Heartstopper strives to provide representation for LGBTQIA+ teenagers and shows them the possibilities of happy endings. 

Loveless by Alice Oseman (Scholastic, Inc.)

Despite being an avid fan of romance and happily-ever-afters, Georgia Warr has never been kissed, never gone on a date, and never had any romantic feelings toward anyone. When Georgia starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, she is determined to fall in love. But Georgia’s plans become derailed as she begins to identify with the terms of asexuality and aromanticism. 

Much of Loveless is dedicated to Georgia’s journey in discovering her sexuality. Oseman perfectly captures the quintessential feeling of not fitting in, a feeling known all too well by the LGBTQIA+ community. Through Georgia’s experiences, the novel also does a great job of educating the audience about asexuality and aromanticism, which are often underrepresented. 

Georgia is backed up by a diverse ensemble of characters that are also part of the LGTBQIA+ community. Georgia’s relationships with the side characters highlight the importance of friendships and how they are just as important as romantic relationships. The novel also features hilarious group chat conversations, plans to save the Shakespeare Society, and a sapphic enemies-to-lovers romance between two side characters. 

Loveless is a touching coming-out story that is a must-read for those looking to educate themselves on asexuality and aromanticism.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Simon & Schuster)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe tells the story of Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana, two Mexican-American teenagers growing up in El Paso, Texas during the 1980s. As the two navigate through prejudice and self-acceptance, they find each other.  

Throughout the book, Aristotle and Dante are exposed to trials and tribulations. Their story is punctuated by raw, authentic experiences of coming of age. Aristotle and Dante may seem like a simple story of friendship, but the profound themes woven throughout the novel make it an emotional read. The characters are three-dimensional and complex, making it hard not to empathize with their stories.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an emotional, impactful read that tackles coming of age in ways both heartwarming and gut-wrenching.