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Queer Books with Happy Endings by Ben Ace | 30 Days of Pride

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Welcome back to 30 Days of Pride on Ace Of Bens! Today, I wanted to add a Part Two to a post I did back in February. I’d made a list of nine books that followed queer characters that don’t die or suffer because they are queer. There are already more than enough books with the Tragic Gays and Bury Your Gays tropes, so here’s ten more books with none of those trope, but instead with happy gays. Additionally, I’ve expanded my criteria for Part Two, so it’s not just books with same-gender pairings but also a couple books with transgender characters regardless of if their love interest is of a similar or different gender.

I wanted to post this today, on June 12th because it’s the third anniversary of the devastating Pulse shooting in Orlando. Today is a day of mourning for many of us, so I want to add a bit of happiness and hope with this list of recommendations. I also purposely focused on gathering books by and about people of color because so many of the victims were people of color. So be sure to add these to your TBR to support books about queer characters, but more importantly, check on your qpoc friends. Make sure they’re safe and happy, not just today but everyday.

Spades Divider

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

Rep: Bisexual main character
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult

Sourcebooks Fire / 6 September 2016

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Goodreads | Indiebound | Amazon

Cover of Let's Talk About Love by Claire KannLet’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann ♠

Rep: Asexual biromantic main character
Genre: Contemporary / Romance
Age: New Adult

Swoon Reads / 23 January 2018

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Cover of Moonstruck, Vol. 1 by Grace EllisMoonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis ♠

Rep: F/F Romance; Enby side character
Genre: Fantasy / Mystery / Graphic Novel
Age: New Adult

Image Comics / 27 March 2018

Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee

Rep: Bisexual Main Character, M/M romance
Genre: Fantasy / Romance
Age: Young Adult

Interlude Press / 15 October 2015

Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.”

Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish.

As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Cover of Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemoreBlanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore ♠

Rep: Transmasculine Love Interest
Genre: Magical Realism
Age: Young Adult

Feiwel & Friends / 9 October 2018

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Cover of Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistonRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston ♠

Rep: Bisexual main character, Gay love interest
Genre: Romance / Political Fiction
Age: New Adult

St. Martin’s Griffin / 14 May 2019

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Goodreads | IndieBound| Amazon

Cover of The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy SpaldingThe Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Rep: Lesbian Main Character
Genre: Contemporary
Age: Young Adult

Sky Pony Press / 3 April 2018

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Pérez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.

Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story?

But when Jordi’s photography puts Abby in the spotlight, it feels like a betrayal, rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her?

Is this just Abby’s summer of fashion? Or will it truly be The Summer of Jordi Pérez (and the Best Burger in Los Ángeles)?

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Cover of On A Sunbeam by Tillie WaldenOn A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden ♠

Rep: Lesbian Main Character & Love interest; Enby Side Character
Genre: Science Fiction / Graphic Novel
Age: Young Adult

First Second / 2 October 2018

Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As new member Mia gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. Soon, though, Mia reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love.

An inventive world, a breathtaking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang ♠

Rep: TF/F
Genre: Romance / Graphic Novel
Age: Young Adult

First Second / 13 February 2018

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

Cover of Running With Lions by Julian WintersRunning With Lions by Julian Winters

Rep: Bisexual Main Character
Genre: Contemporary / Sports /Romance
Age: Young Adult

Duet Books / 7 June 2018

Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

♠ – DISCLAIMER: I have only read the books with a spade symbol after the author’s name. I’ll be happy to provide more details for those books. Unfortunately, cannot offer the same for the books in this list that were suggested to me.

What Are Some Of Your Favorite Books With Happy Queer Characters? Give Me More Suggestions In The Comments!

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