Nina LaCour is the bestselling author of the young adult novels Hold Still and Everything Leads to You. Her latest work is We Are Okay. In honor of June’s Pride Month, Goodreads asked LaCour to share some of her favorite LGBT reading and why these books are important to her:
Originally posted on Goodreads.
I fell in love with another girl when I was nineteen. Before that, I had only dated boys, so for the first time I had trouble finding stories that reflected my newfound identity. Falling in love is falling in love. It makes you soar; it makes you hurt. Sometimes it’s unrequited and sometimes you get lucky, and the person you love loves you in return. But in spite of love’s universality, when I found myself rather unexpectedly in love with a girl, I wanted to see that specific experience reflected back at me.
Finally, I found a book—Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson—and I read it voraciously. It wasn’t categorized as YA, but it was about a teenage girl who had to deal with her parents and her sexuality. It was everything I wanted to find in a book. Oranges felt like a gift, and I’m happy to say that in our current era of great YA literature, the gifts are abundant.
So in honor of Pride month, whether you’re queer or straight, cis or trans, young or old, here are some gifts for you.
Searching for portrayals where queer teens and religion intersect? Get yourself a copy of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown; The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth; and The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg; and Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley.
How about first love and coming out? So many great ones to choose from! Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash; Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan; Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali; Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Bejanmin Alire Saenz; I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson; If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo…(As I said—so many. I could go on and on!)
Looking for something brand new and buzzy? Check out Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy and Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Looking for something so new it isn’t even released yet? Then preorder Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert and Vanilla by Billy Merrell.
Happy Pride, everyone!
Have a great LGBT novel to recommend? Share it in the comments!