Pride Picnic / Our Favourite Queer Novels

Yesterday, we hosted our very first Pride Picnic! But no, this wasn’t our first ever picnic – we’re strong believers in catching up for any occasion at all to eat cake. Cake truly is the best invention in the entire world.

But as June is Pride Month, we thought we’d take our rainbow flags out of the closet, bake some cupcakes and cookies, and gather a bunch of awesome Melbourne YA readers to chat all about our favourite queer YA novels.

It was such a lovely afternoon at Fed Square. Our highlights definitely included hearing all about some upcoming queer novels we can’t wait to get our hands on, what everyone’s favourite queer books are (#sorrynotsorry TBR), and trying everyone’s incredible rainbow food.

So to celebrate Pride Month, we’re going to share some of our favourite queer YA novels with you! Make sure you add these ones to your TBR if you haven’t already!

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Well, this book was FABULOUS. I honestly didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. I’d heard good things before I started reading it (well, listening to it), but I was absolutely blown away. AHH MY GORGEOUS BISEXUAL BRIT. I have ALLLL the heart-eye emojis for Monty and Percy. And it was such a fun, adventure story with diversity and humour and it was just brilliant. If you haven’t read this book yet, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!


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The Flywheel

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Flywheel was the first book I ever read with a queer female protagonist, and reading that when I was 16 just meant the world to me. It was just so important for me to read a book with a queer female protagonist at that point in my life, and I’ll always have a special connection to this book because of that. Plus, it was one of the first #LoveOzYA novels I ever read—so that was amazing too. It’s just such a gorgeous novel!


Queens of Geek

Queens of Geek

HOW AM I MEANT TO FIND THE WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW AMAZING AND PERFECT AND GORGEOUS THIS NOVEL IS?! It’s about conventions and fandoms, as well as friendship, sexuality, anxiety, and other issues that are just so important but also so seamlessly woven into the narrative. We’re honestly so blessed to have a book this pure on this earth. If books were sentient, this one would have a heart of gold.


Tash Hearts Tolstoy

Tash Hearts Tolstoy

Tash Hearts Tolstoy stars an asexual character, and it was so great to see that representation in YA. PLUS, THE CHARACTERS WERE YOUTUBE FAMOUS. It was such a stunning, heartfelt novel that definitely deserves to be on your TBR. Plus, it also talked about merch and fandoms and cons?! It was just perfect. SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS NOVEL.


Autoboyography

Autoboyography

Autoboyography is a story about religion, sexuality, and love, and as I haven’t read that many YA books where religion is one of the main focusses, it was really interesting to read. I adored the romance, despite it being quite confronting and heartbreaking at times. SEBASTIAN AND TANNER ARE MY TWO GORGEOUS QUEER BABIES AND I WILL PROTECT THEM UNTIL THE END OF TIME.


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Radio Silence

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE NOVEL. Radio Silence isn’t just about podcasts and high school — it’s about finding your passions and celebrating your sexuality and standing up for the people and the things that matter to you. If you’re looking for a sensational YA contemporary with a splash of weirdness and adorable queer munchkins that you’ll just want to hug, then I highly recommend picking up a copy of Radio Silence!


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Night Swimming

This novel, centring around a romance between two girls in a small town, was even more phenomenal than I had hoped for. It was heartwarming, funny, and incredibly cute. If you’re a fan of contemporaries and are looking for another YA novel featuring a queer protagonist, you can’t go past Night Swimming.


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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

While reading an adult sci-fi novel can sound daunting to those of us that usually only stick to YA — myself included — this is a must-read for everyone who enjoys a bit of space in their lives. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the characters are vibrant and ready to leap right off the page. It’s thrilling in parts, but it also feels like a contemporary novel set in space because of the way the relationships between characters are explored and the depth of connection I felt with each of them. Also, I can’t say no to queers in space.


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Ida

Ida was our first Book of the Month here at The YA Room, and we still love this book to pieces. It’s one of our favourite queer #LoveOzYA novels. It has such an incredible, diverse range of characters. It has Doctor Who vibes and doppelgangers, alternate realities, and it’s set in Melbourne. IT WAS JUST PHENOMENAL.

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What are some of your favourite queer YA novels? Did we mention any of your faves? We’d love to know!

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