Why Feel-Good Pride Books?
Like any reader, I adore my dose of tragic in the books I read. However, I prefer reading feel-good pride books. Not everything has to be angsty coming-outs, unsupportive parents and asshole friends. Feel-good LGBTQ stories with fun characters, nurturing parents and amazing friends give me some much needed serotonin. So I thought, ‘Why not share this joy? Why not let everyone experience the warmth that comes with reading feel-good pride books that mirror who you are?
This is why I’ve brought you 5 Feel-Good Pride books for Teens. These are stories that celebrate sexualities and identities, stories that let you know that you have a place in the world. When you’re feeling down, give these pride books a read!
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Do you remember the feeling of finding the perfect fanfiction? All the tropes you’ve ever wanted, the characters you can’t let go of rendered just right, elegant verses that glide over your tongue without a hitch and leave you breathless with the profoundness of what you’ve read. That is what reading Red, White and Royal Blue felt like to me. One exception – it was canon and that’s not something I’m complaining about.
You’re craving the rivals-to-lovers trope? This book has it with a pace that makes the slow-burn well worth the wait. McQuiston writes a teen fictional romance framed around narratives and conversations that address responsibility, ethics, gender and racism. Wrapped in the effervescent tones of youth – boldly lifted brows, cheeky retorts and sarcasm, RWRB lures in readers. It makes them wish for this world to be never ending, this story to be forever. And why should they not? Every character is a friend you’ll find you will adore to have by your side.
Lets Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love will give you the much needed asexual representation in the world of literature. This was perhaps the second book I read with an asexual main character and I . . . I felt seen.
Let’s Talk About Love is quiet. It doesn’t overwhelm its readers with overarching plot points and character after character. Rather it focuses on the small batch of characters it has and makes you care. Alice (our MC) is real in a way that I’ve rarely seen in novels. She’s awkward, anxious, funny, loves Pinterest and most importantly – she wants to be loved (don’t we all?). No character makes you want to pull out your hair. That is what made me love this book so much.
So if you’re looking for a new adult romance book, aspec representation, truly loving and cosy platonic bonds and the summer feels of library work during vacation – this book is for you.
Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This one is my favorites! Who hasn’t heard of Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Becky Albertalli’s famous Y.A novel was turned into a film most of us enjoyed. Perhaps it was because it was the first of its kind? A movie that gave us all the warm feels of a teen romance and the smile-wide memories of high school. And of course, the representation we crave.
I believe Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda paved the way for LGBTQ representation in teen literature. It was after this novel that I began seeing more of myself in bookstores near me and it was a precious moment.
If you’re just starting out with pride books, you might want to read this highly hyped novel. Instagram and Goodreads loves it! It has the sweet yumminess of first loves, coming-out gone right, supportive friends and that dash of salt from the mystery crush and secret texts.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Kacen Callender’s Felix Ever After will fill the gaping void inside you with every feeling you can imagine. You’ll feel anger, hurt, fear, warmth and love and you’ll thank Kacen for each of those emotions. They turned Felix into a character who doesn’t feel but bleeds emotions through the page until they’re all over the readers.
Black, queer and trans – it feels like the world is out to get Felix Love. Felix Ever After tracks the upheaval in his life – instances of transphobia that he decides to uncover, a stormy relationship with an absent mother, changing friendships, ex-friends and academic rivals. Adorning the story further is a love triangle that doesn’t overpower for once and a journey to self-discovery that queer teenagers across the globe experience – with or without the supporting hands of family and friends. Whether you’re questioning your identity or confident in yours, you’ll find a friend in Felix Ever After. More than that, you will feel seen and heard.
Little Secret: Felix Ever After is being adapted into a T.V series. Kacen made the announcement themself on their website. So if you’ve put Felix Ever After in your TBR, you might want to read it as soon as possible. Or at least before the T.V show spoilers start coming in.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Less is the amalgamation of what I imagine being a disastrous queer person would look like.
For Andrew Less, everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. His ambitious writing career isn’t working out, the boyfriend he gave 9 years of his life to is getting married and has the audacity to invite him. He’s also almost 50, past the prime of his life with nothing he set out to achieve actually within his reach.
In this chaos of his life, Andrew makes the best decision.
He runs away. He accepts every literary invitation he has ever received and jets off to run from his problems.
A boon for us readers really because what we get is a humanizing read that walks us through sickness, love, death with the funny and slyly charming voice of Arthur Less.
I hope these recommendations were helpful and that you end up reading at least a few of these pride books. If you’re looking for more, keep an eye out for this space! Feel-Good Pride Books for Teens is going to have two more parts – one for every week.
P.S – If you’re just starting out or coming back to reading from a break 5 Easy Books to Kickstart Your Reading Habit might be right up your alley.