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Top 5 Pride Books I Have Read

As a semi-closeted bisexual woman, it makes my heart so happy to see people celebrate their truest, authentic selves during Pride Month. At the same time, it makes me wonder if I would ever have the luxury to do the same someday. For now, I make myself happy by doing the one thing that brings me joy: reading pride books where I see people like me shine centerstage.

And while I do admit that there are lots of queer books out there that I haven’t read yet, over the past few years, several have found a special place in my heart. And today I am excited to share my top 5 pride books, featuring stories from different genres like science fiction, fantasy, mystery and thriller, and contemporary coming-of-age romances.

~Top 5 Pride Books I Have Read And Loved~

Top 5 Pride Books I Have Read

PS: this post is a prompt from Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by Meeghan Reads, who runs an amazing book blog that you should definitely check out!

1. This Is How You Lose The Time War

This Is How You Lose The Time War Pride Book Cover

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is hands-down THE BEST book I have ever read in my life, and the fact that it features two very complex, powerful women as the main characters of an intense, swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers romance only makes it better.

Told between a series of letters exchanged between the main characters and alternating perspectives, This Is How You Lose The Time War is a gorgeous, imaginative forbidden romance that quite literally challenges the bounds of time and universe(s). It’s not an easy book to dive into–the science fiction aspects of the book really push the boundaries of your imagination–but the development and growth of the characters, their slow-burn romance against stakes that keep getting higher, all of it makes it the kind of book you will not easily forget.

And since science fiction historically has never made room for queer people, This Is How You Lose The Time War takes first place in my list of favorite pride books that I have read.

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Adult, Time Travel
Trigger Warnings: Death, violence and gore, animal cruelty

2. The Drowned Woods

The Drowned Woods

Bi-erasure in literature and film has always been a painful reality for people like me, and it only gets complicated when bisexual people end up in “straight passing” relationships. Which is perhaps why, when I read The Drowned Woods where the main character is clearly and unapologetically bisexual, I pretty much yelped in joy.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: Mild violence and torture, character death (not explicit), child abuse (not explicit), death of parents (mentioned)

A fast-paced, adventurous heist story featuring a fierce bisexual witch and a super adorable corgi, The Drowned Woods is an absolute page-turner for anyone who enjoys their pride books AND the fantasy genre.

3. The River Has Teeth

The River Has Teeth Pride Book Cover

It’s impossible to talk about queer fantasy books without mentioning The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters. One of my favorite pride books, The River Has Teeth is a spine-chilling fantasy thriller with a good load of sapphic romance and a whole lot of female rage. If you enjoy a bit of gothic horror, a bit of witchcraft, and stories that do not shy away from the reality of gender-based violence…then The River Has Teeth needs to be on your list of pride books to read.

Genre: Adult Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: graphic violence, missing persons, death of a loved one, trauma, drug addiction (mentioned), blood and gore, sexual assault, self-harm, suicide

4. Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades

Science fiction and fantasy are not the only genres where we do not get to see queer people being represented–the mystery/thriller genre sadly has rare instances of showing LGBTQ characters (and when they do show up, they tend to be in a very negative light).

But Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a rare gem and exception to this rule. Not only does this pride book show LGBTQ+ characters as the heroes of the story, it also spotlights Black queer teens as the main characters and protagonists of the novel. An incredibly riveting, page-turner of a novel, Ace of Spades should be on your list of pride books to read if you love stories that explore institutionalized racism.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult, Contemporary
Trigger Warnings: racism, death (not explicit), murder, blood mentions, blackmailing, stalking, forced outing (of queer character), physical violence, drugs, bullying

5. The Do’s And Donuts Of Love

Dos And Donuts Of Love

As much as I love science fiction and fantasy, I do occasionally love the cliche sweetness of contemporary, fluffy romance. And last year, one of the best pride books that featured diverse queer characters was Adiba Jaigirdar’s The Do’s And Donuts of Love.

A sweet and charming second-chance romance, The Do’s And Donuts of Love not only features sapphic teen romance, but the main character is also a Bangladeshi Irish teenager, and Adiba Jaidirgar does not shy away from capturing the unique experience of a Bangladeshi teenager navigating her identity and roots while figuring out what (and who) she wants in her life.

Cute and full of baking puns, The Do’s And Donuts of Love is definitely a fun, fast-paced summer romance book you can read in celebration of Pride Month!

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of racism and fatphobia, depictions of anxiety (specifically anxiety and panic attacks and spiraling thoughts), and online harassment

And that’s a wrap! Share your favorite pride books in the comments below so I can go look them up. And as always, happy pride dear friends. You are loved. 🩷💜💙

Top 5 Pride Books I Have Read



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