Falling for Inclusive Love Stories: Becky Albertalli’s Must-Read List

Posted by Hayley on February 12, 2018
Becky Albertalli is the author of The Upside of Unrequited and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the basis for the upcoming teen comedy-drama Love, Simon, which hits theaters this March. Her next book, Leah on the Offbeat, lets Simon's best friend take center stage as she tackles her own bisexuality, senior-year angst, and one big crush. For Romance Week, we asked Albertalli to share some of her favorite books that champion LGBTQIAP+ love.

I am such a sucker for love stories. I love writing them, I love reading them—and most of all, I love seeing love stories become more inclusive. I'm so excited to have this chance to celebrate Romance Week with Goodreads by recommending a few recent young adult LGBTQIAP+ books.

(Note: This list doesn't even scratch the surface of the books I consider my favorites. You should visit Dahlia Adler's LGBTQ Reads for more comprehensive recommendations!)


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"This book is so charming and funny and bighearted. Kann's Alice (who is biromantic ace) is one of my new favorite YA heroines. I recommend this one for fans of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Sandhya Menon's When Dimple Met Rishi."


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"Raw, devastating, and almost achingly sweet at times, this book is about two boys named Mateo and Rufus who fall for each other on the last day of their lives. I recommend this one to fans of Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star and Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe."


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"This is a gorgeously fantastical story about inspiration, creativity, and romantic longing, following teen painter Mercedes who is in love with her best friend. I'd recommend it to fans of Anna-Marie McLemore (whose entire body of work is also unmissable)."


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"I'm not even big on superheroes, but I fell head over heels for this story. Wannabe hero Jessica is so funny and endearing, and her quirky adventure story is unputdownable. I'd recommend this for readers who can't get enough of the recent slate of YA DC adaptations."


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"This is such an honest, heartfelt, pitch-perfect coming-of-age story about a gay athlete named James. Highly recommended for readers who loved Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Tim Federle's The Great American Whatever."


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"Amanda is a trans girl at a new school, and she's grappling with lots of hard memories. Still, I can't describe how special it is to live in her head while she falls in love for the first time. I recommend this book to fans of Julie Murphy's Dumplin' and Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give."


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"This is the cutest, most butterfly-inducing enemies-to-lovers story in the entire universe. Ava and Barrie are musical rivals turned collaborators, and they are hilarious, adorable, and vividly real. Also make sure you read How to Repair a Mechanical Heart, which is set earlier in the same universe. J.C. Lillis is probably the author I most frequently recommend to my own readers!"



Becky Albertalli's Leah on the Offbeat hits bookshelves on April 24. Check out all of Albertalli's books below.

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Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)

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The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail.


message 2: by Edeh (new)

Edeh love it!


message 3: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

While there are a few books featuring gay relationships (e.g. the first Psycop book Among the Living and a book by Alexis Hall), I have to agree. This list does have more diversity to it. My one complaint is that all the books are YA, and though I like YA, it's not the only age group which needs diversity


message 4: by Lila (new)

Lila Awesome!! Thank you so much for this list. This is what I'm looking for <3


message 5: by Kate (new)

Kate Lori S. wrote: "My one complaint is that all the books are YA, and though I like YA, it's not the only age group which needs diversity"

I agree. I love this list! I've added nearly all of htem to my to read list if I hadn't already read them.
However, I'd love to see a more diverse selection that highlights swoon of every form. More contemporary romance/erotica like Christina Lauren, diversity in sexual orientation but also race, ability, and age. And can someone PLEASE compile a list of love stories of *gasp* committed relationships? Why is love only ever perpetuated as something new and young? Isn't life-long love the goal? Why doesn't anyone write/read it?


message 6: by Sri (last edited Feb 13, 2018 11:12PM) (new)

Sri Kate wrote: "Lori S. wrote: "My one complaint is that all the books are YA, and though I like YA, it's not the only age group which needs diversity"

I agree. I love this list! I've added nearly all of htem to ..."


My favourites:

Five Borough series by Santino Hassell
Middle of Somewhere series by Roan Parrish
Agents Irish and Whiskey series by Layla Reyne
Cyberlove series by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Him series by Sarina Bowen

Three books out of these series have stories with books about people already in committed relationships. And ALL are diverse in age, race, sexual kinks and professions/abilities.


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Whitley This is the same issue I have with the list, although they are good selections.

Lori S. wrote: "The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

While there are a few boo..."



Lori S. wrote: "The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

While there are a few boo..."



message 8: by Ilsen (new)

Ilsen Leon Yes thank you so much! I’m glad I found this list!


message 9: by Khadija (new)

Khadija The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

I agree. It would be nice to see more diversity.


message 10: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra This is great! I've already added some of these books to my "Want to Read" list. Love and trust Becky, so I'm looking forward to giving these a read <3


message 11: by Lia (new)

Lia Corvere Thank you! Such great recs here. I’ve added tons to my “Want to Read” shelf. ❤️


message 12: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Great list! I'm excited to explore some of these books!


message 13: by ceecee (new)

ceecee Added "Let's Talk About Love" to my TBR as soon as I saw a romantic ace character. I've been looking for a character who can relate to the struggles of looking for a romantic relationship without sex for ages (quite honestly, I almost cried when I read the synopsis.) So excited to get my hands on it.


Kate (Feathered Turtle Press) I wasn't crazy on Let's Talk About Love. YA ABSOLUTELY needs more cute romances with Black leads, but the LGBT+ parts of the book were... not good.

Though I can't believe Not Your Sidekick and A & B have escaped my notice for so long!


message 15: by Rain (new)

Rain Adam Silvera is a trashy and depressing author. Becky's talking about his shitty book only because they are best friends and co-authors in real life.


message 16: by C. (new)

C. Gold I'll be checking out some of the books for sure! Thank you very much for the recs!!😃


message 17: by Lucas (new)

Lucas Fogaça I read How to Repair a Mechanical Heart because Becky recommended it and it's one of my favorite books ever, along with Becky's own Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I take her recommendations seriously and all of these books are now on my radar.


message 18: by TeaAndBooks (new)

TeaAndBooks Thanks for the list!


message 19: by Lydia (new)

Lydia Sexton All of these books sound amazing! I have added them all to my TBR.
Thanks for the recommendations


ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook Kathleen Winter’s Annabel is an amazing read. It is by a Canadian author so that's probably why it isn't on this list.


message 21: by Nicky (new)

Nicky I've read They Both Die at the End and I loved it so much! I'm really curious about the other books :)


message 22: by Ray (new)

Ray I just realized that Lead on The Offbeat comes out a day after my birthday!


message 23: by Holden (new)

Holden The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

Where can I find the other list?


message 24: by lucky little cat (new)

lucky little cat Really torn between flagging the drmojo spam and admiring it for its bald-faced outrageousness.


message 25: by lucky little cat (new)

lucky little cat Holden (malfunctions without books) wrote: "The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears wrote: "Thank you! At least YOUR list is full of diversity. That other one - 50 Reads - is epic fail."

Where can I find the othe..."


Holden, etc., it's at https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1...


message 26: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Whitley 😂

lucky little cat wrote: "Really torn between flagging the drmojo spam and admiring it for its bald-faced outrageousness."


message 27: by lucky little cat (new)

lucky little cat Thanks Nicole, in the end my Barney Fife side won out, so I flagged it, and some fab angel GR librarian removed it.


message 28: by ItsJustPenny (new)

ItsJustPenny This is freaking AMAZING!💜


message 29: by Amelia (new)

Amelia "They Both Die at the End" seems really good!! Im soo going to have to read it after "Be More Chill"!


message 30: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia I love LOVE. Will be adding some of these to my "to read" list.


message 31: by Leilén (new)

Leilén Winkler i want to read it all!


message 32: by Karina (new)

Karina Some great suggestions here - also cannot wait to read Leah on the Off Beat!


message 33: by Ronald (new)

Ronald McCutchan Lord wrote: "Adam Silvera is a trashy and depressing author. " I'll give you "depressing," (I also found More Happy than Not to be somber) but please support your "trashy" comment. I think Silvera has a unique and consistent voice. The morbid strain is a definite "thing" in YA these days: for example, Neal Shusterman's Scythe, Lance Rubin's Denton Little's Death Date--and, as I've been reading a lot of student writing recently, it's definitely something in the minds of a lot of teens these days.


message 34: by Skyler (new)

Skyler Klee Thanks for inclusion. At this point when I see there's an LGBT+ book list I fully expect homosexual representation and maybe bisexual... so thank you.


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