LGBTQA+ YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reads of the Rainbow



Pride Month is almost over, but that doesn't mean you can't read any more LGBTQA+ books! Here are some amazing reads that are themed by the colors of the rainbow!


A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith


A troubled girl confronts her personal demons in this time-travel thriller alternating between present day and 19th century Japan.


No one knows how to handle Reiko. She is full of hatred; all she can think about is how to best hurt herself and those people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt at her home in Seattle, Reiko's parents send her to spend the summer with family in Japan, hoping she will learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping backward in time into the nineteenth-century life of Miyu, a young woman even more vengeful than Reiko herself. Reiko loves escaping into Miyu's life . . . until she discovers Kuramagi's dark secret and must face down Miyu's demons as well as her own.


Check it out here!


Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson


The Hate U Give meets Internment in this pulse-pounding thriller about an impenetrable dome around Baltimore that is keeping the residents in and information from going out during a city-wide protest.


Jamal Lawson just wanted to be a part of something. As an aspiring journalist, he packs up his camera and heads to Baltimore to document a rally protesting police brutality after another Black man is murdered.


But before it even really begins, the city implements a new safety protocol...the Dome. The Dome surrounds the city, forcing those within to subscribe to a total militarized shutdown. No one can get in, and no one can get out.


Alone in a strange place, Jamal doesn't know where to turn...until he meets hacker Marco, who knows more than he lets on, and Catherine, an AWOL basic-training-graduate, whose parents helped build the initial plans for the Dome.


As unrest inside of Baltimore grows throughout the days-long lockdown, Marco, Catherine, and Jamal take the fight directly to the chief of police. But the city is corrupt from the inside out, and it's going to take everything they have to survive.


Check it out here!


Milo and Marcos at the End of the World by Kevin Christopher Snipes


As natural disasters begin to befall them the closer they become, Milo and Marcos soon begin to wonder if the universe itself is plotting against them in this young adult debut by the playwright and creator of The Two Princes podcast, Kevin Christopher Snipes.


Milo Connolly has managed to survive most of high school without any major disasters, so by his calculations, he’s well past due for some sort of Epic Teenage Catastrophe. Even so, all he wants his senior year is to fly under the radar.


Everything is going exactly as planned until the dreamy and charismatic Marcos Price saunters back into his life after a three-year absence and turns his world upside down. Suddenly Milo is forced to confront the long-buried feelings that he’s kept hidden not only from himself but also from his deeply religious parents and community.


To make matters worse, strange things have been happening around his sleepy Florida town ever since Marcos’s return—sinkholes, blackouts, hailstorms. Mother Nature is out of control, and the closer Milo and Marcos get, the more disasters seem to befall them. In fact, as more and more bizarre occurrences pile up, Milo and Marcos find themselves faced with the unthinkable: Is there a larger, unseen force at play, trying to keep them apart? And if so, is their love worth risking the end of the world?


Check it out here!


Youngblood by Sasha Laurens


High school sucks. Especially for the undead.


Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.


Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.


When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.


Check it out here!


Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith


Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.


Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.


Check it out here!


Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee


Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship--only it turns out to be for the towns most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, whom Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then theres the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious "M," who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.


Check it out here!


Crown Chasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer


A deadly race across 1,001 planets will determine more than just the fate of the empire.


Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy, even leaving behind the Kingship and her uncle, the emperor, for a life of exploring.

But when her dying uncle announces a crownchase—a search for the royal seal hidden in the empire that will determine the next ruler—Alyssa is thrust into her greatest, most dangerous adventure yet.


Check it out here!


Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto


An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.


I had a sister, once…


In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.


I promised her the throne would not come between us.


Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.


But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.


Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.


Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.


Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.


Check it out here!


Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova


The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...


Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she's not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex's only chance at saving her family.


Check it out here!


Dark Rise by CS Pacat


In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.


Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.


As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.


Check it out here!


Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria


n the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade.


Now Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt. As Cassa struggles to live up to her parents’ legacy, she and her friends try to uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy—before it’s too late to save the city.


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The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco


A world split between day and night. Two sisters who must unite it. The author of The Bone Witch kicks off an epic YA fantasy duology perfect for fans of Furyborn.


Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon―until one sister’s betrayal split their world in two. A Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in eternal night, the other scorched beneath an ever-burning sun.


While one sister rules the frozen fortress of Aranth, her twin rules the sand-locked Golden City―each with a daughter by their side. Now those young goddesses must set out on separate, equally dangerous journeys in hopes of healing their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.


Check it out here!


Hull Metal Girls by Emily Skrutskie


From the author of Bonds of Brass, don't miss Hullmetal Girls, which NPR calls "a little Ender's Game, a little Hunger Games, [and] a little Battlestar Gallactica."


Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor's salary isn't enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.


Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she's from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.


In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha's and Key's paths collide, and the two must learn to work together--a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintian unity.


With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.


Check it out here!


The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi


First in a “wildly inventive and wildly representative” (The New York Times Book Review) historical fantasy series, Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves follows the exploits of a found family—six societal outcasts tasked with stealing a powerful artifact that can alter their lives for the better, but at the cost of breaking the world.


All eyes are on Paris where the Exposition Universelle World Fair is to be held. Hidden among the technological marvels and artistic creations on display is an item of unimaginable power—a Babel fragment that would enable those who wield it with magical Forging abilities over nature’s elements.


Séverin Montagnet-Alarie's birthright was stolen from him. Now, to reclaim his rightful place among France’s elite, he must obtain the Babel fragment for the Order. It is a heist that will require the ingenuity and skills of those with nothing to lose and everything to gain: Enrique, a gifted historian and wordsmith, caught between two worlds; Zofia, a brilliant Forging artist and engineer, separated from her family; Hypnos, a rival aristocrat who needs an ally among the Order; Tristan, an extraordinary Forger raised at Séverin’s side, loyal to his adopted brother’s quest; and Laila, the mysterious dancer and espionage artist who stole Séverin’s heart in a moment of vulnerability he couldn’t afford.


But as the dangerous risks of their escapade surge, Séverin finds himself torn between his desire for revenge against all those who wronged him and the people he’s deliberately placing in harm’s way—including the woman he loves and fears to lose…


Check it out here!


Sofi and the Bone Song by Adrienne Tooley


In this gorgeous standalone fantasy with a “sweet sapphic romance” (Booklist), a young musician sets out to expose her rival for illegal use of magic only to discover the deception goes deeper than she could have imagined—perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens!


Music runs in Sofi’s blood.


Her father is a Musik, one of only five musicians in the country licensed to compose and perform original songs. In the kingdom of Aell, where winter is endless and magic is accessible to all, there are strict anti-magic laws ensuring music remains the last untouched art.


Sofi has spent her entire life training to inherit her father’s title. But on the day of the auditions, she is presented with unexpected competition in the form of Lara, a girl who has never before played the lute. Yet somehow, to Sofi’s horror, Lara puts on a performance that thoroughly enchants the judges.


Almost like magic.


The same day Lara wins the title of Musik, Sofi’s father dies, and a grieving Sofi sets out to prove Lara is using illegal magic in her performances. But the more time she spends with Lara, the more Sofi begins to doubt everything she knows about her family, her music, and the girl she thought was her enemy.


As Sofi works to reclaim her rightful place as a Musik, she is forced to face the dark secrets of her past and the magic she was trained to avoid—all while trying not to fall for the girl who stole her future.


Check it out here!


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an “enthralling adventure” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.


All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.


Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire, and Elisabeth is implicated in the crime. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.


As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


Check it out here!


Revenge by Dani Hoots


A swashbuckling upper YA/NA LGBTQ+ sci-fi western you don't want to miss!


It has been three years since Elvira "Ellie" Ryder was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend Cor, which caused the destruction of her people by invaders from a different Zone. Now she will do anything to find him and make him pay.


Ellie has found someone who knows where Cor is. The price—assassinate a half-human, half-Sirian who is trying to join the Society, a high-class club only for the rich. Ellie takes the job, as it wouldn’t be the first assassination job she has taken, and heads to the Human Zone. However, when she learns more about her target, the more she realizes what is going on behind the curtain, and how her people were really destroyed.


Will Ellie be able to forgive Cor after learning the truth? Or will she forever hold on to that hatred?


Check it out here!


Dreadnought by April Daniels


A trans teen is transformed into a superhero in this action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of The Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.


Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.


It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.


She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.


Check it out here!


Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tamm


The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.


To earn back Artemis's favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia-where the king's daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father's insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn't sure what to make of Kahina.


As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis's second rule. She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls' dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.


Check it out here!


All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil


Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.


Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in the girl’s tight-knit household, which operates on a free-love philosophy and easy warmth despite the band’s growing fame.


But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas perform a riot-grrrl ritual in good fun, accidentally summoning a pair of ancient beings bound to avenge the wrongs of Xochi’s past. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family Xochi’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.


Check it out here!


So This is Ever After by FT Lukens


Carry On meets Arthurian legend in this subversive, “delightfully original and whimsical” (Kirkus Reviews) young adult fantasy about what happens after the chosen one wins the kingdom and has to get married to keep it…and to stay alive.


Arek hadn’t thought much about what would happen after he completed the prophecy that said he was destined to save the Kingdom of Ere from its evil ruler. So now that he’s finally managed to (somewhat clumsily) behead the evil king (turns out magical swords yanked from bogs don’t come pre-sharpened), he and his rag-tag group of quest companions are at a bit of a loss for what to do next.


As a temporary safeguard, Arek’s best friend and mage, Matt, convinces him to assume the throne until the true heir can be rescued from her tower. Except that she’s dead. Now Arek is stuck as king, a role that comes with a magical catch: choose a spouse by your eighteenth birthday, or wither away into nothing.


With his eighteenth birthday only three months away, and only Matt in on the secret, Arek embarks on a desperate bid to find a spouse to save his life—starting with his quest companions. But his attempts at wooing his friends go painfully and hilariously wrong…until he discovers that love might have been in front of him all along.


Check it out here!


Once & Future by Cory McCarthy and A. R. Capetta


King Arthur as you've never seen her! This bold, sizzling YA novel reimagines the Once and Future King as a teenage girl determined to save the universe from an evil curse.


My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.I've been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I've always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur. Now I'm done hiding.


When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind. No pressure.


Check it out here!


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan


Uncover a riveting story of palace intrigue set in a sumptuous Asian-inspired fantasy world in the breakout YA novel that Publisher's Weekly calls "elegant and adrenaline-soaked."


In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.


Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, she does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.


Check it out here!


Other Bound by Corinne Duyvis


Nolan doesn't see darkness when he closes his eyes. Instead, he's transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan's life in his small Arizona town is full of history tests, family tension, and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara's world is full of magic and danger--she's a mute servant girl who's tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is only an observer in Amara's world--until he learns to control her. At first, Amara is terrified. Then, she's furious. But to keep the princess--and themselves--alive, they'll have to work together and discover the truth behind their connection.


Check it out here!

 

This article was written by Dani Hoots


Dani Hoots is a YA sci-fi & fantasy author who is best known for her Daughter of Hades series and City of Kaus series. Click the covers below to learn more!






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