In honor of Pride Month this year, I want to reflect back on my favorite queer Latinx reads that I will wave the rainbow flag for. They brought me all the Latinx joy that I needed and more. These recs have gay, transsexual, pansexual, bisexual, and sapphic representation. These books made my heart burst with all the rainbow heart emojis that my Latinx soul needed.
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
Jules is nearing his high school graduation, and he has always had a plan for his life to break free to be his own authentic self. All Jules wants is to get away from his stifling home life in Corpus Christi, Texas, and get into UCLA.
Everything comes crashing down in one careless tweet where Jules has just come out of the closet unintentionally, and Jules has to prepare himself to face his friends and family. He is left to pick up the pieces of his decision and figure out how he will navigate being openly queer, but he soon realizes that now he can be his true self.
Things get better when he meets Mat from Los Angeles through Twitter, who soon becomes his full-blown Twitter crush. Jules feels like he could tell Mat anything, and he makes Jules feel less alone about coming out for the first time. When one of Jules greatest fears happens after his accidental coming out, all he wants to do is be with Mat, but he is fifteen hundred miles away.
Jules must decide how to control his life and figure out how he will move forward to live the life he has always envisioned for himself.
This is a refreshing read where I fell in love with Jules and his great big beating heart that made me just want to give him a big abrazo! Jules reminds all of us that life is sweeter when you go after the life of your dreams. Not to mention, this book brought my obsession with Selena back with a vengeance, and I am not mad about it!
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna-Marie McLemore
The Miss Meteor beauty pageant has never had a winner that looks like Lita Perez and Chicky Quintanilla. This reason alone fuels Lita to enter the contest, and her best friend Chicky puts aside her differences with Lita to help her and smash the patriarchy together. Lita wants to show others that perfection isn’t a requirement in being Miss Meteor and that it’s about being yourself and, most of all, loving the parts of yourself that others refuse to accept.
Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore get together and write their first book together that is a heartwarming and hopeful book that pushes you to cheer for the underdog!
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
The Nomeolivdes women have taken care of the garden La Pradera which attracts and bewitches from all around. They also have a dark secret that has followed them for generations. The moment that they fall in love is the moment that their lovers disappear. Everything changes when Estrella from the Nomeolvides family sees a strange boy appear in the gardens. Nobody in the family has ever seen him before, and he is even a mystery to himself.
Estrella helps Fel figure out the missing pieces of his past, and together the Nomeolvides women learn about La Pradera that lead them to the dangers and the magic of the mysterious, lush gardens.
Wild Beauty is the classic Latinx magical realism read of my dreams and is one of the most intense swoon-worthy romances that literally makes my heart swell whenever I think about it!
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel is struggling to get his traditional Latinx family to make peace with his gender. This motivates Yadriel to show his family and himself that he is a real brujo. He executes a ritual himself with the assistance of his cousin and best friend Maritza in hopes of finding the ghost of his murdered cousin. Things take a turn for the worst when he summons the wrong spirit. His name is Julian Diaz, and he is your quintessential bad boy, and Julian is anything but ready to rest in peace. Julian is determined to know how he died, and he will not stop haunting Yadriel until he gets the answers he is searching for. Yadriel reluctantly decides to help Julian in agreement of both getting what they want. Suddenly, Yadriel realizes that the more time he spends with Julian, the less he wants him to disappear.
Cemetery Boys is one of those books that will become of the classics for the Latinx trans community because it genuinely delves into queer pain, trauma, and queer Latinx joy all in one book.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
After midnight, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio get the kind of phone call of their worst nightmares. Death-Cast calls them to tell them that they are going to die in twenty-four hours. Mateo and Rufus begin as strangers to one another and become much more when they meet in the Last Friend app. The app Last Friend helps people connect with someone before they die. Rufus and Mateo meet to live out one last epic day where they can live their lives without an ounce of fear or regret.
This is my first Adam Silvera book, and I have to say I am a little bit destroyed inside. The pain that Mateo and Rufus have lived through has marked me forever, and this book reminds me of the power behind connecting with someone, even if it’s just for one final day.