Rainbow Romance Summer: Gay YA Must Reads by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss


While the weather might still feel decidedly spring-ish and your calendar app tells you it’s only May, signs of summer are already appearing. Swimwear and flip-flops are in stores, Hollywood will release its newest must-see superhero blockbuster any moment now, and publishers are releasing books perfect for a day at the beach—or, in the case of the YA genre, stories that are perfect for the young (or young at heart) to read on summer vacation. Below are a few gay young adult titles that fans of romance might find irresistible.

Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee (May 10)

Theo and Gabriel have always been at odds. When a new fusion café threatens each of their parent’s businesses, Theo and Gabi realize an unfortunate truth—they can only achieve their individual goals by working together to cook up an underground bakery operation and win back their customers. But can they put aside their differences long enough to save their parents’ shops, or will the new feelings between them boil over?

Nate Plus One by Kevin Van Whye (May 10)

Nate needs a date to his cousin’s lavish destination wedding. Jai is Nate’s best friend and secret crush. Could Jai be Nate’s plus-one—and only? From the author of Date Me Bryson Keller comes a new swoon-worthy summer rom-com about music, adventure, self-discovery. . . and definitely not love.

Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta (May 24)

From the Stonewall Award–winning author of The Black Flamingo comes a romantic coming-of-age novel in verse about the beautiful—and sometimes painful—fallout of pursuing the love we deserve. When Mack’s father takes on a directing project in Scotland, he discovers how painful long-distance relationships can be. It’s awful to be so far away from Karim, but when Mack meets actor Finlay on set, his world turns upside down again. Fin seems fearless—and his confidence might just be infectious. 

Milo and Marcos at the End of the World by Kevin Christopher Snipes (May 24)

Milo has managed to survive most of high school with no major disasters, until dreamy and charismatic Marcos saunters back into his life after a three-year absence and turns his world upside down. Strange things have been happening around their sleepy Florida town ever since Marcos’s return. As natural disasters begin to befall them the closer they become, they wonder if the universe itself is plotting against them in this YA debut by the playwright and creator of The Two Princes podcast, Kevin Christopher Snipes. 

Out of the Blue by Jason June (May 31)

Crest is not excited about the merfolk rite of passage in which he must help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder—or remain stuck on land forever. When he meets a lifeguard named Sean, he agrees to help Sean make his ex-boyfriend jealous. But as the two spend more time together, and Crest’s perspective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. Their fake dating just might lead to actual feelings.

A Little Bit Country by Brian D Kennedy (May 31)

Emmett can’t wait to spend the summer working at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs. Luke hates country music and, as the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, the last place he wants a job is at Wanda World. When Emmett and Luke meet, sparks fly. Soon, they’re inseparable—until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything. Can they get past the truths they discover… or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song? 

Kings of B’More by R. Eric Thomas (May 31)

When Linus tells his best friend that he’s moving out of state, Harrison plans a send-off à la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, squeezing every life-expanding experience they thought they’d have into their last day together. On a mini road trip, Harrison and Linus attend their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party—all while keeping their respective parents off their trail. They make a pact to do all the things, big and small, they’ve been too scared to do. But nothing feels scarier than saying goodbye to someone you love.

About the Authors:

Jeff Adams & Will Knauss are husbands, authors of m/m romance and podcasters. Big Gay Fiction Podcast, their weekly show, is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. You can learn more about them at BigGayFictionPodcast.comjeffadamswrites.com and willknauss.com

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.


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