Rainbow Youth: 9 Queer YA Stories for Your Summer Reading List by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss


With tales of teen angst, student body politics, and romance among the stars, these nine new and upcoming YA books are sure to have you reminiscing for the good-old-days of notes passed in class and square cafeteria pizza. Whether you’re young, or young at heart, now is the best time to immerse yourself in the compelling world of an irresistible summer read. 

May the Best Man Win by ZR Ellor (available now)

An out and proud trans teen runs against his jock ex-boyfriend for the title of Homecoming King in this author’s YA debut.

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (available now)

From the author of Dumplin, comes the story of a high school senior whose drag audition for a popular TV show is seen by the entire school. When he’s nominated for Homecoming Queen, he decides that this year he’s going to go out with a very glittery bang.

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons (June 1)

Described as a cross between Love, Simon and Bend It Like Beckham, this contemporary romance is about a trans athlete who faces discrimination and must decide between standing up for his right to play on the school soccer team or continuing to pass as cisgender.

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer (June 1)

In this sci-fi/mystery, two boys aboard a spaceship must learn to trust one another if their rescue mission is to succeed. Will they fall in love in the process?

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June (June 1)

When Jay starts his senior year at a new school, he’s finally able to cross a few items off his gay romance to-do list. His various experiences with heartache and hook-ups force him to re-examine his relationships, old and new.

The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver (June 1)

From the author of I Wish You All the Best, comes a story of love and grief. When Ethan losses his older brother in a hit-and-run accident, he’s drawn to his brother’s best friend, the only person who seems to understand his pain. 

The (Un)Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez (June 1)

High school politics can be tricky, and no one knows that better than Mark, a transmasculine student who dives head-first into the dangerous waters of a student body president election against the wishes of his politician father.

You’re the One That I Want by Simon James Green (June 3)

From the author of Heartbreak Boys, comes the story of Freddie, who’s tied of being Mr. Nice Guy. After a Grease-inspired make-over, he’s suddenly popular and catching the eye of the most handsome boy in school. But will pretending to be someone he isn’t ruin his chances of finding his very own Danny Zuko?

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa (June 8)

In this story of coming out and first love, an impulsive tweet sends a Texas teen tumbling out of the closet. At least he can now be his authentic self, but Jules must deal with the fallout alone since the boy he depends on the most lives all the way in California. 

Tracker Hacker by Jeff Adams (June 1)

And this bonus entry in our list comes from Jeff. The first book in the Codename: Winger series focuses on high school hockey player and secret agent Theo Reese. After five years of working for a covert agency from behind the safety of his computer keyboard, Theo ends up on his first field mission to help rescue missing agents—including his father.

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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