Bloom

Kevin Panetta

Savanna Ganucheau

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Ari can't wait to get out of town, get away from his family's bakery, and move in with his friends who are also in the band he plays in. Then he meets Hector, one of the applicants to take over his job. Then he starts to realize his friends aren't that great. But sometimes, we have to make some mistakes and live some life before we're really ready for love to bloom.

Appeals to

Great for fans of slower romance and stories of learning to love through learning to grow first, like Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me or Our Dreams at Dusk.

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Greek-American
  • Sexuality: Gay
Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

Crystal Frasier

Val Wise

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Annie is the antisocial loner who has top grades and a prickly, rebellious personality; Bebe is a trans girl who feels she has to please everyone. When Annie joins the cheerleading team to round out her college applications, she and Bebe rekindle their previous friendship and soon it becomes something more.

Appeals to

Fans of the coming-of-age and sports elements of Check Please; readers looking for a light, fun teen romance

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: 7028

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5363
  • Gender Identity: 5929
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Eighty Days

A.C. Esguerra

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Jay is a skilled pilot valued and sought for his skills but simply wants to enjoy flying. Fix is a genius who does not have proper documentation to work in their deeply hierarchical society. During a long flight, Jay and Fix form a strong bond only to be torn apart. As the conflict heats up, Fix is willing to do whatever it takes to rescue Jay. Will they be reunited or will the weight of the world crush them?

Appeals to

With its intricate worldbuilding and story, Eighty Days will appeal to readers who enjoy love stories where the characters face war or other impossible odds.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6797
  • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5362
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Heartstopper

Alice Oseman

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Charlie is a anxious gay teen suffering the aftereffects of bullying at school; Nick is a kind, well-liked rugby player. When they are assigned seats next to one another in their homeroom, they quickly form a close friendship. Will their relationship become something more?

Appeals to

With its emphasis in strong character dynamics and development and sweet moments, Heartstopper will appeal to readers looking for a sweet, character-focused, slow-burn romance.

Content Notes

Homophobia and bullying; mental illness--eating disorders

Creator Identities:

  • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5364, 5362
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

I Hear the Sunspot

Yuki Fumino

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Kohei is somewhat shy and withdrawn at college, partially because his hearing disability makes socializing difficult. Taichi literally crashes Kohei's quiet rooftop lunch one day, and from that moment, works his way into Kohei's life. With Taichi's friendship and perspective, Kohei becomes more confident, and over time, their friendship becomes closer. While the first volume establishes their friendship, subsequent volumes show a growing romance between them.

Appeals to

This is a great introduction to the boys' love genre of manga or for readers who prefer softer romantic relationships. Pairs well with similar stories like The Two Lions or for readers looking for representation of hearing loss in comics, like Mooncakes.

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: Gay
  • Disability: Hearing loss
Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Kiss Number 8

Colleen AF Venable

Ellen T. Crenshaw

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Amanda has kissed a lot of frogs trying to find her prince, but her eighth kiss shows her that she might be interested in princes and princesses, but it also may break her friend group apart. On top of dealing with keeping her interest in girls a secret, she receives a mysterious letter in the mail promising her an inheritance from her paternal grandfather who she’s never met. As Amanda tries to find out more about this relative, she discovers that she may not be the only person in her family that her parents need to learn to accept.

Appeals to

Anyone who is looking for a sign that it indeed does get better. Young people who have people in their life (family, friends, school) that are not accepting of their identity at first will feel seen by this story and given hope that they will find their people someday.

Content Notes

Homophobia, Transphobia

Creator Identities:

  • Gender Identity: Gender Nonconforming

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5364
Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Mariko Tamaki

Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

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Freddy has a problem, she’s stuck in a cycle of on-again, off-again with her popular and charming girlfriend Laura Dean that leaves her hurting and empty. Laura Dean is hot and cold and frequently cares more about hanging out with her friends than paying attention to Freddy. But young love can be intense, so Freddy is searching for a way that she can be happy and her and Laura Dean can still be together. As time goes on Freddy realizes that she is letting her love for Laura Dean consume her and get in the way of all the other positive relationships in her life. She learns to be a better friend to her bestie who is hurting in her own way and how to be happy on her own.

Appeals to

Fans of Tillie Walden and Gene Luen Yang will love this graphic novel that is deeply nuanced and real.

Content Notes

Adult having sex with a minor that results in pregnancy, abortion

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 7130
  • Sexuality: 7029

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5363
Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Life of Melody

Mari Costa

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A fairy godfather and a troll form a reluctant partnership to raise a human baby girl abandoned in the woods. As they raise Melody and live together, their conflicted dynamic becomes something warmer and deeper.

Appeals to

Readers who enjoy romances that feature characters who are a bit of a mess.

Creator Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6733, 6933
  • Sexuality: 7029

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 7641
  • Sexuality: 5362
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Meal

Soleil Ho

Blue Delliquanti

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Budding chef Yarrow moves to a new city to pursue her dream of working in a restaurant that serves insect cuisine. It doesn't hurt that her new friend Milani is great and cute! However, Yarrow's initial pitch offends the owner Chanda. Yarrow is going to have to put her cooking skills and knowledge to get this opportunity. Can Yarrow convince Chanda her love for insect cuisine is genuine and also win Milani's heart?

Appeals to

Readers looking for a feel-good romance that explores food, memory, and culture.

Creator Identities:

  • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: 6552, 5975, 5873
  • Sexuality: 5363
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

On a Sunbeam

Tillie Walden

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In a fictional future where there are no men, Mia joins the crew of a ship that travels across space to rebuild ruins. The story flashes between the present, and Mia’s past, where she was a student at a boarding school. During her time at school she had a whirlwind romance with a new student with a mysterious past. She also starts to find her place with her new crew and she reveals her real reason for joining them, to find her long-lost love.

Appeals to

Readers who are looking for a graphic novel that is as introspective as it is sci-fi will fall in love with this story.

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: 7029

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5363, 5366
Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Stage Dreams

Melanie Gillman

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When Flor kidnaps Grace from a stagecoach, she doesn't get the rich damsel she expected. Grace is a trans woman fleeing from conscription into the army and dreaming of taking the stage in San Francisco. However, Grace's expert dress sense and knowledge of Southern etiquette and accents may be just what Flor needs for her plan to steal Confederate secrets for the Union.

Appeals to

With its near-perfect balance of tender, humorous moments and rollicking adventure, teens will enjoy this short and fun western adventure-romance that will delight readers looking for a short but sweet escapade.

Creator Identities:

  • Gender Identity: Nonbinary

Main Character Identities:

  • Sexuality: 5363
  • Gender Identity: 5929
Recommended by

Megan Rupe

The Girl from the Sea

Molly Knox Ostertag

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Morgan's keeping more than a few secrets, the least of which is that she's planning to leave home as soon as she graduates high school. When the mysterious Keltie saves her from drowning, a new secret is added. Then there's Keltie's secret too, about who and what she is. The truth will come out, and Morgan's about to learn some painful truths about growing up and falling love.

Appeals to

Perfect for fans of stories with forbidden-feeling love, even if that's far from the truth, like Heartstopper or You Brought Me the Ocean.

Creator Identities:

  • Sexuality: Queer

Main Character Identities:

  • Race and/or Nationality: Canadian
  • Sexuality: Lesbian
Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

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