Books

Top 5 books about queer teenage romance, chosen by Helen Palmer

The queer-romance novelist selects five of the best books in the genre

Two young people holding hands

Image: StockSnap from Pixabay

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

This tale of an Iranian-American teenager’s visit to his family in Iran, life lessons and subsequent romance, is super-smart, funny, honest and sweet. A real page-turner!

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

If you’ve grown up in the north of England you will feel at home with the humour in this coming-of-age story of a young girl growing up in a Lancashire town with a fervently religious mother who tries to exorcise the queerness out of her.  

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Orlando by Virginia Woolf

This is not strictly a teenage story throughout, but the book opens with teenage Orlando besotted with the beautiful Sasha. The queerness of this book must have inspired thousands of young people on their gender journeys. It is also a love letter from Virginia Woolf to her lover at the time, Vita Sackville-West. 

Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval

Having listened to Jenny Hval’s music I really enjoyed this novella, which charts the progress of a dreamy, spectral relationship and queer sexual awakening. 

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

The Heartstopper series of graphic novels are an amazing, heartwarming guiding light to LGBT+ youth out there. Razor-sharp and witty, not a word is superfluous.   

Pleasure Beach book cover

Pleasure Beach by Helen Palmer is out on 16 June (Prototype, £12). You can buy these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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