rom coms but make it queer: book edition


illustration: ireland klicman

With the rise of BookTok, reading has become more mainstream. Every time I scroll down my For You page, there are more book recommendations than I know what to do with. As someone who used to read three to four books a week, I am more than happy about reading becoming the next big hobby. However, with the ample amount of content being suggested, I’ve noticed that the must-read list often lacks queer representation. But there is no need to fear because this queer reader has curated reading list with my top five picks, just for you. 


5.“Written in the Stars” by Alexandria Bellefleur

This fun novel starts with a blind date gone wrong and ends in… well, you’ll have to read it yourself to find out. Two women, Elle and Darcy, who are opposites in almost every way find themselves in a fake relationship. But along the way, they figure out that not only can opposites attract, but they can also complement each other. This novel was fun and engaging from start to finish. Elle’s love of astrology and endless optimism is a brilliant juxtaposition to Darcy’s need to be logical and practical; a classic grumpy vs. sunshine character trope that readers love to see in a romantic comedy. The characters could have been a bit more fleshed out, but overall it is an easy yet fun read.

4.The “Heartstopper” series by Alice Oseman

This recommendation is a bit of a cheat, I know. But, these four graphic novels are quick reads. Once I picked the first one up, I was finished with the series in two days. These graphic novels follow two boys as they navigate the rollercoaster that is high school. Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson are the epitome of wholesomeness. There are so many adorable scenes of the two testing the waters of being in a new relationship, and not always succeeding. Their love is portrayed in such an innocent and age-appropriate way, which is refreshing because  LGBTQ+ kids are often forced to grow up quickly and deal with things that are so mature. Whereas, Nick and Charlie just get to be kids. Oseman does a beautiful job of broaching hard topics such as mental health, understanding queerness as a spectrum, parental issues and so much more in a way that is not overwhelming. If all of this is not enough to convince you to read these books, I might add that the art style is some of the cutest I’ve ever seen. 

3.“Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material centers around Luc O’Donnell and Oliver Blackwood, two men who could not be more different. Luc is the son of former rock stars and he can’t seem to find his way out of the public eye. Oliver is a successful barrister who is always put together and perfect. Luc’s reputation requires some rehabilitation and Oliver needs a date for an important event, thus a fake dating scheme is cooked up. The banter between Luc and Oliver is hands down my favorite part of this book. Hall managed to write an engaging and fresh spin on the all too common fake dating trope. There is also a touch of an enemies to lovers trope, nothing full out, but enough to satisfy us romance genre devotees. Hall manages to tick all the boxes on the romance trope list. But the book is still amusing and witty and all the things I want in my rom coms. Truly one of my favorites and one I love to recommend.

2.“One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

This book, out of all of my recommendations, has the most twists and turns and it kept me on my toes the entire read. Based in none other than New York City, this book is so full of joie de vivre. August, a cynical quick-witted 23-year-old, has just moved her life from New Orleans to NYC to start anew. One day on her daily subway commute, she spots Jane: tall, cool and basically August’s dream girl. Jane and August hit it off and form a bond that could be something more. August always describes Jane as an old soul and soon enough we find out she is– in more than one way. This book is not only a smart and sexy romance but also sci-fi adjacent. McQuiston has delivered one of the most surprising twists on a romance novel that I’ve yet to read. Their character development is unmatched. This book was full of diverse, interesting and fleshed-out supporting characters who all could be the stars of stand-alone novels if McQuiston so chose. There were so many laughs and feel-good moments throughout the book. As a person who took the Q almost every day for five months, I’d never seen the subway as a place full of wonder until I read this book. So if you’re looking for a romance book with a more complex plot line, this is the book for you.

1.“Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers

Last but certainly not least is “Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers. Grace Porter has just completed her Ph.D. in astronomy and to celebrate, she took a girl’s trip to Las Vegas. After a night full of fun she finds herself married to a stranger with only a ring and a note as proof. Feeling the pressure of life after academia, Grace flees to NYC to spend the summer getting to know her new wife Yuki Yamamoto, the enigmatic late-night radio show host. The two try to navigate both each other and adulthood. This book is one of the first that I’ve truly related to; it was so refreshing to read from the perspective of another queer Black woman. Rogers has written such an apt portrayal of mental burnout and the fears that we face after graduation. I see a lot of myself in Grace and often felt the certain quotes from the book hit so close to home. The prose is so beautifully crafted and the supporting characters are entertaining. The way that Rogers writes this love story is paced so well and never left me with the urge to just jump to the end. Although “Honey Girl” is more rom than com, it still sits firmly at the top of my list. Rogers says she “writes books for queer girls who are looking for their place in the world.” If you see yourself in that description, and even if you don’t, this book is more than worth the read.


As an avid reader who journeys through many genres, it’s not often that I see myself represented in the books. I think it’s so important to consume and create media that’s not just centered around the queer struggle. There should be more books that are easy and fun and meant for enjoyment. That is why I’ve made it my mission to find these books and bring them to A Mag’s readers just for their enjoyment.


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