Searching for lesbian books to read? These 15 romantic ya lesbian books will make you believe in true love again!
This post contains affiliate links. That said, I won’t ever recommend a book I haven’t read and loved myself.
Who else thinks Sapphic romance makes books better? It's great reading ya lesbian books but sometimes it's difficult to find good books with lesbians. As a proud lesbian myself, I am recommending the best ya lesbian books that I have read and loved myself.
In this post I'm going to recommend the best ya lesbian books, ya lesbian fantasy books, and new ya lesbian books to read. I've also included included a description, readers ratings for each book and a comparison table,
After reading about these book recommendations, your tbr list is going to be so much longer! Plus get my free LGBTQ+ bookmarks!
This post is all about the must read ya lesbian books that you won't be able to put down
What are the best ya lesbian books?
1. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
I was sold on this book as soon as I heard Sapphic witches! These Witches Don't Burn contains lesbian witches, a mystery to solve and a the found family trope. Plus it's an urban fantasy book set in Salem.
These Witches Don’t Burn follows Hannah. She is a witch living in Salem. A dark blood ritual interrupts her end of school bonfire. And she investigates with her ex-girlfriend Veronica.
She also meets Morgan. But trying to date in the middle of a supernatural crisis is not easy and will test Hannah’s limits.
This is one of my favourite ya fantasy duologies. There are seriously not enough ya fantasy duologies. So this is an easy series to binge read and finish.
Don't get me wrong - it's not hard hitting. But I'm a simple girl and sometimes I want a warm, cozy lesbian book to read. The LGBTQ+ characters are so well incorporated that they are just part of life. This makes it such a comforting read.
Good reads rating: 3.76
2. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Her Royal Highness features one of my favourite lesbian characters in Flora. Flora is intelligent, funny and sassy AF. It also features an amazing bisexual character,
It's a light-hearted teen romance set in a school. The book follows Millie who is heartbroken when she discovers that her kinda girlfriend has been kissing someone else. After getting into a super elusive boarding school, she moves to Scotland. And this is where she meets Princess Flora.
Not only does this book include the enemies-to-lovers trope. But it also features the room-mates trope, royalty, an ex-girlfriend and a posh boarding schoolOh, and did I mention it’s all set in stunning Scottish highlands.
It did feel a litte rushed towards the end of the book. But it's still a sweet and irresistibly charming book. You could easily binge-read this in one sitting. It would be a great book to read on holiday or if you're struggling to get out of a reading slump.
Good reads rating: 3.79
3. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
A Dark and Hollow Star is one of the top books to read in 2022! If you’re a fan of Crescent City you definitely need to read a Dark and Hollow Star. There are so many similarities. It's an urban fantasy with fae, queer main characters and an enticing mystery. It also has a seriously adorable wlw romance.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
There are not one but two romances in this book. And the characters are what make them so perfect. Arlo and Nausicaä have such amazing chemistry. Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Arlo and Nausicaä have a perfect grumpy/sunshine slow-burn vibe.
I listened to the audiobook version which you can find on audible. It features a full cast of narrators which made it really engrossing.
The voices of Vehan and Nausicaä are so spot on! And you can listen to it on Audible with a free trial. It's a great audiobook to put on if you're looking for some escapism while you're cleaning or relaxing before bedtime.
Good reads rating: 3.83
4. Malice by Heather Walter
Let me tell you - Malice is one of the best books I have read this year. It was an instant 5 stars from me. You will absolutely love the dystopian world building, morally grey main character and grumpy/sunshine romance.
Malice is a Maleficent retelling. The book is set in a Kingdom called Briar. Once upon a time, a wicked fairy cursed a line of princesses to die. Only true love’s kiss can break the curse.
The book follows Alyce – the dark grace. She was left abandoned in Briar from a dark kingdom. The dark magic that runs in her veins abhors residents in Briar.
Except for Princess Aurora who accepts her. And she encourages Alyce to accept herself.
This book is almost a cross between Wicked and The Hunger Games. But with fae. The world building is darkly magical. And the residents of Briar reminded me of the residents of the Capitol.
If you're searching for fantasy books with wlw romance then you should definitely read this. The book has SO many good plot twists. It left me on the edge of my seat. And the grumpy/sunshine romance between Alyce and Aurora is absolutely adorable.
Good reads rating: 4.07
5. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
The Henna Wars is incredible! It’s an own voices, YA Contemporary book featuring a Muslim, Bangladeshi, lesbian main character
The Henna Wars follows Nishat as she comes out to her parents as a lesbian. They’re happy for her to be whoever she wants to be. As long as she isn’t herself – because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians.
Her life becomes harder when she is reacquainted with a childhood friend – Flavia. Especially when in a school competition they both decide to start their own henna business.
Adiba Jaigirdar wrote The Henna Wars. She’s a Bangladeshi, Irish writer who has been living in Dublin, Ireland from the age of 10.
This book includes a lovely queer f/f romance. But it’s also so much more than a romance It navigates homophobia, bullying, racism and cultural appropriation. It also includes one of the best main characters in Nishat. Nishat bravely deals with so many things being thrown at her.
This book deals with some heavy topics. But it still manages to remain a cute, funny and romantic debut novel. If you're looking for ya lesbian books with more diverse representation then you should definitely read this book.
Good reads rating: 4.03
6. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
The Falling in Love Montage is the perfect summer romance! It plays on tropes found in 90s and 00s rom coms. The title is a play on 'the falling in love montage' where you watch a selection of clips showing the main characters fall in love.
The Falling In Love Montage follows Saoirse . She is struggling to cope because her mother is in a home with dementia. Also, it’s a hereditary condition. One day she might inherit it. So she doesn’t really see the point in a relationship. Until she meets Ruby at a party. And they decide to have a relaxed summer fling.
Ciara Smyth wrote The Falling in Love Montage. And she previously worked as a mental health trainer. This definitely comes across in the book. And it deals with many mental health issues. It also deals with the consequences of early-onset dementia.
If you're looking for a ya book that balances romance with mental health issues -then this is a great choice. It's also incredibly funny - especially if you're a lesbian. There were so many lines that I could relate to . And made me laugh so much. A personal favourite is:
“It’s a pet peeve of mine that straight women call their friends “girlfriends.” They are not your girlfriends. If you are not getting up close and personal with the lady garden then there are words for that: friends, mates, buddies, pals, etc., etc. Leave us our word, OK?"
Good reads rating: 3.93
7. Cinderella is dead by Kalynn Bayron
A Cinderella retelling with a sapphic romance. This is another twist on the classic story that features BIPOC characters and a wlw romance.
The premise is that teen girls are now required to appear at an annual ball where men select wives. But Sophia wants to marry her childhood best friend Erin. And isn’t a fan of the whole parade in front of suitors thing.
She decides to flee and decided to take down the king once and for all.
The dystopian twist on the classic Cinderella story makes this book so unique. The romance is a bit insta-lovey but it's so well developed that it's still engaging.
The plot will keep you hooked throughout. Women overthrowing a dystopian patriarchy. There is also a lot of cottagecore and woodland imagery. Kalynn Bayron writes cottagecore imagery so well. This book will 100% make you want to live in the forest.
I also LOVE that it's a standalone. Standalone ya fantasy books are hard to find. Let alone with lesbian representation. If you're looking for a ya lesbian fantasy book then I highly recommend Cinderella is Dead.
Good reads rating: 3.73
8. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
The Dark Tide is a seriously underrated book. It features a wlw romance, witches and a curse on a town.
It follows Lina. She lives on a small island where the dark tide could cause it to sink. So, every year the Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace and sacrifices her on the full moon. And so keeps the island city from sinking.
Lina is convinced her brother is going to be taken. She asks Thomas Lin to help. Thomas is the only person to survive the sacrifice. But they draw the Queen’s attention. And instead, Thomas is taken.
Lina offers herself instead of Thomas. But the queen is nothing like Eva expected. And they must choose between saving the island or themselves.
The premise of this book hooked me in straight away. A girl goes to save a guy but instead falls for the 'villain'. If you're looking for a book with an enemies to lovers romance with a morally grey love interest - then this is the book for you.
It was such an angsty slow bur romance. And Lina and Eva had an amazing grumpy/sunshine dynamic. The cursed romance setup was so well executed and made the book so tragically romantic.
The worldbuilding is also really dark, moody and atmospheric. A sea wild tale. it was beautifully written and I fell in love with the world. Full of bitter witches, sea, salt, blood and sacrifice.
Good reads rating: 3.83
9. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
If you're looking for LGBTQ+ YA Graphic novels with cute, light-hearted romance then you need to read Mooncakes. It's a YA Romance about a witch and a non-binary werewolf.
It follows teen witch Nova. She works at her Nana's magical bookshop. And she helps them loan out spell books. But she also investigates supernatural occurrences in her local town.
One day, she is tasked to investigate reports of a white wolf in a nearby forest. She then discovers her childhood best friend, Tam, fighting a demon werewolf. Together they investigate the demon and rekindle their feelings towards each other.
This is such a comfort read. The artwork is insanely beautiful. I really loved the illustrations of the magic and magical creatures living in the forest. The romance is also really adorable.
The story isn't fast-paced and action packed. We also don't find out much about the characters background. But it's such a quick, cute and light-hearted read that I don't think it matters. The graphic novel format is perfect for anyone trying to get back into reading. Or if you're recovering from a reading slump.
Good reads rating: 3.85
10. Ruinsong by Julia Ember
This is yet another seriously underrated book. I don't see this recommended nearly enough online. Ruinsong is an ya lesbianbook set in a dystopian world. It has lush world-building, a twisty plot and feisty main characters.
In this world, singers have magic powers when they sing certain songs. And they are able to heal, cause pain and heat people.
Cadence is an incredibly strong mage. She was born in poverty in an orphanage and rises to success. But she works for the evil Queen Elene. And Elene forces Cadence to use her power to torture others.
But when she is reunited with her childhood friend she must make a choice. Does she take a stand or follow the queen.
This book is like a dystopian and queer phantom of the opera. The world building is so unique. It's full of strong willed women wearing beautiful ball gowns taking down evil. It's a dark fantasy where girls take down their enemies while wearing beautiful pink ballgowns.
It also has one of the most unique magic systems with singing as a vehicle for magic. It was really well developed. And the magic system and well developed characters really hook you into this story.
Good reads rating: 3.54
11. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Historical fiction can be very hit or miss for me. However, I absolutely loved Last Night at the Telegraph Club. It focuses on lesbian culture and coming of age as a Chinese American in 1950s San Francisco.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club follows 17 year old Lily Hu. She’s questioning her identity. And she decides to visit a lesbian night club called the Telegraph Club. The Telegraph club offers sanctuary to anyone who needs it in an era of disruption.
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love. Especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone – including Chinese Americans like Lily.
This book is so well researched and it portrays the challenges of the era so beautifully. The story is heart-wrenching and takes you on such an emotional journey. Yet despite this, the book is full of such warmth.
Lily Hu is a very lovable main character and the romance is absolutely adorable. It felt very realistic for teenagers coming to terms with who they are.
It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. If you love the found family trope then you need to read this book. The found lesbian trope is executed perfectly in this book.
Good reads rating: 4.31
12. She drives me crazy by Kelly Quindlen
I truly believe that you cannot go wrong with the enemies to lovers and fake dating tropes. She drives me crazy is a queer enemies to lovers romance with the fake dating trope. It also is a sports romance , forced proximity and it's set in a high school.
It follows Scottie Zajac. She loses spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up. So she gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person. Her nemesis Irene Abraham.
Irene Abraham is incredibly beautiful but also incredible mean. And things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved. And the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
And it only gets worse the more time they spend together. But then an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her ex. And she bribes Irene into playing along.
This book is such a cute, light-hearted read. And it makes for such escapism. I often don't want to read books that deal with heavy issues. Or that teach you something. If you're looking for a cozy, feel-good ya lesbian book or a cute wlw romance then this is a great choice.
Good reads rating: 4.09
13. Love Frankie By Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson wrote a lesbian romance novel! Jacqueline Wilson was my childhood! I read recently that she has written over 100 books and is the most borrowed author from libraries.
If you were a British teen in the 90s and bookworm you will definitely have read some of her work.
It follows Frankie who is struggling to cope with her mum’s MS diagnosis when she meets Sally. Problem is Sally is perfect when it’s just them. But she ignores her at school
If you’re familiar with Jacqueline Wilson’s work, you will find this super comforting to read. Jacqueline Wilson’s distinctive writing style very easy to read.
Wilson has never been one to avoid controversial topics. And Love Frankie is no different. It explores mental health and coming out in teens.
Good reads rating: 3.97
14. The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
This is another seriously underrated ya lesbian book! You definitely need to read this. It features a diverse cast, plenty of fairy tale references and dark academia world-building.
The Grimrose Girls is a modern take on classic fairytales such as The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
The heroines of the stories are re-imagined as friends attending an elite boarding school. After their friend dies, the police rule the death as suicide. But they decide to investigate to find out what really happened.
Grimrose Girls is a unique concept and fantasy retelling. The mystery was really gripping and well-paced. And the story keeps mentioning tantalizing details that keep you engaged.
The story also uses the darker versions of the fairy tales. And this added to the dark academia, mysterious tone of the book. Some reviews do mention the lack of world-building, but I personally preferred this because it kept the plot fast-paced.
Good reads rating: 3.68
15. Crier’s War by Nina Varela
Crier’s War is an epic urban fantasy novel with a f/f romance. It’s set in the Kingdom of Rabu and follows Ayla.
A War has ravaged the kingdom of Rabu. The Automae took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.
Ayla is a human servant who is rising the ranks at the House of Soverign. She dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter – the beautiful Lady Crier.
Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Good reads rating: 4.17
This post was all about the best ya lesbian books that are 100% worth reading
Other Posts you might like
Name & Author
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
Friends to lovers, witchess
lesbian main character, bisexual love interest, transgender side character, queer side characters
Animal sacrifice, Arson,
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Royalty, room mates, boarding school
wlw romance, bisexual mc, lesbian love interes
Alcohol use, Cheating, Death (parental, recalled)
A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
grumpy/sunshine MC, fae, political intrigue, outsider,
pansexual, lesbian, bisexual, gay, genderfluid characters
anger, arson, blood/gore, body horror (minor), death of a child, depression, disownment, divorce, drug use/addition, grief/grieving, human trafficking, poverty, psychopathy, stalking, suicide (past, off-page), suicidal ideation, toxic relationship/manipulations, trauma/PTSD, racism, violence/gun violence
Malice by Heather Walter
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Enemies-to-lovers, long lost friend
wlw romance, Bengali Muslim lesbian main character*
racism, homophobia, bullying, and a character being outed
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
lesbian mc, wlw romance, mental health
Dementia (early-onset, hereditary)
Cinderella is dead by Kalynn Bayron
subverted fairy tale retelling, fighting the power, insta-love
Lesbian protagonist, Lesbian main characters
The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
lesbian characters, bisexual characters
Enemies to lovers, witches, ritual sacrifice, found family
loss of a loved one, human sacrifices, drowning, self-harm for blood for spells, blood depictions, violence, magical compulsion, grief depiction, brief mentions of abuse
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Chinese-American main characters, queer, non-binary, disability (hearing impairment)
Childhood friend, friends to lovers,
Kidnapping, Confinement, Violence, grief, death of a parent
Ruinsong by Julia Ember
Enemies to lovers, magic
fatshaming, violence, cancer,
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Beauty contest, first love,
Lesbian main characters, queer main characters, wlw romance, Chinese American characters
Homophobia · Lesbophobia · Miscarriage · Misogyny · Racial slurs · Racism · Sex (on page but not graphic)
She drives me crazy by Kelly Quindlen
Enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, There’s only one bed
Lesbian protagonist, lesbian Indian-American love interest, Black Side character
Love Frankie By Jacqueline Wilson
enemies to lovers, secret romance
Lesbian MC, wlw romance
Chronic illness (MS), bullying
The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl
Lesbian MC, asexual MC, Black MC, chronic illness, mental illness
retelling, dark academia, boarding school, room mates
death, murder, gore, blood mentions
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
Lesbian protagonist, bisexual protagonist,
Potentially problematic representations of asexuality,