Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok 2022

Gay books are not new to the market, but most were not well-known or readily available at our local bookstores a couple of years ago. But because of social media applications like Tiktok, more queer books are coming to the surface. Queer titles of various genres are being read and recommended by thousands of people on the internet. LGBTQ+ people are not only being represented in books but our stories are also being loved by all kinds of people from around the world.

Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

Tiktok’s “for you” page displays content unique to the user’s interests and there is actually a niche in Tiktok that bookworms have created. This is called #BookTok where different readers share their book recommendations, ratings, and reviews through creative videos. Of course, as a bookworm who also happens to be queer, a couple of #BookTok videos have landed on my for you page. Watching these #BookTok videos has led me to fill up my shopping cart with more books than I could possibly read in a year! Of course, I’m going to be sharing them with you guys. Let’s escape this dreadful reality we live in and have some gay fun in fantasyland!

LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

For this list, we’ll concentrate on Gay Books or books featuring homosexual cis-gendered male characters first. I’ve included the Book Title, Author, Genre, and Plot from Goodreads. There are also so many more LGBTQ books out there featuring the sapphic and trans community. I would recommend that you guys check out Sapphic BookTok Recommendations and Trans BookTok recommendations as well.

Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Red, White & Royal Blue

Plot: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? 

The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

The Song of Achilles

Plot: Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Plot: Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

Cemetery Boys

by Aiden Thomas
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Cemetery Boys

Plot: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


by Alice Oseman
Genre: Romance, Graphic Novel, Contemporary


Plot: Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…? Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

Boyfriend Material

by Alexis Hall
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Boyfriend Material

Plot: Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

If This Gets Out

by Sophie GonzalesCale Dietrich
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

If this gets out

Plot: Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.

On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

Jay’s Gay Agenda

by Jason June
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Jay's Gay Agenda

Plot: There’s one thing Jay Collier knows for sure—he’s a statistical anomaly as the only out gay kid in his small rural Washington town. While all this friends can’t stop talking about their heterosexual hookups and relationships, Jay can only dream of his own firsts, compiling a romance to-do list of all the things he hopes to one day experience—his Gay Agenda.

Then, against all odds, Jay’s family moves to Seattle and he starts his senior year at a new high school with a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. For the first time ever, Jay feels like he’s found where he truly belongs, where he can flirt with Very Sexy Boys and search for love. But as Jay begins crossing items off his list, he’ll soon be torn between his heart and his hormones, his old friends and his new ones…because after all, life and love don’t always go according to plan.

From debut novelist Jason June comes a moving and hilarious sex-positive story about the complexities of first loves, first hookups, and first heartbreaks—and how to stay true to yourself while embracing what you never saw coming.

The Last Romeo

by Justin Myers
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

The Last Romeo

Plot: James is 34 and fed up. His six-year relationship with Adam has imploded, he hates his job making up celebrity gossip, and his best friend Bella has just announced she’s moving to Russia. Adrift and single in loved-up London, James needs to break out of his lonely, drunken comfort zone. Encouraged by Bella, he throws himself headlong into online dating, blogging each encounter anonymously as the mysterious Romeo.

After meeting a succession of hot/weird/gross men, James has fans and the validation he’s always craved. But when his wild night with a closeted Olympian goes viral and sends his Twitter-fame through the roof, James realises maybe, in the search for happy-ever-after, some things are better left un-shared. Seriously, wherefore art thou Romeo . . .

I Wish You All the Best

by Mason Deaver
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

I wish you all the best

Plot: When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

The Extraordinaries

by T.J. Klune
Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary

THe Extraordinaries

Plot: Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

More Happy Than Not

by Adam Silvera
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

More Happy than Not

Plot: Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

The Taking of Jake Livingston

by Ryan Douglass
Genre: Horro, Fantasy

The Taking of Jake Livingston

Plot: Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

Heartbreak Boys

by Simon James Green
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Heartbreak boys

Plot: At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!

Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own ‘highlights reel’ and show their exes that they’re having an even better time. But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.

This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story

by Kacen CallenderKheryn Callender
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

This is kind of an epic love story

Plot: Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings. Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.

Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.

After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?

The Gravity of Us

by Phil Stamper
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

The Gravity of Us

Plot: As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Invisibly Breathing

by Eileen Merriman
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Invisibly breathing

Plot: ‘I wish I wasn’t the weirdest sixteen-year-old guy in the universe.’ Felix would love to have been a number. Numbers have superpowers and they’re safe – any problem they might throw up can be solved.

If I were a five, I’d be shaped like a pentagon … there’d be magic in my walls, safety in my angles.’ People are so much harder to cope with. At least that’s how it seems until Bailey Hunter arrives at school. Bailey has a stutter, but he can make friends and he’s good at judo.

And Bailey seems to have noticed Felix: ‘Felix keeps to himself mostly, but there’s something about him that keeps drawing me in.’

Both boys find they’re living in a world where they can’t trust anyone, but might they be able to trust each other, with their secrets, their differences, themselves? 

In Deeper Waters

by F.T. Lukens
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

In Deep waters

Plot: Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope…

The Black Flamingo

by Dean Atta
Genre: Poetry, Contemporary

The Black flamingo

Plot: A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

The Darkness Outside Us

by Eliot Schrefer
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

The darkness outside us

Plot: Two boys, alone in space. After the first settler on Titan trips her distress signal, neither remaining country on Earth can afford to scramble a rescue of its own, and so two sworn enemies are installed in the same spaceship.

Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: Evidence indicates strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother, and his handsome, brooding shipmate has barricaded himself away. But nothing will stop Ambrose from making his mission succeed—not when he’s rescuing his own sister.

In order to survive the ship’s secrets, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together and learn to trust one another… especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.

Here the Whole Time

by Vitor MartinsLarissa Helena (Translator)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Here the whole time

Plot: What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush?

Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.

But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.

Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too. 


by Casey McQuiston
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Plot: Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band—if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

As Far As You’ll Take Me

by Phil Stamper
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

As far as you'll take me

Plot: Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

I know. It’s overwhelming. There are so many gay titles to choose from. Where do you even start? I say, pick one that speaks to you and then work your way through the list!

Why I Love Reading Gay Books!

Fictional young-adult books featuring two men falling in love with each other. I am thrilled by the idea that there are so many of them now! My younger closeted self who spent summers going through 1 book a day would have found solace if he knew that books like these existed. Reading Gay romantic novels might have given young queer kids like me hope and comfort that we too might find love one day, that we too were deserving of love.

Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

I also happen to like how the stories are all quite diverse. They’re not repeating the same high school coming-out story we’ve seen replayed in movies again and again. There can be stories about two queer characters who don’t face homophobia and judgment from their families. Yes, coming out is a big part of our story, but there’s so much more to us than that. There’s a wide range of conflicts to explore and different perspectives to see through!

I’m currently holed up in a reading bubble, specifically feeding on romance novels. My love life right now is a big question mark and I solely rely on fictional books to supplement my need for “kilig” (giddiness). With the pandemic and our houses being the only safe space to be in right now, there isn’t much that can happen in our lives at all. So yeah, why not live vicariously? With these gay romance books, I could fall in love again and again with perfect fictional men. Real men of planet earth don’t even stand a chance!

I Totally Recommend Buying a Kindle!

Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

A big purchase of mine from a couple of months ago was a Kindle.  A Kindle is an e-book reader from Amazon. It’s like a tablet but designed primarily for reading books with a screen technology that resembles the look of paper. It doesn’t have blue light as our phones and gadgets do so it doesn’t hurt your eyes even from hours of reading. It’s touchscreen and even has an adjustable backlight so you can read at night, indoors, or outdoors. You can download whatever book you like from Amazon with just a touch of a button. You can even store thousands of eBooks on your device. It’s also small so it isn’t a hassle to bring it around wherever you like!

I personally prefer buying eBooks to reduce my carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly. I also like reading at night so the backlight has been such a necessity for me. eBooks are also significantly cheaper than the printed physical copies of the books so it’s a huge bonus. So yeah, aside from work and writing for my blog, all I’ve been doing is reading day and night!

If you guys want to buy a Kindle for yourself, you can go and check out Kindle PaperWhite or Kindle Oasis.

Let’s Get to Reading!

Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok

What I like about #BookTok is you actually get good books that you’ll be sure to appreciate as a reader. Its recommendations come from normal people who genuinely enjoy reading books. They aren’t pretentious, snobbish, or paid to promote the books at all. These books didn’t need to be adapted into a series or movies or be marketed heavily before the readers were convinced to read them either. Books from #BookTok were recommended out of readers’ pure love for the books because they’re brilliantly written, have enticing plots, and characters people could relate to. 

Reading is life and these LGBTQ+ books stand on their own as works of art. They don’t even compare to the usual hetero romance novels we have seen a lot of already. LGBTQ+  people have unique stories worth sharing and they’re for everyone to enjoy regardless of people’s sexual orientation. So what are you even waiting for? Go ahead and hit the books! Wishing you a colorful gay journey ahead!

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21 thoughts on “Gay BookTok: The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations from Tiktok 2022”

  1. Nice selections! there are a couple of titles im interested in here. will try to find copies. medyo nag enjoy din ako watching lgbt theme sa netflix nun christmas! i want to try books naman!

  2. This is a great list! I manage a book community here in the Philippines and the top 4 on your list are really popular. Will share this post in our group.

  3. Thank you for this roundup list of LGBTQ book recommendations. This is so beneficial. I know a couple of people who would love this list!

  4. Any book by Alexis Hall is a win in my opinion. I’m glad you included “Boyfriend Material” because it was one of the “unexpected” books I’ve come to like. It’s insanely funny and romantic. Luc is really lucky to have such a wonderful support system, particularly his mother. She’s everything!

    Thank you for all these recommendations, I cannot wait to DL them on my Kindle! ❤️

  5. Ooohhhh…this is so nice to know about, Christian. It’s been a while since I last read an LGBTQ authored and centred book. These must be all fine. Thanks for sharing about them.

  6. I love all these recommendations and have shared this with some friends I think might like them too! Thank you for sharing!

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