Romcoms are a genre I haven’t read much of, but have found very comforting in the past few months. They make you feel warm and cosy and wrapped in a hug which I think is something all of us need right now. I’m sure some of these probably aren’t technically ‘romcoms’ as defined by strict definitions, but these are queer books which made me laugh and have happy love endings so that’s the definition I’m going with.
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Only Mostly Devastated is one of the very first book launches I’ve attended, because I finally found an author who lives in the same city as me! I love this book, and not just because the cupcakes at the launch were spectacular (although they were). This is the gay Grease retelling you’ve always dreamed of. Ollie, the main character, is so hilarious. He’s so sarcastic and self-deprecating, and has very correct opinions on which Skittles are best. There’s also a fabulous bi side character called Lara who is brilliant, she’s so mean and fiesty and still coming to terms with her sexuality so very vulnerable too. This romcom is not be missed! Check out my full review here.
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough
Another Aussie writer on this list! I actually read a non-queer romcom recently as well by an Aussie, and I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone here can just write hilariously because the three of these are some of my favourites. Amelia Westlake is a feminist, rebellious fight against the strict, misogynistic standards at Australian private schools. Two girls, the school “bad girl”, and the star Prefect, join forces to take down their school, and in the meantime fall in love. This book is just absolute bliss! It’s funny, it’s current, the relationship development is really sweet, I absolutely love it!
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Another sapphic romcom, this one features a budding film director and an A-grade cheerleader who must work together to create a film, even though they absolutely despise each other. Or do they….? (That’s a definite no). I really loved that although the romance is the main plotline, there was so much going on around them. We spend a lot of time following Rachel and Sana in their individual lives as well as with their growing relationship, which I feel like isn’t often seen in this genre (at least that I’ve read anyway). It really helped you grow closer to both the characters because you know so much more about who they are and what they want. And in this case, they definitely do not want each other, no sir, not at all, not one bit…
How to be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters
How to Be Remy Cameron was I think my first “approved” ARC request on NetGalley (not a Read Now one), so it holds a very special place in my heart for that alone! It is a very heartwarming coming-of-age story, about the pressure of labels and identity, with adopted, Black, gay lead, Remy, who wants to be known as someone outside of those labels. This book is full of pop culture references that are actually done well, it has a sweet love interest who appears just as Remy signs off men for good, and really lovely, supportive parents which we really need more of in YA. Also Remy’s wardrobe is killer and I really wish I had it. Check out my full review here.
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
The first of two royal queer romcoms on this list, this is a genre I would read again and again and again. This fun sapphic romance is set at a Scottish boarding school, where an American teen falls in love with a Scottish princess. This features: rivals to lovers, the Scottish highlands, grumpy Scottish groundskeepers, a rebellious, dramatic Scottish princess and a cute romance. Its lighthearted and wholesome which is exactly what I want to read right now! You can read my full review here.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
And here’s the second of the queer royal romcoms, this time between the son of the President of the US, Alex, and Prince Henry of England. This is one of my absolute favourites. Alex is one of the biggest bisexual icons of all books. I love that we see him gradually fall in love with Henry, realise he isn’t quite as straight as he thought, his mum’s bisexual powerpoint presentation, I love it all!! Although this book deals with some dark topics, including politics, ethics, immigration and hate speech, it is also set in a world which feels just a little bit better than ours, in a world where a woman of colour was elected in 2016, so everything is just that little bit more hopeful. This is a really hilarious, queer as fuck royal romcom and I love it. You can read my full review here.
This Is Kind of An Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender
Please note Kacen changed their name since the publication of This is Kind of An Epic Love Story so the author name on the cover is no longer correct. I am in awe of Kacen and their ability to write in any genre they choose. This book takes the childhood best friends to lovers trope to a whole new level! Nathan has sworn off happy endings, since his dad died and his mum was destroyed by grief. But then his childhood best friend moves back to town, and now Nathan might get the chance to tell him about his feelings once and for all.
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
This book just realised in May, a mere few weeks ago. This is also Berkley’s first sapphic romance and whilst that’s so bad that it’s 2020 and they’re only on their first, SUPPORT IT SO THEY PUBLISH MORE!! Something to Talk About is all about the world of Hollywood and the dreaded gossip mag and ridiculous rumour mill that is the paparazzi. A powerhouse Hollywood showrunner Jo is pictured making her assisstant, Emma, laugh on the red carpet, so obviously they are madly in love and in a secret relationship, right?! But the rumour has come at the worst time, affecting the release of Jo’s latest film and any chance of a promotion for Emma. But as they are hounded by the paparazzi and forced to spend more and more time together, they begin to think their might be some truth to the rumours after all. For an extra slow burn (which I looooove) and sweet romance, check this one out.
How to be a Normal Person by T.J Klune
I’ve only discovered T.J Klune in the past year, but so far, I’ve loved absolutely everything I’ve read. He has a way of writing that leaves you laughing on one page, and sobbing the next, which is pretty much my favourite way to read a book. How to be a Normal Person is the story of Gustavo, a decidedly Not Normal man from Oregon who knows and accepts this and just wants to be left alone. When Casey, an asexual hipster enters Gus’s life, suddenly someone thinks the world of Gus. But Gus things Casey deserves someone normal and decides he wants to be that person so embarks on a journey to become the most normal person ever. This is also own voices asexual rep which is so fantastic to see!
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson
So I haven’t read this one yet (though I have started the audiobook!) but that’s because it only released a few weeks ago on June 2. I can’t wait to finish this one, because it’s amazing! This is a story about queer Black teen Liz who decides to run for prom queen in order to win a scholarship, but then falls in love for smart and funny new girl Mack, who also just happens to be her competition. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
Boy Meets Boy David Leviathon
It brings me much joy to know I now work for the Aussie publisher of David Levithan’s work. Boy Meets Boy is a quick (under 200 pages) romcom set at a high school that’s just a little bit different to every high school you’ve read about before. In this high school, cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen is a trans woman who’s also the star quarterback, and the GSA was created to help the straight kids learn how to dance. Sounds a hell of a lot better than my high school. Paul thinks he found the love of his life, but then he messes it up and now the school bookie has him at 12 to 1 odds to ever get him back (I have no understanding of odds and gambling so I’m going to assume this is bad). Paul plans to prove them wrong. A super fun, accepting and utopic high school society romance.
That’s it for my list of romcoms. It isn’t a genre I read much of, but I really would love to read more of them because we need happy and joyful books right now! Let me know your favourite queer romcoms in the comments!