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Love, Victor TBR List: 4 LGBTQ Romances to Make You Swoon

by  | August 5
Hands holding up a rainbow lgbtq heart

I couldn’t get enough of the adorable YA LGBTQ romance movie Love, Simon after I saw it in theaters (twice!). I obviously wasn’t alone, though, because the powers that be rather quickly—at least quickly by Hollywood standards—green-lit a spin-off television series, Love, Victor, set in the same universe. Set a few years after the events of the movie, the 10-episode Hulu series follows a whole new class of students at Creekwood High as they embark on their own journeys of self-discovery.

Watching new-kid-in-town Victor awkwardly navigate his first love triangle, with some help from friends such as Simon and Bram, is an absolute delight. If you’ve already watched the show, you know I’m right, and you probably binged it just as fast as I did. Which brings us to the question: What to do now? The second season, which hasn’t yet been confirmed but seems likely, is probably at least a year away, and there are only so many times you can rewatch the first season. Our best hope of recapturing some of the show’s heart and humor, then, is by reading books with similar vibes. In that spirit, here’s what’s on my Love, Victor–inspired TBR:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Part of what makes Love, Victor so special is its focus on the power of friendship, family, and unconditional love. While Victor suspects he may be gay, he’s not sure, and he definitely doesn’t know how he could ever tell his parents. Over time, though, as Victor finds a best friend in his neighbor Felix and develops deeper and deeper feelings for his crush, Benji, we see him open up, becoming more and more...himself. For a similarly beautiful metamorphosis, check out Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s young adult novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Fifteen-year-old Aristotle is confused and angry at the world when he meets Dante at the local swimming pool one summer day. They don’t know it yet, but what begins as a connection between Ari and Dante due to their classical names and an offer of swimming lessons will end up being one of the most profound relationships of each of their lives.

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Autoboyography

Autoboyography

by Christina Lauren

One of the reasons I spent a whole weekend watching Love, Victor is because it was such a welcome respite from real life and a much-needed reminder that things will get better. Another story that does that for me is Autoboyography. The YA romance is about two teen boys, Tanner and Sebastian, who fall head over heels for each other in a writing class, but must contend with the outside world, including their very different families, one progressive and the other conservative religious. Since it’s written by the co-writers with the pen name Christina Lauren, you can rest assured that the ending will be worth any angst they put you through. How can seeing love win not boost your mood?

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Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

Victor and Benji have such great chemistry that even watching them brew coffee and model party clothes is entertaining. I feel exactly the same way about Prince Henry and Alex Claremont-Diaz in Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, another charming contemporary romance I would love to see adapted for the screen. For reasons neither of them totally understands, Britain’s (fictional) Prince of Wales and America’s (also fictional) First Son don’t get along very well, a fact that becomes known to the whole world after a fiasco involving a ruined wedding cake is caught on camera. To fix this PR nightmare, their respective teams insist that the two fake a friendship for the sake of their countries. Yet as the two spend more time together and truly get to know each other, Alex starts to realize he’s misread the heat between them all this time.…

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You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown

by Leah Johnson

If there’s one thing that every show and novel about the high school experience can agree on, it’s that no one feels like they belong. For senior Liz Lighty, one of the few Black students in a predominantly white, midwestern school, that sense of being an outsider is even more acute. She’ll do whatever it takes to kickstart her dreams of attending Pennington College and becoming a doctor—even if that means she has to compete for the title of prom queen to win a scholarship. And even if her biggest rival for the crown is Mack McCarthy, the new girl in school who Liz can’t...stop...thinking about....

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Heather Waters is an Associate Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster, where she runs the Get Literary and Tips on Life & Love blogs. She enjoys reading everything from romance to true crime to political memoirs, and in her free time you can often find her binge-watching Netflix, refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds, and listening to the latest episode of the podcast My Favorite Murder.