15 YA Books That Are NOT About Straight White People

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Penguin Books

Penguin Books

Another day, another rant about representation! But hey, it’s important, and this time I’m talking about YA novels. I’ve ranted before about how hard it is to find or hear about a YA book that isn’t about cute, straight white people falling in love with each other. Like, okay, that’s nice and all but isn’t that exactly, like, I don’t know, just about every other story we’ve been fed since we were little? Whether the universe is dystopic, fantasy or the exceedingly normal one you and I experience every day, the same trope is played out over and over again. Ugh, give me a break!

I love the coming-of-age element that YA novels bring, but we should be exposed to ones with more diverse characters who aren’t just in the background. Luckily, tons of people agree with me, which is why the #DiversityInYA hashtag was so popular earlier this year. But that’s not enough; while there was an uptick in diverse YA in 2013, it hasn’t improved at all in 2014.

But in the meantime, if you’re interested in reading books about queer kids, awesome women of color and other not-so-white-and-straight people, check out this roundup of 15 YA books that you’re going to want to recommend to anybody with ears:

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