The best queer comfort reads for stressful times

Who am I?

I’m a reader and an author who loves stories that are so beautifully written they wrap you up tight in comfort, ensuring no matter what hurt the characters go through, you know it will all be okay in the end. And in stressful times—even in times that aren’t so stressful!—I think we all need that little bit of fictional certainty, that knowing that everything is going to be okay in the end. I started writing to give queer characters suffering from problems like loneliness, anxiety, and homelessness, as many happy endings as I could. Because no matter the difficulties you may be going through, everyone deserves a happy ending. 😊


I wrote...

Foxes

By Suki Fleet,

Book cover of Foxes

What is my book about?

Danny finds interaction difficult and must keep his world small in order to survive. By day he lives in an abandoned swimming pool and fixes electrical devices to trade for supplies, but by night, alone, he hunts sharks—a reckless search for the dangerous men who prey on the vulnerable. A search for his best friend’s killer.

A chance meeting with an American boy selling himself on the streets throws Danny’s lonely existence into disarray. Micky is troubled and fragile, and Danny feels a desperate need to protect him. Though from what, he doesn't know. As Danny discovers more about Micky, he realises that what Micky needs saving from is the one thing Danny has no idea how to fight.

The books I picked & why

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Heartstopper: A Graphic Novel: Volume 1

By Alice Oseman,

Book cover of Heartstopper: A Graphic Novel: Volume 1

Why this book?

This is what I read on the nights I can’t sleep. Nick and Charlie’s love story is so comforting, I can pick it up in any place and I know where I am. A cleverly simple tale about young people falling in love, told with so much care and sweet drawings and a wide cast of queer characters. I think I remember Alice Oseman saying that she wrote and drew this as a comfort read and hopes others will find comfort in it too.


A Midwinter Prince

By Harper Fox,

Book cover of A Midwinter Prince

Why this book?

This is the story of two young men, one rich, one homeless but it’s not a simple rescue me type story. Laurie and Sasha reach out desperately to one another from their different worlds, and against all odds begin an affair, hidden in the attics of Laurie’s sumptuous home and on the bleak moorland of a Romani encampment. For Laurie, it’s a delicious sexual awakening, and Sasha returns his affections, opening up to him a whole new world of freedom. But Sasha has secrets, and a murky, violent past. 

I’ve reread this book countless times. Harper Fox’s writing is breathtaking and it’s so comforting to read characters you can’t help but adore falling in love and finding their way through conflict to a safe and happy ending.


Foxen Bloom

By Parker Foye,

Book cover of Foxen Bloom

Why this book?

Fenton, god of the forest, and Prior, a human hunter, strike up an alliance—Fenton will save Prior’s sister, if Prior will kill the god’s brother. They do not expect to fall in love. The first chapter is told from the perspective of a forest god, which makes it a little more distant than the rest of the story, but then we get Fenton in his human form and it is very difficult not to fall in love with him. 

This story is so unusual and engaging, it sweeps you off to a magical land far away from real life. I just loved it. Plus, I really am a sucker for beautiful writing. 


Adam

By Anthony McDonald,

Book cover of Adam

Why this book?

A beautifully written coming-of-age tale. And another book I have read many times. The descriptions are so sensuous and evocative of a hot summer in the French countryside that it’s easy to lose yourself in them. This story isn’t a straightforward romance and reading about deeply flawed but very human characters are ultimately what gives me comfort with this one.


Carry On

By Rainbow Rowell,

Book cover of Carry On

Why this book?

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery, and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters. 

Despite how much the characters initially seem to dislike one another there is so much warmth in this story. Is hugging a book a thing? If so, hug this one. It hugs back.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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