Searching for Sapphic coming of age books? Well you're in for a treat! Here are 10+ enchanting Sapphic coming of age books.
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Something about coming of age books makes them so compelling. Seeing someone's journey unfold before you and watching a character transform from childhood to adulthood.
And I think you'll agree with me when I say that Sapphic coming of age books are especially profound. Watching someone come to terms with their identity and sexuality. And transform into adulthood.
That's why, I've compiled the absolute best Sapphic coming of age books.
For even more recommendations, I have a whole blog post dedicated to wlw books. I surveyed about 500 book lovers and compiled a list of the most recommended wlw books. Check it out here:
Read on for the best Sapphic coming of age books
Sapphic Coming of Age Books
1. The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Are you looking for the perfect Sapphic summer romance?
The Falling in Love Montage is the book for you.
It plays on tropes found in 90s and 00s rom coms. The title references the montage of clips showing the main characters fall in love.
The Falling In Love Montage follows Saoirse . She is struggling to cope because her mother is in a home with dementia.
Also, it’s a hereditary condition. One day she might inherit it.
She doesn’t see the point in a relationship. Until she meets Ruby at a party. And they have a relaxed summer fling.
Ciara Smyth wrote The Falling in Love Montage. And she previously worked as a mental health trainer. This definitely comes across in the book. And it deals with many mental health issues. It also deals with the consequences of early-onset dementia.
If you're looking for a ya book that balances romance with mental health issues -then this is a great choice.
This hilarious romance is full of relatable lines that made me laugh out loud. A great pick if you're looking for Sapphic coming of age books.
I'm a huge fan of a Sapphic rom coms. Check out my article on feel-good Sapphic rom com books here
2. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
The Henna Wars is incredible! This own voices, ya contemporary features a Muslim, Bangladeshi, lesbian main character
The Henna Wars follows Nishat. She comes out to her parents as a lesbian. They’re happy for her to be whoever she wants to be.
As long as she isn’t herself – because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians.
Her life becomes harder when she is reacquainted with a childhood friend – Flavia. Especially when in a school competition they both start their own henna business.
This book includes a lovely queer wlw romance.
But it’s also much more than a romance.
It navigates homophobia, bullying, racism and cultural appropriation. It also includes one of the best main characters in Nishat. Nishat bravely deals with many things being thrown at her.
This book deals with some heavy topics. But it still manages to remain a cute, funny and romantic debut novel. If you're looking for ya lesbian books with more diverse representation then you should definitely read this book.
3. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Her Royal Highness features one of my favourite lesbian characters in Flora. Flora is intelligent, funny and sassy AF. It also features an amazing bisexual character.
This light-hearted teen romance is set in school. It follows Millie who is heartbroken when she discovers that her kinda girlfriend has been kissing someone else. After getting into a super elusive boarding school, she moves to Scotland. And this is where she meets Princess Flora.
Not only does this book include the enemies-to-lovers trope. But it also features the room-mates trope, royalty, an ex-girlfriend and a posh boarding school. Oh, and did I mention it’s all set in stunning Scottish highlands.
It did feel a litte rushed towards the end of the book. But it's still a sweet and irresistibly charming book. And easy to binge-read in one sitting. A great holiday read.
Her Royal Highness has one of my favourite bisexual main characters. If you're looking for books with bisexual main characters, you're in luck. Check out my article on books with bisexual main characters here.
4. I kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey Mcquiston
If you loved One Last Stop then you 100% need to read I kissed Shara Wheeler. A YA LGBTQ+ book featuring a capitating mystery. And it also has an adorable cute rom com vibes - a sapphic version of a John Green novel.
It follows Chloe Green. She attends a Christian high school in the Bible Belt in the USA. The only thing that's kept her going is winning Valedictorian. And the only thing stopping her is rival Shara Wheeler.
But a month before graduation, Shara Wheeler kisses her and then disappears.
This book literally launches straight into the middle of the action. And this meant I was hooked almost straight away. If you liked the mystery elements of One Last Stop then you will definitely enjoy this one.
Casey Mcquiston writes friendships really well. And if you like the friendship group in One Last Stop then you'll also love this. If you're looking for a wlw book from the same author then you should definitely check this one out.
5. Not my Problem by Ciara Smyth
Ciara Smyth writes hilarious wlw romance books. Not My problem is a funny coming of age novel full of heart and emotion. And I knew I'd love it from the first page.
Not My Problem follows Aideen. Aideen has plenty of problems she can’t fix...
Her best (and only) friend is pulling away. Her mother’s drinking problem is a constant concern. She’s even running out of outlandish diseases to fake so she can skip PE.
But then Aideen stumbles on her nemesis, overachiever Meabh Kowalski, in a full-blown meltdown. She sees a problem that seems easy to solve. Meabh is desperate to escape her crushing pile of extracurriculars. Aideen volunteers to help. By pushing Meabh down the stairs.
Meabh’s sprained ankle is the perfect excuse to ditch her overwhelming schedule.
But then another student learns about their little scheme. And they bring Aideen another "client" who needs her "help". It kicks of a term of traded favours, ill-advised hijinks, and an unexpected chance at love.
The concept behind this book worked perfectly. It allowed for hilarious antics and plenty of character development throughout the course of the books. The main character and side characters are all instantly likeable. Likewise, the writing style is easy to read.
If you're after light-hearted Sapphic coming of age books, you'll love this adorable romance.
6. Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash is a book I’m always torn about. But it was recommended a few times. And the enchanting cottage-core world building gives this Sapphic Cinderella retelling a unique touch.
Ash is a lesbian Cinderella retelling. It follows Ash who is dealing with the grief of losing her parents. She falls in love with the king’s huntress.
I loved the descriptions of the world such as the woods and the fae. And I instantly really loved the King’s Huntress.
But, I wish that the romance had been a little better developed. The scenes they had together were fantastic. But I was left wanting more.
However, I love that it focuses on Ash recovering from grief. Mental health is a strong theme throughout and the romance feels secondary.
This is a really cosy read and offers great escapism. Plus you could read this short book in one sitting.
Searching for Sapphic retellings? Check out my article on Sapphic retellings here.
7. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
When it comes to ya wlw books, you should definitely read Girls of Paper and Fire.
A dark ya fantasy featuring magic and a dystopian society. And Asian mythology is woven seamlessly throughout. It includes a wlw romance.
Girls of Paper and Fire follows Lei. She is a member of the Paper Caste. And the people of Ikhara persecute her.
She sees the royal guards take her mother. Afterwards, Lei suffers with trauma. But the guards return for Lei. She must learn skills fitting of a King’s Consort. But she falls in love.
The worldbuilding in this book is seriously beautiful. Natasha Ngan was inspired by her own experiences growing up in Malaysia - a country with a mix of cultures. And Ikhara was heavily inspired by this. The worldbuilding is vivid and beautiful. It stands apart from other ya fantasy books.
The character development is excellent. I loved the wlw romance in the book. The grumpy/sunshine trope was executed perfectly. The plot of the book is quite dark but it was handled sensitively.
The pacing did lapse a bit in the middle for me.
But the character development was excellent. Consequently, I still enjoyed reading it. If you're looking for Sapphic coming of age books then you need to add this to your tbr list.
8. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
If you like the Fake Dating Trope then you'll love Hani and Ishu's guide to fake dating. A ya contemporary with a wlw romance with Muslim and Bengali main characters. And Adiba Jaigirdar nails the grumpy/sunshine trope.
Hani is bisexual but she is having trouble making her friends to believe her. Ishu wants to be Head Girl.
They fake date so Hani’s friends believe she is bisexual. And to help Ishu in her Head girl campaign.
The bisexual representation is executed incredibly in this book. Not enough books deal with biphobia. And this explicitly deals with biphobic bullying.
The writing is hilarious. The grumpy/sunshine romance and fake dating trope led to many funny moments. It had me laughing out loud. And both characters learn from each other.
An adorable read with the perfect grumpy/sunshine romance.
The combination of tropes is incredible. And this book will never fail to cheer you up. If you're after books with bisexual main characters you need to read this.
9. She drives me crazy by Kelly Quindlen
You can't go wrong with the enemies to lovers and fake dating tropes. And She drives me crazy is a queer enemies to lovers romance with the fake dating trope. It also is a sports romance set in a high school.
It follows Scottie Zajac. She loses spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up. She finds herself in a minor car collision with the worst possible person. Her nemesis Irene Abraham.
Irene Abraham is beautiful but also mean. And then their nosey, do-gooder moms involve themselves. And the girls are forced to carpool together.
And the more time they spend together, the worse it becomes. But then Scottie discovers an opportunity for revenge on her ex. And she bribes Irene into playing along.
This book is such a cute, light-hearted read. And it makes for such escapism. I often don't want to read books that deal with heavy issues. Or that teach you something. If you're looking for a cozy, feel-good ya lesbian book or a cute wlw romance then this is a great choice.
10. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Historical fiction can be very hit or miss for me. However, I absolutely loved Last Night at the Telegraph Club. It focuses on lesbian culture and coming of age as a Chinese American in 1950s San Francisco.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club follows 17 year old Lily Hu. She’s questioning her identity. And she decides to visit a lesbian night club called the Telegraph Club. The Telegraph club offers sanctuary to anyone who needs it in an era of disruption.
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love. Especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone – including Chinese Americans like Lily.
This book is well researched and it portrays the challenges of the era beautifully. The story is heart-wrenching and takes you on such an emotional journey. Yet despite this, the book is full of such warmth.
Lily Hu is a very lovable main character and the romance is absolutely adorable. It felt very realistic for teenagers coming to terms with who they are.
It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. If you love the found family trope then you need to read this book. The found lesbian trope is executed perfectly in this book.
If you're after books with lesbian characters, you're in luck! Check out my article on books with lesbian characters here.
11. Imogen Obviously by Becky Albertalli
Imogen Obviously is an incredible Sapphic rom com with a bisexual main character. A cute, heartwarming romance that also addresses important themes such as coming out and biphobia.
It follows Imogen Scott. She may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.
Imogen has never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. And she knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, helps keep Imogen's biases in check. And Lili—newly out and thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.
Imogen is thrilled for Lilli and excited to visit Lilli on campus. And she's bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen's all in.
Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she's told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.
Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with.
Imogen Obviously is a deeply personal story for Becky Albertalli. After writing 'Simon vs the HomoSapiens agenda', critics accused Albertalli of profiting from the LGBTQ+ community. Consequently, she was forced to come out.
Albertalli poors her heart out in this book. She discusses biphobia, denial and compulsory heterosexuality. However, the romance is still adorable, light-hearted and well developed. If you're looking for Sapphic rom com books then I highly recommend this book.
These Sapphic coming of age books were just the tip of the iceberg. In recent years, some incredible sapphic romance books have been released.On a budget? Then I highly recommend checking out the Libby app. You can use this app to rent audiobooks from your local library for free! Check out Libby here.
I love reading Sapphic books and I have tons of recommendations. Audiobook fans, check out my article on Sapphic audiobooks here. I also have articles on historical Sapphic books, Sapphic contemporary books and wlw enemies to lovers books.