Non-Binary Recs

Hello! Welcome to our non-binary recommendations page! All of these books feature characters who identify as non-binary! Below are some books we at Rainbow Stacks have LOVED along with some that are still on our TBR, including some wonderful recommendations from some nonbinary YA authors. Feel free to comment some others that YOU would recommend (:

*NOTE: all books provided on this page includes a list of Trigger Warnings either provided by the author or provided with thorough research. It will be noted if the trigger warnings are directly from the author. Much of our research came from reader reviews on Goodreads or on BookTriggerWarnings.com. Even though time and care was put into researching these triggers, these lists may still not be exhaustive and may not include your specific triggers. If any of these books seem like they could be triggering, research your own triggers before reading. Take care of yourself xx.

BOOKS WE’VE READ AND LOVED

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

Representation: MC identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Love interest

Trigger Warnings: anxiety (detailed), panic attacks (described on page), bad coming out, child abuse, depression, dysphoria, homophobia, misgendering (accidental for most of the book and intentional), suicidal thoughts, suicide ideation, transphobia, unaccepting parents (including kicking MC of out their home), mentions of therapy + scenes in therapy

This sweet and harrowing novel follows a non-binary teen named Ben who just wants their family to accept their gender identity. After they are kicked from their home due to their coming out, they are taken in by their estranged sister and must start all over at a new school. There they meets the handsome Nathan, who offers Ben a friendship they desperately need. As their feelings grow for one another, so does Ben’s confidence in themself and where they fit in in the world.

I won’t lie and say this book is super happy and uplifting. Although there are some moments of triumph, this one deals a lot with Ben feeling pretty lost in the world. However, it is so important for anyone who wants to learn more about being non-binary, especially from the point of view of someone who does not have the support of their parents. Make sure you review the trigger warnings before starting, because some scenes are especially graphic and emotional.

Here is the official synopsis provided by Goodreads:

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore

Representation: Both MCs identify as non-binary and are Latinx

Trigger Warnings (TW): bullying, misgendering, homophobia, racism, ableism

Here is the official synopsis as provided by Goodreads:

Everyone who lives near the lake knows the stories about the world underneath it, an ethereal landscape rumored to be half-air, half-water. But Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are the only ones who’ve been there. Bastián grew up both above the lake and in the otherworldly space beneath it. Lore’s only seen the world under the lake once, but that one encounter changed their life and their fate.

Then the lines between air and water begin to blur. The world under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they have to stop it, and to do that, they have to work together. There’s just one problem: Bastián and Lore haven’t spoken in seven years, and working together means trusting each other with the very things they’re trying to hide. 

Out of the Blue by Jason June

Representation: MC is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. Love interest is also a gay. There is a relationship between the two.

Trigger Warnings (TW): fatphobia, misgendering, depression

Out of the Blue was an absolute delight that we would recommend to anyone who wants a joyous story that will have you laughing out loud! This one follows a merperson named Crest who has to journey into the land of humans to save someone before they are forced to become a human forever. Enter Sean, a cute bodyguard whose boyfriend suddenly breaks up with him and who needs help winning him back. As Crest tries to get Sean his dream man back, the two start to spend more time together sparks begin to fly

This messy and magical tale is the perfect YA rom-com read. If you’re looking for a non-binary “Little Mermaid” story, this one is sure to put a smile on your face (:

Here is the official synopsis as provided by Goodreads:

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder–or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with: after all, humans are disgusting. They’ve polluted the planet so much that there’s a floating island of trash that’s literally the size of a country.

In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together and Crest’s perspective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings…

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Representation: There is a Black nonbinary achillean secondary character who plays an important role in the story. There are also multiple conversations about being nonbinary, as one character questions whether they might be nonbinary as well. There is also a Bisexual MC with a lesbian love interest (not directly stated). There are also other gay, nonbinary, and bisexual side characters

Trigger Warnings (TW): homophobia, religious trauma, cheating, ableist language, misogyny, outing of a character (in the past, briefly mentioned)

This precious and impactful sapphic spin on Paper Towns charmed us from the very first page. McQuiston has a way of making her characters so hilarious and relatable you can’t help but fall in love with them. From main characters to side characters, everyone in this book positively shined. Despite taking place at a rigorously religious high school in Alabama, McQuiston shines a light on all types of queerness which exists in places notorious for being unaccepting of queer identities, like the Southern United States.

The plot of this one is so fun, as it follows the perfectionist and valedictorian hopeful Chloe Green as she becomes obsessed with uncovering the mystery behind Prom Queen Shara Wheeler’s sudden disappearance. As Chloe finds clues that might lead her to Shara, she starts to feel strong emotions that mostly boil down to anger at Shara’s game. But…what if there’s something else there as well? Have we mentioned that Chloe and Shara are also longtime academic rivals and are constantly competing with one another? Who will be the first to uncover the mystery of their feelings and heart?

We at Rainbow Stacks just absolutely adored this one and highly recommend giving it a shot!

Here is the official synopsis provided by Goodreads:

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.


Books Still On Our TBR

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Representation: Love interest is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. There are also mentions of other queer characters including gay and lesbian side characters.

Trigger Warnings (TW): abelism, death of a parent, panic attacks, gun violence, substance abuse (mentioned), mentions of a deadly disease/plague.

Here is the official synopsis as provided by Goodreads:

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Representation: MC identifies as genderfluid. Although not the exact same as non-binary, many genderfluid people feel as though they fall under the “non-binary” umbrella

Trigger Warnings (TW): assault, bullying, dysphoria, panic attacks, public outing, sexual assault, slurs (against LGBTQ+ communities), suicide (mentioned)

Here is the official synopsis as provided by Goodreads:

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.


Learn more about what it means to be outside of the gender binary on our Gender Identity Explained page!