YA books featuring autistic characters that I’ve read & want to read!

April, is, as you may have heard, Autism Awareness Month!

(Better yet, Autism ACCEPTANCE Month)

Now, the idea in itself should be boosted as autism deserves awareness–and more than that, all-around ACCEPTANCE but I did want to mention to not support the organization behind this, Autism Speaks as it is INCREDIBLY harmful and does NOT actually speak for autistic people. This organization actually does the opposite of supporting autism, and uses its funding to look for a “cure” for autism, among spreading other problematic messages. For more details, there are a ton of articles online and you can check out this one as well!

Now.

I have read shamefully very few books with autistic characters! So to change that, I’ve compiled a list of books with autism rep for both me and anyone else out there who may have been looking for some to read!

I tried to focus on books that are either #ownvoices for the autism rep, or if they aren’t, have positive reviews from #ownvoices readers (aside from the ones I’ve already read). There are already too many harmful messages being perpetuated about autism and I really don’t want to boost books that contribute to that!

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde: This is SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK. I will scream about it to everyone, it is so incredibly diverse and fun and adorable aksakjkajk. One of the main POVs, Taylor, is autistic and has anxiety! It is also ownvoices for the autism rep, anxiety rep, and bi rep!! AMAZING โค

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik: #ownvoices review // I really enjoyed this one! This isn’t ownvoices though. The author does have an autistic child I believe and it’s clear she put a lot of effort into writing good rep!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: One of the narrators and main characters, Zofia has many signs of ASD, but I believe due to the time setting where they wouldn’t necessarily have a label for ASD, it isn’t explicitly stated. I love her! (Not ownvoices) (*I’m still reading this book, but shh.)

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare: Not #ownvoices, but one of the key characters, Ty Blackthorn, is autistic and I’ve heard from many autistic readers that it was very positive representation! I adore Ty so much, and this series is also sooooooo good.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum: PLEASE READ THIS #ownvoices review // This is listed here solely because I’ve read this book; I don’t actually recommend it whatsoever for autistic rep, as there are several problematic scenes and messages!

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: This is #ownvoices & the main character’s older brother is autistic!! This releases tomorrow, April 4th and I AM SO EXCITED! I haven’t found any #ownvoices reviews for this one since it’s… you know, not released yet but I trust the rep in this one! ๐Ÿ’•

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis: #ownvoices autistic main character (who is also biracial; part-Dutch, part-Surinamese Black), plus “a prominent bisexual trans Black girl, as well as lesbian, Muslim, and Jewish characters” (from the author) AHHH this sounds absolutely amazing!!

The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // This is on the younger side of YA in terms of the main character’s age but I’ve heard lovely things about this one! Plus, it’s ownvoices rep! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed: I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK ASKLSKLSK –> ft. Grace, a fat narrator, Rosina a Latinx queer narrator, and Erin with Asperger’s (now known as autism spectrum disorder) and anxiety!! Plus FEMINISM, and discussion (+TW) about rape, sexual assault . I KNOW I WILL LOVE THIS.

This is not ownvoices for the autism rep!! I do highly recommend reading this author’s interview to know more about her inspiration behind this book. **If you know of any #ownvoices reviews for this book, please let me know!! I have not found any!!**

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger: #ownvoices review / another #ownvoices review // Not #ownvoices autism rep, but I’ve heard such good things about this one! This falls in the more upper YA end, too which is nice!

Also: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is also said to have #ownvoices autism rep! However, this isn’t YA; it’s an Adult contemporary romance so please don’t be misled on my account! ๐Ÿ™ˆ I know this list is covering YA books, but I had to include this as this is #ownvoices!! And I NEED to read it omg.

So I have a lot of reading to do!! SO much of my diverse reading has been occupied by books ft. POC, or LGBTQ+ rep which is great, but as an advocate for diverse books, I want to advocate for ALL diverse books, and that includes disabled characters!

I really did want to show a variety of opinions from #ownvoices readers, and I tried my best here but it was so incredibly difficult to find ownvoices reviews, so PLEASE:

If there are any ownvoices reviews you know of and want to boost, or if you’re an #ownvoices reader yourself, PLEASE don’t hesitate to send me a link to your review if you have one because I really do want to showcase ownvoices reviewers!

If there are any more books with autistic characters that any of you recommend, please let me know!! Especially books BY autistic authors!! I need more (good) neuro-diverse books on my TBR!! Also, if you’ve read any of these books, what were your thoughts?!

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23 thoughts on “YA books featuring autistic characters that I’ve read & want to read!

  1. Ahh thank you so much for putting this list together, so many great recommendations โค I LOVE Queens of Geek so much, it's such a fantastic book and these characters, ahh, I love them so much as well. โค I can't wait to read The Boy Who Steals Houses, it sounds amazing and yay for ownvoices rep, too. โค I also heard incredible things about The Kiss Quotient, I NEED TO READ IT too hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lovely post! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Iโ€™m glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ YES Iโ€™m so happy you also loved it! Itโ€™s so incredible omg. ๐Ÿ’ž Yes yes yes! I absolutely canโ€™t wait to read TBWSH and The Kiss Quotient as well ๐Ÿ˜ I hope you enjoy them both when you get around to them!! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I adore Ty Blackthorn so, so much, and as an autistic reader he’s SO important to me. I love him. No one told me about the rep in The Gilded Wolves for the LONGEST time and I was excited about that book from the premise itself. I still haven’t read it but I bought it … so soon? Hopefully?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Oh, Iโ€™m so happy to hear that Jess! Thatโ€™s amazing. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’— Ooh I hope you enjoy The Gilded Wolves! Iโ€™m currently reading it. Youโ€™ll have to let me know your thoughts when you read it someday ahaha ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great list and I need to read more books with autistic characters too— I have been wanting to read ‘the nowhere girls’ for a while now— it sounds like a really good book.
    Also my preorder for ‘the boy who steals houses’ has arrived and I am very excited to read this one. I also want to read the gilded wolves and queens of geeks. Thank you for making this list as it has many great recommendations for me to look into!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ’— Ahhh right?! Yes it sounds so good omg.
      AH THATโ€™S SO AWESOME! I canโ€™t wait to hear what you think! โค๏ธโค๏ธ Ooh yes Queens of Geek is SO good. Iโ€™m so happy you liked it! ๐Ÿ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t been able to find any #ownvoices reviews for The Nowhere Girls either, so I have no idea how good the autism rep is (it didn’t seem horribly offensive, but I also read it quite a while ago, and am not autistic, sooo…), but overall it was a really amazing book.

    Other than that and the four books you recommended, the only book I’ve read with autism rep is Into the Drowning Deep, which I also haven’t been able to find ownvoices reviews for… (I swear I’m not even trying to talk you into reading this (it was terrifying I can’t blame you if you want to never ever read it) it just keeps being relevant haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh Iโ€™m so glad you enjoyed it!! That makes me even more excited to read it, which I didnt think was possible ahh ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ (I really do hope the rep is not offensive ahh)

      Oh I had no idea! Horror isnโ€™t my thing at all but this one seems like a good one to read ๐Ÿ‘€ Iris why do you do this to me ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great list but the only book Iโ€™ve read from it is the Gilded Wolves :(( I really need to change that, so this month, Iโ€™m gonna be reading into the drowning deep by Mira grant. I might also read caitโ€™s newest release! And something that isnโ€™t on this list but has positive reviews from own voices reviewers is Failure to Communicate! I havenโ€™t read it but it has such an interesting premiseโ€”it follows the last few autistic people on earth who are trying to communicate with these alien species.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Ooh I really hope you enjoy Into the Drowning Deep and TBWSH! ๐Ÿ’— Youโ€™ll have to let me know what you think ahh. Ooh I havenโ€™t heard of that one, Iโ€™ll definitely have to check it out! Thank you! It sounds so interesting. โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You should read any book by L.C. Mawson! She is a smaller author who writes diverse fantasy and science fiction novels. Her characters are LGBT+, on the autism spectrum, have some sort of disability such as being wheelchair bound or deaf, or are POC. Her books are short, but they are all really good reads, and the first novel in almost every single one of her series are free. And she is also autistic herself, so her portrayals are accurate (at least from my non-autistic POV).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really want to read When My Heart Joins the Thousands! I’ve heard such good things about it! I just read The Boy Who Steals Houses last week and it was FANTASTIC! Also, The Kiss Quotient is one of my favorite books and the rep is amazing!

    Like

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