LIST #19 | 32 Queer/LGBTQ+ May 2020 Releases

The Fate of Stars (Sea and Stars, #1)

The Fate of Stars by S.D. Simper

Pub. Date: 1 May

Synopsis:

A devout mermaid. A disgraced princess. A feud as ancient as the gods themselves.

Worlds collide when Tallora is kidnapped from her ocean home and forced to be a pet to a tyrannical foreign empire. Her only hope for rescue lies with a sworn enemy—Princess Dauriel, infamous for her stone heart and conflicted past. But when Dauriel’s kingdom comes to the cusp of war, could their uneasy alliance be the key to defeating a common foe? Or will their tenuous feelings for each other become their ruin?

From the world of FALLEN GODS comes a tale of ancient magic and cutthroat politics—and finding redemption through love.

Rep: f/f relationship; sapphic characters

Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Rep: trans boy MC; lesbian side characters

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); Caro (@santanareads); Jeni (@shelf_blame)

Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

In this novel in verse, Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people… In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Rep: lesbian MC; f/f relationship

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); Sasha (@midnightb00ks)

Dangerous Remedy (Dangerous Remedy, #1)

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

Rep: lesbian MC; bi MC; gay MC; f/f relationship

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); El (@inkandplasma)

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

Rep: queer woman MC; genderfluid MC; f/non-binary relationship

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); El (inkandplasma)

Meet Cute Club (Sweet Rose #1)

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

Jordan Collins doesn’t need a man.

What he needs is for his favorite author to release another one of her sexy supernatural novels and more people to sign up for the romance book club that he fears is slowly and steadily losing its steam. He also needs for the new employee at his local bookstore to stop making fun of him for reading things meant for “grandmas.”

The very last thing he needs is for that same employee, Rex Bailey, to waltz into his living room and ask to join Meet Cute Club. Despite his immediate thoughts—like laughing in his face and telling him to kick rocks—Jordan decides that if he wants this club to continue thriving, he can’t turn away any new members. Not even ones like Rex, who somehow manage to be both frustratingly obnoxious and breathtakingly handsome.

As Jordan and Rex team up to bring the club back from the ashes, Jordan soon discovers that Rex might not be the arrogant troll he made himself out to be, and that, like with all things in life, maybe he was wrong to judge a book by its cover.

Rep: gay MC; mlm LI; m/m relationship

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Pub. Date: 5 May

Synopsis:

Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.

Rep: non-binary side characters; trans side characters; queer side characters

Note: Take note that (as far as I know) the MC isn’t queer; the queer characters are side characters only

Scandalous Passions

Scandalous Passions by Nicola Davidson

Pub. Date: 11 May

Synopsis:

Scotland, 1504.

Lady Janet Fraser didn’t earn her reputation as Scotland’s most notorious sinner by following the rules. A former mistress of King James IV, she’s content to live her life from pleasure to pleasure. Even if those pleasures—and people—are forbidden.

People like Sir Lachlan Ross, given the moniker The Highland Beast, a man as intimidating in battle as he is in size. A beast she discovers secretly wishes to be tamed and submit to her dominance.

Or like her new ward, Lady Marjorie Hepburn, a convent-raised virgin with a desire to be taught all the sensual secrets of the marriage bed. Things that Janet is fully willing to teach her, again and again. There’s much for her to learn.

And forbidden pleasures like the three of them together in one bed.

But Lachlan and Marjorie both have ties to the king. As wicked lusts are indulged and affection unexpectedly grows into love, breaking the rules this time could mean all of their undoing…

Rep: f/f/m polyam relationship; queer characters

We Had No Rules

We Had No Rules by Corinne Manning

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

A defiant, beautifully realized story collection about the messy complications of contemporary queer life.

A young teenager runs from her family’s conservative home to her sister’s NY apartment to learn a very different set of rules. A woman grieves the loss of a sister, a “gay divorce,” and the pain of unacknowledged abuse with the help of a lone wallaby on a farm in Washington State. A professor of women’s and gender studies revels in academic and sexual power but risks losing custody of the family dog.

Corinne Manning’s defiant, beautifully realized story collection about the messy complications of contemporary queer life follow a cast of queer characters as they explore the choice of assimilation over rebellion, feeling the promise of a radically reimagined world but facing complicity instead.

Rep: queer short-story collection

The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World's Queer Frontiers

The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

A groundbreaking look at how the issues of sexuality and gender identity divide and unite the world today

More than five years in the making, Mark Gevisser’s The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers is a globetrotting exploration of how the human rights frontier around sexual orientation and gender identity has come to divide—and describe—the world in an entirely new way over the first two decades of the twenty-first century. No social movement has brought change so quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While same-sex marriage and gender transition is celebrated in some parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others. A new Pink Line, Gevisser argues, has been drawn across the world, and he takes readers to its frontiers.

In between sharp analytical chapters about culture wars, folklore, gender ideology, and geopolitics, Gevisser provides sensitive and sometimes startling profiles of the queer folk he’s encountered on the Pink Line’s front lines across nine countries. They include a trans Malawian refugee granted asylum in South Africa and a gay Ugandan refugee stuck in Nairobi; a lesbian couple who started a gay café in Cairo after the Arab Spring, a trans woman fighting for custody of her child in Moscow, and a community of kothis—“women’s hearts in men’s bodies”who run a temple in an Indian fishing village.

Eye-opening, moving, and crafted with expert research, compelling narrative, and unprecedented scope, The Pink Line is a monumental—and vital—journey through the border posts of the world’s new LGBTQ+ frontiers.

Rep: queer non-fiction

The Fascinators

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

A magic-infused YA novel about friendship, first love, and feeling out of place that will bewitch fans of Rainbow Rowell and Maggie Stiefvater.

Living in a small town where magic is frowned upon, Sam needs his friends James and Delia—and their time together in their school’s magic club—to see him through to graduation.

But as soon as senior year starts, little cracks in their group begin to show. Sam may or may not be in love with James. Delia is growing more frustrated with their amateur magic club. And James reveals that he got mixed up with some sketchy magickers over the summer, putting a target on all their backs.

With so many fault lines threatening to derail his hopes for the year, Sam is forced to face the fact that the very love of magic that brought his group together is now tearing them apart—and there are some problems that no amount of magic can fix.

Rep: mlm MC; mlm LI; m/m relationship

The Boy in the Red Dress

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery in this rollicking romp of truth, lies, and troubled pasts.

New Year’s Eve, 1929.

Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even wealthy partiers’ diamond earrings can’t outshine the real star of the night: the boy in the red dress. Marion is the club’s star performer and his fans are legion–if mostly underground.

When a young socialite wielding a photograph of Marion starts asking questions, Millie wonders if she’s just another fan. But then her body is found crumpled in the courtyard, dead from an apparent fall off the club’s balcony, and all signs point to Marion as the murderer. Millie knows he’s innocent, but local detectives aren’t so easily convinced.

As she chases clues that lead to cemeteries and dead ends, Millie’s attention is divided between the wry and beautiful Olive, a waitress at the Cloak & Dagger, and Bennie, the charming bootlegger who’s offered to help her solve the case. The clock is ticking for the fugitive Marion, but the truth of who the killer is might be closer than Millie thinks..

Rep: bi girl MC; gay boy SC; sapphic and lesbian SCs; f/f side relationship

The Summer of Impossibilities

The Summer of Impossibilities by Rachael Allen

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

Skyler, Ellie, Scarlett and Amelia Grace are forced to spend the summer at the lake house where their moms became best friends.

One can’t wait. One would rather gnaw off her own arm than hang out with a bunch of strangers just so their moms can drink too much wine and sing Journey two o’clock in the morning. Two are sisters. Three are currently feuding with their mothers.

One almost sets her crush on fire with a flaming marshmallow. Two steal the boat for a midnight joyride that goes horribly, awkwardly wrong. All of them are hiding something.

One falls in love with a boy she thought she despised. Two fall in love with each other. None of them are the same at the end of the summer.

Rep: lesbian MC; bi MC; f/f relationship; wlw SCs

House of Dragons (House of Dragons, #1)

House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win?

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year, these five outcasts will answer the call….

THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.

THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.

THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.

THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.

THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

Rep: lesbian MC

The Little Book of Pride: The History, the People, the Parades

The Little Book of Pride by Lewis Laney

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

Celebrate the LGTBQ community with this small but perfectly formed guide to Pride.

What began as a protest for gay rights following the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York has grown to become a global celebration of LGBTQ culture. In the 50-odd years since the original protest, and what is now widely accepted to be the first Pride march—Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970—Pride events are now attended by millions each year, celebrating how far we’ve come, recognizing where we have to go, and highlighting important causes in the queer community.

The Little Book of Pride proves that size definitely doesn’t matter by squeezing everything you need to know about Pride into 144 pages. Inside, you will find the history, the key people involved, the best Pride events around the world, inspirational quotes from famous queers, Pride facts, and a fun Pride survival guide.

Rep: queer non-fiction

The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Pub. Date: 12 May

Synopsis:

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this rom com about two teen girls with rival henna businesses.

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

Rep: lesbian MC; bi LI; f/f relationship

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); Toya (@reading_chemist); Sasha (@midnightb00ks)

The Thirty Names of Night

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

Pub. Date: 19 May

Synopsis:

The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts.

Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria.

One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s—and his grandmother’s—in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare.

As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.

Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.

Rep: trans man MC

The Names We Take

The Names We Take by Trace Kerr

Pub. Date: 19 May

Synopsis:

Never leave someone behind: it’s a promise easier made than kept, especially when seventeen-year-old Pip takes the headstrong twelve-year-old Iris under her protection in the wake of an earth-shattering plague.

After an unspeakable tragedy, the duo must navigate the nearly unrecognizable remains of Spokane, facing roving slave traders, merciless gangs―and worse. Pip and Iris soon meet Fly, a stubborn and courageous older girl, and as the three grow closer and their circumstances grow more perilous, they must also grapple with their own identities in this cruel new world. Pip’s vow to never leave someone behind may have made survival more difficult for her, but this promise could also be the key to finding meaning in the ashes of what came before.

Rep: bi trans girl MC

This Coven Won't Break (These Witches Don't Burn, #2)

The Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling

Pub. Date: 19 May

Synopsis:

In this gripping, romantic sequel to These Witches Don’t Burn, Hannah must work alongside her new girlfriend to take down the Hunters desperate to steal her magic.

Hannah Walsh just wants a normal life. It’s her senior year, so she should be focusing on classes, hanging out with her best friend, and flirting with her new girlfriend, Morgan. But it turns out surviving a murderous Witch Hunter doesn’t exactly qualify as a summer vacation, and now the rest of the Hunters seem more intent on destroying her magic than ever.

When Hannah learns the Hunters have gone nationwide, armed with a serum capable of taking out entire covens at once, she’s desperate to help. Now, with witches across the country losing the most important thing they have—their power—Hannah could be their best shot at finally defeating the Hunters. After all, she’s one of the only witches to escape a Hunter with her magic intact.

Or so everyone believes. Because as good as she is at faking it, doing even the smallest bit of magic leaves her in agony. The only person who can bring her comfort, who can make her power flourish, is Morgan. But Morgan’s magic is on the line, too, and if Hannah can’t figure out how to save her—and the rest of the Witches—she’ll lose everything she’s ever known. And as the Hunters get dangerously close to their final target, will all the Witches in Salem be enough to stop an enemy determined to destroy magic for good?

Rep: lesbian MC; bi LI; f/f relationships; trans SC

A History of My Brief Body

A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Pub. Date: 19 May

Synopsis:

The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his own personal history to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be.

Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.

Rep: queer non-fiction (memoir)

Date Me, Bryson Keller

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

Pub. Date: 19 May

Synopsis:

What If It’s Us meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a ’90s rom-com!

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world–and with each other.

Rep: gay MC; mlm LI; m/m relationship; gay SC

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa)

Trans and Autistic : Stories from Life at the Intersection

Trans and Autistic: Stories From Life at the Intersection by Noah Adams and Bridget Liang

Pub. Date: 21 May

Synopsis:

The first book to foreground the voices and experiences of autistic trans people, this collection of interviews explores questions of identity and gender from a neurodiverse perspective and examines how this impacts family, work, healthcare and religion.

Rep: queer non-fiction

Stay Gold

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who’s going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she’s counting down the days until graduation. Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Becky Albertalli, and Jenny Han.

Pony just wants to fly under the radar during senior year. Tired from all the attention he got at his old school after coming out as transgender, he’s looking for a fresh start at Hillcrest High. But it’s hard to live your best life when the threat of exposure lurks down every hallway and in every bathroom.

Georgia is beginning to think there’s more to life than cheerleading. She plans on keeping a low profile until graduation…which is why she promised herself that dating was officially a no-go this year.

Then, on the very first day of school, the new guy and the cheerleader lock eyes. How is Pony supposed to stay stealth when he wants to get close to a girl like Georgia? How is Georgia supposed to keep her promise when sparks start flying with a boy like Pony?

Funny and poignant, clear-eyed and hopeful, Stay Gold is a story about finding love—and finding yourself.

Rep: trans boy MC; lesbian SCs

Credit: Jeni (@shelf_blame); Theresa (@fettestheresa)

Something to Talk about

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time–threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

Rep: lesbian MC; bi MC

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa)

Camp

Camp by L.C. Rosen

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

Rep: gay boy MCs; trans girl SC; trans boy SC; non-binary SC; demisexual SC; lesbian SCs; gay SCs

Credit: Theresa (@fettestheresa); Sasha (@midnightb00ks)

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique by Sa’ed Atshan

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

From Ramallah to New York, Tel Aviv to Porto Alegre, people around the world celebrate a formidable, transnational Palestinian LGBTQ social movement. Solidarity with Palestinians has become a salient domain of global queer politics. Yet LGBTQ Palestinians, even as they fight patriarchy and imperialism, are themselves subjected to an “empire of critique” from Israeli and Palestinian institutions, Western academics, journalists and filmmakers, and even fellow activists. Such global criticism has limited growth and led to an emphasis within the movement on anti-imperialism over the struggle against homophobia.

With this book, Sa’ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, in the face of daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it. Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique explores the necessity of connecting the struggles for Palestinian freedom with the struggle against homophobia.

Rep: queer non-fiction

Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! by Saundra Mitchell

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

QUEER WE GO AGAIN!

A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops, skateboards and VW vans, Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!

Rep: queer anthology

Credit: Sasha (@midnightb00ks)

The Ship We Built

The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean

Pub. Date: 26 May

Synopsis:

“Sometimes I have trouble filling out tests when the name part feels like a test too. . . . When I write letters, I love that you have to read all of my thoughts and stories before I say any name at all. You have to make it to the very end to know.”

Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to discover them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to know. Now, the kids at school say he’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet.

But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes that there might already be a person he can trust right by his side.

Tender and wise, The Ship We Built is about the bravery it takes to stand up for yourself–even to those you love–and the power of finding someone who treasures you for everything you are.

Rep: trans boy MC

Wonderland

Wonderland by Juno Dawson

Pub. Date: 28 May

Synopsis:

What happens when you fall down the rabbit hole? The compulsive must-have follow-up to CLEAN and MEAT MARKET from bestselling author Juno Dawson

Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury – but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to ‘Wonderland’: the party to end all parties – three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.

Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.

Alice is all alone, miles from home and without her essential medication. She can trust no-one, least of all herself, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head…

A searing exploration of mental health, gender and privilege, from the most addictive YA novelist in the UK today.

Rep: queer trans girl MC

Read with Pride (The Paper & Hearts Society, #2)

Read with Pride by Lucy Powrie

Pub. Date: 28 May

Synopsis:

The much anticipated second book in The Paper & Hearts Society series by Booktuber Lucy Powrie. Will you be the next recruit for The Paper & Hearts Society book club? For fans of Holly Smale and Super Awkward.

Olivia Santos is excited for her last year at secondary school. But when a parent complains about LGBTQ+ content in one of the books, the library implements a new policy for withdrawing books. Olivia is distraught – she’s demisexual and knows how important it is for all readers to see themselves represented.

Luckily, she’s the mastermind behind The Paper & Hearts Society book club, and she knows exactly what to do: start a new club, find ways of evading the system, and change the policy for good!

With two book clubs to run, exams to prepare for, and a girlfriend, just how long will it be before Olivia burns out? After all, creating a book club and trying to get the #ReadWithPride hashtag to get noticed is going to take a lot of energy.

Sometimes, when you’re in too deep, it’s up to your friends to look out for you.

Rep: demisexual girl MC; f/f relationship; queer SCs

Hideous Beauty

Hideous Beauty by William Hussey

Pub. Date: 28 May

Synopsis:

When Dylan and Ellis’s secret relationship is exposed on social media, Dylan is forced to come out. To Dylan’s surprise they are met with support and congratulations, and an amazing reception at their highschool dance. Perhaps people aren’t as narrow-minded as he thought?

But Dylan’s happiness is short-lived. Ellis suddenly becomes angry, withdrawn, and as they drive home from the dance, he loses control of the car, sending it plunging into Hunter’s Lake. Barely conscious, Dylan is pulled free of the wreck, while Ellis is left to drown.

Grief-stricken, Dylan vows to discover what happened to Ellis that night and piece together the last months of his boyfriend’s life – and realises just how little he knew about the boy he loved.

Rep: gay/mlm MC; gay SC

The Book of Queer Prophets: 21 Writers on Sexuality and Religion

The Book of Queer Prophets by Ruth Hunt

Pub. Date: 28 May

Synopsis:

Is it possible to believe in God and be gay? How does it feel to be excluded from a religious community because of your sexuality? Why do some people still believe being LGBT is a sin?

The book of Queer Prophets contains modern-day epistles from some of our most important thinkers, writers and activists: Jeanette Winterson tackles religious dogma, Amrou Al-Kadhi writes about trying to make it as a Muslim drag queen in London, John Bell writes about his decision to come out later in life, Tamsin Omond remembers getting married in the middle of a protest and Kate Bottley explains her journey to becoming an LGBT ally.

Essays from: Jeanette Winterson, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Rev. Winnie Varghese, Keith Jarrett, Jay Hulme, Lucy Knight, Tamsin Omond, Erin Clark, Michael Segalov, Jarel Robinson-Brown, John L. Bell, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Karl Rutlidge, Garry Rutter, Rev Rachel Mann, Judith Kotze, Jack Guiness, Dustin Lance Black, Ric Stott. Afterword: Kate Bottley

Rep: queer non-fiction

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LIST #18 | Books on My Physical TBR, pt. 1 YA SFF

Hey there, everyone! Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe right now when things are as hectic as could be. I’ve been wanting to do different kinds of posts outside of just reviews because I found myself in a bit of a rut. So I figured why not do one about the books on my physical TBR? And here we are, a new mini-series! I differentiate between my physical TBR and general TBR because the former is the TBR for books that I already own, and the latter is just books that I want to get around to reading. I own a number of backlist books, so I figured this would be a fun series so y’all can see books that maybe you haven’t seen in a while (or at all!). Part one is on my YA sci-fi and fantasy collection!

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)
Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone, #2)

Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

  • bought these a few years ago, still haven’t read them
  • ready to hate both Mal and the Darkling, and I can’t wait
  • not ready for the mid-2000s YA fantasy style of writing though, lmao

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)
  • I’ve heard so many great things!
  • I need an anti-hero/morally grey MC again, it’s been a while
  • Kate from YaTitaKate on YouTube also did a drunk review of The Bone Witch which, uh, definitely made me want to read it more now, lol. Maybe next month!
Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

  • the themes…the t h e m e s
  • another that I have to read soon!
  • well, that, and the sequel
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)
Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2)
Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)

Eragon & Eldest & Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

  • am I ready to roast this hodgepodge of well-known SFF media? Yes. But will I enjoy roasting it? Also yes
  • I actually tried the audiobook sometime last year or the year before, and wow, that was the worst audiobook experience I’ve had in my life. So. Physical book it is
A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1)
The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque Du Freak, #2)
Tunnels of Blood (Cirque Du Freak, #3)

A Living Nightmare & The Vampire’s Assistant & Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan

  • cue the nostalgia: ya know how a bunch of people had Harry Potter and Twilight growing up, which really solidified their love of reading? Well, Cirque du Freak is, essentially, my Harry Potter or Twilight
  • I’m a bit nervous it won’t be as good as I remember it, but to be fair, there has been ten years or more since I first read it
The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

  • got this for my 12th or 13th birthday, but uhhh never actually read it
  • excited to get into it, but I don’t have a clue on what it’s about, lol
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

The Dream Thieves & Blue Lily, Lily Blue & The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

  • I am ready to be absolutely bodied by the rest of this series and then never touch it again
  • I got them all from my library’s book sale for super cheap, so that’s pretty rad, too!
Tarnished Are the Stars

Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

  • my most recent YA SFF buy from a couple months ago
  • bit of an impulse buy because I usually don’t buy new releases, but I couldn’t resist a queer YA sci-fi with that kind of cover

And those are all of the YA SFF books on my physical TBR. Let me know if you liked any of these, or what YA SFF books you own that you haven’t gotten around to yet!

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #15 | April 2020

Yeesh, this month was…something. I didn’t really read any physical books. Out of the six books I read, only one was a physical book from the library. The rest were audiobooks. I actually listened to more music: I’ve listened to nine albums vs. reading six books. But honestly? With everything going on, reading was a lot harder this month than listening to music. But anyway, here’s everything that I’ve done throughout the month!

BOOKS COMPLETED/DNF’D

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

  • spoopy mystery about a young woman learning about what happened to her aunt
  • it was more mystery than horror, but I still enjoyed it
  • the romance was super lackluster for me though, lol
  • 4.5/5⭐

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

  • a non-fiction book about the history of Western indigenous people and how the United States fucked them over continuously
  • it makes it clear that much of what people learn about the relations between indigenous people and the US government is often glossed over
  • I think if I read the physical book, it’d be a bit better, but I found myself lost as to who and where the author was talking about
  • 3.5/5⭐

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

  • a book about vampires, where it spreads similar to a disease
  • should I have read this during an actual pandemic? Probs not, but here we are
  • it was okay — it wasn’t horrible, but it was nothing groundbreaking either
  • however, there’s literally no thought out, well-written characters that are women. Like. The only one we get is a woman who only serves as the MC’s possible love interest, and she isn’t even in the final battle scene because she ~has to take care of the MC’s son~
  • 3.5/5⭐

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

  • a pretty light contemporary about a Muslim girl trying to get back in touch with her faith
  • it was alright, but the LI was…super bland? I don’t think he had that much depth at all, which made me not care for the romance, lol
  • I’m not going to say anything about how Islam and different inter-community discussions were portrayed because I’m an atheist and have no personal connection to Islam, but I will say that I enjoyed the MC’s journey throughout the novel
  • But also, I will point out that the book makes it sound like there are no exceptions to fasting when it comes to Ramadan, and I know for sure that’s not true. Just wanted to point that out
  • 3.5/5⭐

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

  • I got through about three chapters and the prologue of the audiobook, and I ended up DNFing
  • it wasn’t bad, necessarily, but it wasn’t what I thought it was; it’s, like, this weird fusion of fantasy and sci-fi, and I wasn’t expecting that
  • it just wasn’t a book for me
  • no rating

Middle School’s a Drag by Greg Howard

  • this was a cute contemporary MG book about a boy running his own “talent agency” while also trying to figure out how to be more confident with his gay identity
  • I really enjoyed the discussion the MC had with himself about if he’s “gay enough” because he doesn’t act like a “stereotypical” gay boy
  • however, I’m not a huge fan of the bully being let off the hook for…basically no reason?
  • it was nice to see the amount of diversity in the book, though

BOOKS STARTED BUT NOT YET COMPLETED OR DNF’D

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

  • 68/561 pages (at the end of April — now, at the time of writing, I’m a lot further along)
  • who was going to tell me that there’s FAKE DATING?
  • I’m so excited for the rest of this series

TV SHOWS/MOVIES WATCHED

Bob’s Burgers, season 2 and part of season 3

  • I’ve been casually watching it as I work on my book journal and/or blog at night
  • I still love the humor
  • maybe I can get through another couple seasons this month
  • 10/10, probably going to watch again once I’m caught up

Detective Pikachu

  • I FINALLY GOT AROUND TO WATCHING THIS
  • I can die happy now
  • seriously, the Pokemon looked so good, I loved it
  • will definitely re-watch when I need a pick-me-up

MUSIC LISTENED TO

We Are Not Your Kind by Slipknot

  • *pretends to be shocked*
  • anyway, still a banger

Feathers & Flesh by Avatar

  • I believe I listened to this back in February, but I wanted to listen to it again, so I know if I want to put it into my general playlist
  • it’s still a good album, and I’m glad to be getting back into the band

Hail the Apocalypse by Avatar

  • every single song on this album sounds like it was made for pirates, and you can’t tell me otherwise
  • it’s just a snazzy group of songs

Blood Mountain ; Crack the Skye ; The Hunter ; Once More ‘Round the Sun; Emperor of Sand by Mastodon

  • these are five different albums, but they’re all by the same band, so I figured I would group them all together
  • another one of those “used to listen to them a lot, stopped for a few years, and I’m now back to listening them” things
  • highly recommend

The Nothing by Korn

  • me? liking every song of a Korn album? I know, I’m surprised, too
  • seriously, though, good stuff

VIDEO GAMES PLAYED

Pokemon Sword

  • my boyfriend got it for me for my birthday!!!
  • I haven’t played a ton of it, but I’m having a lot of fun
  • my team has two normal types, and no, I am not getting rid of the them. Wooloo and Skwovet are staying forever

Untitled Goose Game

  • a relaxing game to play when you’re trying not to think about the state of the world rn
  • honk honk, motherfucker

And that’s it for the month of April! Let me know what you did during April, whether it was reading or another hobby/activity, in the comments! 🙂

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LIST #17 | 12 Queer/LGBTQ+ April 2020 Releases

…Better late than never, right?

Crown of Smoke (Shadowscent, #2)

Crown of Smoke by P.M. Freestone

Pub. Date: 2 April

Synopsis:

In the empire of Aramtesh, scent has power. In the first volume, the prince was found poisoned in the temple, sparking a high-stakes quest for an antidote. In the explosive conclusion, Rakel and Ash are separated as the empire hurtles towards civil war, and everyone must choose a side.

Rep: bi MC

Bonds of Brass (The Bloodright Trilogy #1)

Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie

Pub. Date: 7 April

Synopsis:

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

Rep: men loving men MCs

Credit: Theresa @fettestheresa

Sword in the Stars (Once & Future #2)

The Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy

Pub. Date: 7 April

Synopsis:

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save the future, Ari and her Rainbow knights pull off a heist…thousands of years in the past.

Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible.
It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…

Rep: bi/pan character; non-binary character; demiboy character; ace character; f/f relationship

The Stone of Sorrow (Runecaster, #1)

The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter

Pub. Date: 7 April

Synopsis:

In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.

Rep: f/f relationship; sapphic characters; non-binary side character

Somebody Told Me

Somebody Told Me by Mia Siegert

Pub. Date: 7 April

Synopsis:

A novel of trauma, identity, and survival.

After an assault, bigender seventeen-year-old Aleks/Alexis is looking for a fresh start―so they voluntarily move in with their uncle, a Catholic priest. In their new bedroom, Aleks/Alexis discovers they can overhear parishioners in the church confessional. Moved by the struggles of these “sinners,” Aleks/Alexis decides to anonymously help them, finding solace in their secret identity: a guardian angel instead of a victim.

But then Aleks/Alexis overhears a confession of another priest admitting to sexually abusing a parishioner. As they try to uncover the priest’s identity before he hurts anyone again, Aleks/Alexis is also forced to confront their own abuser and come to terms with their past trauma.

Rep: bigender MC

Note: Please take note of the trigger/content warnings

Elysium Girls

Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

Pub. Date: 14 April

Synopsis:

In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.

Rep: sapphic MC

Fin & Rye & Fireflies

Finn and Rye and Fireflies by Harry Cook

Pub. Date: 20 April

Synopsis:

“It started with a kiss…as love stories often do. Jesse Andrews had the arms of a Greek god and he was on the track team. The night of our kiss fell on a Friday.”

Then, only a few days later, Fin’s world is turned upside down – and not in a good head-over-heels-in-love way – when Jesse cruelly outs him. An event which ultimately leads to his family leaving town.

But a fresh start isn’t going to change the truth of who Fin is. And it’s not going to stop his sexuality causing everyone all sorts of problems. Everyone, that is, apart from his new best friend Poppy, her girlfriend-in-waiting June, and his new crush Rye… So, while Fin and Rye are enjoying some seriously intimate moonlit moments together, Fin’s parents decide to pack him off to the local ReSouled ‘therapy camp’.

It’s a nightmare – and there’s no easy way out. Can Fin’s squad hatch a plan outrageous enough to spring him before the ‘conversion’ acolytes force him into the straight and narrow?

Rep: gay mc; men loving men character; f/f side relationship; sapphic side characters

The Deck of Omens (The Devouring Gray, #2)

The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

Pub. Date: 21 April

Synopsis:

The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.

Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.

But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

Rep: bi MCs; men loving men SC

Credit: Theresa @fettestheresa

Late to the Party

Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen

Pub. Date: 21 April

Synopsis:

Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.

She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.

So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.

But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named Lydia.

The only problem? Codi never tells Maritza or JaKory about any of it.

From author Kelly Quindlen comes a poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere.

Rep: lesbian MC; f/f relationship; men loving men SCs; women loving women SCs

Verona Comics

Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Pub. Date: 21 April

Synopsis:

From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop.

Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.

Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them—that is, when they’re even paying attention.

They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible…unless they manage to keep it a secret.

Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?

Rep: bi MCs

All Boys Aren't Blue

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Pub. Date: 28 April

Synopsis:

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

Rep: non-fiction memoir about being a queer Black boy

The Knockout Queen

The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe

Pub. Date: 28 April

Synopsis:

A dazzling and darkly comic novel of love, violence, and friendship in the California suburbs

Bunny Lampert is the princess of North Shore⁠–beautiful, tall, blond, with a rich real-estate-developer father and a swimming pool in her backyard. Michael⁠⁠–with a ponytail down his back and a septum piercing⁠–lives with his aunt in the cramped stucco cottage next door. When Bunny catches Michael smoking in her yard, he discovers that her life is not as perfect as it seems. At six foot three, Bunny towers over their classmates. Even as she dreams of standing out and competing in the Olympics, she is desperate to fit in, to seem normal, and to get a boyfriend, all while hiding her father’s escalating alcoholism. Michael has secrets of his own. At home and at school Michael pretends to be straight, but at night he tries to understand himself by meeting men online for anonymous encounters that both thrill and scare him. When Michael falls in love for the first time, a vicious strain of gossip circulates and a terrible, brutal act becomes the defining feature of both his and Bunny’s futures⁠⁠–and of their friendship. With storytelling as intoxicating as it is intelligent, Rufi Thorpe has created a tragic and unflinching portrait of identity, a fascinating examination of our struggles to exist in our bodies, and an excruciatingly beautiful story of two humans aching for connection.

Rep: gay MC

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LIST #16 | 32 Queer/LGBTQ+ March 2020 Releases

I’m a bit late (a whole month) with this, but I still wanted to get it out to you all! March was a very busy month: I have a whole 32 books for you, and that is just what I could personally fine and what others have recommeded me. I am sure there are a lot more.

Read on for 30+ more queer books to add to your TBR. 🙂

The Winter Duke

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.

When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what’s right in the face of danger.

Rep: f/f relationship; sapphic characters

Credit: Rho @ReaderofHonoku

The House in the Cerulean Sea

House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Pub. Date: 17 March 2020

Synopsis:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Rep: mlm (#OwnVoices); m/m relationship

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

Docile

Docile by K.M. Szpara

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

There is no consent under capitalism

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Rep: mlm (#OwnVoices); trans author

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

Note: Please take note of the trigger/content warnings for this novel

Queerleaders

Queerleaders by M.B. Guel

Pub. Date: 15 March 2020

Synopsis:

Mackenzie is used to being different from other kids―and to being bullied for not fitting into the rigid social expectations of her Catholic High School. Luckily, Mack’s best friend Lila has her back so school isn’t the total hell it could be. But it’s pretty damn close.

Until something very mysterious happens―Mack becomes a cheerleader magnet. Even she has a hard time believing it. And Lila is not too happy about her friend’s sudden popularity with the cool kids.

Is Mack being set up for an epic fail? Or is she finally headed for acceptance–and maybe even romance…

Rep: wlw; lesbian character; f/f relationship

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

The Electric Heir (Feverwake #2)

Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Pub. Date: 17 March 2020

Synopsis:

In the sequel to The Fever King, Noam Álvaro seeks to end tyranny before he becomes a tyrant himself.

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

Rep: bi MC; gay MC

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

American Sweethearts (Dreamers, #4)

American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera

Pub. Date: 30 March 2020

Synopsis:

Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist with his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

Rep: bi MCs

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

Witches of Ash and Ruin

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down.

Rep: bi MC; wlw; f/f relationship

Credit: Laura @QueerlyAsexual

The Animals at Lockwood Manor

Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

Pub. Date: 10 March 2020

Synopsis:

A debut novel for fans of Sarah Perry and Kate Morton: when a young woman is tasked with safeguarding a natural history collection as it is spirited out of London during World War II, she discovers her new manor home is a place of secrets and terror instead of protection.

In August 1939, thirty-year-old Hetty Cartwright arrives at Lockwood Manor to oversee a natural history museum collection, whose contents have been taken out of London for safekeeping. She is unprepared for the scale of protecting her charges from party guests, wild animals, the elements, the tyrannical Major Lockwood and Luftwaffe bombs. Most of all, she is unprepared for the beautiful and haunted Lucy Lockwood.

For Lucy, who has spent much of her life cloistered at Lockwood suffering from bad nerves, the arrival of the museum brings with it new freedoms. But it also resurfaces memories of her late mother, and nightmares in which Lucy roams Lockwood hunting for something she has lost.

When the animals appear to move of their own accord, and exhibits go missing, they begin to wonder what exactly it is that they might need protection from. And as the disasters mount up, it is not only Hetty’s future employment that is in danger, but her own sanity too. There’s something, or someone, in the house. Someone stalking her through its darkened corridors . . .

Rep: sapphic characters

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

Hex

Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

Pub. Date: 31 March 2020

Synopsis:

Nell Barber, an expelled PhD candidate in biological science, is exploring the fine line between poison and antidote, working alone to set a speed record for the detoxification of poisonous plants. Her mentor, Dr. Joan Kallas, is the hero of Nell’s heart. Nell frequently finds herself standing in the doorway to Joan’s office despite herself, mesmerized by Joan’s elegance, success, and spiritual force.

Surrounded by Nell’s ex, her best friend, her best friend’s boyfriend, and Joan’s buffoonish husband, the two scientists are tangled together at the center of a web of illicit relationships, grudges, and obsessions. All six are burdened by desire and ambition, and as they collide on the university campus, their attractions set in motion a domino effect of affairs and heartbreak.

Meanwhile, Nell slowly fills her empty apartment with poisonous plants to study, and she begins to keep a series of notebooks, all dedicated to Joan. She logs her research and how she spends her days, but the notebooks ultimately become a painstaking map of love.

Rep: sapphic characters

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

The Love Hypothesis

The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven

Pub. Date: 5 March 2020

Synopsis:

Physics genius Caro Kerber-Murphy knows she’s smart. With straight As and a college scholarship already in the bag, she’s meeting her two dads’ colossal expectations and then some. But there’s one test she’s never quite been able to ace: love. And when, in a particularly desperate moment, Caro discovers a (definitely questionable) scientific breakthrough that promises to make you irresistible to everyone around you, she wonders if this could be the key. What happens next will change everything Caro thought she knew chemistry – in the lab and in love.

Is her long-time crush Haruki with her of his own free will? Are her feelings for her best girl friend some sort of side-effect? Will her dog, Sirius, ever stop humping her leg?

Rep: bi rep (#OwnVoices)

Credit: Rach (@rh_aitken)

We Are Totally Normal

We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia

Pub. Date: 31 March 2020

Synopsis:

Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect. He’s going to make sure all the parties are chill, he’s going to smooth things over with his ex, and he’s going to help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd—whether Dave wants to or not. The high school social scene might be complicated, but Nandan is sure he’s cracked the code.

Then, one night after a party, Dave and Nandan hook up, which was not part of the plan—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Dave’s cool, and Nandan’s willing to give it a shot, even if that means everyone starts to see him differently.

But while Dave takes to their new relationship with ease, Nandan’s completely out of his depth. And the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. But is breaking up with the only person who’s ever really gotten him worth feeling “normal” again?

From Rahul Kanakia comes a raw and deeply felt story about rejecting labels, seeking connection, and finding yourself.

Rep: questioning MC; m/m relationship

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves.

Rep: f/f relationship

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

We Were Promised Spotlights

We Were Promised Spotlights by Lindsay Sproul

Pub. Date: 24 March 2020

Synopsis:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post meets Everything Leads to You in this queer young adult novel.

Taylor Garland’s good looks have earned her the admiration of everyone in her small town. She’s homecoming queen, the life of every party, and she’s on every boy’s most-wanted list.

People think Taylor is living the dream, and assume she’ll stay in town and have kids with the homecoming king–maybe even be a dental hygienist if she’s super ambitious. But Taylor is actually desperate to leave home, and she hates the smell of dentists’ offices. Also? She’s completely in love with her best friend, Susan.

Senior year is almost over, and everything seems perfect. Now Taylor just has to figure out how to throw it all away.

Lindsay Sproul’s debut is full of compelling introspection and painfully honest commentary on what it’s like to be harnessed to a destiny you never wanted.

Rep: lesbian MC and SCs; bi SCs

Enter the Aardvark

Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony

Pub. Date: 24 March 2020

Synopsis:

A young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a rip-roaring journey to find out what it means.

It’s early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R), planning his first reelection campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious, over-sized FedEx delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington, D.C., where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England–where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men.

Rep: questioning/queer MC

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

Don't You Know I Love You

Don’t You Know I Love You by Laura Bogart

Pub. Date: 10 March 2020

Synopsis:

The last place Angelina Moltisanti ever wants to go is home. She barely escaped life under the roof, and the thumb, of her violent but charismatic father, Jack. Yet home is exactly where she ends up after an SUV plows into her car just weeks after she graduates from college, fracturing her wrist and her hopes to start a career as an artist.

Angelina finds herself smothered in a plaster cast, in Jack’s obsessive urge to get her a giant accident settlement, in her mother Marie’s desperation to have a second chance, and in her own stifled creativity – until she meets Janet, another young artist who inspires her to push herself into making the dynamic, unsettling work that tells the story of her scars, inside and out. But excavating this damage, as relations with her father become increasingly tense, will push Angelina into making a hard choice: will she embrace her father’s all-consuming and empowering rage, or find another kind of strength?

Rep: queer MC

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

Note: Please take note that this book includes domestic violence

The Empress of Salt and Fortune

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Pub. Date: 24 March 2020

Synopsis:

With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

Rep: non-binary MC

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

The City We Became (Great Cities #1)

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Pub. Date: 24 March 2020

Synopsis:

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

Rep: bi character; trans character

Credit: Rach @rh_aitken

Music from Another World

Music From Another World by Robin Talley

Pub. Date: 31 March 2020

Synopsis:

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others–like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom–and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.

Rep: lesbian MC; gay SC; questioning gay MC

Credit: Harker @hermitlibrarian

Livingston Girls

Livingston Girls by Briana Morgan

Pub. Date: 24 March 2020

Synopsis:

“I see something in you, Miss Abbott, something I recognize. The potential for greatness, for channeling magic. For bending the world to your will.”

After an affair with her teacher, Rose’s parents ship her off to Livingston Academy, a stuffy all-girls’ boarding school. Ashamed of her past and herself, sixteen-year-old Rose just wants to chill, pass her classes, and make friends. The last thing on her mind is becoming a witch…

Until the enigmatic headmistress gives her the chance to join a coven secret from the rest of the school. Desperate to prove herself and looking for a purpose, the headmistress’s offer seems too perfect to pass up.

Rose puts on her metaphorical pointy hat and becomes a Livingston witch. She quickly discovers that the other witches don’t want her in their group—especially because she’s filling their dead friend’s space—but if they can’t band together, the witch-hunting headmaster of the boys’ school will kill them.

Meanwhile, Rose struggles to understand her growing feelings for her roommate, who may or may not hate her guts.

You know, typical boarding school stuff.

Rep: bi character (#OwnVoices); lesbian character; f/f relationship

Credit: Coryl @corylwrites

Silver Beasts

Silver Beasts by Emma Sterner-Radley

Pub. Date: 5 March 2020

Synopsis:

A dying world.
An academy to train seafaring heroes.
Four eighteen-year-olds trying to survive it all.

Silver beasts, lack of provisions, royal intrigue, and cloaked threats plague this realm. Four young people are chosen to attend the Hall of Explorers academy to train their minds, bodies, and magic, to sail and find their people a new world.
Representing the Lakelands, Eleksander, the sensitive boy with a shrouded past. From the North, Sabina, the rational warrior with her snowtiger. On behalf of the Woodlands, Hale, the fearless orphan with something to prove. From the Peaks, Avelynne, the insecure countess with a shameful secret.

Before they brave the unknown seas, they must complete their training. Not to mention getting to know each other and become a tight-knit team. Disturbing and bloody incidents soon make that even harder than it should be. Not knowing who to trust makes it worse.

They will have to face their individual issues and overcome them together if they’re to avoid becoming puppets in a game where they don’t understand the rules. Or worse, die before even finishing their training.

Rep: wlw characters; mlm characters

When We Were Magic

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

A moving, darkly funny novel about six teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an “author to watch.”

Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder.

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable—even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love.

That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn’t change on prom night.

When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

Rep: wlw; f/f relationship

Rust Belt Femme

Rust Belt Femme by Raechel Anne Jolie

Pub. Date: 10 March 2020

Synopsis:

Raechel Anne Jolie’s early life in a working-class Cleveland exurb was full of race cars, Budweiser-drinking men covered in car grease, and the women who loved them. After her father came home from his third-shift job, took the garbage out to the curb and was hit by a drunk driver, her life changed.

Raechel and her mother struggled for money: they were evicted, went days without utilities, and took their trauma out on one another. Raechel escaped to the progressive suburbs of Cleveland Heights, leaving the tractors and ranch-style homes home in favor of a city with vintage marquees, music clubs, and people who talked about big ideas. It was the early 90s, full of Nirvana songs and chokers, flannel shirts and cut-off jean shorts, lesbian witches and local coffee shops.

Rust Belt Femme is the story of how these twin foundations—rural Ohio poverty and alternative 90s culture—made Raechel into who she is today: a queer femme with PTSD and a deep love of the Midwest.

Rep: queer non-fiction

The Mixtape to My Life

The Mixtape to My Life by Jake Martinez

Pub. Date: 27 March 2020

Synopsis:

Justin Ortega might as well be starring in his very own coming-of-age 80s movie. If only he could find his dream boy to pull up in front of his house in a red convertible and sweep him off his feet, already! At seventeen years young, he isn’t quite Mexican enough for his South Texas town; isn’t manly enough for his father; can sometimes be too much of a smart mouth for his mother; and as for the other kids at school—let’s just say he’d be cast as the quiet nerd with a heart of gold…and an ear for music.

The one solace Justin has is his love of 80s hair metal bands, which he listens to on his beloved Sony Walkman. The songs, lyrics, and melody keep him just sane enough to escape the pressures of school and help navigate the hurdles life brings. Especially with the doozy this year is shaping up to be. Not only does he have to try out for a captain position which is rightfully his, but his best friend has found a new girlfriend, leaving Justin to fend for himself in a school where he’s mostly known as simply Coconut.

Enter Dominic Mendoza. Sweet, funny, and a blast from his past, the hunky football player has moved in next door. Justin could never forget how Dominic protected him in the eighth grade, nor the way Dominic made him feel, then…and now.

Except, this isn’t a movie. Confusion, friendship, and love won’t guarantee a happy ending unless Justin can learn to accept himself for who he truly is. Hair bands and all.

Rep: m/m relationship

Super Adjacent

Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari

Pub. Date: 17 March

Synopsis:

Claire has always wanted to work with superheroes, from collecting Warrior Nation cards as a kid to drafting “What to Say to a Hero” speeches in her diary. Now that she’s landed a coveted internship with the Chicago branch of Warrior Nation, Claire is ready to prove she belongs, super or not. But complicating plans is the newest WarNat hero, Girl Power (aka Joy), who happens to be egotistical and self-important . . . and pretty adorable.

Bridgette, meanwhile, wants out of WarNat. After years of dating the famous Vaporizer (aka Matt), she’s sick of playing second, or third, or five-hundredth fiddle to all the people-in-peril in the city of Chicago. Of course, once Bridgette meets Claire-who’s clearly in need of a mentor and wingman-giving up WarNat becomes slightly more complicated. It becomes a lot more complicated when Joy, Matt, and the rest of the heroes go missing, leaving only Claire and Bridgette to save the day.

In this fresh and funny take on the world of supers, author Crystal Cestari spotlights what it’s like to be the seemingly non-super half of a dynamic duo with banter-filled romance and bold rescues perfect for readers seeking a great escape.

Rep: f/f relationship; sapphic characters

Only Mostly Devastated

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Pub. Date: 3 March

Synopsis:

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease

Summer love…gone so fast.

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he’s fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right? Right.

Rep: gay MC; bi LI; bi SC

Look

Look by Zan Romanoff

Pub. Date: 31 March 2020

Synopsis:

Things Lulu Shapiro’s 10,000 Flash followers don’t know about her:
* That the video of her with another girl was never supposed to go public.
* That Owen definitely wasn’t supposed to break up with her because of it.
* That behind the carefully crafted selfies and scenes Lulu projects onto people’s screens, her life feels like a terrible, uncertain mess.

Then Lulu meets Cass. Cass isn’t interested in looking at Lulu’s life, only in living in it. And The Hotel—a gorgeous space with an intriguing, Old Hollywood history and a trust-fund kid to restore it—seems like the perfect, secret place for them to get to know each other. But just because Lulu has stepped out of the spotlight doesn’t mean it’ll stop following her every move.

It’s a story about what you present vs. who you really are, about real intimacy and manufactured intimacy and the blurring of that line. It’s a deceptively glamorous, feminist, emotionally complex, utterly compelling, queer coming-of-age novel about falling in love and taking ownership of your own self—your whole self—in the age of social media.

Rep: f/f relationship; bi MC

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic, #1)

Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left desolate and encased in ice when the evil Snow Queen waged war on the powerful country. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is in hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them. Tala doesn’t mind—she has secrets of her own. Namely, that she’s a spellbreaker, someone who negates magic.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon’s most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

Rep: gay MC; non-binary MC; queer SCs

Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)

Havenfall by Sarah Holland

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it — at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds — each with their own magic — together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

Rep: bi MC

Fiebre Tropical

Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera

Pub. Date: 1 March 2020

Synopsis:

In this novel told in Spanglish, fifteen-year-old Francisca is uprooted from her life in Bogota, Colombia, and moves with her family to Miami, Florida, where she is ushered into an evangelical church and falls in love with the pastor’s daughter.

Rep: lesbian MC; f/f relationship

Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health

Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health by Adrian Shanker

Pub. Date: 1 March 2020

Synopsis:

LGBT people pervasively experience health disparities, yet many are still grappling to understand the health care challenges leaving LGBT people to experience worsened health outcomes. Bodies and Barriers informs health care professionals, students in health professions, policymakers, and fellow activists about these challenges, providing insights and a road map for action that could improve queer health. Through artfully articulated, data-informed essays by twenty-six well-known and emerging queer activists, Bodies and Barriers illuminates the ubiquitous health challenges LGBT people experience and challenges conventional wisdom about health care delivery. It probes deeply into the roots of these disparities and empowers activists with crucial information to fight for health equity through clinical, behavioral, and policy changes. The activist contributors in Bodies and Barriers look for tangible improvements, drawing lessons from the history of HIV/AIDS in America and from struggles against health care bias and discrimination.

Rep: queer non-fiction

This Town Sleeps

This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

On an Ojibwe reservation called Languille Lake, within the small town of Geshig at the hub of the rez, two men enter into a secret romance. Marion Lafournier, a midtwenties gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a heavily closeted white man obsessed with his image as a northern Minnesotan. While Marion is far more open about his sexuality, neither is immune to the realities of the lives of gay men in small towns and closed societies.
One night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life a dog from beneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the young age of seventeen and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero’s death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in.

Meanwhile, Marion’s mother, Hazel, must come to terms not only with her role in her son’s haunting but also with a mummified jawbone she uncovers at her grandmother’s burial site and the possible curse it has cast on the Lafournier family.

Set on a reservation in far northern Minnesota, This Town Sleeps explores the many ways history, culture, landscape, and lineage shape our lives, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it all.

Rep: mlm characters; m/m relationship

The First 7 (The Last 8, #2)

The First 7 by Laura Pohl

Pub. Date: 3 March 2020

Synopsis:

Welcome home. Someone’s been waiting.

Clover Martinez and The Last Teenagers on Earth are busy exploring the galaxy after leaving earth behind…even if they can’t help but be a little homesick.

So when their ship receives a distress signal from their former planet, they hope against hope that it means other survivors. But as soon as they arrive, they realize something’s deeply wrong: strange crystal formations have popped up everywhere and there’s some sort of barrier keeping them from leaving.

Seeking the origin of the formations and the reason for the barrier, the group discovers a colony of survivors hidden in the mountains. But the survivors aren’t who they seem…

Rep: bi aro MC; queer SCs

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP #14 | February 2020

So I know I usually only do books for monthly wrap-ups, but I figured it would be fun to do all the media I’m consuming instead! So this includes books I finished/DNF’d, books I started but have yet to complete/DNF, music albums I listened too, movies and TV shows I watched, and video games I’ve played. I figured this would add a bit of something extra to my wrap-ups. I hope y’all enjoy!

(P.S. if I already wrote a review for the book, all you have to do is click the title/author in order to read the review!)

BOOKS COMPLETED/DNF’D

The Black Veins by Ashia Monet

  • THE HUMOR IN THIS BOOK OMG it’s authentic™️ millenial humor, and I love it
  • if you love found family, you’ll love this book
  • it was just…a ton of fun, and I can’t wait for the second book in the series to come out
  • 4/5 ⭐

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

  • f/f! dragons! magic!
  • there’s multiple POVs, which is fun, too
  • absolutely loved it
  • 5/5 ⭐

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  • about the Dresden bombing during World War II by Allied forces
  • always love some anti-war books
  • also had a sci-fi element with aliens and abduction
  • short and sweet
  • 4/5 ⭐

Prodigy by Marie Lu

  • DNF @ 61/371 pages
  • I forsaw a love triangle, and I got out of there real fast
  • also, the fact that Day is suddenly so jealous and possessive of June made me cringe
  • the plot wasn’t holding up for me, which made the writing all the more annoying
  • 2/5 ⭐

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

  • review to come
  • the only valid love triangle in the history of love triangles
  • the story was a lot of fun, and I flew through it
  • can’t wait for book 2!
  • 5/5 ⭐

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

  • lol, I hated this book
  • I get that it was written 20 years ago, but it definitely did not hold up
  • none of the characters appealed to me, and they were all caricatures; they didn’t have any depth
  • the treatment of Artemis’ mother made me so annoyed
  • 1/5 ⭐

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

  • review to come
  • eyyy, I hated this book, too
  • I know y’all say that it gets better later in the series, but I absolutely loathe Harry
  • also? the writing? wasn’t engaging at all
  • 2/5 ⭐

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

  • review to come
  • I was reminded of why I love Radu and Lada
  • fuck Mehmed, though, I hate him
  • let’s see if Lada, like, takes over the world or something next book; that would be rad
  • 4/5 ⭐

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

  • DNF @ 25%
  • I might come back to this later with my physical copy — I listened to an audiobook via Overdrive, and the narrator was….bad
  • super bored from what I listened to
  • I just want to read about gay guys from the 1800s, is that too much to ask for?
  • 2.5/5 ⭐

The Assorted Works of H.G. Wells

  • DNF @ 146/511 pages
  • I got halfway done with War of the Worlds and was really bored
  • also, it was set in Englad, and Wells name-dropped a bunch of cities/towns I know nothing about (I live in the U.S.)
  • might come back to it later
  • 2.5/5 ⭐

BOOKS STARTED BUT NOT YET COMPLETED OR DNF’D

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  • 179/499 pages (as of writing this post)
  • I’m always down for a heist novel
  • a heist novel that also goes back and forth between the “present” and the background of the protagonist? even better
  • I need the whole series now

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

  • 80/688 pages (as of writing this post)
  • I read chapters out of this for APUSH six years ago or so, and I’ve been meaning to read the whole thing
  • so far, I’m really enjoying it
  • can’t wait to read more throughout the month

On the Edge by Lois Duncan

  • 95/210 pages (as of writing this post)
  • a collection of YA short stories with the theme of being “on the edge”
  • it was early 2000s YA, so not that spectacular
  • still pretty okay, though

TV SHOWS/MOVIES WATCHED

Bob’s Burgers, season 1

  • there were some sketchy jokes that I missed in the beginning of this show, ngl
  • however, it was still a lot of fun, and I love re-watching it
  • Gene and Louise are my favorite, but Linda is amazing, too

Chernobyl, 2/5 episodes

  • this was a lot more intense than I was thinking it was going to be
  • had to stop after the second episode in order to take care of myself
  • going to wait to watch the last three because I heard the third episode is the harshest
  • still really good, though

Spider-Man: Homecoming

  • I was able to watch this at work because we were so slow, and it was on one of the TVs
  • missed bits and pieces due to having to bus tables and answer the phone, but what I watched was really good
  • want to re-watch it in one sitting now

MUSIC LISTENED TO

We Are Not Your Kind by Slipknot

  • watch me listen to this album every month until the day I die
  • seriously, though, it’s so good
  • they’re all bangers, but especially “Orphan”; “Not Long For This World”; and “Nero Forte”

Feathers and Flesh by Avatar

  • I forgot that Avatar kinda existed, so I was pumped to see them in one of my Spotify playlists
  • I used to listen to this album all the time during my first year of college, especially walking around campus
  • just??? the sound of it??? is so nice??? I don’t know what it is

Badlands by Halsey

  • another album I haven’t listened to in a while
  • very good, definitely recommend
  • had to add this album to my new playlist immediately

hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey

  • yet another album I forgot about!
  • every single song is amazing
  • also added to my new playlist

VIDEO GAMES PLAYED

Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu

  • I finally have a Switch to play it on!
  • just finished Misty’s gym, and now I’m working on getting to Lt. Surge
  • I’m actually a bit under-leveled???
  • catching everything is a ton of fun, though

Untitled Goose Game

  • my broyfriend gave this to me as a gift for Christmas, and it is adorable
  • oh to be a goose that steals absolutely everything in order to solve puzzles
  • you can honk at everyone, and it’s amazing

Octopath Traveler

  • I’m only on the first character, in the first dungeon, but it’s fun so far
  • kinda like an old-fashioned Final Fantasy game, which is pretty cool
  • taking my time, so it’ll really take a while to complete it
  • interested to see where it goes

Pokemon Moon

  • I’m taking this oppurtunity to do a Wonderlocke
  • so far (before the first “gym”) I have a Ponyta, Growlithe, Combee, Ghastly, Grubbin, and…Alolan Grimer, I think?
  • let’s see how far I get before I die

And there we are! Let me know if you ever read/watched/listened to/played any of these! I’d love to chat 🙂

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NON-BOOKISH ADVENTURES #5 | 10 Favorite Grass-Type Pokemon

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to my blog! Or if you’re new, then welcome, thank you for visiting! Today, partially in honor of National Pokemon Day, I wanted to make a quick list of my favorite grass-type Pokemon. These aren’t at all ranked or anything — just a few of my favorite grass Pokes!

Bulbasaur

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Look at this adorable onion dinosaur. I love him. He’s the best.

Alolan Exeggutor

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When this boy was announced before Sun and Moon came out, I was so happy. Look at how long he is, it’s awesome.

Chikorita

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The best Johto starter, and you can’t tell me otherwise. Look at that big ol’ leaf. I don’t care if she isn’t that good in-game, I still choose her.

Shroomish

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This lil mushroom is one of my favorite grass types from Hoenn! I think it’s because he’s available so early in the game and knows the different Powder moves. Also evolves into one of the only Grass/Fighting types, which is a rad type combination!

Appletun

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APPLE PIE DRAGON! APPLE PIE DRAGON!! I cannot wait to get my hands on Sword and/or Shield because look at this good boi. He’s absolutely adorable.

Grovyle

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When I was younger, I fell in love with Treecko’s evolution line, but especially Grovyle. I really liked this design — it’s all angular and green. Also, Leaf Blade is *chef’s kiss*.

Celebi

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Look at this sweet onion child, too pure for this world.

Leafeon

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I’m Eevee trash, what did y’all expect? Leafeon (and Glaceon, let’s be honest) was one of my fav ‘mons from Gen 4!

Pumpkaboo

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Spooky grass jack-o’-lantern! I never used ’em in-game before, but I love the design. Very cute!

Gogoat

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I also never used Gogoat in a game. I just like it because of this song.

And there are ten of my favorite grass-type Pokemon! I hope you all enjoyed this cute lil list, and let me know: do you love any of these Pokemon? Or other Grass types? Let me know!

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REVIEW #54 | THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1) (Audiobook)

Title: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series or Standalone?: The Raven Cycle #1

Publishing Date: 18 September 2012

Synopsis (Goodreads):

““There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

“It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

“Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

“His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

“But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

“For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

“From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.”

Trigger/content warnings:

  • suicide joke
  • suicide
  • domestic violence/child abuse
  • allergic reaction to bee stings (described)
  • character death

Representation:

  • character who has a lower SES/is poor
  • queer boys (not revealed until later in the series)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

I’ve been aware of this book for quite some time, but the synopsis on the cover never really interested me, partly because I was confused by it. However, after so many people I trust raved about it, I decided to give it a go, and I’m so glad I did. I sped through this book, y’all!

I know many people have already read this series, but I’m still going to give a short synopsis for those (like me!) who haven’t touched it. Basically: Blue is a teenage girl whose family is a bunch of psychics. However, she herself has no psychic powers. Every St. Mark’s Eve, she goes with her mother and aunts to a church and speak to the spirits. This time around, though, she sees someone, a Raven boy named Gansey who goes to the local private school. If a non-psychic person sees a spirit, according to one of her aunts, that means they either killed them or they’re their true love. And to put the lovely cherry on top? Blue has been told all her life that if she kisses her true love they would die.

But my goodness, this book is so much more than that because of course Gansey and his friends can’t be, like, normal or something. No, he has to be obsessed with a dead Welsh king, and he has dragged his friends (and eventually Blue) along with him to figure it all out.

To be honest? I didn’t think I was going to like this book as much as I did. But I loved it. Lemme tell y’all why…

First: is found family your thing? Then boy-howdy, this book would probably be your jam. Seriously, the amount of love the boys have for each other and vice versa (eventually including Blue, of course) is phenomenal. I just love all of them! Gansey is definitely the dad of the group, but dear lord, he’s such a dork with his obsession. Adam doesn’t take anyone’s shit, but dammit, he deserves nice things! I have to protect Ronan with my life; sorry, I don’t make the rules. Noah? He just goes with the flow with everything. And Blue! She goes from hating them all to tolerating them (and liking them, but don’t let her know I said that), and I love it.

Blue’s family makes me smile. I dunno about y’all, but I loved every single scene that involved her mother and/or aunts. I mean, granted, I think there was one that’s supposed to be sketchy or something (??? It’s been a minute since I read the book, tbh), but still. This is the quality content I approve of.

There’s barely any plot until the last quarter of the book or so, but you know what we get instead? That sweet, sweet character development. Ugh, I absolutely loved how much this book focused on the characters. It could have easily been swept up into the action of everything with a fraction of the focus on the characters, but instead, a lot of The Raven Boys was settled in the interactions between characters and their inner musings. My utter weakness, as many of you know.

And overall? The writing and story flowed really well. It never seemed to fast or too slow or confusing. Nothing like that. The story just seemed very flow-y, and the way everything happened made complete sense to me. I dunno if this makes any particular sense to anyone outside of me, but it is what it is, lol.

But yeah, I really loved The Raven Boys, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Let me know what you think about this book: do you love it? Hate it? Feel meh about it?

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Hiatus-Ending Q+A! (i.e. Happy New Year, I am Back!!)

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! To those of you who’ve stayed around during my (…six month?) hiatus, thank you so much for the continued support. And to anyone new here, welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay.

As a way to start off both the beginning of a new decade and work on my blog, I thought it would be fun to do a Q+A! Many of these questions were actually taken from last January, when I said that I’d do a Q+A-type thing then (as you can see, that never happened), while others are taken from more recently, when I asked Twitter to give me questions to answer. Some of them were repeats or similar, so I did not include duplicates. But I hope everyone enjoys it, and have a wonderful 2020!

Wylan or Jesper?

😦 Why make me choose?? I guess I have to go with Jesper.

Kaz or Inej?

Inej, without a doubt.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Alone time! Otherwise, the introvert in me would literally die.

Which popular book/series do you think is overrated?

Anything to do with Shadowhunters. Harry Potter. Sarah J. Maas’ books. And before I say this last one: please don’t come for me, lol. But Six of Crows. Hear me out! I love the duology with all my heart, and it will also be my favorite, probably. I re-read it every year, and I enjoy every second of it. But, y’all, for the love of everything, please stop comparing every single heist book that comes out to Six of Crows (looking at you, 80% of the reviewers of The Gilded Wolves). It isn’t (and shouldn’t) be the end-all, be-all for heist novels, and that’s coming from a huge fan!

Which book/series do you think isn’t appreciated enough?

PLEASE READ SUMMER BIRD BLUE BY AKEMI DAWN BOWMAN, PLEASE AND THANKS.

Which fictional character do you relate to the most?

This is “talking about Summer Bird Blue hours” apparently. While I don’t tend to relate to many characters, the introspection and questioning of sexuality/attraction Rumi goes through is very important to me, and I feel connected to her like I never did with another character before.

What weird food combinations do you enjoy?

I don’t know if these would be considered weird, but I like a Wendy’s chocolate frosty with fries, as well as carrots with peanut butter.

Where are some unusual places you’ve been?

Hmmm, not a lot? I’m not very adventurous, lol. But I did go on a cave tour in Tennessee when I was in middle school!

What book did you wish had/did not have a sequel?

I know the probability is super low, but if Sorcery of Thorns ever gets a sequel, I’ll eat that shit up.

As for which book I wish didn’t have a sequel…I really wasn’t a fan of Leah on the Offbeat. While I loved the rep in Leah being a bi fat girl with anxiety, I wasn’t a huge fan of how she treated certain characters and the (very short) discussion there was on bisexuality and what it is.

What book have you re-read the most?

…I’ll give you one guess. Six of Crows. Wow, shocker, I’m sure nobody could’ve gotten that one!

If you had to spend one day in any book, which book would it be?

Definitely not Six of Crows because I’d be dead as shit within the hour, lmao. Probably The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The circus would be absolutely magical.

Which three fictional characters would you most want to have dinner with?

Wylan (Six of Crows), Rumi (Summer Bird Blue), and Elisabeth (Sorcery of Thorns)!

What is your least favorite book of all time?

I mean, I don’t know about least favorite of all time, but I definitely did not like Mockingjay in the slightest.

If you had to marry a book character, who would it be and why?

Probably Nina from Six of Crows. We can bond over our mutual love of food.

Who’s your favorite villain?

I really enjoyed Naughty John from The Diviners! I thought he was the perfect spooky villain.

Which book(s) do you wish had a movie?

I feel like the Sidekick Squad series by C.B. Lee would work really well as a series of movies.

Do you watch K-dramas? If so, what’s your favorite? If not, what’s your favorite TV show?

I do not! To be honest, I don’t watch much of anything, lol. I do like Bob’s Burgers, though.

Which magical world would you live in? Why?

I think Red London from the Shades of Magic series would be cool to live in, if only because of the magic system. It’s pretty snazzy.

If you could bring back any Harry Potter from the dead, which one would it be and why?

Cedric. Most of the others knew what they were getting themselves into, but Cedric was just a member of a competition and representing his House. He was an innocent bystander.

Which fictional character do you wish you could be best friends with?

Wylan!

What’s a book on your TBR you think you’re going to love?

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

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BOOK TAG #17 | Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to another book tag. I actually did this same one last year (here’s the link!), but I figured I would makea habit of doing it every year ’cause my answers would change! Without further ado, let’s get into it! 🙂

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Ya know, for the best book I read in 2019, I haven’t read the sequel yet (and I read it back in January). But seriously, I loved A Darker Shade of Magic. The characters, magic system, plot, narration… Literally loved everything about it. 10/10.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

Honor Bound by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I was about to say that I haven’t read any sequels this year, but look! I read one! It’s the only one I read, but I really enjoyed it. In this rare case, I thought the sequel was better than the first book.

New release you haven’t read but want to

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Look at the gorgeous cover, and tell me you don’t feel the urge to read all 800+ pages right this second. There’s queens, dragons, and queer ladies. What’s not to love?

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller

I have two because I can’t just choose between two of my auto-buy authors. So we have Ninth House, which sounds mysterious and dark and cool. Then there’s Belle Revolte, a queer fantasy that already owns my heart.

(So apparently I’m a Dumb Queer who doesn’t understand release dates: Belle Revolte isn’t published until 2020, but I’m still counting it. Bite me.)

Biggest disappointment

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Here I was, thinking that I was going to read this cool sci-fi classic, and what do I get? Slow, repetitive, misogynistic nonsense! Ugh! (If you want to read my full [semi-rant] review, here it is, y’all). Oh well, you don’t love them all.

Biggest surprise

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I swap one sci-fi nocvel for another! Seriously, I was not expecting to like Honor Among Thieves as much as I did. I mean, going into it, I just hoped I wouldn’t hate it. But I ended up absolutely loving it, and all the characters are my kids. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. (Here are my mini-reviews for Honor Among Thieves and its sequel, if you’re interested!)

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

This is the year that I hope to read all of V.E. Schwab’s work. I’ve only read two, but I’m so down to read more! Just. Wow. I love everything about her writing.

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really do fictional crushes, but I would protect Beatriz from the Honors series with my whole life.

Newest favorite character

I don’t know about my bestes favorite character ever, but Rook from An Enchantment of Ravens was a fun character to read about. I enjoyed his interactions with others, as well as his personality and quirks.

Book that made you cry

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

As far as I remember, there hasn’t been a book this year that has made me cry yet. However, a book that made me sad was We Are Okay. It was such a powerful and moving read, and I really felt for the protagonist.

Book that made you happy

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab! I dunno, it just made me excited to read a middle grade novel again. It was super fun, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Most beautiful book you bought (or received) so far this year

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Look at this cover! I can’t wait to start Girls of Paper and Fire, and even if I wasn’t interested/knew the story, I’d buy it because of the cover. Just saying.

What books do you need to read by the end of this year?

Here’s a short list:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Check, Please! Vol. 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • all of the new releases this year, let’s be honest

And there is 2019’s Mid-Year Freak Out tag! I hope you all enjoyed seeing the different books/reactions I’ve had so far this year. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or maybe what your fav and less fav books of this year are so far!

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Hey there, everyone! I recently created a Patreon that has more bookish stuff. If you like what I do on this here blog, maybe you could think about supporting me with a few dollars in exchange for even more bookish content!

You don’t have to worry about any content from here being behind a paywall, either. Absolutely everything on this blog is staying here, including reviews, book tags, weekly memes, discussions. Everything. The content on Patreon could be seen as extra perks and a way of saying thanks for supporting me!

Depending on the tier you choose, being a patron allows you to have:

  • early access to reviews (24 hours)
  • the ability to collectively choose 2 books for the following month’s TBR
  • exclusive posts on bookish tips and tricks
  • character analyses
  • and more!

Regardless if you become a patron or not, I really appreciate the support you have all given me throughout my blogging journey. ❤️

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