First and foremost, I’m going to apologise for my absence from the blog lately. With everything going on in the world, I wasn’t in the right mind space to produce posts I was proud of and that readers would enjoy. However, if there is one thing we can do now, it’s reading, especially some diverse books and authors. This series has got so much love and support and I am still astonished that I can now give you a seventh part! As always, these are in order of release (some already released of course), are all standalones or start-of-series and if I have got any information incorrect, please let me know in the comments! But most importantly, I hope you find a new favourite and stay safe.
Queens Of Noise by Leigh Harlen
Described as a horror/paranormal novella packed to the brim with queer characters and punk music, this is definitely one you need to pick up this year. Our main character Mixi is the leader of the Mangy Rats, a found family of loveable misfits with everything from ‘queers, crust punks and werecoyotes.’ With the upcoming Battle of the Bands, Mixi and their crew know they have to win it even if it means battling poser goths and murderous chickens. However, it isn’t long before more serious threats take precedence and Mixi must fight to protect their found family.
Release Date: April 5th
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
As a huge fan of Elizabeth’s previous books, this book immediately went onto my TBR without really knowing what it was about and it was only recently that we discovered this book features a f/f friends to lovers romance! So I am even more excited to pick it up. Written in verse, we follow the story of Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios who sadly lose both their fathers in the same plane crash. Despite being separated by distance, the girls bond over their joint heartbreak as well as uncovering their papi’s secrets.
Release Date: May 5th
Wonderland by Juno Dawson
Also being a fan of Juno, this book immediately came on to my radar, especially as I heard it ties in elements of her previous books (you can still read this as a standalone, it is just set in the same universe as Meat Market and Clean.) However, in this one, we are presents with a retelling of, you guessed it, Alice in Wonderland. Our MC Alice is used to a life of luxury but when her best friend Bunny goes missing, she becomes obsessed with finding her. However when she is invited to ‘Wonderland’ – a party to end all parties, Alice’s world soon turns upside down. As always, Juno’s books deal with hard-hitting topics so please make sure to check out trigger warnings before picking up.
Release Date: May 28th
The Magnificent Sons by Justin Myers
In this story about the bond between brothers, we follow Jake D’Arcy who has always felt that he has his life sorted with a good job, a lovely girlfriend and a strong friendship group. However, when his brother, Trick comes out as gay and is met with strong support, Jake soon realises he can no longer repress his bisexuality. Faced with his life changing dramatically, Jake must explore both his sexuality as well as handling his family and girlfriend’s response to the news.
Release Date: May 28th
Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence
In this story, we follow Becks who never had to ‘come out because she was never in.’ She lives with her mother as well as her stepdad and stepsister and Beck’s life soon changes for the worse when her stepsister, Silva goes missing when their parents are away. Despite being polar opposites, Becks knows she must do everything she can to find Silva and it starts by going into her room and it’s there that she finds eight clues that will help find her. Meanwhile, Silva is on a journey to make somebody love her but will Becks find her before it’s too late?
Release Date: August 6th
Ironspark by C.M. McGuire
In this YA fantasy, we follow the story of Bryn who after the abduction of her mother many years ago to the evil Tinkerbells, she has devoted her life to learning everything about the Fae. But when the Court Fae show up, Bryn realises she can’t do it alone and recruits her three friends – Gwen, a warrior witch, Dom, a new foster kid thrown into this world and Jasika, her schoolfriend with a mutual hatred for the Fae. With the Fae threat mounting every day, the three must work together to stop it whilst keeping each other safe. I also believe there is ace representation in the book but I’m not 100% sure.
Release Date: August 25th
Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos
This YA mystery follows the story of Caroline who is a mere few months away from graduation where she can escape her rigid prep school and parents who tried to make her straight. Battling this along with heartbreak over her girlfriend who left for California, Caroline soon faces more pain when her best friend, Madison disappears. However, when she gets involved in the investigation, Caroline soon discovers a lot of girls have gone missing and they may have a connection to Madison and that connection may be Caroline herself. A debut novel marketed as an edge-of-your-seat read is definitely high on my TBR.
Release Date: September 1st
Wider Than the Sky by Katherine Field Rothschild
(gay secondary characters)
In this YA contemporary, we follow the story of twin sisters, Sabine and Blythe, whose lives are ripped apart when their father dies from an unexpected illness. Each copes with their loss in their own ways – Sabine with poetry and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT. However, when their emotionally detached mother suddenly moves them to a ramshackle mansion owned by a creepy stranger known as Charlie, the sisters soon unite in a mission to learn more about their father. However neither is ready to learn that their father actually died from HIV and that Charlie was his lover. Bonded by grief and their knowledge of their discovery, the girls must make the decision between continuing in their father’s legacy or making their own/
Release Date: September 8th
Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro
Described as a ‘powerful fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life,’ I can’t be the only one that is unbelievably excited for this one. We follow the story of Xochital who is destined to wander the deserts alone with only the stars above her as companions. Her only wish is to share her heart with a kindred spirit and it isn’t long before her wish is granted when she meets Emilia, daughter of the town’s murderous mayor. What follows is the girl’s journey across the desert where they discover that their hearts may be a match.
Release Date: September 15th
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
Despite extensive researching, I couldn’t discover the exact sexualities of our two MCs however it is described as a ‘rich, authentic portrayal of queer and Latinx characters.’ As well as that, this is a YA magical realism book following the story of Lita Perez and Chicky Quintanilla who despite being nothing like the previous winners, both want to enter the Miss Meteor beauty pageant. However this pageant isn’t just about being perfert, it’s about sharing yourselves with the world so the girls must forget their pasts and imagine a future for people like them and know that they are enough.
Release Date: September 22nd
The Camino Club by Kevin Craig
This book fell onto my radar as I was writing this post and I must say, I am very excited for it. It follows the story of six wayward teens who after getting into trouble with the law, must make a decision – serve time in a juvenile detention centre or walk the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage across Spain during their summer holidays. When they know the latter sounds like their best option, they set out on their journey which will test them both individually and as a group. I’m not entirely sure of all the sexualities and identities but I know it is diverse so keep it on your radar.
Release Date: October 5th
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Blessed with the cutest cover, this graphic novel follows the story of Tiến who has a love for reading, especially with his parents. However, Tiến is hiding a big secret – he is gay and he doesn’t know how to translate this to his Vietnamese-speaking parents. This is a heartwarming novel about what it means to be a young boy struggling with identity as well as how to find the right words. The story weaves in fairytale aspects to create a seamless series of events and of course, with the addition of beautiful art.
Release Date: October 13th
Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald
This fantasy YA novel is marketed as a ‘dark, queer YA fantasy’ and if that’s not a selling point, I don’t know what is. Being the first in a series, we follow Emanuela Ragno who has always got what she wants. And she now plans to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and heir to the wealthiest house in the land. She doesn’t even care that both her and Alessandro are gay because she only wants one thing – power. Add to that a fascinating magic system, a lot of secrets and a journey to save their people and you have a truly fascinating tale.
Release Date: October 13th
The Shadow War by Lindsay Smith
In this historical fiction set during World War II, we follow five teens who seek revenge against the Nazis who have destroyed their world and loved ones. Daniel and Rebeka want justice for their family, Simone wants to fight against the oppressors who corrupted her girlfriend, Phillip aims to prove himself and Liam has even more concerns, such as the shadow realm he’s discovered. When the five have no choice but to come together, there is only one question. Are they able to save the world?
Release Date: October 13th
Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass
This middle-grade novel follows 12 year old, Ana who also happens to be reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion. Having never been a frilly dress kind of person, Ana is soon faced with the knowledge the next season’s theme will be princess themed. However, being a professional Ana buries any doubts and focuses on the competition. When Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy who is new to the sport, it isn’t long before the struggle behind gender identity comes to the forefront for Ana. As their friendship develops and Ana finds comfort in their boyish identity, Ana must work out how she will tackle the upcoming competition.
Release Date: October 30th
Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky
In this novel about the exploration of gender identity as well as a queer romance, we meet Alex who feels like he’s in the wrong body. He has never felt comfortable in his skin, not even when he meets Tracy who wants to kiss him and yet there is something still missing. As he secretly tries on makeup in his bedroom and silently struggles with his identity, he meets Andre – a gay boy unapologetically himself. Soon Alex realises he may not be Alex, he may be Sasha Masha.
Release Date: November 10th
Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas by Sam Maggs
Having loved Sam’s previous book Girl Squads, I am so excited for this one because, wait for it, queer, real-life female pirates featuring one of my favourites, Anne Bonny. This graphic novel tells us the story of the famous pirate, her crew and the fear they wrought. On the night before a heist, Anne has an unsettling dream and her fears come true when zealot, Woodes Roger shows up with the aim to eliminate piracy. A graphic novel about belonging, belief and the risks we’re willing to take for the ones we love.
Release Date: November 10th
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
(f/f romance, bi rep)
Described as a Bridget Jones/Pride and Prejudice retelling with own voices queer rep is enough to spark my interest for this romantic fiction. Not only that, but we also have the fake dating trope in the form of a social media astrologer and an uptight actuary. After multiple disastrous blind dates, Darcy has given up on love whereas Elle dreams of finding her soulmate. However, when the two girl’s paths inevitably cross and Darcy must keep her match-making brother happy, the two decide to fake date – just until New Year’s Eve but of course, we know the events that soon follow.
Release Date: November 10th
Jo: A Graphic Novel by Kathleen Gros
A graphic novel that also happens to be a modern retelling of Little Women? Sign me up. We follow the story of 13 year old, Jo March who runs an anonymous blog featuring the wild tales of her family. Dealing with the stress of entering a new grade at school, the difficulties of making new friends and of course, Freddie Baer, the newspaper editor she has a crush on – it’s going to be a busy year for Jo. I’m not sure of an exact release date here so definitely keep an eye out for it!
Release Date: Fall 2020
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
As soon as I read that this book is a f/f own voices retelling of a Portuguese miracle of the same name, I was quite obviously hooked. I haven’t read a lot of fiction with Portuguese influence so I am very excited. A lot of this book is still a mystery to me and I’m happy to leave it that way but we do know we follow Princess of Aragon as she enters into a bargain with an Enchanted Moura in order to stop her power of turning all food she touches into flowers.
Release Date: December 1st
Lots of Love,