Whilst doing some research for 2020 books with LGBTQIA+ rep, I started coming across releases for next year and it’s safe to say, I got a bit excited. So I thought I’d start a little series where I mention some books I’m looking forward to in 2020 that have LGBTQIA+ characters! Here are my first 12 picks. Be ready to add to that TBR!
Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore
In this own voices YA contemporary, we follow the story of genderqueer teen, Carey Parker who dreams of being a diva just like their hero, Mariah Carey. So when they are cast in the school musical Wicked as the female lead, they must deal with the discrimination from a close-minded school and its administration. As I was researching, I found out that Carey switches between pronouns and their pronouns are disclosed at the start of each chapter which I think is so amazing. Definitely keep an eye out for this one!
Release Date: March 9th
The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
In this debut YA contemporary, we meet Sky Baker who is openly gay in his small town, despite making himself as invisible as possible. Determined to make his senior year worth remembering, Sky challenges himself with asking his crush, Ali, to prom and he only has thirty days to summon the courage. But before he can pull off the gayest promposal in the town’s history, his plans are leaked by an anonymous and homophobic hacker. Before Sky can go back to being invisible, his classmates help him fight back and find this anonymous hacker but can they do it before the thirty days is up?
Release Date: April 6th
This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria
Would this list be complete without a YA fantasy? In this one we follow the story of Karis, who after being orphaned and forced to serve her country’s scribes, wants nothing more than to find her missing brother. However, she is duty-bound and the scribes only have one concern – unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army. When Karis flees to find her brother, she does the seemingly impossible, she finds and awakens a hidden automaton – one with a conscience of his own. The author has confirmed the MC is both asexual and aromantic!
Release Date: February 2nd
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve
Have I been longingly waiting for this since I first heard about it? Yes, and for good reason. This YA contemporary follows the story of Dean Foster who, after multiple youtube videos and a whole lot of questioning, knows he’s a trans guy. The only problem is that everyone at school just thinks he’s a lesbian, including his girlfriend and theatre director. When he is cast as a ‘non-traditional’ Romeo in the school plays, Dean starts to believe he might as well wait until college to come out. But when he starts falling in love with his role as Romeo, he soon wants his classmates and friends see him as he really is. Is the school play the perfect opportunity?
Release Date: April 15th
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Described as a ‘gripping story of love and duty set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare,’ this YA historical fiction immediately caught my attention. The sapphic Chinese historical fiction we all deserve for sure. We follow the story of Lily Hu, a seventeen year old whose journey begins when she finds herself with Kathleen Miller under the neon sign of a lesbian bar known as The Telegraph Club. However, this is America in 1954 and it is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love – especially with the looming threat of deportation for Chinese-Americans such as Lily and her father. Will the two girls risk everything to show the world their love?
Release Date: January 19th
Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi
In this YA contemporary, we meet CeCe Ross, who alongside her girlfriend, Silvie are big social media influencers whose fans believe they are #relationshipgoals. However, when Silvie ends the relationship, CeCe must deal with the loss of her girlfriend, and potentially her followers. However, when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is definitely not an online persona, it isn’t long before she’s falling for him. Josh has no idea about CeCe’s internet fame and she plans to keep it that way, but when he secrets catch up with her and cause an internet storm, she’ll soon have to face her online vs real life and how different the two really are.
Release Date: March 2nd
A Dark and Hollowed Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
First and foremost, the author has confirmed this book will include pansexual, lesbian, bisexual, gay and genderfluid rep so if this isn’t already on your TBR, what are you waiting for? This YA fantasy tells the story of an ironborn half-fae, a tempestuous Fury, a dutiful fae prince and the prince’s brooding guardian. They live in a world where the Eight Courts of Folk have lived amongst them, concealed with magic and previously no threat to humans. However, when a series of murders rock the land, four queer teens must form an alliance and track down the murderer. Do I hear a queer found family?
Release Date: March 2nd
She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard
This YA contemporary/ psychological thriller follows the story of Veronica who is bored and uninspired in her photography and it doesn’t help that summer coming to an end. However, Veronica’s life soon changes when she meets Mick, delicate and magnetic and Veronica’s dream girl and subject. It isn’t long before the girls fall in love but their whirlwind romance is soon faced with tragedy when the town is hit with multiple murders. Maybe it’s a summer they won’t survive after all.
Release Date: March 30th
May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor
We don’t know too much about this book yet other than it is a YA contemporary that follows the story of a transgender teen who challenges his ex-boyfriend for the title of Homecoming King. However, as the campaign goes on, the two boys realise they may still have feelings for each other after all. There are some early reviews out there and let’s just say, this book looks like it’s going to be as amazing as it sounds. Enemies-to-lovers? Tick. A story of second chances? Tick. Let’s just hope time continues to fly so we can get our hands on this one.
Release Date: May 18th
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
In this YA contemporary, we follow the story of a bisexual teen who hands out anonymous love advice to her classmates. Darcy runs this operation anonymously so secrets from her past will remain secret but when Brougham catches her in the act, Darcy must become his personal dating coach in exchange for his silence. Brougham is desperate to get back with his ex-girlfriend and surely this is a straight forward mission for Darcy. However, does helping a entitled, bratty, (hot) guy ever end well?
Release Date: March 9th
In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens
Hands up who wants some soft gay pirates! This YA fantasy/historical fiction follows Prince Tal on his long awaited coming-of-age tour after spending majority of his life hidden behind the palace walls and learning to keep his magic secret. However, only two days into the ship’s journey, Tal and his crew come across a mysterious prisoner on a derelict vessel. Now tasked with the job of looking after the prisoner, Tal soon forms a deep connection with the boy, also known as Athlen which is tested even further when Athlen escapes and flees into the open ocean. What follows is kidnap, adventure, love and the threat of war.
Release Date: April 20th
Trans-Galactic Bike Ride by Lydia Rogue
(trans & non binary characters)
And last but certainly not least is this sci-fi anthology packed to the brim with trans and non-binary characters. In this world, people are not hung up on putting people in boxes and instead focus on empowering each other. This is also a world where bicycles bring good luck and minotaurs ride them. A world with werewolves against a post-apocalyptic background and a world where nobody even has time to question gender. Featuring stories from so many amazing authors, as well as some debut authors, this is definitely a book to have in your collection next year.
Release Date: January 12th
Which one are you most excited for?
Lots of Love,