Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.
I mean, a closeted teen drunkenly outs himself over Twitter. Truly, that’s all I needed to know to want to read this book. I also knew it would be a coming of age story and soccer would be involved. I mean, all those things sound like they’d make a great combination! Plus, there has been so much love for this book online, so I was super pumped to see what I would think of it! Trigger warnings: emotional and physical abuse, suicidal ideation, homophobia
Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdate school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King? Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign. When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.
I mean, when you find out that a book is about a trans boy competing with his ex-boyfriend for the title of homecoming king, how can you not want to scream? Because that is definitely how I felt when I found out about this book. I’m not sure exactly how long I’ve been excited about this book, but I do know I’ve been excited for as long as I’ve known about! It sounded like it would be absolutely amazing! Trigger warnings: transphobia, grief, homophobia, ableism
Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness. Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places—and people—you didn’t expect.
I mean, this book had me at ghost hunting lesbians. Really, it had me from the second I knew it was queer. Add ghosts to the mix, and I was basically chomping at the bit to read this book. And even on top of that, this book is about secrets in a small town, cheesy ghost hunting shows, missing teenagers, and it’s f/f enemies-to-lovers! Trigger warnings: homophobia, child death, murder, claustrophobia (buried alive), drowning, slurs
In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world. Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.
A book with a trans MC? A fae book with a trans MC? Oh yeah, sign me the heck up. Even though I was bit nervous about this book, simply because of my history of not liking a lot of fae books, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Making deals with the enemy, witches and fae, and a throne to secure is incredibly intriguing and I was ready to give it a shot. Trigger warnings: transphobia, abuse (verbal and physical), blood, gore
Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others. Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret. When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father. Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first.
Witches, and f/f enemies-to-lovers. Yeah, that was enough for me to be completely invested. Then I found out that it was about a witch who is unable to love traveling with girl who is a source of magic to stop a plague that is ravaging the queendom. I also found out it had a cat, so this book was filled to the brim with things that I wanted to know more about. Trigger warnings: grief
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.
I’ve wanted to read The Henna Wars since before it came out. It was a f/f enemies-to-lovers book and that was enough to seal the deal for me. Then, my friend (hi Tay!) read this book and absolutely loved it. Since we have very similar taste, it shot right up to the top of the list of books I wanted to try out. Trigger warnings: racism, a character being outed, homophobia
Let’s see if I can get through this without throwing my laptop down a well (my neighbors actually have a well, so this really is an option for me. I dunno how deep it is, but this would be a good way to find out, right?). I’m not sure how I want to start this. I know what I want to talk about, but how do I dive into it. Well, I guess let’s just say I’m going to be talking about gender. *jazz hands* There, that should work.
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme. On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
I knew this book was queer (f/f to be exact), so it was already on my list of books that I want read. Though, the absolute adoration and love I’ve seen from some of my friends about this book shot it right to the top of books to read. Marriage to rise above, secrets that need to be kept, and a resistance group needing Dani’s help made it sound like this book was going to be incredible and I couldn’t wait to read it!
Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn’t believe in much. She doesn’t believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn’t believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that. But then, there’s Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane. All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one—namely, displaced in time from the 1970s—she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.
My love for Red, White, And Royal Blue is no secret. I’ve been excited for McQuiston’s next book since I finished it. And finding out that it would be f/f only made me all the more excited. I was a bit nervous about the time travel aspect of the plot, only because I haven’t read a lot of books set in the real world with a slight magical aspect that I’ve liked. But a f/f book by Casey McQuiston was something I was willing to go out on a limb for. Thank you so much to St. Martins Griffin and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will. Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father. Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla. Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.
In a very me way, it was the second I found out this book was queer was the second I knew I wanted to read it. (Yes, it might have taken me a little bit to get to it, but I wanted to read it the whole time.) This was a queer fantasy book. A queer fantasy with the enemies-to-lovers trope and a very intriguing world, a world with Automae ruling over humans. It sounded amazing.