Riley Reynolds Crushes Costume Day by Jay Albee (1st)
Note: This is the first book in a new series that has four books releasing on this date.
It’s book week at school, and nonbinary fourth grader Riley and their best friends craft hard for the Dress Like Your Favorite Character Day. Colorful fabric! Paint! Glitter! They are ready to make the biggest and best group costume ever! But most of the other kids are having trouble coming up with costumes. Riley is ready to use their creativity and vision to help as many kids as possible so dress-up day will be a big success!
Real Sugar is Hard to Find by Sim Kern (1st)
A collection of short stories by Sim Kern, Real Sugar is Hard to Find explores intersections of climate change, reproductive justice, queer identities, and family trauma. Whether fantasy, science fiction, or terrifyingly close-to-home, the worlds of these stories are inhabited by flawed characters whose lives are profoundly impacted by climate change and environmental degradation.
Arranged in a progression from dystopian to utopian worlds, the stories chart a path from climate despair towards resilience and revolutionary optimism. Even in the bleakest of futures, however, Kern offers reasons to hope, connect, and keep fighting for a better world.
Buy it: Amazon
The Devouring Wolf by Natalie C. Parker (2nd)
Little wolf, little wolf, here I come.
They say that the Devouring Wolf isn’t real, just an old legend, a giant creature who consumes the magic inside young werewolves. The elders tell the tale to scare young pups into obedience. It’s a spooky campfire story for fledging wolves. Or is it?
It’s the eve of the first full moon of summer, and twelve-year-old Riley Callahan is ready. This is the year she will finally turn into a wolf. She has to–no one transforms after twelve.
Nothing can ruin her mood: not her little brother Milo’s teasing, not mama N’s smothering, and not even her other mom C’s absence from their pack’s ceremony. But then the unthinkable happens–something that violates every rule of wolf magic: Riley doesn’t shift.
Along with the four other kids who somehow didn’t transform, Riley is left with questions that even the pack leaders don’t have answers to. And to make matters far worse, it appears something was awoken in the woods that same night. A creature with an insatiable hunger . . . has the Devouring Wolf been awakened?
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin (2nd)
Seri’s world is defined by very clear rules: The beasts prowl the forest paths and hunt the People. The valiant explore the unknown world, kill the beasts, and gain strength from the armor they make from them. As an assistant to Eshai Unbroken, a young valor commander with a near-mythical reputation, Seri has seen first-hand the struggle to keep the beasts at bay and ensure the safety of the spreading trees where the People make their homes. That was how it always had been, and how it always would be. Until the day Seri encounters Tsana.
Tsana is, impossibly, a stranger from the unknown world who can communicate with the beasts – a fact that makes Seri begin to doubt everything she’s ever been taught. As Seri and Tsana grow closer, their worlds begin to collide, with deadly consequences. Somehow, with the world on the brink of war, Seri will have to find a way to make peace.
Unwieldy Creatures by Addie Tsai (2nd)
Unwieldy Creatures, a biracial, queer, gender-swapped retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, follows the story of three beings who all navigate life from the margins: Plum, a queer biracial Chinese intern at one of the world’s top embryology labs, who runs away from home to openly be with her girlfriend only to be left on her own; Dr. Frank, a queer biracial Indonesian scientist, who compromises everything she claims to love in the name of science and ambition when she sets out to procreate without sperm or egg; and Dr. Frank’s nonbinary creation who, painstakingly brought into the world, is abandoned due to complications at birth that result from a cruel twist of revenge. Plum struggles to determine the limits of her own ambition when Dr. Frank offers her a chance to assist with her next project. How far will Plum go in the name of scientific advancement and what is she willing to risk?
City of Speed by Alex London (2nd)
This is the second book in the Battle Dragons series.
In the city of Drakopolis, dragons and humans have co-existed for centuries. Dragons burn the city’s garbage, taxi its busy citizens from place to place, and even compete in vicious underground battles for ganglike kins.
But the dragons also compete in legal sports, like the spectacular aerial races that draw in cheering crowds by the tens of thousands.
Abel is at just such a race when he witnesses the unthinkable. A long-shot competitor pulls off an impossible win — then flies into a destructive rage! Someone in the city is experimenting on dragons: hacking their DNA, rebuilding their bodies, and breaking their minds. Who could be driving the dragons berserk?
Abel must find out who’s behind the experiments and put a stop to them, and to do so he’ll infiltrate the kins’ underground street races on a long-shot dragon of his own. But with his sister working for a kin, his brother serving the city’s secret police, and a bully at school racing for Abel’s worst enemies, will Abel find any safety past the finish line?
Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak (2nd)
Sylvie de Rosiers, the biracial daughter of a rich planter in 1791 Saint-Domingue, is both a lady born to privilege and a damning reminder of her father’s infidelity with an enslaved woman. After a violent slave uprising begins the Haitian Revolution, Sylvie and her brother leave their parents and old lives behind to flee unwittingly into another uprising—austere and radical Paris. Sylvie quickly becomes enamored with the aims of the Revolution, as well as with the revolutionaries themselves—most notably Maximilien Robespierre and his mistress, Cornélie Duplay.
As a rising leader and abolitionist, Robespierre sees an opportunity to exploit Sylvie’s race and abandonment of her aristocratic roots as an example of his ideals, while the strong-willed Cornélie offers Sylvie guidance in free thought and a safe harbor. Sylvie battles with her past complicity in a slave society and her future within this new world order as she finds herself increasingly tugged between Robespierre’s ideology and Cornélie’s love.
When the Reign of Terror descends, she must decide whether to become an accomplice while another kingdom rises on the bones of innocents…or risk losing her head.
Vicious Creatures by Ashton Noone (2nd)
Ava Montgomery never wanted to return home. She fled Wildwood fourteen years ago after the discovery of Adam Albright’s body in the forest shattered her young life. But when a violent divorce sends her running back to her parents’ house with her troubled daughter Marjorie in tow, Ava discovers that not much has changed in the small Oregon town where she grew up.
It doesn’t take long for Ava to fall back in with her old crowd, most of whom stayed in town after high school. Each one of her childhood friends found fame and fortune after they graduated, including Victoria Gallagher—Ava’s high school best friend and ex-lover, now unhappily married to a wealthy husband from one of the founding families of Wildwood.
Meanwhile, Ava’s daughter becomes intrigued by the forest, fascinated by an urban legend about its secret power—and her curious questions bring Ava’s long-repressed memories of the traumatic events surrounding Adam’s death back to the fore. And then, when the body of a missing child is found in those same woods, that dark past begins to repeat itself.
After a knife is left on Ava’s doorstep and a threatening message appears on her front door, she wonders if her friends have something to do with the newest crime. They never told anyone how much they really know about what happened to Adam on the night he died; does one of them want to drive her out of Wildwood to keep that secret? As Marjorie becomes obsessed with the infamous murder, and old friendships and feuds reignite, Ava is drawn back into the forest to confront her own role in its violent history—before her daughter becomes its next prey.
Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders by Sarah Prager (text) and Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday (illustration) (2nd)
Kind Like Marsha celebrates 14 amazing and inspirational LGBTQ+ people throughout history. Fan favorites like Harvey Milk, Sylvia Rivera, and Audre Lorde are joined by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, and more in this striking collection. With a focus on a positive personality attribute of each of the historical figures, readers will be encouraged to be brave like the Ugandan activist fighting for LGBTQ+ rights against all odds and to be kind like Marsha P. Johnson who took care of her trans community on the New York City streets.
All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Matthews (2nd)
Graduating into the long maw of an American recession, Sneha is one of the fortunate ones. She’s moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, grueling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner with her new friend Tig, get her college buddy Thom hired alongside her, and send money to her parents back in India. She begins dating women—soon developing a burning crush on Marina, a beguiling and beautiful dancer who always seems just out of reach.
But before long, trouble arrives. Painful secrets rear their heads; jobs go off the rails; evictions loom. Sneha struggles to be truly close and open with anybody, even as her friendships deepen, even as she throws herself headlong into a dizzying romance with Marina. It’s then that Tig begins to draw up a radical solution to their problems, hoping to save them all.
Ben and Beatriz by Katalina Gamarra (2nd)
Which of his bad qualities did she fall for first?
Harvard senior Beatriz Herrera does not have a post-graduation plan. What she does have is a shaved head, a sharp tongue, political views that skew so far left she’s this close to eating the rich, and deeply rooted trauma from the results of the 2016 election.
Still, she would do anything for her sweet, opposite-from-her-in-every-way prima, Hero. Even if it means watching Hero and her boyfriend, Claudio, make googly eyes at each other all spring break. And even if it means spending that week at the Cape Cod mansion of Claudio’s best friend and Beatriz’s worst nightmare: arrogantly attractive playboy Ben Montgomery. Ben is everything Beatriz can’t stand: he’s white, he’s rich, his taste in literature is the embodiment of toxic masculinity, he’s already got a post-grad job lined up in Boston’s Financial District (with a cushy loft that’s paid for, of course), and he’s a walking reminder of the steamy night they spent together four years ago, during their very first week of college. A night that cemented her disdain toward him forever—not that she plans on telling him why.
When a night of drinking games takes a terrifying turn, Ben and Beatriz are forced to put aside their dislike for each other to save someone’s life. What follows–over the course of several months–is an unraveling, as both of them learn how wrong they’ve been about the other, and a rebuilding of something new and surprisingly tender. But does a country so bitterly divided have space for this kind of love story?
Husband Material by Alexis Hall (2nd)
One (very real) husband
Nowhere near perfect but desperately trying his best
In Boyfriend Material, Luc and Oliver met, pretended to fall in love, fell in love for real, dealt with heartbreak and disappointment and family and friends…and somehow figured out a way to make it work. Now it seems like everyone around them is getting married, and Luc’s feeling the social pressure to propose. But it’ll take more than four weddings, a funeral, and a bowl full of special curry to get these two from “I don’t know what I’m doing” to “I do”.
Good thing Oliver is such perfect Husband Material.
Dirt Creek by Hayley Scrivenor (2nd)
When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther’s tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home.
When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther?
Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town.
Knocking Myself Up: a Memoir of My (In)fertility by Michelle Tea (2nd)
Written in intimate, gleefully TMI prose, Knocking Myself Up is the irreverent account of Tea’s route to parenthood–with a group of ride-or-die friends, a generous drag queen, and a whole lot of can-do pluck. Along the way she falls in love with a wholesome genderqueer a decade her junior, attempts biohacking herself a baby with black market fertility meds (and magicking herself an offspring with witch-enchanted honey), learns her eggs are busted, and enters the Fertility Industrial Complex in order to carry her younger lover’s baby.
With the signature sharp wit and wild heart that have made her a favorite to so many readers, Tea guides us through the maze of medical procedures, frustrations and astonishments on the path to getting pregnant, wryly critiquing some of the systems that facilitate that choice (“a great, punk, daredevil thing to do”). In Knocking Myself Up, Tea has crafted a deeply entertaining and profound memoir, a testament to the power of love and family-making, however complex our lives may be, to transform and enrich us.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (9th)
Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.
Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories.
But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds.
A Killing in Costumes by Zac Bissonnette (9th)
Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera star darlings in the late ’90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers were ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they invest in Palm Springs’ hottest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood, but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.
A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of old costumes and props and is looking to sell. Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.
With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects but time’s running out fast, and it looks like they might have to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.
These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall (9th)
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
High Times in the Low Parliament by Kelly Robson (9th)
Lana Baker is Aldgate’s finest scribe, with a sharp pen and an even sharper wit. Gregarious, charming, and ever so eager to please, she agrees to deliver a message for another lovely scribe in exchange for kisses and ends up getting sent to Low Parliament by a temperamental fairy as a result.
As Lana transcribes the endless circular arguments of Parliament, the debates grow tenser and more desperate. Due to long-standing tradition, a hung vote will cause Parliament to flood and a return to endless war. Lana must rely on an unlikely pair of comrades—Bugbite, the curmudgeonly fairy, and Eloquentia, the bewitching human deputy—to save humanity (and maybe even woo one or two lucky ladies), come hell or high water.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (9th)
Firuz-e Jafari is one of the fortunate ones who have emigrated to the Democratic Free State of Qilwa. Firuz has escaped the slaughter of other traditional Sassanid blood-magic practitioners. They have a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa; a kindly new employer, Kofi; and a gifted new student, Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee.
But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly-performed blood magic.
In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice while finding a fresh start for their both their blood and found family.
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala (16th)
Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.
Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.
What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.
But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.
The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri (16th)
This is the sequel to The Jasmine Throne
The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared Malini the rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has proven a blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the throne that fate offered her. But even with the strength of the rage in her heart and the army of loyal men by her side, deposing her brother is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.
The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.
Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s souls remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize that coming together is the only way to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—even if it will cost them.
The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones (16th)
Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.
The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing… but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.
Cherry On Top by Georgia Beers (16th)
Cherry Davis is turning her part-time influencer gig into a full-time venture. As Cherry on Top, she’s the happy, loved, lesbian lifestyle guide with an enviable relationship, friends, and wardrobe. Reputation is crucial for her business, and if she uses some smoke and mirrors to spice it up? She doesn’t hurt anybody. Everyone else does it too. Trolls might try to tell her she isn’t being authentic, but she’s tougher than they are. Her childhood gave her a thick skin.
Ellis Conrad dreams of becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. You know what she doesn’t dream of? Debunking politicians, local celebrities, and online influencers for the less-than-reputable site, 11th Commandment. But the truth is important, especially to Ellis, and besides, she really needs the money.
A chance meeting leaves Cherry and Ellis reeling from the unexpected intensity, and they both start to long for a different life, perhaps even one that includes each other. But when Ellis’s search for truth crashes into Cherry’s insta-filter world, do they have any hope at all of a happily ever after?
The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver (16th)
Just days before spring break, Neil Kearney is set to fly across the country with his childhood friend (and current friend-with-benefits) Josh, to attend his brother’s wedding―until Josh tells Neil that he’s in love with him and Neil doesn’t return the sentiment.
With Josh still attending the wedding, Neil needs to find a new date to bring along. And, almost against his will, roommate Wyatt is drafted.
At first, Wyatt (correctly) thinks Neil is acting like a jerk. But when they get to LA, Wyatt sees a little more of where it’s coming from. Slowly, Neil and Wyatt begin to understand one another… and maybe, just maybe, fall in love for the first time…
The Inconvenient Heiress by Jane Walsh (16th)
In the quiet seaside town of Inverley, nothing exciting ever happens to gently bred spinsters like Miss Arabella Seton. Content with her watercolor paintings and her cats, she is confident that no one suspects her forbidden and unrequited passion for her best friend, Caroline.
The eldest in a family of six children, Miss Caroline Reeve has the unenviable task of shepherding her siblings into adulthood with little coin and even less patience. The only benefit to being an eternal chaperone is that no one ever expects her to marry.
When the Reeve family inherits an unexpected fortune, Caroline must take her rightful place in high society. Fortune hunters abound, and it is up to Arabella to save her from their snares and convince her that love has been in front of her all along.
Can the heiress and the spinster discover an unconventional love outside of the Marriage Mart?
Strange Attractors by Ana K. Wrenn (17th)
Fierce and frosty high achiever Professor Sonja J. Storey is on the verge of seizing power in her department. She has exacting plans to remake her backwoods North Carolina university, just as she has painstakingly remade herself.
Sonja’s perfectly ordered life takes a dramatic turn when she meets laid-back, magnetic junior professor Crystal Byrd.
But then come threatening notes, sinister emails, and shadowy nocturnal figures, and suddenly, Sonja’s controlled world starts to tremble like a butterfly in a storm.
Is someone out to get her? Is it a specter from Sonja’s past? It’s hard not to be suspicious of everyone, even intoxicating Crystal with her temptingly warm presence.
Seeing danger everywhere, Sonja must hunt down the source of the chaos before she loses her brilliant mind, and her chance at the one thing she’s never known—love.
Buy it: Ylva
Me & My Dysphoria Monster by Laura Kate Dale (text) and Hui Qing Ang (illustration) (18th)
Nisha’s monster follows her everywhere. It used to be small, but recently her monster has begun to grow. And as her monster gets bigger and bigger, Nisha feels more and more unlike herself.
When people refer to her as a boy, or when she tries to hide her true gender identity, Nisha’s dysphoria monster grows larger and larger. Until, one day, Nisha meets Jack – a trans man – who shows Nisha how she can shrink her dysphoria monster back down to size.
This touching story is the perfect book for discussing gender dysphoria with children, explaining what it is and how they and their families can deal with it. It also includes an accompanying guide for parents with further information about gender dysphoria, terminology, and first-hand examples of the author’s own experiences.
This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves (23rd)
Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer—get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving LA for the summer to meet a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.
Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straitlaced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.
But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.
The Family Compound by Liz Parker (23rd)
Five cousins must band together to decide the future of their shared inheritance—the family’s sprawling property in Stowe, Vermont—but with each at a different place in life, reaching a unanimous decision seems unlikely.
Penny struggles with depression and craves stability in an unstable world. Halsey is divorced, raising her child, and contending with an unexpected realization about herself. Irresponsible William can be counted on only to fall in love as capriciously as he falls out of it. And both Laurie and Chris are floundering after betrayals—hers professional, his personal. With little in common except childhood memories, the five face impossible choices. It’s going to take sacrifice, compromise, and a plan for moving forward they can all agree to. Until then, the fate of the Nolan family compound is as uncertain as their paths in life.
As five lives in flux converge and tensions run high, the cousins will have to rely on each other if they’re to have any hope of preserving the past. From the author of All Are Welcome comes a novel about a family legacy worth fighting for.
My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson (23rd)
A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story, following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s NYC, from the television drama writer and producer of The Chi, Narcos, and Bel-Air.
Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. In the City, Trey meets up with a cast of characters that change his life forever―from civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, who he meets in a Harlem bathhouse, to his landlord, Fred Trump, who he clashes with and outfoxes. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients, and after being put to the test by gay rights activist Larry Kramer and civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton, becomes a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Trey attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships―all while seeking the meaning of life in the midst of so much death.
I’m Not Broken by Jesse Leon (23rd)
Born to indigenous working-class Mexican immigrants in San Diego in the 1970s, Jesse Leon’s childhood was violently ruptured. A dangerous and harrowing encounter at a local gift shop when he was eleven years old left Jesse with a deadly secret. Hurt, alone, and scared for his life, Jesse numbed his pain by losing himself in the hyper-masculine culture of the streets and wherever else he could find it–in alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. Overlooked by state-sanctioned institutions and systems intended to help victims of abuse, neglected like many other low-income Latinos, Jesse spiraled into cycles of suicide and substance abuse.
I’m Not Broken is the heartbreaking and remarkable story of the journey Jesse takes to win back his life, leading him to the steps of Harvard University. From being the lone young person of color in Narcotics Anonymous meetings to coming to terms with his own sexual identity, to becoming an engaged mentor for incarcerated youth, Jesse finds the will to live with the love and support of his family, friends, and mentors. Recounting the extraordinary circumstances of his life, Jesse offers a powerful, raw testament to the possibilities of self-transformation and self-acceptance. Unforgettable, I’m Not Broken is an inspirational portrait of one young man’s indomitable strength and spirit to survive–against all possible odds.
You & I, Rewritten by Chip Pons (23rd)
Not to jinx it or anything, but the stars seem to finally be aligning for Will Cowen. After accepting a dream promotion at one of New York City’s most renowned publishing houses and moving in with his oldest friend, he’s ready to dive headfirst into this new chapter and take the literary world by storm – that is, until he crosses paths with Graham Austin.
No matter how hard he tries, he can’t help but put the wrong foot forward in front of the all-business and inconveniently gorgeous heir to the publishing empire.
So, when a heartbreakingly beautiful manuscript lands on his desk, Will seizes the opportunity for a win. Could this prized new author be his big break or, his downfall?
Will’s confidence and hope for his professional future is obliterated when the author ghosts him at an important publishing event. Fueled by insecurity and an open bar, he finds himself in need of comfort, which comes from the least likely person, the normally cold and distant Graham. This small glimpse behind Graham’s icy exterior is the spark that sweeps these two up in an epic and unforeseen romance.
As his author’s manuscript begins to take shape, the words that initially brought them together become more and more tangled, making it painfully obvious to Will that despite your best efforts, there is truly no hiding from the past.
But can it be rewritten?
Buy it: Amazon
Just a Touch Away by Jae (24th)
An ice queen’s frosty façade is melted by the power of touch
Hannah Martin has an unusual job: she’s a professional cuddler. While she has a big heart for her clients, she hasn’t found someone special to snuggle up to in her personal life.
Winter Sullivan isn’t looking for love. She’s an aloof workaholic who’s built walls of ice around herself. She would rather drive toothpicks under her fingernails than cuddle, and she certainly doesn’t want to share her space with anyone.
When Winter’s estranged father dies, he leaves her one last surprise: she and Hannah, a perfect stranger, will inherit a building together. But there’s a catch: first, they have to live together for ninety-two days.
Winter is determined to dislike her rival, but soon finds Hannah isn’t what she expected at all. Thanks to a hilarious doormat war, a cuddle dare from Winter’s half sister, and a kiss in the most unusual of places, the frosty fortress around her heart begins to melt.
Will she be able to accept that love might be just a touch away?
The Dreaming by Andre Bagoo (25th)
At one level, Andre Bagoo’s stories have the very real virtue of taking the everyday lives of his gay Trinidadian characters utterly for granted in their searches for sex, adventure, pleasure, self-realisation and all the enrichments of loving contact. There’s a neat balance between a highly enjoyable sharpness of perception and a relaxed and engaging personal voice, and room for humour in several of these stories. How is the poet ever going to disabuse his lover that his writing has any merit – especially when desire leads him to have a line of his lover’s dire poetry immortalised in a tattoo? Where is a style-conscious journalist going to find a barbershop that can do justice to his hair?
But the stories also record moments of self-denial, self-deception and fear that point to the fact that this is still a society where gay men experience prejudice, discrimination, and homophobic violence. The narrator of several of these stories is a writer who wants to focus on the personal satisfactions and inner dramas of these lives as the truth about gay experience. But at the back of his mind are the stories of the brutal murders of gay men reported with coy innuendo in the press. If he is tempted to see his lovers as characters in a witty novel of manners, is this a novel that can only take place somewhere other than in Trinidad? But since this is Trinidad, could the conflicted, self-hating Dorian really be a serial killer? Bagoo’s stories offer a witty and acutely drawn portrait of contemporary Trinidad in all its intersections of race, class and gender politics. Not least, they share a strong sense of place – Bagoo’s gay Woodbrook offers a fine sequel to V.S. Naipaul’s Woodbrook stories in his classic Miguel Street.
Buy it: Peepal Tree Press
In the Event of Love by Courtney Kae (30th)
With her career as a Los Angeles event planner imploding after a tabloid blowup, Morgan Ross isn’t headed home for the holidays so much as in strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain vistas, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, her hometown of Fern Falls is built of one heartbreak on top of another . . .
Take her one-time best friend turned crush, Rachel Reed. The memory of their perfect, doomed first kiss is still fresh as new-fallen snow. Way fresher than the freezing mud Morgan ends up sprawled in on her very first day back, only to be hauled out via Rachel’s sexy new lumberjane muscles acquired from running her family tree farm.
When Morgan discovers that the Reeds’ struggling tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and corporate greed destroying the whole town’s livelihood, she decides she can put heartbreak aside to save the farm by planning her best fundraiser yet. She has all the inspiration for a spectacular event: delicious vanilla lattes, acoustic guitars under majestic pines, a cozy barn surrounded by brilliant stars. But she and Rachel will ABSOLUTELY NOT have a heartwarming holiday happy ending. That would be as unprofessional as it is unlikely. Right?
Felix Silver, Teaspoons & Witches by Harry Cook (30th)
After his parents announce that his bizarre, emerging abilities are getting in the way of their divorce, Felix Silver relocates to Dorset Harbor and becomes the charge of his Grandma Aggie. As Felix adjusts to life in a new school, Aggie decides that it’s time he learn The Silver Way, and teaches him all she knows about sorcery and magical arts. When Felix and his new friends decide to solve the mystery of local teenagers who have gone missing, Felix learns that his crush, Aero, has a big secret. Is dark magic creeping into the town, and can Felix learn enough from Aggie and the witches of Dorset Harbor to combat it?
The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan (30th)
This is the Canadian pub date and cover. It releases in the US on November 8th.
Syria, 2003. A blooming romance leads to a tragic accident when Hussam’s father catches him acting on his feelings for his best friend, Wassim. In an instant, the course of their lives is changed forever.
Ten years later, Hussam and Wassim are still struggling to find peace and belonging. Sponsored as a refugee by a controlling older man, Hussam is living an openly gay life in Vancouver, where he attempts to quiet his demons with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wassim is living on the streets of Damascus, having abandoned a wife and child and a charade he could no longer keep up. Taking shelter in a deserted villa, he unearths the previous owner’s buried secrets while reckoning with his own.
The past continues to reverberate through the present as Hussam and Wassim come face to face with heartache, history, drag queens, border guards, and ghosts both literal and figurative.
Dead Flip by Sara Farizan (30th)
Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1993, Sam has been missing for six years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine?
These days, all Maz wants to do is party, buy CDs at Sam Goody, and run away from his past. Meanwhile, Cori is a homecoming queen, hiding her abiding love of horror movies and her queer self under the bubblegum veneer of a high school queen bee. But when Sam returns—still twelve years old while his best friends are now eighteen—Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing. Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all . . .
Bad at Love by Gabriela Martins (30th)
Ever since Daniel moved to L.A. from Brazil to join the band Mischief & Mayhem, he’s become the tabloids’ bad boy. Paparazzi follow him and girls swoon over him . . . except for Sasha, who hates bad boys. When a chance encounter brings them together, Sasha sees an opportunity to get close to Daniel and write a story that will make a name for herself at the celebrity gossip magazine where she interns. But Daniel is surprisingly sweet and extremely cute—could she be falling for him?
The truth is: Daniel is hiding something. When Sasha discovers his secret, will she follow her heart or deliver the hottest story of the summer?
Moon Dark Smile by Tessa Gratton (30th)
Ever since she was a girl, Raliel Dark-Smile’s best friend has been the great demon that lives in the palace. As the daughter of the Emperor, Raliel appears cold and distant to those around her, but what no one understands is that she and the great demon, Moon, have a close and unbreakable bond and are together at all times. Moon is bound to the Emperor and his two consorts, Raliel’s parents, and when Raliel comes of age, she will be bound to Moon as well, constrained to live in the Palace for the rest of her days.
Raliel is desperate to see the Empire Between Five Mountains, and she feels a deep kinship with Moon, who longs to break free of its bonds. When the time finally arrives for Raliel’s coming of age journey, she discovers a dangerous way to take Moon with her, even as she hides this truth from her travel companion, the beautiful, demon-kissed bodyguard Osian Redpop. But Osian is hiding secrets of his own, and when a plot surfaces that threatens the Empire, Raliel will have to decide who she can trust and what she’ll sacrifice for the power to protect all that she loves.
A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland (30th)
Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court–the body-father of the queen’s new child–in an altercation which results in his humiliation.
To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.