Ellie Engle Saves Herself by Leah Johnson
Ellie Engle doesn’t stand out. Not at home, where she’s alone with her pet fish since her dad moved away and her mom has to work around the clock . Not at the bakery, where she helps out old Mr. Walker on the weekends. And definitely not at school, where her best friend Abby—the coolest, boldest, most talented girl in the world—drags Ellie along on her never-ending quest to “make her mark.” To someone else, a life in the shadows might seem boring, or lonely. But not to Ellie. As long as she has Abby by her side and a comic book in her hand, she’s quite content.
Too bad life didn’t bother checking in with Ellie. Because when a freak earthquake hits her small town, Ellie wakes up with the power to bring anything back to life with just her touch. And when a video of her using her powers suddenly goes viral, Ellie’s life goes somewhere she never imagined—or wanted: straight into the spotlight.
Surviving middle school is hard enough. Surviving middle school when paparazzi are camped out on your front lawn and an international pop singer wants you to use your powers on live tv and you might be in love with your best friend but she doesn’t know it? Absolutely impossible.
The Sun and the Star: A Nico DiAngeli Adventure by Mark Oshiro and Rick Riordan
As the son of Hades, Nico di Angelo has been through so much, from the premature deaths of his mother and sister, to being outed against his will, to losing his friend Jason during the trials of Apollo. But there is a ray of sunshine in his life–literally: his boyfriend, Will Solace, the son of Apollo. Together the two demigods can overcome any obstacle or foe. At least, that’s been the case so far…
Now Nico is being plagued by a voice calling out to him from Tartarus, the lowest part of the Underworld. He thinks he knows who it is: a reformed Titan named Bob whom Percy and Annabeth had to leave behind when they escaped Hades’s realm. Nico’s dreams and Rachel Dare’s latest prophecy leave little doubt in Nico’s mind that Bob is in some kind of trouble. Nico has to go on this quest, whether Mr. D and Chiron like it or not. And of course Will insists on coming with. But can a being made of light survive in the darkest part of the world? and what does the prophecy mean that Nico will have to “leave something of equal value behind?”
Ander & Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa
Finding home. Falling in love. Fighting to belong.
The Santos Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, is all Ander Lopez has ever known. The smell of pan dulce. The mixture of Spanish and English filling the streets. And, especially their job at their family’s taquería. It’s the place that has inspired Ander as a muralist, and, as they get ready to leave for art school, it’s all of these things that give them hesitancy. That give them the thought, are they ready to leave it all behind?
To keep Ander from becoming complacent during their gap year, their family “fires” them so they can transition from restaurant life to focusing on their murals and prepare for college. That is, until they meet Santiago Garcia, the hot new waiter. Falling for each other becomes as natural as breathing. Through Santi’s eyes, Ander starts to understand who they are and want to be as an artist, and Ander becomes Santi’s first steps toward making Santos Vista and the United States feel like home.
Until ICE agents come for Santi, and Ander realizes how fragile that sense of home is. How love can only hold on so long when the whole world is against them. And when, eventually, the world starts to win.
Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.
She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili—newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.
Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.
Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.
Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.
Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .
Chasing Pacquiao by Rod Pulido
Self preservation. That’s Bobby’s motto for surviving his notoriously violent high school unscathed. Being out and queer would put an unavoidable target on his back, especially in a Filipino community that frowns on homosexuality. It’s best to keep his head down, get good grades, and stay out of trouble.
But when Bobby is unwillingly outed in a terrible way, he no longer has the luxury of being invisible. A vicious encounter has him scrambling for a new way to survive—by fighting back. Bobby is inspired by champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao to take up boxing and challenge his tormentor. Then Pacquiao publicly declares his stance against queer people, and Bobby’s faith—in his hero and in himself—is shaken to the core.
The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom by Allison L. Bitz
Bridget Bloom’s out-of-this-world voice is the perfect fit for center stage. When Bridget’s admitted to Richard James Academy, a college prep boarding school with a prestigious music program—where heartthrob Duke Ericson attends—all her dreams are on track to come true: leave the hometown where she’s never belonged, fall in love, and launch her Broadway career.
But upon arriving at the academy, she learns that due to her low music theory scores, she’s not eligible to perform or earn the sponsorship she needs to afford the tuition. Worst of all, Dean of Students Octavia Lawless, the one person with the power to reverse the decision, challenges her to work on her humility . . . by not singing at all.
Without her voice, Bridget will have to get out of her comfort zone and find a new way to shine. Good thing she is unstoppable!
Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl by Brianna R. Shrum and Sara Waxelbaum
Margo Zimmerman is gay, but she didn’t know until now. An overachiever at heart, Margo is determined to ace her newly discovered gayness. All she needs is the right tutor.
Abbie Sokoloff has her own gayness down to a science. But a flunking grade in US History is threatening her acceptance to her dream school. All she needs is the right tutor.
Margo agrees to help Abbie get her history grade up in exchange for “Queer 101” lessons. But as they spend more and more time together, Margo realizes she doesn’t want just any girl—she wants the girl.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound
Lion’s Legacy by L.C. Rosen
Seventeen-year-old Tennessee Russo’s life is imploding. His boyfriend has been cheating on him, and all his friends know about it. Worse, they expect him to just accept his ex’s new relationship and make nice. So when his father, a famous archaeologist and reality show celebrity whom he hasn’t seen in two years, shows up unexpectedly and offers to take him on an adventure, Tennessee only has a few choices:
1. Stay, mope, regret it forever.
2. Go, try to reconcile with Dad, become his sidekick again.
3. Go, but make it his adventure, and Dad will be the sidekick.
The object of his father’s latest quest, the Rings of the Sacred Band of Thebes, is too enticing to say no to. Finding artifacts related to the troop of ancient Greek soldiers, composed of one-hundred-and-fifty gay couples, means navigating ruins, deciphering ancient mysteries, and maybe meeting a cute boy.
But will his dad let Tennessee do the right thing with the rings if they find them? And what is the right thing? Who does queer history belong to?
I Like Me Better by Robby Weber
This is not how soccer-star Zack Martin thought his summer would go. When the captain’s prank means trouble for the whole squad, Zack’s left with no choice but to take one for the team and cover for him.
Now he’s trading parties and beach days for community service at a seaside conservation center—fair enough. But thanks to his new reputation, the cute intern, Chip, won’t even give him a shot. Still, Zack finds himself falling for Chip between dolphin encounters and shark costume disasters, which means he suddenly has way more on the line than he ever expected.
Zack may be good at winning on the field, but can he keep up the lie without losing himself?
Best Men by Sidney Karger
Max Moody thought he had everything figured out. He’s trying to live his best life in New York City and has the best friend a gay guy could ask for: Paige. She and Max grew up next door to each other in the suburbs of Chicago. She can light up any party. She finishes his sentences. She’s always a reliable splunch (they don’t like to use the word brunch) partner. But then Max’s whole world is turned upside down when Paige suddenly announces some huge news: she’s engaged and wants Max to be her man of honor. Max was always the romantic one who imagined he would get married before the unpredictable Paige and is shocked to hear she’s ready to settle down. But it turns out there’s not just one new man in Paige’s life–there are two.
There’s the groom, Austin, who’s a perfectly nice guy. Then there’s his charming, fun and ridiculously handsome gay younger brother, Chasten, who is Austin’s best man. As Paige’s wedding draws closer, Max, the introverted Midwesterner, and Chasten, the social butterfly East Coaster, realize they’re like oil and water. Yet they still have to figure out how to coexist in Paige’s life while not making her wedding festivities all about them. But can the tiny romantic spark between these two very different guys transform their best man supporting roles into the leading best men in each other’s lives?
Changing Spaces by Karmen Lee
Star has spent the past five years making Clover Hill’s Anisse & Clover Diner her home away from home. She’s turned her job there into a fulfilling career and has never felt more content. If her dating life is a little lackluster, well, that’s just how it’ll have to be. But when ownership of the diner changes hands from mother to daughter, Star finds herself scrambling to keep up…and to keep far away from the attractive woman who’s now at the helm.
Anisse moved back home to reconnect with her roots after too many years in the city, and she’s excited to bring the diner her family founded into the current decade. Unfortunately, she might have more to worry about than just reinventing the recipes she grew up with. Star, the gorgeous manager whose cooperation she needs to make the refreshed Anisse & Clover a success, hardly gives her the time of day.
But once Star and Anisse are pushed into sitting down together, their mutual attraction is undeniable. Going from coworkers to dating would be tricky, but neither of them wants to walk away from what might be the relationship they’ve always wanted.
Can these two women navigate their burgeoning connection, or will too many changes too fast leave both of them singed beyond repair?
Buy it: Amazon
Dragonfall by L.R. Lam
Long ago, humans betrayed dragons, stealing their magic and banishing them to a dying world. Centuries later, their descendants worship dragons as gods. But the ‘gods’ remember, and they do not forgive.
Thief Arcady scrapes a living on the streets of Vatra. Desperate, Arcady steals a powerful artifact from the bones of the Plaguebringer, the most hated person in Lumet history. Only Arcady knows the artifact’s magic holds the key to a new life among the nobles at court and a chance for revenge.
The spell connects to Everen, the last male dragon foretold to save his kind, dragging him through the Veil. Disguised as a human, Everen soon learns that to regain his true power and form and fulfil his destiny, he only needs to convince one little thief to trust him enough to bond completely–body, mind, and soul–and then kill them.
Yet the closer the two become, the greater the risk both their worlds will shatter.
Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst
Mickey Hayward dreams of writing stories that matter. She has a flashy media job that makes her feel successful and a devoted girlfriend who takes care of her when she comes home exhausted and demoralized. It’s not all A-list parties and steamy romance, but Mickey’s on her way, and it’s far from the messy life she left behind in Maryland. Despite being overlooked and mistreated at work, it seems like she might finally get the chance to prove herself–until she finds out she’s being replaced.
Distraught and enraged, Mickey fires back with a detailed letter outlining the racism and sexism she’s endured as a Black woman in media, certain it will change the world for the better. But when her letter is met with overwhelming silence, Mickey is sent into a tailspin of self-doubt. Forced to reckon with just how fragile her life is–including the uncertainty of her relationship–she flees to the last place she ever dreamed she would run to, her hometown, desperate for a break from her troubles.
Back home, Mickey is seduced by the simplicity of her old life–and the flirtation of a former flame–but her life in New York refuses to be forgotten. When a media scandal catapults Mickey’s forgotten letter into the public zeitgeist, suddenly everyone wants to hear what Mickey has to say. It’s what she’s always wanted–isn’t it?
Stars Collide by Rachel Lacey
Eden Sands has been a star for twenty years, but it’s lonely at the top. Her mediocre marriage just ended, and her inner circle is smaller than ever. The stage is the only place she’s ever felt like she truly belonged, and yet, her last album flopped, and her upcoming tour hasn’t sold out. Eden’s desperate for her star to shine bright again, but when her team suggests a collaboration with an up-and-coming young star to give her a boost, she balks.
Anna Moss is pop music’s rising star. She’s idolized Eden Sands for most of her life―so it’s a dream come true when she’s invited to perform with her at the Grammys. Anna’s tired of being defined by her bubbly persona. She wants to be taken seriously as an artist, and a duet with Eden could be just what she needs.
As Anna and Eden rehearse, they soon realize they have more in common than their musical talents. Now they just have to decide if what is between them is a one-hit wonder or the making of a romance worthy of one of the greatest love songs of all time.
The Humble Lover by Edmund White
Aldwych West, an eighty-year-old modern-day aristocrat living alone in his Manhattan townhouse, is used to having what he wants. And when he sets eyes on August Dumonde, a strong, stunningly beautiful soloist in the New York City Ballet, he decides he must have him. Soon they strike up a closeness that falls between the blurry lines of friendship, sponsorship, and love, and August moves in with Aldwych. But eventually August starts bringing home other men, and a formidable woman in Aldwych’s circle named Ernestine also takes a deep interest in the young, enchanting star.