Category Archives: New Releases

New Releases: February 2023

Out of Character by Jenna Miller (7th)

If you asked seventeen-year-old Cass Williams to describe herself, she’d happily tell you she’s fat, queer, and obsessed with the Tide Wars books. What she won’t tell you—or anyone in her life—is that she’s part of an online Tide Wars roleplay community. Sure, it’s nerdy as hell, but when she’s behind the screen writing scenes as Captain Aresha, she doesn’t have to think about her mother who walked out or how unexpectedly stressful it is dating resident cool girl Taylor Cooper.

But secretly retreating to her online life is starting to catch up with Cass. For one, no one in her real life knows her secret roleplay addiction is the reason her grades have taken a big hit. Also? Cass has started catching feelings for Rowan Davies, her internet bestie…and Taylor might be catching on.

As Cass’s lies continue to build, so does her anxiety. Roleplaying used to be the one place she could escape to, but this double life and offline-online love triangle have only made things worse. Cass must decide what to do—be honest and risk losing her safe space or keep it a secret and put everything else on the line.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Long Run by James Acker (7th)

The Long RunSebastian Villeda is over it. Over his rep. Over his bros. Over being “Bash the Flash,” fastest sprinter in South Jersey. His dad is gone, his mom is dead, and his stepfather is clueless. Bash has no idea what he wants out of life. Until he meets Sandro.

Sandro Miceli is too nice for his own good. The middle child in an always-growing, always-screaming Italian family, Sandro walks around on a broken foot to not bother his busy parents. All he wants is to get out and never look back.

When fate—in the form of a party that gets busted—brings these two very different boys together, neither of them could’ve predicted finding a love that they’d risk everything for…

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A Good Day to Pie by Misha Popp (7th)

This is the second book in the Pies Before Guys series.

A Good Day to PieDaisy bakes a little murder into every pie she creates, and she and her dog, Zoe, deliver them to the town’s worst cads. Now, Daisy’s entered a televised, elimination-style competition and has a shot at $100k in prize money—but she still has a murder pie to deliver between filming.

In a completely unexpected turn of events, she discovers that her intended victim is one of the competition judges, and he turns up dead before the pie even arrives. Now, Daisy has to solve the murder—even if it means working a bit of magic—before someone calls foul play and exposes her murderous secret.

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Endpapers by Jennifer Savran Kelly (7th)

EndpapersIt’s 2003, and artist Dawn Levit is stuck. A bookbinder who works in conservation at the Met, she spends her free time scouting the city’s street art, hoping something might spark inspiration. Instead, everything looks like a dead end. And art isn’t the only thing that feels wrong: wherever she turns, her gender identity clashes with the rest of her life. Her relationship, once anchored by shared queerness, is falling apart as her boyfriend Lukas increasingly seems to be attracted to Dawn only when she’s at her most masculine. Meanwhile at work, Dawn has to present as female, even on the days when that isn’t true. Either way, her difference feels like a liability.

Then, one day at work, Dawn finds something hidden behind the endpaper of an old book: the torn-off cover of a ‘50s lesbian pulp novel, Turn Her About. On the front is a campy illustration of a woman looking into a handheld mirror and seeing a man’s face. And on the back is a love letter.

Dawn latches onto the coincidence, becoming obsessed with tracking down the note’s author. Her fixation only increases when her best friend Jae is injured in a hate crime, for which Dawn feels responsible. As Dawn searches for the letter’s author, she is also looking for herself. She tries to understand how to live in a world that doesn’t see her as she truly is, how to get unstuck in her gender, and how to rediscover her art, and she can’t shake the feeling that the note’s author might be able to help guide her to the answers.

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Afterglow by Phil Stamper (7th)

This is the sequel to Golden Boys.

After GlowAfter a summer of life-changing, these four friends are finally ready for senior year.

Gabriel is thrilled to create his school’s first LGBTQ+ advocacy group, but his long-distance relationship is fading from summer love to something else…

Heath feels secure for the first time in years, but with his future riding on a baseball scholarship, each pitch triggers his anxiety…

Reese is set on pursuing a career in fashion design, but his creativity takes him in an unexpected direction he isn’t yet ready to share…

Sal wants to be in politics, specifically local politics. After a chat with his aunt, he is ready for an unlikely path…

As graduation nears and the boys prepare to enter the real world, it’s clear their friendship will never be the same. Can they find a way to stay connected and pursue their dreams?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder (7th)

This is the sequel to The Bone Spindle.

Fi has awakened the sleeping prince, but the battle for Andar is far from over. The Spindle Witch, the Witch Hunters, and Fi’s own Butterfly Curse all stand between them and happily ever after.

Shane has her partner’s back. But she’s in for the fight of her life against Red, the right hand of the Spindle Witch who she’s also, foolishly, hellbent on saving.

Briar Rose would do anything to restore his kingdom. But there’s a darkness creeping inside him—a sinister bond to the Spindle Witch he can’t escape.

All hopes of restoring Andar rest on deciphering a mysterious book code, finding the hidden city of the last Witches, and uncovering a secret lost for centuries—one that just might hold the key to the Spindle Witch’s defeat. If they can all survive that long…

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Such Pretty Flowers by K.L. Cerra (7th)

Such Pretty Flowers“Get it out of me.”

It was the last message Holly received from her brother, Dane, before he was found cleaved open in his fiancée’s lavish Savannah townhouse. Police ruled his death a suicide sparked by psychosis, but Holly can’t shake the idea that something else must have happened… Something involving another message he sent that night, the one that mentioned a “game” his fiancée, Maura, wanted to play…

Determined to discover the truth, Holly begins to stalk Maura—a magnetic, black-eyed florist with a penchant for carnivorous plants. But what begins as an investigation quickly veers into a darker fixation, one that lures Holly into the depths of Maura’s world: Savannah high society, eerie black roses, and a whisper of something more sinister. Soon, Holly is feeling a dark attraction to the one woman she shouldn’t trust. As Holly falls deeper for Maura and her secrets, she’s left with only one choice: find out what happened to Dane… before she meets the same fate.

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Big Swiss by Jen Beagin (7th)

60701439Greta lives with her friend Sabine in an ancient Dutch farmhouse in Hudson, New York. The house, built in 1737, is unrenovated, uninsulated, and full of bees. Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach who calls himself Om. She becomes infatuated with his newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss, since she’s tall, stoic, and originally from Switzerland. Greta is fascinated by Big Swiss’s refreshing attitude toward trauma. They both have dark histories, but Big Swiss chooses to remain unattached to her suffering while Greta continues to be tortured by her past.

One day, Greta recognizes Big Swiss’s voice at the dog park. In a panic, she introduces herself with a fake name and they quickly become enmeshed. Although Big Swiss is unaware of Greta’s true identity, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and she’ll do anything to sustain the relationship…

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Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H (7th)

Hijab Butch BluesWhen fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher–her female teacher–she covers up her attraction, an attraction she can’t yet name, by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. Born in South Asia, she moved to the Middle East at a young age and has spent years feeling out of place, like her own desires and dreams don’t matter, and it’s easier to hide in plain sight. To disappear. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything: when Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. Could Maryam, uninterested in men, be . . . like Lamya?

From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing on the faith and hope Nuh needed to construct his ark, begins to build a life of her own–ultimately finding that the answer to her lifelong quest for community and belonging lies in owning her identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant.

This searingly intimate memoir in essays, spanning Lamya’s childhood to her arrival in the United States for college through early-adult life in New York City, tells a universal story of courage, trust, and love, celebrating what it means to be a seeker and an architect of one’s own life.

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Unsafe Words: Queering Consent in the #MeToo Era ed. by Shantel Gabrieal Buggs and Trevor Hoppe (10th)

Unsafe WordsQueer people may not have invented sex, but queers have long been pioneers in imagining new ways to have it. Yet their voices have been largely absent from the #MeToo conversation. What can queer people learn from the #MeToo conversation? And what can queer communities teach the rest of the world about ethical sex? This provocative book brings together academics, activists, artists, and sex workers to tackle challenging questions about sex, power, consent, and harm. While responding to the need for sex to be consensual and mutually pleasurable, these chapter authors resist the heteronormative assumptions, class norms, and racial privilege underlying much #MeToo discourse. The essays reveal the tools that queer communities themselves have developed to practice ethical sex—from the sex worker negotiating with her client to the gay man having anonymous sex in the back room. At the same time, they explore how queer communities might better prevent and respond to sexual violence without recourse to a police force that is frequently racist, homophobic, and transphobic.

Telling a queerer side of the #MeToo story, Unsafe Words dares to challenge dogmatic assumptions about sex and consent while developing tools and language to promote more ethical and more pleasurable sex for everyone.

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One Last Shot by Jacqueline Ramsden and Lily Seabrooke (13th)

One Last Shot by [Jacqueline Ramsden, Lily Seabrooke]A two-month tour impersonating her pop-sensation twin sister Eva—or Nova on stage—sounds like Ava Blakely’s worst nightmare. For one thing, she can’t sing, and being on a stage is her idea of torture.

But it might be the only way to save Eva’s pregnancy.

Tour photographer Freja Callister just wanted a vacation and some pizza, but a last-minute request to shoot the Nova tour pulls her in—especially when the popstar seems a little different than she remembers. And much too interested in Freja now.

For Ava, falling for her photographer while hiding her real identity is a catastrophe in the making. But hey, what do they have to lose?

One Last Shot is a 100,000-word twin-swap popstar romance, and Lily Seabrooke’s and Jacqueline Ramsden’s first collaborative book, featuring a dysfunctional band that learns to work together, a secret identity, and a tour fling that turns a little too serious. Content warnings for open-door sex scenes, a creepy older director who wants to get young pop idols naked, Cecilia opening doors, and Mister Pippins definitely, absolutely having thoughts and feelings.

Buy it: Amazon

Juniper Harvey and the Vanishing Kingdom by Nina Varela (14th)

61237048When Juniper Harvey’s family moves to the middle of nowhere in Florida, her entire life is uprooted. As if that’s not bad enough, she keeps having dreams about an ancient-looking temple, a terrifying attack, and a mysterious girl who turns into an ivory statue. One night after a disastrous school dance, Juniper draws a portrait of the girl from her dreams and thinks, I wish you were here. The next morning, she wakes up to find the girl in her room…pointing a sword at her throat!

The unexpected visitor reveals herself as Galatea, a princess from a magical other world. One problem—her crown is missing, and she needs it in order to return home. Now, it’s up to Juniper to help find the crown, all while navigating a helpless crush on her new companion. And things go from bad to worse when a sinister force starts chasing after the crown too.

Packed with adventure and driven by a pitch-perfect voice, this middle grade debut from Nina Varela is about one tween forging new friendships, fighting nightmarish monsters, and importantly, figuring out who she is and who she ultimately wishes to be.

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And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner (14th)

60405251For most of her life, Aaliyah’s home situation hasn’t been great, but she’s at least had her childhood best friend and role as a cross-country star to balance it out. But once she got outed by a church elder last spring, everything came undone — including Aaliyah.

Now, senior year is about to start and she is determined to come back faster and wiser. No more letting other people define her. No more losing herself to their expectations.

Except… well, with new friends, old flames, nosy school counselors, and teammates who don’t trust her yet, the route already feels rough. And what’s with the new girl, Tessa, who gives Aaliyah butterflies every time she looks at her? Regardless, she’ll be fine. Because this is the year to prove to everyone―and most of all, herself―that she’s more than her mistakes. After all, even Aaliyah can’t outrun everything.

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Always the Almost by Edward Underhill (14th)

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition. But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other. Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is”—whatever that means.

Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does—and makes his stomach flutter. Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss…which is also definitely not in the plan. Why does Eric like him so much, anyway? It’s not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him…especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people—other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.

So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for…is himself?

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Planning Perfect by Haley Neil (14th)

60784796Felicity Becker loves watching an event come together. Whether it’s prom, graduation, or just the annual Arbor Day school dance, there’s something magical about crafting an experience that people will remember. So when her mom gets engaged, Felicity sees the wedding as the perfect opportunity to show off her skills.

​After Felicity’s long-distance friend Nancy offers up her family’s apple orchard as a venue, wedding planning gets even better. But the more time Felicity and Nancy spend together dress shopping and hunting for just-right mismatched china, the more it starts to seem like there might be something besides friendship between them. Felicity isn’t sure how she feels. As someone on the asexuality spectrum, what would dating even look like for her? And would Nancy be open to dating when Felicity doesn’t even know what she wants from a relationship?

​Suddenly the summer is a lot more complicated. Especially when Felicity finds out that one of the wedding guests is an event planner with a prestigious internship available. Can Felicity wrangle her irresponsible mom, juggle her judgmental grandmother, figure out her feelings for Nancy, and plan the perfect wedding? Or will all of her plans come crashing down around her?

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The Pledge by Cale Dietrich (14th)

59251242Freshman Sam believes that joining a fraternity is the best way to form a friend group as he begins his college journey – and his best chance of moving on from his past. He is the survivor of a horrific, and world-famous, murder spree, where a masked killer hunted down Sam and his friends.

Sam had to do the unthinkable to survive that night, and it completely derailed his life. He sees college, and his new identity as a frat boy, as his best shot at living a life not defined by the killings. He starts to flirt with one of the brothers, who Sam finds is surprisingly accepting of Sam’s past, and begins to think a fresh start truly is possible.

And then… one of his new frat brothers is found dead. A new masked murderer, one clearly inspired by the original, emerges, and starts stalking, and slaying, the frat boys of Munroe University. Now Sam will have to race against the clock to figure out who the new killer is – and why they are killing – before Sam loses his second chance – or the lives of any more of his friends.

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Like a Hurricane by Jonathan Bécotte, trans. by Jonathan Kaplansky (14th)

A young teen’s secret is tearing him apart.

He knows he is gay but is afraid to share this knowledge with his parents or his friends. What if they reject him? And what can he do with the feelings he has for his childhood friend when he knows his friend does not feel the same way? The turmoil continues to rise with the force of a hurricane—total destruction seems almost certain.

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World Running Down by Al Hess (14th)

A book cover consisting of an oil painting of the Utah salt flats with a blue sky fading into a warm sunset, with long sunset-lit clouds; mountains in the distance behind a silhouetted art deco cityscape; in the foreground is a rusty red VW van with a mounted gun, and a male couple sitting on top of the van. The title says WORLD RUNNING DOWN in art deco font; Al Hess, with a small Angry Robot logo in the bottom right corner Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City – a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric.

Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer – an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine’s always dreamed of. But as they attempt to recover the “merchandise”, they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives.

The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that’s kept him alive so far. He’ll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.

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Heart Haunt Havoc by Freydís Moon (14th)

Heart, Haunt, Havoc by [Freydís Moon]When lonely transgender exorcist Colin Hart finds himself challenged by an unruly haunted house in Gideon, Colorado, he’s kept awake by ghosts, demons, ghouls, and the handsome nonbinary owner of the house, Bishop Martínez.

Unlike the simple hauntings Colin is accustomed to, Bishop’s house is a living beacon, attracting a plethora of inhuman creatures, including a vengeful wolf-headed spirit who might be the key to quieting their sleepless nights.

But as a heartbreaking mystery unravels, Colin comes face-to-face with the past Bishop tried to bury, opens a closet full of bloody skeletons, and trips into an accidental romance.

As paranormally skilled as Colin might be, this particular haunting may be too messy for him to handle…

Buy it: Amazon

Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy (21st)

When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding community are thrust into chaos. Unsatisfied with the officials’ response, sardonic and headstrong Sister Holiday becomes determined to unveil the mysterious attacker herself and return her home and sanctuary to its former peace. Her investigation leads down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets in the sticky, oppressive New Orleans heat, turning her against colleagues, students, and even fellow Sisters along the way. Sister Holiday is more faithful than most, but she’s no saint. To piece together the clues of this high-stakes mystery, she must first reckon with the sins of her checkered past-and neither task will be easy. An exciting start to Margot Douaihy’s bold series for Gillian Flynn Books that breathes new life into the hard-boiled genre, Scorched Grace is a fast-paced and punchy whodunnit that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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The Librarian of Burned Books by Brianna Lebuskes (21st)

Librarian of Burned BooksBerlin 1933. Following the success of her debut novel, American writer Althea James receives an invitation from Joseph Goebbels himself to participate in a culture exchange program in Germany. For a girl from a small town in Maine, 1933 Berlin seems to be sparklingly cosmopolitan, blossoming in the midst of a great change with the charismatic new chancellor at the helm. Then Althea meets a beautiful woman who promises to show her the real Berlin, and soon she’s drawn into a group of resisters who make her question everything she knows about her hosts—and herself.

Paris 1936. She may have escaped Berlin for Paris, but Hannah Brecht discovers the City of Light is no refuge from the anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathizers she thought she left behind. Heartbroken and tormented by the role she played in the betrayal that destroyed her family, Hannah throws herself into her work at the German Library of Burned Books. Through the quiet power of books, she believes she can help counter the tide of fascism she sees rising across Europe and atone for her mistakes. But when a dear friend decides actions will speak louder than words, Hannah must decide what stories she is willing to live—or die—for.

New York 1944. Since her husband Edward was killed fighting the Nazis, Vivian Childs has been waging her own war: preventing a powerful senator’s attempts to censor the Armed Service Editions, portable paperbacks that are shipped by the millions to soldiers overseas. Viv knows just how much they mean to the men through the letters she receives—including the last one she got from Edward. She also knows the only way to win this battle is to counter the senator’s propaganda with a story of her own—at the heart of which lies the reclusive and mysterious woman tending the American Library of Nazi-Banned Books in Brooklyn.

As Viv unknowingly brings her censorship fight crashing into the secrets of the recent past, the fates of these three women will converge, changing all of them forever.

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Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah (21st)

Where Darkness BloomsThe town of Bishop is known for exactly two things: recurring windstorms and an endless field of sunflowers that stretches farther than the eye can see. And women—missing women. So when three more women disappear one stormy night, no one in Bishop is surprised. The case is closed and their daughters are left in their dusty shared house with the shattered pieces of their lives. Until the wind kicks up a terrible secret at their mothers’ much-delayed memorial.

With secrets come the lies each of the girls is forced to confront. After caring for the other girls, Delilah would like to move on with her boyfriend, Bennett, but she can’t bear his touch. Whitney has already lost both her mother and her girlfriend, Eleanor, and now her only solace is an old weathervane that seems to whisper to her. Jude, Whitney’s twin sister, would rather ignore it all, but the wind kicks up her secret too: the summer fling she had with Delilah’s boyfriend. And more than anything, Bo wants answers and she wants them now. Something happened to their mothers and the townsfolk know what it was. She’s sure of it.

Bishop has always been a strange town. But what the girls don’t know is that Bishop was founded on blood—and now it craves theirs.

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For Her Consideration by Amy Spalding (21st)

For her ConsiderationSince a crushing breakup three years ago, Nina Rice has written romance, friends, her dreams of scriptwriting for TV, and even L.A. proper out of her life. Instead, she’s safely out in the suburbs in her aunt’s condo working her talent agency job from home, managing celebrity email accounts, and certain that’s plenty of writing–and plot–for her life. But a surprise meeting called by Ari Fox, a young actress on everyone’s radar, stirs up all kinds of feelings Nina thought she’d deleted for good…

Ari is sexy, out and proud, and a serious control freak, according to Nina’s boss. She has her own ideas about how Nina should handle her emails–and about getting to know her ghostwriter. When she tells Nina she should be writing again, Nina suddenly finds it less scary to revisit her abandoned life than seriously consider that Ari is flirting with her. Between reconnecting with her old crew and working on a new script, a relationship with a movie star seems like something she’ll definitely mess up–but what could be more worth the risk?

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City of Exile by Claudie Arseneault (22nd)

This is the fourth book in the City of Spires series

75740324. sy475 Nothing is going according to plan for Diel Dathirii and his allies. Hellion has entrenched his power in House Dathirii, Hasryan is in Lord Allastam’s clutches, and with no one left to poison Master Avenazar, it’s only a matter of time before he seeks revenge.

While Nevian scrambles to put together his magical trap, Larryn reaches out to the only person he trusts to save Hasryan: Sora Sharpe. Their impulsive rescue will hurtle Isandor towards a final confrontation—one last opportunity to reclaim House Dathirii and face Master Avenazar. But in order to seize this chance, Diel Dathirii and his allies will need to answer one question: what price are they willing to pay to ensure the future of their loved ones within the City of Spires?

Buy it: Amazon | Apple

The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa (28th)

El Diablo is in the details in this Latinx pirate fantasy starring a transmasculine nonbinary teen with a mission of revenge, redemption, and revolution.

On Mar León-de la Rosa’s 16th birthday, el Diablo comes calling. Mar is a transmasculine nonbinary teen pirate hiding a magical ability to manipulate fire and ice. But their magic isn’t enough to reverse a wicked bargain made by their father and now el Diablo has come to collect his payment: the soul of Mar’s father and the entire crew of their ship.

When Mar is miraculously rescued by the sole remaining pirate crew in the Caribbean, el Diablo returns to give them a choice: give up your soul to save your father by the Harvest Moon or never see him again. The task is impossible–Mar refuses to make a bargain and there’s no way their magic is any match for el Diablo. Then, Mar finds the most unlikely allies: Bas, an infuriatingly arrogant and handsome pirate — and the captain’s son; and Dami, a genderfluid demonio whose motives are never quite clear. For the first time in their life, Mar may have the courage to use their magic. It could be their only redemption — or it could mean certain death.

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The House That Whispers by Lin Thompson (28th)

Eleven-year-old Simon and his siblings, Talia and Rose, are staying the week at Nanaleen’s century-old house. This time, though, it’s not their usual summer vacation trip. In fact, everything’s different. It’s fall, not summer. Mom and Dad are staying behind to have a “talk.” And Nanaleen’s house smells weird, plus she keeps forgetting things. And these aren’t the only things getting under Simon’s skin: He’s the only one who knows that his name is Simon, and that he and him pronouns are starting to feel right. But he’s not ready to add to the changes that are already in motion in his family.

To make matters worse, Simon keeps hearing a scratching in the walls, and shadows are beginning to build in the corners. He can’t shake the feeling that something is deeply wrong…and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it—which means launching a ghost hunt, with or without his sisters’ help. When Simon discovers the hidden story of his great-aunt Brie, he realizes that Brie’s life might hold answers to some of his worries. Is Brie’s ghost haunting the old O’Hagan house? And will Simon’s search for ghosts turn up more secrets than he ever expected?

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If I Can Give You That by Michael Gray Bulla (28th)

If I can give you thatSeventeen-year-old Gael is used to keeping to himself. Though his best friend convinces him to attend a meeting of Plus, a support group for LGBTQIA+ teens, Gael doesn’t plan on sharing much. Where would he even start?

Between supporting his mother through her bouts of depression, dealing with his estranged father, and navigating senior year as a transgender boy at a conservative Tennessean high school, his life is a lot to unload on strangers.

But after meeting easygoing Declan, Gael is welcomed into a new circle of friends who make him want to open up. As Gael’s friendship with Declan develops into something more, he finds himself caught between his mother’s worsening mental health and his father’s attempts to reconnect.

After tragedy strikes, Gael must decide if he can risk letting the walls around his heart down and fully opening up to those who care for him.

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She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran (28th)

60784841When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.

But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.

Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house–the home they have always wanted–will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.

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I’ll Take Everything You Have by James Klise (28th)

In the summer of 1934, Joe Garbe arrives in Chicago with one goal: Earn enough money to get out of debt and save the family farm. Joe’s cousin sets him up with a hotel job, then proposes a sketchy scheme to make a lot more money fast. While running his con, Joe finds himself splitting time between Eddie, a handsome flirt on a delivery truck, and Raymond, a carefree rich kid who shows Joe the eye-opening queer life around every corner of the big city.

Joe’s exposure to the surface of criminal Chicago pulls him into something darker than he could have imagined. When danger closes in—from gangsters, the police, and people he thought were friends—Joe needs to pack up and get lost. But before he can figure out where to go, he has to decide who he wants to be.

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Your Driver is Waiting by Priya Guns (28th)

Damani is tired. Her father just died on the job at a fast-food joint, and now she lives paycheck to paycheck in a basement, caring for her mom and driving for an app that is constantly cutting her take. The city is roiling in protests–everybody’s in solidarity with somebody–but while she keeps hearing that they’re fighting for change on behalf of people like her, she literally can’t afford to pay attention.

Then she gives a ride to Jolene (five stars, obviously). Jolene seems like she could be the perfect girlfriend–attentive, attractive, an ally–and their chemistry is off the charts. Jolene’s done the reading, she goes to every protest, and she says all the right things. So maybe Damani can look past the one thing that’s holding her back: she’s never dated anyone with money before, not to mention a white girl with money. But just as their romance intensifies and Damani finally lets her guard down, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events.

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The Eidolon by K.D. Edwards (28th)

68045674. sx318 In the epic conclusion to K.D. Edwards’ first blockbuster trilogy in The Tarot Sequence series, readers followed Rune on a race against time as an age-old threat rose to threaten the city of New Atlantis. Now, for the first time, The Eidolon tells what really happened to Max, Quinn, and Anna as prisoners in the Hourglass Throne’s base of operation.

The Eidolon is the first in a brand-new collection of novels and novellas in the Magnus Academy Series. These stories will be told through the various points of view of Rune’s found family, ultimately leading to a planned arc of novels set at the new Magnus Academy. The book was printed in partnership with Rainbow Crate, the world’s largest queer subscription box service, which produced a limited-edition hardcover. There will also be an Audible version, along with a self-published eBook.

Buy it: Rainbow Crate (Hardcover) | Amazon (ebook) | Libro.fm (audiobook)

New Releases: January 2023

Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell by Tobias Madden (3rd)

Seventeen-year-old gaymer Noah Mitchell only has one friend left: the wonderful, funny, strictly online-only MagePants69. After years playing RPGs together, they know everything about each other, except anything that would give away their real life identities. And Noah is certain that if they could just meet in person, they would be soulmates. Noah would do anything to make this happen―including finally leaving his gaming chair to join a community theater show that he’s only mostly sure MagePants69 is performing in. Noah has never done anything like theater―he can’t sing, he can’t dance, and he’s never willingly watched a musical―but he’ll have to go all in to have a chance at love.

With Noah’s mum performing in the lead role, and former friends waiting in the wings to sabotage his reputation, his plan to make MagePants69 fall in love with him might be a little more difficult than originally anticipated.

And the longer Noah waits to come clean, the more tangled his web of lies becomes. By opening night, he will have to decide if telling the truth is worth closing the curtain on his one shot at true love.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman (3rd)

This is the first US publication of the UK novella.

Nick and CharlieAbsence makes the heart grow fonder… right?

Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie love their nearly inseparable life together. But soon Nick will be leaving for university, and Charlie, a year younger, will be left behind. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question… or at least that’s what Nick and Charlie assume at first.

As the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie start to question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Charlie is sure he’s holding Nick back… and Nick can’t tell what Charlie’s thinking.

Things spiral from there.

Everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever. What will it take for Nick and Charlie to defy the odds?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (3rd)

61356545Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The New Life by Tom Crewe (3rd)

61273326In the summer of 1894, John Addington and Henry Ellis begin writing a book arguing that what they call “inversion,” or homosexuality, is a natural, harmless variation of human sexuality. Though they have never met, John and Henry both live in London with their wives, Catherine and Edith, and in each marriage there is a third party: John has a lover, a working class man named Frank, and Edith spends almost as much time with her friend Angelica as she does with Henry. John and Catherine have three grown daughters and a long, settled marriage, over the course of which Catherine has tried to accept her husband’s sexuality and her own role in life; Henry and Edith’s marriage is intended to be a revolution in itself, an intellectual partnership that dismantles the traditional understanding of what matrimony means.

Shortly before the book is to be published, Oscar Wilde is arrested. John and Henry must decide whether to go on, risking social ostracism and imprisonment, or to give up the project for their own safety and the safety of the people they love. Is this the right moment to advance their cause? Is publishing bravery or foolishness? And what price is too high to pay for a new way of living?

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A Tale of Two Princes by Eric Geron (10th)

58543755Edward Dinnissen, Crown Prince of Canada, loves getting the royal treatment at his exclusive Manhattan private school and living in a fancy mansion on Park Avenue. But despite living a royal life of luxury, Edward is unsure how to tell his parents, his expectant country, and his adoring fans that he’s gay.

Billy Boone couldn’t be happier: he loves small-town life and his family’s Montana ranch, and his boyfriend is the cutest guy at Little Timber High. But this out-and-proud cowboy is finally admitting to himself that he feels destined for more . . .

When Edward and Billy meet by chance in New York City and discover that they are long-lost twins, their lives are forever changed. Will the twin princes—“twinces”— be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together? Or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal disaster?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett (10th)

Mahalia Harris wants.

She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying—about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.

Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.

The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?

A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai (10th)

60833941As a waterweaver, Nehal can move and shape any water to her will, but she’s limited by her lack of formal education. She desires nothing more than to attend the newly opened Weaving Academy, take complete control of her powers, and pursue a glorious future on the battlefield with the first all-female military regiment. But her family cannot afford to let her go—crushed under her father’s gambling debt, Nehal is forcibly married into a wealthy merchant family. Her new spouse, Nico, is indifferent and distant and in love with another woman, a bookseller named Giorgina.

Giorgina has her own secret, however: she is an earthweaver with dangerously uncontrollable powers. She has no money and no prospects. Her only solace comes from her activities with the Daughters of Izdihar, a radical women’s rights group at the forefront of a movement with a simple goal: to attain recognition for women to have a say in their own lives. They live very different lives and come from very different means, yet Nehal and Giorgina have more in common than they think. The cause—and Nico—brings them into each other’s orbit, drawn in by the group’s enigmatic leader, Malak Mamdouh, and the urge to do what is right.

But their problems may seem small in the broader context of their world, as tensions are rising with a neighboring nation that desires an end to weaving and weavers. As Nehal and Giorgina fight for their rights, the threat of war looms in the background, and the two women find themselves struggling to earn—and keep—a lasting freedom.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Brighter than the Moon by David Valdes (10th)

Shy foster kid Jonas and self-assured vlogger Shani met online, and so far, that’s where their relationship has stayed, sharing memes and baring their souls from behind their screens. Shani is eager to finally meet up, but Jonas isn’t so sure–he’s not confident Shani will like the real him . . . if he’s even sure who that is.

Jonas knows he’s trapped himself in a lie with Shani–and wants to dig himself out. But Shani, who’s been burned before, may not give him a chance: she talks her best friend Ash into playing spy and finding out the truth. When Ash falls for Jonas, too, he keeps that news from Shani, and soon they’re all keeping secrets. Will it matter that their hearts are in the right place? Coming clean will require them to figure out who they really are, which is no easy task when all the pieces of your identity go beyond easy boxes and labels.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Back in a Spell by Lana Harper (10th)

60846802Even though she won’t deny her love for pretty (and pricey) things, Nineve Blackmoore is almost painfully down-to-earth and sensible by Blackmoore standards. But after a year of nursing a broken heart inflicted by the fiancée who all but ditched her at the altar, the powerful witch is sick of feeling low and is ready to try something drastically different: a dating app.

At her best friend’s urging, Nina goes on a date with Morty Gutierrez, the nonbinary, offbeat soul of spontaneity and co-owner of the Shamrock Cauldron. Their date goes about as well as can be expected of most online dates—awkward and terrible. To make matters worse, once Morty discovers Nina’s last name, he’s far from a fan; it turns out that the Blackmoores have been bullishly trying to buy the Shamrock out from under Morty and his family.

But when Morty begins developing magical powers—something that usually only happens to committed romantic partners once they officially join a founding family—at the same time that Nina’s own magic surges beyond her control, Nina must manage Morty’s rude awakening to the hidden magical world, uncover its cause, and face the intensity of their own burgeoning connection. But what happens when that connection is tied to Nina’s power surge, a power she’s finding nearly as addictive as Morty’s presence in her life?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Love and Lattes by Karis Walsh (10th)

Bonnie James has built her life around her passions—cats, coffee, and community. She rejected her family’s narrow visions of success and instead chose the non-lucrative, fur-filled life of a cat café owner. So what if her decision means she works way too much to have time for true love? She has plenty of friends and cats to keep her company.

Wedding planner Taryn Ritter has a knack for making impossible dreams come true. She might not understand the appeal of getting married in a cat café, but if that’s what her clients want, then she’ll make it happen. She’s not about to let the reluctant café owner stand in her way, so she makes Bonnie an offer she can’t refuse—give her the venue for one day and she’ll find a way to get more cats adopted into happy homes.

When Bonnie and Taryn join forces to help a bunch of shelter cats find their forever homes, they just might discover forever for themselves as well.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

As You Walk on By by Julian Winters (17th)

Seventeen-year-old Theo Wright has it all figured out. His plan (well, more like his dad’s plan) is a foolproof strategy that involves exceling at his magnet school, getting scouted by college recruiters, and going to Duke on athletic scholarship. But for now, all Theo wants is a perfect prom night. After his best friend Jay dares Theo to prompose to his crush at Chloe Campbell’s party, Theo’s ready to throw caution to the wind and take his chances.

But when the promposal goes epically wrong, Theo seeks refuge in an empty bedroom while the party rages on downstairs. Having an existential crisis about who he really is with and without his so-called best friend wasn’t on tonight’s agenda. Though, as the night goes on, Theo finds he’s not as alone as he thinks when, one by one, new classmates join him to avoid who they’re supposed be outside the bedroom door. Among them, a familiar acquaintance, a quiet outsider, an old friend, and a new flame . . .

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself by Marisa Crane (17th)

In a United States not so unlike our own, the Department of Balance has adopted a radical new form of law enforcement: rather than incarceration, wrongdoers are given a second (and sometimes, third, fourth, and fifth) shadow as a reminder of their crime—and a warning to those they encounter. Within the Department, corruption and prejudice run rampant, giving rise to an underclass of so-called Shadesters who are disenfranchised, publicly shamed, and deprived of civil rights protections.

Kris is a Shadester and a new mother to a baby born with a second shadow of her own. Grieving the loss of her wife and thoroughly unprepared for the reality of raising a child alone, Kris teeters on the edge of collapse, fumbling in a daze of alcohol, shame, and self-loathing. Yet as the kid grows, Kris finds her footing, raising a child whose irrepressible spark cannot be dampened by the harsh realities of the world. She can’t forget her wife, but with time, she can make a new life for herself and the kid, supported by a community of fellow misfits who defy the Department to lift one another up in solidarity and hope.

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The Words That Remain by Stênio Gardel, trans. by Bruna Dantas Lobato (17th)

The Words that RemainA letter has beckoned to Raimundo since he received it decades ago from his youthful passion, handsome Cicero. But having grown up in an impoverished area of Brazil where the demands of manual labor thwarted his becoming literate, Raimundo has long been unable to read. As young men, he and Cicero fell in love, only to have Raimundo’s father brutally beat his son when he discovered their affair. Even after Raimundo succeeds in making a life for himself in the big city, he continues to be haunted by this secret missive full of longing from the distant past. Now, as an elderly man, he at last acquires a true education and the ability to access the letter. Exploring Brazil’s little-known hinterland as well its urban haunts, this is a sweeping novel of repression, violence, and shame, along with their flip side: survival, endurance, and the ultimate triumph of an unforgettable figure on society’s margins. The Words That Remain explores the universal power of the written word and language, and how they affect all our relationships.

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Another Dimension of Us by Mike Albo (17th)

60880792In 1986, Tommy Gaye is in love with his best friend, budding teen poet Renaldo Calabasas. But at the height of the AIDS crisis and amidst the homophobia running rampant across America, Tommy can never share his feelings. Then, one terrible night, Renaldo is struck by lightning. And he emerges from the storm a very different boy.

In 2044, Heron High student Pris Devrees jolts awake after having a strange nightmare about a boy named Tommy and a house in the neighborhood the locals affectionally call “The Murder House.” When she ventures to the house to better understand her vivid dreams, she happens upon an old self-help book that she soon realizes is a guide to trans-dimensional travel.

As bodies and minds merge across the astral plane, Pris, Tommy, and their friends race to save Renaldo from a dangerous demon, while uncovering potent realities about love, sexuality, and friendship.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

I Am Ace: Advice on Living Your Best Asexual Life by Cody Daingle-Orions (19th)

I Am AceHow do I know if I’m actually sexual?

How do I come out as asexual?

What kinds of relationship can I have as an ace person?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, Cody is here to help. Within these pages lie all the advice you need as a questioning ace teen.

Tackling everything from what asexuality is, the asexual spectrum and tips on coming out, to intimacy, relationships, acephobia and finding joy, this guide will help you better understand your asexual identity alongside deeply relatable anecdotes drawn from Cody’s personal experience.

Whether you are ace, demi, gray-ace or not sure yet, this book will give you the courage and confidence to embrace your authentic self and live your best ace life.

Buy it: Waterstones | Book Depository

Bisexual Men Exist by Vaneet Mehta (19th)

Bisexual Men Exist“You’re just being greedy.”
“Are you sure you’re not gay?”
“Pick a side.”

Being a bisexual man isn’t easy – something Vaneet Mehta knows all too well. After spending more than a decade figuring out his identity, Vaneet’s coming out was met with questioning, ridicule and erasure. This experience inspired Vaneet to create the viral #BisexualMenExist campaign, combatting the hate and scepticism m-spec (multi-gender attracted spectrum) men encounter, and helping others who felt similarly alone and trapped.

This powerful book is an extension of that fight. Navigating a range of topics, including coming out, dating, relationships and health, Vaneet shares his own lived experience as well as personal stories from others in the community to help validate and uplift other bisexual men. Discussing the treatment of m-spec men in LGBTQ+ places, breaking down stereotypes and highlighting the importance of representation and education, this empowering book is a rallying call for m-spec men everywhere.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Queering by Brooke Skipstone (19th)

63037805. sy475 Trapped between a homicidal brother and a homophobic podcaster eager to reveal her lesbian romance novels, a seventy-year-old grandmother seeks help in Clear, Alaska.

Suffocating in a loveless marriage and lonely existence, Taylor MacKenzie lives only through her writing, using the pen name Brooke Skipstone, her best friend in college and lover before her death in 1974.

Afraid of being murdered before anyone in her family or community knows her life story, Taylor writes an autobiography about her time with Brooke and shares it with those closest to her, hoping for understanding and acceptance.

Accused of promoting the queering and debasement of America by a local podcaster, Taylor embroils the conservative community in controversy but fights back with the help of a new, surprising friend.

Can she endure the attacks from haters and gaslighters? Can she champion the queering she represents?

And will she survive?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One We Did) by Tess Sharpe (24th)

61030513Penny and Tate have always clashed. Unfortunately, their mothers are lifelong best friends, so the girls’ bickering has carried them through playdates, tragedy, and more than one rom-com marathon with the Moms. When Penny’s mother decides to become a living donor to Tate’s mom, ending her wait for a liver transplant, things go from clashing to cataclysmic. Because in order to help their families recover physically, emotionally, and financially, the Moms combine their households the summer before senior year.

So Penny and Tate make a pact: They’ll play nice. Be the drama-free daughters their mothers need through this scary and hopeful time. There’s only one little hitch in their plan: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other. And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon (24th)

60316977Fifteen-year-old Kermit Sanders knows grief and its all-encompassing shadows. After losing his beloved older sister in a tragic car accident, nothing quite punctures through the feelings of loss. Everywhere Kermit goes, he is reminded of her.

But then Kermit finds a mysterious invitation in his locker, signed anonymously with “-1.” He has no idea what he’s in for, but he shows up to find out. Dubbed the “Minus-One Club,” a group of his schoolmates has banded together as a form of moral support. The members have just one thing in common—they have all suffered the tragic loss of someone they loved.

The usual dividing lines between high school classes and cliques don’t apply inside the Minus-One Club, and Kermit’s secret crush, the handsome and happy-go-lucky Matt (and only out gay student at school), is also a part of the group. Slowly, Matt’s positive headstrong approach to life helps relieve Kermit of his constant despair.

But as Kermit grows closer to Matt, the light of his new life begins to show the cracks beneath the surface. When Matt puts himself in danger by avoiding his feelings, Kermit must find the strength to not only lift himself back up but to help the rest of the group from falling apart.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

After Sappho by Shelby Wynn Schwartz (24th)

The first thing we did was change our names. We were going to be Sappho,” so begins this intrepid debut novel, centuries after the Greek poet penned her lyric verse. Ignited by the same muse, a myriad of women break from their small, predetermined lives for seemingly disparate paths: in 1892, Rina Faccio trades her needlepoint for a pen; in 1902, Romaine Brooks sails for Capri with nothing but her clotted paintbrushes; and in 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: “I want to make life fuller and fuller.”

Writing in cascading vignettes, Selby Wynn Schwartz spins an invigorating tale of women whose narratives converge and splinter as they forge queer identities and claim the right to their own lives. A luminous meditation on creativity, education, and identity, After Sappho announces a writer as ingenious as the trailblazers of our past.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

This Unlikely Soil by Andrea Routley (24th)

This Unlikely SoilIn This Unlikely Soil, prize-winning writer Andrea Routley delivers stories of queer women navigating love and life against the lush, isolated backdrop of Canada’s West Coast.

A dog that bites, a bear suffering from a hemorrhoid, an aggressive willow tree, berried-up Dungeness crabs and erotic mussels… The dense West-Coast landscape of This Unlikely Soil echoes the fraught search for connection of the rural-dwelling queer characters in this quintet of novellas. Finalist for the Malahat Review Novella Prize, this sophomore collection from Lambda Literary Award-finalist Andrea Routley explores the queer state of wandering, violence, and loss with surprising humour and compassion.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

The Black Queen by Jumata Emill (31st)

The Black QueenNova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.

Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.

No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.

Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.

But Tinsley has an agenda, too.

Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni (31st)

When Nar’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.

Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or wealthy engineer who catches her eye—it’s Erebuni, a woman as equally immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her wingwoman, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so . . . sexy?

Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. The clock is ticking on Nar’s double life, though—the closing event banquet is coming up, and her entire extended family will be there, along with Erebuni. Her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave, determined to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Cameron Battle and the Escape Trials by Jamar J. Perry (31st)

This is the sequel to Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms

After his first adventure as the Descendant, Cameron can’t sit through seventh grade classes. Especially when his mother is still trapped in Chidani and his father is still missing. But he encounters a particularly nasty bully in his new school, and it doesn’t take long for Cameron and his trusty friends Zion and Aliyah to realize that the troubles of Chidani won’t stay away for long.

With the Book to guide them, Cameron and his crew end up transported to Chidani sooner than anticipated–and the gods and goddesses they encounter don’t intend to make Cameron’s journey easy. Can he finally outwit and outlast the villainous god set on destroying their worlds?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Black on Black by Daniel Black (31st)

Black on Black“There are stories that must be told.”

Acclaimed novelist and scholar Daniel Black has spent a career writing into the unspoken, fleshing out, through storytelling, pain that can’t be described.

Now, in his debut essay collection, Black gives voice to the experiences of those who often find themselves on the margins. Tackling topics ranging from police brutality to the AIDS crisis to the role of HBCUs to queer representation in the Black church, Black on Black celebrates the resilience, fortitude and survival of Black people in a land where their body is always on display.

As Daniel Black reminds us, while hope may be slow in coming, it always arrives, and when it does, it delivers beyond the imagination. Propulsive, intimate and achingly relevant, Black on Black is cultural criticism at its openhearted best.

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Then Everything Happens at Once by M-E Girard (31st)

Sixteen-year-old Baylee has never been kissed, but she wants to do way more than that. She’s had a huge crush on her gorgeous best friend and neighbor, Freddie, for years, but since she doesn’t look like the type he normally dates, the judgmental voice in her head tells her he’ll never see her as more than a friend.

Then Baylee meets Alex online and she starts to fall for this sweet, funny barista who likes her just as she is. But when Freddie makes a move on Baylee and a virus shuts the world down, Baylee will find herself torn as everything starts happening at once and she navigates the messy waters of love and desire. It helps that she’s observed her friends’ relationship drama, so she knows exactly what mistakes not to make . . . right?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters (31st)

61030710Business consultant Rose Josten might not have officially reached “pug lady” middle age, but she’s already got the pugs—along with their little Gucci coats and trash-lovin’ appetites. Still, life is good, with her work, her sisters, and a secret hobby creating incredibly tactile (if surprisingly sexy) mindfulness videos. So why does it feel like it’s not quite enough? Which is exactly when Ash Stewart enters camera left, and Rose’s world suddenly goes full technicolor . . .

Ash never looks at anyone. Not since her ex ripped her heart from her chest in Spielberg-esque style, crushing Ash’s reputation, dreams, and career in one brutal blow. But Rose is altogether different. She’s curvy, beautiful, and just so damn put together. And her business expertise might be Ash’s best bet for getting her last film—and her last chance—financed. Now if they can just keep their attraction under wraps, Ash’s lost dream could finally come true. But are they creating the perfect pitch . . . or setting the stage for disaster?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

New Releases: December 2022

Felix Navidad by ‘Nathan Burgoine (1st)

Felix NavidadFelix doesn’t do impulsive anymore. But attending a friend’s wedding reminds Felix he’s the only one of his friends attending solo, and recent losses have him thinking he’s swung too far in the not-impulsive direction.

So, impulse decision number one? Cutting in on a dance with handsome farmer Kevin, the ex of one of the grooms, for a spin at the reception. Impulse decision number two? Planning his first holiday vacation off work. Christmas in Hawai’i will be a gift to himself.

When dancing doesn’t work out, Felix keeps high hopes for his vacation right up until the first flight cancellation. After bumping into a stranded Kevin, who lost his flight home, Felix gives impulse a third try: Why not drive to Toronto together? But after ice rain strands them halfway, it looks like Felix isn’t going to get to give himself his gift after all. Instead, this Christmas is a small cabin—and Kevin.

Buy it: Bold Strokes Books

Continue reading New Releases: December 2022

New Releases: November 2022

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (1st)

55348105. sy475 It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally. With her mom’s Subaru.

Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani’s plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break.

It could be going better.

But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils she’s meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side—along with the breakup.

Then they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani’s hurt over her ex-girlfriend’s rejection comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?

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This is Our Place by Vitor Martins, trans. by Larissa Helena (1st)

If the walls of Number 8 Sunflower Street could talk …

As Ana celebrates the new millennium, she is shocked to learn that she must leave behind her childhood home, her hometown, and — hardest of all — her girlfriend for a new life in Rio de Janeiro.

Ten years later, Greg is sent to live with his aunt — who runs a video rental store from her garage and owns a dog named Keanu Reeves — as his parents work out their not-so-secret divorce.

And ten years after that, Beto must put his dreams of becoming a photographer on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic arrives in Brazil, forcing him to live with his overprotective mother and overachieving sister.

Set in and narrated by the same house, Number 8 Sunflower Street, and in three different decades – 2000, 2010, and 2020 respectively – This Is Our Place is a novel about queer teens dealing with sudden life changes, family conflict, and first loves, proving that while generations change, we will always be connected to each other.

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A Restless Truth by Freya Marske (1st)

59807966Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance! The second entry in Freya Marske’s beloved The Last Binding trilogy, the queer historical fantasy series that began with A Marvellous Light

The most interesting things in Maud Blyth’s life have happened to her brother Robin, but she’s ready to join any cause, especially if it involves magical secrets that may threaten the whole of the British Isles. Bound for New York on the R.M.S. Lyric, she’s ready for an adventure.

What she actually finds is a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and a beautiful stranger in Violet Debenham, who is everything—a magician, an actress, a scandal—Maud has been trained to fear and has learned to desire. Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of loathsome, aristocratic suspects, they must solve a murder and untangle a conspiracy that began generations before them.

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Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun (1st)

One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money.

Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.

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Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria (1st)

9781335406705_SMP_FC.jpgEight years ago, everything changed for Devlin: Her country was attacked. Her father was killed. And her mother became the Royal Spymistress, retreating into her position away from everyone… even her daughter.

Joining the spy ranks herself, Dev sees her mother only when receiving assignments. She wants more, but she understands the peril their country, Aris, is in. The malevolent magic force of The Mists is swallowing Aris’s edges, their country is vulnerable to another attack from their wealthier neighbor, and the magic casters who protect them from both are burning out.

Dev has known strength and survival her whole life, but with a dangerous new assignment of infiltrating the royal court of their neighbor country Cerena to steal the magic they need, she learns that not all that glitters is weak. And not all stories are true.

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The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On by Franny Choi (1st)

Many have called our time dystopian. But The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On reminds us that apocalypse has already come in myriad ways for marginalized peoples and calls us to imagine what will persist in the aftermaths.

With lyric and tonal dexterity, these poems spin backwards and forwards in time. They look into the collective psyche of our years in the pandemic and in the throes of anti-racist uprisings, while imagining other vectors, directions, and futures. Stories of survival collide across space and time—from Korean comfort women during World War II to children wandering a museum in the future. These poems explore narrative distances and queer linearity, investigating on microscopic scales before soaring towards the universal. Throughout, Choi grapples with where the individual fits within the strange landscapes of this apocalyptic world, with its violent and many-layered histories. In the process, she imagines what togetherness—between Black and Asian and other marginalized communities, between living organisms, between children of calamity and conquest—could look like. Bringing together Choi’s signature speculative imagination with even greater musicality than her previous work, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On ultimately charts new paths toward hope.

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Màgòdiz by Gabe Calderón (1st)

Màgòdiz (Anishinabemowin, Algonquin dialect): a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of their country.

Everything that was green and good is gone, scorched away by a war that no one living remembers. The small surviving human population scavenges to get by; they cannot read or write and lack the tools or knowledge to rebuild. The only ones with any power are the mindless Enforcers, controlled by the Madjideye, a faceless, formless spiritual entity that has infiltrated the world to subjugate the human population.

A’tugwewinu is the last survivor of the Andwànikàdjigan. On the run from the Madjideye with her lover, Bèl, a descendant of the Warrior Nation, they seek to share what the world has forgotten: stories. In Pasakamate, both Shkitagen, the firekeeper of his generation, and his life’s heart, Nitàwesì, whose hands mend bones and cure sickness, attempt to find a home where they can raise children in peace, without fear of slavers or rising waters. In Zhōng yang, Riordan wheels around just fine, leading xir gang of misfits in hopes of surviving until the next meal. However, Elite Enforcer H-09761 (Yun Seo, who was abducted as a child, then tortured and brainwashed into servitude) is determined to arrest Riordan for theft of resources and will stop at nothing to bring xir to the Madjideye. In a ruined world, six people collide, discovering family and foe, navigating friendship and love, and reclaiming the sacredness of the gifts they carry.

With themes of resistance, of ceremony as the conduit between realms, and of transcending gender, Màgòdiz is a powerful and visionary reclamation that Two-Spirit people always have and always will be vital to the cultural and spiritual legacy of their communities.

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The Wicked Remain by Laura Pohl (1st)

This is the sequel to The Grimrose Girls.

54732645. sy475 Nani, Yuki, Ella, and Rory have discovered the truth about the curse that’s left a trail of dead bodies at Grimrose. But the four still know nothing of its origins, or how to stop the cycle of doomed fates.

And each girl harbors her own secret. One is learning why she was brought to the school. One struggles to keep her new and deadly power under control. One knows exactly how much time she has left.

And one, trying to escape her dark destiny, will come even closer to fulfilling it.

Can the girls change their own stories and break the curse? Or must one of them die to end it forever?

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Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell (1st)

59808117When Tennal—a rich socialite, inveterate flirt, and walking disaster—is caught using his telepathic powers for illegal activities, the military decides to bind his mind to someone whose coercive powers are strong enough to control him.

Enter Lieutenant Surit, the child of a disgraced general. Out of a desperate need to restore a pension to his other parent, Lieutenant Surit agrees to be bound to Tennal and keep him conscripted in the army, a task that seems impossible even for someone with Surit’s ability to control minds.

Tennal just wants to escape, but Surit isn’t all that he seems. And their bond may just be the key to their freedom.

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Securing Ava by Anne Shade (1st)

Securing AvaAva Prescott has had one goal in life, to carry on the Prescott legacy by taking the reins of Diamond Unlimited Wealth Management. Her father’s determination to uphold the company’s wholesome family image propels Ava into a reluctant fake relationship with Kyle, a man she’s sure is a threat to the business. When her father is the victim of a suspicious accident, Ava believes Kyle is responsible and has no choice but to run.

Paige Richards saw enough violence to last a lifetime during her years as a counterintelligence specialist. She’s ready for some peace on her ranch in Oklahoma and is paying the bills as a private investigator. Paige takes a case to locate and bring back runaway heiress Ava Prescott. It seems simple enough, until she stumbles upon a bungled kidnapping attempt and her peaceful life is turned upside down. Now she must use every skill she has to secure Ava.

As they try to figure out who is out to hurt Ava and her family, Paige and Ava fight to stay one step ahead of the threat and resist their growing attraction. But ignoring their feelings may prove impossible when their hearts and lives are at stake.

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In the Key of Dale by Benjamin Lefebvre (1st)

Sixteen-year-old Dale Cardigan is a loner who’s managed to make himself completely invisible at his all-boys high school. He doesn’t fit with his classmates (whom he gives nicknames in his head), his stepbrother (whom nobody at school knows he’s related to), or even his mother (who never quite sees how gifted a musician Dale might be)—but they don’t fit with him, either. And he’s fine with that. To him, high school and home are stages to endure until his real life can finally begin.

Somewhat against his will, he befriends his classmate Rusty, who gets a rare look at Dale’s complex life outside school, but their friendship is made awkward when Dale is uncertain whether his growing attraction to Rusty is one-sided. Still, it’s to Rusty that Dale turns when he stumbles upon a family secret that shakes everything he thought he knew.

An epistolary novel written in the form of letters to his late father, In the Key of Dale is a beguiling, pitch-perfect book about growing up, fitting in, and finding a way out of grief and loneliness toward the melodic light of adulthood.

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The Heartbreak Handshake by J.R. Hart (1st)

60168776. sy475 Paxton McKee, Clover Hill’s rideshare driver and handyman, is known by his customers as responsible, dependable, and loyal. On first dates, though, he’s known by another word: boring. His dates never seem to appreciate his in-depth knowledge of famous aviation disasters or his LEGO expertise. His book club buddy, Mrs. Sawyer, keeps trying to set him up. But after so many failed dates, Paxton’s given up on finding someone who can accept him, special interests, stims, and all.

Hand-crafter Remi Sawyer put Clover Hill in their rear-view mirror to sell at craft fairs across the country. But being a traveling artisan is harder than Remi thought. With mounting bills, they’ve ended up back home. Being in their old teenage bedroom is weird. Weirder, their mother keeps trying to set them up on dates, even after they’ve made it clear the homecoming is temporary.

To get Mrs. Sawyer off their backs, Paxton and Remi agree on a scheme: they’ll go on three dates. When it’s over, Paxton can pretend to be heartbroken, and Remi can get back on the road. They even shake on it. But awkward dates lead to the realization the two have a lot in common. Kissing is gross? Check. Spending quiet time doing projects together is enjoyable? Double check.

But Remi is still hell-bent on leaving Clover Hill again, and Paxton is dead-set on staying. Can they find a new vision that doesn’t involve Remi leaving their kindred spirit behind, or are they both destined to lose the person who might be their perfect companion?

Buy it: Amazon

Check Your Work by Skye Kilaen (1st)

59867218. sy475 Bisexual ex-barista Oliver is finally a high school math teacher, and it’s everything he ever wanted. Until he stumbles across the mysterious customer he crushed on back when he worked at Knockdown Coffee… and kinda sorta accidentally tells his Vice Principal that he’s dating her. Oops?

Octavia, a bi programmer, didn’t expect to run into the cute blue-haired barista again. Certainly not while volunteering at a local arts high school. He’s much too young and much too nice for her—but when she discovers he’s told people they’re dating, it’s a stroke of luck. She needs a fake relationship to stick it to her nemesis, and Oliver’s the perfect fit.

Their assignment is simple: one month of a convincing charade, and after the company gala, everything between them is absolutely and completely over.

Sometimes, however, the homework is harder than you expected.

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Is it Hot in Here (Or am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth?) by Zach Zimmerman

60420674In this laugh-and-cry-out-loud, memoir-esque exploration of selfhood, Zimmerman dives into the pros and cons of retiring a Bible-Belt-dwelling, meat-eating, God-fearing identity in exchange for a new, metropolitan lease on life—one of vegetarianism, atheism, queerness, and humor. Whether learning to absolve instilled religious guilt or reminiscing over Tinder dates gone horribly wrong, this book is a candid and hysterical look at one person’s journey toward making peace with the past and seeking hope in the future.

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Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith (8th)

60323939. sy475 My name is Callie, and I’m not a girl. I am here as Papa’s squire, and I want to train as a knight.

In a world where girls learn magic and boys train as knights, twelve-year-old nonbinary Callie doesn’t fit in anywhere. And you know what? That’s just fine. Callie has always known exactly what they want to be, and they’re not about to let a silly thing like gender rules stand in their way.

When their ex-hero dad is summoned back to the royal capital of Helston to train a hopeless crown prince as war looms, Callie lunges at the opportunity to finally prove themself worthy to Helston’s great and powerful.

Except the intolerant great and powerful look at Callie and only see girl.

Trapped in Helston’s rigid hierarchy, Callie discovers they aren’t alone–there’s Elowen, the chancellor’s brilliant daughter, whose unparalleled power is being stifled; Edwyn, Elowen’s twin brother, locked in a desperate fight to win his father’s approval; and Willow, the crown prince who was never meant to be king.

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Beneath the Burning Wave by Jennifer Hayashi Danns (8th)

60254110Kaori and Kairi are the first twins to survive infancy on the ancient island of Mu, where gender is as fluid as the crashing waves. One was born of fire, the other of water.

But there’s a reason why none have survived before. A prophecy that has haunted the elders since time began. A rivalry destined to sink the entire island beneath a twin catastrophe of volcano and tsunami.

As hatred spills from the forbidden twins like the deadly poison of sacrificed sea snakes, they must decide what matters to them most…

The fight for the island – for tradition and duty.
Or the fight for freedom – for love and light.

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Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk (8th)

A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can’t resist―the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.

To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago’s most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.

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Girlcrush by Florence Given (8th)

In Given’s debut novel, we follow Eartha on a wild, weird and seductive modern-day exploration as she commences life as an openly bisexual woman whilst also becoming a viral sensation on Wonder Land, a social media app where people project their dreamselves online. But as her online self and her offline self become more and more distanced, trauma from her past comes back to haunt and destroy her present. Eartha must make a choice: which version of herself should she kill off?

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Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon (8th)

60579828As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm?

No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.

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Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell (15th)

55959429Adele grew up in the shadows–first watching from backstage at her mother’s Parisian dance halls, then wandering around the gloomy, haunted rooms of her father’s manor. When she’s finally sent away to boarding school in London, she’s happy to enter the brightly lit world of society girls and their wealthy suitors.

Yet there are shadows there, too. Many of the men that try to charm Adele’s new friends do so with dark intentions. After a violent assault, she turns to a roguish young con woman for help. Together, they become vigilantes meting out justice. But can Adele save herself from the same fate as those she protects?

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The Forever Factor by Melissa Brayden (15th)

Is it truly better to have loved and lost? Bethany Cahill says nope. Eleven years ago, her fellow cheerleader Reid Thatcher held her heart in her hand…and crushed it like a bug. Since then, Bethany avoids risk, reward, and anything romantic on TV. Just, no. When a new patient walks into her office, she’s catapulted into the past and staring into Reid’s eyes, who is still annoyingly stunning. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy, and Bethany isn’t about to let Reid in. Not after all she took.

Reid never understood why Bethany ran from her all those years ago, but no kiss since has ever been as satisfying as Bethany’s lips on hers. Orchestrating a run-in was the best idea she’s ever had, and Reid plans to get to the bottom of Bethany’s silence, a mystery she can’t let drop. But she hadn’t planned on the reckoning in store when she learns the truth.

When Bethany and Reid confront their past, they give new meaning to letting go, forgiveness, and a future worth fighting for.

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A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings by Will Betke-Brunswick (15th)

During Will Betke-Brunswick’s sophomore year of college, their beloved mother, Elizabeth, is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. They only have ten more months together, which Will documents in evocative two-color illustrations. But as we follow Will and their mom through chemo and hospital visits, their time together is buoyed by laughter, jigsaw puzzles, modern art, and vegan BLTs. In a delightful twist, Will portrays their family as penguins, and their friends are cast as a menagerie of birds. In between therapy and bedside chats, they navigate uniquely human challenges, as Will prepares for math exams, comes out as genderqueer, and negotiates familial tension.

A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings is an act of loving others and loving oneself, offering a story of coming-of-age, illness, death, and life that announces the arrival of a talented storyteller in Will Betke-Brunswick. At its heart, Will’s story is a celebration of a mother-child relationship filled with unconditional devotion, humor, care, and openness.

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Calling the Shots by Kelly Farmer (15th)

Calling the Shots (Out on the Ice Book 3) by [Kelly Farmer]Retired superstar Regan Lane is known for being outspoken. She’s never been one to keep her opinions to herself. When she lands a head coaching job in the women’s pro league with the Boston Ice, her brash promise to win the championship in her first year shocks no one. Especially not Tierney McGovern, head coach of the rival New York Lady Libertys.

Single mom Tierney knows what it’s like to live in someone else’s shadow, and she won’t let Regan steal the spotlight. Besides, she knows exactly how Regan operates: when it comes to delivering on her promises, she falls pitifully short. At least she did when she ghosted Tierney after their long-ago amazing week together.

As their teams face each other game after game, it doesn’t take long for them to realize their hockey rivalry isn’t the only thing heating up. And that maybe the real victory is in taking big chances on the ice—and off.

Buy it: Amazon

Schuss by E. J. Noyes (17th)

Schuss by E. J. NoyesStacey Evans wants only one thing: to be the best alpine ski racer she can be. Everything else—like her sweet and ultra-supportive best friend, and hot-but-vapid girlfriend—is just a bonus. Fresh from a medal at her first Olympics, Stacey knows she can only get better and is firmly focused on the future, and totally not thinking about how she’s kind of a little in love with that sweet, ultra-supportive best friend…

Gemma Archer has had a crush on Stacey from the moment she first saw her, but being her best friend is so amazing that she’s almost managed to push that crush aside. Almost. But even if Gemma finds the courage to tell Stacey how she really feels, there’s a mountain of obstacles to overcome—like the fact Gemma’s stepmom is Stacey’s coach (awkward) and Gemma will be going away to college in a few months. And most importantly…what if admitting how she feels ruins the best friendship she’s ever had?

Schuss brings back two beloved side characters from E. J. Noyes’ bestselling, award-winning novel Gold.

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At Midnight: 15 Beloved Fairytales Reimagined ed. by Dahlia Adler (22nd)

Fairy tales have been spun for thousands of years and remain among our most treasured stories. Weaving fresh tales with unexpected reimaginings, At Midnight brings together a diverse group of acclaimed YA writers to breathe new life into a storied tradition.

Fifteen celebrated authors reclaim classic fairy tales for a new generation:

Dahlia Adler, “Rumplestiltskin”
Tracy Deonn, “The Nightingale”
H.E. Edgmon, “Snow White”
Hafsah Faizal, “Little Red Riding Hood”
Stacey Lee, “The Little Matchstick Girl”
Roselle Lim, “Hansel and Gretel”
Darcie Little Badger, “Puss in Boots”
Malinda Lo, “Frau Trude”
Alex London, “Cinderella”
Anna-Marie McLemore, “The Nutcracker”
Rebecca Podos, “The Robber Bridegroom”
Rory Power, “Sleeping Beauty”
Meredith Russo, “The Little Mermaid”
Gita Trelease, “Fitcher’s Bird”
and an all-new fairy tale by Melissa Albert

Once upon a time . . .

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Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake (22nd)

58800142. sy475 For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she’s been focused on her career—her friends might say she’s obsessed, but she’s just driven. When Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation that will be broadcasted on a popular home improvement show, Innside America, Astrid knows this is the answer to everything that is wrong with her life. It’ll be the perfect distraction from her failed love life, and her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her nod of approval.

However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru’s granddaughter and lead carpenter for the inn’s renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family’s inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into a little light sabotage, ruffling Astrid’s perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other turns into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she’s expected to lead, or the one she wants?

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Mabel and Everything After by Hannah Saffren (22nd)

Emma thinks she has her life all mapped out, until a flirty encounter at an Orioles game finds her thrown drastically off course. Mabel is everything her long-time boyfriend, Jack, isn’t—smart and funny, sweet and confident—and it doesn’t take Emma long to realize a relationship with Mabel could hold the keys to happiness. And it does…until Emma’s deep insecurities about their same-sex relationship emerge and she leaves for law school. Without Mabel.

As years pass, Emma and Mabel find themselves repeatedly crossing paths, even as distance tries to keep them apart. And now that Emma has finally found comfort in her own skin, it should be an easy road to their fairy tale happily-ever-after, right?

Buy it: Amazon

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese

60039565Jamie Westenberg and Bea Wilmot have nothing in common except a meet-disaster and the mutual understanding that they couldn’t be more wrong for each other. But when the people closest to them play Cupid and trick them into going on a date, Jamie and Bea realize they have something else in common after all—an undeniable need for revenge.

Soon their plan is in place: Fake date obnoxiously and convince the meddlers they’re madly in love. Then, break up spectacularly and dash everyone’s hopes, putting an end to the matchmaking madness once and for all.

To convince everyone that they’ve fallen for each other, Jamie and Bea will have to nail the performance of their lives. But as their final act nears and playing lovers becomes easier than not, they begin to wonder: What if Cupid’s arrow wasn’t so off the mark? And what if two wrongs do make a right?

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The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard (24th)

60811024. sy475 Xich Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xich Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xich Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xich Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xich Si means Rice Fish can offer Xich Si protection, in exchange for Xich Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

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We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (29th)

What’s more important? Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

The summer of her senior year, seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson finds herself uprooted from her life in DC and moved into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between her mom and Mama Letty makes for an unwelcoming arrival and unearths some family drama they refuse to talk about. Everytime Avery tries to look deeper, they turn her away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

Where Mama Letty is cantankerous and closed off, Avery finds friendship in some unexpected places: in Simone, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family— whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.

But as the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into something more—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town start to hint at something more insidious underneath. Turning to Mama Letty for answers only result in more questions, uncovering decades-old secrets that have been brewing for generations, exposing the towns racist history and threatening to topple the new life Avery’s built in Bardell County, Georgia.

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In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare (29th)

In 1891, Willa Marconi’s life falls apart when her mentor at the University of Bologna unexpectedly dies, but Willa refuses to let anyone take her research away. While testing her prototype radio equipment, she detects a mysterious signal and pursues its origin.

In 2034, a cataclysmic event has rendered Earth uninhabitable, and humankind survives by living inside artificial worlds. Riley would do anything for Jaideep, who lost his family in the collapse of the Bay Area pocket universe—and “anything” includes building a time machine so they can travel back to the nineteenth century to prevent the destabilization of the planet and rewrite history.

But the experiment goes wrong. Willa is pulled forward in time, and the three find themselves stranded in a strange, seemingly abandoned city. Now they’ve got a glitchy time machine, a scary android time cop hot on their trail—dead set on preserving the current timeline—and some tangled temporal mechanics to unravel. Can they save the Earth before there’s no Earth left to save?

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Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (29th)

59808187It’s been two years since Maya dumped her cheating ex-boyfriend Jordy, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country, and in the lead up to the wedding he captured hearts globally as the eligible younger brother. So, when Maya receives an invitation to be a contestant on Second Chance Romance, a new reality show in which the now-famous Jordy will re-date his ex-girlfriends in an effort to find “the one that got away,” she isn’t interested…that is, until she realizes she can use this opportunity to exact her revenge. If she can make it to the finale, she can reject Jordy and publicly break his heart. As far as Maya’s concerned, it’s payback with interest: just what a guy like Jordy deserves.

But when she gets to the set, she’s confronted with the one person she hasn’t accounted for: Skye, the beautiful, charismatic girl Jordy cheated on Maya with. How is she supposed to live with this girl for six weeks? Sharing bunkbeds, for crying out loud?

Except, of course, there’s more to Skye than she lets most people see. Skye has her own reasons for being careful with her heart, and might be more willing to take Maya’s side than it initially seems. If they can sustain their reluctant alliance—and keep their unexpected chemistry from interfering—they might just have a chance to take Jordy down.

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The Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman (29th)

The Two Doctors GórskiAnnae, a brilliant graduate student in psychiatric magic and survivor of academic abuse, can’t stop reading people’s minds. This is how she protects herself, by using her abilities to know exactly how her colleagues view her. This is how she escapes the torturous experience of her own existence.

When Annae moves to England to rebuild her life and finish her studies under the seminal magician Marec Górski—infamous for bringing to life a homunculus made from his unwanted better self—she sees, inside his head, a man who is both a destructive force to everyone around him, and her mirror image. For Annae to survive, she’ll need to break free of a lifetime of conditioning to embody her own self and forge her own path.

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Drama! by A.J. Truman (29th)

62346706. sy475 My arch nemesis is now my fake boyfriend. Can you say drama?

Uptight drama teacher Everett and cocky jock Raleigh must pretend to be boyfriends at an upcoming wedding in order for Everett to save face in front of his mega-famous ex.

Buy it: Amazon

New Releases: October 25, 2022

Anne by Kathleen Gros

60254204In this modern graphic novel retelling of Anne of Green Gables from graphic novelist Kathleen Gros, foster kid Anne Shirley finally lands in a loving home and befriends a girl who she may have more-than-friends feelings for.

Anne Shirley has been in foster care her whole life. So when the Cuthberts take her in, she hopes it’s for good. They seem to be hitting it off, but how will they react to the trouble that Anne can sometimes find herself in . . . like accidentally dyeing her hair green or taking a dangerous dare that leaves her in a cast?

Then Anne meets Diana Barry, a girl who lives in her apartment building, the Avon-Lea. The two become fast friends, as Anne finds she can share anything with Diana. As time goes on, though, Anne starts to develop more-than-friends feelings for Diana.

A new foster home, a new school, and a first-time crush—it’s a lot all at once. But if anyone can handle life’s twists and turns, it’s the irrepressible Anne Shirley.

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The Scratch Daughters by H.A. Clarke (October 25th)

This is the sequel to The Scapegracers

It’s been a wild year for Sideways Pike. After forming a coven with the three most popular girls in school and developing a huge crush on a mysterious stranger named Madeline, Sideways’ Halloween was ruined by finding out that Madeline wasn’t trying to make out with her, but to steal Sideways’ specter, the force that gives witches the ability to cast magic spells. From Madeline’s perspective, it’s not her fault: after a doomed relationship with one of the creepy near-identical Chantry Boys turned into a witch hunt, they took her specter, so, really, she’s only borrowing Sideways’ until she can recover her own and punish the Chantrys.

The specter-less Sideways is in a horrid, distracted mood, unable to do magic and with part of her consciousness tied to Madeline’s, on the lam as she uses Sideways’ specter to hunt Chantrys. The other Scapegracers are much jollier, heading into the winter holidays having set up shop as curse crafters for girls in their school who’ve been done wrong by guys. When Sideways—through Madeline—gets a flash of how to track down both her foes at once, she asks the Scapegracers to help entrap them, only to be told her plan is unsafe and unwise. So if she’s going to find Madeline, her only ally is Mr. Scratch, the inky book demon currently inhabiting her as life support until she gets her spectre back.

Sideways is used to being an outcast loner, and is desperate to do magic again, so she’s not going to let little barriers like facing an betraying crush and a family of six demented witch hunters practically alone stop her. But she and her trusty stolen bike are in for a bumpy ride…

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Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo

This is the third book in the Singing Hills Cycle.

59807976Wandering cleric Chih of the Singing Hills travels to the riverlands to record tales of the notorious near-immortal martial artists who haunt the region. On the road to Betony Docks, they fall in with a pair of young women far from home, and an older couple who are more than they seem. As Chih runs headlong into an ancient feud, they find themselves far more entangled in the history of the riverlands than they ever expected to be.

Accompanied by Almost Brilliant, a talking bird with an indelible memory, Chih confronts old legends and new dangers alike as they learn that every story―beautiful, ugly, kind, or cruel―bears more than one face.

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The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

This is the sequel to The Atlas Six

60617010. sy475 Six magicians were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime.
Five are now members of the Society.
Two paths lay before them.

All must pick a side.

Alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and The Society of Alexandrians will be revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way.

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Ghost Town by Kevin Chen, trans. by Darryl Sterk

Chen Tien-Hong, the only and desperately yearned for son of a traditional Taiwanese family with seven daughters, runs away from the oppression of his village to Berlin in the hope of finding acceptance as a young gay man.

The novel begins a decade later, when Chen has just been released from prison for killing his boyfriend. He is about to return to his family’s village, a poor and desolate place. With his parents gone, his sisters married, mad, or dead, there is nothing left for him there. As the story unfurls, we learn what tore this family apart and, more importantly, the truth behind the murder of Chen’s boyfriend.

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Heretic: A Memoir by Jeanna Kadlec

60017803Jeanna Kadlec was a devout Evangelical and the wife of a pastor’s son before she came to the double realization that she was queer and that she had to leave the church in order to survive. This is a memoir of growing up Evangelical–of indoctrination, family, and working poor middle America–and a sharp critique of how the tenets of conservative Christianity have built our power structures and political systems, in addition to how they’ve shaped our culture and our daily interactions with each other.

From writing about Lilith and celebrity purity rings, to coming out and discovering F/F fanfiction, finding community outside of Christianity in the face of millennial loneliness, to interrogating the liberal and academic stigma against faith, this memoir traces the damage Evangelicalism, with its demands for unquestioning obedience, has caused in individuals, communities, and our country, past to present–and also imagines how could we radically leave it behind: new methods of building community, finding meaning, and reintegrating concepts of fellowship and love into our everyday discourse.

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Girlfriend Material by Katia Rose (26th)

62696709. sy475 It’s a good thing Allison Farley isn’t in love with her best friend.

They may both be star students in their costume design program, but when it comes to relationships, Allison and Kate are as different as their fashion senses.

Kate marches through life in combat boots and crop tops, breaking hearts as fast as she steals them and insisting anything more than an emotionless hook-up is a waste of time.

Allison knits her own sweaters, wears socks with tiny strawberries on them, and has spent her first two years of college utterly failing at her goal of getting a girlfriend before graduation.

Until the day it hits her: she’s got a master flirting coach right at her fingertips.

Kate, meanwhile, has vowed herself to a semester of solitude while she tries to figure out why heading home with strangers isn’t as fun as it used to be. Teaching her best friend the art of seduction seems like the perfect distraction from some of the inconvenient truths she’d rather not face.

Like maybe she doesn’t hate relationships.

Maybe she’s just afraid of them—too afraid to reach out and grab one when it’s staring her in the face.

So it’s a good thing Kate Davidson isn’t in love with her best friend either.

It’s a good thing Kate and Allison are just taking part in some purely platonic flirting lessons and are absolutely, totally, definitely not falling in love.

Buy it: Amazon

New Releases: October 18, 2022

Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne

In this funny, feminist, and queer middle grade debut, seventh-grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition over her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year’s embarrassing Hyperbole/Hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place. But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth—and she’s determined to prove it.

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Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall

55669505. sy475 Berlin, 1938

It is the summer before World War II begins, but Charlotte Kraus doesn’t know it yet. All she knows is the zing of electricity she feels every time her best friend, Angelika Haas, grabs her hand. Charlie would follow Geli anywhere—which is how she finds herself at an underground club one Friday night, dancing to contraband American jazz and swing music, suddenly feeling that anything might be possible.

Under the oppressive shadow of the Nazi regime, returning to the club is a risk. But Charlie does, unable to resist the allure of sharing a secret with the girl she can’t stop thinking about, or the thrill of disobeying the Party’s rules. Soon the Swingjugend movement becomes more than a simple escape. It’s a place where Charlie and her friends find acceptance, freedom, and camaraderie among others who are determined not to sit on the sidelines of history.

Increasingly terrified by the tightening vise of Hitler’s power, Charlie is drawn to larger and larger acts of resistance—even as Geli, the daughter of a senior Party officer, begins to pull away. But resisting the Nazis is a dangerous proposition, and the war will test what Charlie is willing to risk at the expense of her family, her friends, and the girl she loves.

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Deadbeat Druid by David R. Slayton

This is the third book in the Adam Binder series.

60093989The living cannot be allowed to infect the dead.

Adam Binder has lost what matters most to him. Having finally learned the true identity of the warlock preying on his family, what was supposed to be a final confrontation with the fiend instead became a trap that sent Vic into the realm of the dead, where none living are meant to be. Bound by debt, oath, and love, Adam blazes his own trail into the underworld to get Vic back and to end the threat of the warlock once and for all.

But the road to hell is paved with more than good intentions. Demons are hungry and ghosts are relentless. What awaits Adam in the underworld is nothing he is prepared to face. If that weren’t enough, Adam has one more thing he must do if he and Vic are to return to world of the living: find the lost heart of Death herself.

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Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

60382883The Singh sisters grew up helping their father navigate the bustle of the Songbird Inn. Nestled on dreamy and drizzly Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, the inn’s always been warm and cozy and filled with interesting guests―the perfect home. But things are about to heat up now that the Songbird has been named the Most Romantic Inn in America.

Nidhi has everything planned out―until a storm brings a wayward tree crashing into her life one autumn . . . and along with it, an intriguing construction worker and a yearning for her motherland. Suddenly, she’s questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Avani can’t sit still. If she does, her grief for Pop, their dad’s late husband, will overwhelm her. So she keeps moving as much as she can, planning an elaborate Winter Ball in Pop’s memory. Until a blizzard traps her in a barn with the boy she accidentally stood up and has been actively avoiding ever since.

Sirisha loves seeing the world through her camera, but her shyness prevents her from stepping out from behind the lens. Talking to girls is such a struggle! When a pretty actress comes to the Songbird with her theater troupe, spring has sprung for Sirisha―if only she can find the words.

Rani is a hopeless romantic through and through. After gently nudging her sisters to open their hearts, she is convinced it’s finally her turn to find love. When two potential suitors float in on a summer breeze, Rani is swept up in grandeur to match her wildest Bollywood dreams. But which boy is the one she’s meant to be with?

Ultimately, the magic of the Songbird Inn leads the tight-knit Singh sisters to new passions and breathtaking kisses―and to unearth the truest versions of themselves.

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When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb

Uriel the angel and Little Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two supernatural creatures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it doesn’t have a name other than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been studying together for centuries, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their village to America. When one of those young emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.

Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, including Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has abandoned her to marry a man, and Malke Shulman, whose father died mysteriously on his way to America.

But there are obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Medical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, poverty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

With cinematic sweep and tender observation, Sacha Lamb presents a totally original drama about individual purpose, the fluid nature of identity, and the power of love to change and endure.

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Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde

Henry Hamlet doesn’t know what he wants after school ends. It’s his last semester of high school, and all he’s sure of is his uncanny ability to make situations awkward. Luckily, he can always hide behind his enigmatic best friend, Len. They’ve been friends since forever, but Len is mysterious and Henry is clumsy, and Len is a heartthrob and Henry is a neurotic mess. Somehow it’s always worked.

That is, until Henry falls in love. Hard. How do you date your best friend?

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Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen

Check out the trailer here.

57568015. sy475 When you’re a cop in 1952 and your colleagues bust you in a raid on a gay bar, your career options become extremely limited. Former San Francisco Police Inspector Evander Mills’ retirement plan is to drink until his money is gone, then pitch himself into the bay. Until a widow sits down next to Andy at the bar and offers him a private gig―find out what happened to her wife.

Persuaded to take the case, Andy accompanies the widow to Lavender House, the family seat of recently deceased Irene Lamontaine, head of the Lamontaine Soap empire. At this secluded estate, where none of the residents, or the staff, need to hide their identities, Andy finds a bewitching freedom.

He also immediately finds himself a pawn in a family game of old money, subterfuge, and jealousy―and Irene’s death was only the beginning. The gates of Lavender House can’t lock out the real world, and it turns out that not even a soap empire can keep everyone clean.

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When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar

In this heartrending, lyrical debut work of fiction, Fatimah Asghar traces the intense bond of three orphaned siblings who, after their parents die, are left to raise one another. The youngest, Kausar, grapples with the incomprehensible loss of her parents as she also charts out her own understanding of gender; Aisha, the middle sister, spars with her “crybaby” younger sibling as she desperately tries to hold on to her sense of family in an impossible situation; and Noreen, the eldest, does her best in the role of sister-mother while also trying to create a life for herself, on her own terms.

As Kausar grows up, she must contend with the collision of her private and public worlds, and choose whether to remain in the life of love, sorrow, and codependency she’s known or carve out a new path for herself. When We Were Sisters tenderly examines the bonds and fractures of sisterhood, names the perils of being three Muslim American girls alone against the world, and ultimately illustrates how those who’ve lost everything might still make homes in each other.

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The Consequences by Manuel Muñoz

59808459“Her immediate concern was money.” So begins the first story in Manuel Muñoz’s dazzling new collection. In it, Delfina has moved from Texas to California’s Central Valley with her husband and small son, and her isolation and desperation force her to take a risk that ends in profound betrayal.

These exquisite stories are mostly set in the 1980s in the small towns that surround Fresno. With an unflinching hand, Muñoz depicts the Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers who put food on our tables but are regularly and ruthlessly rounded up by the migra, as well as the quotidian struggles and immense challenges faced by their families. The messy and sometimes violent realities navigated by his characters―straight and gay, immigrant and American-born, young and old―are tempered by moments of surprising, tender care: Two young women meet on a bus to Los Angeles to retrieve husbands who must find their way back from the border after being deported; a gay couple plans a housewarming party that reveals buried class tensions; a teenage mother slips out to a carnival where she encounters the father of her child; the foreman of a crew of fruit pickers finds a dead body and is subsequently―perhaps literally―haunted.

In The Consequences, obligation can shape, support, and sometimes derail us.

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Three’s a Crowd by Kate Gavin

For Zoe Tyler, adulting sucks. First big job, student loan payments, and an apartment to maintain with little help from her often-absent boyfriend, Jake. Throw in a half-sister of Jake’s that she never knew about and it’s a wonder she’s holding it together.

When Paige Newbanks shows up unannounced at her half-brother’s apartment, she’s not only desperate for a place to stay, but desperate to get to know the brother she hasn’t seen since she was five.

Zoe sets aside her frustrations with Jake, inviting Paige to stay with them for as long as she needs. But when Jake misses yet another night out with Zoe and he suggests she take Paige instead, Zoe and Paige are drawn toward each other in an unexpected way.

Will Zoe and Paige jeopardize their respective relationships with Jake in order to see what a relationship with each other could be?

Buy it: Amazon

Rooting for You by Roz Alexander

60734110. sy475 Botanist Fisch’s life in Clover Hill is small. Getting physical distance from her tense relationship with her mother was supposed to give her room to breathe. Instead, she’s created a new cage for herself, spending most of her time isolated and working on other people’s projects instead of her own dreams. Admitting she’s lonely is the first step. Doing something about it seems much harder.

When traveling photojournalist Jaeeun Kupperman comes to town, it’s a wake-up call like no other. Jaeeun’s hot, talented, sweet, and the proud cat parent of one perfect angel named Dan. Faster than Dan can take down a dandelion, the two butch women are mutually smitten. But the sun is setting as both of them search for their next assignments and Fisch realizes it’s past time to branch out just as Jaeeun considers planting roots.

They might both be eager to sow the seeds of love, but will they be brave enough to keep it growing? Or will Jaeeun leave Fisch in her rearview mirror when the golden hour is over?

Buy it: Amazon

Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall

60375966Paris Daillencourt is a recipe for disaster. Despite his passion for baking, his cat, and his classics degree, constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a curdled, directionless mess. So when his roommate enters him in Bake Expectations, the nation’s favourite baking show, Paris is sure he’ll be the first one sent home.

But not only does he win week one’s challenge—he meets fellow contestant Tariq Hassan. Sure, he’s the competition, but he’s also cute and kind, with more confidence than Paris could ever hope to have. Still, neither his growing romance with Tariq nor his own impressive bakes can keep Paris’s fear of failure from spoiling his happiness. And when the show’s vicious fanbase confirms his worst anxieties, Paris’s confidence is torn apart quicker than tear-and-share bread.

But if Paris can find the strength to face his past, his future, and the chorus of hecklers that live in his brain, he’ll realize it’s the sweet things in life that he really deserves.

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Helen House by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Right before meeting her girlfriend Amber’s parents for the first time, the unnamed narrator of Helen House learns that she and her partner share a similar trauma: both of their sisters are dead. As the narrator wonders what else Amber has been hiding, she struggles with her own secret–using sex as a coping mechanism–as well as confusion and guilt over whether she really cares about Amber, or if she’s only using her for sex. When they arrive at the parents’ rural upstate home, a quaint but awkward first meeting unravels into a nightmare in which the narrator finds herself stranded in a family’s decades-long mourning ritual.

Buy it: Burrow Press

This Arab is Queer ed. by Elias Jahshan

60255208This ground-breaking anthology features the searingly honest and moving memoirs of eighteen queer Arab writers – some internationally bestselling, others using pseudonyms. Here, we find heart-warming connections and moments of celebration, alongside essays exploring the challenges of being LGBTQ+ and Arab.

From a military base in the Gulf to whispers between lovers caught between the bedsheets; and from a concert in Cairo where the rainbow flag was raised to a crowd of thousands, to making it hap-pen as a drag queen in exile, this collection celebrates the true colours of a rich, vibrant Arab queer experience.

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Life in Every Breath: Ester Blenda by Fatima Bremmer

62103743. sy475 Born in 1891 in Stockholm, Ester Blenda Nordström defied stereotypes from an early age. She wore trousers, smoked a pipe, and rode motorbikes, much to the chagrin of her esteemed family. As a young woman, she captivated the public as Sweden’s first investigative journalist.

Ester’s real passion was uncovering the truth, which she did by inhabiting the lives of others. Under an assumed identity, she toiled as a Swedish milkmaid on a farm, lived for six months with the indigenous Scandinavian Sami people, and journeyed to America alongside poor emigrants aspiring to a better life. She saved villages from starvation during the Finnish Civil War and joined an expedition to study volcanoes in Siberia. Her groundbreaking reports were received by a spellbound audience and would change journalism forever.

But just as Ester’s star was rising, her forbidden love affair with a woman ended in heartbreak—and her powerful voice was silenced. Her spectacular adventures and untamed spirit belied an inner turmoil that came to define the later years of her life—until, at the very end, when she was reunited with the great love of her life and died by her side.

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New Releases: October 11, 2022

Nikhil Out Loud by Maulik Pancholy

60141378. sy475 Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But being a star on TV doesn’t mean you have everything figured out behind the scenes. . . .

When his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil’s sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Nikhil’s fame lands him the lead in the school musical, but he’s terrified that everyone will realize he’s a fraud once they find out he has stage fright. And when a group of conservative parents start to protest, making it clear they’re not happy with an openly gay TV star being in the starring role, Nikhil feels like his life would be easier if only he could be Raj Reddy full-time.

Then Nikhil wakes up one morning and hears a crack in his voice, which means his job playing Raj will have to come to an end. Life on earth is way more complicated than life on television. And some mysteries—like new friendships or a sick grandparent or finding the courage to speak out about what’s right—don’t wrap up neatly between commercial breaks.

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Where the Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman

59406554Eliot is grieving Babung, her paternal grandmother who just passed away, and she feels like she’s the only one. She’s less than excited to move to her new house, which smells like lemons and deception, and is searching for a sign, any sign, that ghosts are real. Because if ghosts are real, it means she can find a way back to Babung.

When Eliot chases the promise of paranormal activity to the presumably haunted Honeyfield Hall, she finds her proof of spirits. But these ghosts are losing their memory, stuck between this world and the next, waiting to cross over. With the help of Hazel, the granddaughter of Honeyfield’s owner (and Eliot’s new crush), she attempts to uncover the mystery behind Honeyfield Hall and the ghosts residing within.

And as Eliot fits the pieces together, she may just be able to help the spirits remember their pasts, and hold on to her grandmother’s memory.

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The Edge of Being by James Brandon

Isaac Griffin has always felt something was missing from his life. And for good reason: he’s never met his dad. He’d started to believe he’d never belong in this world, that the scattered missing pieces of his life would never come together, when he discovers a box hidden deep in the attic with his father’s name on it.When the first clue points him to San Francisco, he sets off with his boyfriend to find the answers, and the person he’s been waiting his whole life for. But when his vintage station wagon breaks down (and possibly his relationship too) they are forced to rely on an unusual girl who goes by Max—and has her own familial pain—to take them the rest of the way. As his family history is revealed, Isaac finds himself drawing closer to Max. Using notes his dad had written decades ago, the two of them retrace his father’s steps during the weeks leading up to the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco, a precursor to the Stonewall Riots a few years later. Only to discover, as he learns about the past that perhaps the missing pieces of his life weren’t ever missing at all.

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Twelfth Grade Night by Molly Horton Booth (text), Stephanie Kate Strohm (text), and Jamie Green (illustration)

57732482Vi came to Arden High for a fresh start and a chance to wear beanies and button-ups instead of uniform skirts. And though doing it without her twin feels like being split in half, Vi finds her stride when she stumbles (literally!) into broody and beautiful poet-slash-influencer, Orsino. Soon Vi gets roped into helping plan the school’s Twelfth Grade Night dance, and she can’t stop dreaming about slow dancing with Orsino under the fairy lights in the gym.

The problem? All Vi’s new friends assume she’s not even into guys. And before Vi can ask Orsino to the dance, he recruits Vi to help woo his crush, Olivia. Who has a crush of her own . . . on Vi.

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Jade is a Twisted Green by Tanya Turton

59915404Jade Brown, a twenty-four-year-old first-generation Jamaican woman living in Toronto, must find a way to pick up the pieces and discover who she is following the mysterious death of her twin sister.

Grappling with her grief, Jade seeks solace in lovers and friends during an array of hilarious and heartbreaking adventures. As she investigates some of life’s most frustrating paradoxes, she holds tight to old friends and her ex-girlfriend, lifelines between past and present. On the journey to turning twenty-five, she finally sees that she belongs to herself, and goes about the business of reclaiming that self.

Through a series of whirlwind love affairs, parties, and trips abroad, Jade stumbles toward relinquishing the weight of her trauma as she fully comes into her own as a young Black woman and writer.

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Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

59808269When Cassie Klein goes to an off-campus bar to escape her school’s Family Weekend, she isn’t looking for a hookup―it just happens. Buying a drink for a stranger turns into what should be an uncomplicated, amazing one-night stand. But then the next morning rolls around and her friend drags her along to meet her mom―the hot, older woman Cassie slept with.

Erin Bennett came to Family Weekend to get closer to her daughter, not have a one-night stand with a college senior. In her defense, she hadn’t known Cassie was a student when they’d met. To make things worse, Erin’s daughter brings Cassie to breakfast the next morning. And despite Erin’s better judgement―how could sleeping with your daughter’s friend be anything but bad?―she and Cassie get along in the day just as well as they did last night.

What should have been a one-time fling quickly proves impossible to ignore, and soon Cassie and Erin are sneaking around. Worst of all, they start to realize they have something real. But is being honest about the love between them worth the cost?

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Before All the World by Moriel Rothman-Zecher

59808596“ikh gleyb nit az di gantze velt iz kheyshekh.”
“I do not believe that all the world is darkness.”

In the swirl of Philadelphia at the end of Prohibition, Leyb meets Charles. They are at a former speakeasy called Cricket’s, a bar that welcomes, as Charles says in his secondhand Yiddish, feygeles. Leyb is startled; fourteen years in amerike has taught him that his native tongue is not known beyond his people. And yet here is suave Charles, fingers stained with ink, an easy manner with the barkeep, a Black man from the Seventh Ward, a fellow traveler of Red Emma’s, speaking Jewish to a young man he will come to call Lion.

Lion is haunted by memories of life before, in Zatelsk, where everyone in his village, everyone except the ten non-Jews, a young poet named Gittl, and Leyb himself, was taken to the forest and killed.

And then, miraculously, Gittl is in Philadelphia, too, thanks to a poem she wrote and the intervention of a shadowy character known only as the Baroness of Philadelphia. And surrounding Gittl are malokhim, the spirits of her siblings.

Flowing and churning and seething with a glorious surge of language, carried along by questions of survival and hope and the possibility of a better world, Moriel Rothman-Zecher’s Before All the World lays bare the impossibility of escaping trauma, the necessity of believing in a better way ahead, and the power that comes from our responsibility to the future. It asks, in the voices of its angels, the most essential question: What do you intend to do before all the world?

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Army of Lovers by K.M. Soehnlein

Arriving in New York City full of idealism, Paul discovers the queer community gathering strength in the face of government inaction and social stigma. As he protests, parties, and makes a new home, he finds himself pulling away from his HIV-negative boyfriend to pursue an intense bond with a passionate, HIV-positive artist. Paul’s awakening parallels ACT UP’s rise, successes, and controversies. And then everything shifts again, as his family is thrust into their own life-and-death struggle that tests him even further.

Born out of the author’s activism inside the vibrant queer community of the ’80s and ’90s, Army of Lovers blends history and fiction into an exploration of memory, community, love, and justice.

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Season of Love by Helena Greer

56241367. sy475 Thanks to her thriving art career, Miriam Blum finally has her decoupaged glitter ducks in a row—until devastating news forces her to a very unwanted family reunion. Her beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left Miriam part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm.

But Miriam’s plans to sit shiva, avoid her parents, then put Carrigan’s in her rearview mirror are spoiled when she learns the business is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager—as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first.

Noelle Northwood wants Miriam Blum gone—even if her ingenious ideas and sensitive soul keep showing Noelle there’s more to Cass’s niece than meets the eye. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all—for the chance to make their wildest dreams come true.

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New Releases: October 4, 2022

Moonflowers and Nightshade: an Anthology of Sapphic Horror ed. by Samantha Kolesnik (1st)

61152566. sy475 Moonflowers and Nightshade presents eighteen original sapphic horror stories, including works by: Alex Luceli Jiménez, Christina Ladd, G.B. Lindsey, Kat Siddle, G.E. Woods, Rae Knowles, Lowry Poletti, Cyrus Amelia Fisher, Jade Lancaster, Archita Mittra, Ali Seay, Hailey Piper, Anastasia Dziekan, E.F. Schraeder, Tiffany Morris, Nicoletta Giuseffi, Avra Margariti, and Annabeth Leong.

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The Restless Dark by Erica Waters

60091386The Cloudkiss Killer is dead. Now a true-crime podcast is hosting a contest to find his bones.

Lucy was almost the serial killer’s final victim. Carolina is a true-crime fan who fears her own rage. Maggie is a psychology student with a little too much to hide.

All of them are looking for answers, for a new identity, for a place to bury their secrets.

But there are more than bones hiding in the shadows…sometimes the darkness inside is more frightening than anything the dead leave behind.

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Anne of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki

60099223In this modern reimagining of Anne of Green Gables, Anne is an ABBA-loving singer/actor/writer of disco-operas, queer, Japanese-American who longs to be understood for her artistic genius. Recently relocated to middle-of-nowhere Greenville and starting at a new school, Anne has a tendency to A) fall in love quickly, deeply, and effervescently and B) fly off the handle in the face of jerks. Both personality quirks quickly come into play when the soccer team boos the premiere of her disco performance, which—in a roundabout way—introduces her to her new BFF, Berry, and she soon after meets the girl of her dreams, Gilly.

Falling quickly into that age-old trap of ignoring the best friend for the new crush, Anne soon becomes embroiled in a series of dramatic and unfortunate events, and quickly finds herself wrapped up in a love triangle she never expected. Is she MTB with Gilly? Or is Berry her true soul mate? Only time (or 304 pages) will tell.

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The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera

59723790In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon They Both Die at the End, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.

It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?

Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.

Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.

Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.

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Hollow by Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White (text), Berenice Nelle (art), and Kaitlyn Musto, Kieran Quigley, and Gonçalo Lopes (color)

60321105Isabel “Izzy” Crane and her family have just relocated to Sleepy Hollow, the town made famous by–and obsessed with–Washington Irving’s legend of the Headless Horseman. But city slicker-skeptic Izzy has no time for superstition as she navigates life at a new address, a new school, and, with any luck, with new friends. Ghost stories aren’t real, after all…. Then Izzy is pulled into the orbit of the town’s teen royalty, Vicky Van Tassel (yes, that Van Tassel) and loveable varsity-level prankster Croc Byun. Vicky’s weariness with her family connection to the legend turns to terror when the trio begins to be haunted by the Horseman himself, uncovering a curse set on destroying the Van Tassel line. Now, they have only until Halloween night to break it–meaning it’s a totally inconvenient time for Izzy to develop a massive crush on the enigmatic Vicky. Can Izzy’s practical nature help her face the unknown–or only trip her up? As the calendar runs down to the 31st, Izzy will have to use all of her wits and work with her new friends to save Vicky and uncover the mystery of the legendary Horseman of Sleepy Hollow–before it’s too late.

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The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco

60190095. sy475 An island oasis turns deadly when a terrifying legend threatens to kill off visitors one by one in this haunting novel from the highly acclaimed author of The Girl from the Well and the Bone Witch trilogy.

Pristine beaches, lush greenery, and perfect weather, the island of Kisapmata would be the vacation destination…if not for the curse. The Philippine locals speak of it in hushed voices and refuse to step foot on the island. They know the lives it has claimed. They won’t be next.

A Hollywood film crew won’t be dissuaded. Legend claims a Dreamer god sleeps, waiting to grant unimaginable powers in exchange for eight sacrifices. The producers are determined to document the evidence. And they convince Alon, a local teen, to be their guide.

Within minutes of their arrival, a giant sinkhole appears, revealing a giant balete tree with a mummified corpse entwined in its gnarled branches. And the crew start seeing strange visions. Alon knows they are falling victim to the island’s curse. If Alon can’t convince them to leave, there is no telling who will survive. Or how much the Dreamer god will destroy…

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Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry ed. by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli

The fiction and poetry of Queer Little Nightmares reimagines monsters old and new through a queer lens, subverting the horror gaze to celebrate ideas and identities canonically feared in monster lit. Throughout history, monsters have appeared in popular culture as stand-ins for the non-conforming, the marginalized of society. Pushed into the shadows as objects of fear, revulsion, and hostility, these characters have long conjured fascination and self-identification in the LGBTQ+ community, and over time, monsters have become queer icons.

In Queer Little Nightmares, creatures of myth and folklore seek belonging and intimate connection, cryptids challenge their outcast status, and classic movie monsters explore the experience of coming into queerness. The characters in these stories and poems—the Minotaur camouflaged in a crowd of cosplayers, a pubescent werewolf, a Hindu revenant waiting to reunite with her lover, a tender-hearted kaiju, a lagoon creature aching for the swimmers above him, a ghost of Pride past—relish their new sparkle in the spotlight. Pushing against tropes that have historically been used to demonize, the queer creators of this collection instead ask: What does it mean to be (and to love) a monster?

Contributors include Amber Dawn, David Demchuk, Hiromi Goto, jaye simpson, Eddy Boudel Tan, and Kai Cheng Thom.

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You’re a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky

Bring a little joy to the world?

Not today, Santa.

Matthew Prince is young, rich, and thoroughly spoiled. So what if his parents barely remember he exists and the press is totally obsessed with him? He’s on top of the world. But one major PR misstep later, and Matthew is cut off and shipped away to spend the holidays in his grandparents’ charming small town hellscape. Population: who cares?

It’s bad enough he’s stuck in some festive winter wonderland—it’s even worse that he has to share space with Hector Martinez, an obnoxiously attractive local who’s unimpressed with anything and everything Matthew does.

Just when it looks like the holiday season is bringing nothing but heated squabbles, the charity gala loses its coordinator and Matthew steps in as a saintly act to get home early on good behavior…with Hector as his maddening plus-one. But even a Grinch can’t resist the unexpected joy of found family, and in the end, the forced proximity and infectious holiday cheer might be enough to make a lonely Prince’s heart grow three sizes this year.

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A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo

59049157. sy475 Aria Tang West was looking forward to a summer on Martha’s Vineyard with her best friends–one last round of sand and sun before college. But after a graduation party goes wrong, Aria’s parents exile her to California to stay with her grandmother, artist Joan West.Aria expects boredom, but what she finds is Steph Nichols, her grandmother’s gardener. Soon, Aria is second-guessing who she is and what she wants to be, and a summer that once seemed lost becomes unforgettable–for Aria, her family, and the working-class queer community Steph introduces her to. It’s the kind of summer that changes a life forever.

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A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt

In Northern Alberta, a queer Indigenous doctoral student steps away from his dissertation to write a novel. He is adrift, caught between his childhood on the reservation and this new life of the urban intelligentsia. Billy-Ray Belcourt’s unnamed narrator chronicles a series of encounters: a heart-to-heart with fellow doctoral student River over the mounting pressure placed on marginalized scholars; a meeting with Michael, a closeted adult from his hometown whose vulnerability and loneliness punctuate the realities of queer life on the fringe. Amid these conversations, the narrator is haunted by memories of Jack, a cousin caught in the cycle of police violence, drugs, and survival. Jack’s life parallels the narrator’s own; the possibilities of escape and imprisonment are left to chance with colonialism stacking the odds.

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Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist by Cecilia Gentilli

In these hilarious and heartbreaking letters, Cecilia Gentili reinvents the trans memoir, putting the confession squarely between the writer and her enemies, paramours and friends. Is she here for revenge, or forgiveness? Both! And more! A story of sex, theft, murder, motherhood, and outrageous fashion choices, FALTAS is a beautiful, messy meditation on what it takes to heal, and even grow.

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When They Tell You to Be Good by Prince Shakur

60528667After immigrating from Jamaica to the United States, Prince Shakur’s family is rocked by the murder of Prince’s biological father in 1995. Behind the murder is a sordid family truth, scripted in the lines of a diary by an outlawed uncle hell-bent on avenging the murder of Prince’s father. As Shakur begins to unravel his family’s secrets, he must navigate the strenuous terrain of conquering one’s inner self while confronting the steeped complexities of the Afro-diaspora.

When They Tell You to Be Good charts Prince Shakur’s political coming of age from closeted queer kid in a Jamaican family to radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America. Shakur journeys from France, the Philippines, South Korea, and more to discover the depths of the Black experience, and engages in deep political questions while participating in movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. By the end, Shakur reckons with his identity, his Jamaican family’s immigration to the US before his birth, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.

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The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern by Rita Zoey Chin

58408596Born in a carnival trailer, Leah Fern begins her life as the “The Youngest and Very Best Fortuneteller in the World,” taking strangers’ hands and feeling the depths of their emotions. Her mother Jeannie Starr is a captivating magician, but not always an attentive mother, and when Leah is six, Jeannie upends their carnival life with an unexpected exit. With little fanfare and no explanation, she leaves her daughter at the home of Edward Murphy, a kindly older man with whom Leah shares one fierce wish: that Jeannie Starr will return to them.

After fifteen years as a small-town outcast , Leah decides to end her life on the occasion of her twenty-first birthday. But the intricate death ritual she has devised is interrupted by a surprise knock on her door. Her mysterious neighbor, the curmudgeonly and reclusive art photographer Essie East, has died and left Leah a very strange inheritance. Through a series of letters, Essie will posthumously lead Leah on a journey to nine points on the map, spanning from South Carolina to Canada to the Arctic Circle—a journey that, the first note promises, will reveal the story of Leah’s mother.

Driven by a ferocious resurgence of hope, Leah embarks on this bizarre treasure hunt, Essie’s ashes in a jeweled urn in the passenger seat of her truck. Along her way, she visits islands, libraries, diners, and defunct ice cream parlors, meeting a charming cast of eccentric characters and immersing herself in wonders of the natural world.

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Ace of Hearts by Lucy Mason

59444727. sy475 Hesper Stallides and Felix Morlan have been best friends for as long as they can remember, bonding over their troubled home lives. When a horrible sports injury derails Felix’s promising career and results in the loss of his scholarship, Hesper offers a proposition: a year-long marriage of convenience so he can get free tuition at the college where she works.

It isn’t supposed to be complicated…until they fall in love for real. When Hesper reveals that she’s asexual, Felix must reassess everything he thinks about love, and ask himself what he’s willing to sacrifice for a future with Hesper—before the past she’s spent her life running from can take her away from him forever.

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It Came From the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror ed. by Joe Vallese

60708721Through the lens of horror—from “Halloween” to “Hereditary”—queer and trans writers consider the films that deepened, amplified, and illuminated their own experiences.

Horror movies hold a complicated space in the hearts of the queer community: historically misogynist, and often homo- and transphobic, the genre has also been inadvertently feminist and open to subversive readings. Common tropes—such as the circumspect and resilient “final girl,” body possession, costumed villains, secret identities, and things that lurk in the closet—spark moments of eerie familiarity and affective connection. Still, viewers often remain tasked with reading themselves into beloved films, seeking out characters and set pieces that speak to, mirror, and parallel the unique ways queerness encounters the world.

“It Came from the Closet” features twenty-five original essays by writers speaking to this relationship, through connections both empowering and oppressive. From Carmen Maria Machado on “Jennifer’s Body”, Jude Ellison S. Doyle on “In My Skin”, Addie Tsai on “Dead Ringers”, and many more, these conversations convey the rich reciprocity between queerness and horror.

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The Family Outing by Jessi Hempel

Jessi Hempel was raised in a seemingly picture-perfect, middle-class American family. But the truth was far from perfect. Her father was constantly away from home, traveling for work, while her stay-at-home mother became increasingly lonely and erratic. Growing up, Jessi and her two siblings struggled to make sense of their family, their world, their changing bodies, and the emotional turmoil each was experiencing. And each, in their own way, was hiding their true self from the world.

By the time Jessi reached adulthood, everyone in her family had come out: Jessi as gay, her sister as bisexual, her father as gay, her brother as transgender, and her mother as a survivor of a traumatic experience with an alleged serial killer. Yet coming out was just the beginning, starting a chain reaction of other personal revelations and reckonings that caused each of them to question their place in the world in new and ultimately liberating ways.

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New Releases: September 2022

Real Bad Things by Kelly J. Ford (1st)

Real Bad Things by [Kelly J. Ford]Beneath the roiling waters of the Arkansas River lie dead men and buried secrets.

When Jane Mooney’s violent stepfather, Warren, disappeared, most folks in Maud Bottoms, Arkansas, assumed he got drunk and drowned. After all, the river had claimed its share over the years.

When Jane confessed to his murder, she should have gone to jail. That’s what she wanted. But without a body, the police didn’t charge her with the crime. So Jane left for Boston—and took her secrets with her.

Twenty-five years later, the river floods and a body surfaces. Talk of Warren’s murder grips the town. Now in her forties, Jane returns to Maud Bottoms to reckon with her past: to do jail time, to face her revenge-bent mother, to make things right.

But though Jane’s homecoming may enlighten some, it could threaten others. Because in this desolate river valley, some secrets are better left undisturbed.

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Murder at Union Station by David S. Pederson (1st)

This is the second book of the Private Detective Mason Adler Mysteries

Murder at Union StationPhoenix, May 6, 1946

At close to midnight in the Union Station baggage room, the air is hot, still, and thick. The eleven forty-five Golden State Limited to Los Angeles is approaching rapidly when the baggage handler, Alfred Brody, notices a stray hound dog sniffing around one of the steamer trunks. The horrific discovery of a body inside the trunk can mean only one thing: there’s a murderer among them.

The young woman was certainly murdered, but who did it, and why? Suspects and motives abound as Private Detective Mason Adler investigates. He soon realizes that nothing, and no one, are what they seem to be as he races to uncover the truth and bring the real murderer to justice without becoming the next victim.

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Moonflower by Kacen Callender (6th)

58713803. sy475 Moon has been plunged into a swill of uncertainty and confusion. They travel to the spirit realms every night, hoping never to return to the world of the living.

But when the realm is threatened, it’s up to Moon to save the spirit world, which sparks their own healing journey through the powerful, baffling, landscape that depression can cause.

From this novel’s very first utterance, author Kacen Callender puts us behind Moon’s eyes so that we, too, are engulfed by Moon’s troubling exploration through mental illness.

Moon’s mom is trying her best, but is clueless about what to do to reach the ugly roiling of her child’s inner struggles. At the same time, though, there are those who see Moon for who they are – Blue, the Keeper, the Magician, Wolf. These creature-guides help Moon find a way out of darkness. The ethereal aspects of the story are brilliantly blended with real-world glimmers of light. Slowly, Moon grows toward hope and wholeness, showing all children that each and every one of us has a tree growing inside. That our souls emerge when we discover, and fully accept, ourselves.

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A Costume for Charly by C.K. Malone (text) and Alejandra Barajas (illustration) (6th)

Halloween is always tricky for Charly, and this year they are determined to find a costume that showcases both the feminine and masculine halves of their identity. Digging through their costume box, they explore many fun costumes. Some are masc. Some are femme. Some are neither. But all are lacking. As trick-or-treating looms, they must think outside the box to find the perfect costume–something that will allow them to present as one hundred percent Charly.

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The Trouble with Robots by Michelle Mohrweis (6th)

Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids.

So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths.

Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption?

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Magical Boy vol. 2 by The Kao (6th)

Although he was assigned female at birth, Max is your average trans man trying to get through high school as himself. But on top of classes, crushes, and coming out, Max’s life is turned upside down when his mom reveals an eons old family secret: he’s descended from a long line of Magical Girls tasked with defending humanity from a dark, ancient evil!

For decades, Devoid and his minions have been sealed away, with each generation’s magical girl protecting the seal and our world. But as the millennia have passed, more and more cracks have appeared in the weakening seal. Now, the seal is open, evil is pouring into our world, and only Max can defeat it.

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Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore (6th)

New York City, 1922. Nicolás Caraveo, a 17-year-old transgender boy from Wisconsin, has no interest in the city’s glamor. Going to New York is all about establishing himself as a young professional, which could set up his future—and his life as a man—and benefit his family.

Nick rents a small house in West Egg from his 18-year-old cousin, Daisy Fabrega, who lives in fashionable East Egg near her wealthy fiancé, Tom—and Nick is shocked to find that his cousin now goes by Daisy Fay, has erased all signs of her Latina heritage, and now passes seamlessly as white.

Nick’s neighbor in West Egg is a mysterious young man named Jay Gatsby, whose castle-like mansion is the stage for parties so extravagant that they both dazzle and terrify Nick. At one of these parties, Nick learns that the spectacle is all for the benefit of impressing a girl from Jay’s past—Daisy. And he learns something else: Jay is also transgender.

As Nick is pulled deeper into the glittery culture of decadence, he spends more time with Jay, aiming to help his new friend reconnect with his lost love. But Nick’s feelings grow more complicated when he finds himself falling hard for Jay’s openness, idealism, and unfounded faith in the American Dream.

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Coven by Jennifer Dugan (text) and Kit Seaton (illustration) (6th)

59883558In this queer, paranormal YA graphic novel debut from the author of Some Girls Do and the illustrator of Wonder Woman: Warbringer, a young witch races to solve the grisly supernatural murders of her coven members before the killer strikes again.

Emsy has always lived in sunny California, and she’d much rather spend her days surfing with her friends or hanging out with her girlfriend than honing her powers as a fire elemental. But when members of her family’s coven back east are murdered under mysterious circumstances that can only be the result of powerful witchcraft, her family must suddenly return to dreary upstate New York. There, Emsy will have to master her neglected craft in order to find the killer . . . before her family becomes their next target.

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The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (6th)

59251248As each new decade begins, the Sun’s power must be replenished so that Sol can keep traveling along the sky and keep the evil Obsidian gods at bay. Ten semidioses between the ages of thirteen and eighteen are selected by Sol himself as the most worthy to compete in The Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser has the greatest honor of all—they will be sacrificed to Sol, their body used to fuel the Sun Stones that will protect the people of Reino del Sol for the next ten years.

Teo, a 17-year-old Jade semidiós and the trans son of Quetzal, goddess of birds, has never worried about the Trials…or rather, he’s only worried for others. His best friend Niya—daughter of Tierra, the god of earth—is one of the strongest heroes of their generation and is much too likely to be chosen this year. He also can’t help but worry (reluctantly, and under protest) for Aurelio, a powerful Gold semidiós and Teo’s friend-turned-rival who is a shoo-in for the Trials. Teo wouldn’t mind taking Aurelio down a notch or two, but a one-in-ten chance of death is a bit too close for Teo’s taste.

But then, for the first time in over a century, Sol chooses a semidiós who isn’t a Gold. In fact, he chooses two: Xio, the 13-year-old child of Mala Suerte, god of bad luck, and…Teo. Now they must compete in five mysterious trials, against opponents who are both more powerful and better trained, for fame, glory, and their own survival.

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Funeral Girl by Emma K. Ohland (6th)

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Destination Unknown by Bill Konigsberg (6th)

58719132The first thing I noticed about C.J. Gorman was his plexiglass bra.

So begins Destination Unknown — it’s 1987 in New York City, and Micah is at a dance club, trying to pretend he’s more out and outgoing than he really is. C.J. isn’t just out — he’s completely out there, and Micah can’t help but be both attracted to and afraid of someone who travels so loudly and proudly through the night.

A connection occurs. Is it friendship? Romance? Is C.J. the one with all the answers… or does Micah bring more to the relationship than it first seems? As their lives become more and more entangled in the AIDS epidemic that’s laying waste to their community, and the AIDS activism that will ultimately bring a strong voice to their demands, whatever Micah and C.J. have between them will be tested, strained, pushed, and pulled — but it will also be a lifeline in a time of death, a bond that will determine the course of their futures.

In Destination Unknown, Bill Konigsberg returns to a time he knew well as a teenager to tell a story of identity, connection, community, and survival.

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The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish (6th)

The Holiday but make it gay. Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family and tiny Maine hometown, even if they don’t always understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. She desperately needs space to figure out who she is.

Truman Belvedere has just had his heart crushed into a million pieces when he learned that his boyfriend of almost a year has a secret life that includes a husband and a daughter. Reeling from this discovery, all he wants is a place to lick his wounds far, far away from New Orleans.

Enter Greta and Truman’s mutual friend, Ramona, who facilitates a month-long house swap. Over Christmas, each of them will have a chance to try on a new life…and maybe fall in love with the perfect partner of their dreams. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually Greta and Truman will have to decide whether the love they each found so far from home is worth fighting for.

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Luda by Grant Morrison (6th)

Luci LaBang is a star: For decades this flamboyant drag artist has cast a spell over screen and stage. Now she’s the leading lady in a smash hit musical. But as time takes its toll, Luci fears her star is beginning to dim.

When Luci’s co-star meets with a mysterious accident, a new ingenue shimmers onto the scene: Luda, whose fantastical beauty and sinister charm infatuate Luci immediately . . . and who bears a striking resemblance to Luci herself at a much younger age.

Luda begs Luci to share the secrets of her stardom and to reveal the hidden tricks of her trade. For Luci LaBang is a mistress of the Glamour, a mysterious discipline that draws on sex, drugs, and the occult for its trancelike, transformative effects.

But as Luci tutors her young protégée, their fellow actors and crew members begin meeting with untimely ends. Now Luci wonders if Luda has mastered the Glamour all too well . . . and exploited it to achieve her dark ambitions.

What follows is an intoxicating descent into the demimonde of Gasglow, a fantastical city of dreams, and into the nightmarish heart of Luda herself: a femme fatale, a phenomenon, a monster, and, perhaps, the brightest star of them all.

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Sacrificio by Ernesto Mestre-Reed (6th)

60843164Rafa, an Afro-Cuban orphan, moves to Havana with nothing to his name and falls into a job at a café. He is soon drawn into a web of bizarre, ever-shifting entanglements with his boss’s son, the charismatic Renato, leader of the counterrevolutionary group “Los Injected Ones,” which is planning a violent overthrow of the Castro government during Pope John Paul II’s upcoming visit.

When Renato goes missing, Rafa’s search for his friend takes him through various haunts in Havana: from an AIDS sanatorium, to the guest rooms of tourist hotels, to the outskirts of the capital, where he enters a phantasmagorical slum cobbled together from the city’s detritus by Los Injected Ones.

A novel of cascading prose that captures a nation in slow collapse, Sacrificio is a visionary work, capturing the fury, passion, fatalism, and grim humor of young lives lived at the margins of a society they desperately wish to change.

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Winning Move by Skye Kilaen (6th)

No dating. That’s longtime divorcée Gina Kersey’s rule, and she’s sticking to it. Comfortably settled in her hometown of Clover Hill, she’d rather play board games than risk getting played herself. For company, she has her beloved if slightly meddlesome Great Aunt… who’s somehow made Gina promise to break her rule. She has to ask someone out. On a date. Maybe she could skip town instead?

Outgoing video game translator Marek Haas flew across the country to pick up the sports car of his teenage dreams—to celebrate getting over a breakup from the absolute worst boyfriend, not because he’s having a midlife crisis at thirty-five. In his automotive fantasies, though, the car didn’t break down in the middle of small-town nowhere.

Marek’s not a damsel in distress, but when Gina comes to his rescue on the side of the road, she can’t believe her luck. He’s handsome, charming, and most importantly, just passing through. Promise, meet loophole! When he turns out to be adorably nerdy as well, they skip drinks at the pub for a fun-filled night in Gina’s bed.

The problem? Marek’s vintage car needs parts the garage doesn’t have, so he’s stuck until they’re found. Meaning every time Gina turns around, her hot one night stand is still in her town, being all cute and friendly and sometimes taking his shirt off. Even worse, he seems to be falling for Clover Hill… and Gina might be falling for him.

Can Gina overcome her fears and take a chance on a geeky sweetheart who makes her weak at the knees, or will their unforgettable one night stand end up as nothing more than a memory?

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Doughnuts and Doom by Balacz Lorinczi (6th)

60610214When Margot meets Elena, emotions run high, magic is in the air, and doughnuts…float? One is a stressed-out witch trying to get her potions business off the ground, the other is a struggling rock musician whose band is going nowhere. Neither of them are having a good time! No wonder things quickly escalate from words to literal sparks flying when they first meet. Could this be the start of a delicious new relationship…or is a bad-luck curse leading them to certain doom?

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I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers (13th)

When sixteen-year-old Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, she teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, to find and bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. But their investigation throws Georgia into a world of unimaginable privilege and wealth, without conscience or consequence, and as Ashley’s killer closes in, Georgia will discover when money, power and beauty rule, it might not be a matter of who is guilty―but who is guiltiest.

A spiritual successor to the 2018 breakout hit, Sadie, I’m the Girl is a masterfully written, bold, and unflinching account of how one young woman feels in her body as she struggles to navigate a deadly and predatory power structure while asking readers one question: if this is the way the world is, do you accept it?

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Death by Society by Sierra Elmore (13th)

Seventeen-year-old Carter Harper may have created an award-winning iPhone app and have a 3.93 GPA, but her successes are overshadowed by brutal bullying, debilitating depression, and biting loneliness. Tired of being treated as the popular girls’ plaything, Carter hatches a plan to gain their respect, and maybe even gain a bit of popularity of her own. When that doesn’t work, she thinks her only choice is to die by suicide.

Abby Wallace is a member of “the POPS” (the Petty, Oppressive, and Popular Shitbags, according to Carter)—subordinate only to Kelsey, her best friend with benefits. The ambitious poet destroys reputations without care—especially Carter’s—to prove how cool, cruel, and strong she is, all while pushing down her past trauma and secret guilt. But she faces an unexpected adversary when Kelsey tries to make Carter her new pet project. Angry and betrayed, Abby pushes Carter to the edge—facing consequences she never could have imagined.

Carter and Abby’s tumultuous relationship comes to a boiling point when Abby stops Carter from attempting suicide. But what happens when their shared enemy tries to come for them both again, and they end up in the unfortunate position of trying to protect one another? If Carter and Abby can stand each other for more than three minutes, they can stop Kelsey’s court of misrule from harming more girls.

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Book of Dreams by Kevin Craig (13th)

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not.

The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape.

Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet boy also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

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Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (13th)

Six of Crows goes to Las Vegas in debut author Amanda DeWitt’s suspenseful casino heist, starring an entire crew of asexual teens.

Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. What else is the son of a Las Vegas casino mogul supposed to do?

Everything starts falling apart when Jack’s mom is arrested for their family’s ties to organized crime. His sister Beth thinks this is the Shannon family’s chance to finally go straight, but Jack knows that something’s not right. His mom was sold out, and he knows by who. Peter Carlevaro: rival casino owner and jilted lover. Gross.

Jack hatches a plan to find out what Carlevaro’s holding over his mom’s head, but he can’t do it alone. He recruits his closest friends—the asexual support group he met through fandom forums. Now all he has to do is infiltrate a high-stakes gambling club and dodge dark family secrets, while hopelessly navigating what it means to be in love while asexual. Easy, right?

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Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco (13th)

Remy Pendergast is many things: the only son of the Duke of Valenbonne (though his father might wish otherwise), an elite bounty hunter of rogue vampires, and an outcast among his fellow Reapers. His mother was the subject of gossip even before she eloped with a vampire, giving rise to the rumors that Remy is half-vampire himself. Though the kingdom of Aluria barely tolerates him, Remy’s father has been shaping him into a weapon to fight for the kingdom at any cost.

When a terrifying new breed of vampire is sighted outside of the city, Remy prepares to investigate alone. But then he encounters the shockingly warmhearted vampire heiress Xiaodan Song and her infuriatingly arrogant fiancé, vampire lord Zidan Malekh, who may hold the key to defeating the creatures—though he knows associating with them won’t do his reputation any favors. When he’s offered a spot alongside them to find the truth about the mutating virus Rot that’s plaguing the kingdom, Remy faces a choice.

It’s one he’s certain he’ll regret.

But as the three face dangerous hardships during their journey, Remy develops fond and complicated feelings for the couple. He begins to question what he holds true about vampires, as well as the story behind his own family legacy. As the Rot continues to spread across the kingdom, Remy must decide where his loyalties lie: with his father and the kingdom he’s been trained all his life to defend or the vampires who might just be the death of him.

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TRAGIC by Dana Mele (Text) and Valentina Pinti (Illustrations) (13th)

In a contemporary re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, TRAGIC follows the 17 year-old Harper Hayes as she unravels the mystery and grief surrounding her father’s death.

After her father Hamilton Hayes dies a mysterious and tragic death, Harper Hayes is convinced that he was murdered and her first suspect is her uncle Clayton, who has been sleeping with her mother, Greta. With the help of her ex-girlfriend Talia and her best friend (sometimes with benefits) Holden, Harper is determined to find her father’s killer. But when Caius, Talia’s father and Hamilton’s business partner, is found dead, Harper realizes the answer to Hamilton’s murder is more complicated than she had initially realized. And when Harper starts seeing his ghost in the form of a teenage Hamlet everywhere and slipping into hallucinations of his murder that end with blood on her hands, one thing becomes clear—in order to uncover the truth about what happened to her father, Harper has to confront her own demons and ones that haunt the Hayes family.

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Pink Triangle Legacies by W Jake Newsome (15th)

Pink Triangle Legacies traces the transformation of the pink triangle from a Nazi concentration camp badge and emblem of discrimination into a widespread, recognizable symbol of queer activism, pride, and community. W. Jake Newsome provides an overview of the Nazis’ targeted violence against LGBTQ+ people and details queer survivors’ fraught and ongoing fight for the acknowledgement, compensation, and memorialization of LGBTQ+ victims. Within this context, a new generation of queer activists has used the pink triangle―a reminder of Germany’s fascist past―as the visual marker of gay liberation, seeking to end queer people’s status as second-class citizens by asserting their right to express their identity openly.

The reclamation of the pink triangle occurred first in West Germany, but soon activists in the United States adopted this chapter from German history as their own. As gay activists on opposite sides of the Atlantic grafted pink triangle memories onto new contexts, they connected two national communities and helped form the basis of a shared gay history, indeed a new gay identity, that transcended national borders.

Pink Triangle Legacies illustrates the dangerous consequences of historical silencing and how the incorporation of hidden histories into the mainstream understanding of the past can contribute to a more inclusive experience of belonging in the present. There can be no justice without acknowledging and remembering injustice. As Newsome demonstrates, if a marginalized community seeks a history that liberates them from the confines of silence, they must often write it themselves.

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The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass (20th)

59948518Will Boy 100 be the One?

Micah is rich, dreamy, and charming. As the “Prince of Chicago,”—the son of local celebrity sports radio host known as the King of Chicago—he has everything going for him. Unfortunately, he’s also the prince of imaginary meet-cutes, since he’s too nervous to actually ask boys out.

Instead, Micah draws each crush to share on Instagram with a post about their imaginary dates. Ninety-nine “boyfriends” later, his account is hugely popular, and everyone is eagerly awaiting Boy 100. So is Micah. He’s determined that Boy 100 will be different. This time, Micah will sweep the boy off his feet, for real!

So when Micah flirts with a hot boy on the L who’s wearing a vegan leather jacket and lugging a ton of library books, he is sure this is Boy 100. But right before he can make his move and ask for the boy’s number, the guy rushes off the train, leaving behind his pumpkin-embroidered jacket. The jacket holds clues to the boy’s identity, so Micah and his friends set off on a quest to return it. Along the way, Micah will discover that the best relationships aren’t fairy tales. In fact, the perfect fit—and true love—might be closer than he thinks.

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The Killing Code by Ellie Marney (20th)

Virginia, 1943: World War II is raging in Europe and on the Pacific front when Kit Sutherland is recruited to help the war effort as a codebreaker at Arlington Hall, a former girls’ college now serving as the site of a secret US Signal Intelligence facility. But Kit is soon involved in another kind of fight: government girls are being brutally murdered in Washington DC, and when Kit stumbles onto a bloody homicide scene, she is drawn into the hunt for the killer.

To find the man responsible for the gruesome murders and bring him to justice, Kit joins forces with other female codebreakers at Arlington Hall—gossip queen Dottie Crockford, sharp-tongued intelligence maven Moya Kershaw, and cleverly resourceful Violet DuLac from the segregated codebreaking unit. But as the girls begin to work together and develop friendships—and romance—that they never expected, two things begin to come clear: the murderer they’re hunting is closing in on them…and Kit is hiding a dangerous secret.

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Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer (20th)

“Go get lost somewhere, it always does you good.”

For Arthur Less, life is going surprisingly well: he is a moderately accomplished novelist in a steady relationship with his partner, Freddy Pelu. But nothing lasts: the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has Less running away from his problems yet again as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him on a zigzagging adventure across the US.

Less roves across the “Mild Mild West,” through the South and to his mid-Atlantic birthplace, with an ever-changing posse of writerly characters and his trusty duo – a human-like black pug, Dolly, and a rusty camper van nicknamed Rosina. He grows a handlebar mustache, ditches his signature gray suit, and disguises himself in the bolero-and-cowboy-hat costume of a true “Unitedstatesian”… with varying levels of success, as he continues to be mistaken for either a Dutchman, the wrong writer, or, worst of all, a “bad gay.”

We cannot, however, escape ourselves—even across deserts, bayous, and coastlines. From his estranged father and strained relationship with Freddy, to the reckoning he experiences in confronting his privilege, Arthur Less must eventually face his personal demons. With all of the irrepressible wit and musicality that made Less a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning, must-read breakout book, Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life in America, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.

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Fraternity by Andy Mientus (20th)

58407335. sy475 A queer, dark academia YA about a mysterious boarding school, a brotherhood that must stay in the shadows, and an ancient evil that could tear it all apart.

In the fall of 1991, Zooey Orson transfers to the Blackfriars School for Boys hoping for a fresh start following a scandal at his last school. However, he quickly learns that he isn’t the only student keeping a secret. Before he knows it, he’s fallen in with a group of boys who all share the same secret, one which they can only express openly within the safety of the clandestine gatherings of the Vicious Circle––the covert club for gay students going back decades. But when the boys unwittingly happen upon the headmaster’s copy of an arcane occult text, they unleash an eldritch secret so terrible, it threatens to consume them all.

A queer paranormal story set during the still-raging AIDS crisis, Fraternity examines a time not so long ago when a secret brotherhood lurked in the shadows. What would Zooey and his friends do to protect their found family?

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No Gods for Drowning by Hailey Piper (20th)

IN THE BEGINNING, MAN WAS PREY.

WITHOUT THE GODS, THEY’LL BE PREY AGAIN.

The gods have fled. Monsters threaten to invade the city of Logos, hunting mankind as they did in the olden days. In the midst of it all, a serial killer has begun ritually sacrificing victims—to lure the gods back and stop the imminent destruction, or for a more sinister purpose?

Lilac Antonis wants to stop the impending destruction of her city by summoning her mother, a blood god—even if she has to slit a few throats to do it. But evading her lover Arcadia and her friends means sneaking, lying, and even spilling the blood of people she loves.

Alex and Cecil of Ace Investigations have been tasked with hunting down the killer, but as they close in—not knowing it is their close friend they’re hunting—the detectives realize the gods may not have left willingly, and must uncover the truth before Lilac summons the wrong god, who may have come back just to destroy them all.

Set in an alternate reality which updates mythology to near-modern day, NO GODS FOR DROWNING is part hunt for a serial killer, part noir detective story, and unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

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Other Ever Afters by Melanie Gillman (20th)

59776461Once upon a time . . . happily ever after turned out differently than expected. In this new, feminist, queer fairy-tale collection, you’ll find the princesses, mermaids, knights, barmaids, children, and wise old women who have been forced to sit on the sidelines in classic stories taking center stage. A gorgeous all-new collection in graphic novel format from a Stonewall Honor-winning author and artist.

What if the giant who abducted you was actually thoughtful and kind? What if you didn’t want to marry your handsome, popular, but cold-inside suitor? What if your one true love has all the responsibilities that come with running a kingdom?

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The Unbalancing by R.B. Lemberg (20th)

The Unbalancing is R. B. Lemberg’s new novel in their acclaimed Birdverse. It is the tale of Erígra Lilún, an autistic nonbinary poet, and Ranra Kekeri, a new Starkeeper, as they try to save their island home from sinking. The Unbalancing explores deep names, the magic system of Birdverse, as well as the starlore unique to Lemberg’s world. Readers will learn the origin of the stars and what they are made of through Ranra and Lilún’s efforts to understand the Star of the Tides. Birdverse fans may recognise the story from R. B.’s 2015 poem, “Ranra’s Unbalancing,” which placed 1st in the Strange Horizons Readers Poll that year.

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Visible Mending by M. Arbon (20th)

60733920. sy475 Edd’s self-expression through pretty dresses and sparkly jewellery leads some people to misjudge him, and his soft spot for strays has bitten him on the keister in the past. But when his shy new neighbour Carey, who turns threadbare fabrics into works of art, seems to need help settling into their new town, Edd can’t help but offer a hand.

Rebuilding their life after a crushing divorce, Carey buys a little house in queer-friendly Clover Hill. Their cute neighbour, Edd, keeps bringing them delicious baked goods, and soon even the sound of his knock on their door makes Carey happy. But Carey’s breakup made it obvious how unworthy they are of a relationship, and anyway, Edd’s probably just being kind. Isn’t he?

Yet Carey begins to flourish in their new life as cheerful, patient Edd shows them around town. Edd finds in Carey a gentleness he’s always craved, and a slow, sweet attraction takes root between the two of them.

Then news from Carey’s ex shatters their fragile confidence. How can they be a good partner to Edd when they failed so badly the last time? Edd is torn between giving Carey comfort and keeping the distance Carey says they need, even when it’s making them both miserable.

Can Carey and Edd work together to mend their relationship? Or can some things just not be fixed?

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WARHOLCAPOTE: A Non-Fiction Invention by Rob Roth (20th)

59364079. sy475 In 1978 Andy Warhol and Truman Capote decided to write a Broadway play. Andy suggested that he record their private conversations over the period of a few months, and that these tapes would be the source material for the play. The tapes were then filed away and forgotten. Their play was never completed.

Now, award-winning director Rob Roth brings their vision to life after a years-long search to unearth the eighty hours of tapes between two of the most daring artists of postwar America. WARHOLCAPOTE, based on words actually spoken by the two men, is set in the ’70s and ’80s, toward the end of their close connection and not too long before their untimely deaths. Their special, complex friendship is captured by Roth with bracing intimacy as they discuss life, love, and art and everything in between. Every word in the play comes directly from these two 20th century geniuses. The structure of the conversations springs from Roth’s imagination.

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So Tall it Ends in Heaven: Poems by Jayme Ringleb (20th)

60583989With lush and deeply intimate language, Jayme Ringleb’s debut collection So Tall It Ends in Heaven explores sexuality, estrangement, and the distances we travel for love. Following the end of a marriage, the book’s queer southern speaker tries to restore a relationship with his father. His father lives across an ocean, but more keeps them apart than just that: the father rejected his son long ago after learning that his son is gay. The poems search for answers across the United States and Europe, in and out of historical imagination, as the speaker struggles to separate his understanding of devotion and belonging from the constant losses in his life. Drawing from—and subverting—the formal traditions of love poems, parables, and elegies, the collection claims a vital space for one’s own solace. “Nobody will love you / like this poem does,” the speaker says; “Tell this poem / what you want. // Anything.”

In turns that are ruminative, funny, and tender, So Tall It Ends in Heaven questions what and whom one lets go of by coming out—can love, in all its complexities, ever be uncoupled from grief

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The Lost Century by Larissa Lai (20th)

Lambda Literary Award winner Larissa Lai (The Tiger Flu) returns with a sprawling historical novel about war, colonialism and queer experience during Japan’s occupation of Hong Kong during World War II.

On the eve of the return of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997, young Ophelia asks her peculiar great-aunt Violet about the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II and the disappearance of her uncle Theo. From Violet, she learns the story of her grandmother, Emily.

Emily’s marriage—three times—to her father’s mortal enemy causes a stir among three very different Hong Kong Chinese families, as well as among the young cricketers at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, who’ve just witnessed King Edward VIII’s abdication to marry Wallis Simpson. But the class and race pettiness of the scandal around Emily’s marriage is violently disrupted by the Japanese Imperial Army’s invasion of Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 1941, which plunges the colony into a landscape of violence none of its inhabitants escape from unscathed, least of all Emily. When her situation becomes dire, Violet, along with a crew of unlikely cosmopolitans determines to rescue Emily from the wrath of the person she thought loved her the most, her husband, Tak-Wing. In the middle of it all, a strange match of timeless Test cricket unfolds, in which the ball has an agency all its own.

With great heart, The Lost Century explores the intersections of Asian relations, queer Asian history, underground resistance, the violence of war, and the rise of modern China― a sprawling novel of betrayal, epic violence and intimate passions.

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Ancient History by A.J. Truman (26th)

61426726. sy475 The guy who broke my heart is back and teaching at my school. I’m really trying not to give an F.

A long time ago, in a suburban high school not so far away, a closeted nerd (me) and a closeted soccer star (Hutch) fell in love and planned to make their public debut at prom. Until Hutch bailed at the last minute, leaving me with a broken heart and unworn tuxedo. Tale as old as time, right?

I spent the past ten years working to forget Hutch, returning to our old high school to teach and make new memories that could erase ones of him. I thought Hutch was ancient history, off living his professional athlete life. But he’s suddenly back in Sourwood, coaching soccer at South Rock High, and sexy as ever. Just when I’d gotten over him, we’re now colleagues.

As Hutch leads the soccer team to victory once again, and we find ourselves trading stolen glances in the halls, it feels like a reboot of our high school bad romance. Especially after a late night encounter where I find myself climbing him like the rope in gym class. Oops.

Hutch wants to give us another try, but what if history is doomed to repeat itself?

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Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender (27th)

Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting on their social media accounts––anything to build their platform. When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts on Lark’s Twitter a thread declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark’s tweets are suddenly the talk of the school—and beyond. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark gets closer to their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy, and Lark’s social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll—as does the judgment of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes––or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them . . .

In the end, Lark must embrace their right to their messy emotions and learn how to be in love.

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Forest Hills Bootleg Society by Dave Baker and Nicole Goux (27th)

59365221When Brooke, Kelly, Maggie, and Melissa buy a bootleg anime DVD at a gas station, they get much more than they bargained for with Super Love XL, a risqué move featuring—among other things—a giant mecha who shoots lasers out of her chest. The four girls are horrified (and maybe a little fascinated). It’s so unlike anything they’ve seen, would probably shock everyone else in their town, and definitely would take over their extremely conservative Christian school. That’s when they have the idea to sell copies to local boys…for twenty dollars a pop.

At first, everything goes perfectly, with the friends raking in cash—pretty soon they’ll even have enough money to buy the matching jackets they’ve always dreamed of! But as the market for mildly titillating anime DVDs grows, the girls realize they’ll need new material. On top of figuring out how to replicate their first success, there’s growing tension within the group. Brooke and Kelly’s romance is on its last legs, and hurt feelings are guaranteed when Melissa starts falling for one of them.

Will the four girls’ shared history be strong enough to see them through this upheaval? Or will they learn that some things can only end in heartbreak?

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How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy (27th)

Magically brilliant, academically perfect, chronically overcommitted—

Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s determined to win the Brockton Scholarship—her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her competition? Ana freaking Álvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.

When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, she warily agrees, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes Ana is . . . not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could be a friend—or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when her future’s on the line?

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Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong (27th)

57190453. sy475 It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

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Lark Ascending by Silas House (27th)

59892263As fires devastate most of the United States, Lark and his family secure a place on a refugee boat headed to Ireland, the last country not yet overrun by extremists and rumored to be accepting American refugees. But Lark is the only one to survive the trip, and once ashore, he doesn’t find the safe haven he’d hoped for. As he runs for his life, Lark finds an abandoned dog who becomes his closest companion, and then a woman in search of her lost son. Together they form a makeshift family and attempt to reach Glendalough, a place they believe will offer protection. But can any community provide the safety that they seek? 

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My Name is Magic by Xan van Rooyen (27th)

My Name Is Magic by [Xan van Rooyen]Taika Turunen has no magic.

Despite coming from a long line of powerful Finnish mages, and their name literally meaning magic, Taika can’t perform the simplest of spells.

Forced to attend Myrskyjärvi International School for the Magically Gifted on account of their mom being principal, Taika has a hard time fitting in. Sometimes, they wonder if not having magic has something to do with the fact they’re neither a girl nor a boy and if they’re fated to be Taika the Talentless forever.

Life goes from bad to worse when Taika sees a liekkiö and recognizes the spirit’s voice begging for help as that of their former BFF and major crush, Natalie Khumalo, whose recent absence from class hadn’t gone unnoticed. When more students go missing, Taika must take the lead in a race against time to save friends old and new before a powerful cabal of chaos mages can unleash the legendary Sampo, an artifact capable of either renewing the world’s waning magic or destroying everything Taika holds dear.

To rescue Natalie, Taika will have to journey to the liminal space between worlds where they’ll be forced to battle mythical monsters and their own flagging self-esteem. In doing so, Taika might just discover that magic—and love—comes in many different forms.

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House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson (27th)

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation are all she know. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper seeking a bloodmaid.

Though she knows little about the far north—where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service—Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery. At the center of it all is Countess Lisavet.

The countess, who presides over this hedonistic court, is loved and feared in equal measure. She takes a special interest in Marion. Lisavet is magnetic, and Marion is eager to please her new mistress. But when she discovers that the ancient walls of the House of Hunger hide even older secrets, Marion is thrust into a vicious game of cat and mouse. She’ll need to learn the rules of her new home—and fast—or its halls will soon become her grave.

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The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang (27th)

This is the story of Misery Nomaki (she/they) – a nobody from a nowhere mining planet who possesses the rare stone-working powers of a saint. Unfortunately, these saint-like abilities also manifest in those succumbing to voidmadness, like that which killed Misery’s mother. Knowing they aren’t a saint but praying they aren’t voidmad, Misery keeps quiet about their power for years, while dreaming and scheming up ways off their Forge-forsaken planet.

But when the voice of an angel, or a very convincing delusion, leads Misery to the center of the Empire, they find themself trapped between two powerful and dangerous factions, each hoping to use Misery to win a terrible war.

Still waiting to be convinced of their own divinity and secretly training with a crew of outlaws and outcasts, Misery grows close to a rebel royal, Lady Alodia Lightning, who may know something of saints and prophecy herself. The voice that guides Misery grows bolder by the day, and it seems the madness is catching…

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Broken Beyond Repair by Emily Banting (30th)

Broken Beyond Repair by [Emily Banting]Sydney Mackenzie is taking a well-earned break from her intense job as a PA to the rich and famous. Her tour around England in Gertie, her beloved VW camper, is cut short when her boss calls in a favour.

Beatrice Russell is an esteemed actress, adored by her fans worldwide, disliked by anyone that knows her. Following an accident on set in the US, she’s forced home to her English country estate to convalesce for the summer, where she finds herself in need of yet another new assistant.

Enter Syd, who doesn’t take kindly to the ice queen’s attitude and whims, or her own body’s reaction to the beautiful diva. With Bea’s teenage son, Xander, joining them for the summer, she has a chance to observe their relationship, which she finds is just as broken as Bea’s leg.

As the summer heats up, the ice queen begins to thaw, and Syd sees a glimmer of the troubled woman under the celebrity bravado, drawing her closer to the enigmatic actress — sometimes too close.

Can Syd reach the real Bea and draw her out before the summer ends and she returns to filming in the States, or is Bea broken beyond repair?

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The Bride Hunt of Elk Mountain by Lumen Reese (30th)

Every five years the girls of Elk Mountain wake up in the woods, where the simple farm boys they grew up with become predators and hunt them for brides.

Dan Lightman returns to the mountain to help the Marlow sisters. Lizzie is twenty, deaf since childhood and worried that she could end up married to a man who won’t learn to communicate with her, that she won’t have a voice in her own home. Beck is seventeen, exchanging secret letters with a girl from the other side of the mountain, and she’ll kill or die before she’ll marry anyone else. Nellie is only fourteen, and all she wants is a few more years, to grow up on her own terms.

All three girls live in the shadow of their beautiful eldest sister, Julia. Five years ago -at the last Bride Hunt- she refused the man who caught her, and she was killed for it. The barbaric ritual is a sacred rite of passage to a fringe sect of Catholicism in post-apocalyptic, small-town Appalachia. Dan is one of the hunt’s only critics. He was once too afraid to fight for the girl he loved, but now he’s back with a hired cutthroat and a plan to save the remaining Marlow sisters from their gruesome fate…

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New Releases: August 2022

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.

60403195It’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!

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Continue reading New Releases: August 2022