Scoreless Game by Anna Zabo and L.A. Witt (1st)
At nearly thirty-one years old, Pittsburgh Griffins captain Elias Karlsson’s hockey years are numbered. Everything is changing around him, including his eleven-year friendship with Nikolai Sidorov. Elias would give anything for Nisha to be a permanent part of his life, but their once bedrock-strong bond has broken into a million pieces, and Elias doesn’t know why. More than anything, Elias wants his friend back, but if that isn’t an option, maybe it’s time for him to look outside of hockey for someone to be there with him when hockey isn’t an option anymore.
Nisha’s world is splintering apart. He’s been in love with his two best friends for years, but now one of them has someone. The other, Elias, is searching for everything Nisha wishes he could give him… but he’s looking for it in anyone but Nisha. The farther his friends slip away, the deeper the loneliness sinks in and the bleaker his empty future looks. What can he do but numb the pain in the only ways he knows how?
On the eve of the season opener, Nisha’s unexplained absence threatens the cohesion of the team and puts him and Elias on a collision course of strong wills, broken hearts, and shattered trust. In the end, they may lose the very thing that matters most to them both: each other.
Buy it: Amazon
Boy Like Me by Simon James Green (2nd)
In the margins of a book’s pages, sparks fly as a teenage romance begins. But in this time and place, sparks like that can only ignite trouble.
It’s 1994 and thanks to Section 28, there can be no mention of gay relationships in UK schools. When a kind librarian leads Jamie to a disguised novel in the library that reflects his own confused feelings towards boys, Jamie sees that he’s not the only one who has checked the book out. Will Jamie and this mystery boy have the courage to meet – and if they do, what will it take to hold on to each other?
City of Secrets by Alex London (7th)
This is the third book in the Battle Dragons series
In a modern mega-city built around dragons, one boy gets caught up in the world of underground dragon battles and a high-stakes gang war that could tear his family apart.
Banished from Drakopolis to a desolite frontier town, Abel and his family must face a harsh new reality: life without dragons. Far from the lights and lizards of the megacity, Abel’s new home effectively bans the creatures. Anyone caught smuggling dragons are hauled away by the ruthless sheriff.
The only exceptions to this rule are the dragon rodeos, rare occasions where dragons are brought in from the city to perform for the town’s mining families.
Abel has made it his mission to free mistreated dragons from captivity. Is he willing to risk everything to help the beleaguered beasts?
The Immeasurable Depth of You by Maria Ingrande Mora (7th)
How do you face your fears when everything is terrifying?
Fifteen-year-old Brynn can’t stop thinking about death. Her intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety leave her feeling helpless—and hopeless. So after her mom interprets one of Brynn’s blog posts as a suicide note, she takes extreme measures, confiscating Brynn’s phone, blocking her Internet access, and banishing her to stay with her father who lives “off the grid” on a houseboat in the Florida mangroves. Isolated from her online friends—her only friends—Brynn resigns herself to a summer of mind-numbing boredom and loneliness… until Skylar appears.
Skylar is everything Brynn isn’t—sultry, athletic, and confident. Yet Brynn feels at home around this fearless girl who pushes her to try new things and makes her belly flutter with nerves that have nothing to do with anxiety. When Brynn discovers that Skylar is trapped in the bayou and can’t tell her why, she resolves to free her new crush from the dark waters, even if it means confronting all of her worst fears.
My Dear Henry by Kalynn Bayron (7th)
A teen boy tries to discover the reason behind his best friend’s disappearance―and the arrival of a mysterious and magnetic stranger―in misty Victorian London, in Kalynn Bayron’s My Dear Henry, a gothic YA remix of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, sixth in the Remixed Classics series.
London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life― and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll―was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry’s expulsion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry’s relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.
But Gabriel doesn’t want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what’s become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.
In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can’t help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.
But the secret behind Henry’s apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog―and not all of them are out for blood…
Lies We Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood (7th)
Each spring, Ithaca condemns twelve maidens to the noose. This is the price vengeful Poseidon demands for the lives of Queen Penelope’s twelve maids, hanged and cast into the depths centuries ago.
But when that fate comes for Leto, death is not what she thought it would be. Instead, she wakes on a mysterious island and meets a girl with green eyes and the power to command the sea. A girl named Melantho, who says one more death can stop a thousand.
The prince of Ithaca must die—or the tides of fate will drown them all.
So You Want to Be a Popstar? by Zachary Sergi (7th)
Everly Brooks knows she has what it takes to be the next big singer-songwriter. At least, that’s if she could get her onstage presence to stop feeling so wooden and blossom like her rich, moving lyrics. The reality signing competition, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is her chance at proving to the world—and herself—that her talent and artistry can mean something more than just live streams and online videos.
Vinny Vecchi thought he was heading toward a life full of makeup, wigs, and werking it on the drag stages of NYC. But a powerful diva voice is a precious thing to waste and, in need of money to make his drag dreams come true, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is the next best thing. However, surrounded by competitors with clear brands and sharpened musical identities, he wonders if he can break through while still discovering himself.
When a group performance on the show goes viral overnight, Everly and Vinny find their careers unexpectedly tied together. Along with their competitors—influencer Dea Seo, pop-punk CeCe Winnifred, and heartthrob Stern Green—these five artists are forced to become the newest pop super group: Jeweltones.
You, the reader, get to make choices that will make or break Everly, Vinny, and the group’s meteoric rise in this interactive novel. Will you mend the cracks to help Jeweltones shine bright, or will they burn out under pressure? The choices are yours to make!
Tell the Rest by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (7th)
Delia Barnes and Ernest Wrangham met as teens at Celebration Camp, a church-supported conversion therapy program—the dubious, unscientific, Christian practice meant to change a person’s sexuality. After witnessing a devastating tragedy, they escaped in the night, only to take separate roads to their distant homes.
They have no idea how each has fared through the years. Delia is a college basketball coach who prides herself on being an empowering and self-possessed role model for her players. But when she gets fired from her elite East Coast college, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Rockside, Oregon, to coach at her high school alma mater.
Ernest, meanwhile, is a renowned poet with a temporary teaching job in Portland, Oregon. His work has always been boundary-pushing, fearless. But the poem he’s most wanted to write—about his dangerous escape from Celebration Camp—remains stubbornly out of reach.
Both persist in the mission to overcome the consequences and inhumane costs of conversion therapy. As events find them hurtling toward each other once again, they both grapple with the necessity of remaining steadfast in one’s truth, no matter how slippery that can be.
The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles (7th)
Abandoned by his father, Gareth Inglis grew up lonely, prickly, and well-used to disappointment. Still, he longs for a connection. When he meets a charming man in a London molly house, he falls head over heels—until everything goes wrong and he’s left alone again. Then Gareth’s father dies, turning the shabby London clerk into Sir Gareth, with a grand house on the remote Romney Marsh and a family he doesn’t know.
The Marsh is another world, a strange, empty place notorious for its ruthless gangs of smugglers. And one of them is dangerously familiar…
Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. When the new baronet—his old lover—agrees to testify against Joss’s sister, Joss acts fast to stop him. Their reunion is anything but happy, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away. Soon, all Joss and Gareth want is the chance to be together. But the bleak, bare Marsh holds deadly secrets. And when Gareth finds himself threatened from every side, the gentleman and the smuggler must trust one another not just with their hearts, but with their lives.
The Faithless by C.L. Clark (7th)
This is the sequel to The Unbroken
In the second installment of C.L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost trilogy, soldier Touraine and princess Luca must return to Balladaire to reclaim Luca’s throne and to face the consequences of dismantling an empire.
The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.
Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as Queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to find a way to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…
Touraine has found a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. And, even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started.
Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak in order to find a way to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom.
In Memoriam by Alice Winn (7th)
It’s 1914, and World War I is ceaselessly churning through thousands of young men on both sides of the fight. The violence of the front feels far away to Henry Gaunt, Sidney Ellwood and the rest of their classmates, safely ensconced in their idyllic boarding school in the English countryside. News of the heroic deaths of their friends only makes the war more exciting.
Gaunt, half-German, is busy fighting his own private battle–an all-consuming infatuation with his best friend, the glamorous, charming Ellwood–without a clue that Ellwood is pining for him in return. When Gaunt’s family asks him to enlist to forestall the anti-German sentiment they face, Gaunt does so immediately, relieved to escape his overwhelming feelings for Ellwood. To Gaunt’s horror, Ellwood rushes to join him at the front, and the rest of their classmates soon follow. Now death surrounds them in all its grim reality, often inches away, and no one knows who will be next.
Something Wild and Wonderful by Anita Kelly (7th)
When Alexei Lebedev finally comes out to his conservative community, it does not go well. That’s how he ended up on the rugged Pacific Crest Trail, hoping he can figure out a new life plan in the thousands of miles it’ll take to walk the famed hike. He’s prepared for rattlesnakes, blisters, and months of solitude. What he’s not prepared for is the ray of sunshine named Ben Caravalho.
Charismatic and outgoing, Ben’s personality and infectious laughter is a stark opposite to Alexei’s quiet, reserved demeanor. But no matter how determined Alexei is to hike the trail alone, it seems he and Ben can’t avoid being drawn to each other. Through snow crossings and close calls with coyotes, Alexei inches closer to letting Ben in. As Alexei learns of Ben’s loving family and supportive friends, he begins to get a taste of what found family and belonging could truly feel like. But just as Alexei starts to let down his defenses, a sudden change in plans reawakens his fears—and he must discover if he has the courage to face something even scarier than the trail less traveled: letting himself fall.
Confidence by Rafael Frumkin (7th)
Two lifelong friends, occasional lovers and constant conmen find themselves on top of the world after founding a company that promises instant enlightenment to its users in this thrilling, brainy caper about scams, schemes, and the absurdity of the American Dream.
At 17, Ezra Green doesn’t have a lot going for him. He is shorter than average, gap-toothed, Internet-addicted and halfway to being legally blind. He’s also on his way to Last Chance Camp, the final stop before juvie.
But Ezra’s summer at Last Chance turns life-changing when he meets Orson, brilliant and Adonis-like with a mind for hustling. Together, the two embark upon what promises to be a fruitful career of scam artistry. But when they try to pull off their biggest scam yet – NuLife, a corporation which promises its consumers a lifetime of bliss – things start to spin wildly out of control.
Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni (7th)
Best friends and chosen family Chris, Elise, Jo, and Alex work hard to keep themselves afloat. Their regular brunches hold them together even as the rest of their lives threaten to fall apart. In an effort to avoid being the oldest gays at the party, the crew decides to put on a new queer event called Grind–specifically for homos in their dirty thirties.
Grind is a welcome distraction from their real problems: after a messy divorce, Chris adjusts to being a single parent while struggling to reconnect to their queer community. Elise is caught between feelings for her boss and the career of her dreams. Jo tries to navigate the murky boundaries of being a supportive friend and taking care of her own needs. And Alex is guarding a secret that might change his friendships forever.
While navigating exes at work, physical and mental exhaustion, and drinking way, way too much on weekdays, this chosen family proves that being messy doesn’t always go away with age.
The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older (7th)
On a remote, gas-wreathed outpost of a human colony on Jupiter, a man goes missing. The enigmatic Investigator Mossa follows his trail to Valdegeld, home to the colony’s erudite university—and Mossa’s former girlfriend, a scholar of Earth’s pre-collapse ecosystems.
Pleiti has dedicated her research and her career to aiding the larger effort towards a possible return to Earth. When Mossa unexpectedly arrives and requests Pleiti’s assistance in her latest investigation, the two of them embark on a twisting path in which the future of life on Earth is at stake—and, perhaps, their futures, together.
Sotto Voce by Suzanne Clay (7th)
Harmony Stevens spends her mornings running errands for pay and her nights working the midnight shift at Sunrise Diner. Yes, her life might be small, but after putting her own dreams on hold long ago to serve as caregiver for her recently-deceased mother, there is little for her to pursue outside of Clover Hill. With too many debts to pay and too many regretful memories in her silent home, she can’t imagine living big and pursuing music like she’d always planned. Her one bright spot is a handsome insomniac regular at work by the name of Oliver—until the moment she sees a new wedding band on his finger.
Years ago, Garrett and Oliver Quaite made a home in Clover Hill, where spoonie Garrett could give vocal lessons from the comfort of home and Oliver could offer affordable telehealth therapy services to the local community. Though ardently devoted to each other, their massive hearts led them to open their marriage years ago. There are always new passions, joys, and experiences to explore, and they’re happy to do so hand-in-hand.
When Garrett overhears Harmony singing, he’s immediately a heart-eyed goner for this siren. With the negotiation of a service exchange—errand running for vocal lessons—an opportunity opens up to finally develop the gifts Harmony’s been repressing for years. But the moment she realizes her handsome married regular is Garrett’s husband, she wonders if she should’ve killed the symphony in her heart before it even began.
Will Harmony sustain the dissonance of her grief-stricken life? Or will Garrett and Oliver give her a soft place to land?
Buy it: Amazon
The Sister Split by Auriane Desombre (14th)
Autumn is looking forward to summer vacation. She and her best friend plan on going to all the best ice cream places their stomachs can handle–and in NYC, the possibilities can’t get any sweeter.
Linnea is still not over the fact that her dad has found love after her parents’ divorce. Luckily, she can take out all her feelings on the tennis courts for a winning summer.
But then Autumn and Linnea discover the news: their parents are getting married. Autumn will be moving to the suburbs to live with her soon-to-be stepdad and stepsister, which means kissing the fun summer with her best friend goodbye. For Linnea, she knows her dream of getting her parents back together is officially over.
Devastated, the two of them come up with an idea: if they can split up their parents, their lives can go back to normal. As Autumn and Linnea secretly try to sabotage everything from date nights to wedding planning, the two of them discover that having a sister is not the worst thing after all . . . but will they learn about love in a whole new way?
I Will Find You Again by Sarah Lyu (14th)
Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island—expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years—weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht—and then, first love. True love.
But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret.
And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia—and herself.
Dear Medusa by Olivia Cole (14th)
Sixteen-year-old Alicia Rivers has a reputation that precedes her. But there’s more to her story than the whispers that follow her throughout the hallways at school—whispers that splinter into a million different insults that really mean: a girl who has had sex. But what her classmates don’t know is that Alicia was sexually abused by a popular teacher, and that trauma has rewritten every cell in her body into someone she doesn’t recognize. To the world around her, she’s been cast, like the mythical Medusa, as not the victim but the monster of her own story: the slut who asked for it.
Alicia was abandoned by her best friend, quit the track team, and now spends her days in detention feeling isolated and invisible. When mysterious letters left in her locker hint at another victim, Alicia struggles to keep up the walls she’s built around her trauma. At the same time, her growing attraction to a new girl in school makes her question what those walls are really keeping out.
Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel (14th)
A pair of thrones between us, and my heart clutched like a rosary within his hands . . .”
Twelfth-century Europe. Newly-crowned King Philip of France is determined to restore his nation to its former empire and bring glory to his name. But when his greatest enemy, King Henry of England, threatens to end his reign before it can even begin, Philip is forced to make a precarious alliance with Henry’s volatile son—risking both his throne, and his heart.
Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, never thought he would be King. But when an unexpected tragedy makes him heir to England, he finally has an opportunity to overthrow the father he despises. At first, Philip is a useful tool in his quest for vengeance . . . until passion and politics collide, and Richard begins to question whether the crown is worth the cost.
When Philip and Richard find themselves staring down an impending war, they must choose between their desire for one another and their grand ambitions. Will their love prevail, if it calls to them from across the battlefield? Teeming with royal intrigue and betrayal, this epic romance reimagines two real-life kings ensnared by an impossible choice: Follow their hearts, or earn their place in history.
Ravensong by Cayla Fay (14th)
Neve has spent lifetimes defending the mortal world against the legions of hell with her two sisters.
Unfortunately for Neve, in this lifetime, she is the only one of the Morrigan—a triad of Irish war gods—still stuck in high school and still without her full power. She’s been counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday, when she finally gets to shed the pretenses of humanity and grow into her divine power.
But then she meets Alexandria. And Alexandria is as determined to force Neve into some semblance of teenage normalcy as she is haunted by her own demons—both figurative and literal.
As they grow closer, Neve decides that humanity—and, perhaps, love—isn’t so detestable after all. Which makes it all the more dangerous when she realizes that something in Hell wants Alexandria, and it’s be up to Neve and her sisters to save her before Alexandria’s past catches up to all of them.
Different for Boys by Patrick Ness, ill. by Tea Bendix (14th)
Anthony “Ant” Stevenson isn’t sure when he stopped being a virgin. Or even if he has. The rules aren’t always very clear when it comes to boys who like boys. In fact, relationships of all kinds feel complicated, even with Ant’s oldest friends. There’s Charlie, who’s both virulently homophobic and in a secret physical relationship with Ant. Then there’s drama kid Jack, who may be gay and has become the target of Charlie’s rage. And, of course, there’s big, beautiful Freddie, who wants Ant to ditch soccer, Charlie’s sport, and try out for the rugby team instead. Ant’s story of loneliness and intimacy, of unexpected support and heart-ripping betrayal, is told forthrightly with tongue-in-cheek black-bar redactions over the language that teenagers would actually use if, you know, they weren’t in a story.
Pack of Her Own by Elena Abbott (14th)
Natalie Donovan jumps at a friend’s offer to stay in the family cabin for a month—she desperately needs the chance to get away from, and get over, her messy breakup. She doesn’t count on the owner of the local diner making her heart pound and her body desperate to be touched.
Wren Carne is a lone wolf. As an Alpha shifter, she has no pack and maintains her territory without causing drama, just the way she likes it. When she checks on the girl staying in a local cabin, she’s not expecting her wolf to identify the human as her One True Mate.
As fallout from their pasts encroaches upon the sleepy town of Terabend, Wren must decide if she wants a pack of her own, while Natalie worries that her secret—she’s transgender—might be too much for Wren.
Blue Hunger by Viola di Grado, trans. by Jamie Richards (14th)
After her twin’s death, a solitary young woman leaves Rome for Shanghai, the city where her brother Ruben had long dreamed of opening a restaurant. Teaching Italian to Chinese students, she meets a mysterious girl named Xu, who is also running from a turbulent past: a violent father, an absent mother, and an extended family who wishes she’d been a boy. Xu’s house is dingy and full of rotting food, like a museum of decomposing organic matter. In the gloom of abandoned textile factories and dilapidated slaughterhouses, the two discover an extreme dimension where biting, swallowing, and taking each other in are part of the erotic ritual.
Brother & Sister Enter the Forest by Richard Mirabella (14th)
After years of severed communication, Justin appears on his sister’s doorstep needing a place to stay. The home he’s made for himself has collapsed, as has everything else in his life. When they were children, Willa played the role of her brother’s protector, but now, afraid of the chaos he might bring, she’s reluctant to let him in.
Willa lives a carefully ordered life working as a nurse and making ornate dioramas in her spare time. As Justin tries to connect with the people she’s closest to—her landlord, her boyfriend, their mother—she begins to feel exposed. Willa and Justin’s relationship has always been strained yet loving, frustrating and close. But it hits a new breaking point when Justin spirals out of control, unable to manage his sobriety and the sustained effects of a brain injury.
Years earlier, in high school, desperate to escape his home life and his disapproving, troubled mother, Justin falls into the hands of his first lover, a slightly older boy living on his own who offers Justin some semblance of intimacy and refuge. When Justin’s boyfriend commits a terrifying act of violence, the two flee on a doomed road trip, a journey that will damage Justin and change his and his family’s lives forever.
Weaving together these two timelines, Brother & Sister Enter the Forest unravels the thread of a young man’s trauma and the love waiting for him on the other side.
Proud Pink Sky by Redfern Jon Barrett (14th)
A glittering gay metropolis of 24 million people, Berlin is a bustling world of pride parades, polyamorous trysts, and even an official gay language. Its distant radio broadcasts are a lifeline for teenagers William and Gareth, who flee toward sanctuary. But is there a place for them in the deeply divided city?
Meanwhile, young mother Cissie loves Berlin’s towering high rises and chaotic multiculturalism, yet she’s never left her heterosexual district—not until she and her family are trapped in a queer riot. With her husband Howard plunging into religious paranoia, she discovers a walled-off slum of perpetual twilight, home to the city’s forbidden trans residents.
A Manual for How to Love Us by Erin Slaughter (14th)
In these unconventional and unpredictably connected stories, Erin Slaughter shatters the stereotype of the soft-spoken, sorrowful woman in distress, queering the domestic and honoring the feral in all of us. In each story, grieving women embrace their wildest impulses as they attempt to master their lives: one woman becomes a “gazer” at a fraternity house, another slowly moves into her otherworldly stained-glass art, a couple speaks only their basement’s black box, and a thruple must decide what to do when one partner disappears.
The women in Erin Slaughter’s stories suffer messy breaks, whisper secrets to the ghosts tangled in the knots of their hair, eat raw meat to commune with their inner wolves, and build deadly MLM schemes along the Gulf Coast.
Set across oft-overlooked towns in the American South, A Manual for How to Love Us spotlights women who are living on the brink and clinging to its precipitous edge. Lyrical and surprisingly humorous, A Manual for How to Love Us is an exciting debut that reveals the sticky complications of living in a body, in all its grotesquerie and glory.
Feed Them Silence by Lee Mandelo (14th)
What does it mean to “be-in-kind” with a nonhuman animal? Or in Dr. Sean Kell-Luddon’s case, to be in-kind with one of the last remaining wild wolves? Using a neurological interface to translate her animal subject’s perception through her own mind, Sean intends to chase both her scientific curiosity and her secret, lifelong desire to experience the intimacy and freedom of wolfishness. To see the world through animal eyes; smell the forest, thick with olfactory messages; even taste the blood and viscera of a fresh kill. And, above all, to feel the belonging of the pack.
Sean’s tireless research gives her a chance to fulfill that dream, but pursuing it has a terrible cost. Her obsession with work endangers her fraying relationship with her wife. Her research methods threaten her mind and body. And the attention of her VC funders could destroy her subject, the beautiful wild wolf whose mental world she’s invading.
Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai (14th)
As a descendant of the Chinese god of medicine, ignored middle child Elle was destined to be a doctor. Instead, she is underemployed as a mediocre magical calligrapher at the fairy temp agency. Nevertheless, she challenges herself by covertly outfitting Luc, her client and crush, with high-powered glyphs.
Half-elf Luc, the agency’s top security expert, has his own secret: he’s responsible for a curse laid from an old assignment. To heal them, he’ll need to perform his job duties with unrelenting excellence and earn time off from his tyrannical boss.
When Elle saves Luc’s life, they begin a dangerous collaboration, but their chemistry blooms. Happiness, for once, is an option for them both. But Elle is loyal to her family, and Luc is bound by his true name. To win freedom from duty, they must make unexpected sacrifices.
The Shattered Lands by Brenna Nation (16th)
18 years after her disappearance, the princess has returned. But what is left of her kingdom?
Sapphire finds herself in Eriobis with a crown, a castle and too many handmaidens to count. And so her life begins as the heir to the throne of a country she doesn’t understand – a country ruled by magic and secrets.
That’s before she meets Ashes. A dark witch with the power to destroy Sapphire’s life and kingdom. But Ashes also happens to be the only person that can help her discover the truth.
And the answers might unravel the very world she’s come to know.
Penny for Your Heart by Season Vining (16th)
At fourteen, Penny Winters fell out of the closet and in love with her best friend, Misa Ito. But before they truly understood their feelings, Misa and her family were gone. Over a decade later, when Penny secures a job at a top New York advertising agency, she has a second chance at first love when she’s introduced to the lead account executive, Misa.
But the road to happiness is riddled with potholes. Misa is still impossibly beautiful, but super cold. And Misa shows no recollection of Penny—the girl who once showed her how to skateboard, make daisy chain crowns, and shared every secret with. On top of that, there’s the huge engagement ring and photo of a handsome man on Misa’s desk. The butterflies Penny feels don’t seem one-sided, and she wants answers.
Penny has no idea that she’s begging for the impossible. Getting Misa to admit anything means asking her to do the impossible: put aside her career and her father’s expectations to give into her heart. Which has always belonged to Penny.
Buy it: Amazon
Camp QUILTBAG by Nicole Melleby and A.J. Sass (21st)
Twelve-year-old Abigail (she/her/hers) is so excited to spend her summer at Camp QUILTBAG, an inclusive retreat for queer and trans kids. She can’t wait to find a community where she can be herself—and, she hopes, admit her crush on Laura Dern to kids who will understand.
Thirteen-year-old Kai (e/em/eir) is not as excited. E just wants to hang out with eir best friend and eir parkour team. And e definitely does not want to think about the incident that left eir arm in a sling—the incident that also made Kai’s parents determined to send em somewhere e can feel like emself.
After a bit of a rocky start at camp, Abigail and Kai make a pact to help each other find their footing, all while navigating crushes, their queer identities, and a competition pitting cabin against cabin.
Dear Mothman by Robin Gow (21st)
Halfway through sixth grade, Noah’s best friend and the only other trans boy in his school, Lewis, passed away in a car accident. Lewis was adventurous and curious, always bringing a new paranormal story to share with Noah. Together they daydreamed about cryptids and shared discovering their genders and names. After his death, lonely and yearning for someone who could understand him like Lewis once did, Noah starts writing letters to Mothman, wondering if he would understand how Noah feels and also looking for evidence of Mothman’s existence in the vast woods surrounding his small Poconos town. Noah becomes determined to make his science fair project about Mothman, despite his teachers and parents urging him to make a project about something “real.”
Meanwhile, as Noah tries to find Mothman, Noah also starts to make friends with a group of girls in his grade, Hanna, Molly, and Alice, with whom he’d been friendly, but never close to. Now, they welcome him, and he starts to open up to each of them, especially Hanna, who Noah has a crush on. But as strange things start to happen and Noah becomes sure of Mothman’s existence, his parents and teachers don’t believe him. Noah decides it’s up to him to risk everything, trek into the woods, and find Mothman himself.
The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores (21st)
Ava and Kaye used to be best friends. Until one night two years ago, vampires broke through the magical barrier protecting their town, and in the ensuing attack, Kaye’s mother was killed, and Ava was turned into a vampire. Since then, Ava has been trapped in her house. Her mother Eugenia needs her: Ava still has her witch powers, and Eugenia must take them in order to hide that she’s a vampire as well. Desperate to escape her confinement and stop her mother’s plans to destroy the town, Ava must break out, flee to the forest, and seek help from the vampires who live there. When there is another attack, she sees her opportunity and escapes.
Kaye, now at the end of her training as a Flame witch, is ready to fulfill her duty of killing any vampires that threaten the town, including Ava. On the night that Ava escapes, Kaye follows her and convinces her to travel together into the forest, while secretly planning to turn her in. Ava agrees, hoping to rekindle their old friendship, and the romantic feelings she’d started to have for Kaye before that terrible night.
But with monstrous trees that devour humans whole, vampires who attack from above, and Ava’s stepfather tracking her, the woods are full of danger. As they travel deeper into the forest, Kaye questions everything she thought she knew. The two are each other’s greatest threat—and also their only hope, if they want to make it through the forest unscathed.
Life is Strange: Steph’s Story by Rosiee Thor (21st)
The official origin story of LiS fan-favourite Steph Gingrich featuring LGBTQ+ romance, inevitable heartbreak, and the punk-rock beginnings of Drugstore Makeup.
“So, what kind of lesbian are you?”
“The kind that… likes… girls?”
Setting the stage for her appearance in Life is Strange: True Colors, this official Steph Gingrich novel sheds light on the Drugstore Makeup years and the story of how Steph crash-landed in Haven Springs, Colorado.
Steph Gingrich has finally run out of couches to surf. Now she’s back at her dad’s place in Seattle to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
Steph fills her time working at the local gamer café during the day and running RPG sessions at night, that is until Izzie whirls into Steph’s existence clutching a crumpled stack of band posters. Izzie is electric: a punk, a girl who likes girls, and a hella good guitarist. Turns out the punk life is exactly what Steph needs. She loves the music, the art, and the fashion, but most of all she likes the girl. Entranced, she offers to drum for Izzie, forming the band Drugstore Makeup.
A hit in more ways than one, Drugstore Makeup compete in a battle of the bands before deciding to tour the offbeat punk venues of America. But Steph and Izzie soon find themselves on different wavelengths, unable to communicate, and needing different things.
Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa (21st)
High-school senior and notorious wallflower Hawkins finally works up the courage to remove her mascot mask and ask out her longtime crush: Regina Moreno, head cheerleader, academic overachiever, and all-around popular girl. There’s only one teensy little problem: Regina is already dating Chloe Kitagawa, athletic all-star…and middling English student. Regina sees a perfectly self-serving opportunity here, and asks the smitten Hawkins to tutor Chloe free of charge, knowing Hawkins will do anything to get closer to her.
And while Regina’s plan works at first, she doesn’t realize that Hawkins and Chloe knew each other as kids, when Hawkins went by Belle and wore princess dresses to school every single day. Before long, romance does start to blossom…but not between who you might expect. With Belle of the Ball, cartoonist Mariana Costa has reinvigorated satisfying, reliable tropes into your new favorite teen romantic comedy.
The Future King by Robyn Schneider (21st)
This is the sequel to The Other Merlin
Fresh from an epic victory over sorceress Morgana Le Fay, Emry Merlin should be flying high. She no longer has to hide that she’s a girl wizard in Camelot, and the battle has made her fall even more in love with Prince Arthur. Even her hapless but beloved twin brother Emmett has joined her at court.
But Emry is hiding secrets, and she’s not the only one. Her magic has become unpredictable and deadly, and she’s been warned by the king to stay away from his son. Despite the prophecies deeming him the One True King, Prince Arthur knows he doesn’t have what it takes to rule Camelot—until a terrible tragedy forces his hand. And though Guinevere is hooking up with the hottest guy in the palace, it’s not who she’s actually betrothed to . . .
Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia (21st)
A scorned god.
A mysterious acolyte.
A forgetting drug.
A dangerous forest.
One girl caught between the freedom she always wanted and a sister she can’t bear to leave behind.
Under the cover of the Night Forest, will Lucha be able to step into her own power…or will she be consumed by it?
Flux by Jinwoo Chong (21st)
Four days before Christmas, 8-year-old Bo loses his mother in a tragic accident, 28-year-old Brandon loses his job after a hostile takeover of his big-media employer, and 48-year-old Blue, a key witness in a criminal trial against an infamous now-defunct tech startup, struggles to reconnect with his family.
So begins Jinwoo Chong’s dazzling, time-bending debut that blends elements of neo-noir and speculative fiction as the lives of Bo, Brandon, and Blue begin to intersect, uncovering a vast network of secrets and an experimental technology that threatens to upend life itself. Intertwined with them is the saga of an iconic ’80s detective show, Raider, whose star actor has imploded spectacularly after revelations of long-term, concealed abuse.
Flux is a haunting and sometimes shocking exploration of the cyclical nature of grief, of moving past trauma, and of the pervasive nature of whiteness within the development of Asian identity in America.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
The Fake by Zoe Whittall (21st)
After the death of her wife, Shelby is suffering from prolonged grief. She’s increasingly isolated, irritated by her family’s stoicism and her friends’ reliance on the toxic positivity of self-help culture. Then, in a grief support group, she meets Cammie, who gives her permission to express her most hopeless, hideous feelings. Cammie is charismatic and unlike anyone Shelby has ever met. She’s also recovering from cancer and going through several other calamities. Shelby puts all her energy into helping Cammie thrive—until her intuition tells her that something isn’t right.
Gibson is fresh from divorce, almost forty, and deeply depressed. Then he falls in love with Cammie. Not only is he having the best sex of his life with a woman so attractive he’s stunned she even glanced his way, he feels truly known for the first time in his life. But Gibson’s friends are wary of Cammie, and eventually he, too, has to admit that all the drama in Cammie’s life can feel a bit over the top.
When Gibson and Shelby meet, they realize Cammie’s stories don’t always add up. In fact, they’re far from the truth. But what kind of a person would lie about having cancer? And what does it say about Shelby and Gibson that they fell for it?
Metamorphoses by Evan Kennedy (21st)
Metamorphoses springs from Ovid’s epic poem to explore the slipperiness of identity. In poems that shift registers from travelogue to elegy, from nature documentary to a simple record of the realities of daily life, Kennedy focuses on transformation, personal and collective, in an empire in decline, in a world transfigured by ecological upheaval.
Like a fever dream over Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, Kennedy has one foot in Ancient Rome and the other in contemporary San Francisco, acknowledging the “transformations of this city [he] loves” into “awful condos of steel and glass” alongside Victorian homes. The poet shores up fragments against this cultural decadence through the cultivation of a wry pagan mysticism, whether he’s offering devotions to Attis and Apollo, banishing Madonna from his pantheon, or placing twink emperor and notorious prankster Elagabalus in the East Bay. The book’s transformations even extend to its central conceit, as Kafka bursts into the proceedings to dispute Ovid’s claim to the laurel.
Into the Light by Mark Oshiro (28th)
It’s been one year since Manny was cast out of his family and driven into the wilderness of the American Southwest. Since then, Manny lives by self-taught rules that keep him moving―and keep him alive. Now, he’s taking a chance on a traveling situation with the Varela family, whose attractive but surly son, Carlos, seems to promise a new future.
Eli abides by the rules of his family, living in a secluded community that raised him to believe his obedience will be rewarded. But an unsettling question slowly eats away at Eli’s once unwavering faith in Reconciliation: Why can’t he remember his past?
But the reported discovery of an unidentified body in the hills of Idyllwild, California, will draw both of these young men into facing their biggest fears and confronting their own identity―and who they are allowed to be.
The Quiet and the Loud by Helena Fox (28th)
George’s life is loud. On the water, though, with everything hushed above and below, she is steady, silent. Then her estranged dad says he needs to talk, and George’s past begins to wake up, looping around her ankles, trying to drag her under.
But there’s no time to sink. George’s best friend, Tess, is about to become, officially, a teen mom, her friend Laz is in despair about the climate crisis, her gramps would literally misplace his teeth if not for her, and her moms fill the house with fuss and chatter. Before long, heat and smoke join the noise as distant wildfires begin to burn.
George tries to stay steady. When her father tells her his news and the painful memories roar back to life, George turns to Calliope, the girl who has just cartwheeled into her world and shot it through with colors. And it’s here George would stay—quiet and safe—if she could. But then Tess has her baby, and the earth burns hotter, and the past just will not stay put.
Chlorine by Jade Song (28th)
Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.
But these are human concerns. These are the concerns of those confined to land, those with legs. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Ones that called sailors to their doom. Ones that dragged them down and drowned them. Ones that feasted on their flesh. Ones of the creature that she’s always longed to become: mermaid.
Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine–the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spil
Loki’s Ring by Stina Licht (28th)
Gita Chithra, the captain of the intergalactic ship The Tempest, is used to leading her crew on simple retrieval and assistance missions. But when she receives a frantic distress call from Ri, the AI she trained from inception—making her like a daughter to Gita—she knows she’s in for something much more dangerous.
Ri is trapped in the depths of Loki’s Ring, an artificial alien-made solar system, and says everyone in the vicinity has been infected and killed by a mysterious contagion. Gita and her team investigate, only to discover horrors at every turn, and are soon stranded themselves, leaving them vulnerable to infection and attack.
Forced to call on an old friend to help them out of this mess, Gita must succeed or risk losing everyone she’s ever loved.
Jamie by L.D. Lapinski (30th)
Jamie Rambeau is a happy 11-year-old non-binary kid who likes nothing better than hanging out with their two best friends Daisy and Ash. But when the trio find out that in Year Seven they will be separated into one school for boys and another for girls, their friendship suddenly seems at risk. And when Jamie realises no one has thought about where they are going to go, they decide to take matters into their own hands, and sort it all out once and for all.
As the friends’ efforts to raise awareness eventually become a rooftop protest against the binary rules for the local schools, Jamie realises that if they don’t figure out a way forwards, they might be at risk of losing both their friends forever.
Buy it: Waterstones