Starting from Scratch by Jazz Taylor (4th)
Janie believes there’s a best way to do everything. When she sticks to a schedule, she and her mom can tackle anything. But Janie’s perfect schedule—and her life—are getting shaken up this year. Her new stepmom, Keisha, is moving in, along with her daughter, Makayla.
Worst of all? Makayla brings a cat with her. And Janie hates cats.
Even though it’s hard, Janie tries to welcome Makayla to her new school. And honestly, she maybe does too good a job. Soon, Makayla is volunteering with Janie’s beloved Sunshine Club, and Janie’s friends all love her. The only one who pays any attention to her anymore is Makayla’s nosy cat. It feels like her new sister is taking over! What’s a gal to do with a copycat in her life?
Forget Me Not by Alyson Derrick (4th)
What would you do if you forgot the love of your life ever even existed?
Stevie and Nora had a love. A secret, epic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. They also had a plan: to leave their small, ultra-conservative town and families behind after graduation and move to California, where they could finally stop hiding that love.
But then Stevie has a terrible fall. And when she comes to, she can remember nothing of the last two years—not California, not coming to terms with her sexuality, not even Nora. Suddenly, Stevie finds herself in a life she doesn’t quite understand, one where she’s estranged from her parents, drifting away from her friends, lying about the hours she works, dating a boy she can’t remember crushing on, and headed towards a future that isn’t at all what her fifteen-year-old self would have envisioned.
And Nora finds herself…forgotten. Can the two beat the odds a second time and find their way back together when “together” itself is just a lost memory?
Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker (April 4th)
Thirty years ago, a young woman was murdered, a family was lynched, and New Orleans saw the greatest magical massacre in its history. In the days that followed, a throne was stolen from a queen.
On the anniversary of these brutal events, Clement and Cristina Trudeau—the sixteen-year-old twin heirs to the powerful, magical, dethroned family—are mourning their father and caring for their sick mother. Until, by chance, they discover their mother isn’t sick—she’s cursed. Cursed by someone on the very magic council their family used to rule. Someone who will come for them next.
Cristina, once a talented and dedicated practitioner of Generational magic, has given up magic for good. An ancient spell is what killed their father and she was the one who cast it. For Clement, magic is his lifeline. A distraction from his anger and pain. Even better than the random guys he hooks up with.
Cristina and Clement used to be each other’s most trusted confidant and friend, now they barely speak. But if they have any hope of discovering who is coming after their family, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other and their family’s magic, all while solving the decades-old murder that sparked the still-rising tensions between the city’s magical and non-magical communities. And if they don’t succeed, New Orleans may see another massacre. Or worse.
Stuck With You by ‘Nathan Burgoine (4th)
Ben is on a train back to Ottawa after a visit with his dad in Toronto when he runs into the last person he wanted to see: Caleb, the handsome, confident boy who recently and accidentally broke Ben’s phone. Preoccupied by worrying about whether he should take a gap year, Ben has little time for Caleb’s jibes.
But when the two start talking, not only does Ben find himself won over by Caleb’s roguish charm, but he also learns his seatmate is also bisexual..
Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens (4th)
Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.
Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.
But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.
The Winter Knight by Jes Battis (4th)
The knights of the round table are alive in Vancouver, but when one winds up dead, it’s clear the familiar stories have taken a left turn. Hildie, a Valkyrie and the investigator assigned to the case, wants to find the killer — and maybe figure her life out while she’s at it. On her short list of suspects is Wayne, an autistic college student and the reincarnation of Sir Gawain, who these days is just trying to survive in a world that wasn’t made for him. After finding himself at the scene of the crime, Wayne is pulled deeper into his medieval family history while trying to navigate a new relationship with the dean’s charming assistant, Burt — who also happens to be a prime murder suspect. To figure out the truth, Wayne and Hildie have to connect with dangerous forces: fallen knights, tricky runesmiths, the Wyrd Sisters of Gastown. And a hungry beast that stalks Wayne’s dreams.
Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh (4th)
While we live, the enemy shall fear us.
All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the all-powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humanity.
They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.
Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive alien, she escapes from everything she’s ever known into a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could have imagined.
The Way of the Cicadas by Audrey Henley (4th)
Ten years after nuclear war devastated the United States, Hayden is used to the meager rations, recycled air, and sterile light of the bunker he’s called home since childhood. But when the administration rejects a years-in-the-making plan to emerge as supplies plummet, Hayden itches to leave.
Brita, a mysterious girl with no long-term memory, stumbles upon the bunker, proving to Hayden and the other 200 residents that the outside isn’t as hostile as the administrators let on. Hayden, Brita, and a handful of other residents sneak out in the dead of night to scavenge for supplies.
The outside world holds more life, and more danger, than they prepared for. After an outside survivor betrays them, they’re imprisoned by a military faction with the key to Brita’s identity. For Hayden to save his friends, he must uncover a past Brita would rather never remember—along with secrets the administration has sheltered them from all these years.
A Zookeeper’s Guide to Dating by Roan Rosser and Ian M. Keller (4th)
Wallflower janitor Emily has dreamed of being a zookeeper their entire life. But they’ve been passed over again and again for promotion. Asked out by a gay man who thinks they’re named ‘Emil,’ they feel happy for the first time in forever.
Jeremi is outgoing, friendly, driven… and his forgetfulness has lost him more boyfriends than he can count. When he meets an adorable twink at the zoo, Jeremi vows: this time will be different.
Their first date tanks.
Jeremi tries to salvage things by offering to be Emil’s job coach, yet he can’t help but want to be more than just friends.
As Emil’s egg cracks and their self-confidence grows, Emil yearns for more from Jeremi. Yet they worry they’re not what Jeremi is looking for…
Is their relationship doomed to die in captivity?
Buy it: Amazon
The Big Reveal: an Illustrated Manifesto of Drag by Sasha Velour (4th)
This book is a quilt, piecing together memoir, history, and theory into a living portrait of an artist and an art. Within these pages, illustrated throughout with photos and original artwork, Sasha Velour illuminates drag as a unique form of expression with a rich history and a revolutionary spirit.
Each chapter strips off a new layer, removing one tantalizing glove and then another, to reveal all the twists and turns in the life of a queen. As Sasha recalls her own journey, from the women who raised her, to learning the craft of an artist, to success, disaster, and more, she also uncovers the history of queer life around the world that made it all possible.
From shamans to “fairies balls,” empresses to RuPaul’s Drag Race (and beyond), The Big Reveal chronicles and celebrates our shared queer pasts. “If we want to be seen as legendary,” writes Sasha, “we have to weave ourselves into history.”
From an iconoclastic drag queen comes an equally singular, thought-provoking manifesto that brings necessary and sparkling substance to our understanding of drag, queerness, beauty, and liberation!
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG by Leslie Karst (April 4th)
When Leslie Karst learned that her offer to cook dinner for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her renowned tax law professor husband, Marty, had been accepted, she was thrilled—and terrified. A small-town lawyer who hated her job and had taken up cooking as a way to add a bit of spice to the daily grind of pumping out billable hours, Karst had never before thrown such a high-stakes dinner party. Could she really pull this off?
Justice is Served is Karst’s light-hearted, earnest account of the journey this unexpected challenge launched her on—starting with a trip to Paris for culinary inspiration, and ending with the dinner itself. Along the way, she imparts details of Ginsburg’s transformation from a young Jewish girl from Flatbush, Brooklyn, to one of the most celebrated Supreme Court justices in our nation’s history, and shares recipes for the mouthwatering dishes she came up with as she prepared for the big night. But this memoir isn’t simply a tale of prepping for and cooking dinner for the famous RBG; it’s also about how this event, and all the planning and preparation that went into it, created a new sort of connection between Karst, her partner, and her parents, and also inspired Karst to make life changes that would reverberate far beyond one dinner party.
A heartfelt story of simultaneously searching for delicious recipes and purpose in life, Justice is Served is an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to discover—and follow—your deepest passion.
Can I Steal You for a Second by Jodi McAlister (5th)
Mandie Mitchell will do anything to get over her toxic ex. Even sign up to the polarising reality dating show, Marry Me Juliet. But with her self-esteem in tatters, she’s not sure she’s brave enough to actually go on the show until she forms a friendship with Dylan Gilchrist at the auditions that gives her the push she needs.
Dylan is everything Mandie is not – tough, strong, and totally unafraid to speak her mind. Unfortunately, she also looks set to win, as she soon becomes the clear favourite of the Romeo, who also happens to share the same name. It’s annoying, really, just how perfect the Dylans seem for each other…
Mandie’s jealous. But it’s not because she wants to win the show. It’s because in her effort to get over her ex, she’s gone and fallen right back in love… with the wrong Dylan.
Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything by Justine Pucella Winans (11th)
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Torre is an avid birder undergoing a gender identity crisis and grappling with an ever-growing list of fears.
Some, like Fear #6: Initiating Conversation, keep them constrained, forcing them to watch birds from the telescope in their bedroom. And, occasionally, their neighbors. When their gaze wanders from the birds to one particular window across the street, Bianca witnesses a creepy plague-masked murderer take their neighbor’s life.
Worse, the death is ruled a suicide, forcing Bianca to make a choice—succumb to their long list of fears (including #3 Murder and #55 Breaking into a Dead Guy’s Apartment), or investigate what happened.
Bianca enlists the help of their friend Anderson Coleman, but the two have more knowledge of anime than true crime. As Bianca and Anderson dig deeper into the murder with a little help from Bianca’s crush and fellow birding aficionado, Elaine Yee (#13 Beautiful People, #11 Parents Discovering They’re a Raging Lesbian), the trio uncover a conspiracy much larger—and weirder—than imagined. But when the killer catches wind of the investigation, Bianca’s #1 fear of public speaking doesn’t sound so bad under the threat of being silenced for good.
Promises Greater Than Darkness by Charlie Jane Anders (April 11th)
This is the final book in the Unstoppable trilogy
Tina Mains was once just another human stuck on earth–but as the secret clone of a valorous alien leader, she always had expected to grow into greatness.
Now, after a harsh awakening about the fate of the universe and the reality of dangers from a past she can’t remember, Tina is on the run with a group of ragtag rebels, including her beloved ex-space-princess-in-training Elza, and is faced with the ultimate test: should she give up her own life to live the one that was meant to be?
Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah (11th)
Could I one day inspire happiness in others, the same way he seemed to do in me?
It’s 2005 and Harley has dropped out of college to move home, back to rural England where he works a dead-end job at a movie theater. Estranged from his father and finding every attempt at happiness futile, he is on the verge of making a devastating final decision. Fortunately for him, things don’t go according to plan, and his attempt on his own life is interrupted by his new roommate, Muddy.
Muddy is everything Harley is not: white, ostensibly heterosexual, freewheeling, confident in his masculinity. Despite their differences, a deep friendship blossoms between them when Muddy takes Harley under his wing and shows him everything that, in his eyes, makes life worth living: birdwatching, karaoke, rugby, and the band Oasis.
But this newfound friendship is complicated. It has enormous repercussions for the pair’s romantically entangled friend group—with Chelsea, an overbearing striver whose generosity they begrudgingly rely on; with Finlay, her raffish and uncouth boyfriend; and with Noria, who despite her simmering confidence is smarting from a series of unreturned affections. And then there’s the violent affair with an older man that Harley finds himself slipping back into…
Diamond Ring by KD Casey (11th)
Jake Fischer has been here before: pitching for the Oakland Elephants, hiding his worries behind a smile, hoping to win it all. Ten years ago, it didn’t turn out the way he wanted. Nothing in his life did. But now he’s back—and so is the one teammate tied inexorably to his past.
It doesn’t matter how many times catcher Alex Angelides replays that moment during the Fall Classic over in his mind, the outcome never changes. He’s not sure what happened to make that pitch glance off his glove, or what happened with his relationship with Jake—and he’s not going to be the one to ask.
A whole lot may have changed in the last decade, but some things have stayed the same. Jake and Alex still can’t stay out of each other’s faces on the field, or out of each other’s beds off of it. They’ve got a second chance to win it all…but only if they realize what they lost.
Buy it: Amazon
Pomegranate by Helen Elaine Lee (11th)
Ranita Atwater is “getting short.”
She is almost done with her four-year sentence for opiate possession at Oak Hills Correctional Center. With three years of sobriety, she is determined to stay clean and regain custody of her two children.
My name is Ranita, and I’m an addict, she has said again and again at recovery meetings. But who else is she? Who might she choose to become? As she claims the story housed within her pomegranate-like heart, she is determined to confront the weight of the past and discover what might lie beyond mere survival.
Ranita is regaining her freedom, but she’s leaving behind her lover Maxine, who has inspired her to imagine herself and the world differently. Now she must steer clear of the temptations that have pulled her down, while atoning for her missteps and facing old wounds. With a fierce, smart, and sometimes funny voice, Ranita reveals how rocky and winding the path to wellness is for a Black woman, even as she draws on family, memory, faith, and love in order to choose life.
Something Spectacular by Alexis Hall (11th)
Peggy Delancey’s not at all ready to move on from her former flame, Arabella Tarleton. But Belle has her own plans for a love match, and she needs Peggy’s help to make those plans a reality. Still hung up on her feelings and unable to deny Belle what she wants, Peggy reluctantly agrees to help her woo the famous and flamboyant opera singer Orfeo.
She certainly doesn’t expect to find common ground with a celebrated soprano, but when Peggy and Orfeo meet, a whole new flame is ignited that she can’t ignore. Peggy finds an immediate kinship with Orfeo, a castrato who’s just as nonconforming as she is—and just as affected by their instant connection.
They’ve never been able to find their place in the world, but as the pair walks the line between friendship, flirtation, and something more, they may just find their place with each other.
Jude Saves the World by Ronnie Riley (18th)
Jude Winters might be in over their head. Maybe. But they’ll never admit it.
They befriend the ex-popular girl, Stevie Morgan, create an all-ages safe space at their local library with their best friend, Dallas Knight, and come out as nonbinary to their grandparents.
When the club becomes an overnight success, friendships crumble, and their grandparents act like they’re stuck in the Stone Age, Jude fights to keep their world from tearing itself apart. But a twelve-year-old can only handle so much.
Drew Leclair Crushes the Case by Katryn Bury (18th)
This is the second book in the Drew Leclair series
After breaking school rules the last time she solved a mystery, Drew Leclair has a new mission: get good grades, stay under the radar, and do not get suspended.
But when Drew finds out that there’s a thief breaking into the P.E. lockers and leaving behind cryptic ransom notes, it’s hard to resist cracking a new case. Especially when one of the victims is her best friend Shrey’s crush, and he’s practically begging her to get involved.
Can Drew catch the thief red-handed while staying out of trouble? And what does it mean when everyone around Drew is obsessing over crushes and the upcoming Wonderland dance, and Drew would rather work on her latest crime board?
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
If I See You Again Tomorrow by Robbie Couch (18th)
For some reason, Clark has woken up and relived the same monotonous Monday 309 times. Until Day 310 turns out to be…different. Suddenly, his usual torturous math class is interrupted by an anomaly—a boy he’s never seen before in all his previous Mondays.
When shy, reserved Clark decides to throw caution to the wind and join effusive and effervescent Beau on a series of “errands” across the Windy City, he never imagines that anything will really change, because nothing has in such a long time. And he definitely doesn’t expect to fall this hard or this fast for someone in just one day.
There’s just one problem: how do you build a future with someone if you can never get to tomorrow?
Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar by Jessamyn Violet (18th)
Eighteen-year-old Kyla Bell dreams of one day being a professional musician… but gets little to no support from her parents. Still, she practices every day and performs locally, harboring her own secret hopes. One night, her dreams are answered in the form of sultry rocker Ruby Sky, the magnetic frontwoman of her favorite band, Glitter Tears. Ruby hears Kyla perform and asks her to join the band on keys for their upcoming tour.
In order to accept, Kyla must drop out of her Western Massachusetts high school and move to Los Angeles immediately to live with a renowned yet highly volatile producer who has agreed to put her through “rock star boot camp” in a matter of weeks. Blindsided by her emerging feelings for Ruby Sky, Kyla tumbles through the lights and shadows of the 90s music scene in Los Angeles.
The Fiancee Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur (18th)
Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter. Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book. They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly implodes.
Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit. When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.
Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match. Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur. But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout…
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound
Against the Stars by Christopher Hartland (18th)
When an attempt to kiss his best friend becomes a prom night disaster, Elliot Dove’s confusion surrounding his sexuality is thrown into overdrive. Desperate for some clarity, Elliot turns to GlimpseTech, a company offering all over-sixteens a 44-second glimpse of what lies ahead. But Elliot’s Glimpse only makes him more confused, showing him in an intimate moment with Sebastian Glass, the ‘one gay kid’ in his year at school.
Seb, meanwhile, hates Glimpses, and blames the technology for his dad’s absence. But unlike the protesters picket-lining GlimpseTech headquarters, Seb has other things to worry about, like his mum’s depression and the man showing up at his house demanding money. Then he bumps into Elliot, and bumps into him again, until it seems the universe is pulling them together.
Despite the vast differences in their lives, Elliot and Seb find something they were missing in each other, and soon friendship blooms into something more. But tensions are growing in the outside world. Rumors of the so-called ‘Last Day’–the day beyond which no one has seen in their Glimpse–are causing widespread panic. With the end of the world an increasingly real prospect, a seemingly uncrossable class divide, and the secret of Elliot’s Glimpse a ticking time bomb, the universe may have other plans for Elliot and Seb.
Sizzle Reel by Carlyn Greenwald (18th)
For aspiring cinematographer Luna Roth, coming out as bisexual at twenty-four is proving more difficult than she anticipated. Sure, her best friend and fellow queer Romy is thrilled for her—but she has no interest in coming out to her backwards parents, she wouldn’t know how to flirt with a girl if one fell at her feet, and she has no sexual history to build off. Not to mention she really needs to focus her energy on escaping her emotionally-abusive-but-that’s-Hollywood talent manager boss and actually get working under a real director of photography anyway.
When she meets twenty-eight-year-old A-list actress Valeria Sullivan around the office, Luna thinks she’s found her solution. She’ll use Valeria’s interest in her cinematography to get a PA job on the set of Valeria’s directorial debut—and if Valeria is as gay as Luna suspects, and she happens to be Luna’s route to losing her virginity, too . . . well, that’s just an added bonus. Enlisting Romy’s help, Luna starts the juggling act of her life—impress Valeria’s DP to get another job after this one, get as close to Valeria as possible, and help Romy with her own career moves.
But when Valeria begins to reciprocate romantic interest in Luna, the act begins to crumble—straining her relationship with Romy and leaving her job prospects precarious. Now Luna has to figure out if she can she fulfill her dreams as a filmmaker, keep her best friend, and get the girl. . . or if she’s destined to end up on the cutting room floor.
Furious Heaven by Kate Elliott (18th)
This is the sequel to Unconquerable Sun
The Republic of Chaonia fleets, under the joint command of Princess Sun and her formidable mother, Queen-Marshal Eirene, have defeated and driven out an invading fleet of the Phene Empire, though not without heavy losses. But the Empire remains undeterred. While Chaonia scrambles to rebuild its military, the Empire’s rulers are determined to squash Chaonia once and for all. They believe their military might is strong enough to defeat the enemy, but they also secure a secret alliance with a deadly religious sect skilled in the use of assassination and covert ops, to destabilize the republic.
On the eve of Eirene’s bold attack on the rich and populous Karnos System, an unexpected tragedy strikes the republic. Sun must take charge or lose the throne. Will Sun be content with the pragmatic path laid out by her mother for Chaonia’s future? Or will she choose to forge her own legend? Can she succeed despite all the forces arrayed against her?
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound
Juno Loves Legs by Karl Geary (18th)
Juno Loves Legs is the story of two teens labeled as delinquents. Juno and “Legs” grow up on the same housing estate in Dublin, where spirited, intelligent Juno is ostracized for her poverty and Legs is persecuted for his sexuality; they find safety only in each other.
Set against the backdrop of Dublin in the 1980s, a place of political, social and religious change, the friends yearn for an unbound life and together they begin to fight to take up the space of who they truly are. As their defiance reverberates through their lives, the children are further alienated from their surrounding society through acts of bravery and cowardice, both their own and others’. Finding themselves as outsiders, they are feared, coveted and watched, but rarely truly seen.
Told through the eyes of Juno, we see the pair begin to navigate the political and oftentimes confusing adult world with honesty and intuition. A country emerging from a dark Catholicism into the wider world of possibilities. Who is invited into modernity and gentrification and who is left behind?
Caught between the rich depth of her intellect and the harsh reality of her life, we follow Juno as she begins to understand how divergent a life lived and a life thought can be.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants by Orlando Ortega-Medina (18th)
Attorney Marc Mendes, the estranged son of a prominent rabbi and a burned-out lawyer with addiction issues, plots his exit from the big city to a more peaceful life in idyllic Napa Valley. But before he can realize his dream, the US government summons his Salvadoran life-partner Isaac Perez to immigration court, threatening him with deportation.
As Marc battles to save Isaac, his world is further upended by a dark and alluring client, who aims to tempt him away from his messy life. Torn between his commitment to Isaac and the pain-numbing escapism offered by his client, Marc is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils while confronting his twin demons of past addiction and guilt over the death of his first lover.
Allured by Her by Chelsea M. Cameron (18th)
I never looked forward to coming into work at the Common Grounds coffee shop and seeing Tenley Hill sitting at her usual table with her laptop. The most popular girl from high school always seemed to harass me and try to get a free latte and was more infuriatingly pretty than ever.
Then one day she comes in and she’s a total wreck. I make the massive mistake of asking her what’s wrong. Turns out her boyfriend dumped her and all wants to do is try and get him back. Tenley pours her heart out to me and, for the first time, I see her as a person and not just the woman who annoys me every day. That moment of weakness causes me to agree to do something I never would have done under normal circumstances: date her. Well, pretend to date her. In public, wherever her ex will see us.
At first I hate the role of being a fake girlfriend, but soon I find myself flirting with Tenley and dreaming of her kisses. She’s nothing like how I expected and before I know it, I’m falling for my fake girlfriend and I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m going to do about it.
Buy it: Amazon
The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter (18th)
In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God.
But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.
Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success…until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law.
With the guidance of a mysterious cookbook written by a kitchen maid centuries ago, Beatrice and Reiko each grasp for a life of freedom—something more easily imagined than achieved in a world dominated by catastrophic corporate greed.
The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher by E.M. Anderson (21st)
When you’re a geriatric armed with nothing but gumption and knitting needles, stopping a sorcerer from wiping out an entire dragon-fighting organization is a tall order. No one understands why 83-year-old Edna Fisher is the Chosen One, destined to save the Knights from a dragon-riding sorcerer bent on their destruction. After all, Edna has never handled a magical weapon, faced down a dragon, or cast a spell. And everyone knows the Council of Wizards always chooses a teenager—like the vengeful girl ready to snatch Edna’s destiny from under her nose.
Still, Edna leaps at the chance to leave the nursing home. With her son long dead in the Knights’ service, she’s determined to save dragon-fighters like him and to ensure other mothers don’t suffer the same loss she did. But as Edna learns about the abuse in the ranks and the sorcerer’s history as a Knight, she questions if it’s really the sorcerer that needs stopping—or the Knights she’s trying to save.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Harley Quinn: Ravenous by Rachael Allen (25th)
When Harleen Quinzel wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection of the past few months, she scrambles to pick up the pieces of her life.
As she starts classes at Gotham University and an internship at Arkham Asylum, Harleen is determined to make her mark, getting paired with the most high-profile female inmate at Arkham–the notorious Talia al Ghūl. Talia is brilliant and fascinating, and as they spend more time together, the lines between good and bad begin to blur for Harleen. When she starts to see Talia less as a patient and more as a mentor, all of Harleen’s dark and dangerous pieces begin finding their way to the surface again. The only way to stop the terror that haunts the halls of Arkham Asylum may be to let her darkness out. . . .
Follow Harleen’s rise from anxious college student to ravenous, chaotic feminist icon in the second installment of the Harley Quinn origin story.
Becoming a Queen by Dan Clay (25th)
If only Mark Davis hadn’t put on a dress for the talent show. It was a joke—other guys did it too—but when his boyfriend saw Mark in that dress, everything changed.
And now, fresh on the heels of high school heartbreak, Mark has given up on love. Maybe some people are just too much for this world—too weird, too wild, too feminine, too everything. Thankfully, his older brother Eric always knows what to say to keep Mark from spinning into self-loathing. “Be yourself! Your full sequin-y self.”
But Mark starts to notice signs that his perfect older brother has problems of his own.
When tragedy capsizes the Davis family, the source of Mark’s strength suddenly becomes the source of his greatest pain, and the path back to happiness seems impossible. Searing for a way out, Mark slips into a dress to just, briefly, become someone else, live a different life.
His escape, however, becomes an unexpected outlet for his grief—a path to authentic connection, and a provocation to finally see other people as fully as he wants to be seen.
Beautifully written, heart-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, Dan Clay’s Becoming a Queen is a stunning story about love, loss, and the ineffable power of a purple princess dress.
No Boy Summer by Amy Spalding (25th)
Lydia Jones and her younger sister Penny have had it with boy drama. Last year was marred by relationship disasters for both of them, threatening Lydia’s standing with her school’s theater tech club and Penny’s perfect GPA. Penny has, naturally, diagnosed the problem and prescribed a drastic solution: a summer off from boys.
Lydia and Penny decide to stay with their Aunt Grace and her boyfriend Oscar in Los Angeles while their parents are off on a European cruise. Penny follows her future-business-school dreams with an internship at Oscar’s office, and Lydia gets a part-time job at Grace’s neighborhood coffeeshop, Grounds Control.
Even when they spent hours, days, weeks dissecting their various boy drama, Lydia’s never felt this connected to her sister before, and it makes her wonder what else in her life could be different. She finds herself drawn to a group of friends she meets through her Grounds Control coworker, Margaret, as well as an intriguing customer, Fran, an aspiring filmmaker and—while not the first girl Lydia finds herself attracted to—the first girl who has mutual feelings for her. But she’s not breaking her pledge to Penny, right? That was just about boys. Even though in her heart Lydia knows she’s bending the rules, she hasn’t had a connection with anyone as strong as her connection with Fran, so she thinks it can’t be wrong. And Penny won’t mind as long as she’s happy . . . Right?
Robin and Her Misfits by Kelly Ann Jacobson (25th)
Robin and her four Misfits—Little John, White Rabbit, Daisy Chain, and Skillet—have run away from their families in order to live off the grid on their own terms. For a while, they’re hidden, safe, and happy as they commit petty crimes that provide enough to get by. All that matters is keeping their small clan alive. Then, one mission proposed by an unfriendly associate from their past reminds them of their former lives and motivates the group to a new purpose. The five Misfits develop into a league of strong individuals united by a fresh goal: do whatever it takes to help queer girls rise above oppressive laws and attitudes.
This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham (25th)
Three years ago, the melting of arctic permafrost released a pathogen of unknown origin into the atmosphere, causing a small percentage of people to undergo a transformation that became known as the Hollowing. Those impacted slowly became intolerant to normal food and were only able to gain sustenance by consuming the flesh of other human beings. Those who went without flesh quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. However, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy the hunger of those impacted by the Hollowing. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal, albeit with lasting fear and distrust for the people they’d pejoratively dubbed ghouls.
Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine are all ghouls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before their graduation they decided to attend a musical festival in the desert. They have a cooler filled with hard seltzers and SynFlesh and are ready to party.
But on the first night of the festival Val goes feral, and ends up killing and eating a boy. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is drugging ghouls and making them feral. And if they can’t figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is safe.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Just As You Are by Camille Kellogg (25th)
Liz Baker and her three roommates work at The Nether Fields, a queer magazine in New York that’s on the verge of shutting down—until it’s bought at the last minute by two wealthy lesbians. Even though Liz is eager to leave listicles behind for more meaningful writing, she knows that she’s lucky to still have a paycheck. But it’s hard to feel grateful with minority investor Daria Fitzgerald slashing budgets, cancelling bagel Fridays, and password protecting the color printer to prevent “frivolous use.” When Liz overhears Daria scoffing at her articles, she knows that it’s only a matter of her time before her impulsive mouth tells Daria off and gets herself fired.
But as Liz and Daria get thrown together more and more, Liz starts to see a softer side to Daria—she’s funny, surprisingly helpful, and actually seems to like that Liz’s gender presentation varies between butch and femme. Even as the evidence that Liz can’t trust Daria piles up, it starts getting harder and harder to keep hating Daria—and harder and harder to resist her.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound
The Skin and Its Girl by Sarah Cypher (25th)
In a Pacific Northwest hospital far from the Rummani family’s ancestral home in Palestine, the heart of a stillborn baby begins to beat and her skin turns a vibrant, permanent cobalt blue. On the same day, the Rummanis’ centuries-old soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in an air strike. The family matriarch and keeper of all Rummani lore, Aunt Nuha, believes that the blue girl embodies their sacred history, harkening to a time when the Rummanis were among the wealthiest soap-makers and their blue soap was a symbol of a legendary love.
Decades later, Betty returns to her Aunt Nuha’s gravestone, faced with a difficult decision: Should she stay in the only country she’s every known or should she follow her heart for the woman she loves, perpetuating her family’s cycle of exile? Betty finds her answer in partially translated notebooks that reveal her aunt’s complex life and struggle with her own sexuality, which Nuha hid to help the family emigrate to the U.S. But as Betty soon discovers, her aunt hid much more than that.
Rosewater by Liv Little (25th)
Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in south London. But, at just 28, she is also tired. Though she spends her days writing tender poetry in her journal, her nights are spent working long hours for minimum wage at a neighborhood dive bar. Not even sleeping with her alluring coworker, Bea, can quell her existential dread. The difficulty of being estranged from her family, struggle of being continually rejected from jobs, and fear of never making money doing what she loves is too great. But Elsie is determined to keep the faith, for a little longer at least. Things will surely turn around. They have to.
But when Elsie is suddenly evicted from her social housing, her fragile foundations threaten to collapse entirely. With nowhere left to go, Elsie turns to her childhood friend, Juliet, for help.
Among Juliet’s mismatched cushions and shelves lined with trinkets, Elsie is able to breathe for the first time in years. But between their reruns of Drag Race and nights smoking on the balcony, something else soon begins to glimmer in Elsie’s heart . . . Sometimes what you’ve been searching for has been there all along. Can Elsie see it in time?
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune (25th)
In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots—fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.
The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio–a past spent hunting humans.
When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.
Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?