Tag Archives: YA

Fave Five: Queer YA About Prom

The Prom by Saundra Mitchell

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee

The Gay Girl’s Guide to Ruining Prom by Siera Maley

Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes

Agender Pride Day Book Spotlight: The Heartbreak Bakery by AR Capetta

Happy Agender Pride Day! In its honor, may I shove your face in the general direction one of the most delightful YAs of all time, which happens to contain magic and baking a queer found family and an agender baker with a massive crush on a demisexual transmasc bike messenger? Treat yourself to The Heartbreak Bakery by AR Capetta!

Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Painted Devils by Margaret Owen

Did you love the demisexual YA fantasy Little Thieves by Margaret Owen? Of freaking course you did. Which means this post is for you, since we’re revealing the cover of the sequel, Painted Devils, which releases from Henry Holt and Co. on May 16, 2023! I know, I know, it’s a long wait, but on the bright side, you don’t have to wait one minute more for the cover! First, the story:

Let’s get one thing straight—Vanja Schmidt wasn’t trying to start a cult.

After taking down a corrupt margrave, breaking a deadly curse, and finding romance with the vexingly scrupulous Junior Prefect Emeric Conrad, Vanja had one great mystery left: her long-lost birth family… and if they would welcome a thief. But in her search for an honest trade, she hit trouble and invented a god, the Scarlet Maiden, to scam her way out. Now, that lie is growing out of control—especially when Emeric arrives to investigate, and the Scarlet Maiden manifests to claim him as a virgin sacrifice.

For his final test to become a prefect, Emeric must determine if Vanja is guilty of serious fraud, or if the Scarlet Maiden—and her claim to him—are genuine. Meanwhile, Vanja is chasing an alternative sacrifice that may be their way out. The hunt leads her not only into the lairs of monsters and the paths of gods, but the ties of her past. And with what should be the simplest way to save Emeric hanging over their heads, he and Vanja must face a more dangerous question: Is there a future for a thief and a prefect, and at what price?

And now, the beautiful cover, designed and illustrated by M.S. Corley!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Margaret Owen was born and raised at the end of the Oregon Trail, and has worked in everything from thrift stores to presidential campaigns. The common thread between every job can be summed up as: lessons were learned. She now spends her days in Seattle, Washington, writing and negotiating a long-term hostage situation with her monstrous cats. In her free time, she enjoys exploring ill-advised travel destinations and raising money for social justice nonprofits through her illustrations. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @what_eats_owls (truly, a question for our time.)

Backlist Book of the Month:The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

Super queer found family. Witches and fairies. Trans main character. Badass fantasy. Swoony romance between two guys doing the best friends-to-betrothed-to-enemies dance. Awesome duology opener with a sequel coming on May 31st. Just stop me when you’ve read enough to get the grabbiest of hands for The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon, a rare YA fantasy I absolutely loved that you should check out ASAP so you can jump right into The Fae Keeper!

Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Always the Almost by Edward Underhill

I am so excited to reveal the cover of Always the Almost by Edward Underhill today, a contemporary YA “romdram” that I truly loved and I know you will too when it releases from Wednesday Books on February 14, 2023! Here’s the story:

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?

And here’s the gorgeous cover, illustrated by Myriam Strasbourg (aka @peaches.obviously) and designed by Kerri Resnick!

Buy it: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

(c) Karianne Flaathen

Edward Underhill grew up in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where he could not walk to anything, which meant he had to make up his own adventures. He began writing (very bad) stories as a kid and wrote his first (also very bad) novel in his teens. He studied music composition in college at the Oberlin Conservatory, and got a masters in film scoring from NYU. After a few years of living in very tiny apartments in New York City, he moved to California, where by day he writes music (most frequently for cartoons) and by night he writes stories, which aren’t as bad as they used to be. He lives with his partner and a talkative black cat.

As a queer trans man, Edward is passionate about books where queer and trans teens can find themselves in the pages. His debut novel, Always the Almost, will release from Wednesday Books/Macmillan on February 14, 2023. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @edwardunderhill.

Fave Five: LGBTQIA YA About Plagues

At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown

Spellhacker by M.K. England

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

The Names We Take by Trace Kerr

Bonus: Coming up in November, The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix

Exclusive Cover Reveal: When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb

I’ve been a huge Sacha Lamb fan since Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live, so I am absolutely thrilled to be revealing the cover of When the Angels Left the Old Country, what publisher Levine Querido calls “the queer love child of Shalom Aleichem and Philip Roth”! It releases on October 18th, and here’s the story:

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.

And here’s the striking cover, with both art and direction by Will Staehle!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Sacha Lamb is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in young adult fiction, and graduated in Library and Information Science and History from Simmons University. Sacha lives in New England with a miniature dachshund mix named Anzu Bean. When The Angels Left The Old Country is their debut novel. Find them on Twitter @mosslamb.

New Release Spotlight: Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk

A toxic obsessive romantic best-friendship between two Black girls who know that to actually give in and get together would spark the most dangerous flame, and who also set real ones together? A meditation on how not all friendships are meant to last, even if it’s the most compelling relationship of your life? One of the most stunning novels in verse you’ll ever read? If you haven’t yet picked up Nothing Burns as Bright As You, the only better time than now is yesterday.

56654666. sy475 Two girls.
One wild and reckless day.
Years of a tumultuous history unspooling
like thin, fraying string in the hours after they set a fire.

They were best friends. Until they became more.
Their affections grew. Until the blurry lines became dangerous.
Over the course of a single day, the depth of their past, the confusion of their present, and the unpredictability of their future is revealed.
And the girls will learn that hearts, like flames, aren’t so easily tamed.

It starts with a fire.
How will it end?

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Fave Five: Queer YA Superhero Novels, Part II

For part I, click here.

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

I am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki (text) and Yoshi Yoshitani (illustration)

Super Adjacent by Crystal Cestari

Cute Mutants by S.J. Whitby

Bonus: Can’t have superheroes with super villains… Check out Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen for one of those!

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Born Andromeda by K.M. Watts

Today on the site we’re revealing the cover of Born Andromeda by K.M. Watts, a space-pirate adventure YA romance releasing from Interlude Press on November 15, 2022! Here’s the story:

She was destined for a royal life—until galactic pirates changed her destiny.

Being eighteen is difficult, especially when you’re a cyborg and heir to the entire kingdom of the Moon. Disillusioned with royal life, Princess Andromeda dreams of nothing but freedom and adventure outside the protective dome of royalty. But when her parents arrange her marriage to an Earthen prince, she is forced to put her kingdom before her dreams of independence.

While traveling to Earth, Andromeda’s ship is attacked by galactic pirates led by her father’s sworn enemy, the Lord Captain Bran. Taken prisoner, Andromeda realizes that her captors are unaware of her true identity and sees an opportunity: To best her enemies, she may have to join them.

And here’s the luminous cover, designed by C.B. Messer!


Preorder: Interlude Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Bookshop | IndieBound

K.M. Watts is a debut novelist who first dreamed of becoming an author when she won her school’s Young Author Award at the age of five. She enjoys reading and writing YA fantasy and sci-fi, though she also dabbles with YA romantic thrillers. In her free time, she enjoys canyon hiking in her home state of Arizona.