March 2nd (USA)
Top 250 LGBTQ Books for Teens: Coming Out, Being Out, and the Search for Community by Michael Cart — (LGBTQAI+)
Goodreads Summary: “A summary of the 250 best books for LGBTQ teens, written by experts on the subject and addressed to teen book buyers. Identifying titles that address the sensitive and important topics of coming out, being out, and the search for community, this catalog spotlights the best gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, and questioning books written for teens. The authors cover fiction of all kinds, as well as graphic novels and general nonfiction aimed at readers in middle school and high school, and include recent publications as well as classics that continue to be read and enjoyed by 21st-century teens. Information on how to find library programs, services, and additional resources for LGBTQ teens is also provided, making this a one-stop sourcebook for LGBTQ teens, their families, friends, and classmates, as well as teachers and librarians.”
March 3rd (USA)
GAY YA BOOK CLUB’S PICK OF THE MONTH!
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz — (BISEXUAL)
Goodreads Summary: “Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown. Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; and not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere— until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca seems like Etta’s salvation, but how can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself? The latest powerful, original novel from Hannah Moskowitz is the story about living in and outside communities and stereotypes, and defining your own identity.”
March 5th (USA)
I’ll Always Miss You by Raine O’ Tierney — (BISEXUAL, GAY)
Goodreads Summary: “Isa Zaman might forgive his parents for taking in a friend’s son if only he wasn’t the most boring teenager in the universe. Macklin “Mackie” Cormack’s only interests are reading and the outdoors. Yeah, right. Isa’s convinced Mackie is either a pyro or a klepto. Plus, as a white kid, Mackie looks ridiculous in the Zamans’ Arab American household. Forced to share a bedroom, the boys keep butting heads until an absurd fight finally breaks the tension between them.
Isa’s just starting to figure life out: this new houseguest, his cultural identity, school, and even girls, when the entire family is uprooted from their home for reasons Isa can’t understand. They move from their tiny city apartment to a giant, old house in a small town, hours away from everything he’s ever known. Oh, and the new house? It’s probably haunted, or so says the blank-faced ten-year-old next door. As if things weren’t weird enough, Isa’s friendship with Mackie suddenly takes a strange turn down a path Isa’s not sure he’s ready to follow. It turns out Mackie Cormack isn’t nearly as boring as Isa once imagined.”
March 10th (USA)
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles — (GAY)
Goodreads Summary: “Does anyone ever see us for who we really are? Jo Knowles’s revelatory novel of interlocking stories peers behind the scrim as it follows nine teens and one teacher through a seemingly ordinary day. Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a “big girl,” she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines.”
March 12th (USA)
The Grim Life by K.D Worth — (GAY)
Summary: “Max Shaw is dead. Well, sort of. After dying on prom night, Max was recruited by a mysterious tattooed angel named Slade to join a group of teenage reapers. Cocky and sarcastic, Max thinks he has his afterlife together, but the moment Slade assigns him to his first suicide case, everything changes. Christian college student Kody Michaels is struggling to make sense of his life and his faith. After a failed suicide attempt at an antigay camp, Kody is determined not to fail again. Tired of disappointing his family and God, he is going to end his life once and for all. But in a split-second decision, Max saves Kody—defying the rules of a reaper. Max believes his only concern is convincing Kody that God loves him just the way he is, so he can save him from a hellish afterlife as a shade. Little does Max know, some shades have found a way to walk among the living as wraiths. These evil wraiths know Kody has been slated for death, and they have another, darker purpose for him. Max has only one night to save Kody before one of Slade’s team finishes the job Max lacked the courage to complete.”
March 17th (USA)
Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman — (LESBIAN)
Goodreads Summary: “How to survive California’s hottest surf spot: Never go anywhere without a bathing suit. Never cut your hair. Never let them see you panic. The year is 1972. Fifteen-year-old Haunani “Nani” Grace Nuuhiwa is transplanted from her home in Hawaii to Santa Monica, California after her father’s fatal heart attack. Now the proverbial fish-out-of-water, Nani struggles to adjust to her new life with her alcoholic white (haole) mother and the lineup of mean girls who rule State Beach. Following “The Rules”—an unspoken list of dos and don’ts—Nani makes contact with Rox, the leader of the lineup. Through a harrowing series of initiations, Nani not only gets accepted into the lineup, she gains the attention of surf god, Nigel McBride. But maintaining stardom is harder than achieving it. Nani is keeping several secrets that, if revealed, could ruin everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. Secret #1: She’s stolen her dad’s ashes and hidden them from her mom. Secret #2: In order to get in with Rox and her crew, she spied on them and now knows far more than they could ever let her get away with. And most deadly of all, Secret #3: She likes girls, and may very well be in love with Rox.”
March 17th (USA)
Hold Me Closer by David Levithan — (GAY)
Goodreads Summary: “It’s Tiny Cooper’s turn in the spotlight in this companion novel to New York Times bestseller Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Jazz hands at the ready! Tiny Cooper (“the world’s largest person who is also really, really gay”) stole readers’ hearts when he was introduced to the world in the New York Times bestselling book Will Grayson, Will Grayson,co-authored by John Green and David Levithan. Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.”
March 17th (USA)
Fifty-Yards and Holding by David-Matthew Barnes — (GAY)
Goodreads Summary: “Victor Alvarez is in serious trouble. Now seventeen and flunking out of high school, he’s been chosen as the leader of the violent street gang he’s been a member of since he was thirteen. Riley Brewer has just broken a state record as the star of their high school baseball team. When Riley and Victor meet by chance, a connection begins to grow. When friendship turns to love, both young men realize their reputations contradict who they really are. Once their secret relationship is discovered, Victor realizes their lives are at risk. Refusing to hide in order to survive, Riley vows that only death can keep him apart from Victor.”
March 17th (USA)
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson — (GAY) + (NEW ADULT)
Goodreads Summary: “With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon. As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry. But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion. Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.”
March 19th (USA)
Ray of Sunlight by Brynn Stein — (BISEXUAL, GAY)
Summary: “Russ Michaels has his whole life ahead of him but no plans beyond dropping out of school as soon as he turns eighteen. He’s been in and out of juvenile detention for the last four years and thoroughly expects to end up in an adult penitentiary at some point. He hates life and everyone in it, especially this latest community service that he earned in lieu of juvie yet again. CJ Calhoun has big plans. He wants to bring joy and happiness to sick and injured children for as long as he can by performing as a clown. The problem is, he has stage-four cancer and a horrible prognosis. When circumstances throw these two polar opposites together, they find they have more in common than they imagined. CJ discovers Russ’s talent for art and arranges for Russ to create a mural in the hospital foyer, which leads to a tentative scholarship to the Art Institute. As life changes in ways neither of them could have expected, Russ must work harder than ever to better himself as CJ struggles with his deteriorating health.”
March 26th (USA)
Life Beyond the Temple by Nikolai Joslin — (LESBIAN)
Summary: “Casey Kelley, a powerful young mage, has spent her whole life inside the walls of the Temple. The day she leaves to venture into the real world, the Old Ones task her with killing a dangerous necromancer who is gaining strength. She is joined by knight protector Regan Cartmell. Society may despise mages, but Regan never did, and she has sworn to protect Casey, even at the price of her own life.
Pickpocket Cameron is a mage whose father escaped the Temple, choosing to raise her in secret. After her parents were killed, she was forced to live on the streets, gaining a deep distrust for mages. She wants nothing to do with the Temple or magic of any kind.
The three friends must put aside their differences and defeat the growing evil before it spreads.”
March 31th (USA)
Playing a Part by Daria Wilke, Marian Schwartz — (GAY)
Goodreads Summary: “In June 2013, the Russian government passed laws prohibiting “gay propaganda,” threatening jail time and fines to offenders. That same month, in spite of these harsh laws, a Russian publisher released Playing a Part, a young adult novel with openly gay characters. It was a brave, bold act, and now this groundbreaking story has been translated for American readers.
In Playing a Part, Grisha adores everything about the Moscow puppet theater where his parents work, and spends as much time there as he can. But life outside the theater is not so wonderful. The boys in Grisha’s class bully him mercilessly, and his own grandfather says hateful things about how he’s not “masculine” enough. Life goes from bad to worse when Grisha learns that Sam, his favorite actor and mentor, is moving: He’s leaving the country to escape the extreme homophobia he faces in Russia.
How Grisha overcomes these trials and writes himself a new role in his own story is heartfelt, courageous, and hopeful.”
BONUS! Our friends at VITALITY, a literary magazine featuring LGBTQAI+ protagonists, have launched their first issue! Go check it out and buy a copy here.
More info from their website: “Vitality is a literary magazine publishing exciting, entertaining fiction featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists. What we hear people asking for, most often, is more stories featuring queer people – and not just serious, often difficult-to-read “issue” work dealing with the hard stresses of real life, but fun stories that happen to be about queer characters, and portray queerness in a positive way. In answer to this need, Vitality seeks to be an escape for the reader. A safe place full of wonder and awesome where the reader can see characters like themselves doing things like battling dragons, solving crimes, acting in a circus, or traveling the world. All genres and styles can be found in Vitality. The only limit is your imagination.”
FROM PREVIOUS MONTHS:
January 29th (USA)
The Flywheel by Erin Gough
High Heels and Lipstick by Jo Ramsey — (LESBIAN, BISEXUAL)
Stealing Bases by Anne Key — (LESBIAN)
At the Lake by Geoff Laughton — (GAY)