In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
With fall almost here it’s time to start planning what we’ll be reading! From epic romances to fantasy novels that will sweep you away, we’ve got you covered for the month of October with a list of LGBTQ+ books you should read.
Special shoutout goes to Netgalley, the premiere source of getting books in advance if you’re looking to review books. All the summary’s were sourced from Netgalley and we hope this helps get readers interested in these creative queer writers!
1. The Camino Club by Kevin Craig
Summary: After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?
2. Into the Real by Z Brewer
Summary: In this gripping, genre-defying YA novel from New York Times bestselling author Z Brewer, three teens—one who presents as genderqueer, one who presents as female, and one who presents as male—are caught up in three very different stories of survival. But those stories intersect as the teens start to realize that they might in fact be a single, singular “they,” alternating among worlds—and that accepting themself might be the key to defeating the monsters that plague them in all three.
3. I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan
Summary: In her small town, seventeen year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.
At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.
4. The Vicar and the Rake by Annabelle Greene
Summary: As a young man, Sir Gabriel Winters left behind his status as a gentleman, turning his back on his secret desires and taking a self-imposed vow of celibacy. Now he’s a chaste, hardworking vicar, and his reputation is beyond reproach. But, try as he might, he’s never forgotten the man he once desired or the pain of being abandoned by his first love.
Edward Stanhope, the Duke of Caddonfell, is a notorious rake, delighting in scandal no matter the consequence. With a price on his head, he flees to the countryside, forced to keep his presence a secret or risk assassination. When Edward finds Gabriel on his estate, burning with fever, he cannot leave him to die, but taking him in puts them both in jeopardy.
With the help of a notorious blackmailer, a society of rich and famous gentlemen who prefer gentlemen, and a kitten named Buttons, they might just manage to save Edward’s life—but the greatest threat may be to their hearts.
5. Twice Shy by Aurora Rey
Summary: Sometimes, you get a second chance at love. Sometimes, you hook up with your ex and remember why you broke up in the first place.
Amanda Russo knows better than to give her failed marriage another try, but the brief fling reminds her there’s more to life than work and parenting. When the architect she hires to remodel her bakery turns out to be as charming as she is talented, Amanda finds herself ready to take a chance on new love. The only problem? Her ex-wife didn’t get the memo.
For Quinn Sullivan, the sting of divorce is still fresh. Getting set up by pretty much everyone she knows hasn’t inspired her to give love another shot. Meeting Amanda does. Sure, they’re working together, but that’s not a deal breaker. Amanda’s ex might be another story.
6. White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton
Summary: Not all magicians go to schools of magic.
Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father’s rage.
Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby’s wife.
It isn’t long before Adam becomes the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings … including his first love.
7. My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo
Summary: Corazon Tagubio is an outcast at the Catholic school she attends on scholarship. Her crush on her teacher, Ms. Holden, doesn’t help. At home, Cory worries that less-than-perfect grades aren’t good enough for her parents, who already work overtime to support her distant half-brother in the Philippines.
After an accident leaves her dad comatose, Cory feels like Ms. Holden is the only person who really understands her. But when a crush turns into something more and the secret gets out, Cory is sent to her relatives in Manila. She’s not prepared to face strangers in an unfamiliar place, but she discovers how the country that shaped her past might also redefine her future.
This #ownvoices novel takes readers on a journey across the world as Cory comes to understand her family, her relationships, and ultimately, herself.
8. The Adventures of Isabel by Candas Jane Dorsey
Summary: Rescued from torpor and poverty by the need to help a good friend deal with the murder of her beloved granddaughter, our downsized-social-worker protagonist and her cat, Bunnywit, are jolted into a harsh, street-wise world of sex, lies, and betrayal, to which they respond with irony, wit, intelligence (except for the cat), and tenacity. With judicious use of the Oxford comma, pop culture trivia, common mystery tropes, and a keen eye for deceit, our protagonist swaggers through the mean streets of — yes, a Canadian city! — and discovers that what seems at first to be just a grotty little street killing is actually the surface of a grandiose and glittering set of criminal schemes.
9. I’m a Gay Wizard in the City of the Nightmare King by V.S. Santoni
Summary: In the sequel to I’m a Gay Wizard, V.S. Santoni imagines a world where Johnny, Hunter, Alison, and Blake are forced once again to prove that love and magic can save the day.
When Johnny wakes up, something isn’t right. It’s a blissful summer day, and Johnny’s father is taking him to begin a brand new life in Misthaven, and all his best friends, Alison, Hunter, and Blake, join him in the idyllic town.
Once reunited, Johnny and his friends discover that this Misthaven is actually Dreamhaven—the Marduk Institute’s mystical prison for wizards—and they’re trapped. But that’s the least of their problems when Hunter falls ill with a magical sickness, and his soul is thrown into the Night City, an underworld ruled by the Nightmare King.
Johnny will not leave Hunter. Vowing to stay together, he, Alison, and Blake enter the Night City, a domain of the dead where both their powers and trust in each other will be tested. But in a realm where the Nightmare King rules second only to Death itself, Johnny’s love for Hunter must continue to be his most powerful magic.
10. From Darkness by Kate Hazel Hall
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can’t forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari’s soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go. Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari’s remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing. Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift. Though their bond seems unbreakable, it may not be enough. It is up to Ari to find the courage to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)