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 our April showers around the corner, we need a little something in our lives to keep us distracted and cozy. From stories that put found friendships front and center to romances that will sweep you off your feet in magical worlds, we’ve got you covered for the month of April 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. You Again by Aurora Rey
Summary: Sometimes, a second chance comes when you least expect it.
Kate Cormier thought she’d love Sutton Guidry forever. But when one bad decision ended things, she moved on, building a life for herself and her daughter. These days, she hardly thinks about all those dreams. Until Sutton shows up, acting like she never left and looking more gorgeous than ever.
Sutton has spent a decade avoiding her hometown, memories of first love, and the girl who broke her heart. She’s built a career, but the life that goes with it leaves her uninspired. When her father needs surgery, she decides coming home to help him recover is a chance to face those ghosts once and for all. But with so many pieces of her life still there—including Kate—it’s hard not to imagine trying again. Can she find a way to put them together without falling apart all over again?
2. The Queen has a Cold by Jane Kolven
Summary: Remy, the heir to the throne of the tiny nation of Montamant, is finally free of their royal chains as they start graduate school in Boston. No one here knows Remy is royalty or intersex. It’s the break Remy has been looking for—until they meet Sam, the sassy lesbian across the hall. Sam doesn’t tolerate Remy’s snobbery and won’t let anything distract her from getting a PhD in gender studies. But Sam understands Remy in ways no one else ever has, and Remy pushes Sam to see beyond her books.
As things are starting to heat up between them, Remy is summoned home. The queen has a cold and can’t perform her royal duties. There’s just one problem: the people of Montamant haven’t seen Remy since puberty and the changes might mean Remy’s not the princess they expect. When Remy asks Sam to come with them, it might be the chance they both need to conquer their fears and find true love.
Content advisory: This book contains instances of misgendering and references to medical procedures.
3. Courage by Jesse J. Thoma
Summary: Natasha Parsons is a ride-along mental health clinician attached to the local police department. She charges into danger without a gun or badge to de-escalate crises. She’s quick on her feet and confident in her opinions. If only she could convince her by-the-book, humorless partner that she’s an asset, not the enemy.
Being a cop is in Tommy Finch’s blood. She comes from a long line of cops and grew up learning how to protect and serve with honor and integrity. Getting saddled with a shrink who’s reckless and brash isn’t something Tommy signed up for. How can she do her job when she’s responsible for the safety of an unarmed civilian?
No matter how often they clash on the job, an undeniable attraction simmers just beneath the surface. Can they find the courage to change so love has room to grow?
4. Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
Summary: Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’–she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic–she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.
But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed–and everyone in the galaxy is expecting her to actually be the brilliant tactician and legendary savior Captain Thaoh Argentian, but Tina….is just Tina. And the Royal Fleet is losing the war, badly–the starship that found her is on the run and they barely manage to escape Earth with the planet still intact.
Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachel, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she’ll have to save herself.
5. The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club by Doug Henderson
Summary: On Thursday nights, the players assemble in the back of Readmore Comix and Games. Celeste is the dungeon master; Valerie, who works at the store, was roped in by default; Mooneyham, the banker, likes to argue; and Ben, sensitive, unemployed, and living at home, is still recovering from an unrequited love. In the real world they go about their days falling in love, coming out at work, and dealing with their family lives all with varying degrees of success. But in the world of their fantasy game, they are heroes and wizards fighting to stop an evil cult from waking a sleeping god.
But then a sexy new guy, Albert, joins the club, Ben’s character is killed, and Mooneyham’s boyfriend is accosted on the street. The connections and parallels between the real world and the fantasy one become stronger and more important than ever as Ben struggles to bring his character back to life and win Albert’s affection, and the group unites to organize a protest at a neighborhood bar. All the while the slighted and competing vampire role playing club, working secretly in the shadows, begins to make its move.
6. Words Unsaid by KG MacGregor
Summary: As parents, Anna and Lily’s guiding principle is to help their children reach their potential and capture their dreams. Ten-year-old Eleanor is a STEM whiz already building apps for her mobile phone, while her twin brother Georgie is climbing the youth tennis rankings in Southern California. Andy continues his love affair with cars, but his dream is threatened when Anna decides to sell her empire of dealerships and move on to her next career challenge.
At her wits’ end with sixteen-year-old Andy, Anna can’t fathom how he got to be so strong-willed and stubborn. Lily has a pretty good idea, but she’s mostly keeping those thoughts to herself. Now a family court judge, her experience playing peacemaker is coming in handy at home.
What they need is a family vacation, a chance to draw closer and reaffirm their love for one another. Those plans are suddenly upended when Andy goes missing.
7. The Soldier and the Spy by Annabelle Greene
Summary: Three hundred pounds for one night of protection. It’s a job offer, but it’s also a ruse. Captain Benjamin Frakes, war hero and de facto head of the Society of Beasts—a club for gentlemen who prefer gentlemen—is tempted to turn it down. But August Weatherby, the sexy, brazen stranger making the offer, has captivated him completely.
August is hardly the flush flirt he claims to be, however. An indebted man, desperate to save his infirm sister, August makes an ideal pawn for a lord eager to bring down the Society of Beasts once and for all. But August’s charge to find evidence against Frakes is at odds with his own virgin desire to entice the captain into showing him the true meaning of pleasure.
As August’s infiltration pushes him deeper into the beguiling world of delights behind the Society’s closed doors, he and Frakes discover new ways to push the boundaries of their own cravings. But with mounting pressure to complete his devious mission, August finds himself torn between the man his heart yearns for and the sister whose life depends on his betrayal.
8. As Beautiful As Any Other by Kaya Wilson
Summary: When Kaya Wilson came out to his parents as transgender, a year after a near-death surfing accident and just weeks before his father’s death, he was met with a startling family history of concealed queerness, violence and shame.
As Beautiful As Any Other weaves this legacy together with intimate examinations of the forces that have shaped Wilson’s life, and his body: vulnerability and power, grief and trauma, science and narrative.
In this powerful and lyrical memoir, Wilson makes a case for the strength we find when we confront the complexities of our identity with compassion. As Beautiful As Any Other is a trailblazing debut of remarkable beauty, insight and candour.
9. The Hate Project by Kris Ripper
Summary: When Oscar is fired (answering phones is not for the anxiety-ridden), he somehow ends up working for Jack. Maybe while cleaning out Jack’s grandmother’s house they can stop fighting long enough to turn a one-night stand into a frenemies-with-benefits situation.
The house is an archaeological dig of love and dysfunction, and while Oscar thought he was prepared, he wasn’t. It’s impossible to delve so deeply into someone’s past without coming to understand them at least a little, but Oscar has boundaries for a reason—even if sometimes Jack makes him want to break them all down.
After all, hating Jack is less of a risk than loving him…
10. When Sparks Fly by Kristen Zimmer
Summary: The room is dark, except for the streetlights coming through the blinds. I can barely see her, but I feel her. She pushes me up against the wall and we kiss harder than we ever have before. I’ve been waiting so long for it to happen, and finally, it’s going to. Then the bedroom door flies open, and someone screams her name…
Britton Walsh has never had a home. After a lifetime in the care system, she doesn’t expect she’ll ever find one. But beginning her senior year with new foster parents in a new city, means starting over yet again. Tom and Cate Cahill seem okay. The hitch? Their daughter, Avery.
Beautiful, popular and cool, Avery is everything Britton is not. She’s all Britton could ever ask for in a sister, or even a friend––but having survived without either for so long, Britton knows the way her heart races whenever Avery enters the room can only mean one thing…
But Avery has a secret. Something that is eating away at her and stopping her letting anyone in, least of all Britton. Will Avery’s insistence on punishing herself for a mistake in her past make Britton’s last year of high school, and finding a place to call home, impossible? Can two such different people ever find common ground, friendship, or maybe even something more?
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.)