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 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.
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Expect more posts this month, from interviews to reviews and more!
We’re deep into Pride Month and summer this June. From falling in love for the first time to discovering mermen out in the wilds of your fantasy, we’ve got you covered for the month of June 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 Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother, and a David Beckham in training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of isolation and bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.
At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boys’ soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he’s passing.
But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for.
2. The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon
Summary: 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.
3. Finding the Wolf by Mell Eight
Summary: When Prince Leon disappears, his people turn to the dragons for help. Nyle is the unlucky dragon tasked with finding Leon, a duty he dreads as it forces him into the confounding human world and far away from his collection of pretties.
Locating a missing prince should be a simple matter, but if Nyle has learned anything about humans since being forced among them, it’s that they needlessly complicate everything. When he finally locates the errant prince, however, what Nyle finds is a treasure worth all the complications—and worth protecting at any cost.
4. Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon
Summary: Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they’ve made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn’t be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it’s a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it’s the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.
5. Swipe Right by Tagan Shepard
Summary: Kieran Hall has never been lucky in love. She married her high school sweetheart only to have him leave when she came out as pansexual. Then there was the rebound relationship that turned serious. It wasn’t long before they were out the door, too.
For years Kieran avoided any attempts at finding the next person to break her heart, building a life that was comfortable but lonely. That loneliness finally pushes her to give dating another shot. The only problem is, without freshman homeroom or a chance meeting in a bar, she doesn’t know how to meet someone new.
With the help of her best friend, Penelope, Kieran takes the plunge into the intimidating world of dating apps. It’s just as bad as she knew it would be, but Pen is always there to pick her up and dust her off after another disaster. In fact, hanging out with Pen quickly becomes her main motivation to keep swiping right.
When one of her dates suggests that maybe her dating problems stem from her feelings for her best friend it leads Kieran to wonder, could love have been right there in front of her all along?
6. Bear Boy by Justin Barker
Summary: Justin is a typical teenager, dodging school bullies, struggling with his identity and waging an endless war with his parents. But when he discovers Ursula and Brutus—two sibling black bears being kept in horrific conditions at a nearby zoo—his life begins to change. He finds a cause that ignites his passion and an animal sanctuary willing to take the bears. But there’s a catch: he’ll have to cover the quarter-million-dollar cost.
Undaunted, Justin takes his seemingly insurmountable quest to an international audience, gaining media attention and support from celebrities. With television cameras rolling, Justin fights to free the bears, and it turns out himself.
7. Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
Summary: When she was twenty-six and broke, Skye didn’t think twice before selling her eggs and happily pocketing the cash. Now approaching forty, Skye still moves through life entirely—and unrepentantly—on her own terms, living out of a suitcase and avoiding all manner of serious relationships. Maybe her junior high classmates weren’t wrong when they voted her “Most Likely to Be Single” instead of “Most Ride-or-Die Homie,” but at least she’s always been free to do as she pleases.
Then a twelve-year-old girl tracks Skye down during one of her brief visits to her hometown of Philadelphia and informs Skye that she’s “her egg.” Skye’s life is thrown into sharp relief and she decides that it might be time to actually try to have a meaningful relationship with another human being. Spoiler alert: It’s not easy.
Things get even more complicated when Skye realizes that the woman she tried and failed to pick up the other day is the girl’s aunt, and now it’s awkward. All the while, her brother is trying to get in touch, her mother is being bewilderingly kind, and the West Philly pool halls and hoagie shops of her youth have been replaced by hipster cafés.
8. Violet Ghosts by Leah Thomas
Summary: Dani’s best friend, Sarah, is a ghost. But maybe that’s normal when you’ve spent your childhood running from an abusive parent.
Dani and Sarah might be more than friends, though Dani dares not say so. Dani is afraid that if he tells Sarah he’s trans, she won’t bother haunting him anymore. Sarah’s got good reason to distrust boys, having been strangled by one.
After Sarah and Dani come across another ghost haunted by her own brutal murder, they set out to bring peace and safety to spirits like her. But when an old rival reenters Dani’s life, their unexpected friendship gives Dani a strange new feeling of belonging. As Dani starts to find his place in the living world, he’ll need to let go of his ghosts.
9. The Bone Way by Holly J. Underhill
Summary: Teagan’s wife, Cressidae, is missing. She has left for the Shadow Realm, a kingdom of the dead filled with untold nightmares—and the only place that can save Teagan from a lethal poison that’s killing her slowly. It is ruled by a princess said to make powerful deals with those brave enough to find her, and Cressidae has gone to bargain for Teagan’s life. Cressidae has forgotten one very important thing: no one makes it out on their own.
Despite the risks to her own safety, Teagan is determined to save her wife—and perhaps even herself in the process. The princess of the Shadow Realm, however, doesn’t let mortals roam her territories without opposition. In this thrilling tale inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Teagan and Cressidae must face both the horrors of the Shadow Realm as well as their own past.
10. Sea Lover by J.K. Pendragon
Summary: Ian is happy with his life in a remote Canadian fishing town, where he has only the sea and his fishing crew for company. People say being alone is terrible, but he’s never had any problems with it.
Then his peaceful life is thrown into upheaval when he finds an injured merman washed up on the shore. With no idea what else to do, Ian takes the merman home and nurses him back to health. But as he helps S’mika heal, a bond begins to form, and Ian starts to wonder if maybe there is more to life than being alone…
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.)