In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Saturday (switching things to Saturday) I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicles, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community from a Latina perspective. Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
P.S. I, Lyra Hale, do not give any site permission to copy or repost my work in any form. If you are reading this on any site besides Fangirlish, it has been stolen.
With Pride done, we’re continuing our journey of supporting LGBTQ+ books and the authors within our community. From books inspired by The Haunting of Hill House to Chuck Tingle finally blessing us with a horrow debut book, we’ve got you covered for the month of July with a list of LGBTQ+ books coming out this month.
A special shoutout goes to Netgalley, the premier source of getting books in advance if you’re looking to review books. Most of the summaries were sourced from Netgalley, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble and we hope this helps get readers interested in these creative queer writers!
1. The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero-Lacruz
Summary: Two women embark on a unforgettable quest that draws them into a world of dark gods and ancient magic in this sweeping fantasy debut inspired by the history and folklore of colonial South America.
Reina is desperate. Stuck on the edges of society, Reina’s only hope lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never met. But the journey to her is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.
Attacked by creatures that stalk the mountains, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.
Eva Kesaré is unwanted. Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries to be the perfect daughter, but Eva is hiding a secret: Magic calls to her. Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet it’s hard to ignore power when it has always been denied you. Eva is walking a dangerous path. And in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.
2. Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle
Summary: From beloved internet icon Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus is a searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community faces in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down.
Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold. Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy. And they’ll scare you straight to hell.
3. A Rulebook for Restless Rogues by Jess Everlee
Summary: London, 1885. David Forester and Noah Clarke have been best friends since boarding school. All grown up now, clever, eccentric Noah is Savile Row’s most promising young tailor, while former socialite David runs an underground queer club, The Curious Fox. Nothing makes David happier than to keep the incense lit, the pianist playing and all his people comfortable, happy and safe until they stumble out into the dawn. But when the unscrupulous baron who owns the Fox moves to close it, David’s world comes crashing down.
Noah’s never feared a little high-stakes gambling, but as he risks his own career in hopes of helping David, he realizes two things: One: David has not been honest about how he ended up at The Curious Fox in the first place. Two: Noah’s feelings for David have become far more than friendly. What future lies beyond those first furtive kisses? Noah and David can hardly wait to find out…if they can untangle David from his web of deception without losing everything Noah has worked for.
4. Rana Joon and the One and Only Now by Shideh Etaat
Summary: Perfect Iranian girls are straight A students, always polite, and grow up to marry respectable Iranian boys. But it’s the San Fernando Valley in 1996, and Rana Joon is far from perfect—she smokes weed and loves Tupac, and she has a secret: she likes girls. As if that weren’t enough, her best friend, Louie—the one who knew her secret and encouraged her to live in the moment—died almost a year ago, and she’s still having trouble processing her grief. To honor him, Rana enters the rap battle he dreamed of competing in, even though she’s terrified of public speaking.
But the clock is ticking. With the battle getting closer every day, she can’t decide whether to use one of Louie’s pieces or her own poetry, her family is coming apart, and she might even be falling in love. To get herself to the stage and fulfill her promise before her senior year ends, Rana will have to learn to speak her truth and live in the one and only now.
5. The King Is Dead by Benjamin Dean
Summary: Heavy is the crown James has been born to wear, especially as the first Black heir to the British throne. But with his father’s recent passing, and with a new boyfriend to hide, James is woefully unprepared for the sudden shine of public scrutiny. When his secrets come spilling forth across tabloid pages and the man he thought he loved has suddenly disappeared, James finds himself on the precipice of ruin. As every detail of his life becomes public knowledge, his sense of safety is shattered and the people he trusts the most become the likeliest suspects. What dangers lurk behind the palace walls—and will the new king find out before it’s too late?
6. Firebird by Sunmi
Summary: Caroline Kim is feeling the weight of sophomore year. When she starts tutoring infamous senior Kimberly Park-Ocampo—a charismatic lesbian, friend to rich kids and punks alike—Caroline is flustered . . . but intrigued Their friendship kindles and before they know it, the two are sneaking out for late-night drives, bonding beneath the stars over music, dreams, and a shared desire of getting away from it all. A connection begins to smolder . . . but will feelings of guilt and the mounting pressure of life outside of these adventures extinguish their spark before it catches fire?
7. Heir to Thorn and Flame (Court of Broken Bonds Book 1) by Ben Alderson
Summary: For years, Max had to serve and obey the vicious magical nobles. Now he is one of them. When the heir to the throne attacks him, Max accidentally responds with a lethal burst of magic. Max is certain he will be executed. But his power is too rare and precious for that… Instead, the king forces him to become the boy he killed, taking on the identity and duties of the heir. That includes an arranged marriage—to the dangerously attractive Prince Camron.
Living a lie, Max knows he can trust no one. Not Camron. And definitely not Simion, a handsome, dragon-riding spy sent to test his loyalty. As a deadly struggle for power begins and desire sparks, Max must protect his secret and his heart at all costs.
8. Sammy Espinoza’s Last Review by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Summary: Sammy Espinoza’s life is a raging dumpster fire. Her desperate attempt to win back her singer ex-girlfriend has landed her in hot water at work, and she has one last chance before her editor cuts her column. Luckily, Sammy has a plan to redeem herself, but it won’t be easy. Rumor has it that Max Ryan, the former rock god, is secretly recording his first-ever solo album years after he dramatically quit performing. And it just so happens that he and Sammy have history: Right before Max got his big break, he and Sammy spent an unforgettable night together.
Exclusive access to Max’s new music would guarantee Sammy’s professional comeback and, even better, give her the opportunity to serve some long-awaited revenge for his traumatic ghosting. But Max lives in Ridley Falls, Washington, and Sammy has history there as well: a family that never wanted her and a million unanswered questions. Going back would mean confronting it all—but what else does she have to lose?
9. A Warning About Swans by R.M. Romero
Summary: Bavaria. 1880. Hilde was dreamed into existence by the god Odin and, along with her five sisters, granted cloaks that transform them into swans. Each sister’s cloak is imbued with a unique gift, but Hilde rejects her gift which allows her to lead the souls of dying creatures to the afterlife.
While guiding the soul of a hawk, Hilde meets the handsome Baron Maximilian von Richter, whose father left him no inheritance. Hilde is intrigued by Richter’s longing for a greater life and strikes a deal with him: She will manifest his dreams of riches, and in return, he will take her to the human world, where the song of souls can’t reach her.
But at the court of King Ludwig II in Munich, Hilde struggles to fit in. After learning that fashionable ladies are sitting for portraits, she hires non-binary Jewish artist Franz Mendelson, and is stunned when Franz renders her with swan wings. The more time she spends with Franz, the more she feels drawn to the artist’s warm, understanding nature, and the more controlling Richter becomes. When Hilde’s swan cloak suddenly goes missing, only Franz’s ability to paint the true nature of souls can help Hilde escape her newfound prison.
10. A Guide to the Dark by Meriam Metoui
Summary: The room is watching. But Mira and Layla don’t know this yet. When the two best friends are stranded on their spring break college tour road trip, they find themselves at the Wildwood Motel, located in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Mira can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong and rotten about their room. Inside, she’s haunted by nightmares of her dead brother. When she wakes up, he’s still there.
Layla doesn’t see him. Or notice anything suspicious about Room 9. The place may be a little run down, but it has a certain charm she can’t wait to capture on camera. If Layla is being honest, she’s too preoccupied with confusing feelings for Mira to see much else. But when they learn eight people died in that same room, they realize there must be a connection between the deaths and the unexplainable things that keep happening inside it. They just have to find the connection before Mira becomes the ninth.
Is there an LGBTQ+ book you’re excited about this July? Let us know in the comments below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Sunday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)