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.
As the holiday season gets into full swing, Queerly Not Straight is supporting LGBTQ+ books and the authors within our community. From reimagined classics with a queer twist and polyamorous relationships blossoming, we’ve got you covered for the month of November 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. Wren Martin Ruins It All by Amanda DeWitt
Summary: Now that Wren Martin is student council president (on a technicality, but hey, it counts) he’s going to fix Rapture High. His first order of business: abolish the school’s annual Valentine’s Day dance, a drain on the school’s resources and general social nightmare—especially when you’re asexual.
His greatest opponent: Leo Reyes, vice president and all-around annoyingly perfect student. Leo has a solution to Wren’s budget problem—a sponsorship from Buddy, the anonymous “not a dating” app sweeping the nation. Now instead of a danceless senior year, Wren is in charge of the biggest dance Rapture High has ever seen. He’s even secretly signed up for the app. For research, of course.
But when Wren develops capital F-Feelings for his anonymous match, things spiral out of control. Wren decided a long time ago that dating while asexual wasn’t worth the hassle. With the big night rapidly approaching, he isn’t sure what will kill him first: the dance, his relationship drama, or the growing realization that Leo’s perfect life might not be so perfect after all.
2. One Night in Hartswood by Emma Denny
Summary: When his sister’s betrothed vanishes the night before her politically arranged marriage, Raff Barden must track and return the elusive groom to restore his family’s honor.
William de Foucart — known to his friends as Penn — had no choice but to abandon his fiancé and with it his own earldom, when he fled the night before his enforced marriage. But ill-equipped to survive on the run he must trust the kindness of a stranger, Raff, to help him escape.
Unaware their fates are already entwined, their unexpected bond deepens into a far more precious relationship, one that will test all that they hold dear. And when secrets are finally revealed, both men must decide what they will risk for the one they love…
3. Today Tonight Forever by Madeline Kay Sneed
Summary: When thirty-three-year-old Athena Matthias is asked, yet again, to be a bridesmaid, she’s not exactly enthusiastic about the idea. Still reeling from a messy divorce from her wife, she’s never felt less inclined to celebrate love. But Athena can’t say no, especially to one of her oldest friends, and at least it’s a destination wedding, which means three days of sun and sand.
As the wedding weekend commences on the gorgeous beaches of Watercolor, Florida, for the first time in ages, Athena finds herself surrounded by people who know and love her. There’s the bride, nervous about an old relationship; a groomsman grappling with a big mistake; Athena’s mother, ready to date again; and even a potential new romantic interest.
But just as Athena begins to feel herself opening up again, an unexpected guest from the past throws the entire wedding party into chaos. By the time the cake is cut and the ultimate betrayal is revealed, Athena must find the courage to forgive—both others and herself—and embrace the beauty of a chance to move forward.
4. Finding My Elf by David Valdes
Summary: Escaping to NYU for college didn’t turn out the way Cameron planned—he’s flunking his theater classes, about to lose his scholarship, and he still hasn’t found anyone he can call his “people.” When he gets home for winter break, he’s so desperate to avoid a Conversation with his dad that he takes the first acting job he can get—as a mall elf. Despite how Scroogey he feels, the plus side is that there’s a cash prize for the most festive of Santa’s helpers.
But the competition is fierce—especially from fellow elf Marco. Christmas spirit oozes out of his veins. At first Cam is determined to see him as nothing but a rival, but as they spend more time together, Cam starts to second-guess himself. What if he’s finally found his people here—in the fakest consumerist nightmare place on Earth, where he least expected it?
5. Emmett by L. C. Rosen
Summary: Emmett Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence and had lived nearly eighteen years in the world with very little to distress or vex him.
Emmett knows he’s blessed. And because of that, he tries to give back: from charity work to letting the often irritating Georgia sit at his table at lunch, he knows it’s important to be nice. And recently, he’s found a new way of giving back: matchmaking. He set up his best friend Taylor with her new boyfriend and it’s gone perfectly. So when his occasional friend-with-benefits Harrison starts saying he wants a boyfriend (something Emmett definitely does NOT want to be), he decides to try and find Harrison the perfect man at Highbury Academy.
Emmett’s childhood friend, Miles, thinks finding a boyfriend for a guy you sleep with is a bad idea. But Miles is straight, and Emmett says this is gay life – your friends, your lovers, your boyfriends – they all come from the same very small pool. That’s why Emmett doesn’t date – to keep things clean. He knows the human brain isn’t done developing until twenty-five, so any relationship he enters into before then would inevitably end in a breakup, in loss. And he’s seen what loss can do. His mother died four years ago and his Dad hasn’t been the same since.
But the lines Emmett tries to draw are more porous than he thinks, and as he tries to find Harrison the perfect match, he learns that gifted as he may be, maybe he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to love.
6. The Queer Girl is Going to be Okay by Dale Walls
Summary: It’s college acceptance season at Alsbury High School. For aspiring filmmaker Dawn Salcedo, spring brings more than the usual obstacles—she’s her ill father’s only caregiver, the final deadline for the Austin Film Festival is looming (with a full ride to college on the line), and her documentary about queer love, a subject she’s desperate to get a firmer grasp on, is still missing its finishing pieces.
Thankfully, she has two great best friends to help her to the finish line (is it still a GBF if they’re all gay?)—Edie, the resident mom friend with valedictorian status, who must navigate her deeply religious family while having a non-binary partner she doesn’t want them to meet, and Georgia, a poet with her educational future in doubt, who is dealing with her mom’s questionable new boyfriend.
7. Pritty by Keith F. Miller, Jr.
Summary: On the verge of summer before his senior year, Jay is a soft soul in a world of concrete. While his older brother is everything people expect a man to be—tough, athletic, and in charge—Jay simply blends into the background to everyone, except when it comes to Leroy.
Unsure of what he could have possibly done to catch the eye of the boy who could easily have anyone he wants, Jay isn’t about to ignore the surprising but welcome attention. But as everything in his world begins to heat up, especially with Leroy, whispered rumors over the murder of a young Black journalist and long-brewing territory tensions hang like a dark cloud over his neighborhood. And when Jay and Leroy find themselves caught in the crossfire, Leroy isn’t willing to be the reason Jay’s life is at risk.
Dragged into the world of the Black Diamonds—whose work to protect the Black neighborhoods of Savannah began with his father and now falls to his older brother—Leroy knows that finding out who attacked his brother is not only the key to protecting everyone he loves but also the only way he can ever be with Jay. Wading through a murky history of family trauma and regret, Leroy soon discovers that there’s no keeping Jay safe when Jay’s own family is in just as deep and fighting the undertow of danger just as hard.
Now Jay and Leroy must puzzle through secrets hiding in plain sight and scramble to uncover who is determined to eliminate the Black Diamonds before someone else gets hurt—even if the cost might be their own electric connection.
8. Just Lizzie by Karen Wilfrid
Summary: Fourteen-year-old Lizzie is experiencing a lot of change: her family had to move after the incident with their neighbor, leaving behind not only her beloved apple tree, but what feels like her childhood along with it. Lizzie’s brother is too busy for her in his first semester of college and her friends are more interested in dating than dolls. It’s hard not to feel left behind, especially as she tries to explain the fact that she still has zero interest in boys, girls, or the baffling behavior known as “flirting.”
But just as Lizzie’s world feels like it’s closing in, a class lesson on asexual reproduction in plants piques her curiosity, leading her to look up whether people can be asexual too—and suddenly, her world opens up. Lizzie finally finds an identity, a word for all her messy, unnamable feelings that feels like it fits, although she quickly realizes that a label isn’t enough if no one believes it’s real.
9. Boyfriends. Volume One by refrainbow
Summary: The first two to couple up are Goth (cool and sexy) and Nerd (bubbly and flirty). As their budding relationship deepens, they can’t deny their chemistry with Goth’s other friends, Jock (sweet and easygoing) and Prep (sensitive and anxious). Nerd suggests they try something totally brand new to all of them: a polyamorous relationship. Everyone’s game to try, because they all agree the only thing better than one cute boyfriend…is three cute boyfriends!
But the transition isn’t so smooth, as Jock and Prep have issues of their own to settle, and all four need to learn how to make their new polycule work. Through navigating the adventures of dating life, the boyfriends come to understand themselves and each other in new and profound ways.
10. Godly Heathens by H. E. Edgmon
Summary: Gem Echols is a nonbinary Seminole teen living in the tiny town of Gracie, Georgia. Known for being their peers’ queer awakening, Gem leans hard on charm to disguise the anxious mess they are beneath. The only person privy to their authentic self is another trans kid, Enzo, who’s a thousand long, painful miles away in Brooklyn.
But even Enzo doesn’t know about Gem’s dreams, haunting visions of magic and violence that have always felt too real. So how the hell does Willa Mae Hardy? The strange new girl in town acts like she and Gem are old companions, and seems to know things about them they’ve never told anyone else.
When Gem is attacked by a stranger claiming to be the Goddess of Death, Willa Mae saves their life and finally offers some answers. She and Gem are reincarnated gods who’ve known and loved each other across lifetimes. But Gem – or at least who Gem used to be – hasn’t always been the most benevolent deity. They’ve made a lot of enemies in the pantheon—enemies who, like the Goddess of Death, will keep coming.
It’s a good thing they’ve still got Enzo. But as worlds collide and the past catches up with the present, Gem will discover that everyone has something to hide.
Is there an LGBTQ+ book you’re excited about this November? Let us know in the comments below!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Saturday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latine community since I am Latine.)