Queer publishing is having A Moment–and while we’ve still got a long way to go to balance bookshelf representation, we couldn’t be more thrilled to see all of the LGBTQIA+ books that have been hitting lately. If you’re looking for a little queer lit to dive into this pride month, you’ve got no shortage of options. But just in case, here are five new YA Reads published just this month to help you celebrate:
Happily Ever Island
By Crystal Cestari
Perhaps the perfect f/f summer read, Happily Ever Island is a fun Disney-themed adventure: flighty Madison and her practical best friend Lanie decide to spend their spring break at Disney, as part of a “test” program for the park’s latest immersive experience. For the week, they get to role-play their favorite Disney characters–for romantic Madison, the choice is obvious: Cinderella. For pragmatic Lanie, the options are less tempting, though she opts for the arrow-brandishing Merida. Both of them find romance, though it’s hard to tell if they’re being swept off their feet, or simply swept up in the game! Happily Ever Island leaves plenty of room for tears, fears, and raucous peals of laughter.
By Naz Kutub
cw: alcoholism, parental abuse, Islamophobia, homophobia
Sy, a 17-yo Indian-Muslim boy, thought he had found the love of his life in his boyfriend Farouk. But when Farouk leaves town to pursue a career in activism, Sy is too afraid to leave everything he knows behind and follow him. So much for true love. Feeling left behind and down, Sy starts to think he made a mistake–a feeling that seems confirmed when Sy’s father forces him out of his family home after learning that he’s gay. But then he meets a strange girl with stranger powers: she offers him three wishes in exchange for his help, giving Sy a new opportunity to step out of his comfort zone toward the life that’s always been meant for him.
The Gravity of Missing Things
By Marisa Urgo
cw: mentions of self-harm
For the Mystery Lovers out there: Flight 133 sets out for a trans-ocean voyage and disappears without a trace: no distress call, no wreckage, no sign of what went wrong. Before long, public opinion pins its blame on the pilot. But 17-yo Violet knows that’s insane–the pilot, her mother, would never do anything to endanger the lives of her passengers. However, Violet also has a secret–a cryptic note her mother left the night before the fated flight. Unsure who to trust, Violet tries her best to find the truth without implicating her mother even further.
By Marika McCoola (Author), Aatmaja Pandya (Illustrator)
cw: mentions suicide
This Graphic Novel from an Eisner Award-nominated writer and debut illustrator shares the Sapphic love story of Jade, an artistic teen who is sent to her dream program–a summer art intensive–at a difficult time in her life. She meets Mary, and upbeat teen who is also a lesbian, who shows Jade that life can be as fun as you make it. But when Jade’s artistic creations take on a mind of their own, Jade learns that in order to live happier, she’ll need to deal with the issues that are troubling her instead of sweeping them under the rug.
Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder
Edited by Saundra Mitchell
If Anthologies are your thing, check out Out There: Into the Queer New Yonder. Featuring tales of queer love, friendship, and shenanigans, this book has all manner of out-of-this world hijinks: aliens, time loops, missions to mars, and machine-readable fortune telling gone haywire. Perfect for those who live sci-fi and humor, it’s packed with seventeen stories of queer, trans, nonbinary, and aro-ace characters doing’ their thing . . . but, ya’ know, in space.
And these are obviously just a fraction of the new titles hitting the shelves this summer! Have you heard of any great new queer YA fiction this year? Share your favorite/most anticipated titles in the comments!