Rivers Solomon has blown me away yet again. I usually avoid horror and mystery- I had to read Sorrowland very slowly, supplementing it with lots of middle grade books to keep me from descending into the darkness and horror the book evokes. And I adored it. Rivers Solomon's writing is grounded, clear, audacious and unabashed. Pick this book up if a monstrous Black and queer survival story with no small share of fighting back sounds intriguing. -Miriasha, Burlington/Essex
Transgender witch Wyatt fled his magical birth kingdom Asalin for the human world, where he has been living with his best friend Briar… until his ex-fiancé, and crown prince of Asalin, shows up to bring him home. Where has this feral, hurt, angry, loving, disaster of a gay trans witch been my whole life? I felt so at home within the pages of this book, and I know other trans readers will feel the same way - this is the fantasy I would have LOVED to read in high school. -Miriasha, Burlington/Essex
Set in rural Vermont, this spooky and thoughtful book follows Bug, a soon-to-be middle-schooler. How do you handle your uncle’s death when he’s still haunting your house, and when he seems to have a message for you? How can you “be you” when you don’t know what that means yet? -Miriasha, Burlington/Essex
I loved this book, especially the found family and incredibly important platonic, non-blood-related relationships that Grace has-- a whole constellation of love. I'd gladly read books about almost any of the secondary characters, too! -Miriasha, Burlington/Essex
This book led to my favorite (queer) book conversation to date. The characters are messy and mostly unlikeable! Torrey dives straight into topics in trans identity often considered taboo without worrying about placating a cis-gender audience. A quietly chaotic and fascinating character study. -Miriasha, Burlington/Essex
This was an instant favorite comfort read for me, with its slow-burn friends-to-lovers historical romance between two women in their 40s: a printing press owner and a bee-keeper. Olivia Waite ingeniously crafts realistic happily-ever-afters for queer characters in her historical romances - even with marriage off the table, her characters find a way to make meaningful commitments to each other.
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This is a sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction that takes place in near-future South Africa and has world-building myths with gods and demigoddesses and a trip to the world of the dead but also a genetically altered hallucinogenic drug that turns people into giant animals and a robot uprising and a political campaign and a transgender pop star and a m/m couple and all of them are connected. It’s bonkers. Like, so, so absolutely mind-breaking weird. And I loved it.
This book - a slave narrative in space- was haunting, horrifying, disturbing, dark, but so, so good. The character’s voices were so specific and clear, the relationships so clearly affected by circumstance and yet loving in the ways they could be. This book paints a picture of an ugly world, whose characters still have to live, and still each have their own small reasons to keep on trying. It's also my favorite representation of gender outside binary in any book. Even set on a futuristic spaceship, this book is incredibly grounded in the injustices of our world and ends with a seed of hope.