There's no recipe for the perfect read, but with a splash of adventure, a cup each of young queer love and gender feelings (we LOVE a trans/trans romance), and a healthy handful of found family, this book won the Big Gay Texas Bakeout of my heart.
Bloodthirsty and tender, full of power, powerlessness, and sheer determination, I could hear Wu Zetian roaring her vengeance call long after I finished this thrilling sci-fi masterpiece. For fans of The Hunger Games, anyone who wished that Pacific Rim was more queer, and anyone looking to have their idea of YA sci-fi expanded in the best way.
Middle school can be hard, especially for marginalized kids - kids of color, queer and trans kids, kids for whom being themselves means standing out in a way that's not always safe. Mark Oshiro's middle grade debut gives these kids the chance to fight back with the help of a magical room (think Harry Potter's "Room of Requirement") that brings them exactly what they need - each other.
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.
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.