What’s new in GLTBQ this fall
Every other month I’ll be doing a roundup of new and forthcoming GLTBQ YA books (and sometimes some non-YA books). I’ll try to include as many titles as possible. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a forthcoming title that should be on my radar for an upcoming list? Leave a comment or tweet me @CiteSomething. This list covers September, October, and some November 2014 titles. All annotations here are via WorldCat or the publishers.
The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, September 2): Fifteen year old Wren has fallen in love with the most sought after boy in school, but his secret will both bring them together, and keep them apart.
First Time for Everything anthology edited by Anne Regan (Harmony Ink Press/Dreamspinner, September 4): There’s nothing like the first time. Whether it’s a first crush, first date, first kiss, or finding tolerance and approval for the first time, for gay, lesbian, bi, and trans teens—or those still exploring and discovering their sexuality and identity—these important firsts can shape the rest of their lives.
No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace (Flux/ Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., September 8): Told from separate viewpoints, two seniors at an elite girls school grow close as they work together on a project and Zoey, a scholarship student, begins dating wealthy, troubled Olivia’s twin brother Liam, but romance blossoms between the girls, threatening both of their relationships with Liam.
God Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld (Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited, September 9): Vivek Shraya’s first book is a collection of twenty-one short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates the complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question and Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo (Chronicle Books LLC, September 9): Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child. Through their LGBTQ-oriented site, the authors are uniquely experienced to answer parents’ many questions and share insight and guidance on both emotional and practical topics. Filled with real-life experiences from gay kids and parents, this is the book gay kids want their parents to read.
Key of Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann (Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner Press, September 11): On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war.
Dark Tide by Greg Herren (Bold Strokes Books, September 16): Ricky Hackworth lands a job as a lifeguard at the Mermaid Inn in Latona, Alabama, on the beautiful Gulf Coast. But once he moves into the Inn, he starts hearing stories about the lifeguard from the previous summer and how he vanished without a trace. Before long, Ricky realizes the Inn and the town are hiding some dark secrets.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial, September 16): Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. (Reviewed 6/3/14 on TLT)
Everything Changes by Samantha Hale (Bold Strokes Books, September 16): Seventeen-year-old Raven Walker has never had a boyfriend. She’s never really been interested in boys. But she was always too afraid to examine what that might mean. Until she meets Morgan O’Shea and finds herself inexplicably drawn to her.
Searching for Grace by Juliann Rich (Bold Strokes Books, September 16): Camp is over and Jonathan Cooper returns home—to life with his mother whose silence is worse than anything she could say, to his varsity soccer teammates at East Bay Christian Academy, to the growing rumors about what he did with a boy last summer at Bible camp.All the important lines blur. Between truth and lies. Between friends and enemies. Between reality and illusion.
Wet Paint by Will Parkinson (Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner, September 18): Transitions book 2. Although Addy’s heart and body bear the scars from his life before he was adopted by the Deans, he’s ached for something he thought he would never find. Until he met Benny. He isn’t sure how anyone can care for someone as broken as he is, even though he wants it desperately. High school senior Benny Peters has his whole life planned out for him, until a chaste kiss at summer camp opens a new world of possibilities.
God’s Play by H.D. Lynn (Curiosity Quills Press, September 18): Sixteen-year old Toby was trained by a family of hunters to kill shape-shifters — but he has a unique weapon in his arsenal. With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade. Because of his special skill, Toby suspects he may be a monster himself.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse, September 23): Told in alternating chapters, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel navigates the New York City publishing world and Lizzie, the heroine of Darcy’s novel, slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack and becomes a spirit guide, as both face many challenges and both fall in love.
Just Girls by Rachel Gold (Bella Books, September 23): Jess Tucker sticks her neck out for a stranger—the buzz is someone in the dorm is a trans girl. So Tucker says it’s her, even though it’s not, to stop the finger pointing. She was an out lesbian in high school, and she figures she can stare down whatever gets thrown her way in college. It can’t be that bad. Ella Ramsey is making new friends at Freytag University, playing with on-campus gamers and enjoying her first year, but she’s rocked by the sight of a slur painted on someone else’s door. A slur clearly meant for her, if they’d only known.
Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Twenty-First Century Books, September 28): Meet Katie, Hayden, Dean, Brooke, David, Julia, and Natasha. Each is transgender, and in this book, they share their personal stories. You’ll learn how they each came to better understand, accept, and express their gender identities, and you’ll follow them through the sorrows and successes of their personal journeys. Transgender Lives helps you understand what it means to be transgender in America while learning more about transgender history, the broad spectrum of transgender identities, and the transition process. You’ll explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections. (Reviewed 8/12/14 on Cite Something)
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by Arin Andrews (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, September 30): In this revolutionary memoir, Arin details the journey that led him to make the life-transforming decision to undergo gender reassignment as a high school junior. In his captivatingly witty, honest voice, Arin reveals the challenges he faced as a girl, the humiliation and anger he felt after getting kicked out of his private school, and all the changes—both mental and physical—he experienced once his transition began. Arin also writes about the thrill of meeting and dating a young transgender woman named Katie Hill…and the heartache that followed after they broke up. (Reviewed 9/16/14 on TLT)
Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition by Katie Rain Hill (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, September 30): In this first-person account, Katie reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager. She reveals the unique challenges she faced while unlearning how to be a boy and shares what it was like to navigate the dating world and experience heartbreak for the first time in a body that matched her gender identity. Told in an unwaveringly honest voice, Rethinking Normal is a coming-of-age story about transcending physical appearances and redefining the parameters of “normalcy” to embody one’s true self. (Reviewed 9/16/14 on TLT)
Beauty of the Broken by Tawni Waters (Simon Pulse, September 30): As if her parents’ heavy drinking and her father’s abuse–which nearly killed her half-brother, Iggy–were not enough, fifteen-year-old Mara is caught kissing her girlfriend Xylia by the preacher’s son and becomes terrified that her own life is at risk.
Winterspell by Claire LeGrand (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, September 30): To find her abducted father and keep her sister safe from the lecherous politicians of 1899 New York City, seventeen-year-old Clara must journey to the wintry kingdom of Cane, where Anise, queen of the faeries, has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (Harlequin, September 30): Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.” Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. (Reviewed 9/30/14 on TLT)
All the Devils Here by Astor Penn (Harmony Ink/ Dreamspinner Press, October 2): Brie Hall, a sheltered and privileged teenager, is in her final year of boarding school in New York City when disaster strikes. While journeying to find her family, Brie meets another wanderer, a girl with a past she can’t or won’t divulge. Circumstance force them together to escape notice of government-issued hazmat vehicles sent to deliver them to unknown conditions. While struggling to answer the question of how to survive a plague, they must also ask how they can survive the version of themselves they’ve become.
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, September 7): High school junior Leila’s Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates at Armstead Academy, and if word got out that she liked girls life would be twice as hard, but when a new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual, so she struggles to sort out her growing feelings by confiding in her old friends.
Under the Stars by Geoff Laughton (Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner, October 9): Ethan Tanner is an out and proud, fastidious, and fashionable sixteen-year-old vegetarian who likes theater and musicals. This year, it’s his sister’s turn to pick the vacation destination, so he ends up on a dude ranch he knows he is going to hate. Jason McCoy is the closeted sixteen-year-old son of the ranch owners and is trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t seem to fit him. He takes an interest in Ethan, shows him around, and gets him to ride a horse. When he invites Ethan camping, Ethan thinks Jason must be joking. But Ethan takes a risk, and the two boys bond under the stars.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero (Cinco Puntos Press, October 14): Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez chronicles her senior year in high school as she copes with her friend Cindy’s pregnancy, friend Sebastian’s coming out, her father’s meth habit, her own cravings for food and cute boys, and especially, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot (HarperCollins Publishers, October 14): When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about her. Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she dives headfirst into the larger-than-life new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian. But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy.
Bottled Up Secret by Brian McNamara (Bold Strokes Books, October 14): Brendan Madden is in the midst of his senior year of high school and couldn’t be happier. He has a great group of friends, his pick of colleges, and he has recently come to terms with his sexuality. One night, he meets Mark Galovic, a gorgeous, younger classmate of his. In a matter of minutes, Brendan is hooked. As the friendship between them grows, Brendan reaches his breaking point when he spontaneously confesses his feelings to him. Brendan is shocked and elated to find out that Mark feels the same way about him. The two begin to date, but because Mark is not out, it must remain a secret.
Maxine Wore Black by Nora Olsen (Bold Strokes Books, October 14): Maxine is the girl of Jayla’s dreams: she’s charming, magnetic, and loves Jayla for her transgender self. There’s only one problem with Maxine—she already has a girlfriend, perfect Becky. Jayla quickly falls under Maxine’s spell, and she’s willing to do anything to win her. But when Becky turns up dead, Jayla is pulled into a tangle of deceit, lies, and murder. Now Jayla is forced to choose between love and the truth.
When Ryan Came Back by Devon McCormack (Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner, October 16): Steven’s life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.
Zhukov’s Dogs by Amanda Cyr (Curiosity Quills Press, October 27): A good dog doesn’t ask questions, especially when The Council holds their leash. Lieutenant Colonel Nik Zhukov never disappoints—never questions the orders given to him—even as each mission further reveals how corrupt his handlers are. For the sake of national security, the desensitized prodigy pretends he’s just like any other seventeen-year-old living in the year 2076. At least until it comes time to pull the trigger.
Compulsion by Martina Boone (Simon Pulse, October 28): After the death of her disfigured, shut-in mother, Barrie Watson moves to her aunt’s South Carolina plantation, which is guarded by an ancient spirit who cursed one of the island’s three founding families and gave the others magical gifts that become compulsions.
Beau, Lee, the Bomb, and Me by Mary McKinley (Kensington, October 28): In high school, there are few worse crimes than being smart or fat. Lucky me, I’m both. But when Beau Gales blows in to town, it takes about two minutes for the jackasses at our Seattle school to figure out he’s gay, and that makes him an even bigger target. Have you ever heard the saying: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’? There’s something to that. When the bullying gets violent and Beau decides to run away to San Francisco to ask his Uncle Frankie for advice, we all go. Beau, me, Leonie (designated class slut), and a scruffy rescue dog called The Bomb–a tribe of misfits crammed into my mom’s minivan.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (Disney-Hyperion, November 4): Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but leaving it behind would mean facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection. Despite these dangers, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson might finally have the tools to let her inner light shine.
Stranger (The Change #1) by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown (Viking Juvenile, November 13): Generations after an unknown Change eliminated electricity and gave people unusual powers, the Southern Californian town of Las Anclas must deal with the consequences when a teenage prospector comes to stay
The Melody of Light by M.L Rice (Bold Strokes Books, November 18): Siblings Riley and Aidan Gordon are survivors. Together, they survived an abusive childhood, and when a fiery accident incinerates all they have—except for each other—they survive that, too. The tragedy leaves them with burdens and pain beyond their years, but it also sets them free to forge their own paths. Aidan’s road to happiness seems smooth and carefree. But Riley continues to struggle, her only saving grace being a passion for music that helps soothe her damaged soul.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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