This book has so much heart. The magical realism element adds depth and creates a complex, yet fresh, metaphor with the word "alien". The story is a classic high school makeover-and-revenge plot. What sets it apart from other #ownvoices YA is the pansexual lead character, the trans love interest, the otherworldly best friend, and many unique small town dramatics. Think Miss Congeniality: the New Mexico high school Latinx edition.
This is a story of the impossible. "A" wakes up in a new body every day: male or female teen, the same geographical area, and never a body twice. That's 24 hours to have the least impact, to get through the day and have a neutral effect. That is, until "A" wakes up in the body of Rhiannon's boyfriend. Now "A" is going against better judgment to see her and kindle a relationship -- but at what cost? A beautiful, tender examination of gender amidst a variety of topical issues: mental health, first love, and biological family.
One of the best queer stories I've read in a long time. A young Colombian girl is uprooted from her home and moves to Miami with her family. Her mom becomes a member of a local Evangelical church and pushes her reluctant daughter to join her. Things begin to really unfold when our main character begins to fall for the pastor's daughter. I can't recommend this novel enough!
If you’ve ever read the title of Carson McCullers’ seminal work “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” and thought: “I’ve just read the most beautiful poem, written for me”—if you’ve ever done that—maybe you should pick up this book.
Shapland deftly writes about closeted queer desire, her own coming to terms with herself, and McCullers vs. the coded language she has long been shrouded in.
I don’t know where to put this magnificent book—but maybe it belongs with you.
How mystifying the customs of ancient peoples seem to us... but how far removed are we, really?
Sylvie and her parents join a small university class on "a summer experience" living as Iron Age Britons may have. As prehistoric tasks become more intuitive to the group, so do the rituals they once thought horrific.
This unassuming wisp of a book belies the disquieting story within.
"I shivered. Of course that was the whole point of the re-enactment, that we ourselves became the ghosts, learning to walk the land as they walk it two thousand years ago."
Carmen Maria Machado's (Her Body and Other Parties) memoir is one of those books whose impact will shake everything around it. No one writes books about intimate partner violence that occurs between queer women - but she has. It's a needed book that unfolds like a dark spell. Explosively imaginative, the essays inside each use a different literary trope (Mystical Pregnancy; Star-Crossed Lovers; Meet the Parents) to explore the course of an abusive relationship, seesawing between lively irony and inevitability. Machado's relentless sieving of memory and narrative for truth manages to be deeply beautiful, playful, and sharp all at once. I can't recommend it highly enough.
In picking the carcass of her own experience, Carmen Maria Machado has written a new kind of memoir. Short vignettes, told through kaleidoscopic lenses, are pieced together by the reader—not that it feels anything like work. It feels more like therapy.
Saeed Jones's memoir is my favorite fall book so far. Expanded from an essay (entitled How Men Fight For Their Lives) he originally published on The Rumpus in 2012, How We Fight For Our Lives exposes intersections of racism and homophobia in moments of intensity as well as moments of quiet. Jones lets the reader know him--his vulnerability is at the forefront as he details his coming of age, his relationship with his mother, and his understanding of the world and how to survive in it. I read it in one sitting.
I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach. Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.
This gorgeous book is a historical, Sapphic, friends-to-lovers romance between a tenacious astronomer and a wealthy widow (who happens to be skilled in embroidery). AMAZING COVER ASIDE, this is an excellent "gateway" book for Romance: readers will enjoy how Waite draws parallels between women's experiences in the 19th century and the 21st.
Our heroines get to work translating a new astronomical text despite rebuffs from London's Scientific Society. As their friendship flourishes and their pursuits war against societal gatekeepers, they ask each other: who determines Art? What is the difference between Scientist and Hobbyist? And best of all -- can ladies have happy endings?