Thank you, P. Djeli Clark, for writing this Victorian Egyptian steampunk novel just for me! "A Master of Djinn" melds the mysterious adventures of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody archaeological mysteries with the snarky steampunk vibe of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Along with a dash of the inclusive romance that I've been devouring lately and a cast of multicultural characters, the result is the most entertaining book I've read this year from the most original voice I could hope to find.
This has it all: an eating disorder, mommy issues, frozen yogurt, sex, the spirit of Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, and lots more. The detail Broder brings to this story of appetite (that of spirituality, sensuality, and food) is magnificent. You feel like you're under the neon lights of the kosher Chinese Polynesian American restaurant in the middle of LA, rooting for Rachel as she starts feeding herself in more ways than one. Let me assure you that it's not for everyone, with a big trigger warning and explicit sex scenes, but it could be for you.
There's a reason why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2020! These poems are lovely and devastating. Beautiful and heartbreaking, of course, with titles like "Bullet Points" as a black man in America and lines like "I love a man I know I could die" as an openly gay, HIV-positive man. Read this if you want something solid and good.
This novel is both the stories of twelve women and a sweeping history of the Black British experience. With poetic prose, dazzling characters, and intricate details, it is impossible not to get lost in Evaristo's work.
In a time when being queer meant (at best) imprisonment under a brutal dictatorship, five women band together in the beginnings of friendship. They create a safe haven in a beach hut along the coast, where they are free to be who they are and love who they want. A triumph, a celebration, and a mourning all in one.
The rage in Roisin's poetry collection slashes through to your heart, then the tenderness sews you back together again. This work explores accepting one's intersectional self and the weight of shame, ancestral trauma, and oppression. A book about survival, dedicated to survivors.
Blanco was the first openly gay, Latino, immigrant, as well as the youngest person to be the US inaugural poet when he read for Obama's second term. He brings this energy with him in this collection, his beautiful language depicting such heartbreak toward America's tendency for gun violence, racism, and LGBTQ oppression. Throughout, you can see him struggling with the idea of nationhood, digging his way closer to the answer of how to truly love a country.
If you have seen Paris is Burning or Netflix's Pose, you should read this book. This story is a fictionalized telling of the real House of Xtravaganza family members as they navigate 1980's New York, from walking in balls to walking the piers. Cassara shows us the dangers that can come with finding one's way in a bigoted society and shines a light on the strength, determination, and humor of these characters who ache to be seen.
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.