Take Her Down

By Lauren Emily Whalen

Good girls/Bad girls
Children / Families
Young Adult
Rivals
Friends to Lovers Romance
Coming Out
Virgins/First Love
Non-Binary Gender
Financial gap/Class disparity
Friends & Community

In this queer YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, stakes at Augustus Magnet School are cutthroat, scheming is creative, and loyalty is ever-changing.

Overnight, Bronwyn St. James goes from junior class queen to daughter of an imprisoned felon, and she lands in the care of her aunt and younger cousin Cass, a competitive cheerleader who Bronwyn barely knows. Life gets worse when her ex-best friend, the always-cool Jude Cuthbert, ostracizes Bronwyn from the queer social elite for dating a boy, Porter Kendrick.

Bronwyn and Jude are both running for student body president, and that means war. But after Bronwyn, Porter, and Cass share a video of Jude in a compromising position, Jude suddenly goes missing. No one has seen her for weeks and it might be all Bronwyn’s fault. Will Jude ever be found? Or will Bronwyn finally have to reckon with what she’s won—and what she’s lost?

Content Advisory: Depictions of sexual assault.

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The Infinite Summer

By Morgan Lee Miller

Virgins/First Love
Young Adult
Small Town Romances
Vacation
Food

Remi Brenner will one day see the world. Literally. She’s one summer away from starting her degree in aerospace at MIT, but then her dad cuts off her college tuition until they repair their estranged relationship. Remi has no choice but to spend her summer with him and her annoyingly famous stepmom in resort town Gaslight Shores, South Carolina.

Harper Hebert wishes her life didn’t revolve around her family’s restaurant, a staple in Gaslight Shores for more than four decades. When a new restaurant is opened by a famous chef and business begins to decline, Harper’s dreams of ever making it on her own are threatened.

The more Remi and Harper’s friendship blossoms into something deeper, the more Remi becomes tangled in the intense restaurant rivalry between her stepmom and the Heberts. She knows she has to tell Harper, but the truth could scare away the only person who can capture her summer and her heart.

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Two Winters

By Lauren Emily Whalen

Young Adult

The winter of 1997 is a tragedy waiting to happen. Small-town life isn't easy for seventeen-year-old bisexual and closeted Paulina, especially when her best friend Mia becomes pregnant and doesn’t want to tell the baby's father, Paulina's other best friend, Tesla. Meanwhile, Paulina's secret relationship with volleyball star Ani is about to go public. One fateful night, everything changes forever.

In the winter of 2014, Perdita, bi and proud in Chicago, is weeks away from turning seventeen. She loves her two moms, but why won’t they talk about her adoption? When Perdita meets improv performer Fenton, she discovers both a kindred soul and a willing accomplice in her search for the truth. Will Perdita find what she's looking for? 

Two Winters is a contemporary YA retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale about birth, death, Catholic school, improv comedy, and the healing nature of time.

 

"This retelling of The Winter's Tale follows parallel stories of family and forgiveness in two very different times...Finding the original play’s resonance in the complicated kingdoms of high school while still appealingly down-to-earth, the specificity of place and slow build toward complication and tragedy work well in Paulina’s section but less successfully in Perdita’s. Readers need not be familiar with Shakespeare’s original to appreciate this skillful adaptation. Unabashedly queer, moving, and sincere."—Kirkus Reviews, 08/15/2021

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All the Worlds Between Us

By Morgan Lee Miller

Young Adult
Second Chance at Love
Sports
Friends to Lovers Romance
Virgins/First Love
Enemies to Lovers Romance

Seventeen-year-old Quinn Hughes needs to be in top shape if she wants to medal at the swimming World Championships in ten months. This means no easy distractions, no matter how pretty they are.

She’s still piecing her confidence back together after not qualifying for the Olympics, her relationship with her twin brother is getting worse the more he hangs out with the popular kids, and then Kennedy Reed suddenly squeezes herself back into Quinn’s life. The girl who was her best friend. The girl who gave Quinn her first kiss. The girl who hasn’t spoken to her since.

Soon, Quinn finds herself juggling her new girlfriend, training for the biggest competition of her life, and discovering she’s not the only Hughes twin with a crush on Kennedy Reed. All these distractions are getting to her, and if she wants that medal she needs to find a way to stop drowning on dry land.

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Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks

By 'Nathan Burgoine

Asexual/Aromantic
Young Adult
Disability
Magic
Time Travel
Non-Binary Gender

Being the kid abducted by crazy old Ms. Easton when he was four permanently set Cole’s status to freak. At seventeen, his exit plan is simple: make it through the last few weeks of high school with his grades up and his head down.

When he pushes through the front door of the school and finds himself eighty kilometers away holding the door of a museum he was just thinking about, Cole faces facts: he’s either crazier than old Ms. Easton, or he just teleported.

Now every door is an accident waiting to happen—especially when Cole thinks about Malik, who, it turns out, has a glass door on his shower. When he starts seeing the same creepy people over his shoulder, no matter how far he’s gone, crushes become the least of his worries. They want him to stop, and they'll go to any length to make it happen.

Cole is running out of luck, excuses, and places to hide.

Time for a new exit plan.

 

PRAISE for Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks:

"Burgoine (Of Echoes Born, 2018, etc.) has created a gay teen protagonist who is a bit goofy at times but who is comfortable in his own skin....Overall, a feel-good, contemporary read with strong LGBTQIAP rep and an unusual fantasy subplot." —Kirkus Reviews

"Burgoine uses science fiction elements to explore homosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality, and gender nonconforming identity....Burgoine's immersive writing excels in the details, from the precise sensations Cole experiences at the onset of a teleport to the overwhelming intensity of his feelings for his friend Malik....VERDICT A definite purchase for any library collection." School Library Journal

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Frenemy of the People

By Nora Olsen

Young Adult
Clarissa and Lexie couldn't be more different. Clarissa is a chirpy, optimistic do-gooder and a top rider on the school's equestrian team. Lexie is an angry, punk rock activist and the only out lesbian at their school.

When Clarissa declares she's bi and starts a Gay-Straight Alliance, she unwittingly presses all of Lexie's buttons, so Lexie makes it her job to cut Clarissa down to size. But Lexie goes too far and finds herself an unwitting participant in Clarissa's latest crusade. Both are surprised to find their mutual loathing turning to love.

A change in her family's fortunes begins to unravel Clarissa's seemingly perfect life, and the girls' fledgling love is put to the test. Clarissa and Lexie each have what the other needs to save their relationship and the people they love from forces that could tear them all apart.
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Speaking Out

By Steve Berman

Young Adult

Speaking Out features stories for and about LGBT and Q teens by fresh voices and noted authors in the field of young adult literature. These are inspiring stories of overcoming adversity (against intolerance and homophobia) and experiencing life after "coming out." Queer teens need tales of what might happen next in their lives, and editor Steve Berman showcases a diversity of events, challenges, and, especially, triumphs.

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