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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Jellicle Girl

By Stevie Mikayne

Young Adult

One dark summer night, Beth and Jackie go out to the canoe dock.

Two years later, Beth is still carrying the weight of the secrets they shared, and the truth about what happened to Jackie.

At seventeen, she’s living alone in her father’s apartment, popping sedatives to squash the nightmares, and trudging to therapy with the indomitable Dr. Sullivan so that she can get into the bridge program that will let her start her life over. But the harder Beth tries to outrun her past—including her fraught family relationships—the more entrenched in memories she becomes.

As her life starts to spin out of control and Dr. Sullivan begins to succumb to her own demons, Beth is in danger of losing herself in the black waters of her own mind.

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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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What Happens When

By Samantha Boyette

Young Adult
Coming Out
Small Town Romances
Friends & Community

For Molly Kennan, senior year is already an epic disaster. It feels like the whole school knows she made out with Lily at that party, and now she’s accidentally outed herself as a lesbian. Her ex-best friend is trying to ruin her life, and school generally sucks. All she wants is to drown her sorrows in sweet potato fries, but she finds herself tongue-tied by the diner’s new waitress, Zia. 

Zia is way out of Molly’s league. Older, beautiful, and definitely way more sophisticated. It’s probably just wishful thinking, but Molly can’t help wondering if maybe Zia is flirting with her. Despite Zia’s always-there boyfriend, Molly falls hard for her, and Zia says she feels the same way. So then why doesn’t Zia break up with her boyfriend, and why does she keep so many secrets? 

Then there’s Lily, who she can’t seem to stop accidentally kissing. When your head and your heart are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

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Rocks and Stars

By Sam Ledel

Young Adult
Friends & Community
College Life
Coming Out

For Kyle Lindsay, life is simple. She comes from the ideal suburban family—two hardworking parents, a geeky younger brother, and a supportive best friend. But everything changes when Kyle starts having those kind of thoughts about her soccer teammate.

Things don’t get any easier when college starts and she heads off to play for a Division I squad. Figuring out how to pass her classes is one thing. Figuring out herself and the other girls on her team, a whole other ball game.

Kyle’s struggle to own who she is and what she really wants may end up landing her on the bench and without the woman of her dreams.

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Before

By KE Payne

Young Adult

When the confident, determined Alex Brody joins the successful band Be4, sparks fly between her and her bandmates, none more so than with Tally Mullins. But as their success continues and Tally learns more about Alex, her dislike turns to admiration. Soon Tally finds out that there’s far more to Alex than she first thought.

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Driving Lessons

By Annameekee Hesik

The You Know Who Girls
Young Adult
Sports

Abbey Brooks has recovered from her end-of-freshman-year heartbreak and has vowed that this year, her sophomore year at Gila High, will be different in every way. Her to-do list: get her driver's license, come out to her mom, get (and keep) a girlfriend, and survive another year of basketball. As always, though, nothing goes according to plan. Who will be there for her as her plans start to unravel? Who will bring her back to life after another round of heartache and betrayal? These remain a mystery even to Abbey.

But one thing is for sure, she's not confused about who she is. And that is going to make all the difference.

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The Melody of Light

By M.L. Rice

Young Adult

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. As their paths diverge and college looms, Riley will have to depend less on Aidan and more on herself. Fear of failure drives her, but will finding love derail her single-minded determination to succeed, or will it open the door to the family she's always wanted?

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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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Another 365 Days

By KE Payne

Diary Days | Book 2
Young Adult
Life's sweet when you're seventeen and in love, right? Clemmie Atkins certainly thinks so! She's still madly in love with her girlfriend, the hot and super-confident EMO, Hannah Harrison, and her irritating sister, HRBH, will soon be leaving home to go to university.

But just when it seems that life is finally pretty darn cool, a new distraction at school threatens to upset everything, and the return of the enigmatic and sexy J with a startling confession confuses things further...

Clemmie has another 365 days to try to get her life back on track...but will it be enough?
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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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Father Knows Best

By Lynda Sandoval

Young Adult

After a tumultuous junior year, best friends Lila Moreno, Meryl Morganstern, and Caressa Thibodoux plan to make the most of the summer before senior year. But those plans fall by the wayside when Lila's archenemy, Jennifer Hamilton, finds herself friendless and flailing in a mess of her own making. Meryl steps up to help...and drags Lila and Caressa along with her.

What was supposed to be a carefree few months morphs into a summer of girl power, growing up, and giving in to situations beyond their control. In the end, all four girls are tighter than ever and one step closer to tackling their all-important senior year.

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