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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The Girl Who Wasn't Dead

By Samantha Boyette

Amnesia
Reunion Romance
Young Adult
Small Town Romances

Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river. 

The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof. 

The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

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18 Months

By Samantha Boyette

Young Adult
Psychological Thriller
Amateur Sleuths
Small Town Romances

Alissa Reeves came out for Hannah Desarno. Hannah is smart, beautiful, and has just gone missing. Worse, she isn’t Alissa’s first girlfriend to disappear. Eighteen months ago, Alissa was caught kissing bad girl Lana Meyers. Too scared to admit her feelings for Lana, Alissa let her friends blame Lana. Weeks later when Lana disappeared, no one in their small town thought much of it until months later when her body was found.

With Hannah gone, Alissa finds herself following clues that will help her discover what happened to both girls, and the truth will change everything.

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Gravity

By Juliann Rich

Young Adult

A shot at Olympic gold in ski jumping. It’s a dream that has been the exclusive property of male athletes. Until now.

For seventeen-year-old Ellie Engebretsen, the 2011 decision to include women’s ski jumping in the Olympics is a game changer. She’d love to bring home the gold for her father, a former Olympic competitor whose dreams were blown along with his knees on an ill-timed landing. But can she defy the pull of gravity that draws her to Kate Moreau, her biggest competition and the girl of her dreams? 

How can Ellie soar through the air when all she feels like doing is falling hard?

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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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The Iron Phoenix

By Rebecca Harwell

The Storm's Quarry Series | Book 1
Young Adult
Virgins/First Love
Magic
Other Worlds

Seventeen-year-old Nadya Gabori lives a life of secrets in the island city of Storm’s Quarry. By day, she is the dutiful Nomori daughter, but by night, she sprints across rooftops, testing her abilities of speed and strength, abilities no normal girl should have. And she keeps her growing feelings for her friend Kesali from her conservative family. If her secrets were discovered by her people, the price would be banishment. 

But when a murderer strikes again and again while a prophesied storm bears down on the city, Nadya disguises herself and uses her gifts to fight the chaos that threatens her home. When Kesali’s life is put in peril by the madness, Nadya will do anything to save her, even if it means risking all and revealing she is the one the city calls the Iron Phoenix.

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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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Everything Changes

By Samantha Hale

Young Adult
Friends to Lovers Romance

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.

As their friendship develops, Raven is forced to face the possibility that her interest in Morgan might actually be attraction and that she might be gay.

Acknowledging the possibility opens Raven's world to the excitement of her first romance, but it also leaves her struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and the impact it will have on her relationships with her family and friends.

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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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Because of Her

By KE Payne

Young Adult

For seventeen-year-old Tabitha "Tabby" Morton, life sucks. Big time. Forced to move to London thanks to her father's new job, she has to leave her friends, school, and, most importantly, her girlfriend Amy, far behind. To make matters worse, Tabby's parents enroll her in the exclusive Queen Victoria Independent School for Girls, hoping that it will finally make a lady of her.

But Tabby has other ideas.

Loathing her new school, Tabby fights against everything and everyone, causing relations with her parents to hit rock bottom. But when the beautiful and beguiling Eden Palmer walks into her classroom one day and catches her eye, Tabby begins to wonder if life there might not be so bad after all.

When Amy drops a bombshell about their relationship following a disastrous visit, Tabby starts to see the need for new direction in her life. Fighting her own personal battles, Eden brings the possibility of change for them both. Gradually, Tabby starts to turn her life aroundand it's all because of her.

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Secret Lies

By Amy Dunne

Young Adult
Friends to Lovers Romance
Coming Out
College Life
Virgins/First Love

Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love?

Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O'Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance.

Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life.

Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?

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