50 Must Read LGBTQ Fiction Books

This list of must-read LGBTQ fiction books is sponsored by Amazon Publishing and The Fever King by Victoria Lee.

The Fever King by Victoria Lee, the first read in a captivating new series. A teen wakes up in a hospital bed with a magical new ability. Will he use his newfound power to become a hero for the downtrodden, or is he destined to become their oppressor? Read The Fever King by Victoria Lee.

 

 


LGBTQ fiction is having a boom right now. Novels about the queer community are filling the bookshelves of homes, libraries, and stores – information I find both moving and comforting, as it wasn’t so long ago that it was still a challenge to find these books.

In the documentary film The Celluloid Closet (based on the must read non-fiction book by Vito Russo), the narrator explains, “Hollywood…taught straight people what to think about gays and gay people what to think about themselves.”

The quote still regularly floats through my brain. It remains vitally important to have well-rounded portrayals of the queer community, because there are still assumptions and biases directed toward us even today. These LGBTQ fiction books are our stories – whether set in the U.S., Canada, the Northeast of England or South Africa – and they continue to educate, comfort and remind us.

I have focused on adult fiction because you can already find many YA specific lists on this site and others, though I did add a few YA at the end because they are ones that I recommend even to readers who would normally not pick up a title in the teen section.

50 must-read LGBTQ fiction books for your TBR. book lists | queer books | LGBTQ books | queer fiction

For LGBTQ fiction titles coming out this year, visit here. For a handful of my other favourites of this sub-genre, visit my reader’s advisory.

Descriptions come from Goodreads.

America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo cover imageAmerica is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero de Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she’s already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about her past. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to constantly ache. America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful telenovela of a debut novel.

Hotel World by Ali Smith

Five disparate voices inhabit Ali Smith’s dreamlike Hotel World, set in the luxurious anonymity of the Global Hotel, in an unnamed northern English city. The disembodied yet interconnected characters include Sara, a 19-year-old chambermaid who has recently died at the hotel; her bereaved sister, Clare, who visits the scene of Sara’s death; Penny, an advertising copywriter who is staying in the room opposite; Lise, the Global’s depressed receptionist; and the homeless Else who begs on the street outside.

Book cover of LESS by Andrew Sean GreerLess by Sean Andrew Greer

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

The Price of Salt aka Carol by Patricia Highsmith

The Price of Salt is story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover.

Valencia by Michelle Tea

Valencia is the fast-paced account of one girl’s search for love and high times in the drama-filled dyke world of San Francisco’s Mission District. Through a string of narrative moments, Tea records a year lived in a world of girls: there’s knife-wielding Marta, who introduces Michelle to a new world of radical sex; Willa, Michelle’s tormented poet-girlfriend; Iris, the beautiful boy-dyke who ran away from the South in a dust cloud of drama; and Iris’s ex, Magdalena Squalor, to whom Michelle turns when Iris breaks her heart. Valencia conveys a blend of youthful urgency and apocalyptic apathy.

cover of under the udala trees by chinelo okparantaUnder the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Paper is White by Hilary Zaid

When oral historian Ellen Margolis and her girlfriend decide to get married, Ellen realizes that she can’t go through with a wedding until she tells her grandmother. There’s only one problem: her grandmother is dead. As the two young women beat their own early path toward marriage equality, Ellen’s longing to plumb that voluminous silence draws her into a clandestine entanglement with a wily Holocaust survivor–a woman with more to hide than tell–and a secret search for buried history. If there is to be a wedding Ellen must decide: How much do you need to share to be true to the one you love?

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

Woman or man? This internationally acclaimed novel looks at the world through the eyes of Jess Goldberg, a masculine girl growing up in the  McCarthy era and coming out as a young butch lesbian in the pre-Stonewall gay drag bars of a blue-collar town. This once-underground classic takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of gender transformation and exploration and ultimately speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever suffered or gloried in being different.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

‘The longest and most charming love letter in literature’, playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf’s close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth’s England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England under James I lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Constantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women. Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Baldwin’s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature. In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself. After meeting and proposing to a young woman, he falls into a lengthy affair with an Italian bartender and is confounded and tortured by his sexual identity as he oscillates between the two.

Sodom Road Exit_Amber DawnSodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn

It’s the summer of 1990 and Crystal Beach has lost its beloved, long-running amusement park, leaving the lakeside village a virtual ghost town. It is back to this fallen community that Starla Mia Martin must return to live with her overbearing mother after dropping out of university and racking up significant debt. But an economic downturn, mother-daughter drama, and Generation X disillusionment soon prove to be to be the least of Starla’s troubles. A mysterious and salacious force begins to dog her; inexplicable sounds in the night and indescribable sights spotted in the periphery. Soon enough, Starla must confront the unresolved traumas that haunt Crystal Beach.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner

Prior is a man living with AIDS whose lover Louis has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn (a fictional re-creation of the infamous American conservative ideologue who died of AIDS in 1986) and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find some sort of personal salvation in his beliefs.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

It’s first the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women—of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder.

The Book of Salt TruongThe Book of Salt by Monique Truong

Binh, a Vietnamese cook, flees Saigon in 1929, disgracing his family to serve as a galley hand at sea. The taunts of his now-deceased father ringing in his ears, Binh answers an ad for a live-in cook at a Parisian household, and soon finds himself employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.

Toklas and Stein hold court in their literary salon, for which the devoted yet acerbic Binh serves as chef, and as a keen observer of his “Mesdames” and their distinguished guests. But when the enigmatic literary ladies decide to journey back to America, Binh is faced with a monumental choice: will he, the self-imposed “exile,” accompany them to yet another new country, return to his native Vietnam, or make Paris his home?

Tea by Stacey D’Erasmo

On a spring day in 1968, eight-year-old Isabel Gold prepares tea for her mother, certain she will drink it and recover from her mysterious sadness. But the tea remains untouched. Not long after, her mother takes her own life. Struggling to understand the ghost her mother left behind, Isabel grows up trying on new identities. Her yearning for an emotional connection finds her falling in and out of love with various women, but it is not until Isabel learns how to reach deep within herself that she begins to listen to the truths of her own heart.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.

Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph FinkAlice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

Keisha Lewis lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country.

Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job as a long-haul truck driver and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.

Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall

Welcome to Montreal in the months before the 1995 referendum. Riot Grrl gets bought out and mass marketed as the Spice Girls, and gays are gaining some legitimacy, but the queers are rioting against assimilation; cocktail AIDS drugs are starting to work, and the city walls on either side of the Main are spray-painted with the words YES or NO. It’s been five years since the OKA crisis and the sex garage riots; revolution seems possible when you’re 18, like Eve. Eve is pining to get out of her parents’ house in Dorval and find a girl who wants to kiss her back. She meets Della: mysterious, defiantly non-monogamous, an avid separatist, and ten years older. Initially taken in by a mutual other-worldly sense of rapture, they hole up in Della’s apartment, trying to navigate spaces of jealousy. On the night of the 1995 referendum, politics and romance come to a head and Eve’s naiveté begins to fade. From naive teenager to hotshot rough girl, Eve decides her own fate.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S.J. SinduMarriage of A Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu

Lucky and her husband, Krishna, are gay. They present an illusion of marital bliss to their conservative Sri Lankan–American families, while each dates on the side. It’s not ideal, but for Lucky, it seems to be working. She goes out dancing, she drinks a bit, she makes ends meet by doing digital art on commission. But when Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her childhood home and unexpectedly reconnects with her former best friend and first lover, Nisha, who is preparing for her own arranged wedding with a man she’s never met.

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes’ novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe’s great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna—a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous. The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction—there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O’Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes’ depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, “A man is another person—a woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own”) has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.

what we all long forWhat We All Long For by Dionne Brand

A gripping novel of love, loss, identity, and change chronicles the interlocking tales of a multicultural group of second-generation twenty-somethings living in urban Toronto and the secrets they are hiding from their families, including Tuyen, an avant-garde artist and lesbian daughter of Vietnamese parents; Carla, a biracial bicycle courier; and Oku, the poet son of Jamaican parents.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

San Francisco, 1976. A naïve young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous.

Close to Spider Man by Ivan E. Coyote

This is a collection of connected stories whose female narrators seek out lives for themselves amidst the lonely, breathtaking landscape of the Yukon. The young women in Ivan Coyote’s deeply personal stories are looking to make a break from their circumstances, but the North is in their bones: so is their connections to family, friends, and other women.

Jack Holmes and His Friend by Edmund White

Jack Holmes and Will Wright arrive in New York in the calm before the storm of the 1960s. Coworkers at a cultural journal, they soon become good friends. Jack even introduces Will to the woman he will marry. But their friendship is complicated: Jack is also in love with Will. Troubled by his subversive longings, Jack sees a psychiatrist and dates a few women, while also pursuing short-lived liaisons with other men. But in the two decades of their friendship, from the first stirrings of gay liberation through the catastrophe of AIDS, Jack remains devoted to Will. And as Will embraces his heterosexual sensuality, nearly destroying his marriage, the two men share a newfound libertinism in a city that is itself embracing its freedom.

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

It’s not a happy novel, I will tell you that right now. George, a British man living in Malibu, is trying to deal with the loss of his partner in a car accident. Set over the course of one day in George’s life, the readers experiences moments of his day that are both big and small (breakfast, an awkward kiss with a close female friend). An intense, mesmerizing character study about starting over after the worst has happened.

Fruit_Brian FrancisFruit by Brian Francis

Peter Paddington is 13, overweight, the subject of his classmates’ ridicule, and the victim of too many bad movie-of-the-week storylines. When Peter’s nipples begin speaking to him one day and inform him of their diabolical plan to expose his secret desires to the world, Peter finds himself cornered in a world that seems to have no tolerance for difference. Peter’s only solace is “The Bedtime Movies” — perfect-world fantasies that lull him to sleep every night. But when the lines between Peter’s fantasy world and his reality begin to blur, no one is safe from the depths of Peter’s imagination — especially Peter himself.

Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai

At turns whimsical and wry, “Salt Fish Girl” intertwines the story of Nu Wa, the shape-shifter, and that of Miranda, a troubled young girl living in the walled city of Serendipity circa 2044. Miranda is haunted by traces of her mother’s glamourous cabaret career, the strange smell of durian fruit that lingers about her, and odd tokens reminiscient of Nu Wa. Could Miranda be infected by the Dreaming Disease that makes the past leak into the present?

Morrow Island_Alexis M. SmithMorrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

Twenty years ago Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island; along with her mother, she fled the aftermath of an earthquake that compromised the local refinery, killing her father and ravaging the island’s environment. Now, Lucie’s childhood friend Kate is living within a mysterious group called Marrow Colony—a community that claims to be “ministering to the Earth.” There have been remarkable changes to the land at the colony’s homestead. Lucie’s experience as a journalist tells her there’s more to the Colony—and their charismatic leader– than they want her to know, and that the astonishing success of their environmental remediation has come at great cost to the Colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets and methods, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?

Pages for You by Sylvia Brownrigg

In a steam-filled diner in a college town, Flannery Jansen catches sight of something more beautiful than she’s ever seen: a graduate student, reading. The seventeen-year-old, new to everything around her—college, the East Coast, bodies of literature, and the sexual flurries of student life—is shocked by her desire to follow this wherever it will take her. When Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with the remote, brilliant older woman, she is intimidated at first, but gradually becomes Anne Arden’s student—Baudelaire, lipstick colors, or how to travel with a lover—Flannery proves an eager pupil, until one day learns more about Anne than she ever wanted to know.

Confucius Jane by Katie Lynch

On leave from college, Jane Morrow has a new job, helping out in her uncle’s fortune cookie factory, and a new roommate—her precocious 11-year-old cousin. Though surrounded by her loving family and their close-knit Chinatown community, Jane feels like a colossal failure. When Jane meets medical student Sutton St. James at her local noodle shop, sparks fly. Sutton stands at a career crossroads: surgical residency or stem cell research overseas? Sutton’s only certainty is that she has no time for a relationship—yet neither she nor Jane can deny the chemistry between them.

Little Fish by Casey Plett

Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman who comes across evidence that her late grandfather–a devout Mennonite farmer–might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, having other problems at hand, but as she and her friends struggle to cope with the challenges of their increasingly volatile lives–from alcoholism, to sex work, to suicide–Wendy is drawn to the lost pieces of her grandfather’s life, becoming determined to unravel the mystery of his truth.

Such A Lonely, Lovely Road_Kagiso Lesego MolopeSuch a Lonely, Lovely Road by Kagiso Lesego Molope

Kabelo Mosala has been the perfect child to his doting absent parents, who show him off every chance they get. Both his parents and his small community look forward to him coming back after medical school and joining his father’s practice. They also plan to give him the perfect township wedding. But Kabelo’s one wish has always been to get as far away from the township as he possibly can and never come back. A few weeks before he leaves for university, however, he forms a close bond with Sediba, one of his childhood friends, confirming his long-held suspicion that he is gay. Their relationship is thrown into turmoil by social pressures and conflicting desires, and it starts to look as if they can’t be together. But against all odds the two young men make their way back to each other, risking scorn from the community that raised them.

She of the Mountains by Vivek Shraya

She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel by Vivek Shraya, the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist God Loves Hair. Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology. Both narratives explore the complexities of embodiment and the damaging effects that policing gender and sexuality can have on the human heart.

For Today I Am a BoyFor Today I Am A Boy by Kim Fu

Peter Huang and his sisters—elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant—grow up in a house of many secrets, then escape the confines of small-town Ontario and spread from Montreal to California to Berlin. Peter’s own journey is obstructed by playground bullies, masochistic lovers, Christian ex-gays, and the ever-present shadow of his Chinese father.

At birth, Peter had been given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, powerful king. The exalted only son in the middle of three daughters, Peter was the one who would finally embody his immigrant father’s ideal of power and masculinity. But Peter has different dreams: he is certain he is a girl.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually, Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.

a graphical illustration of a multi-colored bird shedding feathers against a purple backgroundDisoriental by Négar Djavadi

Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them.

Yet it is Kimiâ herself—punk-rock aficionado, storyteller extraordinaire, a Scheherazade of our time, and above all a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own “disorientalization”—who forms the heart of this beloved novel.

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend.When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.

never anyone but you us coverNever Anyone But You by Rupert Thomson

In the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As “sisters” they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail.

Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dalí to André Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler’s occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.

Hood by Emma Donoghue

Penelope O’Grady and Cara Wall are risking disaster when, like teenagers in any intolerant time and place—here, a Dublin convent school in the late 1970s—they fall in love. Yet Cara, the free spirit, and Pen, the stoic, craft a bond so strong it seems as though nothing could sever it. But thirteen years on, a car crash kills Cara and rips the lid off Pen’s world. How can she survive widowhood without even daring to claim the word? It will take Pen all her intelligence and wit to sort through her tumultuous past with Cara, and all the nerve she can muster to start remaking her life.

Blue Boy_Rakesh SatyalBlue Boy By Rakesh Satyal

As an only son, Kiran has obligations–to excel in his studies, to honor the deities, to find a nice Indian girl, and, above all, to make his mother and father proud. If only Kiran had anything in common with the other Indian kids besides the color of his skin. They reject him at every turn, and his cretinous public schoolmates are no better. Cincinnati in the early 1990s isn’t exactly a hotbed of cultural diversity, and Kiran’s not-so-well-kept secrets don’t endear him to any group…

Surrounded by examples of upstanding Indian Americans, Kiran nevertheless finds it impossible to get the knack of “normalcy.” And then one fateful day, a revelation: perhaps his desires aren’t too earthly, but too divine.

My Education by Susan Choi coverMy Education by Susan Choi

Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.

Here Comes The Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.

Young Adult

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come. When tragedy strikes, what made the Fernweh women special suddenly casts them in suspicion. Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, of love, of salt—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

48 Shades Of Brown by Nick Earls

Australian teenager Dan Bancroft had a choice to make: go to Geneva with his parents for a year, or move into a house with his bass-playing aunt Jacq and her friend Naomi. He chose Jacq’s place, and his life will never be the same. This action-packed and laugh-out-loud-funny novel navigates Dan’s chaotic world of calculus, roommates, birds, and love.

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