What's Up in YA

Excellent 2024 YA Books with Nonbinary Characters, Plus YA Book News for June 27, 2024

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Hey, YA Readers!

Is it sizzling where you’re at because here in the upper Midwest, we’re onto nearly our third week of oppressive heat. It’s not uncommon for it to get hot, especially in the summer, but these temperatures and this stretch of them are not common until late July or August. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be one long summer…and I say this as someone who really likes this season. I may be adjusting my outside reading plans for early mornings and late evenings, if at all, given how rough it is to be out there for long.

Let’s get into the books though. Although we champion LGBTQ+ people and books all year long, I didn’t want to not offer up another Pride-themed list before June concludes, in addition to this week’s YA book news.

Bookish Baubles

image of a sticker that looks like a polly pocket toy. Inside is a vast bookshelf of rainbow colored spines.

How flipping adorable is this Polly Pocket-inspired sticker featuring a rainbow bookshelf? I want to crawl inside this world so much. The Caboodle detail is an extra A++++. $3.

2024 Nonbinary YA Releases

If 10 years ago you’d asked for YA books featuring nonbinary characters, there would be very, very few. While there certainly aren’t boatloads now, the difference in just a decade is worth noting. You can not only find these books much more easily now, but they’re being promoted, shared, and championed. It’s refreshing and necessary.

Nonbinary is an umbrella category to describe people who don’t align their gender with either “male” or “female.” This is, of course, a huge simplification, as nonbinary folks can identify in a number of ways, including agender, bigender, demigender, genderqueer, genderfluid, multigender, polygender, and more. There is incredible and powerful nuance in gender identification.

For this roundup of 2024 nonbinary YA reads, I’ve stuck with the umbrella nonbinary definition to highlight some must-reads. This roundup isn’t comprehensive–again, wild to be able to say that because it used to be impossible to find three easily!!–but I hope you’ll start here and continue your exploration of incredible books featuring characters who identify outside binary. I’ve included a range of genres.

daniel deconstructed book cover

Daniel, Deconstructed by James Ramos

Daniel Sanchez is a photographer, a film buff, and autistic. He does a lot of masking to fit in but deeply appreciates being able to be his true self around best friend Mona. But he’s always felt kind of weird that she loves being around something as introverted and quiet as him, since she’s a loud, proud soccer star at school.

Then Daniel meets Gabe Mendes, a new kid in school. Gabe is cool, mysterious, and nonbinary. Daniel knows Gabe and Mona would hit it off and become Homecoming Court royalty together, and Daniel is going to make it happen.

But matchmaking isn’t all Daniel thought it might be, and it turns out that this might not be a story of making a match between the two cool people he knows. It might be about finding his own match.

the diablo's curse book cover

The Diablo’s Curse by Gabe Cole Novoa

Dami wants to become human again and get away from their existence as a demon. To do that, they’ll need to end every deal they’ve ever made. The problem? Silas. Silas is a cute boy who is cursed to die young; the only reason he’s still alive is the deal made with Silas. Getting to be human again means that Silas will die, but perhaps there is a way Dami and Silas can work together to free them both.

have you seen this girl book cover

Have You Seen This Girl by Nita Tyndall

Copycat murders have plagued Cardinal Creek, and now, another girl has gone missing.

Sid’s dad did not do the crime this time. He’s in prison for murdering five other girls ten years ago. He killed them all, then he dumped their bodies into the lake. That lake is where the new missing girl, June, was found, but it’s clearly not Sid’s dad this time. Instead, suspicions are around Sid. The only person who believes Sid is not responsible is a new girl in town named Mavis. The problem is Mavis also doesn’t know Sid’s background and if she did, they would likely become a suspect in Mavis’s mind, too.

It’s not only Sid’s past that’s a secret, though. So, too, is the fact that they are visited by the girls murdered by their father. June’s voice is now part of what they’re hearing, and June won’t settle for anything less than an answer as to what’s going on.

Sid needs to clear their name. But the only way to do that and the only way to prove they’re not a monster or murderer is by facing their history and facing the truth of what their father did. If they don’t, they may never know peace from these murdered girls—and they certainly don’t want to go to jail for a crime they didn’t commit.

okay cupid book cover

Okay Cupid by Mason Deaver

Jude is a cupid. They think they’re good at it, too, even if they’ve made some mistakes. Even if they’re on probation for doing a not-great thing. But Jude is ready to prove themself once again.

Their assignment isn’t to set up two adults, though. It’s to set up two high schoolers—people Jude’s own age—who are meant to be more than the best friends they were before they had a big fight.

Jude feels confident in the assignment…until they’re thrown for a curve.

Otherworldly by F.T. Lukens book cover

Otherworldly by F.T. Lukens

Ellery doesn’t believe in the religion of the supernatural world. They may be stuck in years-long winter but there’s science to it.

Knox is from the Other World and his job is to help out the humans who make crossroads bargains. He’s worried about what might be going on at home, though, since he hasn’t heard from his queen. When crossroads demons are after Knox, he panics, running down an alleyway where he runs into Ellery.

Knox can’t believe he’s been helped by Ellery. Ellery cannot believe they’ve run into the paranormal–and they will not believe it, either. Except Ellery needs to find a way to end this winter and Knox needs help being tethered to the human world. They might find out they have more in common than ever imagined or believed.

they bloom at night book cover

They Bloom at Night by Trang Thanh Tran (March 24, 2025)

Am I cheating a bit and including a 2025 title? Yes, and also, I don’t care. I loved She Is A Haunting and cannot wait to pick up Trang Thanh Tran’s next horror read.

After a destructive hurricane in Mercy, Louisiana, a red algae bloom has taken over the town. It’s always been a monstrous town but made worse so with the rising tides. This is truest at the center of town in the Cove.

Noon and her former boyfriend, an older boy, had her life ruined at a party at the Cove before the hurricane hit. Now, with her mother, Noon is navigating Mercy as they search for what her mother believes are the members of the dead family reincarnated as sea life. But her past at the Cove and her belief that she is not in the right shape herself are haunting Noon more than she can admit and now, with a new storm approaching and the town’s predatory leader breathing down her shoulders, she’s going to have to do something about her past in order to have a future.

This one is body horror featuring a nonbinary main character.

they thought they buried us book cover

They Thought They Buried Us by NoNieqa Ramos (September 10)

Yuiza loves horror and dreams of film directing. So when Yuiza gets a scholarship to Our Lady of Perpetual Mercy and is among the only students of color, things begin to feel very off. The workload is heavy, everything is expensive, and both faculty and students are downright weird.

Then Yuiza has a series of disturbing dreams about the school’s history and realizes that the fate of the scholarship students isn’t a good one. It will be up to Yuiza to convince others what’s happening in order to save them all from what Our Lady plans to do with them.

YA Book News

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Thanks, as always, for hanging out. We’ll see you again on Saturday with your YA book deals.

Until then, happy reading!

–Kelly Jensen, currently reading We Don’t Have Time For This by Brianna Craft