Happy Pride, YA readers! One really great thing about this time of the year is that since publishing has started putting out more queer YA titles, we get a nice little avalanche of new queer YA releases to devour during Pride. When I first started working at Book Riot in 2016, I could always count the number of queer YA books coming out in a given year — now there are so many it’s hard to keep track! I love to see that progress, and I hope that publishing will continue to publish diverse voices and queer YA books about the whole spectrum of wonderful, intersecting identities. Since it’s nearly impossible to list all of the great YA books coming out for Pride (although I have a longer list on last week’s episode of Hey YA Extra Credit), I thought I’d focus on three heartwarming new queer YA releases that are just out and perfect for pool-side reading this month!
Out of the Blue by Jason June
In this splash of a dual-POV romance, Crest is a merperson on their obligatory Journey — a month-long sojourn to land where they’re expected to help a human before being able to return home to the ocean. Crest is not a fan of humans and their pollution, but when they meet Sean, they think they might be able to help. Sean has just been dumped by his boyfriend and is looking ahead to a miserable summer spent pining in between working as a life guard at the pool. But when he meets Crest, the two strike up a fake dating deal in order to make Sean’s ex jealous…and find that real feelings soon follow. Merpeople! Fake Dating! This is like the slightly grown up, queer Disney channel original movie of my dreams.
Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda
Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her little sister’s quinceañera and fast! Unfortunately for her, that’s not so easy when you consider her romantic history. In short order, she has to face three possible love interests and figure out her feelings for them. There’s her best friend and first crush, her ex-boyfriend who won’t stop flirting with her, and the intriguing new girl who has her own romantic baggage. Maggie has to confront her own confusion and anxiety about the future in order to face the messy truth about love and life. Let’s be real — I knew I was going to read this book the moment I read the title.
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler
Amber has her sights set on making cheer team captain, but it’s difficult to be peppy and inspire school spirit when the football’s star quarterback has just died tragically in a car accident. But things take a turn for the complicated when he’s replaced by Jack (short for Jaclyn), the school’s first female QB. Jack is a good player, but her gender and her timing make her one of the most hated people in the entire school. And the cheer squad has made it clear to Amber that they expect solidarity when it comes to taking Jack down. The only problem? Jack and Amber might be falling for each other. I normally do not care one bit about sports romances, but make it queer and I will show up every time!
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