2021 blessed us with an unprecedented bounty of queer Young Adult audiobooks, but 2022 may just top last year. It wasn’t long ago that I struggled to put together a handful of titles for this list, but this year the struggle is keeping the list manageable!
As always, I’m obsessed with my favorite audiobook narrators, but a lot of the narrators for these books haven’t been released yet. I’m blaming it on supply chain issues slowing book production down. A great narrator can make all the difference in the experience of listening to an audiobook, so I’m thrilled to see two of my favorites already and can’t wait to find out who will be narrating the rest.
This list has it all: intergalactic adventure, a podcast tie-in, Jewish legend, ghosts, writing as healing, romance at a con, romance in the absence of a con, boy bands, historical, mystery, and the apocalypse. If you’re looking for a great LGBTQIA+ audiobook to listen to in the first half of 2022, here are 12 of my recommendations.
This list is, as usual, skewed towards the first three months of the year because audiobooks often aren’t announced until closer to publication date, so we’re sure to be blessed with even more queer audiobooks later in the year.
The Kindred by Alechia Dow (January 4)
Joy is a commoner with a Kindred mind-pairing to the royal family’s most infamous playboy, Felix. When the royal family is assassinated, leaving Felix as both the heir and the primary suspect, he knows both his life and Joy’s are in danger. The two escape on a stolen spaceship and go into hiding on Earth, where they start to uncover a scandal that may decide the future of the galaxy. Narrators Dominique Moore and Amin El Gamal are relatively new to the audiobook scene, so I’m looking forward to checking them out!
Murder of Crows by K. Ancrum (February 1)
This is a novel based on the podcast Lethal Lit, taking place between seasons 1 and 2, and also narrated by the incredible Rebecca Soler. Tig Torres has caught the attention of Hollow Falls’s armchair detective group, who are engrossed in the town’s dark past and the search for the missing body of the town’s founder. It’s rumored that there’s something important buried with the body, and during the dangerous search, one of the group members is murdered. Tig and her friends offer to help, but Tig has to be careful to not become the next victim.
From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (February 8)
When Hannah wakes up with golden eyes with slit pupils, her mother leaves her and her brother alone, promising to return with someone who can help. Weeks later, the siblings seek out the family they’ve never known in search of answers. They discover the answer goes back generations to Nazi-occupied Prague and even further into the realm of Jewish legend. This one is narrated by Hope Newhouse.
Cold by Mariko Tamaki (February 8)
Todd is found dead in the town park, naked in the snow. His ghost follows the investigation and replays the events that lead to his murder. Introverted Georgia didn’t know Todd, but feels drawn to the investigation. She has a feeling she’s seen him somewhere before and sets out to uncover the truth. This audiobook doesn’t have a narrator listed yet.
The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian (February 15)
At an elite boarding school, five teens have experienced the toxic, abusive culture in very different ways. When they’re brought together in the Circle, an exclusive writing group, their professor challenges them to write their truths. The truths they share will confront the privileged and silent status quo of Chandler. This one is narrated by the author and Vikas Adam, one of my favorites.
The One True Me and You by Remi K. England (March 1)
A beauty queen and a fanfic author both love GreatCon and have a shared enemy in Miss North Carolina. Teagan needs to stay in the closet just long enough to nab the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant — and its scholarship money. Kay wants to use the weekend to start exploring their identity. But when the two meet, sparks fly and everything changes. This one’s not listed on an audio sites yet, but the author says it will be available.
Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters (March 15)
All Isaac wanted to do before heading off to college is to go to Legends Con with his best friend Diego. But when he’s distracted by an old crush and misses his chance to buy tickets, he’s left hanging out with Diego’s gaming buddies all summer. As he gets closer to his crush, Diego seems upset. Is it just about missing the con or something more? No narrator is listed yet for this one!
Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram (March 22)
Hunter is the only gay member of a boy band on a major tour across North America and he’s now just had a very public, messy breakup. Everyone expects him to be the perfect queer poster boy, but he struggles with what that means. When he starts seeing the star of the band opening for them on tour, his troubles only intensify. No narrator is listed for this one yet.
She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick (April 5)
Written by a wife-wife writing team, this book is about two girls who join forces to get the girls of their dreams and slowly fall in love with each other in the process. Alex knows how to get any girl, but keeping her is more of a struggle. Molly is infatuated with a girl she’s never been brave enough to talk to. Alex offers to help Molly to prove to her ex she’s not just a shallow, selfish flirt. They come up with a five step plan that definitely works — just not in the way they had planned. No narrator is listed for this one yet.
This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke (April 5)
Csilla knows the river running through the middle of Budapest kept her family safe from the Holocaust, but that was before the Communists seized power and her parents were murdered. When her parents are publicly exonerated and protests spark a revolution, she must decide if she believes in her deeply flawed country enough to help save it, or if she should save herself and let it burn. No narrator is listed for this one yet.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (May 3)
The only thing keeping Chloe going in her small Alabama Christian private school is the drive to become valedictorian, ahead of perfect prom queen Shara Wheeler. A month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and two others and disappears, leaving cryptic notes in her absence. Chloe teams up with Shara’s quarterback boyfriend and bad boy neighbor to figure out where she’s gone. No narrator yet for this one, but here’s hoping Natalie Naudus from the One Last Stop audiobook will return.
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White (June 7)
Benji is a trans boy on the run from a cult that caused Armageddon and infected him with a bioweapon. He’s rescued by a group of teens from a local LGTBQ+ center and is offered shelter by the group’s leader, Nick. But it turns out Nick knows more than he should and has his own agenda. No narrator is listed for this yet.
Did I miss any upcoming queer YA audiobooks that you’re looking forward to? Let us know! Looking for more audiobook recommendations? Check out 6 Buzzy Audiobooks for Award Season and 20 Must-Read Audiobooks for the Whole Family.