Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
Published: The O’Brien Press (June 1sr 2020)
Genre: young adult; fantasy
Rep: lesbian mc, poc lesbian mc, lesbian, gay & bi side characters, poc side characters
Rating: 2.5/5 🍑
A fantasy novel featuring a sapphic relationship between a queen and her spymaster? What could be better, you ask? Well, actually…
First things first, this is not a bad book. But. Unfortunately, there’s a but. I can see what this book tries to achieve and I deeply appreciate it, it’s just that it doesn’t really reach its goals.
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The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Published: Page Street Kids (May 12th 2020)
Genre: young adult; contemporary
Rep: Bengali Muslim lesbian mc, Afro-Brazilian Irish bi li, Bengali side characters, Korean side character
Tw: homophobia, racism, outing, bullying
Rating: 3/5 🍑
If I was to describe The Henna Wars in one word, I would say “comforting”. It’s comforting in a way that it’s a story about a Bengali Muslim lesbian, very clearly not catered towards white audience. The mc’s culture is a central point of the book, it plays a major role and not once is the girl made to feel as if that shouldn’t be the case. Even when facing racism from her pears, she knows it’s them who should change & adapt. I can’t even imagine what a book like this must mean to South Asian readers.
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Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly
Published: Tor Books (May 15th 2018)
Genre: alternative historical fiction, spy story
LGBT rep: gay MC
Rating: 3/5 🍑 (GR)
Armistice returns to Donnelly’s ravishing 1930s Art Deco-tinged fantasy world of Amberlough with a decadent, tumultuous mixture of sex, politics, and spies.
In a tropical country where shadowy political affairs lurk behind-the-scenes of its glamorous film industry, three people maneuver inside a high stakes game of statecraft and espionage:
Lillian, a reluctant diplomat serving a fascist nation,
Aristide, an expatriate film director running from lost love and a criminal past,
and Cordelia, a former cabaret stripper turned legendary revolutionary.
Each one harbors dangerous knowledge that can upturn a nation. When their fates collide, machinations are put into play, unexpected alliances are built, and long-held secrets are exposed. All is barreling towards an international revolt…and only the wiliest ones will be prepared for what comes next.
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A Light Amongst Shadows by Kelley York & Rowan Altwood
Published: x-potion designs (June 1st 2018)
Genre: ya; historical fiction, ghost story, romance
LGBT rep: gay MC, bisexual LI
Rating: 3.5/5 🍑
James Spencer is hardly the typical “troubled youth” who ends up at Whisperwood School for Boys. Instead of hating the strict schedules and tight oversight by staff, James blossoms, quickly making friends and indulging in his love of writing, while contemplating the merits of sneaking love poems to the elusive and aloof William Esher.
The rumours about William’s sexuality and opium reliance are prime gossip material amongst the third years. Rumours that only further pique James’ curiosity to uncover what William is really like beneath all that emotional armor. And, when the normally collected William stumbles in one night, shaken and ranting of ghosts… James is the only one who believes him.
James himself has heard the nails dragging down his bedroom door and the sobs echoing in the halls at night. He knows others have, too, even if no one will admit it. The staff refuses to entertain such ridiculous tales, and punishment awaits anyone who brings it up.
Their fervent denial and the disappearance of students only furthers James’s determination to find out what secrets Whisperwood is hiding… Especially if it means keeping William and himself from becoming the next victims.
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Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Published: Duet Books, Interlude Press (June 7th 2018)
Genre: ya; contemporary, romance
LGBT rep: bisexual MC, gay LI, m/m side ship
Rating: 3.5/5 🍑
Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them.
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A Boy at the Edge of the World by David Kingston Yeh
Published: Guernica Editions (March 28th 2018)
Genre: contemporary, romance
LGBT rep: gay MC, multiple gay & bisexual LI
Rating: 3/5 🍑
A confabulated fictional memoir.
Meet Daniel Garneau, your average gay hockey player from small-town Ontario. After moving to Toronto to attend university, Daniel meets David, a bike mechanic whose Catholic Italian mother talks to her dead husbands. Their chemistry is immediate, but Daniel is still drawn to his ex-boyfriend Marcus, a performance artist whose grandfather was a book-burning Nazi.
Through a series of misadventures both comic and tragic, Daniel navigates the pitfalls of dating and relationships, while juggling the needs of his eccentric family and newfound friends. A Boy at the Edge of the World is a rollicking dramedy that explores the compulsive and (ultimately) universal human pursuit of intimacy, sex, and love.
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