Happy 2015, Lesbrary readers! Malinda Lo recently discovered that 2014 was a groundbreaking year for LGBT YA in the publishing world, and the list below is just a small glimpse into the greatness that is to come this year. Here are some of the books I’m most looking forward to reading (and perhaps reviewing!) in 2015:
The Flywheel by Erin Gough (February): My first thought upon reading the description of The Flywheel was that it sounds like a lesbian Sarah Dessen book, a prospect which really speaks to my younger self. At age seventeen, Delilah has been left with the task of running the family business (a café called The Flywheel) after her father takes off overseas. After her crush on a straight girl ends in embarrassment at school, Delilah decides she cannot reveal how she feels about Rosa, the beautiful girl who dances at a tapas bar across from the café. Delilah’s best friend, Charlie, is the only one who knows her true feelings for Rosa, but he becomes distracted by the prospect of dating an older woman, leading to some seriously complicated business.
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz (March): Etta, a bisexual African-American girl from small-town Nebraska, is sick of conforming to labels that don’t quite fit her. In her eating disorder rehab group, Etta meets Bianca and suddenly feels like she belongs – despite the fact that the girls are seemingly very different. (Bianca is white, straight, and Christian.) Etta starts to think that maybe this is where she fits in after all, but her serious concerns about Bianca’s health and recovery lead her to question whether Bianca can be her savior after all.
None of the Above by IW Gregorio (April): Let me just start by saying that IW Gregorio is one of my new idols. Her website bio describes her as “Mother. Surgeon. YA Author.” and, as if that wasn’t awesome enough, she is also a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. At the beginning of the novel, everything seems to be falling into place for Kristin. She has a full scholarship to college, a boyfriend that she loves, and the glory of being homecoming queen. When she decides she is ready to have sex, Kristin discovers that something is not right – and she soon learns that she is intersex. When her secret is leaked to the entire school, Kristin has to learn to come to terms with her identity. Gregorio describes the book as “Middlesex meets Mean Girls” – making me even more eager to get my hands on a copy.
Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul (October): As someone who was very pre-occupied with the “where is the line between friends and more-than-friends” question in my early lesbian days, I am very intrigued to see what happens in this book. Categorized as a contemporary psychological thriller, the novel revolves around two girls, Mattie and Jolene. Mattie decides to take back the life that Jolene stole from her (including her previous boyfriend and friends), but that draws her into an obsessive relationship with Jolene that lies somewhere between friendship and love.
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley (November): Robin Talley’s second novel follows a Gretchen, a lesbian girl and Toni, a genderqueer person, as they try to stay in a relationship while juggling the transition to college and Toni’s changing gender identity. Last year, when I read Rainbow Rowell’s novel Fangirl, I remember thinking that it was unique for a novel categorized as YA to document the shift from high school to college. I am excited to read Talley’s take on the transition, especially after reading great reviews of her first novel, Lies We Tell Ourselves.
What LGBT YA novels are you most looking forward to reading in 2015? And while you’re pre-ordering all of the titles above, why not tell We Need Diverse Books that you’re resolving to read queer YA this year?