Happy August bookworms! The month that signals the ending of summer and (for some) the month that means returning back to school is underway. If you’re in a reading slump, or looking for some new books that are coming out soon, you’re in luck! The addicting storylines and LGBTQIA+ (main and side) characters in the following novels will surely pull you in and leave you wanting more!
Here’s a list of some of the LGBTQIA+ novels that are hitting shelves (or already out) in August!
I Kissed a Girl– Jennet Alexander (August 3rd)
Lilah Silver is a rising star with dreams of leaving the B-list. The young actress is cast as the lead in a role that could launch her to stardom, however, she’ll need some help if she wants to successfully prove herself to all the people who’ve doubted her before.
Noa Birnbaum is a highly talented makeup and special effects artist, but finding work in the field is more difficult than she expected. She’s struggling to keep those around her happy, and her efforts are draining her. When the new actress Noa’s crushing on admits to fears and anxieties of her own, Noa decides to do everything and anything in her power to help Lilah.
The long, demanding hours and draining work are no problem for this duo. However, does their bond have what it takes to survive the blinding spotlight?
The Dead and the Dark– Courtney Gould (August 3rd)
Trouble is brewing in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing and/or dying and the weather has been abnormal. Suspicion is being directed towards the strange ghost hunters who’ve recently come to town.
Logan Ortiz-Woodley has never visited Snakebite before. However, once she and her fathers arrive she begins to question whether ghosts alone are causing Snakebite’s problems. The first teen to vanish was Ashley Barton’s boyfriend, and Ashley insists his ghost has been following her since. While others shun the Ortiz-Woodley family, Logan is the only one who can assist Ashley and answer some of her questions.
Ashley and Logan’s investigation leads to more than the girls imagined and more than either could’ve prepared themselves for: truths about Snakebite, their families, and the girls themselves. However, even as the danger grows, the girls’ feelings for each other may be the only “light in the darkness.”
The Perfume Thief– Timothy Schaffert (August 3rd)
In 1930, seventy-two year old Clementine (a “reformed” con artist) settled down in Paris, and opened her own perfume shop. In her previous “life of crime” she’s traveled the world, from Manhattan to Costa Rica to Marrakech.
The year is now 1941 and the Nazis are infiltrating everywhere, including Madame Boulette’s, Clem’s “favorite haunt.” Even worse is that the artists, outsiders, and hustlers who made Madame Boulette’s their home are vanishing. Clem initially plans on hiding, as she feels too old to fight back. However, when she’s asked to steal a now-missing, esteemed Parisian perfumer’s recipe book, Clem can’t resist.
Clem must outsmart Oskar Voss, “a Francophile Nazi bureaucrat, who wants the book and Clem’s expertise to himself.” Clem decides in order to buy herself more time and successfully pull off her plan, she’ll tell Voss the truth about the “life and loves she came to Paris to escape.”
A Lesson in Vengeance– Victoria Lee (August 3rd)
Dalloway School was built on bones and its history lives within them. Five “violent” deaths took place within the first ten years of the school’s opening. At times, the scent of blood is noticeable in the air.
Felicity didn’t “fall in love with the dark” until she enrolled at the school. She’s back to complete her senior year after her girlfriend’s death. She’s back in her old room at the Godwin House, “the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the five Dalloway students who died there.” Some of those girls may have been witches.
Ellis Haley is beginning her first year at Dalloway. Already an esteemed novelist at seventeen, Ellis is intelligent and a bit odd. Felicity can’t ignore the magnetic pull she feels towards her. Felicity also can’t refuse when Ellis asks for her help in writing her second book about the “Dalloway Five.”
Ellis doesn’t let Felicity forget that Dalloway’s “occult lore is everywhere.” However, when the past and the present start to collide, Felicity must decide where her loyalties lie. The ground she stands upon is “bloody with Dalloway’s history.” The present is too…or is Felicity?
Like a Love Song– Gabriela Martins (August 3rd)
Natalie’s life seemed like a dream; as a Brazilian pop star, she was “topping the charts and setting records.” Then she was dumped on live television, and aside from being absolutely humiliated, Natalie’s career could also now be at stake.
Her PR team decides Natalie must find a new, gorgeous (but fake boyfriend). Natalie unenthusiastically agrees, and the boy of choice is definitely not what she expected. She wanted a “fierce, bad boy,” but William is “a soft-hearted British indie film star.”
As Natalie fights to redeem herself and fix her reputation, she begins to fall for William. In doing so, Natalie suspects she might be the “biggest fake of them all.”
Like Other Girls– Britta Lundin (August 3rd)
After Mara is booted from the basketball team for a fight that was definitely (okay, maybe a little bit) her fault, she becomes determined to join a new sport to prove that she’s a team player to her old coach. As a “lifelong” football fan, Mara decides to give the sport a try and discovers she’s actually a “natural.” When she joins the team, the events that follow in her tiny Oregon town are ones that neither Mara or her family could have foreseen.
Four other girls view Mara’s actions as a political statement and join the team themselves. Now Mara is being viewed as “one of the girls” who “can’t throw, can’t kick, and doesn’t know a fullback from a linebacker.” Complicating matters is Valentina (Mara’s crush) and Carly (Mara’s enemy and the girl she fought with leading to her expulsion from the basketball team) both joined football. This very real, coming-of-age story is both hilarious and moving, turning established notions about sexuality, gender, sports, and friendship on their heads.
The Wild Ones– Nafiza Azad (August 3rd)
“We are the Wild Ones, and we will not be silenced.”
These girls have experienced the worst the world can do to someone. Paheli’s mother betrayed her, selling the girl to a man “in exchange for a favor.” After Paheli escaped, she met Taraana, “a boy with stars in his eyes,” someone just as broken as Paheli. Before Taraana disappeared, he gave Paheli a box of stars. With it, Paheli acquired access to “a place of pure magic and mystery,” the Between. Paheli now collects other girls. Together, they use their magic to “travel the world, helping to save other girls from [their] pain and [their] scars.”
Taraana sometimes reappears; when he does, he asks for their help. Dangerous and magical forces are after him, and will stop at nothing to gain hold of his powers. These girls must fight to save Taraana. If he becomes no longer safe or free, neither are the Wild Ones.
Radiant Fugitives– Nawaaz Ahmed (August 3rd)
Seema has established a solid, successful life for herself in San Francisco. It’s the Obama-era and she works as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign. However, she still struggles with the fact that her father exiled her from the family after she came out as a lesbian. Seema is now nine-months pregnant with a boy and estranged from the boy’s father. She ends up seeking comfort from those who she believed she had lost forever: her “ailing mother” Nafeesa, who’s traveling from Chennai to California by herself, and her “devoutly religious” sister Taheera, a doctor who resides in Texas with her husband and children.
Instead of a blissful and joyous reunion and celebration of a new baby, the events that unfold “unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.”
Radiant Fugitives is told from the perspective of Seema’s son when he is born, and interweaves the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats with verses from the Quran.
An Unexpected Kind of Love– Hayden Stone (August 9th)
Aubrey Barnes is a London bookstore owner and he very much enjoys his quiet and orderly life. He can definitely handle the fact that his shop is struggling, his problematic (and only) employee, and his sketchy plumbing that’s “one leak away from disaster.” However, he cannot handle the new film company that’s “thrown his Soho street into chaos.” He also absolutely cannot handle Blake Sinclair, a “charismatic” American actor.
So when he’s asked to use his bookshop as a set for an upcoming film, Aubrey hesitates to agree. However, this may be the only chance Aubrey has at saving his store. Now, he’s around Blake all the time.
Then, Aubrey ends up alone with Blake in a trailer. “What happens next turns London’s heat wave into an inferno that leaves him breathless.” Aubrey is definitely not cut out for dating a famous celebrity. Especially one who isn’t even out yet. It’s a good thing whatever is happening between Aubrey and Blake isn’t going anywhere…
“Of course, when you expect nothing, that’s exactly when it starts to mean everything.”
The Breath Between Waves– Charlotte Anne Hamilton (August 9th)
Penelope Fletcher sacrificed all she had to board the RMS Titanic. After her father finds a new job, Penelope must leave Scotland to journey to America. She’s leaving behind her cherished grandmother and her girlfriend (who got engaged to someone else). The weeklong journey isn’t looking very appealing to Penelope. Complicating matters is that her parents are adamant that she finds a husband and she must share a cabin with a total stranger.
Penelope’s cabinmate ends up being unlike anyone Penelope’s met before. Soon, Penelope and the spunky, Irish Ruby Cole are good friends, bonding over their family’s “crushing” expectations and sneaking into parties. Penelope is surprised to learn that Ruby also likes women. Penelope knows their affair is only temporary; once the Titanic docks in New York, she’ll have to find herself a husband.
However, Penelope and Ruby must soon decide who and what is worth fighting for.
The Fiend in the Fog– Jess Faraday (August 10th)
In 1885 East London, Abigail and Gideon are “under siege.” Their clinic is becoming full of patients with “inexplicable” symptoms due to the noxious fogs looming above the city. The patients insist a demonic being is out there among the fog. To make matters worse, someone else wants possession of the clinic, and means to use the law to get it.
Heiress Meg Eisenstadt lives a life of luxury with her brother Nat on the other side of town. She’s involved in social justice causes while Nat practices alchemy. Within the depths of Whitechapel, “disgraced” physician Jin Wylie is trying to rebuild his life, conducting research for “a shadowy cabal” in a secret lab.
All of these individuals lead very different lives until the “fiend in the fog” causes their paths to cross. Abigail and Meg are both passionate about social justice…and each other. However, where does that leave Gideon and the clinic? He has his own monster, but can he keep it controlled without Abigail there? Does Dr. Wylie’s research hold the answer to GIdeon’s problems, or is it the cause? Finally, could Nat’s dabbling in alchemy help defeat the dangerous figure in the fog?
The Sisters of Reckoning– Charlotte Nicole Davis (August 10)
The sequel to The Good Luck Girls, an “alternate Old West fantasy adventure.”
“The Good Luck Girls are free.” In Ferron, Aster’s sister and friends live new lives. Aster continues to help more girls escape in Arketta. When news arrives that a new opening house is coming, Aster becomes determined to do more than help individual girls. An expected reunion gives her an idea on how to accomplish her plan. Now, a large-scale plan is born: “free all dustbloods, who live as prisoners to Arketta’s landmasters and debt slavery.”
After Clementine and the others return from Ferron, they become part of this group of fighters. They work diligently to unite many underclasses and convince them to join this fight. Throughout the journey, new friendships will develop, some will lose their lives, others will fall in love (even between some of the most unexpected people).
“But will Arketta’s dustbloods finally come into power and freedom, or will the resistance just open them up to a new sort of danger?”
The King of Infinite Space– Lyndsay Faye (August 10th)
A magical and queer modern-day Hamlet retelling, with new twists and surprises waiting in store.
Ben Dane is “brilliant, devastating, devoted, honest to a fault (truly, a fault).” His father, a Broadway theater baron is dead, but whether it was an accident or murder remains to be learned.
Ben can’t face his mother’s new marriage to his “ghastly” uncle by himself, so Ben turns to Horatio, his best friend. The boys haven’t seen each other since their platonic relationships evolved into something else. Horatio (“loyal to a fault, truly, a fault”) is on a flight to New York and finds himself “next to a sly tailor who portends inevitable disaster.” And who also seems like “an architect of mayhem himself.”
All the while, Lia (Ben’s ex-fiancé) is torn from her loved ones and her art. She ends up involved with three ”seemingly ageless” florists from New Orleans who “teach her the language of flowers, and whose magical bouquets hold both curses and cures.” However, their gifts come at a price.
One night, all these forces will collide. The only possible outcome? Death.
Kiss the Scars on the Back of My Neck– Joe Okonkwo (August 10th)
This collection of short stories is held together in the many forms desire takes on, “above all, the desire for love and a place of safety in a world where being Black and gay can thwart the fulfillment of that longing.” The characters possess many traits- favorable and unfavorable -but each one remains compelling throughout.
A “proud” Black woman returns to face the scorn of the people she left behind in her small rural town after her failed marriage. The unexpected arrival of a stray cat allows a gay middle-aged man to temporarily alleviate his crippling loneliness. An (unhappily) married woman becomes entangled in her bisexual husband’s efforts to form a ménage à trois with a “much younger man.”
A sixteen-year-old boy realizes how powerful sexuality is when he becomes involved in a dangerous seduction. Two different Black men (one rich and mature, the other “young and struggling”) are pulled into an affair by their mutual love for opera. Finally, when the esteemed blues singer Glady Bentley gets “caught up in a political raid,” she’ll combat against the imposed barriers on race and gender.
The Devil Makes Three– Tori Bovalino (August 10th)
In a secret tunnel beneath the school library, Tess and Eliot discover an ancient book…and accidentally release a devil from his “book-bound prison.” Now that he’s free, he intends to stay that way. Until his freedom is permanent, the devil will wield all the ink in the other books to do his bidding, commit murder in the library stacks, and “bleed into every inch of Tess’s life.”
Tess and Eliot must team up to stop and re-capture the devil before he kills everyone the two know and love (including each other).
Cazadora– Romina Garber (August 17th)
The sequel to Lobizona. “Werewolves. Witches. Romance. Resistance…Enter a world straight out of Argentine folklore…”
Manu and her friends journey into Kerana, “a cursed realm in Argentina,” searching for allies and a safe haven to hide. While the group seeks information about the Coven (“a mythical resistance manada that might not even exist”), Manu is being hunted by the Cazadores, with the intent of capturing and arresting her.
Right when all hope seems lost for Manu, the Coven answers her call. She soon discovers “they need a revolution as much as she does.”
Is Manu the right person to lead these people? Hybrids aren’t simply outlawed, they’re “feared and reviled.” What’ll happen once the Coven learn about Manu’s dual heritage? Will they continue to protect her…or will they decide to betray her? How much does Manu have left in her to keep running, before she decides to “stop and take a stand?”
The Forever Place: A Novel– J.C. Lillis (August 18th)
The sequel to You First.
After breaking up with his boyfriend, Levon Ludlow has undergone the ultimate life makeover. He has two new jobs, a remodeled house, custom-made trousers, and “the power to talk to an even wider array of snarky and cantankerous animals.” He claims his new life is keeping so busy that he has no time to miss his ex-lover. However, when Jay calls Levon asking him for help with an issue only Levon can fix, Levon thinks it’ll be no trouble keeping things “professional and drama-free”…even if Levon will have to stay at a honeymoon resort for two weeks with Jay.
Levon and Jay travel to the Valentine island resort in the Florida Keys. Crazy outbursts of guest behavior is linked to the arrival of a flock of red birds, and their “strange and alluring song.” Levon must use his gifts to decode the birds’ song, learn what they want, and send them away. Jay must utilize his abilities to protect this island from a storm that’s looming on the horizon.
Once Jay and Levon start working together, old emotions and feelings resurface…along with “unresolved issues and guilty secrets” that could thwart their second chance at romance. Will they finally work things out and establish a new forever home for the both of them?
After the Dragons– Cynthia Zhang (August 19th)
In the Western world, dragons brought fire and terror. To the Eastern world, they provided “life-giving rain.” Only the Eastern dragons survive now. A drought is plaguing these aquatic creatures while simultaneously a dangerous “burnt-lung” disease (shaolong) is afflicting the human residents of Beijing.
Xiang Kaifei is a college student who combs the streets of Beijing looking for lost dragons, distracting himself from his diagnosis. Elijah Ahmed is a “biracial American medical researcher” who comes to Beijing with the memory of his grandmother, who died from shaolong. A shared interest in dragons cause Xiang and Elijah to form an unusual partnership. Using Xiang’s knowledge of dragon rescue and Elijah’s immunology research, the two might hold the potential to find a cure for shaolong and save the dragons.
However, “Eli and [Xiang] must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope for themselves or the dragons they love.”
Both Sides Now– Peyton Thomas (August 24th)
The National Speech & Debate Tournament is the only thing that’s preventing Finch Kelly from developing severe senioritis. Winning the gold would be the “pinnacle of Finch’s debate career,” and the catalyst that would launch him into his “next chapter:” attending college in Washington D.C. and making history by becoming America’s first trans congressman. “What could possibly go wrong?”
For one, Finch could start crushing on his gorgeous, gay, and not-single debate partner Jonah. Finch has also never considered whether he’s attracted to anyone other than girls. He also hasn’t been accepted into any colleges yet, meaning he hasn’t received the offer of a full-ride scholarship that could turn his dreams into a reality.
Making Finch’s life even more complicated is that transgender rights is this year’s National Debate topic. If Finch wants to win the gold and attend college, he “might have to argue against his own humanity.” Soon, Finch will learn that not every argument has two sides. Who you are and who you love are not topics up for debate.
Edie in Between– Laura Sibson (August 24th)
Edie’s mother died one year ago, but her ghost never left.
Edie’s GG says it’s Mitchell family tradition for their ghosts to stay with the living. It’s as much of a Mitchell’s life as “brewing healing remedies or talking to plants.” However, Edie’s pain of losing her mother is still fresh, and Edie has no interest in “her family’s legacy as local ‘witches.’”
Then, once Edie’s mother’s teenage journal appears, Edie can’t ignore her family’s inheritance. Edie sets out on a scavenger hunt to collect objects that once belonged to her mother, objects that each hold their own memory. Whenever Edie touches one of these artifacts, it takes Edie to a different place in her mother’s journal. Edie sees her mother undergo the same experiences and emotions that Edie is undergoing now.
Edie will soon learn that she’s unknowingly released a dark secret regarding her family’s practice. She must “embrace and master the magic she’s always rejected,” before the magic “consumes” her.
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