Queer Girl YA: What’s Coming?

Hello all! Wow. It's has been a very long time since I posted anything on this blog. I've been kept pretty busy with the release of The Seafarer's Kiss and final edits for The Tiger's Watch. I also travelled to RTCon, which was amazing but has kept me pretty busy!

However, this blog's long dark spell is briefly over with this list of upcoming f/f YA books and why I'm excited about them! I was inspired to make a list by this, excellent post by Tasha at Cats and Paperbacks. It analysed f/f YA's popularity vs. m/m and m/f … and the results were pretty eye opening. I still remember a rejection I recieved when I first started querying Unicorn Tracks, asking me if I could please change the girls' relationship to friends because f/f couldn't sell. 

I think 2016/2017 have been really good years for f/f and lots of other LGBTQIA books that move beyond the G, but there's still a lot of work to be done. I realised looking at my own reading lists from last year that even as a bisexual woman, who writes MOSTLY f/f pairings, my reading list was dominated by m/f and m/m. That is something I am absolutely going to work on in the coming years. 

In order to work on it, I needed to know what books were coming! This list is not complete, especially for 2018 releases (one of my own included!) that don't have final synopsises or a goodreads page yet. BUT I've tried to pull together as complete a list as I can of upcoming YA books featuring queer, female main characters. A few of these books are told from multiple POVs, and in those cases, my criteria was that the queer female POV had to make up at least as much page space as any male narrating POVs.

Clicking on each book's cover will bring you to its goodreads page! 

 

SUMMER 2017

Little & Lion

Release Date: August 8 2017

Brandy Colbert

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Bisexual/Pansexual (unspecified but MC has feelings for multiple genders), POC: Black MC, POC: Asian-LI, Jewish MC, Bipolar brother.

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: When she comes home from boarding school in LA, Suzette struggles to fit in to her old life. Her brother Lionel, has bipolar disorder and needs her emotional support, but she soon finds herself falling for the same girl as her brother.

Why I'm Excited About it: My younger brother and I both have had a lot of mental health struggles, but his have been more severe.  I'm really interested in a story about a sibling relationship, that promises to be really messy and complicated. There are also so many intersectional identies in this book and the early reviews have said great things!

 

Little & Lion

Release Date: July 25 2017

Lauren Karcz

Genre: YA Contemporary/Magical Realism

Representation: Bisexual, Latinx MC

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn't been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year. Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

Why I'm Excited About it: I really love books about artists and I'm getting more and more into contemporary books with touches of magical realism. From the early reviews, it sounds like the prose in this book will be gorgeous.

 

 

AUTUMN 2017

 

New HoofPrints in the Snow

Release Date: September 5 2017

A.M. Burns and K.T. Spence

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Wheelchair User (condition, post accident)

Ownvoices: No

Brief Synopsis: When Maia's family falls on hard times, she is forced to donate her horse to a rescue centre. The centre's owner's daughter, Emma, sees how heartbroken Maia is and offers to let her help at the farm. The two girls develop friendship, but Emma wants more. Can Maia overcome her family's prejudices and find happiness?

Why I'm Excited About it: I love horses. I've had a horse since I was twelve, and I would, and still would, do just about anything to keep him. This book also features a disabled character, who is helped through a Riding for the Disabled program. Up until last year, I part-leased my own horse to an RDA program and I've seen first hand how amazing it can be. Combine that with an f/f romance and I am totally here for it. 

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Release Date: September 5 2017

Melissa Bashardoust

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale. Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Why I'm Excited About it: LESBIAN SNOW WHITE RETELLING!!!!! I love Snow White, it's one of my favourite classic tales. That being said, I think there are so many undercurrents of misogyny in the original that whenever I think about it critically, my love starts to die. So, I am super excited for a feminist retelling where one of the MCs is a lesbian. I am such a retellings fiend and I will read any queer reinterpretation.

 

 

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Release Date: September 7 2017

Sally Nicholls

Genre: YA Historial

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Why I'm Excited About it: With all the amazing illustrated young children's books that have come out this year about suffragettes, I've been WAITING for a YA book. This book is about three young women fighting for the vote in Britain … and May and Nell fall for each other. GAY SUFRAGETTES! 

 

27 Hours

Release Date: October 3 2017

Tristina Wright

Genre: YA Space Opera / Sci Fi

Representation: VERY diverse cast. I may miss a few things, so please also consult GoodReads. Pansexual MC, Bisexual MC, Deaf MC, Black MC, Latina MC, Trans MC.

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: When invading space gargoyles threaten their human settlement, a group of queer teens must save their civilization and bring peace to their planet.

Why I'm Excited About it: Well, I've already read this BUT I am super excited for you guys to read it and here is why: 

1) I shipped Nyx and Dahlia so hard.

2) This book has the sweeping, incredible world-building I usually only see in Earth-centric fantasy. It reads like epic fantasy, but in space. It's beautiful.

 

The Tiger's Daughter

Release Date: October 3 2017

K. Arsenault Rivera

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian, Asian MC and LI 

Ownvoices: Yes — for the lesbian representation.

Brief Synopsis: This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

Why I'm Excited About it: I love sweeping epic fantasy, and a few of the bloggers I follow have LOVED this. I'm also always here for a badass warrior woman in love with an Empress — that pairing already gives me chills. 

 

Wild Beauty

Release Date: October 3 2017

Anna-Marie McLemore

Genre: YA Magical Realism/Historical

Representation: Bisexual, Latinx MC and LI

Ownvoices: Yes 

Brief Synopsis: For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens. The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself.

Why I'm Excited About it: I have read and loved all of Anna-Marie's previous books. Her writing is enchantingly beautiful. I've read some early reviews of this book — and all of them just GUSH about how brilliant and magical this book is. I am ready for feelings. This book isn't explictly f/f because the main character is bisexual, and the love interest is male. However, as it features a queer female protagonist I wanted to include it. I've seen a lot of negative rhetoric about how bisexual people can't be considered queer if they date the "opposite sex" (what does this binary nonsense even MEAN) — and I feel that this is gross, so I'm taking my stand by including this book.

 

That Inevitable Victorian Thing

Release Date: October 3 2017

E.K. Johnston

Genre: YA Alternative Historical/Near Future

Representation: Bisexual, Polyam*

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she'll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates.

Why I'm Excited About it: I put a star next to the Polyam in the representation section of this book — because I have seen it in reviews, but not in reviews by reviewers I know. If it's true, that alone totally excites me! I am a polyamorous person myself, and I'm dying to see some good polyam rep in YA. I also love alt/historical novels, and anything Victoriana! This book sounds like a wild mashup of genres, but I trust EK Johnston to pull it off.

 

Echo After Echo

Release Date: October 10 2017

E.K. Johnston

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater.

Why I'm Excited About it: I love theatre dramas — there's something about the mirroring of a story offstage and onstage that really appeals to me on an artistic level. I've also read some amazing reviews of this one and the prose promises to be gorgeous!

 

A Line in the Dark

Release Date: October 17 2017

Malinda Lo

Genre: YA Contemporary/Horror

Representation: Lesbian, POC: Chinese American MC

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Jess Wong has a long, unrequited crush on her best friend Angie. She's okay with it, until Angie meets new girl Margot and starts to fall for her instead. As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

Why I'm Excited About it: All the early reviews seem to agree that the book is creepy and sinister af. This makes my little Slytherin heart flutter. Apparently the narrator is also unreliable, which I love. I'm also interested in any book that talks about the line between love and obsession.

 

Like Water

Release Date: October 17 2017

Rebecca Podos

Genre: YA Paranormal

Representation: Bisexual, Latina MC, Huntington's Disease

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. hat changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself, and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.

Why I'm Excited About it: There's a fucking mermaid waterpark — I needed this yesterday. As soon as I heard there was a bisexual performing mermaid in this book, there was literally nothing else I needed to know. 

 

 

SPRING 2018

The True Queen

Release Date: January 2 2018

Sarah Fine

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Bisexual

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: In this epic conclusion to the Impostor Queen series, Sarah Fine’s sweeping tale of two fierce leaders imbued with unimaginable power and called to unthinkable sacrifice finally answers the question: who has the strength to be the True Queen?

Why I'm Excited About it: Confession time: I haven't yet started this series. The first book sounded interesting, but as I hadn't heard it was queer it kind of got pushed down my TBR pile among the multitudes of straight white, fantasy books I seem to buy and never read. Then the second book came out, and everyone started talking about how there was an f/f pairing … and my interest peaked again. I definitely want to read more bisexual heroines, so I will be diving into this whole series sometime this year!

 

Reign of the Fallen

Release Date: January 23 2018

Sarah Glenn Marsh

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Why I'm Excited About it: Necromancers! Magic! Zombies! Ahhh!! This fantasy world where the dead are able to rule sounds so compelling and unique. Although the synopsis doesn't give many details, apparently there is a strong f/f romantic subplot. I am ready!

 

Lizzie

Release Date: April 10 2018

Dawn IUS

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, MC suffers chronic pain and blackouts.

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the family's B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

Why I'm Excited About it: When I first saw the cover, before I read the synopsis, I genuinely thought this one was a historical — but the synopsis on GoodReads talks about Star Wars, so I'm guessing that's not true! The way the synopsis describes Lizzie's health condition does make me a little unsure of how that will be represented, but it can be difficult to tell by the synopsis how it will be in the book. Anyway — I love shy girl/nerd love, so I'm hoping this is really cute! 

 

Love and Other Carnivorous Plants

Release Date:  Spring 2018

Florence Gonsalves

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Eating Disorder, Anxiety

Ownvoices: Unknown

Brief Synopsis: The story features a disillusioned 19-year-old who takes a break from the pre-med grind at Harvard, only to confront the risk of being consumed by her eating and anxiety disorders – and her growing affection toward an edgy, older girl.

Why I'm Excited About it: This sounds like its technically a NA story, although it's being pitched as YA. Still, I'm super interested in college stories because it's such a time of self-discovery. I haven't seen any reviews of this yet, but keeping my eye out! The title is amazing.

 

Inkmistress

Release Date:  Spring 2018

Audrey Coulthurst

Genre: YA Fantasy

Representation: Bisexual

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves. But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help.

Why I'm Excited About it: Audrey Coulthurst's debut, Of Fire and Stars, was a beautiful f/f fantasy romance. My only quibble with it was that I wished it were more brutal / battle oriented (I'm a Slytherin). So when I saw that Audrey's second novel is about a lesbian demigod taking revenge on a tyrannical king — I knew I needed this book in my life!

 

 

 

 

 

LATER 2018

The Summer of Jordi Perez

Release Date:  2018

Amy Spalding

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Fat MC

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people's lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn't expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it's a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.

Why I'm Excited About it: I can tell from the synopsis alone that I am going to enjoy the fat rep in this book. Having Abby be a career-driven, fashionista who runs a style blog as a plus-sized girl turns so many negative, incorrect sterotypes on their heads, and I am so excited about this.

 

PULP

Release Date:  2018

Robin Talley

Genre: YA Historical

Representation: Lesbian

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: About a closeted teen in the 1950s finding a way to express herself by writing a lesbian pulp novel and a contemporary out-and-proud lesbian who discovers the book years later and becomes fascinated by its pseudonymous author.

Why I'm Excited About it: While I've really enjoyd a lot of Robin Talley's later books, I feel like historical fiction is her strength and I'm excited to see her returning to that genre. I am also intrigued by the cross-over of timeperiods between the protagonists! 

 

Ship It

Release Date:  2018

Britta Lundin

Genre: YA Contemporary

Representation: Lesbian, Gay

Ownvoices: Yes

Brief Synopsis: The story of a fanfic writer named Claire who just knows the two male characters on her favorite show are in love, and tries to convince the showrunner to make the relationship happen on screen when she's invited on a Comic Con tour with the cast. 

Why I'm Excited About it: I'm really interested in stories about geekery recently — fanfiction, conventions — give me all of it! I initially didn't think this book would be f/f, but the author approached me to let me know that Claire's romance is with another girl. I'm interested to see how the writing of m/m fanfiction is handled from the perspective of a queer girl protagonist. 

 

One thought on “Queer Girl YA: What’s Coming?

  1. I have successfully added all of them to my f/f want to read shelf and I just feel bad for anyone who’ll be spammed by my updates on goodreads… haha… Thank you so much for these. I’ll keep my eyes wide open for the releases since I’m f/f starved! (though, my pride month initiative to read only lgbt+ characters helped me read more f/f :D)

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