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Book Reviews & Hot Topics


by Guest Blogger

by Two Book Thieves.

After a bit of a break, I am finally back with another post dedicated to 2020 LGBTQ+ releases! You can check out the previous posts here but I am over the moon that we are already way over 100 different books. This time we have everything from contemporaries, fantasies, graphic novels, novellas and more. As always, if any of my information is incorrect, please let me know in the comments! But for now, enjoy and I hope you find a new favourite.



The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
(trans MC)

This contemporary novel is not only blessed with the prettiest cover but also what sounds like an amazing story. This novel explores themes of influencing and social media as well as activism but most importantly, this is a story about friendship between two South Asian Canadian women (one is confirmed as trans.) The story also focuses on how women have always been pitted against each other, especially in the media and how harmful jealousy can be. Described as a ‘love letter to brown women,’ this is definitely a 2020 release you should pick up!
Release Date: April 7th




Afterlove by Tanya Byrne
(lesbian MC, f/f romance)

I’ve had this book written down for this series for a long time but it only recently got a cover, and a beautiful one at that, so now is its time to shine. This YA contemporary shows that not even death can tear two people who love each other apart. The last thing Ash remembers before entering the afterlife is the sound of breaking glass and before she accepts her fate, she is determined to see her first love, Poppy, again. When she is invited to join a group of female reapers, she knows she must use this opportunity to have a few more days with Poppy. Described as ‘the lesbian love story you’ve all been dying to read,’ I am officially sold.
Release Date: June 10th




I Will Be Okay by Bill Elenbark
(gay MCs)

Another YA contemporary, this time focusing on how two young boy’s feelings for each other is threatened by family tensions. Mateo is struggling with a father who only cares about his baseball achievements and not Mateo’s other interests in life as well as a mother who’s Puerto Rican family struggles to give him privacy. Meanwhile, Stick is mourning the death of his father and struggling to be the man his father wanted him to be, inevitably leading him down the road of drink and drugs. This story deals into the sometimes harsh reality of teenage relationships and I think that’s important to see in YA.
Release Date: June 30th




The Bright Lands by John Fram
(gay MC)

A genre that I haven’t featured a lot of on here is mystery/horror but that is until now! In the town of Bentley, football and secrets are the main attraction but that is until star quarterback, Dylan Whitley goes missing. After being pushed out of the town ten years prior purely for being gay, Joel Whitley never thought he’d come back but when your little brother goes missing, you have no choice. Coming back into a town full of hatred and secrets is no easy task but Joel is determined to find out what happened to his brother and what follows is a mystery that will have you hooked.
Release Date: July 7th




Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy
(queer MC)

From the author of Dumpling comes a graphic novel featuring a plus size superhero! Faith sees herself as a regular teen – spending time hanging out with friends and volunteering at her local animal shelter. Struggling with a high school crush and family issues almost seems like minor issues, especially due to the fact Faith has just learned she can fly. So when her favourite teen drama, The Grove, roll into town, it isn’t long before its main actress takes an interest in Faith but how can she celebrate that when people in town are going missing? I believe there is some fatphobia in this novel so be aware of that going in!
Release Date: July 7th




Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
(m/m romance)

Who’s up for some fake dating? You’ve found the right book. Luc O’Donnell, much to his dismay, is kind of famous due to his rockstar parents and when a compromising photo is brought to the limelight, he realises this could potentially ruin his life. In order to take the heat away from him, Luc must find an ordinary relationship. Enter Oliver Blackwood stage left – lawyer and vegetarian a.k.a, perfect boyfriend material. The two boys have nothing in common but it’s only fake dating right? TWs for emotional abuse, homophobia, possible eating disorder, cancer.
Release Date: July 7th




Fire on the Island by Timothy Jay Smith
(gay MC)

Another mystery/thriller for you guys! What drew me to this book, other than it being a genre I love, is that it’s set in Greece and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Not only that but it follows Nick, gay Greek-American FBI agent who is undercover on the island after hearing reports of mysterious fires. This novel also deals with the refugee crisis in the country as well as exploring poverty, family feuds and declining tourism… as well as a secret arsonist. With a wide cast of characters, as well as the bartender Nick is currently having an affair with, I am very excited to finally pick this one up.
Release Date: July 7th




Kiss Me Every Day by Dena Blake
(f/f romance)

This contemporary romance follows the story of Wynn Jamison who is about to turn thirty and despite a successful career, the same cannot be said for her love life. However, there is someone she could have spent her life with but the slight problem is… she’s married to Wynn’s sister. When a freak thunderstorm occurs, Wynn is thrust back in time to a day where she made a huge decision that would change her life forever and she lives the day over and over. She must decide what is more important – wealth, loyalty or love? Excited to read a book with an older MC, especially in a Groundhog Day setting.
Release Date: July 14th




The Scottish Boy by Alex de Campi
(m/m romance)

For some reason this book has not been on my radar so I’m putting it on yours. You’re welcome. This historical fiction is set in 1333 during the war against Edward III and Scotland. Teenage knight, Sir Harry de Lyon is desperate to prove himself in battle and the opportunity presents itself when he’s invited on a secret mission with other knights. As a reward for their victory, Harry is presented with Iain mac Maíl Coluim, a squire who he must convince to pledge himself to the English cause. However, it is clear Iain is stubborn and surly and the two clash over the slightest thing but that is until their companionship slowly turns into something more.
Release Date: July 28th



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The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
(bisexual MC, nonbinary MC, mlm MC)

Now it is time for a queer space opera following the story of First Sister – a nameless and voiceless priestess of the Sisterhood who can travel the stars amongst the soldiers of Earth and Mars. When she is abandoned by her former captain, First Sister finds herself imprisoned on a new ship with only its captain, Saito Ren for company. However, when she is ordered to spy on Saito by the Sisterhood, First Sister is torn between her people and the love she begins feeling for the captain. Meanwhile, Lito val Lucius is an elite soldier searching for his lost love, Hiro. I believe Hiro is non-binary so this story is full of queer characters! I am a huge fan of sci-fi space operas and this story, as well as the beautiful cover, has made me very excited!
Release Date: August 4th




The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell
(bisexual MC)

I came across this book whilst researching for this list and it is already firmly on my TBR. It is a fantasy story set in a country with a king who needs taken down and follows the story of the one woman willing to do it. Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished and despite King Karolje claiming otherwise, the truth is that he Disappeared her himself. However, our MC, Anza finds the missing queen’s diary and is inspired to deliver justice and so joins a group dedicated to overthrowing the King. Throw in some court politics, assassinations and a deadly game, this is perfect for those who are craving a good fantasy. The author has said one of our MCs is bisexual and this is set in a queer-normalised world!
Release Date: August 18th




Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn’t Die by Saida Agostini
(queer characters)

Described as an ‘anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction featuring queer joy and community in the face of disaster’ is enough to have me rushing to put this in my basket. I have a love for this genre so pairing it with queer joy is a major hearteyes for me. Featuring 23 stories and poems, this anthology is bound to have something you love and show you how hope can be found even in the darkest and scariest times. I’m not sure of the exact rep in this collection but I’m sure it’s going to be incredibly diverse!
Release Date: September




Stone and Steel by Eboni Dunbar
(f/f romance)

This fantasy novella follows the story of General Aaliyah after her triumphant return to her city of Titus. However, instead of returning to a peaceful city under the rule of stone mage, Odessa, she instead finds an imbalance between the citizen’s wellbeing and the Queen’s rule. So Aaliyah must turn to allies, old and new, to help her restore the city. The author has said ‘Looking for a f/f speculative novella that’s black as hell and queer as hell? Look no further than Stone and Steel.’ So if that hasn’t sold you, I don’t know what will.
Release Date: September 5th



Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
(f/f romance)

If you’re looking for some magic realism, look no further than this fantasy fiction telling the story of three generations of Taiwanese American women, haunted by the myths of their homeland. When Mother tells Daughter the story of Hu Gu Po, a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body, Daughter is shocked to wake up the next day with a tiger tail of her own. Not only that, but more strange events soon occur such as a visiting auntie with snakes in her belly and holes in the backyard. Not only that but Daughter is also dealing with her crush on neighbourhood girl, Ben. Said to have the most beautiful prose, this is definitely a book to pick up and try for yourself.
Release Date: September 8th




The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
(f/f romance)

A book that everybody is excited for, and seemingly rightly so. The first in a series, this adult fantasy takes place in a empire controlled by bone shard magic. We follow Lin, former heir to the throne as she battles to reclaim her place and end the emperor’s reign. Now locked up in the palace and hearing the rumours of rebellion stirring across the land, Lin is desperate to master bone shard magic and reclaim the power that has been taken from her. I don’t know too much about the romance but I know that we switch between POVs and the characters start out together at the beginning of the book which I am already here for.
Release Date: September 10th




The Love Study by Kris Ripper
(m/nb romance)

This adorable contemporary romance follows the story of Declan who has major commitment issues which has never really bothered him until now, especially with his friends remind him that he left his last boyfriend at the altar. Determined to face his issues, Declan soon meets popular non-binary Youtube star, Sidney who has their own advice show. As a way of turning his life around, Declan agrees to go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back. However, when none of the dates go particularly well, Declan soon realises that it may be because his attention is elsewhere…
Release Date: September 28th




Burning Roses by S.L. Huang
(queer MCs)

This fantasy retelling has got me counting down the days until release. We meet two middle-aged women, Rosa, aka, Red Riding Hood and Hou Yi the Archer who must join forces to stop deadly sunbirds from ravaging the country. Both women have lost their wives and children and find comfort in one another and face up to the sacrifices they’ve had to make along the way. As their journey unfolds, we also learn of their history. The story of Rosa, Latina markswoman who has fled the West and Hou Yi, an archer from Chinese Lore and how they came to be I am so excited to read this one, I cannot tell you.
Release Date: September 29th





Chase: The Boy Who Hid by Z. Jeffries
(bisexual MC & nonbinary LI)

Described as a sci-fi lower YA story, this is the first book in the Hide and Seek series and is described as ‘the action-packed coming of age stories of STEM-minded queer kids getting their hands on the tech of the future.’ We follow the story of a boy who has inherited his grandfather’s mind for science and technology so when he goes missing, the boy takes over his place in a secret government. Here there is everything from shapeshifters to telepaths and the boy must find out what happened to his grandfather. I’m excited to see a book that is classed in the lower YA genre and as always, seeing LGBTQ+ rep for younger readers.
Release Date: October 15th




My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo
(queer MC)

In this YA contemporary, we follow Corazon who is sent to the Philippines after her mother catches her kissing a female teacher. Her life goes from struggling with her grades in a Catholic school and having a crush on her teacher, to having to go and live with a brother she barely knows. However, it is in the Philippines that Corazon learns about a country that shaped her past and may now just shape her future. I’m really interested in reading a book and learning about a new culture, especially as this book is own voices.
Release Date: October 20th





A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
(f/f romance)

Another book that has been on my radar for a while but only just got a cover! In this YA fantasy, a famine is plaguing the land Princess Yzabel is cursed with magic that makes every food she touches turn into flowers. She, like the rest of Portugal, are starving to death so Yzabel is desperate to reverse her curse and an Enchanted Moura by the name of Fatyan is the only one who can help. However, Fatyan will only help if she is freed from her magical binds by one kiss. What follows is a whole lot of yearning despite it possibly ruining life as she knows it for Yzabel. So here for a historical fantasy set in Portugal!
Release Date: December 1st

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