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What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA July and August 2016

It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents). Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a forthcoming title that should be on my radar for an upcoming list? Leave a comment or tweet me @CiteSomething. This list covers July 2016 and August 2016 titles. Head over to this link for the previous post (May and June 2016 titles) in this series. All annotations here are via the publishers.


July 2016

Help! There’s nothing on my list. If you know of any, leave the titles in the comments or tweet me @CiteSomething.


August 2016

athletesLGBTQIA+ Athletes Claim the Field by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (ISBN-13: 9781467780124 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 08/01/2016)

In the summer of 2015, LGBTQ+ athletes were everywhere. The world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife on the heels of the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as a gay man. And Caitlyn (born Bruce) Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender.

Yet it hasn’t always been this way. When tennis great Billie Jean King was outed in 1981, she lost all her endorsements—overnight. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. And young transgender athletes across the nation are fighting for equal access to school teams, locker rooms, and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify.

Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Title IX legislation outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has antidiscrimination policies that support LGBTQ+ inclusion at all levels. Together, athletes, coaches, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.



whateverWhatever.: Or How Junior Year Became Totally F$@cked by S.J. Goslee (ISBN-13: 9781626723993 Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Publication date: 08/02/2016)

It’s like the apocalypse came, only instead of nuclear bombs and zombies, Mike gets school participation, gay thoughts, and mother-effin’ cheerleaders.

Junior year is about to start. Here’s what Mike Tate knows:

His friends are awesome and their crappy garage band is a great excuse to drink cheap beer. Rook Wallace is the devil. The Lemonheads rock. And his girlfriend Lisa is the coolest. Then Lisa breaks up with him, which makes Mike only a little sad, because they’ll stay friends and he never knew what to do with her boobs anyway. But when Mike finds out why Lisa dumped him, it blows his mind. And worse—he gets elected to homecoming court.

With a standout voice, a hilariously honest view on sex and sexuality, and enough f-bombs to make your mom blush, this debut YA novel is a fresh, modern take on the coming-out story.


three truthsThree Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (ISBN-13: 9781481449601 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 08/02/2016)

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.



edge of lightThe Edge of the Light (Whidbey Island Saga #4) by Elizabeth George (ISBN-13: 9780670012992 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/16/2016)

The climactic final installment of New York Times bestseller Elizabeth George’s award-winning saga.

Seth Darrow is a straightforward guy, and he likes life to be simple.  Lately, it’s been anything but.

Since his beloved grandfather’s stroke, Seth has been focused on getting Grand home again, before his aunt can take advantage of the situation to get her hands on Grand’s valuable real estate. Seth would also like to get his relationship with Prynne on solid ground. He loves her, but can he believe she has her drug use under control?

Meanwhile, things are complicated for the other Whidbey Island friends. Derric has found Rejoice, the sister he left behind in Uganda, but no one – including Rejoice – knows she is his sister. Jenn is discovering feelings for her teammate Cynthia, feelings her born-again Christian mother would never find acceptable. And Becca, hiding under a false identity since her arrival on the island, is concealing the biggest secret of all.

In the final book of the Whidbey Island saga, events build to an astonishing climax as secrets are revealed, hearts are broken, and lives are changed forever.



been hereBeen Here All Along by Sandy Hall (ISBN-13: 9781250100658 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Publication date: 08/30/2016)

Gideon always has a plan. It includes running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. It does NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend, Kyle. It’s a distraction, it’s pointless—Kyle is already dating the head cheerleader, Ruby—and Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. So when both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong.

Sandy Hall, the author of A Little Something Different, is back with her signature wit in this quirky and heartfelt LGBT YA novel.



georgiaGeorgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (ISBN-13: 9780062270986 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 08/30/2016)

Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?


  1. Tumbling by Caela Carter has many narrators, one who is gay.

    Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler is being re released (released for the first time in the U.S. Lesbian Main Character

    Winning by Lara Deloza

    Run by Kody Keplinger

    You Knew Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

    Look Both Ways by Allison Cherry

    Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen

  2. On July 25th, Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts has a gay secondary character named J.T., who is one of the best friends of MC Mandy and was once the best friend of her fake boyfriend Caleb, and his boyfriend Liam. While the book tells Mandy and Caleb’s story, J.T. and Liam are featured in various scenes and group dates with their other friends. We also learn about J.T.’s prom-posal to Liam.

    On August 22nd, there are two books in the Endless Summer series, a summer camp series, featuring LGBTQIA+ characters. Sarah Nicolas’ Keeping Her Secret is a F/F contemporary YA romance between Riya, who is a mixed race character who is bisexual, and Courtney, who has been questioning her sexuality for four years, ever since she and Riya kissed one day.

    In addition, Monica Murphy’s Daring the Bad Boy has a secondary character who is the MC’s best friend who comes out as a lesbian by the end of the book and is having a secret relationship that we don’t get a lot of info about, but is there. Riya and Courtney from Keeping Her Secret are also mentioned in this book.


  1. Carol Valdez says:

    […] via What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA July and August 2016 — Teen Librarian Toolbox […]

  2. […] Swoon Reads culls unpublished young adult manuscripts from writers and allows community members to vote on which ones should be published. Readers and writers are encouraged to read the manuscript in full and offer detailed feedback. The best-rated books — the ones that are deemed “Swoonworthy” — go through the publishing process. The final product is published in both eBook and print. It is a small company, based in New York, with a total of 66 published books on the catalog. I would say its most recognizable work is Been here all along, by Sandy Hall, along with two amateur reviews. Teen Librarian Toolbox also references it on an “upcoming” list from 2016. […]

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