Odd One Out

oddoneoutOdd One Out by Nic Stone
Crown Books for Young Readers, Oct 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: Courtney has known his best friend Jupiter since they were kids. Together, they’re “Jupe-and-Coop,” a unit so inseparable that they often fall asleep cuddling. Which isn’t okay because, even though Jupiter is an out and proud lesbian, Coop is in love with her. The arrival of new-girl-in-town Rae Chin sparks jealousy and misunderstandings–especially when it’s not clear to anyone, Rae included, whether she’s falling for Coop or Jupiter. Told from three perspectives, Odd One Out’s doozy of a love triangle is a dramatic reminder that sexuality is complicated and so are human relationships.

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

ladysguideThe Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Katherine Tegen Books, Oct 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: In this sequel to 2018 Stonewall Honor The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague knows that marriage isn’t for her. What she wants, fiercely, is to study medicine–an ambition that is met with rejection and ridicule in 18th-century England. One last lead takes her to Germany, where a physician she admires is seeking an assistant for an expedition. The journey tangles her fate with those of two women: Sim, an Algerian Muslim possibly-pirate, and Johanna, her estranged childhood best friend who is due to marry the physician. Secrets come to light, and Felicity is thrown into a globe-traversing quest that brings her closer to Sim and Johanna. With patriarchy-smashing aplomb, the novel celebrates the power of women working together against the societal forces that would rather see them crushed. Continue reading

Leah on the Offbeat

leahLeah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray, April 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Plot Summary: As the follow-up to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Leah has enjoyed a lot of automatic YA limelight from the get-go. Fat, bi, Jewish, and from a lower-income, single-mom family, Leah has always felt like the odd one out in her friend group. Her insecurities aren’t helped by shifting dynamics and rising tensions as the end of senior year looms large. In the months leading up to prom, relationships change, especially Leah’s with Abby. The prospect of attending college together and Abby’s recent break-up bring the former friends closer, and Leah is reminded of the attraction that caused her to keep her distance in the first place.

[Heads up, this discussion is spoilery.]

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All Out

alloutAll Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages, edited by Saundra Mitchell
Harlequin Teen, Feb 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Summary: As the subtitle suggests, All Out is a YA anthology of historical LGBTQ+ short fiction. The stories span from the late fourteenth century up to Y2K and vary widely in locale and subject matter. Most are realistic, some are folkloric, and some have a strong dash of magic in the mix. All feature young people coming into their queer selves and navigating how to live in a way that’s true to who they are, whatever the period or place.

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YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy

We’re getting down to the wire with the ALA YMAs coming up in just over a week! Before they sneak up on us, we’ve got a couple more posts in store. This one takes a look some possible science fiction and fantasy contenders.

There are others that I know I’m remiss not to have included: Shaun David Hutchinson’s At the Edge of the Universe and April Daniels’s Dreadnought and Sovereign, especially. And more have been on MoMM’s radar, too: Julia Ember’s The Seafarer’s Kiss and The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1), Sarah Fine’s The Cursed Queen (The Imposter Queen #2), F. T. Lukens’s Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2), Linsey Miller’s Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1), Rick Riordan’s The Dark Prophecy (Trials of Apollo #2), Tara Sim’s Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2), and AdriAnne Strickland’s Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles #1).

Knowing that YA publishing has been a bit slow to catch up on queer representation in any genre that isn’t realism, I’m glad to see a decent number of sci-fi and fantasy books out this year. I regret that I can’t do this selection a bit more justice, but here’s what I’ve got:

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Like Water

likewaterLike Water by Rebecca Podos
Balzer + Bray, Oct 2017
Reviewed from ARC

It’s a rare treat to find a work of YA contemporary realism that has such a distinct sense of place and is so full of emotion. Podos’s prose has an effortless beauty, and more than anything else, the characters shine. I adored Vanni and Leigh and the ways they push against gender roles and the gender binary.

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History Is All You Left Me / They Both Die at the End

historyisalltheybothdieHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Soho Teen, Jan 2017
Reviewed from hardcover

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
HarperTeen, Sept 2017
Reviewed from ARC

Adam Silvera has not one but two eligible YA books out this year. Both feature queer cis male characters, both deal with death and life in the face of it, both have received numerous starred reviews, both are well worth discussing. And I’m tackling both in one post for the sake of expediency.

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