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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It’s Not Like It’s A Secret

Cover of It's Not Like It's A Secret by Misa SugiuraIt’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura
Harper Teen, May 2017
Reviewed from ARC

There’s something very satisfying about kicking off our first contender post with a first novel. Numerical symmetry aside, this is a book I’ve been excited to talk about because of its representation of queer Japanese American and Mexican American characters, upfront discussion of racism, engaging voice, and well-paced plot. It’s Not Like It’s A Secret hasn’t garnered a huge amount of critical attention, and it’s not a flashy book in terms of language or narrative structure. It’s a high school/family drama, where drama is definitely the emphasis. It’s also a well-crafted exploration of intersecting identities and interpersonal relationships that centers a complex character within an equally complex social world.

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