Look, did I start drafting this at the end of January? DON’T EVEN LOOK AT ME. We also started watching movies for Pride in February, it’s whatever. 2021 is going to be hella gay, fellas. What happened was that I decided to stay up really late one night deciding on my Pride TBR pretty much a week after the new year because that needs to happen–six months in advance? Sure. I’ve had a “to buy for pride” shelf on my Goodreads for so long now, and I’m so excited it’s finally gone because I BOUGHT SO MANY BOOKS!
(Yes, this TBR is 20 books long, and yes, it’s going to be glorious. Also yes, this post is a week early, but my Nikolai duology review is nowhere near ready, so this is coming first.)
I mean, talking about the gay agenda, helloooooooo, the cover for Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June is stunning, and that title cracks me up every time. Yes, there is a gay agenda, and it is to be as queer as hell at all times. I really wish this was college-age, but I’m excited nonetheless for some adorable school romances!
Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas is one of two queer middle grades on this list, and I am just going to take off into space with excitement over that. I can count on one hand how many middle grades I’ve read or know about that include queer characters, and it’s at one right now, and it’s because NPH wrote it. We need more queer middle grades, too, not even because we need to see preteens discovering themselves, but because queer people need to be introduced to children from the start. They need to know that there’s a whole world of options out there rather than the weird limiting heteronormative society we currently live in, and I am so excited to read this.
And there was only one bed????? You literally don’t have to tell me anything else, I’m reading Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins purely for the trope, and it’s going to be great. Like, having to share a room with your crush for two weeks? KILL ME NOW, I’M READY. Not to mention, it’s also got fat representation, and it kind of sounds like it might have a dash of frenemies to lovers, soooo. This is going to be wonderful.
Every damn time I see Lava Red Feather Blue by Molly Ringle, I have actually no idea ever what it’s about, and then I read the summary and have a big old ohhhhhhhh moment because gotcha, we’ve got accidentally awakening a sleeping prince that disrupts a truce between humans and Fae, I MEAN WHAT. Did I write this? No, but I should have, and I’m so excited to see how it all plays out.
Not gonna lie, I saw the title for The Prince and the Thief by PS Scott and said, “If this isn’t gay, I’m not reading it.” AND YOU KNOW WHAT. Not only is it gay, it does that summary formula that I love–a jewel thief with magical powers, a prince with a secret, a forbidden love that transcends time–YES GIVE IT TO ME! I literally know nothing about this other than a) it’s gay, b) it’s fantasy, c) there’s a prince and a thief AND THEY’RE IN LOVE.
My brain heard queer + space, and it preordered The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer so fast. I should look up what it’s about, but, at the same time, I don’t really need to know anything else besides queer + space. That’s my two favorite things together, and the only possible thing that could make it better would be tea or cats, so like? We might be headed for the most perfect book ever, watch out.
A Ferry of Bones & Gold by Hailey Turner looks so much like Shadowhunters, but even gayer & older, and that just is all of my boxes ticked, holy moly. I am so hyped about this book, and I can’t believe I haven’t bought it already. Everything about this sounds like it’s going to be a little trashy, and I am READY. Give me gay monster hunters right the heck now. We deserve more of them, damn it! I can just tell I’m going to fall head over heels for this, and I don’t have the brain space for another gay urban fantasy with all-black wearing badass characters, but I’m gonna do it anyway!
I am very excited to have as many lesbian books as I do gay ones, and I’m even more excited for I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre, although I think a large part of that is the cover because it wasn’t originally on this list, but I can’t stop looking at it, so here we are. It sounds so cute and bordering on hipster and just all the things I want in the world. I just know I’m going to come away from this cracking dumbass jokes and jonesing for my own millennial story.
Queer girls working on cars together??? UGH, THANK YOU. Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan features a bisexual love interest, which I am so hyped for, and I can’t wait to see these two girls fall in love over cars while wearing badass jackets and being total losers. This just sounds exactly up my alley, and I am Ready. (I realize I’ve said variations of the same thing for half of these books, let me live.)
Under Shifting Stars by Alexandra Latos sounds less like it’s going to focus on a romance and more like it’s going to tear my heart to shreds, but I’m honestly kind of excited for it. This has got a very Jandy Nelson vibe to it, and I’m always looking for more stories about siblings, so I’m hoping this’ll just knock me flat off my feet.
And the other middle grade! Not only did I manage to find a gay MG, I found a lesbian one, too!!! Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Briana McDonald would have gotten me just by the title alone, but it sounds like there’s not a whole lot of discovery happening in this one, just the MC likes a girl and that’s that, and it sounds so pure and wonderful and silly, and I can’t wait.
I read “PhD in astronomy” and was like YUP OKAY. Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is the only adult book on this list, which I’m bummed about because I really want to read more queer new adults, but at least this one’s got space vibes! Also, accidentally getting married while drunk and having to figure out the consequences of that after? Honestly not a trope I knew I needed, but now I’m making gimme gimme hands at my computer screen.
Ya girl loves a good montage, whether it’s visual or in a book or I’m the one writing it, so I’ve been hyped for The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smythe purely based on the title. Also, they’re going to just have a summer fling MY ASS, y’all are gonna fall in love, and I am going to screech when these two nonsense MCs finally realize it.
We Used to Be Friends by Amy Spalding is actually the only one of these books that I own while I’m drafting this (in April), and it’s such an appropriate one because Erin gifted it to me, and it’s about the worst breakup ever–between friends. Erin & I have both experienced really difficult friendship breakups, and we’ve always leaned on each other during those times because we know we’re not going anywhere, so it’s fitting that she would get me this book. This, like Under Shifting Stars, sounds like it’s going to focus less on the romance, but honestly? I want more novels that aren’t about the queer characters, but rather that the characters are queer, and that’s just part of the book.
the trans & nonbinaries & one ace queen
Is The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver going to destroy me? Undeniably. I am so not ready for this book, but also so hyped for it. Also, releasing it in June? YES, PLEASE, DEAVER, KEEP IT UP! Their debut, I Wish You All the Best, just utterly ruined me, and I felt so seen and held by that book that I’m so afraid, but so hopeful, for what their sophomore book is going to do. Please let me just weep incessantly over it.
The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon had me from the cover, and I was going to buy this book no matter what it was about because seriously? Look at that. That practically screams book Mary needs to read IMMEDIATELY. It’s got this no fucks given vibe about it that I am just so here for, and I’m also excited to have some non-contemporary books to read because the rest of this TBR is mostly just people in love, so ya girl is vibing a little side helping of magic.
I’ve been following ZR Ellor on Twitter for a while now, and when I saw their name tagged with May the Best Man Win, I was just over the moon. I’m so excited to see all their chaotic good channeled into a book, and if the cover wasn’t already swaying me with how beautiful it is, that plotttttt. I mean, COME ON, challenging an ex-boyfriend to a battle for Homecoming King? This practically screams enemies to lovers, and I am ready.
The cover for Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore is just gorgeous, and it’s giving me Felix Ever After vibes where I just can’t look away from it, and I feel like it’s going to make me scream into a void. Also, I am so ready for some high drama, lots of musical theater nonsense, and alllllllllll the Love, Simon vibes.
CW @ The Quiet Pond wrote a phenomenal review of Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve, and it just made me even more excited to read it. I definitely put more books on here than I’ll likely be able to buy/read, but I’m 100% grabbing this one after that review. Plus, I’m just stupidly excited to have so many wonderful trans & nonbinary books on my TBR this year! I only had a couple last year, and 2021 is already shaping up to look wonderful. And, yes, of course, anything with Shakespeare is going to get me hyped, that’s a given.
Claire Kann’s other novel, If It Makes You Happy, just ruined me in ways that I was not expecting until I was literally sobbing at the end, so I’m really excited to see what she does with Let’s Talk About Love. I am bummed that I only have one book with ace rep on here, but at least it’s going to be some kickass rep!