Book Releases: April 2019 (I)

Once again, there are just so! many! LGBT books coming out in the next month, there’s just no way I can fit them all in one post. Ahh, what a marvelous problem to have, though! Let’s be honest! I never imagined I would have one like this…

So anyway! This means today’s post actually cover only the first two Tuesdays of April. (And a Thursday because some books just don’t wanna come out on Tuesdays with all the rest!) As always, the rep for each book will be stated, so you can clearly see why you should be excited about it. Apart from the blurb itself, that is.

Okay, so let’s dive in! Those first nine days of the month offer us fifteen (15) books so! There’s a lot to talk about!

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Is This How You See Me?

Jaime Hernández

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc, bi female mc, Mexican-American mcs (ownvoices)

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Maggie and Hopey leave their significant others at home and take a weekend road trip to go to a punk scene reunion in their old neighborhood. Threaded throughout are flashbacks to 1979, during the formative stages in their lifelong relationship, as the perceived invincibility of youth is juxtaposed against all of the love, heartbreak, and self-awareness that comes with lives actually lived. Serialized over the past four years in Love and Rockets: New Stories and the new comic book series, Is This How You See Me? collects Hernandez’s unsentimental, long-form masterpiece together for the first time.

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The Editor

Steven Rowley

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc

the editor

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page… 

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The Tradition

Jericho Brown

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: poetry; gay Black author

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Jericho Brown’s daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex―a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues―testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while revelling in a celebration of contradiction.

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The Devouring Gray

Christine Lynn Herman

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: two bi mcs (ownvoices), mc with a disability

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On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

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The Luminous Dead

Caitlin Starling

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship

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A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed

TW: parental death, death, parental abandonment, claustrophobia, violence, gore, horror

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The Princess and the Fangir

Ashley Poston

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship, Black li

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The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

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Where the Heart Is

Jo Knowles

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc

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If home is where the heart is, what would happen if you lost it? Compassion and humor infuse the story of a family caught in financial crisis and a girl struggling to form her own identity.

It’s the first day of summer and Rachel’s thirteenth birthday. She can’t wait to head to the lake with her best friend, Micah! But as summer unfolds, every day seems to get more complicated. Her “fun” new job taking care of the neighbors’ farm animals quickly becomes a challenge, whether she’s being pecked by chickens or having to dodge a charging pig at feeding time. At home, her parents are more worried about money than usual, and their arguments over bills intensify. Fortunately, Rachel can count on Micah to help her cope with all the stress. But Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship, and though Rachel almost wishes for that, too, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy — or what that means.

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Crossing

Pajtim Statovci

Release date: 2nd April
Goodreads
Rep: mlm mc, Albanian mcs (not ownvoices)

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Amid the conflict and desolation of post-Communist Albania, teenage boys Agim and Bujar share restless dreams of escape. After Bujar’s father dies and Agim’s family discover him dressed in his mother’s clothes, the pair flee to the Albanian capital of Tirana, hungry for a chance to shape their own lives.

From Tirana to Rome, from Madrid to New York, Crossing charts the refugee’s struggle for another identity and another story in a world that seems to offer only dead ends. This is a shape-shifter of a novel, by turns playful and heartbreaking, and its characters’ efforts to cross boundaries of nationality, gender and sexuality make for an urgent address to our times.

(Originally published in Finland in 2016; first English translation.)

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The Hand, the Eye and the Heart

Zoë Marriott

Release date: 4th April
Goodreads
Rep: non-binary mc (not ownvoices but an LGBT author)

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Zhilan was assigned female at birth; despite an unusual gift for illusions, they know they will live out their life in the perfumed confines of the women’s quarters. But when civil war sets the country aflame, Zhilan is the only one who can save their disabled Father from death on the battlefield.

By taking his place.

Surviving brutal army training as a male recruit – Zhi – is only the first challenge. Soon Zhi’s unique talents draw them into an even more perilous fight, in the glittering court of the Land of Dragons, where love and betrayal are two sides of the same smile. The fate of an Empire rests on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they must first decide where their loyalty, and their heart, truly belongs.

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The Red Scrolls of Magic

Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: mlm relationship – gay mc, bi Indonesian mc

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From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

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The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance

Lynn Curlee

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: nonfiction; biography of a gay man

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Dance prodigy, sex symbol, gay pioneer, cultural icon–Vaslav Nijinsky rose to fame as the star of the Ballets Russes in Paris before mental illness stole his career and the last thirty years of his life. A tragic story of a great genius, this compelling work of narrative nonfiction chronicles a life of obsessive artistry, celebrity, and notoriety.

With one grand leap off the stage at the 1909 premiere of the Ballets Russes’s inaugural season, Nijinsky became an overnight sensation and the century’s first superstar, in the days before moving pictures brought popular culture to the masses. Perhaps the greatest dancer of the twentieth century, Nijinsky captured audiences with his sheer animal magnetism and incredible skill.

He was also half of the most famous (and openly gay) couple of the Edwardian era: his relationship with Serge Diaghilev, artistic director and architect of the Ballets Russes, pushed boundaries in a time when homosexuality and bisexuality were rarely discussed. Nijinsky’s life was tumultuous–after marrying a female groupie he hardly knew, he was kicked out of the Ballets Russes and placed under house arrest during World War I. Unable to work as he once did, his mental health deteriorated, and he spent three decades in and out of institutions.

Biographical narrative is interspersed with spotlights on the ballets the dancer popularized: classic masterworks such as Afternoon of a FaunThe Firebird, and of course, the shockingly original Rite of Spring, which caused the audience to riot at its premiere. Illustrated with elegant, intimate portraits as well as archival art and photographs.

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Naamah

Sarah Blake

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: wlw mc

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A wildly imaginative novel of the reluctant heroine who rescued life on earth.

With the coming of the Great Flood—the mother of all disasters—only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own—questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.

In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.

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Tonguebreaker

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: poetry; wlw Sri Lankan author

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In their fourth collection of poetry, Lambda Literary Award-winning poet and writer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha continues her excavation of working-class queer brown femme survivorhood and desire. Tonguebreaker is about surviving the unsurvivable: living through hate crimes, the suicides of queer kin, and the rise of fascism while falling in love and walking through your beloved’s Queens neighborhood. Building on her groundbreaking work in BodymapTonguebreaker is an unmitigated force of disabled queer-of-color nature, narrating disabled femme-of-color moments on the pulloff of the 80 in West Oakland, the street, and the bed. Tonguebreaker dreams unafraid femme futures where we live—a ritual for our collective continued survival.

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Permission

Saskia Vogel

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship

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When Echo’s father gets swept away by a freak current off the Los Angeles coast, she enters a state of paralysis. The failed young actress seeks solace in the best way she knows: by losing herself in the lives of others. This time it’s with her new neighbor, a dominatrix named Orly who works out of her suburban home, and who introduces Echo to a whole new world of desire. But Orly’s fifty-something houseboy won’t quite let Echo slip into sweet oblivion…

Set among the bright colors of L.A., Permission is a kind of love story about three people sick with dreams and expectations who turn to the erotic for comfort and cure. As they stumble through the landscape of desire, they ask themselves: how do I want to be loved?

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Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

ed. by Micah Rajunov & Scott Duane

Release date: 9th April
Goodreads
Rep: nonfiction; non-binary authors

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What happens when your gender doesn’t fit neatly into the categories of male or female? Even mundane interactions like filling out a form or using a public bathroom can be a struggle when these designations prove inadequate. In this groundbreaking book, thirty authors highlight how our experiences are shaped by a deeply entrenched gender binary.

The powerful first-person narratives of this collection show us a world where gender exists along a spectrum, a web, a multidimensional space. Nuanced storytellers break away from mainstream portrayals of gender diversity, cutting across lines of age, race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, family, and relationships. From Suzi, who wonders whether she’ll ever “feel” like a woman after living fifty years as a man, to Aubri, who grew up in a cash-strapped fundamentalist household, to Sand, who must reconcile the dual roles of trans advocate and therapist, the writers’ conceptions of gender are inextricably intertwined with broader systemic issues. Labeled gender outlaws, gender rebels, genderqueer, or simply human, the voices in Nonbinary illustrate what life could be if we allowed the rigid categories of “man” and “woman” to loosen and bend. They speak to everyone who has questioned gender or has paused to wonder, What does it mean to be a man or a woman—and why do we care so much?

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Okay! The rest of the books coming out in April you will find in my next post! And there are going to be even more titles than this time… 2019 is really good to us when it comes to LGBT books, you know?

Anyway, hopefully you found something of interest on this list! Let me know what caught your attention the fastest!!

anna

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