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12 of the Best Queer Books: 2024 New Releases

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Susie Dumond

Senior Contributor

Susie (she/her) is a queer writer originally from Little Rock, now living in Washington, DC. She is the author of QUEERLY BELOVED and the forthcoming LOOKING FOR A SIGN from Dial Press/Random House. You can find her on Instagram @susiedoom.

Are you looking for the best queer books 2024 has to offer? You’ve come to the right place! It seems every year brings a wider and more impressive array of queer stories to bookshelves, and this year boasts an impressive list of big LGBTQ+ titles. Check out these upcoming queer books across genres from bestselling writers and debut authors alike.

Honestly, if it were up to me, I’d make this list 100 books long. There are so many incredible queer books coming out in 2024 that it’s impossible to narrow it down to a dozen! And even more queer books are being announced every day. Keep your eyes peeled for more queer book lists on Book Riot throughout the year, and sign up for Our Queerest Shelves to get new queer book releases in your inbox every week.

It seems like just yesterday that traditional publishing finally came around to sharing queer stories. Can you believe the beautiful array of identities and stories now hitting shelves? While there’s still lots of room to grow, particularly when it comes to representing BIPOC and trans identities across genres, it’s encouraging to see how many queer stories are coming to readers this year. I hope this list of the best new queer books helps you find something new to look forward to in 2024. And consider pre-ordering a few (or all of them!) to support your friendly neighborhood queer writers.

Best Queer Books: 2024

so let them burn book cover

So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole (Jan. 16, Little, Brown Young Readers)

This YA fantasy inspired by Jamaican mythology with sapphic and ace representation is sure to take you on an unforgettable ride. Seventeen-year-old Faron utilized the power of the gods to save her island from dragon-riding colonizers five years ago. But when Faron’s older sister unexpectedly bonds with an enemy dragon, Faron is forced to choose between protecting her homeland or her beloved sister. The choices she makes lead her to uncover a dark secret that could change everything.

book cover of how to live free in a dangerous world

How to Live Free in a Dangerous World by Shayla Lawson (Feb. 6, Tiny Reparations Books)

It’s hard to describe to non-queer folks the challenges and joys of moving through the world as a queer person. In these essays, poet and journalist Shayla Lawson shares learnings and surprising encounters from their travels around the globe, from Mexico to Egypt to Japan and beyond. With each new locale, they share introspections on how their journeys have shaped them and represent different aspects of their life. If you’re looking for wide-reaching nonfiction that explores identity, personal growth, and lots of adventures, don’t miss this book.

infinity alchemist book cover

Infinity Alchemist by Kacen Callender (Feb. 6, Tor Teen)

Kacen Callender has written a remarkable array of books across genres and age ranges, including popular titles like Felix Ever After and Stars in Your Eyes. Now they’re kicking off a new YA fantasy series with Infinity Alchemist, full of queer, trans, and nonbinary characters. Ash Woods is determined to learn alchemy, but his path is blocked when he’s rejected from Lancaster Mage’s College. He takes a job as a groundskeeper to secretly learn the art of alchemy, and when he’s caught by another apprentice named Ramsay, Ramsay agrees to keep the secret — if Ash helps her find a missing sacred text. It’s a thrilling adventure full of magic, dark mysteries, and adventure.

cover of Thunder Song

Thunder Song: Essays by Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe (March 5, Counterpoint LLC)

Traditionally published Indigenous stories are often focused on the past, ignoring the very real experiences of contemporary Indigenous peoples. In this memoir-in-essays, Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe beautifully ties her own family’s past with her lived experience as a queer woman from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes in today’s world. It’s a provocative and wonderfully crafted collection exploring cultural legacies, colonialism, and finding your own path forward.

cover of Who's Afraid of Gender

Who’s Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler (March 19, Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Recent years have ushered in a “gender panic” of the political right, attacking the freedom and safety of trans and gender non-conforming people from schools to public bathrooms to every corner of public life. In these dangerous times, post-structuralist gender theorist Judith Butler has returned with the fiery takedown of anti-gender politics. Butler, author of the landmark work Gender Trouble, traces the ways gender anxieties have been weaponized by authoritarian and fascist leaders and makes a bold argument for fighting for equality for all genders.

The Emperor and the Endless Palace book cover

The Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang (March 26, MIRA)

Romantasy (romance + fantasy) was the fastest-rising book genre in 2023, and as we’re soon to see in 2024, it’s just getting started. This queer, sexy, adventure-filled romantasy by debut author Justinian Huang is sure to make waves. Two men destined to find each other across lifetimes are reincarnated again and again, from a young emperor and courtier in ancient China to a college student and handsome stranger in modern-day Los Angeles. As their love story is reenacted through the centuries, they’re tested by the strange and dangerous world around them. How long can their love survive?

cover of The Prospects

The Prospects by KT Hoffman (April 9, Dial Press)

Queer romance has been slowly carving out a space in the world of traditional publishing, and in 2024, we’re finally starting to see a wider array of queer characters finding their own happy endings. In KT Hoffman’s The Prospects, readers meet Gene Ionescu, the first openly trans professional baseball player. Gene is finally hitting his stride on his minor league team, the Beaverton Beavers, when his biggest rival is traded to his team. But the electric tension between Gene and Luis slowly turns into the kind of chemistry that can help them win big time — on the field and off. It’s a joy-filled romance sure to have baseball fans and sport-hating readers cheering wholeheartedly for the Beavers.

cover of Escape Velocity

Escape Velocity by Victor Manibo (May 11, Erewhon Books)

A queer murder mystery set in space? Say no more, I’m in! Only the wealthy elite can snag a spot aboard the Altaire, a luxury spaceship orbiting Earth where guests have a chance to fight for a spot on a new Mars settlement, avoiding certain death on crumbling planet Earth. During a school reunion on the Altaire, a group of past classmates becomes determined to find the truth of an unsolved murder during their school days. But their investigation distracts them from the many ulterior motives of their fellow space travelers. It’s a layered, imaginative tale with a dynamic ensemble cast of characters.

cover of Triple Sec

Triple Sec by TJ Alexander (June 4, Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

When it comes to queer romance, TJ Alexander is writing some of today’s funniest, most endearing, and steamiest love stories around. Their foodie romances Chef’s Kiss and Chef’s Choice made me laugh so hard I cried. Now they’re back with something new (and quite different when it comes to traditionally published romances): Triple Sec, a polyamorous rom-com set around a swanky Manhattan cocktail lounge. When a disillusioned bartender is propositioned by a hot queer couple, she gains the confidence to try new things in relationships and in other aspects of her life.

little rot book cover

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi (June 18, Riverhead Books)

Akwaeke Emezi is a phenomenal queer author whose work tells powerful, unexpected stories across genres, including literary fiction (The Death of Vivek Oji), romance (You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty), YA fantasy (Pet), and more. They’ve been on my must-read list since their 2018 debut, Freshwater, and every time a new Emezi title is announced, I know it’s going to blow me away even more than their last. Emezi’s upcoming literary fiction novel Little Rot is perhaps their darkest and messiest tale yet. When longtime couple Aima and Kalu split, five friends are thrown into chaos in Nigeria’s wealthy, exclusive underground. They’re each pushed to the edge to protect themselves from great evil.

the cover of The Pairing

The Pairing by Casey McQuiston (August 6, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Casey McQuiston, author of Red, White & Royal Blue, can certainly be given at least partial credit for the massive rise in popularity of queer romance. Their debut novel cracked the publishing world wide open for queer stories, showing that readers of all stripes could find joy in celebrating LGBTQ+ love. McQuiston has described their upcoming novel as “sluts in Europe,” which, honestly, say no more. But if you must know more, it follows two bisexual exes who accidentally book the same food and wine tour through France, Spain, and Italy and end up challenging each other to an international hookup competition. If a book description has ever sparked my interest more than this one, I certainly can’t name it.

cover of Bluff by Danez Smith

Bluff: Poems by Danez Smith (Aug. 20, Graywolf Press)

Award-winning poet Danez Smith has written brilliantly crafted collections like Homie and Don’t Call Us Dead. If you’re looking for queer poetry to watch in 2024, Bluff should absolutely be on your list. Their newest collection is an exploration of racial justice, violence, and healing in Smith’s hometown, the Twin Cities, as well as a call for poetry and the arts to help build a path toward a collective future. From rage and grief to inspiration and hope, these poems are an emotionally powerful call to action.

We hope this best queer books 2024 list helped you find some new titles for your TBR! You might also enjoy:

20 Must-Read Queer Historical Fantasy Books

Queer YA from 2023 You Might Have Missed

The Best LGBTQ-Inclusive Relationship Books