There are far more fantastic queer books being published every month than I can keep up with, and I am deeply grateful for that. In the last few years, we’ve especially seen a surge in books being put out by mainstream publishers that have queer women main characters, which is exciting. We’re also starting to see more asexual and trans representation, though those still lag behind, but there are other queer identities that have hardly any books published about them at all.
I want to celebrate some of the queer books coming out this month that I’m most excited about, but first, a disclaimer: this is far from a comprehensive list! This is only what’s on the top of my TBR, with my own preferences — though I’ve also tried to include a range of genres and identities.
This month includes one of the books I’m most excited to get my hands on: The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe!! What a dream. There’s also a cute M/M graphic novel with a picky pig, an F/F romance with rollerskating, a nonbinary Anishinaabe middle grade graphic novel, a queer Arthurian novella, and so much more.
If you want to keep up with even more queer new releases, sign up for Our Queerest Shelves, Book Riot’s weekly LGBTQ newsletter. But that’s enough preamble. Let’s get into the books!
Adult LGBTQ New Releases
The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann (Asexual Romance) April 12
The author of Let’s Talk About Love now has another asexual romance book, this time with adult main characters. Joy (who is asexual) is secretly in love with her best friend, Malcolm. So when he falls for Summer, she’s devastated. The three of them, plus Summer’s ex, Fox, go on a weekend trip together, and Joy is determined to show Malcolm what he’s missing by fake dating Fox. But along the way, she seems to be accidentally falling for real.
Spear by Nicola Griffith (Sapphic Fantasy) April 19
This is a queer Arthurian retelling novella! What more do I need to say? Well, just in case: this is the newest from the author of Hild and Ammonite, following a girl who was raised in an isolated cave with her mother until she finds herself pulled toward the court of King Artos. Along the way, she meets great knights, battles sorcerers, and falls for several women. This has a lengthy author’s note explaining Griffith’s research into Arthurian Britain.
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (Queer Science Fiction) April 19
If you haven’t already watched the visual album, run, don’t walk, to check it out. It’s queer and polyamorous and feminist on top of being catchy and visually stunning. It manages to build a world up to the extent that a book seems only natural, and I cannot wait to see how it translates to text. This is definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year.
Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine, Hank Jones, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Gay M/M Graphic Novel) April 12
Ben has just graduated college, and he’s had the door slammed in his face for every editing or writing job he’s applied for. So he does what all us English majors did: apply for everything under the sun. He ends up with an interview at a restaurant, but he’ll have to pass three tests to work there permanently. They all involve the exacting judgement of…the chef’s pet pig? While he’s preparing his recipes, he also falls for his cute sous chef coworker, Liam. This is a fun, quick, and sometimes silly romance graphic novel!
Fine: A Comic About Gender by Rhea Ewing (Graphic Nonfiction) April 5
Part memoir, part documentary, Fine intersperses Rhea Ewing’s own experience growing up in rural Kentucky with interviews from other trans people with a range of identities and experiences about their relationships with gender. Alison Bechdel says this has “great documentary power,” and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to explore how gender shapes people’s lives.
Content Warning: Everything by Akwaeke Emezi (Nonbinary Poetry) April 5
From the author of Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji comes a collection of poetry collection that promises to “distill the radiant power and epic grief of a mischievous and wanting young deity, embodied.” There are multiple poems on the Amazon page if you want a preview. On coming out, from “disclosure”: “my brother said you can’t live in that bubble in new york the real world is not like that but it’s a lie there are no real worlds you can live in whatever bubble you like a diving bell made of tender glass”
Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (Queer Poetry) April 5
Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” releases his second poetry collection, reflecting on his grief in the wake of his mother’s death. This promises to be a unique, haunting, and experimental collection.
Deaf Utopia: A Memoir – And a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco with Robert Siebert (Sexually Fluid Memoir) April 19
Nyle DiMarco is an actor and producer known for winning both America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars. In this memoir, he describes growing up Deaf in multi-generational Deaf family, and what it’s like to navigate a world designed for hearing people, including how he broke into the acting business. This is a “proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language, Nyle’s primary language.” Nyle came out as sexually fluid in 2015.
Burning Butch by R/B Mertz (Genderqueer Memoir) April 5
That title and cover combo is hard to resist. This is a story of Mertz growing up in a staunchly Catholic family and slowly finding their way to their trans and nonbinary butch identity. They also begin to grapple with the role faith may still have in their life, and how to locate themselves within that structure.
Young Adult and Children’s LGBTQ New Releases
She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick (F/F YA Romance) April 5
This is really more of a New Adult title, because it follows two young women in college. Molly has been crushing on Cora since high school, but here she is in college with her, and she still can’t seem to get up the nerve to ask her out. That’s when Alex swoops in, promising to use her heartbreaker ways to teach Molly how to flirt with Cora — and along the way, convince Alex’s on-again off-again girlfriend that she can, in fact, have a platonic friend. Alex and Molly immediately clash, since they have very different personalities, but somewhere along the way, those feelings begin to change…This is a kind of Cyrano story, and it does, of course, have the cute rollerskating date the cover promises.
I am the Ghost in Your House by Maria Romasco-Moore (Bisexual YA Fantasy) April 19
Pie isn’t really a ghost. She’s not dead. She’s just invisible. She and her mother have been on the move her whole life, staying unseen in other people’s houses. But when she gets to choose their next destination, she picks Pittsburgh, where she fell in love with a girl. But in a world obsessed with appearances, she feels like no one will love an invisible girl. This is a story about finding your own worth and navigating messy relationships, both with family and friends. Content warning for abuse.
In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington (F/F Middle Grade Contemporary) April 26
Zora and Andi meet at Harmony Music Camp, the only Black girls in a mostly white crowd. They both are struggling with their family life — Andi feels unmoored after her mother’s death and unable to connect to her music anymore, while Zora feels stifled by her parents’ expectation of her becoming a flute prodigy. They are able to find connection and understanding with each other, which eventually melts into the overwhelming emotion of first love.
Side note: I love that we now have two sapphic music camp middle grade books! (The other is Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jane Bigelow.)
Different Kinds of Fruit by Kyle Lukoff (Nonbinary Love Interest, Trans Parent Middle Grade Contemporary) April 12
When Annabelle meets new nonbinary student Bailey, she’s smitten, and they quickly become friends. What she isn’t expecting, though, is to have her dad tell her that him and Bailey have something in common: they’re both trans. She realizes that categories like fruit and vegetable or boy and girl stop seeming so clear cut — or so important. She also soon finds out that their community isn’t as accepting as she thought, and she’s determined to make that change.
Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée and K.C. Oster (Nonbinary Middle Grade Graphic Novel) April 5
This is a nonbinary, Anishinaabe graphic novel take on Alice In Wonderland! When Aimée wanders off during a school trip to avoid the bullying they’ve faced since coming out, they are transported into another world full of traditional Anishinaabe figures. To get back home, Aimée has to help Trickster hunt down dark water spirits and avoid the land-grabbing Queen and her robots.
You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty, and Other Things by Cory Silverberg, and Fiona Smyth (Queer- and Trans-Inclusive Middle Grade Nonfiction) April 12
This is the third book in a series. What Makes a Baby is aimed at ages 4–8, Sex Is a Funny Word at ages 8–10, and this one is for middle schoolers ages 10 and up. This is queer-, disability-, and trans-inclusive sex ed book that “grounds sex education in social justice.” It discusses consent, pleasure, stigma, pornography, risk, and more. Let’s be honest, it’s exactly the book that so many on the book banning brigade are afraid of, so let’s show it some love!
Looking for more queer new releases? Check out the must-read LGBTQ books that came out last month, and don’t forget to sign up for Our Queerest Shelves to get queer new releases delivered to your inbox every week.