Queer YA Scrabble: Intro Post

Queer YA Scrabble

Welcome to the Queer YA Scrabble weekend!

This event was created by the lovely Julia Ember to showcase the diversity in young adult literature and all the wonderful array of LGBTQIA young adult novels that have been published. The aim is for you to discover as many books as you can from all our blogs and you can also participate in a massive giveaway and raise funds for the LGBT rights charity Stonewall who do brilliant work promoting equality here in the UK. The other bloggers participating are:

GayYa.org  | Writability | Afterwritten | YA Interrobang

So do head over to their blogs to discover the fabulous books they’ll be showcasing.

There will be a giveaway at the end of the weekend as well as an auction and you can try to win various boxes of goodies. I am Team Griffin and below is a list of what you could win if you solve the anagram hidden in my blog posts. To enter, fill in the google entry form in the link below and add the solved anagram! I will be scattering all the letters of the word you need to find in my posts over the weekend, they will be in bold and in colour (Hint: the word is LGBTQIA-related). For the charity auction, head over to the official Queer YA Scrabble website!

Box Contents:
Noble Falling – Paperback, Signed. 
Freakboy – Hardcover, Signed. 
The Summer I Wasn’t Me – Paperback.
Red Caps – Paperback. 
The Summer Prince – Hardcover. 
Liberty’s Fire – Paperback. 
Wildcards (auction box only):
1 x QUERY CRITIQUE with Ms. Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary
1 x ‘SKIP THE QUERY QUEUE’ with Ms. Marietta Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary
1 x ‘SKIP THE QUERY LINE’ with Ms. Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch


I am so thrilled to share with you the books I will be showcasing on Queer YA this weekend:

Saturday 6th morning:


Noble Falling by Sara Gaines – Extract

Published: October 2012 by Harmony Ink Press | Lesbian YA Fantasy

Duchess Aleana Melora of Eniva, future queen of Halvaria, is resigned to the gilded cage of her life, facing a loveless marriage to Tallak, the prospective king, and struggling under the pressure to carry on the family name despite her wish to find a woman to love.

When her convoy is attacked on the journey to Tallak’s palace, Aleana is saved by her guard, Ori, only to discover her people have turned against her and joined forces with the kingdom of Dakmor, Halvaria’s greatest enemy. Her only hope is to reach Tallak, but she and Ori don’t make it far before another attack and an unlikely rescue by Kahira, a Dakmoran woman banished from her kingdom for reasons she is hesitant to share.

Though Kahira is marked as a criminal, Aleana’s heart makes itself known. Aleana is facing danger and betrayal at every turn, and she fears giving in to her desires will mean she will enter her marriage knowing exactly the kind of passion she will never have as the Halvarian Queen—if she survives long enough to be crowned.

Goodreads | Amazon


Saturday 6th afternoon:


Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clarke – Review

Published: October 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Trans YA contemporary

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy’s razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Goodreads | Amazon


Sunday 7th morning:


Red Caps by Steve Berman – Extract

Published: February 2014 by Lethe Press | LGBTQIA Short story collection

Red Caps might be a rock band. Or they might be something more sinister, a fey source of sounds that are but the backdrop to thrills and misadventures. These thirteen stories provide readers jaded by the traditional, Old World fairy tales with tempting new stories that will entice bored readers from their suburban ennui. Closets are waiting to be explored. Escape from work camp leads to a dangerous encounter on a wet road. That high school year book is magical and might be mocking you…or helping you find love. And isn’t love one of the central premises of the fairy tale? These teenage boys and girls need not fear that their love has no worth, because Steve Berman has written for them princesses who love maidens and adorkable students who have wondrous and smart boyfriends. Readers can be assured that, if the tale does not end happily, it ends most memorably.

Goodreads | Amazon


Sunday 7th afternoon:


The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi – Review

Published: April 2014 by Sourcebooks | Lesbian and genderqueer YA contemporary

Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path…

Goodreads | Amazon


Monday 8th morning:


Liberty’s Fire by Lydia Syson – Guest review + giveaway

Published: May 2015 by Hot Key Books | LGBTQIA Historical YA novel

Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution. Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city’s radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to fall in love for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole’s passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine’s new politics – but his friends are not so sure. Opera-singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at all their feet, can they face the danger together – or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?

Goodreads | Amazon


Monday 8th Midday:


The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson – Review

Published: March 2013 by Arthur Levine | Gay YA Fantasy

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Goodreads | Amazon


Here is a link to the form to enter the giveaway (click here!) and I hope you will have a wonderful weekend discovering new books and authors. I also hope you will love discovering the beauty of diversity in the world and in stories!