Book Review

Halli’s Summer Book Haul!

Written by Halli Starling

Hey all! I’m back with more book recommendations, perfect to queer up the summer months. I’m also desperately trying to catch up on my TBR (a never-ending task for sure), so I’m adding in the books that are currently sitting on my tablet and bedside table!

And if you want to follow what I’m reading, I’m over on Goodreads! Come be my book friend!

New releases for the summer!

Man O’War by Cory McCarthy

May 31 (trans author, trans protagonist)

Incredible. Incredible. McCarthy’s voice is like listening to a friend tell their story about struggling with gender identity, feeling out of place, the trauma queer people go through just to be themselves. It’s a must-read.

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

May 31st (queer/lesbian MCs)

LaCour is a huge name in YA fiction, so the announcement of her first book for adults had me scrambling to add it to my TBR list. As with all of her books, I expect to be in tears by the end.

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

June 7th (trans MC, queer and trans author)

Possibly the blockbuster YA of the summer, I don’t want this book to get lost. It is incredible. It’s hard to read but beautiful, almost stunning in its ferocity and raw empathy. And it’s a debut. I think White’s name is one we’re going to be following for a long, long time.

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

June 14 (trans author, queer cast)

This is an incredibly fun book with a lot of witches and magic and alternate history, but make it ALL queer. But it doesn’t shy away from heavy political issues, and given this takes place in England, it’s hard not to see parallels to today’s English and American societies and cultural “wars” that keeping fucking happening.

Locklands by Robert Jackson Bennett

June 28th (lesbian MCs)

I am a huge fan of Bennett and he’s one of the few cishet white male authors I trust to write women and queer characters, and he did not disappoint. Plus the trilogy is just SO very good.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

July 12th (genderless/nonbinary protagonist)

Um, the cover. Is. Incredible. But also I’m a fan of Kingfisher’s books and this sounds so good, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s got Jeff Vandermeer vibes but with a lot of nightmare mushrooms, weird dreams, and…it’s a strange, dreamlike retelling of “The Fall of the House of Usher”.

Youngblood Sasha Laurens

July 19th (queer cast)

Vampires are BACK! And they’re GAY! I’m so here for this, my Buffy-loving roots immediately needed to put this one on my TBR shelf, even though I don’t read much YA anymore.

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

August 2 (lesbian MC)

It’s a completely fascinating take on magic and books (finally something different!) and focused on the mother-child bond. Very excited to read this one.

A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland

August 30 (NB author, queer cast, m/m romance)

As soon as it was billed as part The Goblin Emperor, I was all over this. I’m always willing to try fantasy romance, so fingers crossed for this one!

Halli’s TBR pile for the summer

Halli Starling (she/they) writes fantasy worlds, vampires, and romance, focusing on stories with deep emotional investment. And the occasional bloody bit of violence.

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2 comments on “Halli’s Summer Book Haul!

  1. So many great choices here! I’m really looking forward to Locklands, A Taste of Gold and Iron, The Book Eaters, The Dawnhounds, and The Siren Queen as well.

    A few more I can’t wait to read are:
    The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison (gay protagonist) – a sequel to The Witness for the Dead, a soft fantasy mystery about a lonely tea drinking man with a difficult calling.

    Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane (trans author, trans protagonist) – a reimagining of Achilles as a trans woman.

    A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows (nb author, gay protagonist) – a fantasy romance about an arranged political marriage.

    High Times in the Low Parliament by Kelli Robson (lesbian author, lesbian protagonist) – the author has described it as a “lesbian stoner buddy comedy with fairies”.

    The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (gay author, gay protagonist) – apparently about as different from The Vanished Birds (which was one of my favourite books last year) as can be, but an epic fantasy adventure that’s a love story between two violent, broken men.

    Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (lesbian protagonist, lesbian author) – A literary queer gothic horror love story about two women with a love for the sea.

    Happy reading!


    • I did not realize Wrath Goddess Sing was about a trans woman Achilles! It has immediately shot to the top of my TBR list! I’m also super into A Strange and Stubborn Endurance and High Times in the Low Parliament – thank you for recommending!

      Liked by 1 person

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