2021 Trans & Nonbinary Recs #1

Hi everyone! Sorry this is such a late post, at least in the UK! I’m a huge fan of spreadsheets and planning and over the past few days I’ve accidentally got really into making notion pages for everything!

I decided to make this post after all that has happened with a certain new book release and seeing so many people rallying behind trans and nonbinary authors on Twitter as a result. I recently came out as agender on Twitter (although I’m not out irl) and often use the umbrella term nonbinary for myself (any pronouns are fine!). Since coming out I’ve been wanting to read some more books written by trans and nonbinary authors, and since I think it’s great to promote and read their books all year round, I thought I’d contribute by giving some sort of recommendations (since I’ve not read them yet!) of some 2021 releases by trans and nonbinary authors, so that you can too! This is definitely not all the books that are being released this year, more will be added when the covers are released! I highly recommend you preorder a couple of these if you can, and if not, add them on Goodreads and shout about them everywhere!

The Ghosts We Keep – Mason Deaver

When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends.

Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse.

This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should. 

Although I’ve not read Mason Deaver’s first novel (it’s in the post as we speak…read?), I’ve heard really great things about their writing so I can’t wait to devour this one, even though I know it’s going to turn me into a sobbing mess!

Detransition, Baby – Torrey Peters

Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese–and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby–and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it–Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family–and raise the baby together?

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Not only am I absolutely obsessed with this cover, but the story sounds so gripping too! I’m not a huge literary fiction reader but this one really intrigues me as it seems very character driven! It’s going to be one of my first reads of 2021!

May the Best Man Win – Z.R. Ellor

ZR Ellor’s May the Best Man Win is a debut YA novel about a throw-down battle for Homecoming King between a transgender teen and the boy he dumped last summer…

This one has another gorgeous cover! Even though I’m well past the age of being in high school (and Scottish high school at that, so I don’t really understand American high schools) I do still love the occasional homecoming/prom story, and I’m super excited to read more after recently reading You Should See Me in a Crown! Plus this one has rivals to (I’m guessing) lovers, so it’s definitely a must read!

Between Perfect & Real – Ray Stoeve

Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theatre director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now––not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life. Dean knows what he needs to do. Can playing a role help Dean be his true self?

This one, I know, is going to be a bit of a tougher read, as coming out stories always are. However, I really hope trans teens are going to be able to see themselves in Dean and I’m definitely hoping for some truly heartwarming scenes!

The Mirror Season – Anna-Marie McLemore

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season

Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.

But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.

This looks like it’s going to be another tough read but so many ARC reviews are raving about it! This is a snow queen retelling that I’m dying to read and I love how the cover is made up of the pan colours!

A Dark and Hollow Star – Ashley Shuttleworth

Choose your player.

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

This is one of my most anticipated reads of next year! There’s an f/f couple, an m/m couple and a genderfluid character! Plus another stunning cover! We’re really winning in 2021!

Can’t Take That Away – Steven Salvatore

Steven Salvatore’s debut Can’t Take That Away is about Carey Parker, a genderqueer teen who dreams of being a diva like their hero Mariah Carey. When they are cast as the female lead in the school musical, they must fight against discrimination and injustice from their closed-minded school administration.

I love all the genderqueer rep that’s coming out (tehe!) next year! I was in a performance of a musical growing up so I always love to see school musicals in literature – even though I was neither the best of singers nor the best of actors!

Lost in the Never Woods – Aiden Thomas

When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.

It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.

While I am patiently waiting for my copy of Cemetery Boys to arrive, I’ve been getting so excited for Aiden Thomas’ next release! A Peter Pan retelling, missing children and that cover!! What more could you want!

15 thoughts on “2021 Trans & Nonbinary Recs #1

  1. YESSSS ALTHEA!!! 💕💕 Thank you for highlighting trans/nb authors and starting this new series (it’s a new series of recs, right?) that is close to our hearts!! This post is so amazing and now I’m adding A Dark and Hollow Star and Can’t Take That Away to my TBR (I think many others are already on it)!! Genderqueer rep??? YES PLEASE! 🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this list, I’ve heard about some, but I’m definitely going to check out the rest!
    Congratulations on coming out!
    I’ve read Mason Deaver’s debut and it was soo amazing. Not a light read, but worth every minute. Can’t wait for their new novel!
    Cemetery Boys is my current read and I love it so much so far! Really excited for Aiden’s next book!

    Liked by 1 person

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