Seducer Fey (Genetic Fey Series: Volume 1) by Cullyn Royson (Booktrope)
Populated by characters whose genders and sexualities are fluid — and centered on Danny and her girlfriend Cassidy — this truly fascinating series opener imagines a world where genetic engineering has found a fountain of youth in the blood of Celtic fairies. Written by out pansexual and genderqueer author Cullyn Royson — who began LGBTQ activism as a teenage volunteer for GLSEN — Seducer Fey is simply one of the best young adult fantasy novels out there, queer or otherwise. Get ready for the sequel.
How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood by Jim Grimsley (Algonquin Books)
Growing up, this award-winning gay author never felt like he belonged in his small Southern hometown. Raised in harsh poverty with a violent father, Grimsley was 11 when his Pollacksville, N.C., school was integrated, putting him and the other kids on the front lines of a battle that it seemed the adults were having while many of the kids just wanted to go to school, make friends, and have fun. What sets this apart from other memoirs of the time is Grimsley’s beautifully crafted and unflinching look at his own inherited racism and his ability to confront it.
Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin (Dutton)
Thirty-year-old Jess, whose mother had hoped she’d be the next Brooke Shields, is one of Hollywood’s barista/celebrity assistant/aspiring chefs that anyone in L.A. knows well. She works for an erratic composer who sends his complaints via his manager but may have a more glamorous job in the works — if things work out. Author Shanna Mahin, whose Oscar-nominated screenwriter grandfather worked on a slew of classic films including Gone With the Wind andScarface (and cofounded the screenwriters’ union), was once a celebrity personal assistant herself, so there’s a disarming authenticity to this look about the fringes of celebrity culture and the ordinary people who get climbed on by others on their way up. It's hard to put down this witty, incisive, buzzy, and all too real novel.