This year is especially special for the LGBTQ community due to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and in the times we are living in today it is especially important to recognize our Queer Community and celebrate love in all kind of forms. Here are my top three queer reads!
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Hannah is one of the strongest witches of her coven and she is an Elemental Witch who has the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. She lives in the ultimate witchy town of Salem, Massachusetts and she keeps her powers to herself while working in the touristy Fly by Night Cauldron shop. Her ex-girlfriend Veronica works in the shop and she does her best to avoid her until she is forced to work with her. There is an end-of-school-year bonfire that gets interrupted by a disturbing blood ritual. Veronica is also an Elemental Witch and Hannah has to join forces with Veronica to fight off the Blood Witch. Through their quest to fight the Blood Witch Hannah falls for a girl named Morgan and suddenly juggling supernatural forces with dating begins to get a bit complicated.
My witchy heart cannot possibly contain my excitement for this book! I am obsessed with all things witchy and this is the perfect book to add to my summer list. These Witches Don’t Burn seems like the perfect Sapphic romance to curl up to and get those spooky summery vibes!
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student for the Medio School for Girls and she is trained for one of two roles. The first role is the Primera where the woman runs the household and business affairs for the husband and the second role is the Segunda where the woman raises the children and provides entertainment for the husband. Danielle graduates at the top of the class and becomes the Primera for an affluent family. Her future is bright but she is hiding a dark secret that could ruin everything her parent’s sacrificed for in order to get her into the Medio School in the first place. The town of Medio is poverty-stricken and she must keep her truth hidden in order to avoid a life of famine. When she enters into the marriage of a Primera she realizes it’s not the life she wants to live and finds herself developing feelings for the other wife the Segunda, named Carmen. Danielle also gets involved with a resistance group called La Voz who is fighting for the equal rights of the people who live in Medio. Danielle must make the choice of whether she will choose her privileged existence as a Primera or forbidden love and the possibility to fight for a free Medio.
We Set the Dark on Fire has been compared to A Handmaids Tale and it is the perfect dystopian book we need today because it has diverse characters and speaks to relevant issues in our society. Mejia’s book has Latinx rep, feminist themes, and a forbidden Sapphic romance that makes it a must-read for Pride Month!
Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz has no time or energy for love. He is perfectly content being a part of the White House Trio which is made up of his sister, the Veep’s granddaughter, and he has greater political ambitions of his own. Alex especially has no time to deal with the Prince Henry of Wales who has been his ultimate nemesis through the years. Until he finds himself in the most scandalous confrontation during a royal wedding with the Prince Henry of Wales and it gets leaked to the tabloids. Now Alex’s mother President Ellen Claremont makes plans for damage control by staging a fake friendship between her First Son and the Prince Henry of Wales. Their fake friendship turns into something more and they begin to carry out a secret relationship with one another. Alex and Henry’s relationship could ruin Alex’s mother’s campaign and upend American/British relations. As they navigate their secret relationship they are forced to ask themselves if their relationship is worth losing everything over.
I started to read Red, White, & Royal Blue back in May and this book took me completely by surprise! This sharp and witty read has made me laugh out loud in various parts and made me fall in love with the characters in this story. Casey McQuiston’s writing has created characters that just jump off the page and she has an incredible gift of crafting the steamiest and sexiest scenes that I have ever read in a romance book in a long time. This book is more than a rom-com read, it is about two people questioning their whole entire lives and deciding whether true love is worth risking it all.