Our Queerest Shelves

Read These Queer Books for Their Covers

Sometimes, covers are beautiful enough that they really do justify buying the book regardless of the content. Today, I highlight some of my favourite LGBTQ book covers, but let me know what yours are!

Queer books, BIPOC books, and sex education books continue to be targeted by book banners. We know these can be life-changing — even life-saving — for kids to have access to. That’s why today I’m highlighting EveryLibrary, which helps fight back against book bans. You can donate to help out, sign up as a volunteer, or join the mailing list on their homepage to stay up to date.

What’s the secret behind Colleen Hoover’s explosive popularity? What’s the best reading tracker for power readers? And do you really *need* to read more this year? Check out these thoughts and more from experts in the world of books and reading by subscribing to Book Riot’s newest newsletter, The Deep Dive. Subscribe and choose your membership level today at

Bookish Goods

a photo of Felix Ever After with floral painting on the page edge matching the cover

Felix Ever After with Ombre Sprayed Edges by PaintedPagesLibrary

Later in this newsletter I talk about how stunning the cover of Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar is, but if you want an even more beautiful edition, you can get it with sprayed edges! $32

New Releases

Unfortunately, this week’s LGBTQ YA and children’s new releases are disproportionately by white authors. We need more intersectional queer books.

no boy summer book cover

No Boy Summer by Amy Spalding (F/F YA Contemporary)

Sisters Lydia and Penny’s respective relationship dramas blew up their lives last year, so this summer, they have a pact: no boys. No drama. This brings them closer than ever, until Lydia has a coffee shop meet cute with Fran. Dating a girl isn’t against technically against the rules…right?

the cover of Jude Saves the World

Jude Saves the World by Ronnie Riley (Nonbinary Middle Grade Contemporary)

Jude is a nonbinary 12-year-old with a best friend named Dallas. When Stevie is bullied by her classmates for possibly liking girls, Jude quickly invites her into their friend group, and the three of them become inseparable. Together, they decide to found a Diversity Club, where everyone can be themselves. But will they be able to get the support to start it?

the cover of Sasaki and Miyano: First-Years, Vol. 1

Sasaki and Miyano: First-Years, Vol. 1 by Shou Harusono and Kotoko Hachijo (BL YA Manga)

This is a prequel series to Hirano and Kagiura, which is a BL romance between roommates. These short stories explore what these characters were like as first years, including seeing familiar situations from new perspectives.

Alondra by Gina Femia (Bisexual YA Contemporary)

Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar by Jessamyn Violet (Queer ’90s YA Contemporary/Historical)

the cover of If I See You Again Tomorrow

If I See You Again Tomorrow by Robbie Couch (M/M YA Speculative Romance)

Against the Stars by Christopher Hartland (Queer YA Speculative Romance)

Drew Leclair Crushes the Case by Katryn Bury (Bisexual Middle Grade Mystery)

For more new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I stepped away from queering the Read Harder challenge for a while, but I’ve returned today with task #10: Read a book you know nothing about based solely on the cover. You get a little bit of cheat, knowing that these books are all queer, but I won’t tell you anything else about them so you can follow the prompt. Instead, I’ll talk about why I find these covers so intriguing!

the cover of The Salt Roads

The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson

I feel like I never shut up about this book, but that’s because I love it. And at home, I have my copy face out, because that cover is stunning. It’s a gorgeous painting with a whimsical, magical feeling — and hints the story inside is a little bit…strange. Is that a chamber pot so prominently featured?

the cover of Felix Ever After

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I had to include this cover, which is such a beautiful, loving rendition of a Black transmasc teenager — I wish we had so many more book covers like this. Also, did you know this book was challenged in a school library because the cover shows someone with top surgery scars? (Attend your school board meetings! Vote book banners out!) Looking at reviews, I saw so many people mention that they felt seen by having this representation on the cover and that it was one of the reasons they picked the book up.

the yellow UK cover of Her Majesty's Royal Coven

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

This has several cover designs, but I’m talking about this UK variant today — though I like the American cover, too. I love the contrast between the old-fashioned illustration in the background with a pentagram, reflecting that same juxtaposition in the title. That’s only highlighted by the neon colors, which makes this a modern and eye-catching design.

All the Links Fit to Click

Sexy, Ambitious Novel Any Other City Explores Transition and Transformation

Lex Croucher was interviewed at The Bookseller about Gwen and Art Are Not In Love

That’s it for me this week! Until next time, you can find me at my sapphic book blog, the Lesbrary. You can also hear me on All the Books or you can read my Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!