'We the Animals' by Justin Torres

Justin Torres’ We the Animals  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is all the best one hopes to encounter in a young author’s debut novel: all the raw emotion just past processing the wounds accumulated during adolescence, all the nostalgia for life as it was then mixed with the realizations of the convoluted beauty life reveals itself to be,… read more

'The Evolution of Ethan Poe' by Robin Reardon

With The Evolution of Ethan Poe (Kensington Books), Robin Reardon provides a fresh, engaging example of why the coming out story is not irrelevant, instead a crucial, continuing story with countless raw variations. Yet narrator Ethan’s coming out is only part of Evolution’s larger narrative focusing on a rural Maine town’s debate over integrating Intelligent… read more

Patrick Ryan: Vampires for the Post-Gay Generation

“The thing I wanted to do in this one was take a new approach to how the sexuality is dealt with. In my two previous YA novels the kids are coming out and it’s a really big deal. But that story’s becoming in some ways a product of the past.” With the publication of Saints… read more

Nick Burd: Making Cool Books for the Kids

“…I think that’s important, to show young people that you can be gay and have a cool life…” With his debut novel The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Dial), Nick Burd has written one of those books that many of us wish we could’ve read when we were teenagers—one that probes that confused, lonely, struggling teen… read more

'Shadow Walkers' by Brent Hartinger

In Brent Hartinger’s Shadow Walkers (Flux), isolated 16-year-old Zach journeys into the astral realm (the spiritual dimension juxtaposed with our physical world) to save his kidnapped brother. Hartinger’s 8th novel deftly meditates on isolation, interpersonal connectivity, and how drastically the Internet has changed modern teen life…. read more

‘The Perfect Family’ by Kathryn Shay

The Davidsons are a perfect family—though not in a Stepford  Wives way. Relatively healthy, communicative, genuinely wanting what’s best for each other, the Davidsons face a dramatic paradigm shift when the youngest son Jamie, a high school junior, comes out. What’s stunning about Kathryn Shay’s latest novel The Perfect Family (Bold Strokes Books) is the equal… read more

'Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares' By Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

The highly influential and much imitated David Levithan and Rachel Cohn have changed the young adult genre in new, exciting ways – always showcasing a world where GLBT characters are as much a part of the tapestry as anything else is. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, their third and latest, brings a touch of… read more