Alyson Derrick’s solo debut, “Forget Me Not,” is an upcoming sapphic young adult romance novel. The story follows two girls, Stevie and Nora, who’ve been planning to escape their conservative town after graduation and flee to California. By doing so, they would no longer have to keep their relationship a secret. But their dream for their future unravels when a tragic accident steals years of Stevie’s memory — including that of meeting and falling for Nora.
Layla Noor Landrum
Camille Kellogg’s upcoming debut adult rom-com, “Just As You Are,” is a sapphic “Pride and Prejudice” retelling that will be published next year by Penguin Random House. Liz Baker dreams of being a novelist and telling the kinds of queer stories she never had growing up, but due to her current job as a columnist at queer magazine The Nether Fields, she barely has time to write outside of work. And just as the magazine is about to shut down for good — which would secure Liz the opportunity to work on her novel for the first time — it gets bought by two wealthy women. The two investors are Bailey Cox and Daria Fitzgerald, the latter of whom is an attractive butch lesbian. Only, when Liz meets them, she discovers that Daria is not only determined to cut costs but also hates Liz and her “fluff articles.” But the more Liz and Daria’s paths begin to cross, Liz discovers another side of Daria, one that’s much softer than she expected. And rather than hating Daria, Liz finds herself falling for her.
Carlyn Greenwald’s debut adult rom-com, “Sizzle Reel,” is a wholly refreshing and heartfelt sapphic fiction novel releasing next year from Penguin Random House. Set in the not-so-glamorous-as-it-seems world of Hollywood, Luna Roth is a Jewish aspiring cinematographer and talent manager’s assistant in her twenties — and she’s just realized she’s bisexual. Fresh out of a relationship and eager to lose her virginity, she decides to pursue a hookup with one of her manager’s A-list clients, Valeria Sullivan. And when Luna learns the actress just happens to be directing her debut film, she decides to try and score a job on set to further her dream of becoming a cinematographer. But the further she gets entangled with Valeria, the more her other relationships suffer, especially her friendship with her roommate and best friend since film school, nonbinary lesbian Romy. Feeling more lost than ever, Luna eventually must decide what — and who — she truly wants if she wants the love story and job of her dreams.
Edward Underhill’s debut novel, “Always the Almost,” is a heartfelt and emotional young adult contemporary romance releasing next year from Macmillan. Midwestern pianist and high schooler Miles Jacobson has just come out as trans — the result of which is a strain on his relationship with his parents and his boyfriend, Shane, ending things with him. And while his friends are accepting of him, ever since Miles and Shane began dating, he’s felt out of place. It doesn’t help, either, that his new piano teacher keeps telling Miles that he needs to figure out who he is. Desperate for a win, Miles resolves to get back together with his ex and beat his stuck-up rival at an upcoming piano competition. But when Miles meets Eric, a new boy who’s just moved into their small town, everything changes. Asthe two bond over their art — Eric with his cartoons and Miles with his music — and go from friends to more, Miles begins to question who he is, what he truly wants, and why he’s never felt like he’s enough for anyone, especially himself.
Jake Maia Arlow’s debut young adult novel, “How to Excavate a Heart," is a warm and tender lesbian rom-com released Nov. 1 from HarperCollins. A Jewish lesbian, Shani, plans to spend her winter break after her first semester of college studying fish fossils at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, not thinking about her recent breakup with her ex-girlfriend. Things get off to a rough start when she and her mother almost hit a pedestrian while trying to navigate Washington, D.C. roads in the snow, but luckily no one is harmed. Shani’s internship begins; she moves into a house with other college students and an old woman who calls them “doll” and begins getting to know her housemates. So, when she agrees to do one of them a favor and take over their dog-walking gig for a few weeks, she doesn’t think much of it. That is until she comes face to face with May — the girl her mother almost ran over. As Shani finds herself coming to May’s house in order to walk May’s father’s corgi, the two inevitably learn more about each other. Shani comes to find out that May is a Jewish lesbian too, and she’s just as passionate about atmospheric science as Shani is about paleoichthyology. While the two don’t get along at first, they’re forced to spend Christmas Eve together due to inclement weather, and they find themselves growing closer as a result. As Shani finds herself falling for May, she can’t help but worry about the risk of heartbreak in the aftermath of her ex-girlfriend’s harsh rejection.
The Book Nook: ‘If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come’ is a story of queer love, hope and healing at the end of the worldBy Layla Noor Landrum | October 27
Content warning: This column discusses suicide.
Tess Sharpe’s “Six Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)” (2023) is a poignant and expertly-plotted young adult contemporary romance novel releasing next year from publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Adrienne Tooley’s “Sofi and the Bone Song” (2022) is a beautifully crafted and heartfelt standalone young adult fantasy novel released this year from Simon and Schuster. It follows the titular character, Sofi, who longs to be a Musik like her father — one of a select few musicians in the country with a license to write and perform original songs. Born into a kingdom plagued by an endless winter where magic isn’t sacred, but accessible to all, strict laws ensure that music remains an untouched and pure art form. Ever since she was young, Sofi has trained as a musician with the hopes of inheriting her father’s title, but on the day of auditions, something unexpected occurs. Lara, a girl who’s never played the lute before, enthralls judges with her performance and secures the title of Musik, stealing the only dream Sofi has ever had for her future. Suspecting Lara of the illegal use of magic and mourning the sudden death of her father, Sofi sets out to expose Lara’s crime, only to find herself beginning to question everything she knew about magic, her past and her dreams.