19 Must-Read Queer Books Out in May

May 02, 22
19 Must-Read Queer Books Out in May

a collage of the covers listed against a rainbow background

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This is far, far from a complete list of queer books out this month: in fact, it was very difficult to narrow this down. And I expect there will be even more abundance in June, to coincide with Pride month! Of course, many of us read LGBTQ books all year round, and this month has some great options in a wide range of genres. Do you want a sapphic dragon book? A bisexual pie maker who doles out revenge against misogynists with sweet treats? A queer Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

I haven’t even mentioned all of the amazing authors of queer books you already love who have new books out this month, like Nina LaCour’s first adult fiction book, Akwaeke Emezi’s foray into romance, and Casey McQuiston’s YA debut.

So get ready to fall for some bisexual disasters, nonbinary chefs, and sapphic witches. And what better way to ring in Pride month than with a picture book called ‘Twas the Night Before Pride?

If you want even more LGBTQ new releases, be sure to sign up for Book Riot’s Our Queerest Shelves newsletter, where we showcase queer new releases every week, as well as recommending LGBTQ backlist titles you can’t miss. But now, let’s get into the new queer books out this month you need to read!

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the cover of Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour (Sapphic Fiction) – May 31

Nina LaCour has a big fanbase for her YA books, including We Are Okay and Everything Leads To You. This is her adult debut, and I’ve only just started it reading it, but it’s already an absorbing, wistful read with beautiful writing. It’s a love story between two damaged women who aren’t sure whether they can overcome their pasts to be together.

the cover of Magic Lies and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp (Bisexual Cozy Mystery) – May 10

I can’t describe this better than the first line of the back cover: “The first time Daisy Ellery killed a man with a pie, it was an accident. Now, it’s her calling.” Daisy revenge business slash pie shop, Pies Before Guys, delivers sweet treats and revenge against men who’ve wronged women in town, but now she’s being blackmailed, and she has to find out who’s doing it before her secret is exposed. This one has a bisexual main character.

Cover of Chef's Kiss by TJ Alexander.

Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander (F/NB Romance) – May 3

Simone has her dream job working at a cookbook publisher, developing recipes — until she hears the words all online content writers fear: “We’re pivoting to video.” Now she’s stuck having to be on camera, and worse, she has a new overly chipper kitchen manager, Ray, who’s determined to break through her grumpy exterior. When Ray comes out as nonbinary, though, not everyone handles it well. If you followed the rise and fall of Bon Appetit video, this should be on your TBR.

Cover of You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (Queer M/F Romance) – May 24

Awkaeke Emezi has written a broad range of acclaimed queer books in different genres and age categories, including the middle grade novel Petand the literary fiction title The Death of Vivek Oji. Now they’re diving into romance. Feyi’s partner died five years ago, and now she’s tiptoeing back into the dating world. But just when she finds the perfect guy, she starts to fall…for his father.

YA and Children’s LGBTQ New Releases

the cover of I Kissed Shara Wheeler

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (F/F YA Contemporary) – May 3

Speaking of books by superstar authors of queer YA, the author of Red, White, and Royal Blue and One Last Stop is making their YA debut! Chloe’s competition with Shara for valedictorian gets interesting when Shara 1) kisses her, 2) disappears, and 3) leaves a series of cryptic clues for where to find her. Together with the two boys Shara also kissed that night, Chloe is determined to find her, and delighted when the letters prove Chloe wasn’t the golden girl everyone thought she was. This is a book about growing up queer in a conservative Christian town, and it’s also a romance between two ridiculous, stubborn, clueless academic rivals.

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