Description: Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne prefers to hide away in his museum office with books in dead languages to avoid any and all attention—and so, when attractive ex-Pinkerton private detective Griffin Flaherty asks for the help of the museum’s ciphers’ specialist to translate a book that his employer thinks might be a clue to a case he’s working on, Whyborne would rather not have anything to do with the gorgeous man—especially since the time is such that his own attraction is illegal, which is rather dangerous when the man he’s attracted to is a detective! But despite his misgivings, the two are drawn very close together on the case, which goes deeper than a mere murder and into realms of necromancy and Lovecraftian horror.
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Drama
Categories: M/M, hidden identity
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Deals with homophobia & includes homophobic slurs.
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Description: Simon, a high schooler in a small town, is gay, and nobody should know except for the mysterious boy with whom he exchanges anonymous emails. Except someone else does know—and that person has decided to blackmail him for his help in hooking up with one of Simon’s friends. How can Simon keep his grades up, decide how to come out to his friends and family, act in the school play, deal with high school friend drama, try to track down the boy he’s pretty sure he’s falling in love with, and negotiate the shady territory of being blackmailed into manipulating his own besties, all at the same time?
“With the last sound, his mouth became unstopped like a bottle, and it was as if all sound hissed from the room. The candles blew out, the darkness expanded to envelop all. And then the darkness receded. The candles flickered back to light, and the sound came back into the room.
In the middle of the circle stood a man.”
– To Summon Nightmares, J.K. Pendragon
Genre: Paranormal, contemporary, romance
Categories: M/M, trans, demons
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Transphobia. Graphic descriptions of dysphoria, self-harm attempts. References to torture, child abuse.
Description: A gothic-horror contemporary story set in rural Ireland. Cohen, a Jewish trans writer, finds himself unexpectedly involved in the life of Niall—a gorgeous man suspected of murder, on the run from a haunting past involving demon summoning, and possessing incredible magic powers. There’s a secret organization and a very unpleasant ex-boyfriend involved. And all Cohen wanted was a quiet place to write…
“When he inherits an old house in the country, Cohen sees it as a perfect opportunity to escape the press and work on his new book. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in a small town murder mystery and falling for the primary suspect, a man whose reality makes Cohen’s fantasy books seem like child’s play…”
“As my datelike thing with Nico drew closer, the fears careening around in my head multiplied. What if Nico got flirty again? What if he didn’t get flirty again?”
– Willful Machines, Tim Floreen
Genre: Science fiction, YA
Categories: M/M, futuristic, robots
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Some terms & references to race that were… cause for pause. White mc calling himself ‘Kamikaze Lee,’ exoticising the love interest, etc.
Description: Equal parts romance and sci-fi thriller, Willful Machines is the story of the closeted son of the US president unraveling an elaborate plot involving robots & artificial intelligence… while also falling in love with the new boy at school. (And I think you can see where this is going, but I’m not going to outright spoil it for you).
“In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.”
“Strange he hadn’t had a premonition of what this place would become to him all those months ago. But maybe not. So much of magic—of power, in general—required belief as a prerequisite.”
– The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Urban fantasy, YA
Categories: M/M, M/F, YA, multiple narrators, wizards/magicians, mythology, ghosts
Content Warnings (highlight to read): N/A
Description: A sharply-written YA series about slowly uncovering the magic underneath the mundane day-to-day world. The series follows Blue, slightly put-upon daughter of a house of psychics, and her adventures with the Raven Boys—private school boys with their own evolving mysterious pasts and destinies. Boys that could be kings, men that might be trees, magic dream worlds, ghosts, fortune-telling, high-maintenance murderers, cars, and bees?—There’s a lot there.
“For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”