NetGalley members are constantly balancing their must-read lists with a mix of newly released and upcoming books. In that spirit, here you’ll find both 2020 and 2021 books by trans and nonbinary authors that you won’t want to miss. These eight books are just a small sampling of the great work available, so leave room on your TBR for more!
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi’s highly-anticipated follow up to their debut novel Freshwater takes readers to a town in southeastern Nigeria, where a mother has just discovered the body of her child on her doorstep. Over the course of the novel, readers grow to know Vivek Oji through shifting points of view and come to see this titular character as someone who sought to find room to explore gender identity in a society that demanded rigidity adhering to the norm.
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
February will bring some sci-fi thrills in the form of Sarah Gailey’s The Echo Wife. Dr. Evelyn Caldwell is a woman of science, but even she struggles to come to terms with newly discovered evidence that her husband Nathan used her research to clone her. Martine is designed to be everything Evelyn isn’t: biddable, quiet, and submissive. A confrontation between the three ends in Nathan’s death, but as Evelyn and Martine are left to clean up the mess, they discover he’s hiding more secrets than either realized.
The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg
R.B. Lemberg’s debut is on shelves now, and perfect for those looking to escape into a fantasy world. Weaver Uiziya is awaiting the arrival of her exiled aunt to learn the art of the Four Profound Weaves, which would allow her to create carpets of wind, sand, song, and bones. She discovers that she isn’t the only one waiting for Benesret. A trans man from a different land has arrived in their desert town to ask Benesret for a new name. The two decide to team up to find Benesret and along the way discover far more about each other and themselves.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Aiden Thomas’ Cemetery Boys was one of my favorite reads of 2020, which puts their sophomore YA novel high on my must-read list for 2021. Lost in the Never Woods is a Peter Pan reimagining. Children are going missing in the coastal town of Astoria, and it draws attention to Wendy, who disappeared with her two brothers in the woods five years before. Wendy doesn’t want to think about the past, but realizes she can’t escape it when a boy named Peter draws her back to the woods.
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
Readers can find this book on shelves later this month. The Thirty Names of Night follows a Syrian-American trans man on his journey to find a new name. Visited nightly by his late mother’s ghost, he now spends evenings painting murals in his Manhattan neighborhood. One night, he finds a journal from an artist called Laila Z that reveals a strange connection between Laila Z’s death and his mother’s. The entries lead him on a path that ultimately brings him closer to the answers he seeks about himself, his family, and his future.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
This May 2021 young adult novel from Emery Lee introduces readers to a trans teen who is learning a lot about life, love, and relationships. Noah Ramirez has a secret: The happily ever after stories he chronicles on his blog, Meet Cute Diary, are all fake. When the news leaks and Noah becomes desperate to save the blog by proving the stories are real, Drew steps in to save the day by agreeing to pretend to date Noah. Their fake relationship might help keep the blog alive, but Noah soon realizes he’s losing his heart in the process.
The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
Vivek Shraya’s second novel hit shelves earlier this year and tracks the rise and fall of a dynamic friendship. Rukmini’s viral cover of a song by Neela Devaki brings the two musicians together, and they quickly go from strangers to close friends. Jealousy creeps between them when Rukmini’s popularity begins to outshine Neela’s, leading to a single tweet that changes everything between them.
We Are Watching Eliza Bright by A.E. Osworth
Thriller fans will want to keep this upcoming spring 2021 release on their radar. Video game coder Eliza Bright loves her job at Fancy Dog Games, but when her report of workplace harassment goes public, she becomes the target of misogynistic gamers. What starts as online threats soon turns to real-world dangers as a gamer known as The Inspectre begins to come after her. Eliza seeks out protection in the form of an organization known as the Sixsterhood, hoping that together they might be able to take down The Inspectre.