Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

“My first five-star read of 2021! It was sweet, it was funny, it was diverse, and the cast of characters pops. It’s one of those books that I finished and was so happy that it exists.” – Erin, Kids Room

Former best friends Lita and Chicky team up to help Lita win the Miss Meteor pageant–a feat that no girl who looks like either of them has ever done. For Lita, winning the pageant means not fading into stardust (yes, really). For Chicky, it’s a way to save her family’s struggling restaurant. Together, along with the boys they may have feelings for, and Chicky’s opinionated older sisters, they’re determined to prove they can win it all.

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

“This book is a fascinating look into the life of an English aristocrat. In addition to showing the reader what life as an English aristocrat is like, the book portrays Anne as a real person who has experienced both joys and sorrows in life. Despite Anne’s privileges, she has endured many difficulties, including the deaths of two of her children, serious injury to another, and a husband who was very challenging. If you are an Anglophile and loved watching The Crown and Downton Abbey, this is the book for you!” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services

This fascinating memoir introduces us to Anne Glenconner, the daughter of the Earl of Leicester, who was born in England in the early 1930s. Anne was a childhood friend of Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth, served as a maid of honour at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, and spent over 30 years as a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret. Anne married a very wealthy, but eccentric, man, had five children, traveled the world, hobnobbed with stars on the island of Mustique, and endured numerous family difficulties and tragedies.

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

“As a self-proclaimed nerd and amateur cosplayer, this book took me into the world of conventions that have been temporarily taken away from us. Ryan La Sala weaves the world of cosplay and conventions with an adorable romance that brought me so much joy while reading.” – Gina R., Circulation

Told between the present and in flashbacks, Be Dazzled is the story of Raffy, a dedicated crafter and cosplayer. He is entered in the biggest cosplay competition at the Controverse convention and is determined to not let anything ruin it for him, even when he finds out that his ex-boyfriend is also competing.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

“In Khorram’s hands, Persian culture and the country of Iran truly shine. Darius is a sweet teenager struggling with self-identity and his place in the world. It’s for anyone who has ever felt a sense of longing for something, without knowing what that something is. This YA book is a perfect read-alike for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.” – Erin, Kids Room 

Darius is about to embark on a trip to Iran for the very first time. He’s never really felt Persian, doesn’t know how to speak Farsi, and is struggling with clinical depression. When he arrives in Iran, he meets his grandparents and his mother’s family for the very first time, and he meets Sohrab, the boy next door. For the very first time, Darius may feel at home.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

“This is a book about learning who you are and learning to love who you are and not needing outside validation. You don’t need love to be happy, but it is a nice bonus if you have it. I loved this book because there aren’t enough books out there with this underlying message. Love is not the “end-all-be-all” but this book gives you hope that love is out there and you don’t have to be perfect to get it.” – Gina, Circulation

Felix Love, ironically, has never been in love, but he wants to know what it’s like. He believes that he doesn’t deserve love because he’s “one marginalization too many.” He’s black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student publicly outs him by posting old pictures and his name from before he transitioned, Felix wants to find out who did it and get revenge. His revenge plot unexpectedly throws him into a love triangle and everything about his life is suddenly more complicated.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

“I loved how well Taylor’s writing was able to transport the reader into Wallace’s mind and body and feel his deep alienation, loneliness, desire, and pain. Taylor’s words are poignant and purposeful, and give a powerful voice to so many experiences, feelings, and emotions that ought to be heard.” – Van, Adult & Teen Services

Wallace, a gay, Black biochem graduate student at a predominantly white Midwestern graduate school, navigates tokenism, racism, and biases in academia while struggling with his own internal conflicts and trauma.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

“This is a beautifully written novel in verse that will speak to anyone looking to find their place in the world.” – Amanda, Adult & Teen Services

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold color.

Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

“This graphic novel is an emotional, yet hopeful little road trip story. It discusses important and difficult topics such as coming out and sexual assault, while also being whimsical and slightly spooky with its touches of magic. The art is gorgeous and the story kept me enthralled from cover to cover.” – Gina, Circulation

Bea is running away from home when, on the way, she runs into a familiar face. On their road trip throughout Texas, Bea and Lou try to return a lost cat back to its owner. Along the way, they run into strange and mysterious roadblocks that they can’t explain.

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness

“I absolutely loved listening to Van Ness’ audiobook. I could not get enough of him in the series, Queer Eye. His joy for life just radiates and his quippy lines stick with you. I am really just amazed by his ability to turn his pain into passion. With humor and inspiration, his story is a must-listen!” – Kira, Adult & Teen Services

Van Ness, one of the stars in the Netflix series “Queer Eye” shares his story of how he transformed pain into strength. Through years of endured trauma and abuse, he turned his story around to inspire and inform others about the true meaning of self-love.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“Morgenstern’s poetic prose is what shines through in this multilayered story that weaves between Zachary’s story and the folkloric stories within the book he’s found. This is a novel that will completely sweep you off your feet.” – Amanda, Adult & Teen Services

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.