Book covers for "Dear Wendy" in purple, "Late Bloomer" in pink, and "Something Kindred" in orange.
Books, Lists

11 LGBTQIA Books to Read in April

Several LGBTQIA books hit the shelves this April, bringing readers new and well-known stories that will make them lose themselves in different words. Whether you’re picking back up where a previous story ended, reading what happened before a known story, or diving into a new story, these characters will shine a light on what it is like to be queer in all kinds of realities.

If you have read the books in our LGBTQIA picks for March, we bring 11 new titles to add to your TBR list. Gods, mariachis, stage managers, and college students are some of the interesting characters that make up April’s picks.

In order of release date, here are 11 LGBTQIA books we are looking forward to reading this April:

1. Something Kindred by Ciera Burch – April 2

Book cover for "Something Kindred" with a woman holding an old recording camera.

In Something Kindred, Jericka Walker spends her summer in Coldwater, Maryland, where her mother drags her to spend her grandmother’s last few days before she dies. Even though Jericka is supposed to be bonding with her grandmother, she spends most of her time with Kat.

As Jericka spends more time in Coldwater, she realizes the town is full of secrets. The more she thinks about leaving, the stronger the town’s hold on her. The town’s pull and her family’s past make Jericka question everything she knows about her life.

Book Description: Welcome to Coldwater. Come for the ghosts, stay for the drama.

Jericka Walker had planned to spend the summer before senior year soaking up the sun with her best friend on the Jersey Shore. Instead she finds herself in Coldwater, Maryland, a small town with a dark and complicated past where her estranged grandmother lives—someone she knows only two things her name and the fact that she left Jericka’s mother and uncle when they were children. But now Jericka’s grandmother is dying, and her mother has dragged Jericka along to say goodbye.

As Jericka attempts to form a connection with a woman she’s never known, and adjusts to life in a town where everything closes before dinner, she meets “ghost girl” Kat, a girl eager to leave Coldwater and more exciting than a person has any right to be. But Coldwater has a few unsettling secrets of its own. The more you try to leave, the stronger the town’s hold. As Jericka feels the chilling pull of her family’s past, she begins to question everything she thought she knew about her mother, her childhood, and the lines between the living and the dead.

2. Darker by Four by June CL Tan – April 2

Book cover for "Darker by Four" with the drawing of three people, one of them holding swords.

Darker by Four is the beginning of a duology by June CL Tan. To tell this story, the author looked for inspiration in diaspora folklore. The book brings together a girl, a boy, and a god.

When the Fourth King of Hell disappears, the underworld becomes chaos. The human world will follow in hell’s footsteps if the King isn’t found. Only the connection formed between these three different individuals will help save the world from total darkness.

Book Description: From Jade Fire Gold author June CL Tan, Darker by Four is the launch of an epic, sweeping contemporary fantasy duology that is the Shadowhunter Chronicles meets the Chinese underworld, drawing inspiration from diaspora folklore.

A vengeful girl. A hollow boy. A missing god.

Rui has one goal in mind—honing her magic to avenge her mother’s death.

Yiran is the black sheep of an illustrious family. The world would be at his feet—had he been born with magic.

Nikai is a Reaper, serving the Fourth King of Hell. When his master disappears, the underworld begins to crumble…and the human world will be next if the King is not found.

When an accident causes Rui’s power to transfer to Yiran, everything turns upside down. Without her magic, Rui has no tool for vengeance. With it, Yiran finally feels like he belongs. That is, until Rui discovers she might hold the key to the missing death god and strikes a dangerous bargain with another King.

As darkness takes over, three paths intersect in the shadows. And three lives bound by fate must rise against destiny before the barrier between worlds falls and all Hell breaks loose—literally.

3. The Breakup Lists by Adib Khorram – April 2

Book cover for "The Breakup Lists" with the drawing of two men sitting together.

Jackson doesn’t believe in love. He has witnessed his parents’ divorce firsthand and watched his sister get her heart broken. Instead, he is obsessed with making lists, particularly breakup lists for his sister, detailing why she should break up with the boy of the hour.

However, as much as Jackson doesn’t believe in romance, things take a turn when he and his sister cannot stop thinking about the swim captain. How can he create a breakup list for a boy he keeps dreaming about?

Book Description: Love is more complicated than “boy meets boy” in bestselling author Adib Khorram’s sharply funny new romantic comedy, set in the sordid world of high school theater.

Jackson Ghasnavi is a lot of things—a techie, a smoothie afficionado, a totally not obsessive list-maker—but one thing he’s not is a romantic. And why would he be? He’s already had a front row seat to his parents’ divorce and picked up the pieces of his sister Jasmine’s broken heart one too many times.

No, Jackson is perfectly happy living life behind the scenes—he is a stage manager, after all—and keeping his romantic exploits limited to the breakup lists he makes for Jasmine, which chronicle every flaw (real or imagined) of her various and sundry exes.

Enter the senior swim captain turned leading man that neither of the Ghasnavi siblings stop thinking about. Not that Jackson has a crush, of course. Jasmine is already setting her sights on him and he’s probably—no, definitely—straight anyway.

So why does the idea of eventually writing a breakup list for him feel so impossible?

4. Canto Contigo by Jonny Garza Villa – April 9

Book cover for "Canto Contigo" with the drawing of two guys in mariachi outfits holding hands.

Rafael’s life is perfect: he is a mariachi star, has led his school to win the Mariachi Extravaganza de Nacional eleven times, and has made out with the cutest boy he has ever seen. However, life turns upside down for him when his grandfather dies, and his family moves towns, making him change schools.

In his new school, he discovers the leader of the mariachi group is the same guy he had made out with. Now, he must come head-to-head with him if he wants to lead the group, win the competition again, and become the kind of mariachi his grandfather expected him to be.

Book Description: When a Mariachi star transfers schools, he expects to be handed his new group’s lead vocalist spot—what he gets instead is a tenacious current lead with a very familiar, very kissable face.

In a twenty-four-hour span, Rafael Alvarez led North Amistad High School’s Mariachi Alma de la Frontera to their eleventh consecutive first-place win in the Mariachi Extravaganza de Nacional; and met, made out with, and almost hooked up with one of the cutest guys he’s ever met.

Now eight months later, Rafie’s ready for one final win. What he didn’t plan for is his family moving to San Antonio before his senior year, forcing him to leave behind his group while dealing with the loss of the most important person in his life—his beloved abuelo. Another hitch in his plan: The Selena Quintanilla-Perez Academy’s Mariachi Todos Colores already has a lead vocalist, Rey Chavez—the boy Rafie made out with—who now stands between him winning and being the great Mariachi Rafie’s abuelo always believed him to be. Despite their newfound rivalry for center stage, Rafie can’t squash his feelings for Rey. Now he must decide between the people he’s known his entire life or the one just starting to get to know the real him.

Canto Contigo is a love letter to Mexican culture, family and legacy, the people who shape us, and allowing ourselves to forge our own path. At its heart, this is one of the most glorious rivals-to-lovers romance about finding the one who challenges you in the most extraordinary ways.

5. Late Bloomer by Mazey Eddings – April 16

Book cover for "Late Bloomer" with the drawing of two women kissing.

Opal Devlin wins the lottery one day, but instead of being a blessing, it becomes a curse. People keep knocking at her door asking for money, and she can’t seem to be able to say no. That is when she decides to take most of her money and buy a flower farm in North Carolina.

However, when she moves in, Opal finds Pepper Smith claiming she is the rightful owner of the farm. The two women must find a way to live together, stop butting heads, and deal with their growing attraction.

Book Description: Winning the lottery has ruined Opal Devlin’s’s life. After quitting her dead-end job where she’d earned minimum wage and even less respect, she’s bombarded by people knocking at her door for a handout the second they found out her bank account was overflowing with cash. And Opal can’t seem to stop saying yes.

With her tender heart thoroughly abused, Opal decides to protect herself by any means necessary, which to her translates to putting almost all her new money to buying a failing flower farm in Asheville, North Carolina to let the flowers live out their plant destiny while she uses the cabin on the property to start her painting business.

But her plans for isolation and self-preservation go hopelessly awry when an angry (albeit gorgeous) Pepper Smith is waiting for her at her new farm. Pepper states she’s the rightful owner of Thistle and Bloom Farms, and isn’t moving out. The unlikely pair strike up an agreement of co-habitation, and butt-heads at every turn. Can these opposites both live out their dreams and plant roots? Or will their combustible arguing (and growing attraction) burn the whole place down?

6. Sheine Lende (Elatsoe #2) by Darcie Little Badger – April 16

Book cover for "Sheine Lende" with elephants and a person.

If you enjoyed Darcie Little Badger’s Elatose, you will be thrilled to know that Sheine Lende is a prequel to the book that launched this author’s career. Instead of focusing on Ellie, this story talks about her grandmother and her life after she and her family were displaced from their home following a flood.

Shane, Ellie’s grandmother, works with her mother tracking missing persons whose families can’t afford to pay for help. Things get complicated when Shane’s mother and a boy go missing. She must rely on her brother, her friends, and her grandparent to find where her mother and the boy have gone.

Book Description: Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe launched her career and in the years since has become a beloved favorite. This prequel to Elatsoe, centered on Ellie’s grandmother, deepens and expands Darcie’s one-of-a-kind world and introduces us to another cast of characters that will wend their way around readers’ hearts.

Shane works with her mother and their ghost dogs, tracking down missing persons even when their families can’t afford to pay. Their own family was displaced from their traditional home years ago following a devastating flood – and the loss of Shane’s father and her grandparents. They don’t think they’ll ever get their home back.

Then Shane’s mother and a local boy go missing, after a strange interaction with a fairy ring. Shane, her brother, her friends, and her lone, surviving grandparent – who isn’t to be trusted – set off on the road to find them. But they may not be anywhere in this world – or this place in time.

Nevertheless, Shane is going to find them.

7. Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao – April 16

Book cover for "Dear Wendy" with drawings of two girls laying on the floor.

Dear Wendy is the story of two aromantic and asexual college students who become closer in real life while simultaneously fighting online. While Sophie and Jo become best friends, understanding their struggles and working to create an organization for a-spec students, their online personas don’t like each other.

Sophie is behind the Instagram account “Dear Wendy,” while Jo runs “Sincerely Wanda.” Behind the screen, these two individuals have a feud, and their tension and arguments continue to escalate without realizing they’re fighting with their really good friend. Will the friendship be ruined when the truth comes out?

Book Description: Dear Wendy’s Sophie and Jo, two aromantic and asexual students at Wellesley College, engage in an online feud while unknowingly becoming friends in real life, in this dual POV Young Adult contemporary debut from Ann Zhao

Sophie Chi is in her first year at Wellesley College (despite her parents’ wishes that she attend a “real” university, rather than a liberal arts school) and has long accepted her aromantic and asexual identities. Despite knowing she’ll never fall in love, she enjoys running an Instagram account that offers relationship advice to students at Wellesley. No one except her roommate knows that she’s behind the incredibly popular “Dear Wendy” account.

When Joanna “Jo” Ephron―also a first-year student at Wellesley―created their “Sincerely Wanda” account, it wasn’t at all meant to be serious or take off like it does―not like Dear Wendy’s. But now they might have a rivalry of sorts with Dear Wendy? Oops . As if Jo’s not busy enough having existential crises over gender, the fact that she’ll never truly be loved or be enough, or her few friends finding The One and forgetting her!

While tensions are rising online, Sophie and Jo are getting closer in real life, bonding over their shared aroace identities. As their friendship develops and they work together to start a campus organization for other a-spec students, can their growing bond survive if they learn just who’s behind the Wendy and Wanda accounts?

With its exploration of a-spec identities, college life, and more, this platonic comedy, perfect for fans of Netflix’s The Half of It and Alice Oseman’s Loveless, is ultimately a love story about two people who are not―and will not―be in love!

8. Saint-Seducing Gold (Forge & Fracture Saga #2) by Brittany N. Williams – April 23

Book cover for "Saint-Seducing Gold" with the drawing of a girl holding a sword.

Saint-Seducing Gold is the second book in Brittany N. Williams’s Forge & Fracture Saga, a YA fantasy that is supposed to end with an upcoming third book. The book follows magical metal worker Joan Sands as she tries to form a pact between humanity and the Fae.

The Fae queen takes Joan’s godfather as her prisoner and uses that to blackmail Joan into joining her royal court. To keep the world from being destroyed, Joan must learn to survive the challenges of the magical and mortal worlds while still figuring out the pull her two loves, Rose and Nick, have on her.

Book Description: The second book in the stunning YA historical fantasy trilogy that New York Times bestselling author Ayana Gray called “nothing short of spectacular.”

There’s danger in the court of James I. Magical metal-worker Joan Sands must reforge the Pact between humanity and the Fae to stop the looming war. As violence erupts across London and the murderous spymaster Robert Cecil closes in, the Fae queen Titanea coerces Joan into joining the royal court while holding her godfather prisoner in the infamous Tower of London. Now Joan will have to survive deadly machinations both magical and mortal all while balancing the magnetic pull of her two loves—Rose and Nick—before the world as she knows it is destroyed forever.

9. Off With Their Heads by Zoe Hana Mikuta – April 23

Book cover for "Off With Their Heads" with the drawing of two girls.

If Alice in Wonderland is your kind of book, Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Korean-inspired version will captivate you. Five years before the book takes place, Caro Rabbit and Iccadora Alice Sickle were sentenced to the Wonderland dark forest for a crime they didn’t commit. A year later, they broke each other’s hearts, trying to sacrifice one another to be free.

Now, Caro is a royal Saint-harvester working for the Red Queen, while Icca has become a ruthless hunter. Her memories of Caro’s betrayal have pushed her to come after her and the queen, but a secret magic more dangerous than they are is about to take over.

Book Description: Fans of Chloe Gong and Judy I. Lin will devour this Korean-inspired Alice in Wonderland retelling about two very wicked girls, forever bonded by blood and betrayal . . .

In a world where Saints are monsters and Wonderland is the dark forest where they lurk, it’s been five years since young witches and lovers Caro Rabbit and Iccadora Alice Sickle were both sentenced to that forest for a crime they didn’t commit—and four years since they shattered one another’s hearts, each willing to sacrifice the other for a chance at freedom.

Now, Caro is a successful royal Saint-harvester, living the high life in the glittering capital and pretending not to know of the twisted monster experiments that her beloved Red Queen hides deep in the bowels of the palace. But for Icca, the memory of Caro’s betrayal has hardened her from timid girl to ruthless hunter. A hunter who will stop at nothing to exact her On Caro. On the queen. On the throne itself.

But there’s a secret about the Saints the Queen’s been guarding, and a volatile magic at play even more dangerous to Icca and Caro than they are to each other…

Lush, terrifying, and uncanny, Zoe Hana Mikuta—author of Gearbreakers and Godslayers —takes a delicate knife straight through the heart of this beloved surrealist fairytale.

10. Punk Rock Karaoke by Bianca Xunise – April 23

Book cover for "Punk Rock Karaoke" with the drawing of three individuals playing music on and around a van.

Ariel, Michele, and Gael have a punk band, Baby Hares, that Ariel believes is their ticket out of Chicago’s Southside and into the music industry. When the Summer break comes around, Ariel believes it is time to focus on the Baby Hares more than ever.

However, the hardships of life begin to interfere, and Ariel worries that their dream won’t become a reality. That is when a local punk icon takes an interest in their band, and things may start to turn around, but not without some extreme moments of frustration between bandmates.

Book Description: When life gives you guitars, smash them!

School is out for summer and Ariel Grace Jones is determined to make it one for the books! Together with their bestie bandmates, Michele and Gael, Ariel believes they’re destined to break into the music industry and out of Chicago’s Southside by singing lead in their garage punk band, Baby Hares.

But before Baby Hares can officially get into the groove, the realities of post grad life start to weigh on this crew of misfits. Ari begins to worry that it’s time to pull the plug on their dreams of making it big.

Just when all hope feels lost, a fellow punk and local icon takes an interest in their talent. It seems like he might be the only one Ariel can rely on as frustrations between bandmates reach at an all-time high.

Punk Rock Karaoke is a coming-of-age tale that draws upon the explosive joy of the underground scene, while raising questions about authenticity, the importance of community and what it means to succeed on your own terms.

11. Blood Justice (Blood Debts #2) by Terry J. Benton-Walker – April 23

Book cover for "Blood Justice" with the drawing of three individuals and blood drops.

Blood Justice is Terry J. Benton-Walker’s second book after Blood Debts. While Cristina and Clement Trudeau celebrate restoring their family power, Valentina Savant suffers the loss of everything. She realizes she will only become queen if she dethrones the Trudeaus again.

Cristina and Clement find themselves being attacked in several directions. Things become harder for them when Cris discovers her thirst for revenge, and Clem looks for ways to protect the boy he loves — all things that might lead to the downfall of their family again.

Book Description: Cristina and Clement Trudeau have conjured the impossible: justice.

They took back their family’s stolen throne to lead New Orleans’ magical community into the brighter future they all deserve.

But when Cris and Clem restored their family power, Valentina Savant lost everything. Her beloved grandparents are gone and her sovereignty has been revoked—she will never be Queen. Unless, of course, someone dethrones the Trudeaus again. And lucky for her, she’s not the only one trying to take them down.

Cris and Clem have enemies coming at them from all directions: Hateful anti-magic protesters sabotage their reign at every turn. A ruthless detective with a personal vendetta against magical crime is hot on their tail just as Cris has discovered her thirst for revenge. And a brutal god, hunting from the shadows, is summoned by the very power Clem needs to protect the boy he loves.

Cris’s hunger for vengeance and Clem’s desire for love could prove to be their family’s downfall, all while new murders, shocking disappearances, and impossible alliances are changing the game forever.

Welcome back to New Orleans, where gods walk among us and justice isn’t served, it’s taken.

What will you be reading in April? Share your picks in the comments below!

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Lara Rosales is a bilingual writer with a BA in Latin-American Literature. She works in PR, hosts a podcast (Cats, Milfs & Lesbian Things), and writes on the internet about TV and movies. Some of her articles can be found on Tell-Tale TV, Geek Girl Authority, Collider, USA Wire, Mentors Collective, Instelite, Noodle, Dear Movies, and Flip Screened.

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