Tag: Contemporary

Drag Queens, Emo Teens & Big Dreams

Drag Queens, Emo Teens & Big Dreams

Muscles and Mascara #1

Dylan James

For Corbin, his secret double-life as a drag queen is the escape he needs from his oppressive life as the son in a hyper-masculine family. But that escape comes to an end when his older brother finds out his secret.

Corbin has two secrets.

The first secret is that he’s gay. He’s known it for a while now and six months ago he met a cute guy and they’ve been dating ever since. But he can’t tell anyone. His father is like a one-man Marine recruitment poster and has made every effort to raise Corbin to be an alpha male. If he finds out Corbin is gay, he’ll forbid Corbin from seeing his boyfriend, dooming the relationship to an unhappy end.

The second secret is that he’s a drag queen. On Sundays he heads to the queer café and dons his best dress, wig, and heels, and becomes Misty Rain, putting on a captivating show to an adoring crowd. While coming out as gay would lead to a crack-down from his Dad, the punishment for putting on a dress and heels would be ten times worse—he’d be shipped off to military school and there’d be absolutely no hope for Corbin and his love.

So far, Corbin has managed to keep his secrets.

But when his older brother comes home while on leave from the Marines, he happens to catch the drag show featuring Corbin—and he spots his brother right away.

Corbin’s perfectly structured life and his big dreams are all about to come crashing down.

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Dying Before Living

Dying Before Living

Chris Bedell

Cameron wants nothing more than to just be left alone and live his life without being considered a freak. Ryder intrudes on that loneliness and, unexpectedly, Cameron is okay with it. But as secrets unravel and people start dying, Cameron must use his greatest secret to save himself—and risk everything in the process.

Cameron is alive.

That’s a big deal considering he had died of a genetic disease and then been put in cold storage until science could fix him and bring him back to life. But being a once-dead teen is nowhere near as much fun as one might expect. He gets no privacy because everyone knows who he is. He sometimes wonders about mortality and what happens—or what doesn’t happen—in the afterlife.

And then there’s his strange, newfound ability to make objects levitate and move if he just focuses his attention on them.

So when Ryder hits on him, the last thing Cameron wants in this world is to enter into a relationship.

When Cameron’s grandmother is murdered in broad daylight, he soon discovers her secret—his grandmother, who worked at the biotech company that revived him, was secretly communicating with the media and about to leak confidential files. Grappling with the overwhelming pressures of life and death, the nosy media, and the rising crime rate in his town, Cameron starts using those secret powers of his to get a sense of justice and order into his world. And try as he might to avoid it, he soon falls for Ryder.

But nothing is easy. Especially when Cameron uncovers the secret his grandmother wanted to leak about her boss...and it gets messy with that boss being Ryder’s father.

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The Mixtape to My Life

The Mixtape to My Life

Jake Martinez

Justin Ortega doesn’t just make mixtapes, he lives them.

Justin Ortega might as well be starring in his very own coming-of-age 80s movie. If only he could find his dream boy to pull up in front of his house in a red convertible and sweep him off his feet, already! At seventeen years young, he isn’t quite Mexican enough for his South Texas town; isn’t manly enough for his father; can sometimes be too much of a smart mouth for his mother; and as for the other kids at school—let’s just say he’d be cast as the quiet nerd with a heart of gold…and an ear for music.

The one solace Justin has is his love of 80s hair metal bands, which he listens to on his beloved Sony Walkman. The songs, lyrics, and melody keep him just sane enough to escape the pressures of school and help navigate the hurdles life brings. Especially with the doozy this year is shaping up to be. Not only does he have to try out for a captain position which is rightfully his, but his best friend has found a new girlfriend, leaving Justin to fend for himself in a school where he’s mostly known as simply Coconut.

Enter Dominic Mendoza. Sweet, funny, and a blast from his past, the hunky football player has moved in next door. Justin could never forget how Dominic protected him in the eighth grade, nor the way Dominic made him feel, then…and now.

Except, this isn’t a movie. Confusion, friendship, and love won’t guarantee a happy ending unless Justin can learn to accept himself for who he truly is. Hair bands and all.

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I’ll See You Again

I'll See You Again

Chris Bedell

A fling with the person Cyrus hates most offers him a welcome distraction from his mother’s battle with cancer.

It’s the start of his senior year, and Cyrus should be worried about college applications, procrastinating on homework, and staying up past his bedtime. And he does, until his mother’s cancer returns.

To make matters worse, Nico Valentine—the person Cyrus hates most—insists on being his friend. Carefree, flirtatious, and spontaneous, Nico is everything Cyrus’s childhood never allowed him to be. When their English teacher offers Cyrus extra credit to tutor Nico, Cyrus knows he shouldn’t accept. He could use the distraction, though.

A fling soon ensues, and Cyrus realizes they have more in common than he thought. What is more, Nico is the first person who seems to get him and who is there no matter what. But, if Cyrus wants his romance with Nico to turn into something real, he’ll have to do something he’s never done before—be vulnerable with another person.

Adam Silvera’s HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME meets Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE in this tale of heartbreak and second chances.

Content Advisory:
This novel contains discussions and scenes of self-harm and suicide ideation.

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Deathly Desires

Deathly Desires

Chris Bedell

17-year-old Cody’s biggest problem isn’t his relationship with a grim reaper so he can get over a past unrequited crush. It’s his “I Know What You Did Last Summer” like situation him and his friends are trying to solve before they die themselves.

I know what you did last spring…

When 17-year-old Cody's unrequited crush, Mason, is killed by his friend Veronica, he helps her successfully cover up the murder. That is until the start of their Junior Year, when everyone involved receives a menacing note from someone who knows what they did.

The blackmail about Mason’s death quickly escalates to stalking, arson, and attempted murder. Cody and his friends must discover who found them out before they get killed themselves. And fast.

Noah has an altogether different secret. He’s a grim reaper, escorting people to the afterlife when they die. When his path collides with Cody, a spark soon forms between them. But whether they can make their relationship work is a different question. If Cody and Noah want a real chance at love, they’re going to have to be honest with each other about everything they’ve been hiding from the world.

If you like your PRETTY LITTLE LIARS with a hefty dose of Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Deathly Desires is the book for you.

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Thunder

Thunder

Dylan James

Two teenage rodeo champs have to overcome their hatred for each other — and their uncertainty about themselves — to save the family ranches.

Grant Peters is sixteen and wants nothing more than to just compete in calf roping at rodeos and keep winning gold. But there are two obstacles in his path.

The first is Logan Summers, also sixteen, and also into calf roping. Logan is Grant’s only real competition and every time Logan wins, he gives Grant a smug little smirk that sets Grant’s blood boiling.

The second is Grant’s parents being close to selling the family ranch and moving to the city, away from rodeo, and away from his horse, Thunder.

So when Grant discovers evidence of a deadly cougar stalking the ranch, he decides to take it upon himself to hunt down what would undoubtedly kill the little business his family has left if word got out. Of course, as soon as he sets off into the woods, he runs into Logan, who is undertaking the same hunt to save his own family’s ranch.

Now, these two teenage rodeo nemeses have to not only overcome their uncertainty about themselves, but also their hatred for each other, if they have any hope of coming together to save their families’ businesses.

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Gay Love and Other Fairy Tales

Gay Love and Other Fairy Tales

Jordan and Benjamin Forever #1

Dylan James

Jordan Ortiz decides he can no longer hide who he truly is. He’s gay.  He comes out to his family, then he comes out to everyone, and it goes well. Like, way better than he thought possible. But that’s about where it ends. There aren’t enough out gay kids at school for him to build a queer social life or even consider the possibility of dating. For now, he’s happy to be the gay bestie for his BFF, Hannah.

Benjamin Cooper is the captain of the football team and has known Jordan for almost his whole life. And he has a secret. When they won an award at the science fair in grade nine, Jordan hugged him—and that’s when Ben realized he had feelings for Jordan. As he watches Jordan come out and flower into who he is, he can’t help but feel ashamed—ashamed at what a coward he is compared to Jordan.

When a broken leg and fair-weather friends leave Ben feeling lonely on Christmas break, he spends New Year’s Eve with Jordan, just hanging out in his basement like they used to years ago. But as the countdown to midnight happens and the ball is about to drop, Ben has something else in mind. At the stroke of midnight, he kisses Jordan.

What starts with a surprise kiss leads to a year of shared secrets, hidden love, relationship troubles, and broken hearts. Through it all, one fact holds true—Jordan loves Benjamin and Benjamin loves Jordan. But is that enough to carry them through when Ben wants to stay firmly in the closet, to the very point that this might destroy what hope they have of true love?

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Also available as an audiobook, narrated by the author!