Book Reviews

Queer Releases I Read in the Summer

I am so behind on reviews, but over the summer I read these three precious contemporary (some with a hint of fantasy) queer reads. Friendships, fake dating, and more with Your Lonely Nights are Over, The Borrow a Boyfriend Club, Saint Juniper’s Folly.

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The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars

Noah Byrd is the perfect boy. At least, that’s what he needs to convince his new classmates of to prove his gender. His plan? Join the school’s illustrious (and secret) Borrow a Boyfriend Club, whose members rent themselves out for dates. Once he’s accepted among the bros, the “slip-ups” end.

But Noah’s interview is a flop. Desperate, he strikes a deal with the club’s prickly but attractive president, Asher. Noah will help them win an annual talent show—and in return, he’ll get a second shot to demonstrate his boyfriend skills in a series of tests that include romancing Asher himself.

If Noah can’t bring home the win, his best chance to prove that he’s man enough is gone. Yet even if he succeeds, he still loses . . . because the most important rule of the Borrow a Boyfriend Club is simple: no real boyfriends (or girlfriends) allowed.

And as long as the club remains standing as high as Asher’s man bun, Noah and Asher can never explore their growing feelings for one another.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

The Borrow a Boyfriend Club is about love and confronting the expectations others have of us, that we have of ourselves. We can become wrapped up in this whirlwind of what we think people are expecting of us that it becomes all that haunts us. For Noah, he wants to pass, to not let what happened at his old school haunt him, and so his goal? To become a Borrow a Boyfriend Club member. Throughout The Borrow a Boyfriend Club, Noah learns about feeling ‘enough’. All these things we think will make us feel like enough, and what happens if we get them?

This theme is reflected in the characters who have this ‘front’ of who they are, how they can fit into everyone’s labels, and who they are underneath. Each of them, and Asher, have to examine and explore what it means to be themselves versus what others see in them. What they want them to be. And what will give us happiness when we think we have proved ourselves at the end of the day. Find The Borrow a Boyfriend Club on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.

Your Lonely Nights Are Over by Adam Sass

Dearie and Cole are inseparable, unlikeable, and (in bad luck for them) totally unbelievable.

From the day they met, Dearie and Cole have been two against the world. But whenever something bad happens at Stone Grove High School, they get blamed. Why? They’re beautiful, flirtatious, dangerously clever queen bees, and they’re always ready to call out their fellow students. But they’ve never faced a bigger threat than surviving senior year, when Mr. Sandman, a famous, never-caught serial killer emerges from a long retirement—and his hunting ground is their school Queer Club.

As evidence and bodies begin piling up and suspicion points at Dearie and Cole, they will need to do whatever it takes to unmask the real killer before they and the rest of Queer Club are taken down. But they’re not getting away from the killer without a fight.

Along the way, they must confront dark truths hidden beneath the surface of their small desert community. When the world is stacked against them and every flop they know is a suspect, can Dearie and Cole stop Mr. Sandman’s rampage? Or will their lonely nights soon be over . . .


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Your Lonely Nights Are Over balances terror and celebration. Fear of this potential serial Killer re-emergence but also grounded in queerness, love, and friendship. In the ways survival and existence is rebellion, how our love and feelings are valid. It’s about misconceptions with deadly consequences, abuse, and intrigue. I was completely absorbed in the action of this, but also the fragile and tender feelings of hope and love. It’s about abuse and love, friendship and family.

There’s so much to love here like the podcast snippets, the dual POV, and the ways they have to explore their own perceptions and misunderstandings. If you are already in the fall thriller mood and looking for books, this is for you! Find Your Lonely Nights Are Over on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.

Saint Juniper’s Folly by Alex Crespo

For Jaime, returning to the tiny Vermont town of Saint Juniper means returning to a past he’s spent eight years trying to forget. After shuttling between foster homes, he hopes he can make something out of this fresh start. But every gossip in town already knows his business, and with reminders of his past everywhere, he seeks out solitude into the nearby woods, called Saint Juniper’s Folly, and does not return.

For Theo, Saint Juniper means being stuck. He knows there’s more out there, but he’s scared to go find it. His senior year is going to be like all the rest, dull and claustrophobic. That is until he wanders into the Folly and stumbles on a haunted house with an acerbic yet handsome boy stuck—as in physically stuck—inside.

For Taylor, Saint Juniper is a mystery. The surrounding woods speak to her, while she tries—and fails—to practice the magic her dad banned from the house after her mother died. Taylor can’t seem break out of her spiral of grief, until a wide-eyed teenager barges into her life, rambling on about a haunted house, a trapped boy, and ghosts. He needs a witch.

The Folly and its ghosts will bring these three teenagers together. But they will each have to face their own internal struggles in order to forge a bond strong enough to escape the Folly’s shadows.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

In Saint Juniper’s Folly a tender friendship is formed in front of our eyes. With the secrets family keeps from each other, it’s a book that is character driven. We have these three characters all absorbed in their own lives until fate will push them together. Multiple POV allows us to get a sense of who they are, their dreams and fears, before they have to get to know each other. Fighting the racism and prejudices in their town, watching their open up to each other and find a source of friendship is tender and moving.

Saint Juniper’s Folly is full of figuring out ourselves and emotions, our queer questioning, and the boundaries of our friendship. I was able to listen to some of this via audiobook which was fabulous to hear three different narrators: Giordan Diaz, Mark Sanderlin & Victoria Villarreal. Multiple POVs are always better when each narrator can bring their own flair and personality to the character. Find Saint Juniper’s Folly on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, Blackwells,, and Google Play.


What is your favorite queer release so far of 2023?

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