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Celebrate with CASSIUS as we highlight seven queer stories to add to your book shelf this Pride Month.

Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

The Synopsis:

“Moss Jeffries is many things—considerate student, devoted son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, enthusiastic nerd. But sometimes Moss still wishes he could be someone else—someone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn’t become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night. And most of all, he wishes he didn’t feel so stuck.”

What Folks Are Saying:

“A masterful debut rich with intersectional nuance and grass-roots clarity, Anger is a Gift is hella precious, hella dope.” ― Kirkus Reviews

Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

The Synopsis:

“On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.”

What Folks Are Saying:

”Over the course of an eventful day, these thoughtful young men speak honestly and movingly about their fate, their anger at its unfairness, and what it means to be alive, until their budding friendship organically turns into something more.” ― Publishers Weekly

Boy Erased by Gerrard Conley

The Synopsis:

“The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small-town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life … By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community.”

What Folks Are Saying:

“The power of Conley’s story resides not only in the vividly depicted grotesqueries of the therapy system but in his lyrical writing about sexuality and love.” — Los Angeles Times

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

The Synopsis:

“Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth.”

What Folks Are Saying:

“[Smith’s] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy.” ― The New Yorker

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

The Synopsis:

“It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.”

What Folks Are Saying:

“Cassaras’ propulsive and profound first novel, finding one’s home in the world—particularly in a subculture plagued by fear and intolerance from society—comes with tragedy as well as extraordinary personal freedom.” ― Esquire

Ruby Fruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

The Synopsis:

“A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication. In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.”

What Folks Are Saying:

“The rare work of fiction that has changed real life . . . If you don’t yet know Molly Bolt—or Rita Mae Brown, who created her—I urge you to read and thank them both.” — Gloria Steinem

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

The Synopsis:

“Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie. ”

What Folks Are Saying:

“Powerful and heartbreaking, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love.” — BuzzFeed

Book Ends is CASSIUS’ hub for all things lit(erature). Check back each week for book-related content.