Queer Summer ‘Must-Reads’ and CONTEST with Abbey Campbell





Abbey Campbell shares her love of reading and the importance of queer stories.

Happy Friday everyone! Summer is in the air and if you’re thinking about relaxing with a good summer read, look no further and read on…

This blog post is jammed packed to be sure to scroll down for the following:

  1. See what some of our listeners recommend for summer reading!
  2. Awesome Queer Summer Reading list as mentioned and reviewed in our podcast PLUS an additional list of great reads!
  3. As you share your picks by entering the contest, we will add them here!  Check back end of June for the complete list!
  4. How to enter our Queer Summer Reading Contest

In this episode, Cyn and Isaac kick off summer with their book reviewer friend, Abbey Campbell (she/her), who shares some of the most exciting new publications to hit the world of queer literature.

Looking for a good novel to take on vacation, or something to read with your morning coffee?


Then tune in, because Abbey and the team at Hey, Cis! have you covered!

PLUS keep reading for a chance to WIN!

Abbey uses she/her pronouns and is a passionate and enthusiastic queer youth worker in Kjipuktuk. When she isn’t reading, playing table-top role playing games with her friends or getting lost in a video game, you will most likely find her spending time with her girlfriend and their service dog, Oliver.

Feel free to follow her GoodReads account here!

“I don’t care how folks read, I care that you read.” – Abbey

Language is ever-evolving!

During this episode, Cyn, Abbey, And Isaac took a moment to talk about how language is ever-changing and new words are created each day to further explain the world around us and how we live in it. Isaac remarks:

“There’s still discrimination and such within the community, or biases towards certain identities. The beauty of – not necessarily new language – but language in general – is that people are able to find what best represents themselves. If we’re making more words within the community, it doesn’t mean less community for other people.”

Interested in learning more about the worlds’ evolving repertoire of language, especially for the children in your life? Check out this episode of Hey, Cis! with DeShanna Neal, where ​she talks about the intersections of being a child, trans, and autistic, come together in a beautifully written storybook by her and her daughter. If you’re itching for another inclusive children’s book, be sure to pick up Cyn’s The Pink Balloon!

What our listeners are reading this summer:

  • Rose to the sun
  • The City We Became by N K Jemisin 
  • The graphic novel trilogy “The Tea Dragon Society” by Kay O’Neill 
  • Pageboy by Elliot Page 
  • Love Live Here by Amanda Jette Knox
  • Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary
  • Gotta go with Larry Mitchell’s “The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions”

Summer Reading Recommendations shared in the S3E41:

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

The Girl from the Sea is a sapphic coming-of-age story about a young rural Nova Scotian girl named Morgan, who kisses a selkie one night after being saved from drowning in the sea.

Content warning(s): Outing, near drowning, divorce (mention)

Find the author on these socials:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love.

Content warning(s): Self-harm, descriptions of dead bodies and body parts, blood-drinking, murder & attempted murder, gun violence, poisoning, torture, imprisonment, animal death, war

Find the authors on these socials:

Us by Sara Soler (out July 25th, 2023)

Originally written in Spanish, Us by Sara Soler tells the true love story of Sara and her girlfriend, Diana. Sara illustrates their shared past as a heteronormative couple and guides the reader through the ups and downs of coming out and accepting yourself. For Sara, it was finding out that she was bi. For Diana, it was finding out she was trans.

Content warning(s): Gender dysphoria, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia

Find the author on these socials:

A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon

 Standalone prequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree. It’s set just shy of five centuries before Priory and covers the period known as the Great Sorrow.

Content warning(s): Cancer (implied), childbirth, child loss, child marriage, mass death, mind control, miscarriage (mention), pandemic, parental death, postnatal depression, pregnancy, reproductive coercion, violence, vomiting

Find the author on these socials:

Ander & Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa

Aristotle and Dante meets The Hate U Give meets The Sun Is Also A Star. A stunning YA contemporary love story about a Mexican-American non-binary teen who falls in love with an undocumented Mexican bisexual boy.

Content warning(s): racism, xenophobia, ICE, deportation of a character, death of a family member, underage drinking, use of drugs, sex (mention off-page), vomiting

Find the author on these socials:

Other considerations:

  • Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices edited by Freiya Benson
    • A groundbreaking anthology of writing on the topic of love, written by trans and non-binary people who share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences of love in all its guises. The collection spans familial, romantic, spiritual, and self-love as well as friendships and ally love, to provide a broad and honest understanding of how trans people navigate love and relationships, and what love means to them.
  • Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies by Mary L. Gray , Colin R. Johnson and Brian J. Gilley
    • Rural queer experience is often hidden or ignored, and presumed to be alienating, lacking, and incomplete without connections to a gay culture that exists in an urban elsewhere. Queering the Countryside offers the first comprehensive look at queer desires found in rural America from a genuinely multi-disciplinary perspective. This collection of original essays confronts the assumption that queer desires depend upon urban life for meaning.
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
    • Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. 
    • When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.
    • Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    • Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    • Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
  • Gideon The Ninth By Tamsyn Muir (Book 1 of the Locked Tomb Series)
    • The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead.
  • Nevada By Imogen Binnie
    • Maria Griffiths is almost thirty and works at a used bookstore in New York City while trying to stay true to her punk values. She’s in love with her bike but not with her girlfriend, Steph. She takes random pills and drinks more than is good for her, but doesn’t inject anything except, when she remembers, estrogen, because she’s trans. Everything is mostly fine until Maria and Steph break up, sending Maria into a tailspin, and then onto a cross-country trek in the car she steals from Steph. She ends up in the backwater town of Star City, Nevada, where she meets James, who is probably but not certainly trans, and who reminds Maria of her younger self. As Maria finds herself in the awkward position of trans role model, she realizes that she could become James’s savior—or his downfall.


Hey, Cis! Connected Communities Summer Reading Give-away

We’ve shared a few of ours. Now let’s hear from you!

To Enter: Answer the following for a chance to win:

What Queer reads are on your list for summer 2023? Have a recommendation for Hey, Cis! Listeners?

Share it here for your chance to WIN a gift voucher for $25.00 CAD to one of our favourite Queer bookstores, Venus Envy.