Contemporary Pop Fiction: LGBTQ+ Debuts, May 2022, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Five new titles on the LGBTQ+ experience. 

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Fishman, Lillian. Acts of Service. Hogarth: Crown. May 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780593243763. $27. CONTEMPORARY

Young, queer, and Brooklyn-based, Eve has an adventurous streak that leads her to post nude photos of herself online. This is how she meets sly Olivia and through Olivia the magnetic Nathan, and they form a triangle allowing them—and the author—to explore sex, desire, and identity. From a former fiction reader for The New Yorker; film rights sold.

Fry, Henry. First Time for Everything. Ballantine. May 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593358702. $27. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

Newly single after discovering stuck-up boyfriend Tobbs has been unfaithful, on the streets because his roommates want to start a family, and struggling to find contentment with his journalist job after having abandoned smalltown life for London, Danny moves into the East London “commune” of upbeat nonbinary friend Jacob. Soon, Danny discovers that life has more possibilities than he ever imagined. From a recipient of the London Writers Award.

Hart, Michelle. We Do What We Do in the Dark. Riverhead. May 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780593329672. $26. Downloadable. CONTEMPORARY

First-year college student Mallory is mourning her mother’s death when she begins an affair with an older married woman who’s brilliant, accomplished, and self-assured—everything Mallory wants to be. Having comfortably hidden away in their relationship, Mallory must decide as an adult whether she wants finally to face the world. From the assistant books editor at O, the Oprah Magazine.

O’Connell, Ryan. Just by Looking at Him. Atria. May 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781982178581. $26. CONTEMPORARY

Though he’s a successful TV writer, Eliot has problems. He’s been dangerously overdrinking and cheating on his loving boyfriend with a string of sex workers, and he struggles for acceptance in a world indifferent, even hostile, to his cerebral palsy. Finally, he decides that despite it all he will find a way to triumph. From Queer as Folk actor O’Connell, the Emmy-nominated creator, writer, and star of Netflix’s Special, based on his memoir.

Sneed, Madeline Kay. The Golden Season. Graydon House: Harlequin. May 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781525899836. $26.99. CONTEMPORARY

Emilia "Emmy" Quinn loves all things West Texas, including football. She has also just come out to her separated parents, which could create problems in her Southern Baptist community and especially for her father, who has been offered a plum coaching job but is told he must reveal anything in his life that could be deemed problematic. Complicating matters, Emmy has just met the cutest, smartest grad student, but Cameron is from Massachusetts—and she hates Texas! With a 50,000-copy first printing.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle.

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