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QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops, skateboards and VW vans, Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!


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QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. QUEER WE GO AGAIN! A follow-up to the critically acclaimed All Out anthology, Out Now features seventeen new short stories from amazing queer YA authors. Vampires crash prom, aliens run from the government, a president’s daughter comes into her own, a true romantic tries to soften the heart of a cynical social media influencer, a selkie and the sea call out to a lost soul. Teapots and barbershops, skateboards and VW vans, Street Fighter and Ares’s sword: Out Now has a story for every reader and surprises with each turn of the page!

30 review for Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

  1. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    What a great way to start off Pride Month and my month-long effort to read LGBTQ+ books for PrideReads! Out Now: Queer We Go Again is a new anthology featuring 17 short stories written by queer YA authors. From names you may recognize if you're a YA fan (Julian Winters, Meredith Russo, Caleb Roehrig, Mark Oshiro) and names I wasn't familiar with, these stories run the gamut from tales of romance, friendship, and self-acceptance, to fantasy, sci-fi, and folklore, all with an LGBTQ+ angle. My fa What a great way to start off Pride Month and my month-long effort to read LGBTQ+ books for PrideReads! Out Now: Queer We Go Again is a new anthology featuring 17 short stories written by queer YA authors. From names you may recognize if you're a YA fan (Julian Winters, Meredith Russo, Caleb Roehrig, Mark Oshiro) and names I wasn't familiar with, these stories run the gamut from tales of romance, friendship, and self-acceptance, to fantasy, sci-fi, and folklore, all with an LGBTQ+ angle. My favorite stories in the collection included: "What Happens in the Closet" by Caleb Roehrig, when vampires attack a high school prom and a gay student tries to better understand his nemesis; "Star-Crossed in DC" by Jessica Verdi, featuring the president's daughter who is ready to make a stand; "One Spell Too Many" by Tara Sim, about a teenage girl and kitchen witch, whose penchant for weaving spells into her baked goods has chaotic consequences; "Refresh" by Mark Oshiro, which tells of the frantic moments leading up to a blind date for two boys who met online; "Lumber Me Mine" by CB Lee, about two students who become enamored of one another during woodshop class; "Follower" by Will Kostakis, in which a social media influencer meets one of his fans; and perhaps my favorite story, "Victory Lap" by Julian Winters, in which a young man in search of a date to a school dance finds an unlikely ally in his search. I tend to like stories that are a little simpler; there were a few stories in the collection that were science-fiction- or fantasy-based, and those didn't appeal to me as much. But for me, ultimately, the mark of a good story is one I'd love to see expanded into a longer form or even a full-length novel. All of the above stories, plus several others I didn't include in my list, definitely piqued my interest, and I'm going to explore the work of many of the authors featured in the collection. The path to love and attraction, to connecting with someone you're interested in, to accepting who you are and/or working with family and friends to do the same, is different for every person. The stories in Out Now: Queer We Go Again didn't try to make their characters fall into predetermined patterns. While not every story was completely realistic, there's probably a story in here that almost everyone can identify with in one way or another. Apparently Out Now is a follow-up to an anthology called All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages , also edited by Saundra Mitchell. I'll definitely be checking that out as well. I was fortunate to be part of the blog tour for this book. NetGalley and Inkyard Press provided me with an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sahitya

    Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 I was very much looking forward to reading this collection during Pride month but it took me a while to finish, both because I’ve been in a truly terrible reading slump and also this collection didn’t always manage to keep my interest. There are some amazing stories here, especially in the first half but once the book took a turn from contemporary to a bit more fantastical in the second half of it, I feel it lost a bit of its charm and I also wasn’t always able to und Average Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 I was very much looking forward to reading this collection during Pride month but it took me a while to finish, both because I’ve been in a truly terrible reading slump and also this collection didn’t always manage to keep my interest. There are some amazing stories here, especially in the first half but once the book took a turn from contemporary to a bit more fantastical in the second half of it, I feel it lost a bit of its charm and I also wasn’t always able to understand what was happening. But the representation includes a spectrum of gender identities and sexualities and I thought it was all done with a lot of respect (though I won’t vouch for the authenticity because I’m not an ownvoices reviewer for any). If you wanna read a variety of short stories from high school kids worrying about prom to vampires and gods and sacrifices, then this is a good collection and I hope you’ll find your favorite stories in it. Below are my individual reviews for the stories: Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery This is the story about a young person who is questioning their gender, sexuality, pronouns.. everything.. while also trying to navigate their attraction for a girl they see from afar everyday. I could feel the pain the character is feeling because the confusion is palpable in their words, but I loved the turn the story took and ended up being so sweet. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig This was mostly a cute story of a young gay boy at prom trying to flirt with his frenemy while also fighting off vampires. It’s definitely cool to see the undead creatures make a comeback in interesting ways. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer Story of a gamer boy who wants to be with another, but the other one can’t seem to make up his mind. The writing in this felt felt a bit erratic though. Rating: ⭐️⭐️.5 Lumber Me Mine by C. B. Lee This was a very cute story of high school senior dealing with her breakup with her childhood friend as well as feeling the initial attraction to someone new. I really enjoyed the beginning of this new relationship and the ace rep was so casually mentioned and not made a bid deal out of, it was cool. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Follower by Will Kostakis A chance encounter between an online influencer and one of his followers on a beach turns into a fascinating conversation about love. This was a bit boring at times but overall pretty cute. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Refresh by Mark Oshiro Two guys who aren’t confident in their bodies just trying to connect irl after meeting up online, this was a funny meet cute but also profound in its own way shedding a light on body image issues. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Victory Lap by Julian Winters A young boy who wants a date for his school’s winter formal - this should have been a very predictable story. But the friendship, the bond between a father and son, the importance of having a supportive parent when you are scared to come out - all of this is depicted beautifully and the story turned out to be absolutely adorable. Not for nothing that I love Julian’s writing so much. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Road of One’s Own by Kate Hart A camping trip; a young woman trying to figure out her recently broken up relationship, a newfound attraction for a girl and what she wants her future to look like; and a bit of commentary on the whitewashing of Native American history as well as all the microaggressions they face on the daily - this story was both fun and contemplative with so much to look forward to. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke I love the idea of the teapot metaphors to describe Rory’s extreme anxiety about how to label themselves and even wondering why it’s necessary to have a label. I also liked the conversations they had with some new found queer friends who help them resolve their doubts a little. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Star-crossed in DC by Jessica Verdi Definitely surprised to read a story about the queer daughters of two presidential candidates on the opposite side of LGBTQ rights. It was still well written and interesting, though I would have liked it to have been longer and given more closure. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Floating by Tanya Boteju The main character seemed like she had OCD or maybe ADHD but I really didn’t understand much of the story. Maybe I’m not the right audience for it. Rating: ⭐️⭐️ The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan The main character is completely high in this story and the writing reflects that mood, which means I really didn’t get what was happening. Rating: ⭐️⭐️ A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson Greeks curses, a human and a god in love, then endless conflict between Athena and Ares as a backdrop for police brutality and resulting protests in America - this was timely in a sense but some points that were made felt very tone deaf too. But the love story itself seemed very tragic but fascinating. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim Baked goods, witches, love spells baked into yummy pastries - this was both highly entertaining and an interesting lesson in good intentions leading to not so good consequences. Very well written and I loved the beginnings of a new relationship. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Far from Home by Saundra Mitchell A space boy and his human boyfriend trying to run from federal agents trying to capture him, this was quite thrilling and adrenaline inducing. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 The Coronation by Meredith Russo I liked the trans representation in the story and a bit of what happened, but I can’t say I truly understood the story or the world as a whole. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell I loved the idea of the main character struggling to find his roots and going on a journey to find them, and the author also manages to integrate a great mother-son relationship that is resilient even during tough times. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leo

    Oh HELLO, how gorgeous you will look on my shelves next to your predecessor All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages. Also, I hope this book features enby and ace rep because of reasons. Oh HELLO, how gorgeous you will look on my shelves next to your predecessor All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages. Also, I hope this book features enby and ace rep because of reasons.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ivy Moore

    Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com... “And you hate that word. Control. You hate that word because it is so very rare that you have any. Over your life, your sexuality, your gender, your pronouns, your heartbeat when you’re around a beautiful girl.” It’s hard to make generalizations for so many stories beyond the fact that they were all thoroughly entertaining, sometimes sweet, sometimes sexy, and brought endless joy and pride to my heart. While I’d love this series of LGBTQ+ antho Full review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com... “And you hate that word. Control. You hate that word because it is so very rare that you have any. Over your life, your sexuality, your gender, your pronouns, your heartbeat when you’re around a beautiful girl.” It’s hard to make generalizations for so many stories beyond the fact that they were all thoroughly entertaining, sometimes sweet, sometimes sexy, and brought endless joy and pride to my heart. While I’d love this series of LGBTQ+ anthologies to continue forever, I am equally excited about the work of authors I’ve discovered in Out Now and truly hopeful for the future of queer YA. Rating: five excellent titular Mamma Mia references/five Favorite quotes: - ”They’re kissing. And it’s different, not because it’s a girl, not just because it’s a girl, but because it’s not Nathan, and Eliza had dreaded this moment from the minute she considered breaking up, because how could she ever kiss anyone else? But now - now it’s the greatest decision she’s ever made, because this is… this is not what she’s used to, this is being wanted, being desired, this is... connecting…” - “Because people who should care didn’t, until they absolutely had to. Until their inhumanity was so big, they crumbled under its weight.” - “He thinks of the woman on the train, how sometimes a given skin can give you warmth and courage until you’re okay with your own.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! 3.4/5 Alright, y'all! I read this and was super excited about it, but I didn't like this nearly as much as All Out. While I really enjoyed some of the stories, I wasn't into most of them for a variety of reasons. So, the above rating is an average for all the stories. Each story also includes a short review and CWs that I noted while reading. Some have none noted because I didn't write any down and couldn't remember them when I I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! 3.4/5 Alright, y'all! I read this and was super excited about it, but I didn't like this nearly as much as All Out. While I really enjoyed some of the stories, I wasn't into most of them for a variety of reasons. So, the above rating is an average for all the stories. Each story also includes a short review and CWs that I noted while reading. Some have none noted because I didn't write any down and couldn't remember them when I was writing the review up! 🌈 Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery 🌈 CW: unaccepting family members and mentioned the belief that being gay is a disease This was a fine opening story, but I wanted more from it. It's all about a person who's questioning their identity, both gender and sexuality. It's mentioned that they're possibly on the ace spectrum (which made me excited!) but the story was very vague and I didn't get into it. - 3.5 🌈 What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig 🌈 CW: death of a sibling, parental pressure, heterosexism Very, very humourous take on vampires. I hope that this links somehow to Roehrig's book coming out this year, but I guess I'll find out. This was more an M/M enemies to lover deal. Again, it was good but I didn't really get into it as much as I wanted to. - 3.5 🌈 Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer 🌈 CW: cheating Another vague one where I didn't get into the story. It was M/M and very video game inspired, but I wasn't interested in the storyline and plot with cheating and yeah. Not for me! - 2 🌈 Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee 🌈 CW: vaguely toxic relationship (past and not really discussed) I enjoyed this one and it was F/F! The MC was Chinese (if my memory and notes serve me correctly) and the LI was ace. I really liked that. It was cute, but just slightly missed something more for me to rate it higher. - 4 🌈 Follower by Will Kostakis 🌈 CW: none that I remembered/noted Eh. M/M with a bi LI. It was alright but too short. Right when I was starting to warm up to the story and characters, it ended. Not really much to note besides that for me besides it was vaguely influencer/celebrity stuff. - 2 🌈 Refresh by Mark Oshiro 🌈 CW: catfishing Latinx queer story! It was M/M and both the MC and LI identify as fat. I loved the diversity and that it addressed the prejudice in the queer community against larger people. Because it does exist. Still, it was missing a little bit, yet it's one I'd love to see expanded into a longer story. - 3.5 🌈 Victory Lap by Julian Winters 🌈 CW: death of a parent (past) and grief Another story with POC. This was such a good story! There were diverse side characters but I really lived for the father/son relationship. The M/M stuff was minor for me because I loved the dad and just how cute he was about things. I need more stories with explicitly accepting parents. - 4.5 🌈 A Road of One's Own by Kate Hart 🌈 CW: discussion of the genocide Americans did to Native Americans An all-girl (maybe? I don't recall male characters) road trip that involves F/F falling in love. It was cute, but I couldn't quite get into it as much as I wanted to. I loved that there was a Native American character in this one. - 3.5 🌈 Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke 🌈 CW: none that I recall/noted An exploration of gender identity! There was a character who was questioning, one who was gender, and others. Then there was an ace MC who was on the spectrum. I really loved that this story combined the validity of questioning and that your gender identity/sexuality might change over the years. It's okay to change as language evolves to encompass more people. - 5 🌈 Starcrossed in DC by Jessica Verdi 🌈 CW: governmental discrimination Ah, this was fun. It was F/F and the MC was bi. Oh and the MC is the first daughter of the United States because her dad is the president. It really tackles the issues of being a politician's child and if you don't agree with your parent, you kind of attack them. Her father was supporting a bill that would make it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ folk for businesses, so she had to decide what to do to be a good child to her family and still be honest/true to herself. - 4.5 🌈 Floating by Tanya Boteju 🌈 CW: none noted/remembered It was cute, but I wanted more. I don't really remember this story at all, honestly, and I couldn't dig deep with it. - 2 🌈 The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan 🌈 CW: drug use, child abuse, and brief mentions of cancer and HIV Not for me at all. There was an F/F crush in there, but, mainly this was a drug trip of the MC being high and hallucinating. I wasn't into it at all. - 1.5 🌈 A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson 🌈 CW: mention of a cop getting community service for a gay beating This infused Greek mythology in with contemporary stuff. It was very well-written, but there was too much going on. I couldn't keep up at all and it would have been better as a novella or full-length novel. - 2.5 🌈 One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim 🌈 CW: none noted/remembered I'm not sure entirely how this one is queer -- as in, I can't remember the MC's identity or the LI's -- but there was a side M/M and F/F thing going on. This was a cute comedy of errors with magic. Yes, magic! Magic spells being put into backed goods. I liked how there were consequences for messing up, too. - 4 🌈 Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell 🌈 CW: none noted/remembered I liked this one! It was sci-fi-y and cute. I didn't really find a big plot in this one, just the cuteness. It's M/M with the LI in sports with acceptance for it, too. Also, aliens. Queer alien stuff. - 4 🌈 The Coronation by Meredith Russo 🌈 CW: kicked out for being trans and deception/tricks This was a really cool one. Gods literally walking the earth and all of that in some fantasci stuff. Love it! Also, both MCs were trans and there were a diverse set of gods mentioned (Yoruba, Welsh, Irish, etc). The MCs got kicked out of their tribe for being trans and had to set out on their own, meeting tricksy beings along the way and finding affirmation in their identity together. - 5 🌈 Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell 🌈 CW: none noted/remembered Not sure how this is queer (just didn't pick up on it) but it's definitely about belonging. I liked the fantasy aspect and it gave me Gaiman vibes. I'd love to see something full-length out of this one! - 3

  6. 5 out of 5

    faith ✨

    🌤 read this review and others on my blog, pages left unread was fulfilled by all the happy and casual queerness in this anthology, although many many stories were undeveloped and lacking (2.4 stars, rtc) 🌤 read this review and others on my blog, pages left unread was fulfilled by all the happy and casual queerness in this anthology, although many many stories were undeveloped and lacking (2.4 stars, rtc)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ TW: homophobia, bullying, queer-phobia Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery: 2.5 ⭐️ Rep: questioning Ridiculously short synopsis: Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er boi” but make it queer. Ridiculously short personal comment: Very short and very unremarkable. I liked the strong the emphasis on how gender/sexuality/personality all are fluid and can change throughout the years. The main character was questioning their identity, and I liked that representation. Also, the author Mini Rather Random Reviews™️ TW: homophobia, bullying, queer-phobia Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery: 2.5 ⭐️ Rep: questioning Ridiculously short synopsis: Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er boi” but make it queer. Ridiculously short personal comment: Very short and very unremarkable. I liked the strong the emphasis on how gender/sexuality/personality all are fluid and can change throughout the years. The main character was questioning their identity, and I liked that representation. Also, the author managed not to make me hate the second person narration – which is hard to achieve, so kudos to you. But apart from that, I did not find this story to be captivating. What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig: 2.5 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: Is there anything worse than Prom? Well, yes. Prom with vampires and being forced in an enclosed space with your rival. You already know where this is going. Ridiculously short personal comment: The story itself felt too short. The relationships felt superficial and the dialogues were honestly cringe-worthy and almost unbearably cheesy. Moreover, I personally thought the writing style was too juvenile and childish. But it was nothing nasty. It was a simple, superficial story. Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer: 1 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: Random geek kid is in love… or is he? Ridiculously short personal comment: Wow. Was there even one (1) thing I liked in this short story? No. The answer is no. The main character was pretentious and – with all the due respect – delusional. The writing style was too childish and silly, full to the brim with geek/gamer aspects and phrases and mentions that were just too prominent to be enjoyable. Furthermore, this story took place during middle school/high school and I found the character to be unnecessarily sexual. And that was to a point that it was uncomfortable. The plot was – yet again, with all the due respect – stupid. As you can gather, I really did not like this one. Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee: 4 ⭐️ Rep: asexual love interest, lesbian MC Ridiculously short synopsis: After a though break-up, how can you start over? Ridiculously short personal comment: This. This is the type of story I was expecting from this anthology. This was so stinking cute! The romance was adorable, the writing style was exquisite, the story itself was simple but oh so cute. I really liked this short story. And I also loved how there was an emphasis on worth: the main character had just experienced a difficult break up and is now realising her worth and how unique and strong she is. After having been in a relationship that was her whole entire world, she is learning to love herself. Fantastic, fluffy, pure and super enjoyable read! Follower by Will Kostakis: 3.5 ⭐️ Rep: gay MC, bi love interest Ridiculously short synopsis: The feeling when you randomly meet an influencer on the beach and start chatting – am I right, ladies? Ridiculously short personal comment: Fun summer read. Nothing too deep, nothing ground-breaking, but still enjoyable. It was light and made me happy and also made me laugh a bit. Refresh by Mark Oshiro: 3.5 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: A first blind date with a twist. Ridiculously short personal comment: Another super cute story. Another not particularly ground-breaking story. I liked the code-switching present in the dialogues (Spanish and English were mixed up in the MC’s messages) and I also really enjoyed the fat rep. It was easy and enjoyable – really cute. Victory Lap by Julian Winters: 3 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: Looking for a date to the Winter Formal? Ask your dad. Best wingman ever. Ridiculously short personal comment: Honestly? I liked it and all – it was incredibly adorable – but it was just too angsty and saccharine sweet for my personal tastes. Still lovely and enjoyable but just too corny and cheesy. A Road of One’s Own by Kate Hart: 3 ⭐️ Rep: pansexual love interest, questioning/bi MC Ridiculously short synopsis: A road trip will lead to love and questions. Ridiculously short personal comment: Cute – nothing else to say. It was cute and fun. But it was also average. Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke: 3 ⭐️ (TW: depression, anxiety) Rep: agender pansexual side character, nonbinary/still discovering MC Ridiculously short synopsis: Discovering yourself can also be achieved thanks to the help of new friends, tea and teapots. Ridiculously short personal comment: I liked the representation, the overall message and the discussion around language and how lacking/imprisoning it can be when it comes to describing yourself. Star-crossed in D.C. by Jessica Verdi: 4 ⭐️ Rep: bi MC, lesbian love interest Ridiculously short synopsis: Red, White and Royal Blue but F/F. Ridiculously short personal comment: I truly loved this story! Easy, fun, engaging. It flowed effortlessly and was super engaging. Floating by Tanya Boteju: 1 ⭐️ Rep: lesbian Ridiculously short synopsis: The moment when you just floating around and meet a girl – super relatable, right? Ridiculously short personal comment: I have no idea what I have just read but I can tell you one (1) thing: I did not enjoy it. I thought about DNFing it, not gonna lie. It just did not make sense and was just too much out there for my tastes. The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan: 1 ⭐️ (TW: drug abuse) Rep: lesbian Ridiculously short synopsis: Missing a loved one can really push you to do extreme things… Ridiculously short personal comment: This was too weird. Just like the previous one, I did not like this story at all. To me, this was nonsensical and just a mess :/ Yet again, another story that I thought about DNFing. A Pound of Flesh by Kosovo Jackson: 4 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: A human is cursed to die and fall in love with a God again and again and again. It has been twenty-seven (27) lives. When will this end? When will love be enough? Ridiculously short personal comment: I mean…wow. Even if this was a bit too convoluted and wanted to handle too many things for being a short story, this was phenomenal! Again, there were too many things on the plate but damn! What a compelling, fantastic story. And I am a slut for cursed love and reincarnation/meeting in every life tropes and also Greek mythology – this was so up my street I truly want a full length novel now. I feel blessed. One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim: 3.5 ⭐️ Rep: bi MC, trans love interest Ridiculously short synopsis: Witchcraft and baking together 4ever. Ridiculously short personal comment: This was yet again another saccharine sweet story. It was cute and easy to read; nothing less but surely nothing more than that. If I have to be honest, it was predictable and slightly childish. It was, nonetheless, fun and pure. Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell: 3 ⭐️ Rep: gay Ridiculously short synopsis: Think Superman, but make it gay. Ridiculously short personal comment: Bizarre but fun. Not groundbreaking, not memorable, not incredible, but enjoyable. The Coronation by Meredith Russo: 1 ⭐️ (TW: abuse) Rep: trans Ridiculously short synopsis: I wish I could tell you but I have no idea. I am sorry. If you understand what this was about, please do let me know. But I think it was about Gods walking the Earth? Don't quote me on that though. Ridiculously short personal comment: Wow, yet again another one that I would have DNFed hadn’t it been a short story. It was confusing, unclear, and not particularly enjoyable. And, again, I did not like one (1) thing present in this story. What a big flop. Nothing made sense. Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell: 1 ⭐️ Rep: trans MC Ridiculously short synopsis: Boy, seal, water, love. Ridiculously short personal comment: That synopsis does not make sense? Well, you’re welcome for that because this story did not make sense either. It was too whimsical and nonsensical. And I was aggressively not a fan of the writing style. Another one I would have DNFed. Not a great way to finish the anthology. Overall Rating: 2.6 ⭐️ Loved the overall queerness of this anthology, but the great majority of these stories were confusing, unclear and underdeveloped. If I have to be honest, I was underwhelmed and annoyed. After absolutely loving All Out (the first selection of short stories celebrating the LGBTQAI+ community through the years) I was expecting to love this one just as much. Alas, I was wrong. What a disappointment :/ If you want a good collection of queer short stories, I would highly recommend All Out, but Out Now: Queer We Go Again was bewildering and unexceptional.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    3.5 stars I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I'm not entirely sure what I thought about this anthology, but I don't think I found it quite as strong as the first one. According to a calculator, my ratings for the stories average out to 3.625 stars, but I have to admit I was tempted to round my 3.5 stars down to 3 stars instead of up to 4, even though the technical average amount was closer to four However, I appreciate the fact that this is an anthology dedicated t 3.5 stars I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I'm not entirely sure what I thought about this anthology, but I don't think I found it quite as strong as the first one. According to a calculator, my ratings for the stories average out to 3.625 stars, but I have to admit I was tempted to round my 3.5 stars down to 3 stars instead of up to 4, even though the technical average amount was closer to four However, I appreciate the fact that this is an anthology dedicated to uplifting queer voices, and although a lot of the stories fell flat for me I genuinely do recommend this book, because some of the stories were truly amazing, and honestly it's worth it just for those. And now that we have my rambly general thoughts out of the way, let's get onto the story by story breakdown: Kick. Push. Coast. 3 stars I thought this one was pretty solid, but it wasn't really my thing. I thought it pulled off second person okay (and I usually hate second person), and the questioning rep was good. I just wasn't engaged, is my main problem. Also the line "symptoms of demisexuality", which is uhhhh questionable because it's?? not an illness?? and as far as I remember that wasn't used on any of the other identities mentioned?? so uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (it was an arc so maybe it changed, idk. I hope so) What Happens In the Closet 3 stars This was fun, but just sorta cheesy and stupid and honestly not very well written if you ask me. Also there were a few weird generalizations and stereotypes that I didn't love?? But like it was pretty fun. Player One Fight 1 star This is the single stupidest story I have ever read and the main character was an entitled prick and I hated it. Literally the entire thing was just his internal monologue about how much his "boyfriend" loved him, but like . . . they weren't even together??? the main character was just determined he would win the poor dude over??? and the poor guy was just like trying to go about his life?? and the main character was just like blah blah blah he loves me so much blah blah blah he's gonna be my boyfriend blah blah blah he just doesn't realize it yet Lumber Me Mine 5 stars One of my absolute favourite stories in the anthology. It was so fluffy and sweet but it also had so much too it, about moving on from a bad relationship and learning to love yourself outside of a relationship that was your entire world (but also it had a cute sapphic romance that I adored haha), and just jkhjfgfjkhghffd it was SO GOOD!! And it had ace rep!! Also like . . . it made me so happy that I cried. It was so pure and sweet hjfgdghfg Follower 4 stars This was exceptionally dumb and not really anything special, but I greatly enjoyed it anyways and it put a smile on my face, and like . . . it was just fun af. Refresh 4 stars I sort of have the same thoughts on this one as I did the last one: it was good, it was fun, it was sorta stupid, it was absolutely not memorable. It was worth the read tho, for sure. Victory Lap 4.5 stars THIS WAS THE CUTEST SHIT also I would do anything for Luke's dad like wow he was the best person ever and I love him kjhjfgdghgfdjghfg This one definitely made me desperately want to read more from Julian Winters and also just jghfhjhfg I loved it ahhh A Road of One's Own 4.5 stars This was so good!! I loved seeing the main character come to terms with her sexuality, and it was just very soft and sweet and also made me laugh Honestly my only complaint with this one was that the side characters weren't very well developed Seditious Teapots 5 stars This story was one of my favourites and I just!! it was so good!! I fell so absolutely in love with the whole cast of characters, and I'm always soft for reading about characters who are just discovering they're queer and also just jkhjfgfhjghffd this was so funny and sweet and I loved it so much!!! Star-crossed in DC 5 stars This was hands down the best story in this anthology and I loved it so much and like honestly the whole anthology is worth it just for this, Seditious Teapots, and Lumber Me Mine. This story . . . wow. This was about the daughter of a republican president who is in love with the daughter of the democrat candidate, and her having to come to terms with the fact that her family is really not great, and learning to stand up for what she believes in and also question her beliefs to better herself and hkjfgdghkhjgfghjghfd it was SO fucking good I loved it so much!!!!! Floating 2.5 stars This was like..... beautifully written but way too weird for me. I feel like this one will be really hit or miss for people though, because I think it's very much just a matter of whether or not you connect with it, and I REALLY didn't. (like it's a short story and yet I considered DNFing it so uhhhhh coming from someone who rarely DNFs......... that's not a good sign) The Soft Place 3.5 stars I didn't looove this one, because it was just a smidge too weird for me, but it was really unique and well-written and I genuinely really did like it. A Pound of Flesh 2 stars This one was so disappointing, because the premise was so excellent, but the execution just . . . didn't work. Honestly this one didn't work very well as a short story at all, but also I didn't love the writing style so I probably couldn't have read it as a whole book either. One Spell Too Many 4.5 stars I really don't have anything to SAY on this one, just that it was fun af and I loved it a lot Far From Home 3.5 stars This was so bizarre, but also really fun!! It wasn't my favourite thing ever, but it was quirky and enjoyable and sweet and that was enough to make it worthwhile. Once Upon A Seastorm 3 stars I literally do not know what to make of this one but I like?? vaguely enjoyed it??? when I wasn't contemplating DNFing it??? idk it was weird but like good but like weird af and tbh I just didn't click with the writing style

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Queer we go again!!! Have you ever seen a more delightful tagline?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    A collection of short stories all featuring characters who aren't straight cis people. Very lovely and would make a really nice present for a young person any time of the year, but particularly leading up to Pride and particulary during the present difficult times when many LGBTQ+ people may need a little extra support. Kick.Push.Coast. - by Candice Montgomery Dustyn is an avid skater, and falls for a girl at the skate park, leading them to question their sexuality and labels. What Happens in the A collection of short stories all featuring characters who aren't straight cis people. Very lovely and would make a really nice present for a young person any time of the year, but particularly leading up to Pride and particulary during the present difficult times when many LGBTQ+ people may need a little extra support. Kick.Push.Coast. - by Candice Montgomery Dustyn is an avid skater, and falls for a girl at the skate park, leading them to question their sexuality and labels. What Happens in the Closet - by Caleb Roehrig A very sweet story about two guys who are into each other - one is fully out, the other isn't ready - oh, and vampires attack the Prom. Player One Fight! - by Eliot Schrefer A cute gaymer story. Lumber Me Mine - by CB Lee A girl who has just gone through a break-up with her boyfriend meets a cute girl in her Woodwork class. This is a cute story with some ace representation. Follower - by Will Kostakis A cute story about a young guy who meets a famous online influencer at a beach and finds out that reality is v different from what you see online. Refresh - by Mark Oshiro A really sweet story about two plus-sized guys who meet online, but one isn't being completely honest about his physical appearance. Victory Lap - by Julian Winters A very, very cute story that centres around the relationship between a Dad and his son, with the Dad encouraging the son to ask a cute boy to Prom. A Road of One's Own - by Kate Hart Eliza has broken up with her boyfriend and has gone on a trip to the woods with a group. She's questioning her sexuality and falls for a girl at the camp. Seditious Teapots - by Katherine Locke Rory collects unusual teapots and meets Lane while buying one at a tea shop. Lane encourages Rory to meet up with a local group who help Rory to realise that labels aren't for everyone. Starcrossed in DC - by Jessica Verdi The President's bi daughter accidentally makes a public statement saying that she supports his enthusiasm for a harmful bill that will have an atrocious impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Floating - by Tanya Boteju Literally no idea what's happening in this one, but the writing is dreamy. The Soft Place - by Hillary Monahan Kimber & Shyanna adore each other but their parents keep them apart. Kimber takes drugs to escape and ends up having a hallucination where she meets a woman at the centre of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. A Pound of Flesh - by Kosoko Jackson Years ago, Theo made a deal with the Goddess Aphrodite to keep bringing him back from the dead to life a new life so that he can continue to be with his love, the God Ares. One Spell Too Many - by Tara Sim A very, very cute story about a girl named Anna who is a magical baker. Her friend asks her to cast a love spell, but she accidentally gives it to the guy she likes. Far From Home - by Saundra Mitchell Wade & River love each other. They're on the run from someone who wants to catch Wade after discovering he has special abilities. The Coronation - by Meredith Russo A very sweet trans fantasy story where the new King and Queen must come to terms with their destiny and decide whether or not they are happy as things are, or if they can risk giving everything up. Once Upon a Seastorm - by Fox Benwell A beautifully written magical story set in the same universe as Harry Potter, featuring a trans boy who falls pregnant. Stunning writing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication. Updated 5/27/20: Nearly 4 stars Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of stories for their varied focus on LGBTQ+ identities. As is the case with most anthologies, there are some stories that resonated with me more than others; they weren't all equally compelling for me. That noted, I enjoyed the distinct identities and circumstances as a whole and onl Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I'll post that review upon publication. Updated 5/27/20: Nearly 4 stars Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of stories for their varied focus on LGBTQ+ identities. As is the case with most anthologies, there are some stories that resonated with me more than others; they weren't all equally compelling for me. That noted, I enjoyed the distinct identities and circumstances as a whole and only wished for some further editing in a few cases.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Out Now by Saundra Mitchell is an anthology collection of seventeen YA LGBT+ short stories that run the gamut of genres from fantasy, sci-fi, to realistic from queer authors. While I may not have loved each and every story, I really still particularly appreciated what the collection is trying to do which is uplift queer voices. The variety within the stories is pretty great when it comes to genre, style, and identity, but on that I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Out Now by Saundra Mitchell is an anthology collection of seventeen YA LGBT+ short stories that run the gamut of genres from fantasy, sci-fi, to realistic from queer authors. While I may not have loved each and every story, I really still particularly appreciated what the collection is trying to do which is uplift queer voices. The variety within the stories is pretty great when it comes to genre, style, and identity, but on that note I think I would have preferred a collection that feels a little bit more cohesive on the whole, especially when it comes to genre. Sometimes I almost felt like I had whiplash from all of the stylistic genre changes between stories. While some of the stories were perfect at the length we received, but on the other hand there were a few tales that I would have loved to see a full length novel on with further expansion on the cast and world. I've only read a couple of the authors before picking this up, but several of these authors I'll need to pick up their full length novels soon. In the future, I'll have to try this book's companion collection, All Out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    thank you so much to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC! after reading and loving All Out, i knew i had to give Out Now a try & i was definitely not disappointed. the book as a whole is a satisfyingly sweet collection celebrating queer kids and their lives as they figure out the world they're meant to be in, whether it revolves around a familiar high school experience or a fantastical adventure, and each one was so lovely!! a few stories were a little confusing at first, but the majority of thank you so much to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC! after reading and loving All Out, i knew i had to give Out Now a try & i was definitely not disappointed. the book as a whole is a satisfyingly sweet collection celebrating queer kids and their lives as they figure out the world they're meant to be in, whether it revolves around a familiar high school experience or a fantastical adventure, and each one was so lovely!! a few stories were a little confusing at first, but the majority of them were 5 star reads for me. overall, it's a very successful collection with refreshing tales that I can't recommend enough!

  14. 5 out of 5

    ༚༅༚˳hiba˳༚༅༚

    So many casually queer short stories! Loved all the diversity + inclusion of authors of color. Personal favorites: Victory Lap by Julian Winters (for the wholesome father/son relationship) and One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim (for the queer desi rep). Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery ★★★☆☆ CW: unaccepting family What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig ★★★☆☆ CWs: parental pressure, internalized homophobia (challenged) Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer ★☆☆☆☆ CW: cheating Lumber Me Mine by C. So many casually queer short stories! Loved all the diversity + inclusion of authors of color. Personal favorites: Victory Lap by Julian Winters (for the wholesome father/son relationship) and One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim (for the queer desi rep). Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery ★★★☆☆ CW: unaccepting family What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig ★★★☆☆ CWs: parental pressure, internalized homophobia (challenged) Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer ★☆☆☆☆ CW: cheating Lumber Me Mine by C.B. Lee ★★★★☆ CW: past unhealthy relationship Follower by Will Kostakis ★★☆☆☆ Refresh by Mark Oshiro ★★★★☆ CWs: internalized fatphobia (challenged), catfishing (challenged) Victory Lap by Julian Winters ★★★★★ CW: past death of a parent A Road of One’s Own by Kate Hart ★★★☆☆ CW: mention of Native American genocide Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke ★★★☆☆ Star-Crossed in DC by Jessica Verdi ★★☆☆☆ CWs: homophobia, discrimination Floating by Tanya Boteju ★☆☆☆☆ The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan ★★☆☆☆ CWs: drug use, parental abuse A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson ★☆☆☆☆ CWs: police brutality, gay hate crime One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim ★★★★☆ Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell ★★☆☆☆ The Coronation by Meredith Russo ★★★☆☆ CW: kicked out for being trans Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell ★★☆☆☆ CWs: transphobia (challenged), unplanned pregnancy

  15. 4 out of 5

    noah 🖤 #blacklivesmatter

    Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery ★★☆☆☆ told in the 2nd person point of view, dustyn is at the skate park and sees the pretty girl that shows up at the bus stop there at the same time every day. dustyn has never spoken to her, but is in love with her nonetheless. dustyn wants to talk to her, but isn’t sure how to because they(?) are confused about how to identify. dustyn is nonbinary, but can’t figure out their sexuality. so… i didn’t realize people still think that if you’re attracted to a Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery ★★☆☆☆ told in the 2nd person point of view, dustyn is at the skate park and sees the pretty girl that shows up at the bus stop there at the same time every day. dustyn has never spoken to her, but is in love with her nonetheless. dustyn wants to talk to her, but isn’t sure how to because they(?) are confused about how to identify. dustyn is nonbinary, but can’t figure out their sexuality. so… i didn’t realize people still think that if you’re attracted to a trans man or trans woman you have to i.d. as pansexual. if a straight girl ends up liking a trans man, she’s still straight. if a bi person ends up with a trans woman they’re still bisexual. if you’re more comfortable calling yourself pan or fluid or queer instead of bi that’s totally fine, just make sure you’re not doing it bc you think trans men and women aren’t as valid as their cis counterparts. What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig ★★★★☆ when a group of vampires attack austin’s homecoming dance, he and his rival lucas end up hiding together in a closet. this was fun, exciting, and cute. if The Fell of Dark is going to be anything like this, i am so ready. Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer ★★★☆☆ blake’s a gaymer who likes combat games, especially street fighter. he compares his love life to the game. it was kinda weird, funny, and nerdy. i liked it. Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee ★★☆☆☆ jasmine has recently broken up with her long-time best friend turned girlfriend and is dealing with the fallout of all that. things get better though when she meets a girl in her woodshop class. honestly im not the biggest cb lee fan. her writing style is kinda awkward and her characters are kinda dumb in my opinion. mostly i was bored but i did like how jasmine stood up for herself to stay out of an unhealthy relationship with her ex. Follower by Will Kostakis ★★★★☆ jason meets “moderately famous internet celebrity and bisexual legend” london at the beach. i really liked how these two guys got to talking and it was so easy. this was definitely a fun, short read. Refresh by Mark Oshiro ★★★☆☆ rodrigo is finally meeting up with a boy he’s been talking to online. what could go wrong? ha! this was cute, i felt all warm inside about the body positivity. i have so many questions i want answered though!!! Victory Lap by Julian Winters ★★★☆☆ another sweet story. luke wants to take a boy as his date to the winter formal, but he doesnt know who to ask. he also comes out to his dad.. sort of. the dad was pretty funny in this. and the boys were soft! A Road of One’s Own by Kate Hart ★★☆☆☆ a group of girls go road tripping and camping. eliza realizes she might be into girls when her friend’s cousin, cass, comes along. i liked the choctaw/native american representation, but honestly i was bored. Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke ★★☆☆☆ i was confused and frustrated at first because i could not figure out what was making the mc rory uncomfortable. i’m not good at picking up on subtle clues like the ones presented in this story. but it turns out rory is confused identity-wise. Star-Crossed in DC by Jessica Verdi ★★★☆☆ the girl version of The State of Us. closeted bisexual savannah “squeaky” chamberlain is the first daughter of the republican president. she accidentally tells the press she supports an anti-lgbt bill her dad is trying to pass. her crush emily is the daughter of her father’s opposition, and as a lesbian emily is upset that squeaky would publicly condone such a thing. i really dont get american politics so this wasnt really for me, but the ending was cute. Floating by Tanya Boteju ★★★★☆ shanti has a wandering mind and wandering feet. she’s unfocused and can’t stay still. when she meets essie she feels a connection. this story was pretty relatable for me since im always moving and daydreaming so i really liked it. The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan ★★★☆☆ with a title like the soft place i thought this was going to be cute and fluffy but it was actually kinda dark and bleak even though it ended on a hopeful note. kimber and her gf are separated by circumstance. to deal with the distance kimber does drugs. in one of her drugged hazes she hallucinates an 80s lesbian who suffered through the aids crisis. A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson ★★☆☆☆ cursed by aphrodite, carson is doomed to reincarnate and live his doomed love with ares over and over again. i.. did not quite understand the whole ares vs athena fight and how if athena is justice how does she represent the police who, in this story “bashed a gay kid’s face in and only got community service”. One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim ★★★★☆ there’s so much i liked about this story! the plot was a little cheesy, but the characters and representation were amazing. anna is a kitchen witch who is asked to bake a love spell for her friend and a confidence spell for the boy she likes. anna is bi and pakistani, her bff is bi and taiwanese. the boy anna likes is trans, and his little brother likes boys. i was thinking that this anthology needed a bi girl that ends up with a boy, so im happy this story did that! Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell ★★★★☆ this was pretty cool. wade is an alien being chased by the fbi with his bf river whom he loves more than anything. this was really exciting and i liked the relationship between river and wade. you can tell they really care about each other. also i really enjoyed the use of the word “yeet” in this story. The Coronation by Meredith Russo ★★★★☆ this takes place in the future. the world’s gone to shit. monsters roam the earth, electricity is no more. people now follow the ways of the old gods. winter is approaching, and to make sure it is a short and favourable season, the village’s druid holds the annual ritual in which a cow is slaughtered as sacrifice and the winter prince and princess become king and queen and are sent out alone into the forest to complete the sacrificial ritual. this story was kind of weird, but also kind of cool. this is meredith russo so of course we’ve got that trans rep 🙌 in fact we’re treated to double the representation since not only is the aforementioned queen transgender, but so is the king! Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell ★★★☆☆ okay, i’m gonna be honest and say that i went into this story with very low expectations after really not vibing with this author’s short story contribution in Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens. while i enjoyed this story much more, i’m really not sure this author is for me. this story was interesting but vaguely unsettling. theodora doesn’t feel like he’s in the right skin. even after discovering he’s transgender at a young age, he still doesn’t feel right. growing up, his mother always told him all sorts of fantastical stories. perhaps as a result, he concludes that his discomfort must mean he is a selkie. once theo becomes pregnant he searches for answers from the sea about who he is and where he came from.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stella ☆Paper Wings☆

    Hopefully this book will have all the wonderful elements of All Out with more cultural diversity and broader representation of the letters after the + in LGBT+. Then it's basically a perfect anthology. 🤷‍♀️ I don't make the rules.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristīne Vītola

    Asexual character in the story by CB Lee https://twitter.com/RosieeThor/status... Asexual character in the story by CB Lee https://twitter.com/RosieeThor/status...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elliot A

    Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I have seen people rave about the first anthology of this collection and I wish I could have checked it out before diving into this one, but since the lockdown is still going strong in my neck of the woods, I am dependent on the digital books my library has to offer. Unfortunately, All Out was not listed in its database. So, I’m putting a pin in reading it Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I have seen people rave about the first anthology of this collection and I wish I could have checked it out before diving into this one, but since the lockdown is still going strong in my neck of the woods, I am dependent on the digital books my library has to offer. Unfortunately, All Out was not listed in its database. So, I’m putting a pin in reading its predecessor until I can get to my library safely and with my social anxiety in check. For now, let’s talk about Out Now: I loved it. The stories made me feel a lot of different emotions from warm and fuzzy, to somber and truthfully admitting to myself that I know embarrassingly little of the scope that encompasses the subject of “queer”. It made me realize (and this was also addressed in one of the stories) that our language restricts us in being able to express who we are. For a long time, I was immersed in the world of classic literature where the term queer means something different than it does now and it is making me realize that I need to reprogram my brain and the usage of this term to make it fit the evolution it went through. This can be a long and tedious process, especially when we keep in mind all the prejudices that are still very much alive and (sadly) at times thriving. I appreciated how some of these stories took the subject of being bisexual, pansexual or asexual and made it a natural part of the plot. It wasn’t a big deal and it shows that this is only a big deal when we make it one. It was refreshing to see the scope of traditional storytelling being broadened to include so much more than just our preconceived “normal”. I have noticed this change happening in other stories I recently read as well, and it made me smile and so much more enthusiastic to continue reading. This anthology has seventeen stories that range from contemporary to fantasy and even the slightly more abstract. It is well worth a read and it gave me a crash course in terms I should have known a long time ago. I wish I could discuss each one in this review, but I don’t have the space for it. Mentioning just two or three wouldn’t be fair to the others. But trust me, each one is worth a read. Overall, Out Now was a wonderful experience and one I am very glad I got to have. I would absolutely recommend it as a must-read. ElliotScribbles

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    After LOVING All Out so much, Out Now was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment for me. I ended up with a lot of mediocre 2-2.5 stars and middle-of-the-road 3-3.5 stars, with only a couple short stories that I really enjoyed. My average rating across the board was 2.94 stars. My favorites were "A Road of One's Own" by Kate Hart, "Starcrossed in DC" by Jessica Verdi, and "Far From Home" by Saundra Mitchell. I was also surprised because I apparently never read the synopsis for this anthology. Sin After LOVING All Out so much, Out Now was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment for me. I ended up with a lot of mediocre 2-2.5 stars and middle-of-the-road 3-3.5 stars, with only a couple short stories that I really enjoyed. My average rating across the board was 2.94 stars. My favorites were "A Road of One's Own" by Kate Hart, "Starcrossed in DC" by Jessica Verdi, and "Far From Home" by Saundra Mitchell. I was also surprised because I apparently never read the synopsis for this anthology. Since All Out was all historical fiction, I assumed that this collection would be all contemporary fiction. But quite a few of these short stories have speculative elements like vampires, aliens, selkies, and witches. Which was fun, but unexpected. There also does seem to be more of a diverse range of representation in this anthology compared to All Out, which is great to see! ☁️ Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery ★★☆☆☆ (2.5) 🌈 Rep: questioning, demisexual, pansexual, non-binary TW: homophobic comments from family members About a skater who is questioning both their gender and sexuality. They mention that they've identified as demi, pan, and non-binary in the past. They have a crush on a girl, but are afraid to introduce themselves until they know what to introduce themselves as. Loved the Questioning rep in this one. The story is structured around skating as a metaphor: not knowing who you are = not being able to land tricks. It was interesting but felt very vague. ☁️ What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig ★★☆☆☆ (2.5) 🌈 Rep: gay MC, closeted mlm LI, lesbian SC TW: internalized homophobia When vampires attack the Homecoming dance, Austin and Lucas try to escape and end up trapped in a closet. It's only a metaphor for one of them. This was fun and very humorous, but actually felt too long--which is weird to say for a short story. There just wasn't much going on. And the makeout session in the middle of running from vampires was just awkward for me. ☁️ Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer ★★☆☆☆ 🌈 Rep: gay MC, mlm LI TW: infidelity Blake and Carson are like Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter. Too alike to come together for long. Another highly metaphorical story, this time with video games. Kind of interesting concept, but the plot itself was minimal and centered on the LI cheating on his girlfriend with the MC. Meh. ☁️ Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 🌈 Rep: wlw, Asian MC TW: previous toxic relationship After breaking things off with her charismatic and controlling girlfriend/best friend, introverted Jasmine feels lost. She chooses the woodshop elective purely to avoid her ex, and ends up finding new confidence and a new crush. This was super cute! I loved seeing Jasmine gain confidence out from under the stifling influence of her ex. ☁️ Follower by Will Kostakis ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: gay MC, bisexual LI Jason meets an Instagram celebrity on an Australian beach-- London is famous for posting pics kissing his brief flings on his worldwide travels. It's all contrived of course, but the spark between Jason and London is real. This was cute. I enjoyed it, but not much more than that. ☁️ Refresh by Mark Oshiro ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: mlm, fat, Latinx MC TW: catfishing When Rodrigo meets up with a guy he's been chatting with online, he turns out to be not what Rodrigo expected. I liked the acknowledgement of fatphobia in the gay community. Rodrigo definitely came across as quite naive. Also, these characters didn't seem like teenagers?? ☁️ Victory Lap by Julian Winters ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 🌈 Rep: Black MC, gay MC, multi-gender attracted LI, other sexualities mentioned Luke wants a date to the dance, and his friends are full of suggestions. But he might find the perfect date in someone unexpected. This was so cute and sweet. I loved the relationship between Luke and his dad. ☁️ A Road of One's Own by Kate Hart ★★★★☆ 🌈 Rep: wlw, questioning MC, pansexual LI, Choctaw LI, Latinx SC TW: discussion of racism Eliza and her friends are taking a girls-only camping road trip; proving to the boys who doubted them that they're more than capable. Eliza recently broke things off with her long-term boyfriend (though he's convinced it's just a break) and is looking forward to some time away. But she didn't realize that her friend's cousin Cass would be riding along. A questioning MC, a feminist roadtrip, and discussion of America's anti-Indigenous history (and present)? I really enjoyed this short story. Eliza's shame over her past racist behavior is so relatable, and I like that this story went there. The romance was a little quick, but very cute (and to be expected in a short story). I could easily see this being a full-length coming-of-age novel-- one I'd love to read! ☁️ Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: questioning MC; mentioned or SC: non-binary, enby, asexual, gray-ace, agender, pansexual, wlw Rory collects teapots, even though she doesn't drink tea. It's one of many seeming contradictions in her life-- including her inability to figure out her gender. Great exploration of gender identity and finding a queer community. ☁️ Starcrossed in DC by Jessica Verdi ★★★★☆ (3.5) 🌈 Rep: wlw, bisexual MC, queer LI Savannah--known by her nickname Squeaky--is the daughter of a Republican US President. She's also secretly bisexual and in love with her friend, the openly-queer daughter of her father's Democrat rival. When Savannah endorses her dad's controversial bill (which would allow LGBTQ+ discrimination), she must choose whether to stand by her family or follow her heart. This storyline is directly up my alley and I really enjoyed it! Savannah's struggle to go along with her parents' "traditional" values or do what she believes to be right was super relatable for me-- though exasperated in her case by her parents being the POTUS and FLOTUS. I'd read a full-length novel about these characters, but was left a bit disappointed by the brevity of the short story. I wish we'd seen more of Savannah's relationship with her parents. ☁️ Floating by Tanya Boteju ★★☆☆☆ 🌈 Rep: desi MC, hinted wlw Shanti's mind must continually wander, like a shark. To facilitate her mind's fluidity, Shanti walks the halls of her school, never settling in one place for long. Until she finds an art installation that makes her feel calm, and the artist who inspires unfamiliar feelings in her. Not enough going on for me to really grab on to. Frankly, it was a bit too 'floaty.' ☁️ The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan ★★☆☆☆ 🌈 Rep: wlw, fat SC TW: drug use, child abuse, mentions of HIV/AIDS deaths Kimber gets high to escape her circumstances, which includes being physically separated from her girlfriend. On this particular trip, she encounters a hallucination (or maybe a ghost?)--a woman named Rey who describes herself as Kimber's 'Fairy Butchmother.' This is basically a "It Gets Better" message. Which is fine, but honestly was fairly boring. ☁️ A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: mlm, Black MC TW: mention of homophobic police brutality Theo was cursed by Aphrodite to be reincarnated over and over again--to keep living out his tragic love story with Ares. This time he's been reborn as Carson, and he's ready to break the cycle. I'm a slut for Greek mythology, so I had fun with this one. However, the melodrama was a bit much for me, and I wasn't clear on the terms of Theo's curse so I wasn't emotionally invested. ☁️ One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim ★★☆☆☆ 🌈 Rep: Pakistani MC, bisexual MC and SC, Taiwanese SC, background mlm and wlw TW: non-consensual drugging Anna is a witch of the baking persuasion. She can work magic through the food she makes. On the same day, her best friend asks her to craft a love spell baked good and her crush asks her for a confidence spell. Cute but very predictable. I also personally think the idea of love potions is super skeevy and was not nearly condemned enough in the narrative. ☁️ Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell ★★★★☆ (4.5) 🌈 Rep: non-binary MC, unspecified POC MC, mlm LI Wade has been keeping a big secret from his best friend/boyfriend River-- he's an alien. Like, from outer space. And he has psychokinetic powers. Awkward. Especially since now they're both on the run from a shady government official. Hello, I loved this, more please!! ☁️ The Coronation by Meredith Russo ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: trans man MC, trans woman MC TW: animal death in ritual sacrifice In a post-apocalyptic world, one where the old gods again have power, two teens have been chosen as sacrifices to hold off a deadly curse threatening their community. This was a fun and atmospheric post-apocalyptic fantasy, with a mixture of deities including Irish gods, Orisha, and mythological tricksters. However, I was kind of confused about what was going on, and the romance was poorly developed. Since both MCs are secretly trans and the POV switches between them without any indication, pronouns were all over the place and it was hard to keep track of who was talking about who, at least in the beginning of the story. ☁️ Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell ★★★☆☆ 🌈 Rep: trans man MC, mlm, multi-gender attraction TW: unplanned pregnancy Theodora's origins are unclear. He's always believed he might be a selkie, but his mother isn't very forthcoming on the subject. When he unexpectedly becomes pregnant, he decides to journey north to the beach his mother found him on as a baby, seeking answers. The tone of the writing seems meant to be fairy tale-esque, but it didn't quite vibe with me. I did like the story, though the ending is ambiguous. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bridgette

    3.5 stars Short story collections can be so hard to rate because some stories are standouts and have all my favorite things, but others are just not at all for me. This collection had more of the not for me variety. It's a fine collection and it does cover pretty much all sexual orientations and gender identities so the importance of the rep can't be understated. But having said that, I did enjoy the first collection much better, but this is all personal preference. I much prefer fantasy and this 3.5 stars Short story collections can be so hard to rate because some stories are standouts and have all my favorite things, but others are just not at all for me. This collection had more of the not for me variety. It's a fine collection and it does cover pretty much all sexual orientations and gender identities so the importance of the rep can't be understated. But having said that, I did enjoy the first collection much better, but this is all personal preference. I much prefer fantasy and this collections spans genres. My favorites were "What Happens in the Closet," "Lumber Me Mine," "Seditious Teapots," "Star-Crossed in DC," and "One Spell too Many."

  21. 5 out of 5

    ReadingwithAmy

    4/5 stars! A huge thank you to HCCFrenzy and Edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc in exchange of an honest review. Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery Rating: 3.75 This story was extremely short, I’m reading this via ebook so I don’t have a page count but if I had to guess I would say under 10 pages. That being said even though we don’t get a lot in terms of characters it did make up for in topic. Kick. Push. Coast follows someone who is questioning what they identify as and I really apprec 4/5 stars! A huge thank you to HCCFrenzy and Edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc in exchange of an honest review. Kick. Push. Coast by Candice Montgomery Rating: 3.75 This story was extremely short, I’m reading this via ebook so I don’t have a page count but if I had to guess I would say under 10 pages. That being said even though we don’t get a lot in terms of characters it did make up for in topic. Kick. Push. Coast follows someone who is questioning what they identify as and I really appreciated this. I’m the type of person who always struggled finding one specific term to identify as so seeing this persons internal struggles and feeling guilt from claiming to be one thing and then switching to something else, for only that to not feel right really resonated with me. This was very short and didn’t have a lot of meat in terms of character but I really appreciate the topics it brought up in that short time. What Happens In The Closet by Caleb Roehrig Rating: 5/5 I adore Caleb Roehrig and would read anything he puts out. This is no exception even though it was a short story it was so entertaining and had me in love with the characters! I don’t know for sure but I believe this story ties in with his upcoming vampire novel and this has me so excited for it. The characters the plot and the action had me hooked. This story was fantastic and I cannot wait for his full length vampire novel to come out. Player One Fight! By Eliot Schrefer Rating: 1.5/5 This short story had me so confused and lost me within the first paragraph. It’s following a teen boy who is obsessed with video games and trying to get a boy on his soccer team to notice him. The short flips back and forth from what is happening in their life to references from a video game. I honestly didn’t really like this story, I found the main character to be pretty vain and very unlikeable. I also don’t know anything about video games so all the references went over my head and I just didn’t care for it. Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee Rating: 4/5 This short story was so adorable. Following a girl who broke up with her girlfriend the previous semester and is worried about going back to school for her final year. Jasmine takes a wood shop class which is something she normally wouldn’t of done but in there she meets Ash. I really appreciated the Ace representation in this book! It’s so rare that we get ace characters so whenever we have them it makes my heart so happy! This book was really adorable and I really appreciated in such a short time you see such a growth within Jasmine and how much confidence she gets. If this was a full length novel I would definitely pick it up. I will say my one complaint is that for a short story I did find at points it was dragging so that’s why I gave it a 4 instead of a 5. Follower by Will Kostakis Rating: 5/5 Wow this was so great! It was exactly everything you want from a short story, it was such a wonderful story that simultaneously leaves you wanting more but also with a great ending. This one was very short following two boys, one just relaxing on the beach and another a “Instagram” influencer who goes around and asks random strangers to kiss him so he can “fall in love for the week”. This story was very sweet, a really cool concept and very well done! I also adored the writing and would definitely check out more from this author. Refresh by Mark Oshiro Rating: 5/5 This story was incredible! I’ve never read anything by Mark Oshiro and I can say for certain I will be checking out more from them. This short just perfectly encompasses what it feels like to go on a first date when you meet someone through a dating app. I’ve been on a few dating app dates and they are always an awkward experience, you’re meeting up with someone you vaguely know who’s photo you’ve scene, but do we ever look like our photos? Rodrigo and Erwin were fantastic I’m already falling in love with them and wish I could of kept reading this story. I also really appreciated all the talk about ones body and what it means to love your body. This short story was fantastic definitely one of my favourites from this collection. Victory Lap by Julian Winter Rating: 5/5 This story was perfect. It have two things that I adore to see in stories and that’s an adorable love story and fantastic parental figures. It amazes me how talented authors can be for them to make you feel so many emotions in such a short little story. In this short we have a coming out story, an incredible father son bond, a son still grieving for his dead mother, and what is the start of a new romance. This story was fantastic, my emotions went through it all and I would 100% read a full length novel about these characters. A Road of Ones Own by Kate Hart Rating: 2.75/3 This story was okay there wasn’t anything particular bad with it I just got bored pretty early on and never could hold my attention. I liked the setting a group of girls going on a road trip and camping, it was fun and I found that to be the most interesting aspect. Unfortunately the characters just didn’t do it for me and for such a short story I really need to like the characters to enjoy reading it. Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke Rating: 3/5 This story was good but I just wasn’t that into it. I loved all of the representation we got and the setting and teapot selections were epic but it wasn’t enough to really pull at my interests. I will say I do really appreciate the conversation on labels and this book had some really great points made throughout it. Starcrossed In DC by Jessica Verdi Rating: 5/5 Can this be a full length novel please! This was a wonderful story about two girls from opposing presidential campaigns falling in love and it was wonderful. This book packs a punch for how small it is and really makes you feel for these characters and completely understand their backgrounds. This was honestly just so wonderful and will for sure check out more from this author Floating by Tanya Boteju Rating: 2.5/5 Floating was very beautifully written story but one that just didn’t hold my attention. I found this story to be very unique and with wonderful writing so I would definitely check out more from this author! The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan Rating: 3/5 It is astonishing how such a little story can pack such an emotional punch. This wasn’t my favourite story out of the bunch but it really grasped your heart. Wonderful writing and a heartbreaking short story. A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson Ranting: 5/5 I need more! There has to be more! That was beautiful. A story between the god of war and a human who makes a deal to always come back to him. This book is beautiful and heartbreaking, you feel the pain these two have been through being constantly ripped away from one another. At the end of this short story you get this sense of hope, one more chance for love to win, it was truly a masterpiece. One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim Rating: 5/5 To be honest I don’t think I could ever give anything Tara wrote less then a five star, she is a favourite author of mine. This was adorable and so very sweet! I adored all the representation we got in such a tiny little story! The main character Anna and all the side characters were fantastic! And I adored the touch of magic. So sweet I could of read a full length novel about these characters! Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell Rating: 3.75 I have to give this short story props for being very unique! This alien world and magical powers were very interesting. I really adored are two main characters Wade and River their love for one and other was so special and them being on the run was enough to hook me. I will say the reason it has a lower grade is that at times for a short story it did drag a bit. The Coronation by Meredith Russo Rating: ?? This was one of the short stories I was most looking forward to. I’ve read Merediths previous work and loved it so I was very excited to check out a short story. This book was just..confusing. I can’t even rate it because I honestly was confused the whole time, the world that was created just didn’t make sense to me and I couldn’t emerge myself into the story which left me feeling very detached. Due to that I can’t give this short story a proper rating. Once Upon A Seastorm by Fox Benwell Rating: 4/5 This book had such beautiful and descriptive writing! This story was very unique but I really loved it, it’s a bit odd but so charming and hopeful. I loved Theo narration and loved seeing his and his moms relationship. I will for sure be checking out more work by Fox Benwell. Once again a huge thank you to HCCFRENZY and Edelweiss for providing me with an e-arc

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    In the Out Now anthology, several of today's current authors offer up a variety of queer stories. As with all anthologies, some of these stories will land very well with the reader while others will fall short. Personally, I absolutely loved Caleb Roehrig's story, and while I enjoyed several other stories, most in this anthology fall short. Short stories are an art form, different from a full length novel, and a lot of these short stories didn't quite land right. Overall though, it's a worthwhile In the Out Now anthology, several of today's current authors offer up a variety of queer stories. As with all anthologies, some of these stories will land very well with the reader while others will fall short. Personally, I absolutely loved Caleb Roehrig's story, and while I enjoyed several other stories, most in this anthology fall short. Short stories are an art form, different from a full length novel, and a lot of these short stories didn't quite land right. Overall though, it's a worthwhile anthology to check out.

  23. 5 out of 5

    vatana 🦋

    the queer in me is happy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Loved it. So many great stories from authors I knew and many I didn’t and now will go read their other books.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. When it comes to anthologies, they're always so hard to rate. Some stories I really enjoyed and some I basically hated, so it makes it hard to judge the entire book. I'm also starting to realize after a few tries that anthologies and short stories typically aren't for me, as I find it really hard to see a story fleshed out in such a short amount of time. However, there were some stories in this book that really made i ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. When it comes to anthologies, they're always so hard to rate. Some stories I really enjoyed and some I basically hated, so it makes it hard to judge the entire book. I'm also starting to realize after a few tries that anthologies and short stories typically aren't for me, as I find it really hard to see a story fleshed out in such a short amount of time. However, there were some stories in this book that really made it work! Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery: 1 star, Dustyn is in love with a girl at a skate park, but is also very confused about their gender and sexuality. This story just seemed really short for something so important. What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig: 4 stars, Austin is trapped in a supply closet with a boy he hates when vampires attack their high school dance. I thought it was super sweet and funny, plus I love vampires. Player One Fight by Eliot Schrefer: 2 stars, Blake is a gamer who compares his love life to a video game. It just wasn't all that interesting to me. Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee: 3.5 stars, Jasmine is a Chinese-American girl dealing with a breakup from her ex-girlfriend over the summer and starts developing feelings for a girl in her woodshop class. I thought this was really cute but just a tad long! Follower by Will Kostakis: 4 stars, Jason meets and Internet-famous celebrity on the beach in Australia. I love the concept of Internet fame in books and I thought it was really sweet. It always makes me wonder what I would do if I could spend a few hours with an Instagram influencer. Refresh by Mark Oshiro: 4.5 stars, Rodrigo is about to meet a boy from an online dating app in real life for the first time and is feeling really self-conscious about his body. This story was SO sweet and the message of body positivity was amazing. Victory Lap by Julian Winters: 3.5 stars, Luke needs to find a boy to take to the school dance and, at the same time, come out to his dad. This was also very sweet and I loved the love interest! He was so nerdy and cute, and the relationship Luke has with his father is so well-developed for a short story. A Road of Ones Own by Kate Hart: 3.5 stars, Eliza struggles with her sexuality while on a roadtrip with her friends. The indigenous rep was surprising, and I loved her love interest, but Eliza's uncertainty and narration was a bit annoying. Serious Teapots by Katherine Locke: 1 star, Rory is also struggling with their identity. This story was also quite boring for me, but I can see why people might like it! Starcrossed in DC by Jessica Verdi: 3 stars, Savannah has to with her father, the US President, who is advocating for a bill that will make lives harder for LGBTQ individuals while being in the closet herself and in love with the daughter of the leader of the opposing political party. The State of Us and Red, White, & Royal Blue vibes!! Floating by Tanya Boteju: 2 stars, Shanti is very restless and has a hard time concentrating until she meets a girl! I don't think I'm much of a fan of Tanya's writing. The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan: 5 stars, Kimber takes drugs to deal with her breakup when she hallucinates the ghost of a lesbian who experienced the AIDS crisis. I actually cried reading this one. A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson: 2.5 stars, Carson has been cursed by Aphrodite to be resurrected over and over again and to be forever in love with Ares. Some aspects of this story were confusing at times and I had a hard time connecting it to the secondary plot that was going on. One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim: 5 stars, Anna is a kitchen witch who works at a bakery and has a crush on a trans boy named Noah. Her best friend (who is bi, like Anna) asks Anna to bake a cupcake with a love spell for her while Noah asks Anna to bake him a confidence spell. This story was everything I wished for, and probably my favourite. Bi witches and desserts and Noah and everything was so cute. I really loved it. Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell: 3 stars, Wade is an alien who is being chased by the FBI in his car with his boyfriend, River, who doesn't know he's an alien. I thought the best friends-to-lovers romance was so cute and seeing love from an alien's POV, but I'm not all that into aliens if we're being honest. The Coronation by Meredith Russo: 3 stars, McKenna lives in a post-apocalyptic world where the upcoming winter king and queen are sent out into the woods to make a sacrifice to complete a ritual. Once Upon a Sea Storm by Fox Benwell: 3 stars, Theodora is a trans boy who gets pregnant and goes to the sea to figure things out. This story was a bit confusing for me. It sort of read like an adult book so it felt a bit out of place. I think discussing pregnancy amongst young trans boys if very important but I don't know if it really hit the mark for me! The storyline with the sea and selkies made me really confused. Still enjoyed this book as a whole! The stories that were 4 stars and above for me will definitely be ones I remember for a while and made me really happy! Follow My Bookstagram!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren ✨ (YABookers)

    I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you kindly to Inkyard Press for my review copy. Out Now: Queer We Go Again! is the second queer anthology from Saundra Mitchell, featuring a variety of queer authors. Unlike All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages, which had the theme of historical fiction & fantasy, Out Now has stories from a range of genres for all readers, whether that be fantasy, sci-fi, or contemporary romance. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you kindly to Inkyard Press for my review copy. Out Now: Queer We Go Again! is the second queer anthology from Saundra Mitchell, featuring a variety of queer authors. Unlike All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages, which had the theme of historical fiction & fantasy, Out Now has stories from a range of genres for all readers, whether that be fantasy, sci-fi, or contemporary romance. Some of these stories were a bit of miss for me, and All Out was a hard act to follow, but the stories I liked were pretty darn amazing. Kick. Push. Coast. by Candice Montgomery -- 3/5 stars Dustyn is a skater falling for a girl at the skate park. This is a sweet, short story about Dustyn questioning their identity and their labels. "You are not a girl at all. You are just...you." What Happens in the Closet by Caleb Roehrig -- 5/5 stars I really loved this one and it instantly drew me in. I am totally digging the Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe this was giving off. It features a gay m/c and a budding m/m romance...oh and vampires! I would 100 percent read a full-length novel based on this short story and...oh, wait, what's this??? The Fell of Dark! (don't know if it's based on this story...but it's queer and has vampires!) Player One Fight! by Eliot Schrefer -- 2/5 stars This features a gay m/c and an m/m romance. I wasn't a huge fan of this one if I'm honest. There was just something missing. Lumber Me Mine by CB Lee -- 5/5 stars This was a super cute contemporary romance. It was f/f between a quiet shy girl and a skater girl. The LI is also asexual! I would also read a full-length novel based on this short story. Super cute! Follower by Will Kostakis -- 4/5 stars Another short and sweet story! A meet-cute featuring a true romantic who attempts to warm the heart of a cynical social media influencer. It's m/m with a bisexual LI. Refresh by Mark Oshiro -- 4/5 stars Another meet-cute, ft. internet dating and a coffee shop date. It's m/m with two plus-sized Latino leads. Contemporary romance. Victory Lap by Julian Winters -- 5/5 stars This one features a Black gay protagonist trying to find a date for prom. A super sweet story about a boy kind of coming out to his super supportive father <3. I loved this one. A Road of One's Own by Kate Hart -- 3/5 stars This one was a bit of a miss for me. A bit too long and kind of a bore? But it does feature a questioning m/c, a road trip, and a blossoming f/f romance. The LI is Native and pansexual. Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke -- 4/5 stars I really liked this one. We have a non-binary m/c questioning their identity and labels. They have a lot of anxiety around their label/ID but come to realise that labels aren't for everyone. Also loved their teapot collection <3. Starcrossed in DC by Jessica Verdi -- 4/5 stars Here we have a starcrossed f/f romance between the First Daughter and the daughter of her father's opposition. Bisexual m/c. Sweet story, could have been longer. Floating by Tanya Boteju -- 3/5 stars This one kind of confused me a bit. But very whimsical and lovely narrative style. The Soft Place by Hillary Monahan -- 3/5 stars Two girls are separated by their parents. One of the girls, Kimber, takes drugs to cope and hallucinates a woman from the 80s at the centre of the AIDs crisis. A Pound of Flesh by Kosoko Jackson -- 4/5 stars I liked this one (but I loved Greek myths). M/m romance between Carson and Ares, the God of War. Carson is cursed by Aphrodite to relive his doomed love with Ares over and over. (Though I was totally rooting for Ares in the whole war vs. justice fight because in what world is justice a cop getting community service for assaulting a gay teen??) One Spell Too Many by Tar Sim -- 5/5 stars A cute romance between a witch who bakes spelled cupcakes and her crush, Noah. She is asked to bake a love spell for her best friend, and a confidence spell for crush, but in a super cheesy turn of events, mixes them up! Features a bi m/c and a trans LI. Adored. Witchy and queer, love it! Far From Home by Saundra Mitchell -- 3/5 stars About and alien and his boyfriend on the run from FBI. M/m romance. Cute but I don't think it was very developed? The Coronation by Meredith Russo -- 5/5 stars Set in a kind of fantasy/post-apocolyptic setting where the old Gods have returned and electricity is no more and mosters and creatures roam the forests. Features two trans leads as the king and queen who are sacrificed and must lift the curse on their village. Fantastic story! Once Upon a Seastorm by Fox Benwell -- 3/5 stars Features a trans m/c who sets out to discover his past after finding out he's pregnant. Kind of whimsical and magical, I liked this one. Another fantastic anthology of queer stories!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thérèse

    After doing the math, my average rating for this book is 3 stars. Overall, this is a fun anthology. Not every story did it for me, but there were a few that I truly loved. 1. Kick. Push. Coast: 2 stars. This story did not make much of an impact on me. I did not come out of it with any solid opinions. The romance was there, but it was more of an underlying thing, and the characters were not developed. It was just okay. 2. What Happens in the Closet:3 stars. I found this story to be really cute. I After doing the math, my average rating for this book is 3 stars. Overall, this is a fun anthology. Not every story did it for me, but there were a few that I truly loved. 1. Kick. Push. Coast: 2 stars. This story did not make much of an impact on me. I did not come out of it with any solid opinions. The romance was there, but it was more of an underlying thing, and the characters were not developed. It was just okay. 2. What Happens in the Closet:3 stars. I found this story to be really cute. I adore vampires, so their inclusion did not hurt. I really enjoyed it; however, I found the writing and characters to be a tad juvenile. This does have a slight enemies-to-lovers thing going on though, which I am always a sucker for. 3. Player One Fight: 1 star. This story is so pointless. It's just full of irrelevant video game talk and absolutely no character growth. I did not enjoy this one at all. 4. Lumber Me Mine: 4,5 stars. So adorable!! I adore the characters in this story. The main character especially has amazing character development, which can be rare in short stories. The romance was great and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. 5. Follower: 2.5 stars. The chemistry in regards to the romance is there but the build-up is not. This story is not that interesting, to be honest. I barely remember what it is about looking back. 6. Refresh: 2 stars. The writing here is fine- not great, but fine. However, the characters and their choices really bothered me. I think that things in this story moved much too quickly. 7. Victory Lap: 4.5 stars. I LOVE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MAIN CHARACTER AND HIS FATHER. This relationship completely made the story for me. The romance was also adorable and so was the love interest. Such a wholesome read that made me incredibly happy. 8. A Road of One's Own: 3.5 stars. This story contains some very important themes. However, I found it sort of dry at times, as it focused mainly on the characters going on some road trip which I did not care about. 9. Seditious Teapots: 3.5 stars. Again, this story also has very important themes. Extremely relevant things are discussed and important concepts and ideas are introduced. I'm very glad that this story exists. However, the story itself just was not as gripping as I would have liked. 10. Starcrossed in DC: 4 stars. I love the emphasis this story places on standing up for what is right and being brave. This is a really solid story as well. I adore the romance and wish that I could have more! 11. Floating: 2 stars. Beautifully written, but I did not connect with it at all. It is not written in a traditional way and I think this is what threw me off. 12. The Soft Place: 2 stars. A very sad yet hopeful story. However, I also did not connect with this one, either. I just did not care for the main character's voice much at all. 13. A Pound of Flesh: 4 stars. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT. Incredible idea!! The romance was also something that I love. My only gripe with this story is that the execution could have been a bit better in certain areas. 14. One Spell Too Many: 4 stars. I love the characters in this, especially the love interest. He is adorable! I also adore the little 'twist' with the best friend's love life. Cute and wholesome story. 15. Far From Home: 3 stars. Is the title a Spider-Man (MCU) reference? This story mentions Spider-Man, so I believe so. Anyway, I love the main couple. While I also love aliens, I found myself not caring about the plot points regarding that. 16. The Coronation: 3 stars. Story-wise, this was a tad confusing at times. I love the mythology aspect a lot though and really did enjoy reading it. 17. Once Upon a Seastorm: 3.5 stars. LOVE LOVE LOVE this story's setting and the emphasis on Celtic mythology. Now I want to go to Scotland :(. My gripe with this is that some plot-points fell a bit flat for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4 ⭐️ Trigger warnings: homophobia, mentions of death/grief, xenophobia, drug use, child abuse Content warning: heterosexism, toxic relationships (emotional manipulation) This is the best queer anthology I've read in a long time. Like any anthology, not all the stories were great, and some (one in particular) I didn't connect with. But the book itself is way better than the other anthologies I've rea I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4 ⭐️ Trigger warnings: homophobia, mentions of death/grief, xenophobia, drug use, child abuse Content warning: heterosexism, toxic relationships (emotional manipulation) This is the best queer anthology I've read in a long time. Like any anthology, not all the stories were great, and some (one in particular) I didn't connect with. But the book itself is way better than the other anthologies I've read in the past few years, mostly because it's so diverse. There's something for almost everyone in this book. We've got black, Latinx, indigenous and Asian protagonists. We've got disabled characters. We've got gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, enby, trans stories, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Basically, this will fill almost all your diversity needs when it comes to queer short stories. Is it perfect? Unfortunately, no. I wish there had been aromantic and two-spirits indigenous (from the right Nations/tribes, of course) characters, but what we got was still pretty impressive. I especially enjoyed: -"What Happens in the Closet" because vampires(!!!) -"Seditious Teapots" was big mood, although my existential crisis was on sexual and romantic orientation rather than gender -"Starcrossed in DC" was the cutest, and I'm super proud of Savannah I didn't have any doubts or problems with the stories, except Meredith Russo's "The Coronation". This whole story was a mess of deities and mythology, but the biggest thing had to be the strong heterosexist vibe it gave. I don't understand how a trans woman can write out a short story where both trans teens put so much on patriarchal gender roles. Tiwa thinks McKenna is a coward because he has a female body, and McKenna thinks Tiwa is disgusting because men can't be cowards? What kind of backward beliefs is that supposed to be, especially in a queer anthology?! Not to mention it's assumed that both teens are straight and would wish to "exchange" bodies? I admit, I'm cis and my opinion might be completely wrong here (if you're not cis and you think so, please feel free to respond to this review and set things straight), but it felt wrong to read this and I'm wondering just what message it sends. I'm glad there were other trans stories included in this book to counteract the possible ramifications of this one. I haven't read Saundra Mitchell's previous anthology, but I'm definitely putting this one on my list of recommendations!

  29. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    eArc provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Seeing as I absolutely loved All Out, I expected to feel the same about Out Now. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Ultimately, this collection (to me) wasn't as strong as it could have been. I found myself skimming most of the stories because I wasn't grabbed by them, and the ones that I was somewhat interested in seemed to end too quickly. As well, I felt that the overall organization of the stories could have bee eArc provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Seeing as I absolutely loved All Out, I expected to feel the same about Out Now. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Ultimately, this collection (to me) wasn't as strong as it could have been. I found myself skimming most of the stories because I wasn't grabbed by them, and the ones that I was somewhat interested in seemed to end too quickly. As well, I felt that the overall organization of the stories could have been done differently. I felt like there were too many similar stories placed back to back and they ended up blurring together for me. My favourite stories were 'Lumber Me Mine' by CB Lee and 'One Spell too Many' by Tara Sim. I had a few qualms about the writing- mainly that most characters felt very young/juvenile (most characters read like they were closer to 12 than high school age), and that some of the already 'out' characters in the stories relied heavily on assumptions and stereotyping. For example, the main character in "What Happens in the Closet" by Caleb Roehrig, who is an out gay man, continually talks about how another character is 'clearly gay' based on his body language and the way he spoke. This quote in particular did not sit well with me: "He says he's not gay. I can't believe it, because the signs are all right there. His skin is flawless, his eyebrows are perfectly shaped, and when he starts talking to Taisha and Gabi, his hands wave everywhere like he's conducting a symphony, but if you so much as hint he's gay, he gets all furious and offended" (page 22). For a collection of stories celebrating queer individuals aimed at young adults, I don't think that insinuating you know more about a person's sexuality than they do is a healthy thing to suggest, especially when this assumption is based on someone's physical appearance. This notion is not challenged in the story, which is the main reason I was bothered by it. Had the character in question been told that he had no right to assume or stereotype another person based on his perceptions of them, I think it would have made for a good conversation, especially for young queer readers. This is not to say that this book doesn't have its merits for young queer readers- there is a wide variety of sexualities depicted and it will definitely be beneficial for those who have yet to find what language works best for describing themselves, and will allow more queer readers to see themselves in literature. I can appreciate this collection's benefits, but unfortunately, it just wasn't for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    This is kind of hard to review because like, I hated almost every story lol. I'm in a bad reading slump lately and I guess I just wasn't in the mood for an anthology because oh lord did I struggle to read this one. While I do like anthologies, they are always a mixed bag and this just felt like a mixed bag of garbage with only a few shiny gems. Normally I pick out my top three but these are probably the only ones that stood out to me and that I really liked: Starcrossed in DC by C.B. Lee is about This is kind of hard to review because like, I hated almost every story lol. I'm in a bad reading slump lately and I guess I just wasn't in the mood for an anthology because oh lord did I struggle to read this one. While I do like anthologies, they are always a mixed bag and this just felt like a mixed bag of garbage with only a few shiny gems. Normally I pick out my top three but these are probably the only ones that stood out to me and that I really liked: Starcrossed in DC by C.B. Lee is about the bisexual daughter of the president of the United States who accidentally gives support to her father's bill that would let businesses discriminate against LGBT+ people. The love interest is her friend who is the daughter of a politician who opposes the bill. This story gave me so many Red, White & Royal Blue vibes but f/f and I LIVED for it. I just wanted an entire story out of this, ughhh loved it so much. Seditious Teapots by Katherine Locke is about a teen questioning their gender identity. They meet someone while collecting seditious teapots and are introduced to a bunch of different people of various sexualities and genders. It was soft and quiet but it was wholesome. One Spell Too Many by Tara Sim is about a young witch who works in a bakery where she bakes spells into pastries. On trying to do a favor for her crush and then her best friend, she accidentally mixes up the spells and gives her crush a love spell. This story was just so cute and fun and I loved this world of open magic with witches of different kinds. Plus tons of queer characters! There were WAY too many Harry Potter references in such a short story though?? It makes absolutely no fucking sense that HP would exist in that world and it honestly almost ruined the story for me. Would still love a full length novel but seriously stop that. But like make another queer anthology because I will read it.

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