What's Up in YA

Grab Your Shades: YA Books With Extra Bright Covers

Hey there, YA readers!

I’ve been sheltered in place for over a year now, and in that time I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ventured farther than my hometown. In some ways, it’s been nice to stay home and get cozy–other days I just want to hop in the car and start driving in any one direction! Last week, I had the opportunity to go into a real! live! bookstore! to stock my new YA book, and I was super impressed by how the bookstore was enforcing masks, distance, and all the CDC protocols. And the best part was that I got to browse IRL! It made me so happy I teared up.

One thing that I didn’t realize I missed was seeing books on the shelves! Even books I knew I wasn’t going to buy! Not only is it wonderful to be surrounded by books, but I love the physical act of browsing and see what the backs of books look like, noting how thick certain spines are, and looking at what booksellers put face out. There’s such power in letting those visuals grab your eye! And one thing I especially noticed is how some covers are extra bright and eye-catching, so I thought I’d do a round up of some book covers so bright, you might need shades!

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Mary H.K. Choi’s books are always really exciting because their design is usually excellent. Her latest is no exception! The bright yellow hue definitely reminds me of a fresh egg yolk (and, like, not from store bought eggs either, but farm fresh eggs–if you’ve ever purchased eggs from a farm or farm stand, you know the difference!), and it really pops when face out on the shelves! This is an excellent story of two sisters who are somewhat estranged at the beginning of the book, and must find their way back to each other when one has a health crisis.

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

This is one book where the image of the cover doesn’t do the physical book justice! It looks like a simple red cover on the screen, but you get it in person and it’s this bright, almost neon red with orange undertones. It’s so eye-catching that it makes total sense why the rest of the cover is relatively simple. This is an excellent novel about Nora, the daughter of a con artist, and what happens when she, her girlfriend, and her ex are taken hostage in a bank hold up!

Grown by Tiffany Jackson

This cover is not neon bright like the ones above, but that mustard yellow is so super saturated that it’ll stop you in your tracks! Add to it the striking illustration of protagonist Enchanted, and this cover will have you reaching for the book before you even realize it. It’s the story of Enchanted, a talented young singer whose dreams of being a star are fostered by an R&B legend…until he ends up dead, and Enchanted is the number one suspect.

A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong

This graphic novel practically knocked me off my feet when I first saw it because of its rainbow hues and saturated neon color! Just turning the pages of this book makes me feel like I tripped face-first into a Lisa Frank universe of color, and I love it. The story is about two girls who meet on the basketball court and develop a fast friendship, only for it to fall apart when one moves away. But when she returns, new complications prevent them from picking up where the left off.

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan

I really dig the bright hot pink of this cover! I feel like we see a lot of hot pink on YA covers, but this is another one that looks almost neon in person, and I love how the illustrated pregnancy test is simple, yet eye-catching. It’s the story of a girl who wants to obtain an abortion, but must travel hundreds of miles to get one, and so she turns to the only person she knows who will give her a ride: her ex-best friend.

Don’t burn your retinas on these book covers! I’ll be back later this week with more news and new books!

Thanks for hanging out!
Tirzah Price

Big thanks to Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson for making today’s newsletter possible!