What's Up in YA

On the Radio: New YA Books and YA Radio-Themed Reads, August 15, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

I’m kind of blown away that school is starting here already. It feels like summer just began and the school year is getting earlier and earlier — know for some folks, it begins even earlier than mid-August, but I don’t remember ever going back before, say, August 20 or so. Those of you preparing for the new year, whether as a student, educator, librarian, or parent, here’s to the best start you can hope for.

…and, of course, that you’re able to carve out valuable reading time.

Bookish Goods

printable read poster

Read Poster by Musable Prints

This cute Read poster featuring plenty of plants and books is one you can download and print to fit anywhere you’re looking for a little bookishness.

New Releases

Let’s look at two hardcover books hitting shelves this week. You can find the rest of this week’s new releases in the summer 2022 YA book release roundup.

the feeling of falling in love book cover

The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver

This is a queer grumpy-sunshine romance, wherein a date drafted for a wedding on the other side of a country ends up falling apart before it begins, and when Neil drafts a new date last-minute, it may be more than simply a date to the wedding. It might be something much more fiery.

our shadows have claws book cover

Our Shadows Have Claws: 15 Latin American Monster Stories edited by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz

The lineup for this anthology is out of this world good, which doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the theme: Latin American monster stories! The collection is cross-genre and features something for every kind of reader, exploring the different shapes and stories behind monsters we know — and ones that may be new to us.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Saturday this week is “National Radio Day,” celebrating the innovation of radio. It’s held every year on August 20. We know radio might be an antiquated medium, especially for younger people (I count my not-too-far-from-40 self in that), but radio helped lead the way to podcasts and other similar voice-focused story telling.

Let’s take a look at a few YA books where radio/podcasts play a role.

love radio book cover

Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle

Prince Jones is 17, and he dreams of becoming a DJ and falling in love. He’s scored a segment on Detroit’s popular hip hop show “Love Radio,” where he shares love advice. In addition to pursuing those dreams and rocking his show, Prince is caretaker of his mother who has multiple sclerosis. Romance for him is a bit on the back burner…until he meets Dani Ford. Dani is passionate about getting good grades and making her way to New York City to pursue a career as an author. She gives Prince just three chances to convince her they’re meant to be. He won’t be wasting it.

Note: the ebook is on sale right now for $1.99 if you haven’t snagged it.

lucky caller book cover

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Nina signs up for a radio broadcast class in high school thinking it is going to be an easy A. But it turns into a complete mess as the radio team she’s a part of has nothing in common. In addition to the show being anything but good, internet rumors are threatening to make the show a million times worse and Nina is caught up in some struggles at home.

Publishers Weekly called it a “bittersweet comedy of errors,” and I’m sad I haven’t picked it up yet!

murder of crows book cover

Lethal Lit: Murder of Crows by K. Ancrum

This novel is inspired by the “Lethal Lit” podcast that really exists and takes place between seasons one and two. I kind of love that the books can introduce readers to the podcast and vice versa.

Tig Torres is a Cuban American teen detective in Hollow Falls, and in the first season of the podcast, tracks down a serial killer who stages their murders after scenes in famous books (thus dubbed the “Lit Killer”). This book follows as an armchair group Murder of Crows, who are obsessed with the dark history of Hollow Falls, as they attempt to unearth the dead body of the town’s founder.

Unfortunately for them, they end up dead themselves and Tig, along with her friends, are now on the case.

radio silence book cover

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This stand alone read from the author behind the phenomenon Heartstopper follows Frances, who always keeps her head down, working hard to get good grades. A guilty secret can’t derail her…until she meets Aled, the person behind her favorite podcast who begins to help crack open the real Frances. So once Aled’s podcast goes viral, now Frances finds herself in a position to be true to who she is and confess her secret or shut down further and miss the opportunity for true connection.

You can grab more titles at this nice little list focused on YA books with podcasts at the Arapahoe Public Library (note that their list is very white). Another great title to add to this collection is the backlist gem How To Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford.

I’ve got a little Regina Spektor stuck in my head now.

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again later this week with your paperback releases.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Twitter.