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What's Up in YA

Spring 2022 YA + Vintage Horror On Screen: Your YA Book News and New Books, July 29, 2021

Hey YA Fans!

This week’s roundup of YA news is packed with goodness. Usually this time of year is pretty quiet, but 2021 continues to be a whole new animal (in this particular case, that’s a good thing).

YA Book News

New YA Books This Week

Where there was a lot of news, note that this week, the new releases are slimmer than normal. The good part about that is you have some time to catch up with that towering TBR.

Hardcover releases

Image of book cover for Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

The Silver Blonde by Elizabeth Ross

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman

Paperback Releases

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen (series)

The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Salvation by Caryn Lix (series)

This Week at Book Riot

Image of a canvas tote bag, featuring a black girl reading a book. Behind her image are the words "after this chapter."

I’m obsessed with this tote bag — how many of us have said we’ll do the thing after this chapter? $19.


As always, thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Monday.

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Thanks to Penguin Teen and They’ll Never Catch Us for making today’s newsletter possible.

Image of book cover for They'll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman.
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What's Up in YA

These New and Upcoming YA Anthologies Are 🔥🔥

Good Day, YA Readers!

We are — and have been — living in a golden age of YA anthologies. Anthologies are such a tremendous gift to readers, as they allow for exploring a specific topic across a wide range of voices. You can read them in a single sitting or pick up collections as desired and not feel you’re missing out by not reading it all at once. They allow a nice introduction to new writers, as well as an opportunity to reconnect with favorite ones.

This year and early next year are jam packed with exciting YA anthologies. Let’s take a look at some of the ones just landing on shelves or available in the next sixish months.

Battle of the Bands edited by Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith (September 14)

The concept behind this anthology is genius and I cannot wait to read it. Taking place over the course of one event — a high school battle of the bands — fifteen authors and one musician weave interconnected stories about it. Authors include Jay Coles, Ashley Woodfolk, Preeti Chhiibber, and more.

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, Angie Thomas, and Nicola Yoon

This book is such a delight. All of the stories are distinct, but each of them is tied together with the blackout, with intersecting secondary characters, and a giant Brooklyn block party. Each story is on its own except for Jackson’s, which is broken up across the book, mimicking the way her story is about a long walk across the city. Every story’s voice is distinct, as are the characters. There’s a wide variety of romances representing, queer and heterosexual, with an awesome range of gender identities. 

Fools in Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales edited by Ashley Herring Blake and Rebecca Podos (December 7)

If you’re a fan of romance and specifically, love the tropes within the genre, then this book will be up your alley. The collection has fifteen stories, all featuring a range of tropes and happily ever afters. Among the rockstar contributors are Malinda Lo, Lilliam Rivera, Sara Farizan, and more.

Reclaim the Stars edited by Zoraida Córdova (February 15)

First, pause to admire the incredible cover on this one, designed by Olga Grlic and illustrated by Faye Guanipa. This collection of science fiction and fantasy reads explores the Latinx diaspora, and it features some of the most incredible Latinx YA authors working today. Among the 17 stories are pieces by Daniel José Older, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Mark Oshiro.

Up All Night edited by Laura Silverman

I’m old enough to remember the anthology called Up All Night from 2008, where a slate of rockstar authors shared stories of what kept them up all night. Silverman’s anthology, which shares the title, would pair really nicely with it. Instead of what keeps teens up all night, though, this collection is about what happens between dusk and dawn. Contributors include Nina LaCour, Brandy Colbert, Maurene Goo, and more.

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed edited by Saraciea J. Fennell (September 14)

One of the most interesting and vital things to come from the wave of anthologies over the last half decade is how inclusive they are. Anthologies are a powerful space for historically underrepresented voices to come together and share both the similarities and differences in their experiences within any given identity. Fennell’s collection is a great example, wherein 15 writers from the Latinx diaspora have written essays and poetry about the wide range of experiences of being Latinx. Contributors include Meg Medina, Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and more.


Thanks for hanging out, and I hope you added some new reads to your TBR.

See you Thursday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Thank you to Amazon Publishing and Song of the Forever Rains for making the newsletter possible today.

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What's Up in YA

Buzzy Thrillers, Ace Rep, and More YA Ebook Deals

There are so! many! ebooks! on! sale! Stock up and prepare yourself for a summer, fall, and winter of outstanding reads.

Need a buzzy thriller that has an adaptation featuring Halsey? They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman is on sale for $3.

Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn, pitched as “Project Runway meets Mulan” is the first in a series and on sale for $2.

Another first book in a fantasy series on sale this week is Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Grab it for $3 if you are itching for some vikings.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu is a whopping $3.

Haven’t read Children of Blood and Bone yet? $3 can fix that.

Somiya Daud’s Mirage is a really great science fiction/fantasy blend and first in a series about a girl made to play the body double of a much-hated princess. $2.

Love contemporary books? Haven’t yet read Claire Kann? Grab her debut with asexual representation, Let’s Talk About Love for $3.

A fun superhero read — again, first in a series — is CB Lee’s Not Your Sidekick. $2. The other two books in the series, Not Your Villain and Not Your Backup, are also $2 each. $6 for a whole trilogy!

Fans of fantasy retellings will love A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, which takes on Beauty and the Beast. $4.

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis is $3.

Grab Julian Winters’s The Summer of Everything — what perfect timing! — for $2. Winters’s soccer themed novel Running With Lions is also on sale for $2.

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall has such a compelling title and amazing cover. $3.

And last, if you’re looking for a revenge thriller with hints of Macbeth, snag Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair for $3.


Thanks so much for hanging out, and I hope you found your new favorite read this weekend.

See you Monday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Thank you to It Ends in Fire by Andrew Shvarts for making today’s newsletter possible.

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What's Up in YA

K-Drama Rom-Com to Netflix: Your YA Book News and New Books, July 22, 2021

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s catch up on the latest in YA news and new releases. There are some great deep dives this week, perfect for when you’re between books.

YA Book News

New Hardcover Releases

After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson,

Cast In Secrets and Shadow by Andrea Robertson (series)

Curses by Lish McBride

In The Same Boat by Holly Green

Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

Untethered by KayLynn Flanders (series)

You and Me at the End of the World by Brianna Bourne

New Paperback Releases

Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein

The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp

The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter (series)

Hope Is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei

Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn

Now and When by Sara Bennett Wealer

River of Dreams by Jan Nash

Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning

Where The World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

YA On Book Riot


Thanks for hanging out, y’all, and I’ll see you again this weekend with some fabulous ebook deals.

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Big thanks to Wednesday Books and Any Way The Wind Blows for making this newsletter possible.

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What's Up in YA

Masking Up YA Book Covers: Yay or Nay?

Hey YA Readers!

Though we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and case numbers, particularly among the unvaccinated, are rising again across the world, more and more places have begun to return to “normal” operations — whatever “normal” is, anyway. It’s both exciting and nerve-wrecking, particularly for those of us who have or work with the demographic who cannot get vaccinated, be it because of their age or chronic conditions.

We’ve started, too, to see more books about COVID-19 or set during a pandemic that’s meant to resemble this one. A number of those books take inspiration from the newness of America’s mask mandates on their covers, despite the fact masking when one feels ill has been routine in other nations.

Masks on YA book covers is symbolic of the pandemic, of course, as well as symbolic of something feeling utterly not “normal,” but I can’t help wonder: what do readers think about these book covers? Are they interested in reading a book that feels too close to right now? To a major period of fear and anxiety? To grief and loss and mourning?

It’s really hard to say, of course, but I know when these pop up, I find myself pausing and wondering if I’m actually ready or ever will be ready to read fiction that reminds me of a very non-fictional world. Two of the three below are romances, while the third explores the pandemic as it intersects with Black Lives Matter protests — light reading that feels overshadowed with darkness from the masks, alongside a book that’s already taking on something big and adding the complexities of what the masking symbolizes.

Here’s a look at a few of these covers and what the books are about. I’ve purposefully left cover art and designer information off, as the commonality here and the choices made in design aren’t always entirely in their hands and therefore, the criticism isn’t geared to their specific work.

Going Viral by Kate Cicatelli-Kuc (November 2)

During lockdown with her family, Claire’s unable to be with her friends or girlfriend Vanessa. But soon, she begins to notice a new girl who sits on her fire escape across the street from her, and Claire uses that as inspiration for writing a story that immediately goes viral. But is the fame too much for Claire, and how does she reckon with where her heart truly lies?

Hello (From Here) by Chandler Baker and Wesley King

Maxine and Jonah meet in the canned foods aisle just as California begins lockdown because of the pandemic. Jonah lives with anxiety, now exacerbated by COVID-19, while Maxine’s job at the supermarket turns into a nightmare. It’s a terrible time to fall in love, but perhaps it was really meant to be.

Zero O’Clock by CJ Farley (September 7)

Geth’s living in New Rochelle, New York, a pandemic epicenter, and she’s isolated from her best friends. She finds herself confronted with the cops at this time, and steps into being part of the Black Lives Matter movement, for which she’s become deeply passionate. The pandemic and protests upend everything she knows, and now she has to decide how much she’s willing to risk to fight for what she believes.

Perhaps what I’m finding interesting is that there are books taking on pandemic-related topics and that don’t use the symbolic mask. For me, this feels less off-putting, even though the content is going to be similar to the above. An example:

Together, Apart by Erin A. Craig, Auriane Desombre, Erin Hahn, Bill Konigsberf, Rachael Lippincott, Brittney Morris, Sanji Patel, Natasha Preston, and Jennifer Yen

This anthology is a collection of love stories all set during the pandemic lockdown, with entries from some big YA names.

Maybe my adult sensibilities read too much into it, but it’s hard for me to see big appeal for teen readers whose lives have been upended in unbelievable ways gravitating toward mask-themed covers. The anthology makes clear what the book is about and where it’s set, but in a way that feels far less charged and anxiety-evoking.

What do you think? Are you picking up books like the ones with masks on covers or are you hesitating too? Is it just too soon?

There are no right or wrong answers, but it’s a question certainly worth pondering, especially as more bookstores, libraries, and schools eye reopening and books will be more visually browsable for readers.


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Thursday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram

Thanks to MIT Press and The Curie Society for sponsoring today’s newsletter.

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What's Up in YA

BLACKOUT to Netflix via Obamas: Your YA Book News and New Books, July 15, 2021

Hey YA Readers!

There might not be a lot of news, but the hero piece this week is a big deal. Let’s dive in.

YA Book News

New YA in Hardcover

All These Warriors by Amy Tintera (series)

Creatures of the Night by Grace Collins

Faking Reality by Sara Fujimura

Flash Fire by TJ Klune (series)

The Great Big One by J. C. Geiger

The Mythic Koda Rose by Jennifer Nissley

Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

Up All Night edited by Laura Silverman

When All The Girls are Sleeping by Emily Arsenault

When We Were Strangers by Alex Richards

Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau Preto (series)

XOXO by Axie Oh

New in Paperback

Accidental by Alex Richards

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune (series)

Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

The Unleashed by Danielle Vega (series)

When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows (series)

YA On Book Riot This Week


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Monday. May the rest of your week be packed with great reads.

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Big thank you to Tor Teen and Flash Fire for making today’s newsletter possible!

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What's Up in YA

YA for Disability Pride Month

Hey YA Readers!

Where June is known as Pride month, honoring, celebrating, and understanding the history and lives of those in the queer community, Pride continues in a different way in July. The origins of the celebration have been linked to more than one place and time — Boston held the first Disability Pride Parade in 1990, while New York City declared July Disability Pride Month in 2015, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act — but over the last few years, awareness and celebration of Disability Pride Month has grown.

The Disability Pride movement even has its own flag, designed by Ann Magill. You can see the influence other Pride movements have had in amplifying this celebration in it:

In honor of Disability Pride Month, in addition to educating yourself about disability — both that which is visible and that which is not — it’s the perfect time to dig into YA books featuring disability. I’ve included a couple of forthcoming titles for your preordering as well.

YA Books Featuring Disability

Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong (Young Reader Edition) — October 26

Wong’s incredible anthology featuring an array of disabled writers exploring life with disability hit shelves last summer for adults. This fall, young readers will get the chance to pick up this powerful and crucial anthology.

The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos

This voice-driven novel follows Macy as she navigates her own tumultuous home life—one with an inconsistent mother, a father in prison, and a younger brother in the foster care system because of repeat CPS visits—with understanding why it is her best friend has been pulling away from her. These are teens living hard, hard lives and still managing to get up every day and go through the motions, much as it leaves an impact on them physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Macy has a psychological, potentially neurological, disorder that impacts her daily life and the relationships with her best friend and family.

A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley (November 2)

This memoir is the story of twins Ariel and Zan, who were diagnosed with Crouzon Syndrome — a condition where bones in the head fuse prematurely. Ariel talks about the numerous reconstructive surgeries they had growing up and more, the mental and emotional realities of living with facial disfigurement.

Finding Balance by Katy Gardner

Mari and Jase both attend Camp Chemo annually, where they get to be fully themselves as cancer survivors. Jase keeps this part of his life buried except for camp and his annual oncologist visit; Mari, who is an amputee, chooses to live openly about her survivorship. They’re close at camp, but when Mari transfers to Jase’s school, his cover might be blown.

Two Girls Staring At The Ceiling by Lucy Frank

There are very few characters in YA—and in fiction more broadly—who have Crohn’s Disease. Told through the voices of Chess and Shannon, this novel in verse is about two girls dealing with Crohn’s Disease, one who has been working with the illness for a long time and one who, after an unfortunate incident with a boy she was beginning to like, is newly diagnosed.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Featuring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp

This much needed, vital anthology featuring disabled characters by disabled authors includes stories from authors like Keplinger, Stork, and Duyvis named above, but also Heidi Heilig, Dhonielle Clayton, Kayla Whaley, and more.

I’d be remiss not to also mention Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy, the anthology I edited, which features an incredible array of disabled voices, including Deafness, chronic illness, amputation, and so much more.

Likewise, some of these titles were pulled from a larger post on excellent YA disability books. Dig into this selection, as well as even more YA books about disability.


As always, thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Thursday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Thank you to the audiobook edition of Flash Fire by TJ Klune, read by Michael Lesley, for sponsoring today’s newsletter.

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What's Up in YA

Foodie Books, Summer Days, & Queer Love: Your YA Ebook Deals This Weekend

Summer is sizzling, so there’s no better time to grab a good book and enjoy it at the pool, beneath a shady tree, or somewhere inside beside a fan or air conditioner. There are so many outstanding ebook deals this weekend, so stock up and prepare for a lot of great reading to come.

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe is a fantastic mystery/thriller about identity and revenge. One of my favorite reads this year! $3.

If you haven’t yet read Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, snag it for $3.

Baby and Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma was one of my favorite reads over the last couple of months. It’s a coming-of-age workplace story, set in a video rental store in the 90s and explores grief, as well as the realities of suburban queer life at that time. $3.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, the first in the Simon Snow series that just wrapped up this week, is $2. Follow it up with Wayward Son, the second book in the series, for $3.

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki is an excellent graphic novel and perfect for summer. $3.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud is the first in a duology about a stand-in princess, set in a magical sci-fi world. $2.

Skyhunter by Marie Lu is a fast-paced, action-driven fantasy read and the first in a series by the beloved author. $3.

Haven’t yet read the work of David Arnold? The Electric Kingdom may be where to begin. $3.

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen is a new foodie rom-com, perfect for fans of Jenny Han. $3.

Speaking of foodie romances, Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau is also a new one, with a Parisian setting. $3.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa just hit shelves, and it’s a coming-of-age story about coming out and finding love. Snap it up for $4.

Kosoko Jackson’s just-released Yesterday is History is the very specific price of $3.76.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh is a fantasy read launching a series. $3.

If you want to read a new take on vampires, The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh will delight. It’s the first in a trilogy. $3.

Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson is Game of Thrones meets Shadow and Bone. The first book in a series is $3.

The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood, a collection of historical short stories about girls through history, featuring rockstar contributors, is on sale for $2.

Daniel Aleman’s recently-released story of a teen fearing his parent’s deportation, Indivisible, is $3.


I hope you found your next favorite read!

See you Monday,

Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Big thank you to Epic Reads and My Contrary Mary for sponsoring this weekend’s newsletter.

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What's Up in YA

Poison Hearts & Horror Reboots: Your YA News & New Books, July 8, 2021

Hey YA Readers!

First, a giant thank you to the marvelous Tirzah for covering this newsletter while I was out. I’ve really enjoyed reading what she’s shared and hope you have as well.

This week’s roundup of news isn’t as robust as usual, thanks to the long weekend and holiday in the US. The same goes for this week’s new releases; it’s a little slower, but that just means more time to catch up on your reading.

YA Book News

New YA Releases This Week

Hardcover

Any Way The Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (series)

The Betrayed by Kiera Cass (series)

If You, Then Me by Yvonne Woon

It Ends in Fire by Andrew Shvarts

The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning (series)

Rise To The Sun by Leah Johnson

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (first in a series)

Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler

Paperback

#NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil (series)

Avatar: The Last Airbender by F. C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino

Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin (series)

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

An Education in Ruin by Alexis Bass

Evolution by Teri Terry (series)

The Girl in the Headlines by Hannah Jayne

One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson, Tonya Bolden (nonfiction)

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning (start of a series)

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch, Kristen Simmons (start of a series)

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

What We Devour by Linsey Miller

At Book Riot This Week


Thanks for hanging out. I’ve missed y’all, and I can’t wait to get back in the groove of talking books. I had the chance to read so many outstanding YAs lately. Currently digging into Anton Treuer’s Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (Young Reader Edition).

See you Saturday with YA ebook deals!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram


Big thank you to our sponsor Darling, by K. Ancrum, with Fierce Reads. Peter Pan remixes are hot this year!

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What's Up in YA

Victoria Schwab’s New YA Novel Cover Reveal: Your YA Book News and New YA Books

Hey YA friends!

This is my last newsletter with you all before Kelly returns, but why not go out with a bang and share all of the amazing news that’s dropped this week? We’ve got a ton of news, but fewer new releases since publishing slows down just a little in the summer—that just means you get a chance to catch up on all of your reading! Here we go!

News

Victoria Schwab’s new YA novel has a cover reveal! Gallant will release in March!

cover of Blackout

Speaking of cover reveals, the cover of Kosoko Jackson’s I’m So (Not) Over You is gorgeous!

The six authors of Blackout discuss their new book!

All of the Twilight movies are headed to Netflix, if you want to plan a watch party!

Learn more about the newest youth poet laureate!

Want to know where to find the best BookTok recommendations? Meet some of the biggest teen influencers.

The Locus Awards were announced—see which YA novel took the prize!

New Books

Chariot at Dusk by Swati Teerdhala

Cover of Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

The Girl Least Likely by Katy Loutzenhiser

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Room Service by Maren Stoffels

Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

New in Paperback

The Boundless by Anna Bright

cover of BURN

Burn by Patrick Ness

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu

Hate to Love You by Jenn Bennett (omnibus edition)

Love and Olives by Jenna Welch Evans

Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

On Book Riot

YA books about parallel universes to explore, if you like trippy reading.

Throw these ten July YA releases into your tote bag!

Pop the champagne, it’s wedding season! Here are five YA books about weddings.

Romantic YA beach reads for your vacationing needs.

Tune into me and Emma Kress talking about girls in YA sports books!

Thanks for hanging out! It’s been a lot of fun these past few months, and I hope we can stay in touch! Find me on Twitter or Instagram—I’m @TirzahPrice!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

Thanks to Rising Like a Storm by Tanaz Bhathena, with Fierce Reads for making today’s newsletter possible!

Rising Like a Storm cropped cover