What's Up in YA

A High School Newspaper Showdown, Bevy of Best Of Lists, and More YA Book Talk and News: December 22, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

We’re preparing for a major snowstorm here in the Chicagoland area, and it makes me grateful to not be traveling. It also makes me glad I’ve got a pile of books I’m itching to read, both ones that have come for review and some I picked up at the library. I’ve a feeling we might be celebrating the holidays with lots of homemade pancakes and latkes, lots of shoveling, and lots of reading.

As you’re reading this, I hope you’ve got something good to read and drink. This newsletter will have a little bit of an odd schedule for the next couple of weeks, so know if you miss it on a Monday, that’s because there is not a newsletter on that Monday. It’ll give you time to catch up on that TBR.

Let’s dive into this week’s paperback releases and YA book news.

Bookish Goods

TBR Cards

From Your Shelf TBR Cards by TheCozyCommune

I love the idea of using different methods to choose what your next book is (I did a whole roundup of them earlier this year). This one is fun: each card has a different prompt, including picking the most recently purchased/borrowed book, the last book on the bottom of your shelf, and 30 other options. As someone who doesn’t have a method, there is something so appealing about putting the choosing into ~the universe~ like this. $22.

New Releases

There is only one new YA release in paperback this week, but it is a good one.

not here to be liked book cover

Not Here To Be Liked by Michelle Quach

Girls of color almost never get to be unlikable, and that’s particularly true for Asian American girls. That, however, is not the case for Eliza, who we know going in isn’t here to be liked. She is driven and ambitious and when she loses the role of editor in chief to an ex-jock who just happened upon the newspaper once his career in baseball was done because of an injury, she’s ready to fight. She writes a private manifesto, loaded with her true feelings on sexism in the school, and it gets published to the front page of the digital paper. Now, she’s started a big dialog at the school level, both with supporters and those who are deeply opposed.

Then, the school principal says she and Len must work together to put their differences aside and wouldn’t you know it: they start to fall for one another. But what happens when the truth about who posted the manifesto gets out? And how will the school’s legacy of patriarchy be challenged?

This is a FUN read, with a great romance trope at the center. Eliza and Len are SO well fleshed, as are Eliza’s best friends, including Winona who is a take-no-nonsense feminist that challenges Eliza to think beyond her binaries and privileges as a model minority (Winona is among the few Black students in a very Asian and white school). There’s so much to unpack here in terms of race and feminism and about intersectionality. Plus, a sweet romance that has all of the ups and downs you can imagine.

If you like Maurene Goo’s romances, you’ll love this one.

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

YA Book News

And now for a bevy of best of/must reads lists from the year:

As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you on Saturday for some great YA book deals, then again next Thursday.

Until then, happy reading–and if you’re experiencing this polar air and blizzard fun, stay safe and warm, too.

— Kelly Jensen, currently reading Six Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe.