What's Up in YA

Music Fest Mayhem, Adaptations Galore, and More YA Book News and Talk: April 27, 2023

Hey YA Readers!

It’s the time of the week where we talk all things YA paperbacks and YA book news.

Although it is middle grade and not YA, I know so many YA readers of all generations are looking forward to the adaptation of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret which hits theaters this week. I got to see an early screening and y’all: it’s fabulous. If you had any reservations, you can put them aside — it is faithful and it was exactly the kind of movie I know I needed right now.

Interested in fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading? Check out our newest newsletter, The Deep Dive, to get exclusive content delivered to your inbox! Choose your membership level today at

Bookish Goods

Image of a tote bag featuring neon green books in the shape of a cottage.

Book Cottage Tote by RatherKeen

I don’t know about you, but I want to climb inside the cozy world pictured on this tote and get lost in a good book. $22.

New Releases

As always, you might need to toggle your view on the screen to get to the paperback editions of these books, and if you want the big(ger) rundown of new YA paperbacks this week, I’ve got you covered over here.

the cover of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores is one of the only Mexican American kids at her very white Catholic school. She doesn’t like this fact, but it DOES help distract people from her secret: she’s gay. She does not want her peers to know that because, well, could she put more of a target on her back?

More, she needs to keep this quiet because she was accidentally outed at her old school, which is why she’s transferred to Slayton in the first place. She is committed to not falling in love, to making sure her mom is proud of her, and to keep an eye on her brother. 

What make faking being straight hard, though, is a girl named Bo. An openly out girl named Bo. An openly out girl named Bo who is good looking and talented and smart and everything Yami could ever want in a girlfriend. She refuses to let herself fall in love with Bo…but what happens when her feelings won’t listen to her needs? 

This book took home so many awards and honors, and I’ve got it at the tippy top of my (very overdue) library checkout pile.

this delicious death book cover

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

This paperback original has one of my favorite covers in quite a while — it is so different than so much of what we see and I think it captures the tone of the book.

Two years ago, a small percentage of people underwent The Hollowing — this required them to change their lives completely, going from, well, normal to needing to consume human flesh to survive. That was not great, as you might imagine, so scientists found a way to create synthetic flesh and those impacted were able to get back to their lives without, you know, eating their friends and family. Good news indeed.

Now, four best friends are heading out to the desert for a Coachella-esque music festival. They’ve got a cooler of goods, including the synthetic flesh, to keep them fed and hydrated.

But then one of the girls goes feral and she ends up eating a member of one of the bands. Ooops. Then other festival attendees begin to disappear.

It now appears someone is targeting them…and the rest of the festival goers. Will anyone get out?

If you’re looking for a Sapphic zombie-esque story set at a music fest, well, this one sounds delicious.

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

YA Book News

Whew! What a week this is shaping up to be, huh?

Thanks, as always, for hanging out. We’ll see you on Saturday for some YA book deals.

In the meantime, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently listening her way through the three-hour episode of Bandsplain on No Doubt