What's Up in YA

Ghosts, Mermaids, and Hurricanes, Oh My!: YA Book Talk, July 18, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

A new week means more new books. Let’s hop right in.

Bookish Goods

Image of a white hand holding several bookmarks featuring pressed flowers.

I think pressed flower bookmarks are so fun. But you know what makes them even more special? When you can customize a theme or color. With these, you can! Grab a pressed flower bookmark of your choosing, starting at $12.

New Releases

This week, being the middle of the summer publishing season (but not actually the middle of summer and that’s a point I will fight), we’re quiet on new releases. This means both of the books highlighted today will be by white authors, since the books by authors of color out this week are paperback releases…meaning you’ll see ’em on Thursday!

Want the full roundup of books out this summer in YA? I’ve got you!

the comedienne's guide to pride book cover

The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride by Hayli Thomson

Taylor is funny. But comedy is a sore subject in her house, as her mother gave up a career in comedy to raise her and her dad, who is a comedian, left mom for another woman. Taylor wants to make it, though, and sneaks out of her house to perform. So now that she’s got a potential internship as a writer for Saturday Night Live…she’s going to have to be honest about it.

Oh, and there’s a very gay storyline here, too, involving a teen who plays the role of Abigail Williams at the Salem Museum of Witchcraft. Comedy + Salem + Queer Characters? Sign me up!

dont call me a hurricane book cover

Don’t Call Me a Hurricane by Ellen Hagan

I know I talked about this one last week and how it’s an excellent look at environmental activism.

Five years ago a hurricane completely ravaged the island Eliza and her family call home. Now, new developers have emerged, eager to create an island paradise for vacationers. Eliza and her friends, though, won’t stand for it — especially as a development threatens to destroy one of their treasured Reserves.

Told in verse, this one is about fighting for what’s right while also untangling trauma and grief.

Riot Recommendations

Let’s time travel a bit and look back at two fantasy books that hit shelves ten years ago. These are two very different takes in the genre: the first is horror and the second, mythology.

the diviners book cover

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Evie O’Neill found herself in trouble in her small Ohio hometown and has been shipped away to New York City with her occult-obsessed uncle. A supernatural power Evie has is why she’s been getting in trouble, and she’s worried her uncle might discover this secret of hers.

She did not anticipate being useful to the police in unraveling the truth behind the murder of a girl…and to several other people across the city.

This is a historical horror about ghosts, spirits, a string of murders, and a sassy, savvy, smart, sharp main female character. Bray took her time with this four-book series, and you can read them all back-to-back-to-back-to-back right now.

the vicious deep book cover

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova

Córdova’s trilogy follows Tristan, who is sucked into the sea by a tidal wave. It’s here that he learns his family legacy is not what he thought.

This is a funny, clever take on mermaids, and it plays with the Poseidon myth. I often find myself recommending this one to readers who love Greek retellings and those who have blown through TikTok fav The Song of Achilles.  

As always, thanks for hanging out! We’ll see you on Thursday with your paperback releases and YA book news.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently reading True Biz by Sara Nović. While not a YA novel, it definitely has appeal to YA readers!

What's Up in YA

Vampires, Spirits, and More YA Books and Book News: July 14, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

I hope that July is treating you okay, and that you’re reading your newest favorite book (well, that you’re reading it when you’re not reading your newsletters, at least!). I just got back from a long weekend out of town where I got to visit two fun indie bookstores and indeed, did some damage. I regret nothing.

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

Bookish Goods

Image of a bookshelf pin. It has a witchy feel to it, with green wisps of smoke surrounding the shelf, and a moon at the very top. It's mostly purples, pinks, and greens.

I know it’s July, but for me, witchy season is every season, and the vibes of this witchy bookshelf enamel pin are just *chef’s kiss*. $7 (Note that this ships from Australia, so your shipping costs might be higher than average if you’re not there).

New Releases

The summer edition of the mega roundup of new YA paperbacks is up. Below, you’ll find two out this week, but you can find all of the rest hitting shelves this week through the end of September over here.

Note: you may need to toggle to the paperback edition once you click the link.

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

It’s been a bloody summer across the midwest. Or, rather, it hasn’t been, though there’s been a lot of death. Each of the murders has been bloodless, victims found with a handful of slashes but without blood remaining in their bodies. Now the killer — or killers — has turned to Michael Jensen’s town in Minnesota, killing a mother, father, and high school student, and standing among them pooled in blood is Marie.

All signs point to Marie as the killer, but she refuses to talk to anyone except Michael. He’s an aspiring journalist and sees this as his opportunity to break a huge story. But the longer he talks with Marie, the less he begins to believe what happened to be clear, true, or easy. She’s convinced him that she worked alongside a vampire — nameless, faceless, long-gone from the crime scene — and she can’t help locate him. But the legal system in Nebraska is hot on the case, pressing for more and more details, hoping to extradite Marie back to Nebraska in order to charge her. The law there allows for conviction for accomplices to murder, not just the murderer, and this would bring peace and closure.

But as the truth….or the supposed truth…unravels, it becomes much more complex. Who is Marie? Where did she come from? What happened to her family and what did her stepfather do to her? And is that story or her relationship to her stepfather the narrative she wants in the news?

This is a clever take on vampires, but it’s also based loosely on two separate murder sprees in the midwest during this time. It’s got Midwest Gothic vibes, wrapped in an In Cold Blood style true fictionalized crime narrative.

cover image of The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass showing a drawing of a Black teen boy about to be grabbed by a ghost

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

It is bad enough that Jake isn’t as popular as his older brother, especially when both of them are among the only Black kids at their prep high school. But worse is that Jake sees dead people. They are mosssstly not harmful. But now, that’s about to change.

Sawyer begins to haunt Jake, and Sawyer’s backstory isn’t a pleasant one. He killed six kids at a high school the previous year, and now he’s out to tell his story. Jake, whether he likes it or not, will be the one to hear it.

This one is for those who like scary stories, and it features a queer Black boy main character.

YA Book News

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll have your deals on Saturday.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Twitter.

What's Up in YA

Environmental Justice, Big Lies, and More YA Book Talk: July 11, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s kick off another new week with a look at some new YA hardcovers hitting shelves, as well as two books tackling environmental activism.

Bookish Goods

Five brightly colored dinosaur enamel pins, each one featuring books either on their heads, under their chins, or as part of their body.

Do you have a favorite dinosaur? I sure do, and I would not only choose that dinosaur reader enamel pin, but I’d spring for this entire set. $4 each.

New Releases

The full roundup of new YA books hitting shelves this summer (the non-paperback list!) will be up later this week. In the mean time, here are 2 for your radar right now.

how maya got fierce book cover

How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra

Want a story based on a series of lies? This is it.

Maya is the daughter of garlic farmers in small town California. Her life’s trajectory includes finishing up school, inheriting the business, earning an MBA, and marrying a nice Sikh boy. It’s a huge deal when she lands a spot in a summer camp for future farmers in New Jersey. But……then she gets kicked out. She can’t let her parents find out, and now she owes the camp a lot of money. It makes perfect sense she’d take an assistant job at a magazine in New York stealth-like.

The magazine, though, thinks she’s in her 20s, and now they can’t find out her truth, and neither can her parents. Oops.

wake the bones book cover

Wake The Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne

This newsletter’s theme is small towns (and figures on covers with their arms above their heads).

After dropping out of college, Laurel heads back to her family’s farm and hopes to just resume work as a tobacco hand and a taxidermist. Too bad a devil has shown up from her past and threatens to court her in the same way he did her mother before she died.

This is a stand alone horror about family secrets and doomed love.

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

Riot Recommendations

Let’s highlight two books exploring environmental justice, told in two very different communities.

dont call me a hurricane book cover

Don’t Call Me A Hurricane by Ellen Hagan

Five years ago, a hurricane completely ravaged the island Eliza and her family call home. Now, new developers have emerged, eager to create an island paradise for vacationers. Eliza and her friends, though, won’t stand for it — especially as a development threatens to destroy one of their treasured Reserves.

There is a romance here, and it’s with a boy who ultimately has a bigger role than love interest in Eliza’s story. Told in verse, this one is about fighting for what’s right while also untangling trauma and grief. If you liked the gentrification elements of Samantha Mabry’s A Fierce and Subtle Poison, pick this one up.

running book cover

Running by Natalia Sylvester

Mari doesn’t mean to start a revolution. Especially with her father running for President. But she knows how important it is to stand up for what you believe, and the fact her best friend is being impacted by water pollution created by a local real estate developer’s new project means she knows she needs to act now. Will it impact her father? Especially as he has a relationship with that developer and isn’t known for his environmental policies? Yes, but she hopes it’ll help him do the right thing.

This book features no romance at all, as well as a politically-wary teen who finds herself beginning a wide-spread protest to bring attention to environmental destruction. Her work runs parallel to her father’s campaign, and her Cuban heritage remains at the center of her story.

Mari isn’t a politically-active teen at the start, and it’s through better understanding someone who is vocal and active that she sees where and why her activism and passion matters, too.

Thanks for hanging out — I appreciate you being here, and I’ll see you again on Thursday.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Twitter.

What's Up in YA

Haunted Tourist Traps and More YA Book News and New Books: July 7, 2022

Hey YA Readers,

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

Bookish Goods

Three bookmarks being held by a white hand. Each one is a stack of books, and the bookmark on the right has book titles written on the spine.

I really love bookmark reading trackers (see here) and this one is especially good. $6 and up.

New Releases

The summer edition of the mega roundup of new YA paperbacks is up. Below, you’ll find two out this week, but you can find all of the rest hitting shelves this week through the end of September over here.

clap when you land book cover

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

What does it mean to lose someone you love? What does it mean to lose someone you love who was a very complicated human and kept secrets from you? What if those secrets meant that in that loss, you discover you have a whole new family?

As always, Acevedo writes an emotionally-compelling, engaging, and immersive story of grief and love. Camino and Yahaira each have a distinct voice and we get to hear both sides of the story, of how their shared father kept his dual life a secret from them.

Frightmares book cover

Frightmares by Eva V. Gibson

Dave’s last summer before college involves working at a Florida tourist trap called Frightmares House of Horrors, a haunted house attraction on its last limbs. When a shift ends with an employee walkout and Dave takes over one of the roles a friend plays, he discovers a dead body. It’s not part of the set or the attraction. It’s real, and now, the killer may be coming for Dave.

Horror? Check. Ramshackle horror attraction? Check. This gives me all of the 90s Christopher Pike/RL Stine vibes.

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

YA Book News

Because it is July–a notoriously quiet time for publishing–and we’re off a set of holidays, there isn’t a whole lot of news this week. Use the time to read!

Thanks for hanging out. I hope you take good care of yourselves and each other.

See you Saturday for some YA book deals.

— Kelly Jensen, currently blowing through Jumper by Melanie Crowder.

What's Up in YA

YA Books and Teens in a Post-Roe America

Hey YA Readers!

If you’re off today for the holiday, I hope you’ve got some good reads planned for the day. If you’re not off, I hope the same thing. Let’s take a dive into the best new books on shelves this week and we’re going to have a frank talk about abortion, teens, and YA literature.

Bookish Goods

If you’re in the market for a new tank top, may I suggest this cute book lover option? $30 and up through size 2XL.

New Releases

My big roundup of upcoming books for the season publishes on site this week, so keep an eye out for that to catch all of this week’s new YA releases. Here are two to know now.

the charmed list book cover

The Charmed List by Julie Abe

No one knows who Ellie really is. That is, no one knows she’s part of a magic community. But the summer before her senior year, she creates an Anti-Wallflower List–13 items she wants to do to take more risks. But when one of the items goes horribly wrong and she finds herself in a car with her enemy traveling to a magic convention . . . she might unintentionally check off the “fall in love” item. This is a fun, magical enemies-to-lovers romance.

what souls are made of book cover

What Souls Are Made Of by Tasha Suri

A moment to pause for that cover.

This is a remix of the classic Wuthering Heights and is set in Yorkshire, 1786. Heathcliff is the abandoned son of a sailor from India, and Catherine is the youngest daughter of an estate owner who is preparing her for a life in high society. They connect with one another as they escape to the moors, working to build not only their budding romance but their connection to their cultural heritage. If you like broody, reclaimed classics with Gothic undertones, you’ll be into this one.

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

YA + Abortion

Will it be okay to even talk about teens and abortion in some US communities anymore? As the US has nullified Roe and the right to a medical procedure for pregnant folks, I can’t stop thinking about teens who are in a position of needing an abortion.

This decision has shown itself in some stunningly awful ways in the past week. Right now, I’m watching countless right-wing groups itching to protest Scholastic–as in the entire publisher–and hoping to get their school districts to disinvite the annual book fairs hosted under the publisher’s name. Why? Because a senior editor dared tweet about wanting to publish more books about teens needing to make an abortion decision.

screen shot of parental group in Texas seeking to disassociate with Scholastic.
screen shot from "right books for kids" Instagram account.

I don’t know if I have anything eloquent or unique to say on this other than expect more book challenges on titles featuring abortion to start coming down the line. I’m already envisioning a fall where these books are purged from states with newly enacted abortion laws while they’re added to those states without, creating not only a massive gap in medical care state-by-state but a gap in access to information, too.

If you’re feeling as helpless as I am–and I say this as someone who is active, engaged, and regularly involved in advocacy in time, money, and energy–maybe some links to resources and intellectual grappling with the topics of teens and abortion can help.

A couple of other things you can do right now include borrowing abortion-themed books from your local library–fiction, nonfiction, whatever interests you most–and writing in support of those books to your local school library and public library. If you’re so inclined, a letter to your local paper might be worthwhile, too, both addressing your belief in access to healthcare and access to information about healthcare for people of all ages and genders. It might not seem like much, but a person in a tough position may feel comforted by knowing there is at least one person in their community who sees them and supports them.

I’d also recommend seeing what local mutual aid and networks are in your community. If you have the means to volunteer or donate to them, reach out. Groups like Planned Parenthood are great, but there are and have been local-level networks planning for this for years who are worth knowing and boosting.

Thanks for hanging out. Keep yourselves safe and healthy.

We’ll see you on Thursday for more YA book talk.

— Kelly Jensen

What's Up in YA

YA Nonfiction, Horror Meets Rumpelstiltskin, + More YA Book News: June 30, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into all things new paperback releases and a host of exciting new YA book news.

Bookish Goods

image of five brightly colored pencils. all of the pencils have gold text reading "book nerd."

Need some new pencils? I would recommend these sweet, brightly colored book nerd pencils as an option. $8.50 for a set of five, and you can pick from a multicolor pack or a pack of the same color.

New Releases

Grab the full list of this week’s YA paperback releases here (and keep an eye out for the list of upcoming paperbacks for the summer to drop on site, too!). Note that you may need to toggle to the paperback option after you click the link.

a few red drops book cover

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

I grew up south of Chicago, close enough that as kids, we used to climb the tree in the local park and could see the skyline from there. I learned a lot of Chicago history then, as well as in college, when I took an entire class on the city’s history. Though the race riot was addressed, it certainly wasn’t as in-depth or as wide-ranging as Hartfield’s engrossing YA nonfiction about that moment in time.

This is a compelling and essential book about the 5 Black kids who floated onto the “wrong” part of the beach and ignited a period of race-based violence throughout the city. Pair this with Brandy Colbert’s Black Birds in the Sky for another story of race-based violence in the same era (though further south in Tulsa, Oklahoma).

cover of small favors by erin a craig

Small Favors by Erin Craig

Amity Falls is a remote mountain town, where few come to visit, but it’s where Ellerie calls home. When a supply party goes missing, the town begins to wonder if the monsters which once plagued the town are back — and strange occurrences keep happening. The creatures responsible offer the townspeople a promise to fulfill their desires in exchange for a small favor. And while they agree, the townsfolk are not prepared for the sinister intentions of the creatures.

With horror vibes akin to The Village, Craig’s story is a retelling of the folk classic “Rumpelstiltskin.”

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

YA Book News

As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you again on Saturday with some awesome YA book deals.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently reading Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado.

What's Up in YA

Suburban Teen Witches, Tea Tales, and More YA Book Talk: June 27, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Welcome to the last week of June. Let’s make it a good one with some new books.

Image of the same enamel pin two times. It looks like a postage stamp and says "book mail $1.25." There are book spines on it, and the colors are pastel peaches and pinks.

This book mail enamel pin is so freaking cute. I wish these were real stamps. $15.

New Releases

Grab the full list of new YA books out this week over here, and keep your eyes out for the summer 2022 YA megalist of releases to publish on site soon.

the last Black girls left standing book cover

The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman

Beau is an artist and dreams of leaving the projects she’s grown up in. But when her older sister Katia is killed by an off duty police officer, everything changes–now she’s determined to clear her sister’s name and to do that, she needs to find her sister’s boyfriend, the only witness to her murder.

Of course, it won’t be that simple, and Beau has to decide how much of her life she needs to put aside for Katia.

our crooked hearts book cover

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

This stand alone dark contemporary fantasy is being compared to The Craft, which means it is on my TBR. It’s a story about suburban witches, told in two timelines, mother-daughter relationships, and all of the thriller vibes.

Dana befriends a girl in her teen years that turns out to be A No Good Person and deals with the fallout of that relationship for a long time. Now, 20 years later, her daughter Ivy is tracking down a similar path.

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

Riot Recommendations

As someone who is a devoted tea drinker–my current flavor of choice is this Okinawa sugar–I love when YA brings up tea in some capacity. Teens in YA are big coffee drinkers, but there are far fewer who are connected to tea. Here are two YA books where tea plays a big role.

darius the great is not ok book cover

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius is a master tea drinker in this book about growing up, about identity, and about maybe finding the right one in an unexpected way..

Darius has always felt like the wrong piece of a puzzle. His dad is white and not like him at all. His mom is Iranian, but she’s fair skinned and doesn’t “look” Persian. Though he doesn’t look like his heritage, Darius is an outsider because people know he’s “not like them” in his Portland school. When his mother’s dad is nearing the end of his life, the family chooses to take a trip to Iran to reconnect. And it’s here where Darius really comes to understand he is an important piece of the puzzle in her family, in his community, and in the bigger world. Sohrab, the new friend-more-than-a-friend Darius makes in Iran, calls this what translates from Farsi into “your place was empty,” and that sentiment really resonated not only for Darius and his place in the world, but also, his place inside himself.

a magic steeped in poison book cover

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

In this first book of a series, Ning accidentally kills her mother with a poison tea and now she’s not only grieving, but she’s worried that her sister will also be killed by the tea.

When Ning hears about a competition to find the greatest master of tea-making in the kingdom, she enters. This well-paced fantasy follows as Ning attempts to take the title, which will not only earn her favor within the royal court but will also help save her sister’s life.

A tea competition? Yes, please.

As always, thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Thursday with your new YA paperback releases and your latest in all things YA book news.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently reading Don’t Call Me a Hurricane by Ellen Hagan

What's Up in YA

Netflix Drops Trailer for YA Adaptation + More of Your YA Book News and New Books; June 23, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Big thanks to Erica for holding down the YA newsletter while I was out last week. In addition to a few big events related to school for me (I am working on a second master’s program!), I had the chance to get quite a bit of reading done. It was exactly what I needed to do between assignments and dodging record-breaking heat.

Let’s dive into what this week has to offer us for new paperback books and YA book news.

Image of a sticker in the shape of an open book. On one page is a Pride flag. On the other page are the words "it's a beautiful thing to read a book and see your authentic self."

Continuing the theme of fabulous pride-themed goods, this sticker is outstanding. $4.

New Releases

These are just two of the YA paperbacks hitting shelves this week. Grab the master list of YA paperback releases here (and keep an eye out on site for the summer YA paperback release list in the coming weeks!).

the cost of knowing book cover

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

If you loved Dear Martin, this’ll be one you need to pick up. 16-year-old Alex tries to be the best person he can be. He’s got a steady part time job, has a girlfriend he adores, and he’s the best big brother he can be to Isaiah. The problem is when Alex touches something, he can see the future. When he sees his little brother’s untimely death coming, it’s up to Alex to do something. Morris’s novel grapples with what it is to be a Black boy in America.

the secret of a heart note book cover

The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee

This book originally released quite a while ago (in YA years, that would mean 2016) but now that Lee’s name is even more well known, it’s nice to see it being re-released in a new and gorgeous paperback.

16-year-old Mimosa–Mim–is one of the few remaining aromateurs left in the world, and her ability to mix scents for magical perfume will be useless if she lets herself fall in love. She doesn’t want to miss out on being an ordinary teenager, though, but when she makes a huge mistake and must recruit the help of a (cute, of course) boy to help her fix it, Mim may no longer have the ability to choose what happens to her future.

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

YA Book News

Thanks for hanging out, y’all, and we’ll see you on Saturday for some excellent book deals.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @veronikellymars on Twitter.

Our Queerest Shelves

LGBTQ+ Book Sales Soar + Your New Release Megalist

This week, I’m covering for Danika and though I will never live up to their ability to do this newsletter well, I hope you find something new to read plus news to keep you in the know.

Queer Book Sales Up

Last week, the NDP group announced that sales of print LGBTQ+ books soared over 39% in the last year. Among the leading titles were Adam Silvera’s TikTok sensation They Both Die at the End and the Heartstopper series from Alice Osemaan. You can check out the other titles which saw a big boom here.

Publishers Weekly’s coverage of the story is interesting, as it points out that these sales are happening even amid censorship of queer titles across the US. Though both of these are factual statements–there are more queer book sales and a bulk of the books being banned are those of or about queer people–tying them together is disingenuous, as most books that are challenged or banned do not see sales bumps. The books named in either article are not even among the most challenged.

Even if the Streisand Effect were true and every queer book being challenged saw their sales grow, is that really something to celebrate?

New Releases This Week

YA is my usual jam, so I’m going to give you the in-depth on two queer YA books that hit shelves this week, and I’ll also link out to several (several!!) other rad LGBTQ+ books that are also out this week across categories and genres.

jumper book cover

Jumper by Melanie Crowder

Blair is 19 and has the drive, talent, and passion for adventure that makes her the perfect fire fighter. She’s taken a job with her best friend Jason as a smokejumper for the Forest Service. The problem? Blair is a Type 1 Diabetic, which disqualifies her from service. She and Jason keep it a secret until an accident during training, where her dreams may come to a crushing, devastating end.

There is no romance between Blair and Jason. It is instead a lovely F/F romantic thread built amidst an intense story of climate change, chronic health realities, and more. I adore Crowder’s writing, so I’m picking this one up ASAP.

the loophole book cover

The Loophole by Naz Katub

How about a second-chance romance featuring a gay Indian Muslim teen who gets a wish granted by a mysterious girl? Look no further.

Sy’s stuck at his job in a coffee shop after Farouk leaves him to travel–and fix–the world. But when a girl offers Sy the chance at three wishes in exchange for helping her, he takes it. When he finds the courage to leave home to find Farouk, though, will the sparks fly again or will he discover something wholly new about himself?

Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love by Carlos Allende (Gay Comedy)

The Godbreaker (The God-King Chronicles #3) by Mike Brooks (M/M, Queer Fantasy)

the ballad of perilous graves book cover

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings (Queer Fantasy)

A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland (M/M Fantasy)

What Rough Beast (The Remembrance War #2) by Michael R. Johnston (M/M Space Opera)

Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame, translated by Anne Ishii (Gay Graphic Novel)

To Strip the Flesh by Oto Toda (Trans Man Manga)

This Way Out by Tufayel Ahmed (Gay Fiction)

Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta by James Hannaham (Trans Woman Fiction)

Don’t Make Me Do Something We’ll Both Regret: Stories by Tim Jones-Yelvington (Queer Short Stories)

When London Snow Falls by Hayden Stone (M/M Romance)

X by Davey Davis (Queer Noir)

Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances (Dragons and Blades) by Aliette de Bodard (M/M Fantasy Anthology)

The Secrets of the Stormforest (The Strangeworlds Travel Agency #3) by L.D. Lapinski (Trans Boy Middle Grade Fantasy)

jobs for girls with artistic flair book cover

Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair by June Gervais (F/F Fiction)

This Wicked Fate (This Poison Heart #2) by Kalynn Bayron (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

Not Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino (Queer YA Horror/Fantasy Retelling)

The Big Book of Pride Flags by Jessica Kingsley and Jem Milton (Nonfiction Picture Book)

Funny Gyal: My Fight Against Homophobia in Jamaica by Angeline Jackson with Susan McClelland (Lesbian Memoir)

LGBTQ Book Riot Posts

George M. Johnson Announced as Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week

LGBTQ+ Characters Triumph at the End of the World in These 8 Queer Dystopian Books

7 Bookish Ways to Celebrate Pride

10 Queer Historical YA Novels That Reclaim LGBTQ History

Ace of Capes: Asexual Superheroes, Villains, and More

12 Books by Up-and-Coming Trans and Nonbinary Authors

10 Sapphic New Adult Books to Read in Yours 20s

All the Links Fit to Click

It’s Lit: Queer Youth on an Online Book Club Club That Became Family

‘Queer, hilarious and full of joy’: the rise of LGBTQ+ romance fiction

LGBTQ authors recommend books that spark queer joy

8 Books About Coming into Queer Selfhood

17 LGBTQ+ Books From 2022 That Deserve a Spot on Your TBR List

West Hollywood Hosts First Q Con for LGBT Comic Book Fans

12 LGBTQ Books I Would Do Anything To See As TV Shows And Movies

Explore the ‘Disappearing Queer Spaces’ of the Harlem Renaissance

Drag Queen Story Hour Performer Did Not Expose Self to Kids; Social Media Users Spread Bogus Tale

Months after removing book about transgender boy, Roanoke County School Board set to vote on updated library policy

Book Bans Are on the Rise, but Students Are Fighting Back

Drag Queens won’t be cowed by haters. The story hour goes on.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at with a free trial!

That’s it for me this week! You can find Danika at their bi and lesbian book blog, the Lesbrary, as well as on Twitter @danikaellis. You can also hear Danika on All the Books or you can read their Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!


What's Up in YA

Free Books, New Books, Cover Reveals, and More Book News: June 16, 2022

Hey YA readers!

I’m Erica, an associate editor here at Book Riot, and I’m filling in for Kelly while she’s off. Today I’ve got a cute, bookish goodie, some interesting book news, and a few new paperbacks for you to add to your TBR.

queer YA books sticker

Queer YA books sticker by kingdomofthreads

Represent your love of queer YA books on your water bottle or the back of your laptop with this sticker. $4

New Releases

Two of this week’s exciting paperback releases. Note you may need to toggle at the link to get to the paperback edition.

Here are even more YA paperback releases!

A Chorus Rises cover

A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow

This takes place in the same world as A Song Below Water and follows super popular and Black siren Naema. Despite once being the It girl, she gets canceled after outing Tavia as a siren in the first book, essentially making her the villain. Things aren’t so cut and dry, though, as Naema’s journey of self-discovery— with its examination of race, gender, and privilege— shows.

**Bonus points for another fire cover**

not good for maidens book cover

Not Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino

Lou’s disbelief in magic is shattered once she has to journey to the goblin market to rescue her teenage aunt. The market, which Lou had only read about up until now, is full of every kind of sweet, delectable thing that could tempt humans. She has to learn spells and tricks if she’s to save her aunt and make it out alive. She’s only got three days, though, and then the market disappears– and her aunt along with it.

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

YA Book News

Thanks for hanging with me today! Check back in for Saturday’s ebook deals and next week for when Kelly’s back!

Happy reading!