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What's Up in YA

YA Romance Adaptations Galore, Witchy Paperbacks, and More YA Book News and New Books: May 5, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into this week’s YA book news and new books. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time believing it’s May, especially as here in the upper midwest, it still feels like March weather-wise. Give me sun and heat for outdoor reading, please!

Bookish Goods

Librarian Mug by JFWCreations

Show them how a Librarian rolls with this Librarian coffee mug! The perfect gift for any librarian.

New Releases

The Donut Trap by Juliet Tieu

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

Cover of The Singles Table

The Singles Table by Sara Desai

After a terrible break-up, Zara makes a new rule to only be the matchmaker and not the matched. One wedding, she is sat at the same table as Jay, and they strike up a bargain; if he introduces her to his celebrity clients, she will find him his perfect match. However, as the spend the wedding season together, they begin to wonder if they’re avoiding the happily ever after staring them in the face.

Riot Recommendations

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Saturday with a fresh batch of book deals.

I hope you’re reading something great in the mean time.

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

NIMONA to Netflix and More of Your YA Book News and New Books: April 14, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

No fancy introduction this week: let’s just dive right into this week’s book news and new books.

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

An Arrow to the Moon book cover

An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan

Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch

Ebonwild by Crystal Smith (series)

Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch

Ready for Launch by Scott Kelly (nonfiction)

So Much for Love by Sophie Lambda

The Well by Jake Wyatt, illustrated by Choo

This May End Badly by Samantha Markum

We Have a Dream by Mya-Rose Craig, illustrated by Sabrena Khadija (nonfiction)

Year On Fire by Julie Buxbaum

You Should Have Seen This Coming by Shani Michelle

Paperback

Flamefall book cover

Flamefall by Rosaria Munda (series)

Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen (series)

Running by Natalia Sylvester

The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch

The Stepping Off Place by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum

Sunkissed by Kasie West

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

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

YA at Book Riot

Image of a black pennant shaped sticker. It has white text reading "emotional support book," with a small sketch of white books.

Do you have a stack of emotional support books? You might like this vinyl sticker to honor those hard-working tomes. $4. (Note: We utilize Etsy to highlight the work of small businesses and independent artists. This week, numerous shops are participating in a strike for better terms from Etsy. Click here to read more about their efforts.)


As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you on Saturday for the best YA ebook deals around.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Get Poetic with These New YA Verse Novels

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into a celebration of all things poetry this April with a look at a handful of new and forthcoming YA verse novels. Verse novels have been a staple in YA lit for decades, but we’ve absolutely seen a swell of powerful new voices on shelves in the last five years in particular.

This isn’t a comprehensive roundup of 2022 verse novels, but it’ll give you a sense of the wide range of stories, all told in poetry.

African Town book cover

African Town by Charles Waters and Irene Latham

Told in 14 voices, this is a verse novel based on the true story of the final group of enslaved Africans brought to America. When the Civil War ended, the survivors created their own community called African Town. This is their story through those years and experiences.

don't call it a hurricane book cover

Don’t Call Me a Hurricane by Ellen Hagan (May 7)

Eliza is passionate about fighting climate change. Five years ago, a hurricane impacted her and her community in New Jersey, and since, she’s been passionate about protecting an area of marshland locally–it’s been slated to be turned into buildable lots.

Then Eliza meets Milo and much as she wants to hate him, since he’s the kind of rich tourist turning her community upside down, she begins to learn he’s got deep, Earth-shattering secrets.

lawless spaces book cover

Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu

A Heart in a Body in the World meets All the Rage in this verse novel about generations of women in the Dovewick family who’ve shoved down their experiences, thoughts, and realities into a series of journals that have then been passed down again and again. It is Mimi, our 2022 entry, who works to break the cycle.

This book dives into sexual abuse and high-profile #metoo allegations and the impact that has on the survivors and their families. Even deeper, though, is how stories like these have played out in every generation, wherein women are told to be one thing, pinned to a photo of that image, and are unable to break outside those lines for fear of what may or may not happen if they do.

A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

Aaron and Oliver have always been close. Their small, rural town didn’t allow them to meet many other queer young people, and they’ve shared numerous milestones together as trans teens. When Aaron moves away, the pair are rocked and challenged, but they find solace in seeking out stories of American heroes of the past they believed to be queer. It’s through reclaiming the stories of the past that Aaron and Oliver — their adopted names — are able to better understand themselves and relationship to one another.

the most dazzling girl in berlin book cover

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson

Set in 1930s Berlin, this novel follows Hilde, who, at 18, is trying to find a job. She takes one at a cabaret as a dancer, where she meets Rosa, another waitress and performer. It’s not a safe time to be queer, but even amid burgeoning war and protest, Hilde wrestles with owning who she is and who she truly loves.

the name she gave me book cover

The Name She Gave Me by Betty Culley (June 21)

Culley’s next novel is a moving story about a girl named Rynn. She knows she is adopted and even though her records are closed until she turns 18, she decides to seek out her birth mother. Her birth mother may no longer be alive, but when Rynn discovers she has a biological sister in foster care, she wants to reconnect. But that reconnection may cost her her adoptive family.

nothing burns as bright as you book cover

Nothing Burns As Bright As You by Ashley Woodfolk

Set over a single day, Woodfolk’s first novel in verse is a story about queer love, passion, and about how the past and present braid themselves together.

only on the weekends book cover

Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta (May 12)

Mack, who is 15, is a romantic. He’s over the moon when long-time crush Karim becomes his boyfriend, but when Mack’s father’s new job forces him to move to another country, Karim makes no effort to keep their relationship alive. Then Mack meets Finlay and starts to fall…and now he doesn’t know if, where, or how to tell Karim.

vinyl moon book cover

Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne

Poetry, prose, and vignettes tell Angel’s story in Browne’s sophomore novel. Angel’s prior relationship with Darius felt like it was solid, but then the incident happened. No longer was Angel in California but in a new home in Brooklyn. She believes every one in her school knows what happens, but she finds tremendous solace–and healing–in the poetry and novels of powerful Black writers in her literature class.

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


I hope you found some great new books for your TBR. I am hoping to get to Nothing Burns as Bright as You this week.

Until Thursday, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

A Win for Translated Children’s Lit and More YA Book News and New Books: April 7, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Aside from being sick (womp womp), I spent my week off work devouring books. I blew through Ain’t Burned All The Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin–a total masterpiece of art and poetry. I also plowed through Mayra Cuevas and Marie Marquardt’s Does My Body Offend You? which would be a read for those who enjoyed Watch Us Rise and Moxie, as well as Trigger by N. Griffin, described aptly as Speak meets The Hunger Games meets Educated.

Now that I’m back and have caught up on some of my reading, you better believe I’m itching to pile on more YA books to my TBR.

Let’s take a look at this week’s YA book news and new releases so we can do just that.

YA Book News

New YA Books This Week

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

Belle Morte by Bella Higgin (series)

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders (series)

Omens Bite by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (series)

sense and second-degree murder book cover

Sense and Second Degree Murder by Tirzah Price (series)

All The Best Liars by Amelia Kahaney

Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate

Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas and Marie Marquardt

Gold Mountain by Betty G. Yee

Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp

High Spirits by Camille Gomera-Tavarez

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Love From Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill

Nothing Burns as Bright As You by Ashley Woodfolk

Scout's Honor by Lily Anderson

Scout’s Honor by Lily Anderson

She Gets The Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick

The Color of the Sky Is the Shape of a Heart by Chesil, translated by Takami Nieda

The Queen Is Dead by Abigail Owen (series)

The Silent Unseen by Amanda McCrina

The Woman Who Split The Atom by Marissa Moss (nonfiction)

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke

Very Bad People by Kit Frick

You Are More Than Magic by Minda Harts (nonfiction)

Paperback

Perfect Score by A. M. Ellis (series)

counting down with you book cover

Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan

Dancing At The Pity Party by Tyler Feder

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

How To Be a Difficult Bitch by Halley Bondy, Mary C. Fernandez, and Sharon Lynn Pruitt-Young

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

K-Pop Revolution by Stephan Lee

Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

The Matchbreaker Summer by Annie Rains

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

YA Book Talk at Book Riot

Image of a colorful stack of books bookmark. It is inside an open book.

Do you like to track your reading? If you haven’t tried a reading tracker bookmark, I pulled together a bunch of cool ones that might interest you. The above is $3, available here.


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Saturday for some sweet YA book deals.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Something’s Amiss: Great Gothic YA

Hey YA Readers!

I’m on a much-needed staycation this week. Much as I wish I could say I’m doing anything even remotely fancy, I plan mostly to catch up on school work–I’m in a second masters program–and to take my baby out to the local petting zoo to celebrate her first birthday. Of course, I’ll also be reading as much as possible, and if the weather holds, it’ll be outside in the hammock.

All of that is to say today’s newsletter is a little different than normal in that it’s from a post I wrote back in January on site that I think y’all would enjoy reading. Perfect if you missed it the first time or if you’re looking for that perfect Gothic YA.

See you next week and I hope you find a new great read here.


Whether you consider yourself a horror fan or not, chances are you’ve read or viewed something that falls under the horror umbrella: gothic literature. Defined as a writing style that employs atmosphere, dark and startling scenery and imagery, and even though it’s typically associated with horror, gothic literature often has a romantic undertone — or even overtone — to it as well. That romance can be among the main characters of the story or a romantic appreciation of the language and visual aspects of the story itself. Gothic YA books in recent years have really leaned into this marriage of horror and romance, with a whole host of variations on tropes including the haunted house, the unknown, and the sublime.

Gothic literature is believed to have originated in England, with many crediting Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otrano as the first gothic novel. Romanticism was at its height then, and the growth of gothic literature from that era makes sense. It continued to grow into popularity in the 1800s, with books like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe’s work, and Dracula among some of the biggest names. Though gothic literature was popular across England and Germany at this time, when it emerged in the U.S., it relied on those foundations, but it found its own flavor as well.

Stephen King, Toni Morrison, and Shirley Jackson are among the most well-known American authors of gothic horror. Though many of the traditional elements of gothic literature are present in its American cousin, American gothic often includes settings and situations which are uniquely American: slavery, environmental destruction, colonization, and genocide are among the big, meaty cultural elements explored in these stories. The settings are also American, with southern gothic and midwestern gothic playing into the horroresque settings and regional norms and practices.

There’s less romanticism in American gothic, though it’s still present. This is especially true in YA gothic books, as is another common element: the exploration of mental illness, the experiences of strange things, and either or both may or may not be accompanied by supernatural beings. In some cases, mental illness acts as a “gotcha,” wherein the reader is led to believe something is happening in a story but instead learns it’s all inside the protagonist’s head (depending on the reader and their own experiences with mental illness, this can feel damaging or it can feel empowering — every individual’s read is different). In others, though, mental illness ends up being a tool that serves as protection or one of power. Still others allow the presence of mental illness to have no defining mark on the exterior experiences of the characters.

Let’s take a dive into some of the best YA gothic books, ranging from titles in the YA backlist to those which are newer. What makes gothic YA books especially fascinating is how these stories combine all of the above-noted elements, while also adding in the strange foreignness of adolescence. Is it normal to feel so abnormal when you’re in the midst of the biggest physical, mental, and emotional changes in your life? This reflection on the disembodied reality of being a teenager is but one of the many questions these books explore.

Chills, Thrills, and Questions Abound in These Gothic YA Books

amity book cover

Amity by Micol Ostow

Ten years ago, Connor and his family moved into Amity. Ten years ago, the house started scaring Connor, convincing him of things that may or may not have been happening. Convincing him that he needed to act upon an impulse. One that led to terrible consequences.

Now, Gwen and her family have just moved into Amity. Immediately, weird things begin happening, and Gwen starts to feel like the house is haunted. She’s visited by Annie — and it’s Annie who convinces her to act upon some impulses she’s getting from Amity. It’s Annie that ties Connor to Gwen across those ten years.

Ostow’s novel is a fun, bloody, and creepy horror romp. It fits the bill for readers who love their horror with a side of exploration of whether it’s the thing at hand or something internal, and while readers who know Amityville Horror will find a whole new layer to the story here, no background is necessary to enjoy Ostow’s book.

Anna Dressed in Blood book cover

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Readers who love Supernatural will get many of the same flavors with Blake’s debut novel, which follows Cas, a teen who has an unusual career: he kills the dead. Cas’s father was killed doing this job, so he’s especially determined to keep the family business going. With his kitchen witch mom and his magical cat, he travels the country seeking out local lore and legends to put an end to the creatures who will not stay dead.

When Cas meets Anna Dressed in Blood, he’s ready to do what he usually does. Except Anna, who was murdered in 1958 and seeks vengeance on anyone who steps into the abandoned home where she’s residing, chooses to spare Cas of her wrath.

Now, he’s got more questions than he does answers and doesn’t know if he can do the job with which he’s tasked.

beware the wild book cover

Beware The Wild by Natalie C. Parker

If southern gothic is your jam, don’t miss this duology from Parker.

On a terribly sticky morning in June, Sterling and her brother Phin have a huge argument. In response, Phin runs down to the town swamp and he doesn’t return. The town of Sticks, Louisiana, has always believed the swamp to be dangerous and mysterious. But though Phin doesn’t return, someone does emerge from the swamp: Lenora May.

It seems no one can remember Phin in town, as if his disappearance meant never existing at all, and Sterling is determined to find out what happened to him and how his vanishing is related to Lenora May.

the companion book cover

The Companion by Katie Alender

Margot is rescued from a home for orphaned children by a friend of her now-deceased father. Now, she’s to take on the role as companion for Agatha, the family’s daughter who is weak, sick, and kept in a nursery room for constant care. It’s not ideal, but Margot knows she’s lucky to be here, even if it means dealing with the creepy old house, the mysterious words appearing in her sleeping area, all of the rooms she’s not to be in…

It’s Laura, the mother, who is especially suspicious, regularly wanting to talk to Margot about how things are going in a way Margot doesn’t trust. And she’s right for not trusting: Laura’s stories don’t add up, and every new thing Margot discovers only further paints a picture of a woman creating a web of lies about who she is, about what happened to Agatha, and about what the future might hold for Margot.

A delicious modern gothic, the hints here aren’t meant to lead to a huge twist ending. If you’ve read a book with these elements, you know what’ll happen, but it’s a fun, satisfying ride.

Frost book cover

Frost by Marianna Baer

Looking for a loose retelling of Rebecca set at a boarding school? Baer’s debut is going to be your jam.

Leena and her friends are eager for their senior year at boarding school. They’ve signed up to live together in Frost House, a Victorian dorm just off campus which promises them freedom. But an unexpected roommate joins them, and the girl, Celeste, brings with her a lot of trouble. Leena feels unsafe around her, especially as Celeste continues to blame Leena and her other roommates for the strange goings-on, including…bug infestations, a creepy owl figurine, frames falling off walls, moving furniture, and more.

As Leena begins to become romantically linked to Celeste’s brother, she’s finding old childhood fears reawakening as things go from bad to worse with her roommate. This creepy, twisty book has a surprise and satisfying ending, though the entire ride is a treat for gothic horror fans.

horrid book cover

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Jane North-Robinson and her mom leave California after the death of her father and head to her mother’s old, falling apart home in Maine. They’re looking for a fresh start, but North Manor isn’t interested in offering that to them. Instead, Jane and her mother struggle with new relationships, as well as those which emerge as a result of the memories locked in the old home.

Then Jane discovers the room her mother has kept locked that she’s called a “storage room” is anything but. It’s a little girl’s room and though it looks empty, it’s not.

in the shadow of black birds book cover

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Set during the Spanish influenza, Winters’s debut novel includes archival photographs to add even more atmosphere to the already-chilling story.

Mary Shelly Black, 16, has watched scores of mourners turn to seances and spirit photographers for comfort in the wake of devastating loss from the pandemic and World War I. She’s never been one to believe in the supernatural, when Mary’s first love, who died during a battle, shows up as a spirit, she begins to question what it is she truly believes.

Pair this read with Libba Bray’s The Diviners for a deep dive into the ways spiritualists of the era worked to allay grief, loss, and conjure magic for the bereaved.

cover of Lakesedge

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Violeta Graceling — Leta — arrives at Lakesedge estate prepared to find a monster in Rowan, who, rumor has it, drowned his entire family. Leta soon discovers neither Lakesedge nor Rowan are what they’ve been built to be. She begins to fall quickly for Rowan, but soon discovers his allegiance to a sinister death god residing in the lake on the estate. Now Leta is drawn to that death god and must unpack the dark truth of her past, as well as her connection to the death god, in order to save herself and Rowan.

The Long Weekend book cover

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

The first rule of any horror movie or book is, if you’re with company, don’t separate. Stick together.

After accepting a ride home from a stranger, Sam and best friend Lloyd are trapped, separated, and desperate to find their way out of the remote estate to which they’ve been delivered. Their lives are in danger as the man with them is out for blood.

thornhill book cover

Thornhill by Pam Smy

This compelling and creepy graphic novel is Jane Eyre meets The Secret Garden set in 1982 and 2017, following Ella, who works to unravel the mystery of the ghost named Mary who haunts the abandoned Thornhill Institute for Children.

Ella’s story is told as a graphic novel as she works to understand Mary’s story of abuse and bullying within Thornhill while Mary’s story is told in diary entries, offering insight to both readers and Ella about the conditions under which she lived.

The art is chilling and evocative, and the story includes the best of all things gothic YA: creep dolls, an abandoned institute for orphaned children, ghosts, and a range of other delicious trope-y goodness.

white smoke book cover

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

One of the frustrating trends in marketing has been the use of Get Out as a comp for any thriller or horror book by a Black author. But in the case of that comp for Jackson’s first horror novel, it’s absolutely spot on, as this is a gothic read packed with social commentary.

Mari, our main character, is prickly, imperfect, and has a dark history, including intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety. When she and her blended family move to a new home in an area being redeveloped — modeled after Detroit — it’s a chance for her mother to pursue her dream and for them as a family to get a new, fresh, and exciting start. Except, there’s a lot of weird stuff going on in the house, as well as in the community. No one seems to live around them. All of the houses seem to be haunted. Their own house is definitely Not Right. What’s the deal?

Jackson is deft in her exploration of mass incarceration and in gentrification. Her character development is outstanding, and the way these two things weave together works so well. The creepy nature of the new house and the community’s residents only heighten the story’s gothic atmosphere.

within these wicked walls book cover

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

This Ethiopian-inspired debut novel is a YA retelling of Jane Eyre, following Andromeda, a debtera. Debteras are exorcists who cleanse the homes of Evil Eyes, and Andromeda has been hired by Magnus Rochester for a job. But…it’s not like any job she’s done before, and chances are she herself may not survive what is happening in his household. And yet, Andromeda also knows she can’t leave Magnus to deal with his curse on his own, either.

We often limit our idea of gothic to horror or, as noted earlier, to an aspect of romance. What Blackwood does in this book is offer even more opportunity for the gothic to work across genres, as she applies the aspects of gothic storytelling to fantasy and bonus: this isn’t grounded in the traditional, Euro- or American-centric locations of gothic storytelling.

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


There are dozens upon dozens more YA gothic novels, so if any of the above books excite you, know you can find plenty more where these came from. You can dive into some more with these neo-gothic YA books and read through outstanding diverse YA horror.

Thanks for hanging out, y’all, and we’ll see you later this week!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Check Out the ALONG FOR THE RIDE Trailer!

Hey YA readers!

Kelly is out this week, so I’m hopping in to cover your YA news and new releases for the week! There’s some fun stuff this week, so let’s dig in!

YA News

The Along for the Ride trailer is here! This Netflix film is an adaptation of Sarah Dessen’s beloved novel and it’ll be available to stream on April 22.

Speaking of summer book to movie adaptations, Jenny Han shared a first peek at the TV adaptation of her debut YA novel, The Summer I Turned Pretty! The show will be hitting Amazon Prime sometime this summer, with a new edition of the book releasing May 3!

Hocus Pocus 2 has cast three drag queens who will be impersonating the Sanderson sisters—although we don’t know much more than that! A few years go a YA sequel to Hocus Pocus was released that prominently featured a f/f romance. Do I think Disney will go there with their film sequel? No, but I am hopeful!

Over 100 queer YA books disappeared from Target.com, although most are now back on the shelves. But authors and readers want to know what happened.

YA author Ashley Poston is making her adult romance debut—check out a sneak peek.

Some of your favorite YA series are coming to an end in 2022—here are some of the authors on their bittersweet conclusions and what’s next.

New in Hardcover

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin (plus it’s the new BN YA Book Club Pick!)

Cover of A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Her Rebel Highness by Diana Ma

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett

Dig Two Graves by Gretchen McNeil

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica Olson

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gaby Noone

Message Not Found by Dante Medema

Murder Among Friends by Candace Fleming

Practical Demonology by Clare Rees

So This is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson

This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron A. Aceves

Trigger by N. Griffin

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

New in Paperback

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie

The Desolations of Devil’s Acres by Ransom Riggs

Gaslight by Rachael Rose

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard

On Book Riot

Check out some essential YA novels on grief and loss.

Love second chance romance? Then you’ll love these YA books!

Sister, sister! YA novels on sister relationships that will make you want to text your sister.

Need a shot of joy? Read about trans teens in love!

That’s all for now! Happy reading!
Tirzah

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What's Up in YA

2022 YA In Translation to Devour

Hey YA Readers!

Have you read much YA in translation? I make an effort every year to try to read one or two, since I am a firm believer that to read diversely includes reading titles originally published in languages that aren’t English. While one or two sounds like a very small goal, the fact is, there’s very little YA in translation. We’re lucky to see four to six titles a year.

I’ve talked before about the three percent problem and how only three percent of books published in the US annually are in translation. YA makes up a teeny slice of this three percent.

Let’s take a look at the YA in translation hitting shelves in the US this year. This is not a comprehensive list, in part because not all of publishing has shared their fall catalogs and because finding this information is in and of itself a challenge.

Of note: more of these books are by men than women. I’ve not dug into the gender breakdown of works in translation in YA, but I would not be surprised if this is common, given the barriers to publication for those who are not cis men.

amazona book cover

Amazona by Canizales, translated by Sofía Huitrón Martínez (May 3)

This graphic novel translated from Spanish follows 19-year-old Andrea, an Indigenous Colombian, as she travels back to her native home after losing a child. But along with the child, she comes with a hidden camera and an agenda: she wants proof that illegal mining is what displaced her family so she can work toward reclaiming what’s rightly theirs.

the color of the sky is the shape of a heart book cover

The Color of the Sky Is the Shape of a Heart by Chesil, translated by Takami Nieda (April 5)

Translated from Japanese, the novel follows 17-year-old Ginny Park who is close to being expelled from school. She lives in Oregon with a picture book author named Stephanie; Ginny ended up there when she’d been expelled from her last school in Hawaii.

What unravels is a story of how Ginny got to where she is, all thanks to a note she found scrawled on one of Stephanie’s works. It’s a book about Ginny being born ethnic Korean in Japan and always existing in some “in between” space.

The book is inspired by Chesil’s own childhood.

days of bluegrass love book cover

The Days of Bluegrass Love by Edward van de Vendel, translated by Emma Rault (May 17)

Originally published in The Netherlands in 1999, this queer love story follows Tycho, who has been mostly skating by in life. He decides it’s time for a change and chooses to spend a summer in America as a counselor for summer camp for international kids. Then he meets Oliver, who is from Norway, and sparks fly.

Ironhead book cover

Ironhead, or Once a Young Lady by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem, translated by Kristen Gehrman (Available Now)

Itching for a historical feminist adventure? Look no further.

18-year-old Constance isn’t a rule-follower. But she doesn’t have a whole lot of choice in being married off–it’s the early 1800s, she’s a girl, and that’s the option.

Rather than fight the arrangement, though, Constance is going to do something bold. Four months into the marriage to a man twice her age, she sneaks out of the house wearing his clothes and meets up with a boy who has just been drafted. When she approaches him, she offers to take his place, and onward she goes into battle.

This book is translated from Dutch.

thunderbird book cover

Thunderbird by Sonia Nimr, translated by M. Lynx Qualey (April 26, 2022)

Translated from Arabic, this story is one for younger YA readers and upper middle grade fans. The story follows Noor, a young Palestinian girl, who must travel back through time with the help of a djinn cat to collect four feathers. This journey is vital–it’s the only way to save the world.

Want a couple of fun resources for finding YA in translation? This database offers Korean, Chinese, and Japanese titles in translation, while you can find a roundup of forthcoming Arab lit here. There is also this database of titles pooled together for Hispanic Heritage Month in 2017, if you’d like to travel into Spanish-language literature backlist reads. You can seek out even more resources through the World Kid Lit initiative.

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


Thanks for hanging out. I’m off this week, so Tirzah will be here Thursday with your YA news and new books report.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Categories
What's Up in YA

The 10th Anniversary of The Hunger Games Film: Your YA Book News and New Books, March 24, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s catch up on the latest in this week’s YA news and new books. Spring is in the air here and I know how much I’m itching to grab a book and read outside.

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

Wrath and Mercy by Jessica Rubinkowski (series)

a million quiet revolutions book cover

A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

Kiss and Tell by Adib Khorram

Remember Me by Estelle Laure

Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes

The Wolves Are Waiting by Natasha Friend

What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat

Paperback

On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig (series)

Southern Star, Northern Star by Joanna Hathaway (series)

Wings of Ebony by J. Elle (series)

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

YA at Book Riot

Image of a white mug with a pink handle and pink interior. The mug has a black box with the letters R E A D inside.

Looking for a bright spring mug? Look no further than this fun read mug. $16.50.


Thanks for hanging out. I’ll be back with your deals on Saturday.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Categories
What's Up in YA

Six Spring YA Reads to TBR

Hey YA Readers!

It’s hard to believe that spring begins this week. It feels like this was a long winter, even though–at least where I am in the upper midwest–we’ve had some lovely spring weather for a week already.

I am preparing for a staycation and one of the things I plan to do with that time off is to read. I haven’t done as much reading this year as usual, but rather than worry or fret or be mad about it, I’m embracing this as a season of slowing down on the TBR to say yes to other things (school, writing, taking my kid on walks outside, and so on). But I’m looking forward to some dedicated book time in the coming week.

As we enter into a new season, let’s take a look at 6 books hitting shelves this season. I’ve pulled a little something for every kind of reader.

alone out here book cover

Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate (April 5)

Imagine that a volcanic eruption will put an end to life on Earth as we know it and several of the biggest, brightest, most well-funded people across the world are building a space fleet so humanity can escape. Now imagine that their children are given the opportunity to tour this fleet and said volcano erupts early, leaving these teens as the sole survivors as they travel through space. At what point do they choose to continue the mission or do they work to save humanity?

I don’t know about you, but end-of-the-world stories paired with space stories do it for me–see We Are The Ants by Sean David Hutchinson. Redgate is a fascinating, genre-pushing YA writer and I cannot wait to read this.

gone dark book cover

Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch (April 12)

It’s possible there is a survival theme here, as Panitch’s latest YA book is pitched as Dry meets Hatchet.

Zara escaped her father’s survivalist home, only to find herself–and humanity–cut off from electricity due to a malware attack. Now she’s completely on her own and has to tap into the skills she so desperately wished to forget from her home life. . . and, as it turns out, make her way back to the compound.

milo and marcus at the end of the world

Milo and Marcus at the End of the World by Kevin Christopher Snipes (May 24)

More survival? Yes.

Milo’s gotten through high school without much catastrophe, but that’s about to change now that Marcus, whose been absent from Milo’s life for three years, is back. Worse, Marcus’s return brought with it natural disasters, including blackouts, sink holes, and more.

The more Milo confronts his feelings about Marcus, the more Mother Nature seems to respond and not in kindness. Is their love literally doomed?

nothing burns as bright as you book cover

Nothing Burns As Bright As You by Ashley Woodfolk (April 5)

Ashley Woodfolk is writing incredible realistic fiction in YA, and I cannot wait to see how she uses verse to continue her storytelling. This sett-in-a-single-day story is about queer love, passion, and about the ways the past braids itself into the present.

queen of the tiles book cover

Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf (April 19)

I’m cheating a little because I read this book already but I want to make sure other YA readers have it on their radar.

Last year, the reigning Scrabble champion dropped dead during the start of the competition. This year, Najwa returns to that competition determined to not only find out what happened to her best friend, but to also show her Scrabble playing skills. Dig into twisty, sometimes toxic, friendships, a clever and imperfect main character, and tremendous word nerdery.

queer ducks book cover

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality by Eliot Schrefer, illustrated by Jules Zuckerberg 

An illustrated YA nonfiction book about animal sexuality? Yes, please!

This witty book weaves science, anthropology, and sociology with illustrations to showcase how animals across the world display a spectrum of sexualities. It is a book about human sexuality and how diverse sexuality isn’t limited to one species. It’s natural.

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


Thanks for hanging out. I hope you found a new great read.

Cheers!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

Categories
What's Up in YA

BSC Canceled at Netflix: Your YA Book News and New Books, March 17, 2022

Hey YA Pals!

Let’s dive into this week’s YA book news and new books. It’s been quieter on the news side, but I suspect we’ll see an uptick before too long as the busy season for publishing kicks into gear.

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

right where i left you book cover

Game Changer by Abbi Glines (series)

Being Mary Bennet by J. C. Peterson

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters

The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart

Wrecked by Heather Henson

Paperback

that way madness lies book cover

A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy (series)

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (series)

Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

That Way Madness Lies edited by Dahlia Adler

The Light of Days by Judy Batalion (nonfiction)

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth (series)

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

YA Talk at Book Riot

Keep your love of books with you when you’re out of the house with this fun read more books keychain. $8.


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you for some great deals on Saturday. Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.