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!

Book Radar

All Books Should Have Cats on the Cover and More Book Radar!

Dear Book People,

We might be on our fourth cold brew coffee today, but who’s counting? It’s all Monday vibes up in here. I hope your week is off to a good start, and I hope you found time for reading over the weekend. I really hit the audiobooks this weekend, because audiobooks are the perfect companion to packing and cleaning. And now, it’s time for all the book things.

Book Deals and Reveals

The Scroll of Chaos Book Cover

You know I had to share this cover because it’s got an adorable cat on it, and in my humble opinion, all books should have cats on the cover. Anyway, here’s the cover for the upcoming middle grade fantasy The Scroll of Chaos. This one is out from Scholastic on March 7, 2023.

Paste has the exclusive cover reveal of Wings Cursed and Bound, an urban fantasy inspired by Thai mythology. This book will be released on April 11, 2023.

Emma Straub is writing kid’s books now! Here’s the cover reveal of Very Good Hats, Straub’s debut picture book.

And here’s the cover reveal of Some Desperate Glory, a queer space opera from award-winning author Emily Tesh. It’s available on April 4th, 2023 from Tordotcom Publishing.

Because of scheduling conflicts with Jordan Peele’s Nope, Daniel Kaluuya will not be returning for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The 2022 Library of Congress National Book Festival returns to live audiences this Labor Day weekend for the first time in three years, and the festival lineup has been revealed! If you can’t make it to the festival in person in Washington D.C., many of the events will be livestreamed.

These audiobook recordings allow listeners to hear exactly how Roe v. Wade was overturned, with added context.

Does your book club think it has what it takes to be Booker Prize judges? Would you like a chance to attend this year’s Booker Prize ceremony? Then the Booker Prize wants to hear from you!

Book Riot has selected the best books of 2022 so far! From nonfiction to romance, horror to historical fantasy, and more. (And yes, my fave is on this list, if you’re curious)

No big deal, but Amazon has released the second teaser trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power.

Book Riot Recommends

I’m a Contributing Editor at Book Riot, I write the Today in Books newsletter, and I’m a Bibliologist for Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendations subscription service. I also have a PhD in English, so I’m basically a doctor of books. Books are my life, in other words, so in this section of the newsletter, let me share with you some upcoming books I’m super excited about. And I think you will be too!

Prepare Your Shelves!

the witchery book cover

The Witchery by S. Isabelle (Scholastic, July 26th)

All my life, I’ve been chasing that high I felt watching The Craft when I was thirteen and thinking to myself, “Wow, maybe I can do magic and have cool friends who can also do magic and we can form a cool group and seek revenge on everyone who has wronged us.” Yeah, I know everything goes bad for the witch gals at the end of the movie, but I was a kid and I wasn’t paying attention to that part. Anyway, my point is… I crave bad witch girl books. So, like, I am all in on The Witchery by S. Isabelle. And yeah, this book is giving me serious Craft vibes, and I’m not mad about it one bit.

Here’s the deal. This book is set in Haelsford, Florida, where the Haunting Season is approaching. Logan is a new witch who has just arrived at Mesmortes Coven Academy and is immediately taken under the wing of the infamous Red Three: Iris, Talia, and Jailah. With the Haunting Season upon them, the witches must prepare for the arrival of the Wolves, who will rise from the swamp to kill. Every year, witches and humans must work together to fight against the onslaught. But this year, the stakes are higher as students at the school start turning up dead. And Iris, Thalia, Jailah, and Logan realize it’s up to them and them alone to stop the Wolves.

But old dangers await them. And the cost for breaking the curse might be much greater than anything the four girls could anticipate.

Are you in on this paranormal, witchy, queer, dark academia, dark fantasy YA novel? I sure am. And it’s coming out before the end of the month, so prepare those shelves now.

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

What I’m Reading This Week

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas book cover

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

Monday Memes

I am in love with this meme that combines one of my favorite songs with my favorite book fair. Wait… did I make this meme? (update: I did not)

Come Work for Book Riot

Ever wanted to be cool and work for Book Riot? Now’s your chance! Book Riot is currently hiring an Editorial Operations Associate. If you love getting into the nitty gritty of behind-the-scenes work, this might be the job for you! We’re looking for someone to help us keep our (metaphorical) Content Trains running smoothly! Work with the Ed Ops team to support Editorial and the Book Riot writers! We are committed to building an inclusive workforce and strongly encourage applications from women, individuals with disabilities, and people of color. Apply by August 8th, and get all the details here.

And Here’s A Cat Picture!

proud tuxedo cat on cat tree

I leave you with this: a picture of Remy, a beautiful tuxedo cat angel, looking proud on his cat tree and showing off his white bib and paw tips. Yes, we see you, Remy. You look dapper AF. Keep it up.

And with that, I will let you get on with your week! We’ll have another check in on Thursdays, as always, so hopefully you’ll be back for more Book Radar then! Talk soon!

💙 Emily

Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a high-stakes Arthurian retelling absolutely bursting with magic.

Book cover of Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Bree Matthews and her best friend Alice are attending the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Early College Program. Bree is Black and Alice is Taiwanese-American and they saw this program as the best way for two girls from marginalized backgrounds to get out of their small, rural North Carolina town. Bree’s mom attended UNC and it’s always been a dream of Bree’s to go, though her mom didn’t like that idea for reasons unbeknownst to Bree.

During their first night on campus, Bree and Alice find themselves at the traditional (and illegal) first-year student cliff-jumping at Eno Quarry. At the quarry, things take a turn for the magical and frightening. After witnessing a little too much, Bree runs away and is arrested along with Alice who takes them back to campus. The next morning, the dean’s office summons them both and they are assigned peer mentors, second-year Early College Program students who have made better choices. Bree’s peer mentor is Nick Davis. He’s trying to be friendly and walk her back to her dorm when things get weird, magical, and terrifying again. Bree stumbles upon some large, glowing, absolutely frightening creature. It tries to attack but Nick jumps between her and the monster and tells her to run. Bree passes out and wakes up in one of the giant stately homes off campus. Nick brought her there, to their healer.

Nick is part of a secret society and is what is called Legendborn, a direct descendent of King Arthur and his round table. They assume Bree must be one of them, because she saw the hellhound and normal people can’t. Meanwhile, Bree has close to no idea what is going on but everyone else there thinks she knows more than she is letting on. Once Bree knows this little bit, she can’t unknow it. And maybe she has more of a connection than she realizes. So she plans on infiltrating this secret society.

There is so much in this book. Different kinds of magics, lots of monsters, both the human kind and the fantastical, Black girl magic, of course, and tons of fun.

Content warnings: the book immediately starts with our main character’s mother’s death and additional content warnings for lots of racism. This is the first book in a series and the second is due out later this year.

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

That’s it for now, book-lovers!


Find me on Book Riot, the All the Books podcast, Twitter, and Instagram.

Find more books by subscribing to Book Riot Newsletters.

Today In Books

New Book Club in Hamilton to Help Inspire Black Authors to Write Romance Novels Set in Canada: Today in Books

Hollywood Finally Comes Calling for Horror Writer Paul Tremblay

M. Night Shyamalan just wrapped filming the first film adaptation of one of Paul Tremblay’s horror novels, The Cabin at the End of the World. The movie will be titled Knock at the Cabin and stars Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint, and Jonathan Groff. After the disappointment of auctioning the film rights to A Head Full of Ghosts a month before it was published, only for the production to fizzle out, Tremblay is excited for his adaptation debut to be released in February 2023.

New Book Club in Hamilton to Help Inspire Black Authors to Write Romance Novels Set in Canada

Born from a frustration of a lack of romance novels written by Black Canadian authors, certified life skills coach Tanya Lee has launched the Black Romance Book Club in Hamilton, Ontario. The club will be based in the Art Gallery of Hamilton and will host author readings and writing workshops, featuring at least three books each year to promoting reading and writing about Black Canadian romance.

New Female-Owned Bookstore in Riverside Focuses on Sharing Diverse Stories

After returning from Naval deployment, Vanessa Nicolle is opening a bookstore in Jacksonville, Florida that celebrates diversity and encourages reading for all. Nicolle had started an online version of her bookstore, Femme Fire Books, two years ago and now that she is out of the Navy, she’s transitioning to a brick-and-mortar shop that will stock books written by women and people of color who have been historically marginalized in the publishing industry.

Key Takeaways from the 2022 Urban Library Trauma Study

The 2022 Urban Library Trauma Study Report was released in late June at the 2022 American Library Association Annual Conference. It is the result of a two year long study capturing some sense of the difficult working conditions urban library workers experienced pre-pandemic but also the extensive trauma, stress, and burnout for urban library workers experienced because of the pandemic.



The Kids Are All Right

Book Annotation Kit, New Releases, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

Last weekend my husband and I got into the car and drove up to western Massachusetts. As city people who love the outdoors, we oohed and ahhed over the gorgeous gardens and trees and the wildlife! We saw not one, but two bears! We also saw plenty of rabbits and a gaggle of geese crossing the road. It was a very lovely weekend!

Bookish Goods

Book Annotation Kit by LemonHoneyCraftsStar

My fourteen-year-old daughter has been annotating her books lately. This summer she is committed to reading Shakespeare and Austen, and this is the perfect kit for her reading adventures. Filled with sticky notes, highlighters, washi tape, and page tabs, this is a nice package to keep with your current read. $22.

New Releases

The Boy Who Met A Whale by Nizrana Farook

This story begins on the beach of Sri Lanka where Razi looks out at the sea where newly hatched turtles are running into the sea. Then, a plain boat comes into sight and nears shore. Razi is startled to discover a young boy in the boat, and even more surprised to discover that there are people after the boy. Can Razi help him escape to safety?

Dear Student by Elly Swartz

Autumn begins middle school with a feeling of dread. Her best (and only) friend has moved, and Autumn struggles with social anxiety. But she soon befriends Logan and Cooper, and things are looking up. But when she is selected to be the secret voice of the advice column, she finds herself right in the middle of a dispute between Logan and Cooper! Can Autumn give others – and herself – the right advice?

Riot Recommendations

Do you love indie bookstores? Of course you do! This summer, I hope you have the opportunity to visit a new bookstore in a town you’re passing through. It’s one of my very favorite things to do.

cover of The I Wonder Bookstore

The I Wonder Bookstore by Shinsuke Yoshitake

This is delightfully silly take on a very unusual bookstore where the owner only sells books about… books! Read about how to grow books on trees, a town where the clouds rain books, and the once in every five year phenomenon where all the animals can read. I am a huge fan of Yoshitake’s artwork which is filled with humor and heart.

cover of The Book Itch

The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

This is a story about a bookstore that began in Harlem in the 1930s. Started by Lewis Michaux Sr., he named it the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a gathering place for people in the neighborhood as well as people from around the world. It was a special place to share ideas and culture.

cover of Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yas Imamura

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yan Imamura

Okay, this is not a bookstore book, but it’s so beautiful that I had to include it in this collection. Set during World War II at a War Relocation Center in the Desert, Tama works in the prison camp’s tiny library. There she meets George who waits by the entrance every morning with an armful of books. Tama has no idea how he can read so much! Or is he coming for another reason? I just love this book!

cover of Good Night Little Bookstore

Good Night Little Bookstore by Amy Cherrix, illustrated by E.B. Goodale (September 13, 2022)

Bookstore lovers will surely welcome this sweet bedtime book into their collection. Walk through the end-of-day rituals of a beloved local bookstore – saying goodbye to the customers and saying goodnight to the bookstore cat and the boxes of new arrivals. The illustrations are so sweet and inviting.

What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time,

A black and white cat lying on a colorful pillow.

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*


Audiobooks QA Test

Hello! I am me. I like books! I will tell you about them. I also like cheese.

Bookish Goods

A photo of a blue shirt with the words "bookmarks are for quitters"

Very Cool Item by SirBooksALot

This item is awesome! Don’t you want it? I bought four! $20

New Releases

sample book cover image: generic text against a beach background

A Throne of Socks and Feelings by That One Girl

The 36th installment of this very cool series about socks, feelings, and other stuff.

sample book cover image: generic text against a beach background

Grate Expectations: A Compendium of Cheeses by Oaxaca Muenster

Sweet baby cheeses, this book brie-longs on my shelf.

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

Riot Recommendations

These books are related somehow, I swear. Read them or whatever!

sample book cover image: generic text against a beach background

Read This Book, Yo by Peppermint Petty

Because I said so.

sample book cover image: generic text against a beach background

Gods of Rage and Shallows by Vanessa Diaz

There will be rage, and there will be shallows.

A link I think you’ll like.

And another.

And another.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter. I am a very cool person.

Find me on the gram, Goodreads, or my personal website, Amor y Queso.


Today In Books

Phoebe Robinson Wants EVERYTHING’S TRASH to be a Salve for These Times: Today in Books

Freida Pinto to Star as Huma Abedin in TV Adaptation of Her Best-Selling Memoir

Slumdog Millionaire and Mr. Malcolm’s List actress Freida Pinto is adapting Huma Abedin’s best-selling memoir Both/And into a TV series. Pinto will also star as Abedin, the longtime advisor and aide to Hillary Clinton. “It was clear to me from our very first conversation that Freida and [producing partner] Emily [Verellen] not only believe in but get the story, that they have a vision and a passion about bringing a life filled with unexpected adventures to the world in a way that is true to who I hope to remain always — defiantly optimistic,” Abedin told Deadline, which first reported the news. No other casting details or release date have been announced yet.

Alleged Book Thief Filippo Bernardini May Avoid Trial in the US

Filippo Bernardini, the Simon & Schuster employee accused of masterminding a phishing scam to obtain manuscripts from top authors, may not face trial in the US, under an agreement between prosecutors and his lawyers. Bernardini was arrested in January, with the FBI alleging he had “impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, hundreds of individuals” to obtain unpublished and draft works.

Phoebe Robinson Wants Everything’s Trash to be a “Salve for These Times”

2 Dope Queens star Phoebe Robinson told Huffpost that she hopes her new series Everything’s Trash, which premiered this week on FreeForm, will be a “salve for these times.” Robinson said, “With this show, I want to be like, ‘Yes, life is hard. Life is tricky. There are things that we can’t control, but I still want us to feel good and laugh and enjoy our lives a little bit. The COVID of it all has made us be more introspective, which I think is fantastic, but I don’t want us to lose the joy.” Everything’s Trash, which is inspired by Robinson’s book Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, stars Robinson as Phoebe, a 30-something podcast star living in Brooklyn. It also stars Jordan Carlos, Toccarra Cash, Nneka Okafor and Moses Storm. Jonathan Groff is the executive producer and also serves as showrunner. The first two episodes premiered on FreeForm on Wednesday, July 13th, and new episodes will be released weekly. The episodes will also be available for streaming on Hulu.

How to Address Misinformation and Book Challenges

Multiple instances of individuals demanding books be burned, a public library closed because of community bigotry, and more censorship news.

Kissing Books

Pins, Scavenger Hunts, and Trips Abroad

Hey y’all and welcome back. I know that the world is a dumpster fire right now and that won’t change soon. And while I tend to be a ‘glass half empty’ person, I also recognize that you need to take the time to find joy, even in small things. So, in the spirit of that, I’m going to drop some random facts here that may make you smile.

For starters, July 18th is National Sour Candy Day. Now, yes, it’s “unofficial.” But still, how fun is that? So, go on and get your sour candy fix on today. After all, you’re just observing the holiday right?

Also, rainbows at night, while rare, do happen and are called moonbows.

Hopefully those helped to start your day off on the right foot or perk you up! Now on to the rest of the newsletter.

Bookish Goods

Picture of Stacked Books Pin

Romance Books Stack Hard Enamel Pin by ProcrastiplannerEtc

One of the gifts I recently got myself was a pin to display all of my pins. And y’all, I love it so much! It’s a great way to let someone get a brief glimpse into the chaos that is my personality and brain. So, naturally, I’m on the hunt for more pins like this beautiful gem right here. It’s simple but says so much about a romance reader’s preferences that everyone should get one. $5.50

New Releases

cover of The Sweetest Connection

The Sweetest Connection by Denise Williams

This novella is a friends to lovers set up at an airport with a scavenger hunt thrown in for kicks. When candy shop worker Teagan finds a lost love letter, she’s determined to find out who it belongs to. Friend and secret admirer Silas joins her on this adventure and the two are on the case. However, hanging over them though is Teagan’s impending travel plans which will take her away for who knows how long. Is a week enough time to solve the case and for these two figure out that they’re meant to be more than just friends?

cover of Genuine Imitation

Genuine Imitation by G.R. Lyons

After experiencing one too many betrayals in his life, Thomas has opted to a life as a recluse. This plan is thrown off track when Hayden is caught trespassing on his property and Thomas offers him a unique arrangement that will help with Hayden’s financial issues. Hayden is also determined to break down Thomas’s walls and prove that he’s worthy of his love, despite all the challenges and threats that are now headed their way.

Riot Recommendations

We’re keeping with the theme of honoring 1994’s Black Summer of Love with today’s recommendations. They both feature Black romance authors who got their start around that time. Now, this does include Ms. Bev because it’s also #JenkinsJuly, as she is so worthy of a month of celebration.

They’re also all short stories as opposed to full length novels. I love a good novel, don’t get me wrong, but every now and then a short story collection is just up my alley because I can read it in small doses. Even novellas are nice since they can be read in a couple of hours. So, if you’re like me and looking for stories like that, here are some candidates for your consideration.

cover of Island for Two

Island for Two by Beverly Jenkins and Elaine Overtone

I don’t know about y’all, but reading about island getaways and finding love sounds just peachy keen right now. From a plane crash in Hawaii to a Fiji island fling that soon develops into more, these may just be what you need for a getaway from the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget a daquiri!

cover of Rosie's Curl and Weave

Rosie’s Curl and Weave by Rochelle Alers, Donna Hill, Felicia Mason, and Francis Ray

I remember reading this book when I was in high school and enjoying it. So, I was super happy when it was reissued. There are four love stories here, all centered around the neighborhood salon, featuring very different women at different places in their lives. One thing they have in common though? They’re all about to find love very soon!

Frolic’s Monthly Book Crush for July is The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon!

Here are some romances to bring some thrills to your summer.

And, if you want, you can turn the heat up even more with some of the books named here.

Check out Love’s Sweet Arrow recs for Sibling’s Best Friends-ish romances.

Read a short passage and possibly get hooked on a new romance novel.

Enjoy this this video clip of Jackie Collins taking down Barbara Cartland after the latter called the former’s book terrible.

And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back on Thursday with a fresh new edition. In the meantime, you can give me a follow over on Twitter under @PScribe801. Until then, happy reading and stay hydrated!



We’re giving away three copies of What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher to three lucky Riot readers!

Enter here for a chance to win, or click the image below!

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania. What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife surrounding a dark, pulsing lake.