YA You Need To Read: May 2021
May is going to be one of the most amazing months for YA in a while. A giant chunk of my most anticipated TBR list is coming into the world, and I have so many ARCs to get reading and preorders to get excited for. It's perfect timing since my semester wraps up on May 10th. After that, it'll be all books all the time between reading all of these, working at the bookstore, and blogging here! I can't say I'm mad about it.
So that you can connect with all these awesome books and authors, I've linked to the book's pages on their respective author website. Just click their names to find all the buy links and official summaries!
Counting Down With You
Karina has always lived her life by her parents rules. Sure, it's not very exciting, but it keeps her life quite stable. She doesn't have any grand plans for her parents' four week international trip until Ace, one of the students she tutors, presents the opportunity for something Karina's never experienced, dating. There's 28 days until her parents come home and everything resets. But does Karina actually want it to?
This one is my current read, and I'm loving it so far. There's just something so immediately relatable about reading YA by actual Gen Z authors. Can't wait to see more of it.
Meet Cute Diary
by Emery Lee
Noah runs a blog called The Meet Cute Diary, a collection of happily ever after stories featuring trans people in the spotlight. The blog gains popularity and becomes big in the trans community, giving hope to so many young people. Except the stories are fake.
When Noah's fictional turn is exposed, he has to convince everyone that the stories are real, even with no proof. Part of that includes roping in Drew who is willing to fake-date to save the blog. It's great until Noah starts falling for him for real, and Noah starts to realize that real life love is far more complicated than fictionalized meet cutes.
Cool for the Summer
by Dahlia Adler
Lara has kept up a crush on Chase for three whole years of high school. When he starts flirting with her, it seems like everything is falling into place. But Lara just can't stop thinking about her summer romance with a girl named Jasmine. And then she walks in the doors of their high school. Even when Lara starts dating Chase, she can't stop feeling like something is missing.
by Jamie Pacton
Jane did the unthinkable. She won the lottery, and not just any jackpot but $58,642,129. The only problem? She's a minor. Coming forward might mean she'll have the forfeit the prize, or it will go to her mother who will use the millions of dollars to feed her hoarding habit. To make matters worse, both her best friend and her ex-boyfriend have ideas about what they'd do with the money, and her journalist best friend is set on finding the reluctant winner. As even the idea of the prize money starts to tear Jane's life apart, she wonders if so much money is really a blessing after all.
Made in Korea
by Sarah Suk
Valerie and her cousin Charlie run the a successful student beauty business. Valerie is excited to save up to take her grandma on a special trip to Paris. And then Wes shows up at school. Armed with some K-Pop collab skincare products, he suddenly becomes popular with people who want to buy them off of him. He starts to realize that these sales could fund tuition at a music college- something his parents refuse to support. This accidentally puts him in direct competition with Valerie, and they go to business war while trying to deny the fact that they maybe don't hate each other... even a little bit... even at all.
Some Girls Do
Morgan has to transfer out of her private Catholic school towards the end of senior year when it turns about that being queer is agains the rules. At this new school, she meets Ruby who works on cars by day and dazzles on stage at beauty pageants at night. There's an instant attraction between Morgan and Ruby, fulfilling the athlete-prom queen trope. The only issue is that Morgan is out and proud while Ruby wants to keep their new relationship on the down low. Will their different points in life drag them apart.
Jennifer's book Verona Comics was one of my favorites of the last year, and I've had the chance to speak with her for Into YA before.
Off The Record
When Josie wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for a magazine, she's overjoyed because writing is the only thing she's ever wanted to do. Josie is sucked into a celebrity whirlwind and even develops a crush on her subject, a budding young star. But this glamorous world has dark secrets. And when a young actress confides in Josie with other accounts following, Josie wants to expose the man responsible. But does she have that power? And if she doesn't speak, is she letting the actresses down. Josie starts to realize she's in way over her head.
Speaking of the Gen Z author thing, this is true here as well! I loved Camryn's debut for the same reason.
It Goes Like This
Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph thought they were bonded forever by their queer pop band, formed in middle school, facing a meteoric rise. Instead, it only tears them apart. Eva and Celeste date and break up, and the band begins to dissolve. Celeste and Gina surge forward into their small slice of spotlight. Eva transitions into a quieter life as a songwriter and online stan... of her own band. And Steph is just gone. When a storm devastates their town, they have to play one last show to help their hometown, and it'll take a lot of work to get there.
One the 18th, Miel will be in conversation with another one of my all time favorite authors, Erin Hahn. It's an event you won't want to miss. It's hosted by Porter Square books at 7pm EST. I've already pre-ordered my signed book from Porter Square, and I can't wait to attend.
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