Tag Archives: YA

Exclusive Cover Reveal: So You Wanna Be a Pop Star? by Zachary Sergi

I’m delighted to welcome Zachary Sergi back to the site today to reveal the cover of another exciting choose-your-own-adventure contemporary YA, So You Wanna Be  a Pop Star?, which releases March 7, 2023 from Running Press Kids! Here’s the story:

Five solo pop artists. One chance to make it big.

Everly Brooks knows she has what it takes to be the next big singer-songwriter. At least, that’s if she could get her onstage presence to stop feeling so wooden and blossom like her rich, moving lyrics. The reality signing competition, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is her chance at proving to the world—and herself—that her talent and artistry can mean something more than just live streams and online videos.

Vinny Vecchi thought he was heading toward a life full of makeup, wigs, and werking it on the drag stages of NYC. But a powerful diva voice is a precious thing to waste and, in need of money to make his drag dreams come true, SO YOU WANNA BE A POP STAR? is the next best thing. However, surrounded by competitors with clear brands and sharpened musical identities, he wonders if he can break through while still discovering himself.

When a group performance on the show goes viral overnight, Everly and Vinny find their careers unexpectedly tied together. Along with their competitors—influencer Dea Seo, pop-punk CeCe Winnifred, and heartthrob Stern Green—these five artists are forced to become the newest pop super group: Jeweltones. You, the reader, get to make choices that will make or break Everly, Vinny, and the group’s meteoric rise in this interactive novel. Will you mend the cracks to help Jeweltones shine bright, or will they burn out under pressure?

And here’s the glorious cover, sure to render you starstruck, designed by Frances Soo Ping Chow with art by Jeff Östberg!

Preorder: Amazon | IndieBound | RP Kids

Zachary Sergi is a queer author of Interactive Fiction, including the print debut Major Detours and the digital Heroes Rise, Versus, and Fortune The Fated series. Zachary was raised in Manhattan, studied Creative Writing at Regis High School and the University of Pennsylvania, and now lives in Los Angeles with his husband, where he also writes for television. Learn more at zacharysergi.com or by following @zacharysergi on Twitter/TikTok or @zacharysergiwriter on Instagram.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Clash of Fate and Fury by Rachel Menard

Today on the site we’re revealing the cover of Clash of Fate and Fury by Rachel Menard (sequel to Game of Strength and Storm), which releases from Flux on March 21, 2023! Here’s the story:

Seventeen-year-old Gen may have rescued her beloved father from prison, but she hasn’t saved him yet. If she fails her end of a bargain with the Olympian Empresses, they will send him right back to his cell. To keep the Empresses happy, Gen must bring them the legendary golden apples of Hesperides and the monstrous Cerberus. But both are rumored to be in the neighboring Elysium Empire, which has a long history of war with Olympia. Making matters worse, Gen’s former enemy and newly designated heir to the isle of Arcadia Castor invites herself on the journey, hoping a golden apple could end Arcadia’s reliance on Illumium for storm vials. And Castor’s twin brother, Gen’s StormMaker boyfriend Pollux, has been pulling away from Gen due to troubles stemming from her mind magic.

With Castor’s pirate-thief girlfriend and Pollux’s servant companion in tow, the unlikely team embarks on its voyage. But war is only an insult away in Elysium, and more than the Emperor has their eyes on Gen’s mission. The quest has caught the attention of one of Elysium’s Oracles, and trouble is sure to brew with Prophecy on the rise.

And here’s the electrifying cover, designed by Karli Kruse and illustrated by Sanjay Charlton of Beehive Illustration!

A note from the author: In our initial cover discussion, I asked, “Do you think we can have Gen, Castor, Pollux and the golden apples and the Cerberus on the front?” I was willing to forsake the labors if they wouldn’t fit, but I definitely wanted Pollux to make an appearance. Sanjay Charlton, the cover illustrator, miraculously made it all work. You get the characters, the tension, and the mythology all in one shot. It’s perfect.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Book Depository

Preorder from Flux or North Star Editions using code SPRING23 for 30% off!

Rachel Menard is an author of strange and fantastical stories for teens that feature unapologetic young women. Her work has been featured in Writer’s Digest and on Cast of Wonders, and her short story, “Blame it on the Bees,” was chosen as a “Best of 2019” by Diabolical Plots. Her novels include Game of Strength and Storm, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and Clash of Fate and Fury. Visit her online at http://www.RachelMenard.com.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Venom & Vow by Anna-Marie McLemore and Elliott McLemore

You know when two humans you really like also happen to be married and also happen to have written a book you know is absolutely fantastic before you’ve even read a word? And then you get to reveal its cover?? Such is the case for me, and I am thrilled to be revealing the cover of Venom & Vow by Anna-Marie McLemore and Elliott McLemore today, a trans YA fantasy releasing from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan on May 16, 2023! Here’s the story:

Two enemy kingdoms are forced to work together to break a curse in this lush YA fantasy, featuring a transgender prince and a bigender dama/assassin in the lead roles.

Keep your enemy closer.

Cade McKenna is a transgender prince who’s doubling for his brother.
Valencia Palafox is a young dama attending the future queen of Eliana.
Gael Palma is the infamous boy assassin Cade has vowed to protect.
Patrick McKenna is the reluctant heir to a kingdom, and the prince Gael has vowed to destroy.

Cade doesn’t know that Gael and Valencia are the same person.
Valencia doesn’t know that every time she thinks she’s fighting Patrick, she’s fighting Cade.
And when Cade and Valencia blame each other for a devastating enchantment that takes both their families, neither of them realizes that they have far more dangerous enemies.

Cowritten by married writing team Anna-Marie and Elliott McLemore, Venom & Vow is a lush and powerful YA novel about owning your power and becoming who you really are.

And here’s the epic cover, designed by Lindsey Whitt and illustrated by Mx. Morgan!


Preorder: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Anna-Marie McLemore grew up hearing la llorona in the Santa Ana winds and now writes books as queer, Latine, and trans as they are. They are the author of The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature; Wild Beauty, a Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; Blanca & Roja, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; Dark and Deepest Red, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List title; The Mirror Season, which was also longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, and the forthcoming Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (September 6, 2022)

Elliott McLemore is a nonbinary trans guy who comes from mountains and loves trees. As a child, he romped in dresses, fought with plastic swords, and dreamed up his first stories. Between then and now, he has focused on academic and professional writing, research, and advocacy, including work toward adding nonbinary gender markers to California identity documents. Venom & Vow is his debut novel.

Fave Five: YA About Queer Boys with Depression

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves

We Are the Ants and At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Immeasurable Depth of You by Maria Ingrande Mora

Today on the site I’m delighted to be revealing another cover for Maria Ingrande Mora, this one for their upcoming bisexual supernatural coming-of-age YA The Immeasurable Depth of You, which releases from Peachtree Teen on March 7, 2023! Here’s the story:

How do you face your fears when everything is terrifying?

Fifteen-year-old Brynn can’t stop thinking about death. Her intrusive thoughts and severe anxiety leave her feeling helpless—and hopeless. So after her mom interprets one of Brynn’s blog posts as a suicide note, she takes extreme measures, confiscating Brynn’s phone, blocking her Internet access, and banishing her to stay with her father, who lives “off the grid” on a houseboat in the Florida mangroves. Isolated from her online friends—her only friends—Brynn resigns herself to a summer of mind-numbing boredom and loneliness . . . until Skylar appears.

Skylar is everything Brynn isn’t—sultry, athletic, and confident. Yet Brynn feels at home around this fearless girl who pushes her to try new things and makes her belly flutter with nerves that have nothing to do with anxiety. When Brynn discovers that Skylar is trapped in the bayou and can’t tell her why, she resolves to free her new crush from the dark waters, even if it means confronting all of her worst fears.

In the devastating but uplifting tradition of Adam Silvera and Nova Ren Suma comes a queer, supernatural coming-of-age story from acclaimed author Maria Ingrande Mora.

And here’s the haunting cover, illustrated by J.A.W. Cooper and designed by Lily Steele!

Alt text: In this muted illustrated cover, a girl  with light brown skin and brown chin-length hair stands in a bra and shorts looking down at the water, beneath which lies a thinner blond white girl in a yellow bikini reaching up to the surface of the water. Pink leaves and the yellow reflections of birds dot the water, and the title reads “The Immeasurable Depth of You.” The author’s name, Maria Ingrande Mora, is printed in all-caps across the bottom in pink.

Here’s a word from the author!

The Immeasurable Depth of You is about resilience,” shares author Maria Ingrande Mora. “Brynn is forced into a situation that triggers her anxiety at every turn — she doesn’t know how to act around her estranged dad, Florida has truly unreasonable wildlife, and she can’t get online or text for the whole summer. Personally, I’d curl up in a ball and cry for three months. But Brynn has spent her whole life learning to coexist with discomfort. She is so much more resilient than she thinks. I hope readers are inspired by Brynn’s messy courage and the way she feels things with her whole chest. Also there’s a manatee. J.A.W Cooper’s stunning illustration captures the in-between state Brynn exists in during her summer away from home and real life. It was important to me to ground the cover in the setting, in the beautiful eeriness of tropical wetlands. Cooper executed that perfectly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they depicted Brynn and Skylar in the place they find each other.”

Buy it: Amazon | IndieBound

(c) Brittany Echemendia

Maria Ingrande Mora (they/she) is a content strategist and the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy, Fragile Remedy (Flux, March 2021), a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Their love languages are snacks, queer joy, and live music. A graduate of the University of Florida, Maria lives near a wetlands preserve with two cats, two teenagers, and two billion mosquitoes.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa

Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is one of my all-time favorite gay YA romances, so I’m extra thrilled to be revealing the cover of their gorgeous new book on the site today! Ander and Santi Were Here is about a a nonbinary Mexican-American teen muralist who falls in love with an undocumented Mexican waiter at their family’s taqueria, and it releases April 11, 2023 from Wednesday Books! Here’s the official blurb:

Finding home. Falling in love. Fighting to belong.

The Santos Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, is all Ander Lopez has ever known. The smell of pan dulce. The mixture of Spanish and English filling the streets. And, especially their job at their family’s taquería. It’s the place that has inspired Ander as a muralist, and, as they get ready to leave for art school, it’s all of these things that give them hesitancy. That give them the thought, are they ready to leave it all behind?

To keep Ander from becoming complacent during their gap year, their family “fires” them so they can transition from restaurant life to focusing on their murals and prepare for college. That is, until they meet Santiago Garcia, the hot new waiter. Falling for each other becomes as natural as breathing. Through Santi’s eyes, Ander starts to understand who they are and want to be as an artist, and Ander becomes Santi’s first steps toward making Santos Vista and the United States feel like home.

Until ICE agents come for Santi, and Ander realizes how fragile that sense of home is. How love can only hold on so long when the whole world is against them. And when, eventually, the world starts to win.

And here’s the stunning cover, designed by Kerri Resnick and illustrated by Max Reed!

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound

Jonny Garza Villa (they/them) is an author of contemporary young adult literature with characters and settings inspired by their own Tejane, Chicane, and queer identities. Whatever the storyline, Jonny ultimately hopes Latines, and, more specifically, queer Mexican American young people will feel seen in their writing. Their debut YA novel Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was a Pura Belpré Honor Book and a Kirkus Best YA Fiction of 2021 selection. When not writing, Jonny enjoys reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons, visiting taquerías, listening to Selena, and caring for their many cacti children. They live in San Antonio.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Monstersona by Chloe Spencer

Today on the site I’m delighted to reveal the cover of Monstersona by Chloe Spencer, a double-bi f/f YA sci-fi romance releasing February 14, 2023 from Tiny Ghost Press! Here’s the story:

There’s a little monster in all of us.

After her parents’ divorce, 16 year old Riley Grishin is forced to move from Portland, Oregon all the way to Little Brook, Maine, a small town that serves as the headquarters for Titan Technologies, an international tech laboratory. Having left her friends and father behind, Riley spends most of her days running through the woods with her dog Tigger, and eavesdropping on her classmates—in particular, the gorgeous, but very strange, Aspen Montehugh.

On the night of the homecoming game, Riley wakes up to find her town on fire, terrorized by an unseen monster. With flames spreading rapidly, Riley and Tigger have no choice but to pile into her beat-up pickup truck and flee. Speeding out of town, they come across the only other survivor: Aspen.

When Riley and Aspen finally reach safety, they realize something far more sinister is afoot. According to the news, all other Titan Tech laboratories on the East Coast have been attacked. And even worse, they’re being followed by an SUV with blacked out windows. With all air travel grounded, Riley has no way to fly back to her dad, so she and Aspen embark on a cross country road trip, all the while pursued by men with guns, mad scientists, and the monstrous truth. Slowly, Riley realizes something’s not quite right with Aspen, which puts her feelings for her—and her own humanity—to the ultimate test.

Thelma and Louise meet Godzilla in this queer sci-fi adventure, that will appeal to fans of Erik. J Brown’s All That’s Left In The World and Charlotte Nicole Davies’ The Good Luck Girls.

And here’s the striking cover by Alex Moore!

Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Minnesota native Chloe Spencer is an award winning writer, indie gamedev, and filmmaker. She enjoys writing sci-fi/fantasy, horror, and romance. In her spare time she enjoys playing video games, trying her best at Pilates, and cuddling with her cat. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Film and Television from SCAD Atlanta.

 

New Release Spotlight: Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

Allllways feels good to get to talk about how much I loved a book I feel is going way too far under the radar, so here I am to shout about Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min, which releases from Flatiron Books on the 26th! I personally bill this book as Radio Silence by Alice Oseman meets All Kinds of Other by James Sie, and it’s half narrated by cis pansexual Filipino-American Santi and half by trans gay Japanese-Korean Suwa. There’s anime and music and friendship and Tokyo and a great cast and so much to love, so check it out when it releases later this month!

Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min

58724791Santi has only had his heart broken one time, and it was all his fault. When he accidentally leaked his internet best friend Memo’s song, and it became an overnight hit, Memo disappeared—leaving their song’s cult fame, and Santi, behind.

Three years later, Santi arrives in Los Angeles with a mission: get over the ghost of Memo. Thankfully, his new school and its wildly-talented Sunshower marching band welcome him with open arms. All except for his section leader, the prickly, proud, musical prodigy Suwa. But when Santi realizes Suwa is trans, then Suwa realizes Santi takes his identity in stride, both boys begin to let their guards down. Santi learns Suwa’s surliness masks a painful, still raw history of his own, and as they open up to each other, their friendship quickly takes on the red-hot blush of a mutual crush.

Just as Santi is feeling settled in this new life, with a growing found family and a head-over-heels relationship with Suwa, he begins to put together the pieces of an impossible truth—that he knows both more and less of Suwa’s story than he’s been told. Their fragile fresh start threatens to rip apart at the seams again when Suwa is offered the chance to step into the spotlight he’s owed but has always denied himself. Now, Santi and Suwa must finally reckon with their dreams, their pasts—and their futures, together or apart.

Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon | IndieBound