Working on the launch of the Young Adult Reader has turned me from a 50%-YA reader into a 90%-YA reader, so I’ve already been up to my eyeballs in Young Adult lately. Now, the publishers have decided to kill me by dropping a pile of highly-anticipated, amazing-looking YAs on my all at once in September.

Let’s do this.

September 3

What I’ve Read:

I loved Permanent Record, Mary H. K. Choi’s follow-up to her bestseller debut Emergency Contact. The basic premise of Permanent Record seems very similar to Choi’s debut, and they will probably appeal to the same readers. That said, they are very different stories. Permanent Record goes deeper into some thorny emotional territory, resulting in a book that is just as sweet but much more complex. Here’s my full five-star review. Since writing that review, I came across this wonderful interview with the author by Electric Lit, which includes some wonderful quotes about Choi’s approach to writing hyper-contemporary fiction for an every-changing teen audience.

“Books take forever to write and an eternity to come out. Talking about trends is pointless. All I can do is tap into things I know to be true: everything is intense, friends are so important they may as well be celebrities, anxiety sucks and young adults are gobsmackingly resourceful when it comes to some things and heart-squishingly callow at others. I focus on interiorities. And how seismic the smallest things seem when they’re happening to you for the first time.”

Mary H. K. Choi for Electric Lit

I also loved The Lady Rogue. I don’t know that this one is going to get much hype. September is packed with YA headliners, and The Lady Rogue’s cover and title won’t be doing it any favors. It’s a tremendously enjoyable historical fantasy, though, so pick this one up if you like romantic banter and magical rings.

Books I’m Looking Forward To:

American Royals by Katherine McGee, author of The Thousandth Floor, was a highly-coveted ARC at BookCon last May. (They had very few arcs for this one and didn’t seem ready for how excited people were for it!)

Serpent & Dove looks dark and magical. I have been hearing from some people that it doesn’t seem to truly be YA–sounds like a Maas-esque case of shoehorning a book that should be NA into the Young Adult category, sexual content and all. Regardless, I’m excited to get my hands on a copy.

There Will Come a Darkness is getting great reviews from a few people I follow. I don’t know much about it but have to add to my TBR anything that gets such a great response.

Other books on my radar for September 3:

September 10

What I’ve Read:

I absolutely adored Frankly in Love. Be warned, though–if you’ve put Frankly in Love on your TBR because you were promised an adorable fake-dating romantic romp, adjust your expectations. I actually wrote a whole post arguing that Penguin Teen’s heavy promotion for the book is very misleading. That’s a shame, because Frankly in Love is a truly special book. If you let it be what it is, you’re in for a treat.

On the other hand, I was not a fan of Rebel Girls… at all. It was my first one-star review in a long time, and I’m fully expecting it to be one of my least favorite reads of the year. I only finished because I don’t feel right about DNFing ARCs, especially if I want to be able to argue for why I didn’t like them. In the case of Rebel Girls, I gave one star for terrible writing and a disturbing lack of empathy.

I read Tiger Queen some time ago, and I’ve already completely forgotten it. My review was a very lukewarm three stars, so I suppose that makes sense.

Books I’m Looking Forward To:

As of writing this post, I haven’t read by BookCon arc of The Ten Thousand Doors of January yet, but I can’t wait. Glowing reviews from Chaima and Emily May have gotten me super excited to dive in.

I can’t wait to get my hands on Gideon the Ninth, which is a favorite of several bloggers in my orbit. I don’t know much about it, but I’m willing to dive in blind on the strength of those recs.

I’m also looking forward to A Treason of Thorns and I’ll pick up His Hideous Heart once I’m over the anthology burnout induced by The (Other) F Word and It’s a Whole Spiel.

Other books on my radar for September 10:

September 17

What I’ve Read:

It’s a Whole Spiel, a YA anthology by a strong lineup of Jewish YA writers, was a joy to read. Be warned–there’s some secondhand embarrassment and excruciating hormone-fueled intensity ahead. In my opinion, all that pain and joy add up to a truly Young Adult experience. The anthology is very well balanced, painting a nuanced, intersectional picture of contemporary Jewish teen life.

I wasn’t a fan of the YA rewrite of Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden’s One Person, No Vote. If you’re interested in the subject, definitely go for the original version instead–yes, even if you’re a teen.

I don’t recommend The Babysitters Coven either. As with Rebel Girls, I got the impression I was supposed to find the main character edgy and feminist and cool… but her small-mindedness and mean spirit turned me off the book pretty quick. I probably should have DNFed, because even if you can get past the character, the story itself is a mess.

September 24

What I’ve Read:

The (Other) F Word was a highly uneven (but often inspiring) nonfiction anthology of personal essays on fatness. My review highlights some of my favorites, which bring fierce, resilient energy to thoughtful discussion of the way fat bodies and identities are shaped by other experiences and identities.

I’m participating in the blog tour for Six Goodbyes We Never Said, a tender, heartrending dual-POV story of trauma and recovery. I’ll be bringing you a Q and A with the author, Candace Ganger, later in September.

Books I’m Looking Forward To:

I have ARCs of Rules For Vanishing, Who Put This Song On, and The Water Dancer waiting for me, and all three look wonderful.

I can’t wait for SLAY, Brittney Morris’ YA debut by pitched as Black Panther x Ready Player One x The Hate U Give. It’s getting massive push from Simon, which seems to be counting on it to be a tentpole release this year. That means it has unique potential to flop, so I hope this one isn’t a disappointment.

I’m also excited to read The Tenth Girl, which looks deliciously dark and is getting some great early reviews.

Other Books on My Radar For September 24:

4 thoughts on “September is Going to Kill Me (with YA releases)”

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