Cover Reveals, Simon Teen

Simon Teen Highlights 2021 YA Cover Reveals

Simon Teen revealed covers for their 2021 Spring Young Adult releases from June 29 through July 3! Through their Riveted Lit blog they showcased debuts, new series, and continuations.

Today on The Booked Shelf we’ll be highlighting some of those covers!

Bruised by Tanya Boteju
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Cover Artist: Rik Lee

Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.

So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.

The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.

Prepped by Bethany Mangle
Release Date: February 23, 2021

A thrilling and funny debut about a teen raised in a doomsday community who plots her escape with the boy from the bunker next door.

Always be ready for the worst day of your life.

This is the mantra that Becca Aldaine has grown up with. Her family is part of a community of doomsday preppers, a neighborhood that prioritizes survivalist training over class trips or senior prom. They’re even arranging Becca’s marriage with Roy Kang, the only eligible boy in their community. Roy is a nice guy, but he’s so enthusiastic about prepping that Becca doesn’t have the heart to tell him she’s planning to leave as soon as she can earn a full ride to a college far, far away.

Then a devastating accident rocks Becca’s family and pushes the entire community, including Becca’s usually cynical little sister, deeper into the doomsday ideology. With her getaway plans thrown into jeopardy, the only person Becca can turn to is Roy, who reveals that he’s not nearly as clueless as he’s been pretending to be.

When Roy proposes they run away together, Becca will have to risk everything—including her heart—for a chance to hope for the best instead of planning for the worst.

In Deep Waters by F.T. Lukens
Release Date: April 20, 2021

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope… 

A Dark And Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
Release Date: March 2, 2021

Choose your player.

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson
Release Date: January 12, 2021

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Save the Date in this sweet and hijinks-filled rom-com about a teen girl who will do whatever it takes to find a date for her sister’s wedding.

Mia’s friends love rom-coms. Mia hates them. They’re silly, contrived, and not at all realistic. Besides, there are more important things to worry about—like how to handle living with her bridezilla sister, Sam, who’s never appreciated Mia, and surviving junior year juggling every school club offered and acing all of her classes.

So when Mia is tasked with finding a date to her sister’s wedding, her options are practically nonexistent.

Mia’s friends, however, have an idea. It’s a little crazy, a little out there, and a lot inspired by the movies they love that Mia begrudgingly watches too.

Mia just needs a meet-cute.

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley
Release Date: March 2, 2021

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first.

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Release Date:
March 9, 2021

All Beth wants is for her tight-knit circle of friends—Grace Nakamura, Brandon Lin, Sunny Chen, and Jason Tsou—to stay together. With her family splintered and her future a question mark, these friends are all she has—even if she sometimes wonders if she truly fits in with them. Besides, she’s certain she’ll never be able to tell Jason how she really feels about him, so friendship will have to be enough.

Then Beth witnesses a private act of violence in Jason’s home, and the whole group is shaken. Beth and her friends make a pact to do whatever it takes to protect Jason, no matter the sacrifice. But when even their fierce loyalty isn’t enough to stop Jason from making a life-altering choice, Beth must decide how far she’s willing to go for him—and how much of herself she’s willing to give up.

Which Simon Teen title are you looking forward to in 2021?

Adaptation News, Fierce Reads

All Boys Aren’t Blue Optioned For TV

Revealed exclusively through Deadline on June 10, it was announced that George M. Johnson’s debut memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue was optioned for television. Gabrielle Union and her production company, I’ll Have Another Productions are attached to the project.

Johnson’s memoir features a series of personal essays that follow his account of growing up Black and Queer.

Alongside Union’s production company, the novel will also be adapted through Sony Pictures TV.

According to the article, Johnson is “incredibly excited” to be working with Union. He also stated that “she’s someone who is not only a champion in the fight for supporting marginalized communities of color but the work she’s doing as a storyteller and producer is lifting every voice who hasn’t had the opportunity to be heard.”

Union is the parent to a Queer-identifying daughter, so the “subject matter is personal” to her, according to Deadline.

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is out now!

Balzer + Bray, Book Deals, Cover Reveals, Epic Reads

Becky Albertalli Announces A New Simonverse Novel!

On April 21, Becky Albertalli revealed through her Twitter an upcoming novella in her Simonverse series, titled Love, Creekwood!

Love, Creekwood will be a third of the length of a Simonverse book, is written all through email, and is set during the group’s first year of college. Albertalli also mentioned that the novel will contain spoilers for Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda & Leah On The Offbeat.

She also stated that 100% of her English language royalty will be donated to The Trevor Project.

“Also contains: shenanigans, exclamation points, yearning, Drunk Simon, Nostalgic Blue, Finals Week Abby, Valentine’s Day Leah, big decisions, and MUCH talk of kissing…”

Becky Albertalli via Twitter

Cover artist is Chris Bilheimer and the cover design is by Jenna Stempel-Lobell.

Fall in love all over again with the characters from the bestselling Simonverse novels in this highly anticipated epilogue novella.

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom. 

Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli is set to be released June 30, 2020!

Adaptation News, Epic Reads, Katherine Tegen Books

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee Optioned With HBO Max

On January 29, it was announced that Lyla Lee’s upcoming YA debut, I’ll Be The One was part of a five-studio bidding war for film rights which landed with HBO Max.

According to Deadline, Nahnatchka Khan whose the creator of Fresh Off The Boat, Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23 and more recently the director of Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe, is set to produce and possibly direct.

Emmy-nominated writer Colleen McGuinness is set to adapt Lee’s novel. The project is planned for development through Anonymous Content and Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions.

“I’m so happy to finally announce that I’LL BE THE ONE is going to be a movie at HBO Max! I’m so blessed to be working with amazing Asian American women like Nahnatchka Khan (FRESH OFF THE BOAT, ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE) and Colleen McGuinness (30 ROCK, FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE). <3”

Lyla Lee Via Twitter

Planned for a summer release, I’ll be The One is pitched as “a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity.” This contemporary features a bisexual Korean-American teen who sets her sights on becoming one of the first plus size K-Pop stars.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee is set to be released June 16, 2020!

Adaptation News, Balzer + Bray, Epic Reads

Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian Optioned For Film

On June 10, Deadline announced that Abdi Nazemian’s latest YA Contemporary-Historical Fiction novel, Like A Love Story was optioned for film rights (both TV & Film) by “Sharp Objects creator Marti Noxon and EP Jessica Rhoades.”

According to the full Deadline article both Noxon and Rhoades are planning on serving as producers on the project– which is set to be a film for the big screen.

Additionally, they also plan on having their production companies attached to the project.

“Abdi Nazemian has written a sweet, funny and compelling novel with characters that jump off the page. It’s a wonderful romance that’s also a call to activism, which is no small feat. We’re thrilled to work with the extraordinary Abdi and help bring this captivating story to the screen…”

Noxon and Rhoades Via Deadline
Like A Love Story released June 4, 2019

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian is out now!