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  • Hot Summer Reads: YA Picks

    Our final #aluhotsummer picks are for the young at heart: check out our roundup of five books that will make your inner teen yeet. 

    Hot Summer Reads from All Lit Up


    Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom (Metonymy Press)
    Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club was all over Kai Cheng Thom’s young adult, coming-of-age novel when it hit the shelves and so were we. In this wonderfully magical, absorbing novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars a young femme runs away from home and is soon recruited into a vigilante gang of glamorous warrior femmes who take it upon themselves to avenge murdered trans women. There she comes of age, discovering sisterhood, love, and her own resilience—this is a one-of-a-kind YA novel to beat the heat with this summer.Paramnesia by Brian Wilkinson (Blue Moon Publishers)
    Cue up a supernatural story for the campfire: Brian Wilkinson’s Paramnesia delivers enough spooks to get your group huddling closer to the fire. The novel centres on Nora, a teenager who has just about everything she could ever want, including the boy of her dreams. But on prom night her life takes a turn when she and her boyfriend are attacked by a supernatural creature called the Revenant that feeds on the souls of the living and leaves Nora with the ability to see the dead. We recommend cooling off with this 10/10 chilling read. Even Weirder Than Before by Susie Taylor (Breakwater Books)
    Armchair travel to the late-80s and early 90s with Susie Taylor’s debut novel, Even Weirder Than Before, a coming-of-age story about suburban dysfunction, post-divorce life, pre-Internet times, and growing up queer. As Susie Taylor put it in our Pride Month interview: “Daisy’s voice tries to pay homage to the miserable, queer and confused kid finding solace scribbling away in her bedroom listening to her Walkman.” This Book Betrays My Brother by Kagiso Lesego Molope (Mawenzi House)
    If you’re looking to balance out some casual summer reading with an intense, issue-driven novel, we recommend This Book Betrays My Brother, the story of Naledi, a teenage girl learning to navigate the complexities of life growing up as a young woman in the male-dominated South Africa. In it, Naledi witnesses her brother commit rape, leaving her completely shaken and feeling alone. How will she live with it and who will she tell?Good Girls by Shalta Dicaire Fardin & Sarah Sahagian (Inanna Publications)
    School’s out for summer, but we’ll make an exception for the first novel in the this Young Feminist Series of witty, daring and feminist-first YA novels. Book one of the series Good Girls follows tenth-grader Allie Denning whose debate skills are stellar enough to land her a spot as captain of the all-girls Anne Bradstreet College debate team. She’s a rule follower, Ivy-League-school aspirer, and all around good girl. But when Allie ends up with the new, cool, party girl Octavia as her debate partner, she finds her orderly life thrown for a coming-of-age loop.* * *Missed our other #aluhotsummer reads? Check ’em out here for more recommendations to heat up your summer TBR piles.