All the YA Lit at Texas Book Fest!

Teens! A ton of amazing Young Adult authors will be at this year’s Fest. We’re once again bringing back YA HQ Tent on Congress, an entire tent dedicated to young adult authors and panels.

Tons of the year’s most exciting YA authors will be here, including Rainbow Rowell, Mariko Tamaki, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Hafsah Faizal and more. Come out to meet them and hear about their brand new books October 26-27!


Taking Care of Business: Kick-Butt Women in Fantastic Worlds
YA HQ Tent, 11:00 AM – 11:45 

The powerful women in these big new fantasy and sci fi novels are taking on the world to do what only they can do: save it from itself. From the Wild West to Wonderland to deep space, these authors talk about riveting new adventures that leave us feeling empowered and energized to take on our own worlds!
Authors: Charlotte Nicole Davis, L.L. McKinney, Nicky Drayden
Moderator: Katrina Ashton

Confronting Injustice: New YA About Major Issues
YA HQ Tent, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

One of the most important things stories can do is encourage us to become more engaged with the world around us. In their new novels, these authors show us characters who stand up for what they believe in and make change in their communities. What are you capable of changing? Come be inspired by these stories!
Authors: Kekla Magoon, Rafi Mittlefehldt, Mitali Perkins
Moderator: Vanessa Lee

Matters of the Heart: Modern Love Stories
YA HQ Tent, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Love is great… until it sucks. Oh, but even then, relationships are so interesting to discuss. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or have sworn off love forever, grab a seat while we talk about the different kinds of love and heartbreak in these new books, from star-crossed love on the border, to two teenage girls outed in a small Texas town, to a graphic novel about a girlfriend who just will not go away.

Authors:Rubén Degollado, Brynne Rebele-Henry, Mariko Tamaki
Moderator: Anna Lyon

Dramatic Destinies: Death-Defying Stories of Daring and Courage
YA HQ Tent, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Death-defying feats of deception, daring, cunning and courage fill these page-turning adventures. It’s going to be a wild ride as the authors dive in and tell us how they create these imaginative, carefully-plotted stories that keep us reading way past our bedtime.
Authors: Hafsah Faizal, Maureen Johnson, Mary Pearson
Moderator: Princess Jones Curtis


On Our Own Terms: Creating the Lives We Want
YA HQ Tent, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

The world can be a lot to bear sometimes. Like, way too much. When that happens, the worlds we create for ourselves with music, friends, and our own imaginations can literally save us. But what happens when that salvation stops working? These authors share new stories where personal survival takes unique forms–and faces its own unforeseen consequences.

Authors: Audrey Coulthurst, Paula Garner, Morgan Parker
Moderator: Leticia Urieta

Wise Warriors and Epic Adventures
YA HQ Tent, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

Acts of daring and drama tear across these new novels, where wit and bravery save worlds, battle injustice, and take on enemies across the ages. Dive deep into these tales of vengeance and justice and find out how these authors fuel the fire of these stories.

Authors: Tochi Onyebuchi, Lilliam Rivera, Sherry Thomas
Moderator: Natalia Sylvester

What I Never Told You: Spinning Secrets and Uncovering Truths
YA HQ Tent, 2:00-2:45

Secrets spin at the heart of all of these new novels. From the truth behind a rap song that’s gone viral, to the unspoken traumas of family history, to a character’s deepest desires to make more of his life, to uncovering the truth behind a murder, each author explores the implications and consequences of what we do and don’t reveal, to ourselves and the people we care about most.

Authors: Tiffany D. Jackson, Jennifer D. Mathieu, Matthew Mendez, Randy Ribay
Moderator: Kendra Fortmeyer

A Conversation with Rainbow Rowell
Kirkus Reviews Tent, Sunday October 27, 3:15-4:00

Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell sits down at Texas Book Fest to talk about her brand new book, Wayward Son, the sequel to her #1 New York Times bestselling book, Carry On. What happens when the hero’s journey is over? What comes next when your life has only just begun? Don’t miss this amazing conversation!

Authors: Rainbow Rowell
Moderator: Mariko Tamaki


Books We Can’t Wait to Read: Lydia’s YA Picks

Happy 2019, y’all! New year, new books, new resolution to read everything I can get my hands on without coming up for air (it’s the resolution I make every year, and in some ways, it’s the easiest since it’s what I most want to do all the time). I’m sharing a list of Young Adult books (and a few middle grade) that I either have read already and loved, or cannot wait to read and expect I will love. This is an entirely subjective list made from perusing spring and summer publishing catalogs, with the help of some ARCS I’ve gotten, and there are so, so many books to look forward to this year that I didn’t get to on this list.

Read It, Loved It, I’m Starting A Fan Club:


Dragon Pearl – Yoon Ha Lee
I finished this book last week and I’ve already texted a friends about it a bazillion times. With this wild, wild west-style space opera, full of Korean folklore, mythical creatures, futuristic societies, and truly original world-builing, Yoon Ha Lee brings all the talent and verve that have made her name in adult horror and science fiction, and makes a fantastic middle-grade debut. I’ve loved everything the Rick Riordan Presents imprint has published so far, and Dragon Pearl is such a worthy addition.
Bonus: if you’re an audiobook fan, this is a good one to listen to!

If You’re Out There – Katy Loutzenhiser
I think anyone who is or has been a teenager well understands that feeling of watching the friends we’ve known since forever grow up alongside us and… grow into someone we don’t actually know as well anymore. If You’re Out There is one such universal coming-of-age story, but don’t think that means it’s a predictable plot—Zan’s unique angst and her refusal to simply let her best friend go made this one of the freshest, most heartfelt, and yes, fun take on this common theme and I want everyone to read this the second it hits the shelves.

This Time Will Be Different – Misa Sugiura
One of my favorite books of 2017 was Misa Sugiura’s gorgeous It’s Not Like It’s A Secret (if a story combines a coming of age narrative, positive queer representation, and the mystery of a family’s long-held secret, I’m there), and I’m only a couple of chapters into This Time Will Be Different, but I can already confidently recommend this gem. If you loved the sweet romance interwoven with history and complicated families in The Sun Is Also a Star and Picture Us In The Light, this is definitely a book for you, and it’s going to be the book I feverishly press into the hands of every friend, family member, and passing stranger I see this year.
Also, I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we all do it AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER.

Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
Speaking of covers, here’s another I can recommend you lovingly stroke while diving into the fast-paced, intricate story of fantastical magic, ancient artifacts, and dark inheritance. Set in a fictionalized version of Paris, Chokshi’s brilliant, gem-faceted world holds all the lush, layered mystery of books like Swordspoint and Six of Crows—best of all, you can read it now.

Dealing in Dreams – Lilliam Rivera
From the author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, this book has a brilliant premise, a frame-worthy cover, and a story full of swagger and singular, unforgettable voice. The story of Nalah and her Las Mal Criadas, the “baddest girl gang in Mega City,” is all I ever wanted from a high-octane futuristic feminist dystopian fantasy about a group of teen girls fighting their way through an inhospitable world.

Haven’t Read Yet But Would Follow These Authors Anywhere:


A Thousand Sisters – Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity stole my heart and made me sob (all three times I’ve read it), and I’ve relished every Elizabeth Wein book that’s come after, so I can’t wait to get my hands on A Thousand Sisters. Wein’s Young Pilots series is my gold standard for well-researched historical fiction, so it only makes sense that she should write a book about the Night Witches, “Soviet women who flew World War II bombing missions in flimsy bi-planes made of balsa wood and fabric.” Even if you don’t reach for nonfiction very often, treat yourself to this one: Wein’s storytelling abilities have a way of putting you in the moment so well you’ll be just as entranced as with a novel.

The Meaning of Birds – Jaye Robin Brown
Did you love Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit? Me too, and while it may have a heavier storyline, I expect Brown’s skillful treatment of queer teen stories and complex, genuine characters will make The Meaning of Birds just as important and uplifting.

Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits – Anna Meriano
My favorite clan of pastry brujas is back and I cannot wait to read this follow-up to one of my favorite books of 2018. Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble was full of wacky fun, family secrets, and sisterly love (and trouble)—I fully expect A Sprinkle of Spirits to be just as spicy, spooky, and sweet. Bonus: for those of y’all in the Houston area, you can celebrate the book’s release with Houston-based author Anna Meriano at Brazos Bookstore on Febrary 9.

The Vanishing Stair – Maureen Johnson
Did you fall in love with the twistery mystery of Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious? I was sold from the first page (The dedication reads: “For everyone who has ever dreamed of finding a body in the library.” How does she know??) and when my local indie bookstore opened on Tuesday, January 22, you bet I was at the door waiting to get my hands on a copy. I’ll probably finish it in one gulp and then regret not making it last a little long. Oh well.

Somewhere Only We Know – Maurene Goo
One of my favorite books I read last year was The Way You Make Me Feel, and I was so thrilled to get to see Maurene Goo, in all her intimidating-coolness, at the 2018 Texas Book Festival. Imagine my shriek when I came across Somewhere Only We Know in a spring catalog—a new book by the queen of fresh, original YA rom-coms, starring a Kpop star and a teen tabloid reporter? I’ve never hit pre-order so fast.

The Raven’s Tale – Cat Winters
I adore Cat Winters’s particular brand of bone-chilling historical fiction, and am both excited and slightly terrified to see how she tells this tale of the King of Creep himself, young Edgar Allen Poe. While I wait for April 16, I will buy extra light bulbs for the coming nights when I can’t sleep. Future Lydia will thank me.

And Still More I Can’t Wait to Read:


Dough Boys – Paula Chase
The Usual Suspects – Maurice Broaddus
Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined – Stephanie Hemphill
Like a Love Story – Abdi Nazemian
Destroy All Monsters – Sam J. Miller
With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo

Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Let Me Hear A Rhyme – Tiffany D. Jackson
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali – Sabina Khan
Tell Me How You Really Feel – Aminah Mae Safi
The Tiger at Midnight – Swati Teerdhala


A Good Kind of Trouble – Lisa Moore Ramée
Orange for the Sunsets – Tina Athaide
Other Words for Home – Jasmine Warga
These Witches Don’t Burn – Isabel Sterling
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens – Tanya Boteju
Stand on the Sky – Erin Bow
Love and Other Curses – Michael Thomas Ford



The Raven Tower – Ann Leckie

One Last recommendation: This one isn’t technically YA or middle-grade, but how could I write this post and not shriek about a new fantasy novel from multiple award-winning author Ann Leckie (who also just happens to be one of my favorite living authors?). The answer is: I could not, and should not. We should all be basking in the glory of Leckie’s boundless imagination, dry, subtle wit, and heart-stealing characters.

The 2017 Texas Teen Book Festival!

TTBF 2017 Date Enews Announcement

The Texas Teen Book Festival has announced its 2017 date! Mark your calendars now for another awesome celebration of YA authors, books, reading, writing, and the wonderful YA community we have here in Texas.

Head to the #TTBF website for full details of when and where to be. Be sure to sign up for the #TTBF enewsletter while you’re there to stay up to the minute with #TTBF news as it hits.

Want to keep up with #TTBF YA love every day? Follow the Texas Teen Book Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.