Contemporary YA

Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

When I first saw Lindsey Roth Culli’s young adult novel, Say Yes Summer, I figured it was going to be something akin to Shonda Rhimes’ memoir, The Year of Yes, which encourages you to say “yes” to opportunity when it comes knocking. I could tell that Say Yes Summer would be predictable, but in a good way—sometimes you just want to read a feel-good, summer-y novel. And, I’m happy to report that Say Yes Summer is a book you should say “yes” to. It’s an excellent summer read that takes you back to high school without actually having to go back to high school.

Camia Rhodes

Say Yes Summer centers around Rachel Walls, a girl who’s spent her entire life striving to achieve three goals: getting straight A’s, getting into the college of her dream, and getting an academic scholarship. In pursuit of these goals, she’s spent her whole high school existence saying “no” to everything: no dances, no parties, no boys, no anything fun. We meet Rachel on the night of her graduation and follow along as she celebrates this achievement by spending the summer before college, saying “yes” to everything that comes her way…including unexpected romance. 

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An Interview with Tanaz Bhathena

Photo by Nettie Photography

Young adult author Tanaz Bhathena writes epic fantasy—including The Wrath of Ambar series—and #ownvoices contemporary YA. In her free time, Tanaz enjoys listening to music, traveling abroad, and watching Bollywood movies.

Tanaz Bhathena is a young adult author who has won numerous awards, including Best Book of the Year (CBC and USBBY) for Hunted by the Sky. Its sequel, Rising like a Storm, comes out June 22, 2021. She excels at writing strong female leads, like Gul in Hunted by the Sky. Tanaz speaks to us about the publishing and writing process, how social media plays into our lives as authors, and how to fit writing into our busy schedules.  —Emily Johnson

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