A fresh perspective on body image and K-pop? Jjang!

I'LL BE THE ONE

A plus-sized Korean American teen enters a K-pop competition in both the singing and dance categories.

It was a long time coming, but at 16, Skye Shin is finally comfortable with her size-16 body. But that doesn’t mean she’s immune from the microaggressions she encounters everywhere she goes. Skye does a great job describing not just what it feels like to be on the receiving end of hurtful bias, but also how her experiences have shaped her, given her strength, and taught her to love herself. When a K-pop competition show comes to Los Angeles, nothing will stop Skye from competing, not even her own immigrant mother, whose body-shaming comments border on abusive. The judges, however, are a different story. She’s going to have to work harder than she ever has before to prove that talent can outshine prejudice. In the process, Skye’s strength and talent make her an inspiration to K-pop–loving teens everywhere—including those in real life. Lee’s YA debut slathers on all the juicy drama, high emotion, and kick-ass performances you’d expect from a K-pop talent competition but also has quieter moments where true friendships and a swoony romance develop. While most of the cast, including the hunky love interest, is Korean or Korean American, there are competitors of other races. Skye and the boy she likes are bisexual, and there are queer secondary characters.

A fresh perspective on body image and K-pop? Jjang! (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-293692-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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