Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun Cover Art

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun
by Jonny Garza Villa

Amazon Publishing / Skyscape
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
ISBN: 978-1542027052 

Julián Luna has his senior year all figured out – spend time with his friends, get into UCLA, get the heck out of Texas and away from the pressure to be anyone other than his whole, true self. Unfortunately, with one drunken Tweet he outs himself to the whole world, and suddenly Jules finds himself having to navigate a blossoming romance with the perfect boy, Mat (who is 1500 miles away in LA) and the worst-case-scenario with his homophobic father while trying to hang on to his hope of leaving Texas at the end of the school year. 

Vacillating between uplifting and crushing, heartbreaking and hilarious, Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a love letter to first loves and the resilience of driven, determined teenagers. Characters are wonderfully crafted and feel very realistic, and Latino main character Jules, written with a refreshingly conversational voice, is impossible not to adore. The situations and narrative are authentic to the teen experience in the digital age, and sex-positive adult characters are a welcome addition to the YA LGBTQ+ canon. 

Hand this one to readers who couldn’t get enough of Julie Murphy’s Pumpkin, Becky Albertalli’s Simon books, and L.C. Rosen’s Camp. Other recent titles with complicated familial relationships include Jennifer Dugan’s Some Girls Do and Mason Deaver’s I Wish You All the Best

Allie Stevens (she/her)

Other Nominated Titles

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (June 1, 2021)
  • With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand (March 30, 2021)
  • My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (June 22, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.