Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
HarperCollins / HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Jay Collier is an out and proud white gay teen in rural Washington. As everyone in school has paired off and are busy experiencing their first relationships, Jay has no one to date. He creates “Jay’s Gay Agenda”: a bucket list of relationship experiences he wants to have. When his family moves to Seattle at the start of his senior year, he is overjoyed at the idea of being surrounded by other queer teens and hopes to start marking things off his list. As Jay jumps into life at his new school and starts making new friends, he discovers that the balancing act between balancing his time and energy between his new and old friends is hard; throw in dating and crossing off agenda experiences and suddenly life is really complicated.
Jason June’s engaging debut novel is upbeat and funny with a rich cast of characters. Jay begins his journey solely focused on having as many romantic experiences as possible without considering other people’s feelings. Jay develops into a likeable, layered character as his experiences begin to shape who he wants to be as a person. This sex-positive novel explores fitting in and finding your place, first love, and friendship.
Give this title to readers who enjoy LGBTQIA+ romance novels and fans of Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli and The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch. Teens who enjoyed the Seattle setting of Rachel Lynn Solomon’s Today Tonight Tomorrow and fans of the Hulu series Love, Victor will also enjoy this book.
––Amanda Kordeliski, she/her/hers
Other Nominated Titles
- Fierce as the Wind by Tara Wilson Redd (June 22, 2021)
- In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner (August 10, 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.