Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: The Queens of New York by E.L. Shen

  • The Queens of New York
  • by E.L. Shen
  • Publisher: Quill Tree Books
  • Release date: June 6, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063237957

Jia, Everett, and Ariel are best friends.  While they attend different schools and come from vastly different families, one thing that remains the same is their immovable friendship.  As summer begins in New York City, the three friends embark on separate journeys.  Everett heads to Ohio for an intense musical theater workshop, Ariel sets off for San Francisco to attend pre-college courses on a STEM scholarship, and Jia stays home to help with her family’s restaurant and to keep an eye on her little sister and ailing grandmother.  While they are scattered across the country, they never lose sight of their relationship and draw on each other’s strengths to get through the challenges each one faces during this summer of reckoning.

A diverse cast of characters comes together in an outstanding example of teenage friendship.  Told through three distinct voices with interjections of texts and emails, readers will identify with the authentic portrayal of teen relationships and struggles such as conforming to parental ideals and the loss of a loved one.

Teens who enjoy realistic fiction and coming of age stories will love The Queens of New York.  Readers who are looking for a summer vacation, beach, or airplane read, will devour this tale of summer romances, heartaches, and victories. Perfect for fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares and Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen.

– Maryjean Riou

Other Nominated Titles

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 Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: