Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: The Queens of New York by E.L. Shen

  • The Queens of New York
  • by E.L. Shen
  • Narrated by Katharine Chin, Vyvy Nguyen and Joy Osmanski
  • Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. | Quill Tree Books
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063237988

Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable. But this summer, each friend is going on their own adventure.Broadway-obsessed Everett is off to a prestigious theater camp in Ohio. Though she can’t stop thinking about South Korea where her older sister died last year, Ariel, a certified genius, is headed to California for a STEM camp before starting college a year early. Kind, solid Jia is at home in Flushing trying to help with her parents’ restaurant while also caring for her younger sister and grandmother. The three friends support each other from near and far while exploring the world and how they want to live in it.

This audiobook has something to offer everyone and readers will be sure to catch glimpses of themselves in Jia, Ariel and Everett. The narrators bring the personality of the different friends to life in a way that is realistic and comforting rather than overly dramatic. A great read for those looking for realistic fiction and tales of strong friendship like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, the Heartstopper books and TV series, Becky Albertali’s Simonverse books as well as Golden Boys by Phil Stamper.

-Natalie LaRocque

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.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Summer Quarterly Round-Up

  • Divine Rivals
  • By Rebecca Ross
  • Publication Date: 2023.
  • Length: 357 p.
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books, $18.99
  • ISBN: 9781250857439
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12.

As the war between the gods creeps closer to the city, Iris and Roman fiercely compete to become the new newspaper columnist for the prestigious Oath Gazette. Their lives become further entwined and complicated thanks to the magical letters they unknowingly write to each other.

  • Friends Like These
  • By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Length: 377 p.
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593309674)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

Power couple Jessica and Jake’s relationship is irreparably damaged when Jake’s former girlfriend live streams their sexual encounter at a party.  Jake wakes up disoriented, Jessica leaves the party devastated, and Tegan–the ex–is missing and presumed dead.

  • Give Me a Sign
  • By Anna Sortino
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 303 p.
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593533796)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 10.

Lilah is hard of hearing and uses hearing aids, but she feels like she doesn’t fit in with the hearing world. She learns to embrace her Deaf identity while working as a junior counselor at a summer camp for the deaf and blind, while also making friends and starting a summer romance.


  • Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend
  • By Brandon Hoàng
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 293 p.
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780374388577)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 12

Gary Võ’s revelation that he has an “in” with the untouchable Gloria Buenrostro has the potential of lifting him and his best friend, Preston, out of social obscurity–if he is willing to betray Gloria’s trust in the relationship the two of them have built.

  • Going Bicoastal
  • By Dahlia Adler
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 325 p.
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books, $20.00 
  • ISBN: (9781250871640)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12.

Jewish, bisexual Natalya has to choose between trying something new and scary or making the familiar new again in this light-hearted rom-com, which tells two parallel romance storylines: one where Natalya spends her summer in LA with her estranged mother and one where she stays in NYC with her dad.

  • I Kick and I Fly
  • By Ruchira Gupta
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 336 p.
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9781338825091)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 12

Heera is a girl, told since she was little, that she is destined for a life of prostitution. She is invited into a hostel for endangered girls and is given the chance to learn kung fu and, in the process, learn about how strong she really is.

  • If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come
  • By Jen St. Jude
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 397 p.
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury YA, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781547611362)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12

Avery is ready to end her life when she receives a call that an asteroid is imminent and  will end the world for everyone. With a handful of days left, she must decide how and with whom to spend the remaining time.

  • Into the Light
  • By Mark Oshiro
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 442 p.
  • Publisher: Tor Teen, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250812254)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12.

Manny, exiled from his adoptive family and their religious organization, roams about trying to survive. When he sees the report of a dead body near the organization’s camp, he is determined to discover if the body belongs to his sister in hopes he is not too late.

  • Invisible Son
  • By Kim Johnson
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 404 p.
  • Publication Date: Random House, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593482100)
  • Reading Grade: Gr. 9 – 12

Andres Jackson just spent two months incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit.  A restorative justice program allows him to return to his family home in Northeast Portland but his  plans for returning to school and establishing his innocence are interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Izzy at the End of the World
  • By K. A. Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 330 p.
  • Publication Date: Clarion Books, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780358467779)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 5 – 9

Izzy Wilder is a fourteen-year-old autistic girl who recently lost her mom. Now living with her grandparents, Izzy witnesses a bright light that causes everyone she knows to vanish. With only her beloved dog left of her family, Izzy must try to survive.

  • Nigeria Jones
  • By Ibi Zoboi
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 369 p.
  • Publisher: Balzar + Bray, $17.99 
  • ISBN: (9780062888846)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 12

Growing up in a Black Nationalist compound, Nigeria Jones has accepted her father’s philosophies without question. His decision to begin a relationship with a younger woman in the absence of Nigeria’s mother as well as his restrictions prohibiting her from attending the private school her mother wanted her to attend are causing Nigeria not just to question him, but to rebel.

  • Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling
  • By Elise Bryant
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 392 p.
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780063212992)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 11

A New Year’s Eve gig that Delilah can’t get out of and a little peer pressure forcing Reggie to attend a party where Delilah’s band is performing is the beginning of a relationship that neither of them can seem to escape.

  • The Dos and Donuts of Love
  • By Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 321 p
  • Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250842114)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 12.

Shireen Malik is determined to win the Junior Irish Baking Show to save her parents’ struggling donut shop, but finds herself partnered with her ex-girlfriend.  Navigating friendships, romantic entanglements, and the competition is enough to challenge any baker.

  • The Minus-One Club
  • By Kekla Magoon
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 360 p.
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250806208)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

After fifteen year-old Kermit loses his older sister in a car accident, he finds a message signed “-1” in his locker, inviting him into an unlikely group of fellow students dealing with grief.

  • The Queens of New York
    • By E.L. Shen
    • Publication Date: 2023
    • Length: 326 p.
    • Publisher: Quill Tree Books, $19.99 
    • ISBN: (9780063237957)
    • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 11

Summer has just begun when three best friends, Everett, Jia and Ariel head separate ways for a summer of discovery, romance, and most importantly, friendship. That summer will also test their relationship and create opportunities for personal growth.

  • This Delicious Death
  • By Kayla Cottingham
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 290 p.
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 
  • ISBN: (9781728236445)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

A new pathogen requires individuals to eat synthetic human meat to not turn into monsters. All is going well until people start disappearing at a music festival. As users of the synthetic meat, Zoey, Celeste and their friends are determined to solve the mystery before more people get hurt.

  • What Happened to Rachel Riley?
  • By Claire Swinarski
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 343 p.
  • Publication Date: Quill Tree Books, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780063213098)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 5 – 8.

When Anna starts eighth grade at a new school, she is immediately drawn to the mystery surrounding Rachel Riley, a former popular student who the entire eighth grade class has shunned. Anna decides to use her fact-finding skills to create a podcast dedicated to figuring out what happened to Rachel Riley.

  • Where You See Yourself
  • By Claire Forrest
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 306 p.
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781338813838)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12

Effie, a high school senior with cerebral palsy, grapples with advocating for herself, deciding which college to attend, and revealing her feelings to the guy she has had a secret crush on for years.

  • Wings in the Wild
  • By Margarita Engle
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 211 p.
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9781665926362)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 10

A hurricane displaces Soleida and her family, leading to her parents’ imprisonment for making illegal art and forcing Soleida to flee Cuba alone on foot. Dariel travels with his Cuban grandfather to Costa Rica to help those in need. Soleida and Dariel fall in love and fight the climate crisis.

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: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB

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: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB