Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire Publication Date: June 1, 2021 ISBN: 978-1728209425
Sunny Song is an aspiring influencer, but those plans come derailed when she accidentally makes an inappropriate livestream, AKA #BrownieGate. Her parents respond by sending Sunny to a technology detox camp at a working farm. There Sunny is supposed to be learning how to live without technology. She still tries to boost her social media following and win a coveted spot on a team of content creators, thanks to a secret illegal phone that she snuck in with her. However, Sunny feels conflicted as she grows close to the son of the camp owner and may just be convinced to take the whole digital detox camp more seriously.
Sunny’s story feels very relevant to a world full of distraction due to technology and social media. She is a likable character but has her flaws and makes mistakes, which makes her more relatable. The plot is nicely paced, with a fun hook right at the beginning that pulls the reader into the story.
Summer camp. For many teens, those two words evoke all sorts of powerful memories and emotions. As someone who attended and later worked at a few different kinds of summer camps, I too associate summertime with that special otherworld of camp life. Whether it’s an academic summer program on an unfamiliar college campus, an wilderness adventure in the woods, or some other uniquely themed summer-only community experience, camp life often seems to be an escape from teens’ everyday lives.
Camp can be the rare place where you suddenly fit in and find others who share your passions. Camp can be a dependable community where you feel the freedom to be a different–and perhaps more authentic–version of yourself. Camp can also be the time and place when you discover new interests or new aspects of your identity. Like all tightly knit and highly organized communities, camp can also be a place that reinforces certain expectations or ideals, making it a trap rather than an escape. In all cases, summer camp also seems to be one of the best settings for diverse and strong coming of age tales. Just check out a few of the fabulous young adult novels set at summer camp!
The Summer I Wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi
Lexi will do almost anything to maintain her relationship with her mother, especially since her dad’s recent death. But when she figures out that Lexi’s in love with a girl, her mom plunges even deeper into depression and anxiety. Desperate to preserve her family, Lexi agrees to attend New Horizons, a Christian summer camp that promises to teach her how to fight off her SSA–same sex attraction. Lexi’s determined to change–but she wasn’t counting on meeting Carolyn.
Since her aunt used her as a model in local billboard, Sibylla’s fairly mediocre social life has started to shift in unexpected ways. Suddenly, she’s not entirely sure what to expect from the upcoming wilderness term. Handsome Ben kissed her at a party over the holidays but hasn’t said much since and her longtime best friend Holly seems intensely invested in Sib & Ben’s potential romance. Meanwhile, new girl Lou simply wants to muddle through this strange first term without having to discuss her dead boyfriend or her still crushing grief. But in this unfamiliar environment, relationships of all kinds undergo unforeseen transformations. Continue reading Gone Camping: Novels Set At Summer Camp
A much-needed discussion about the representation of the LGBTQ community is growing in the YA world. Author Malindo Lo does an amazing job of putting a spotlight on the issue by creating a yearly list of published LGBT YA titles and The Hub’s own Molly Wetta put together an impressive guide last year of YA novels with LGBTQ characters. This building conversation and one Stephanie Perkins book later left me wondering where the LGBTQ parents were hiding in the YA world.
Family relationships are a huge part of young adult literature because of what an important part they are to teens’ lives. Your parents (or lack their of) and the struggle to come to terms with their flaws is a major part of growing up. Parents are pretty much the anchors of your universe, so seeing these relationships and familial conflicts play out in a YA novel is necessary, needed, and in no way restricted to families with heterosexual parents.
So where are the LGBTQ parents in our YA books? With over 7 million LGBTQ parents that have school-aged children in the United States , it’s a question I hope more people will be asking our YA literature community soon, because right now there are too few titles out there representing these families.
This list is by no means comprehensive and did take the full force of my fellow Hub bloggers to help me put together. I tried to stick to books where the parents seemed like more fully-formed characters in the story, as opposed to purely background players. Read on for our guide to main characters in YA novels with LGBTQ parents: Continue reading LGBTQ Parents in YA Novels