Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle

Love Radio

Love Radio

by Ebony LaDelle

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Imprint: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Release date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 9781665908153

Prince is a romantic at heart, but he has not got time for love unless it’s helping the callers on his radio show, Love Radio. Dani is focused on her plan to receive a scholarship to study in New York and become a famous author. She doesn’t have time for love. Then Dani and Prince meet. Prince has had a crush on Dani since middle school and wants to prove he’s worth her time. He gets Dani to promise him three dates, and if after that she’s not in love with him he’ll leave her alone. Dani agrees, and as the dates go on she finds herself falling for the sweet, sincere romantic. But a trauma in Dani’s past just might get in the way of these two finding true love.

The combination of a sweet “first love” story, healing from trauma and finding who you are make this a compelling and engrossing read. Reluctant readers will fall for both Dani and Prince because they’re written so realistically. All their flaws and strengths work to create two characters who readers root for, keeping teens engaged until the satisfying conclusion. There are also lots of references to music, music history and the city of Detroit making this a fun read for young people who enjoy music.

Romance readers who enjoy a deeper connection to the characters will enjoy this heartfelt story as will readers who like music, music history or books that dive into a community or city. Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney, Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant, and Syed Masood’s More Than Just a Pretty Face, as well as Nicola Yoon books are excellent read-nexts for readers who loved this title.

— Rachel Adams

Other Nominated Titles

Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto (September 27, 2022)

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari (June 7, 2022)

Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch (April 12, 2022)

Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard (May 10, 2022)


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.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw 

Long Live the Pumpkin Queen

by Shea Ernshaw

Publisher: Disney Enterprises, Inc

Imprint: Disney Press

Release date: August 2, 2022

ISBN: 9781368069601

Sally finally has her happily ever after; she’s married to her love, Jack Skellington, and crowned Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town. However, being Pumpkin Queen isn’t as easy as Sally imagined. When she discovers a doorway to one of the ancient realms, Sally inadvertently unleashes the long forgotten Sandman on both the holiday and the human worlds. With the Sandman hunting her across the worlds, Sally must find a way to reverse his sleeping spell on everyone before it’s too late. 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Hometown Victory: A Coach’s Story of Football, Fate, and Coming Home by Keanon Lowe 

Hometown Victory: A Coach’s Story of Football, Fate, and Coming Home

by Keanon Lowe

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 9781250807632

After the death of a former teammate, Keanon Lowe left his position coaching the San Francisco 49ers to return to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Brokenhearted, he answered a Craigslist help wanted ad for a head coach of the Parkrose High School football program. Little did he know that rebuilding the team’s confidence would ultimately be an opportunity for his own healing.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of In Harm’s Way: the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Story of Its Survivors (Young Readers Adaptation) by Doug Stanton and Michael J. Tougias

In Harm’s Way: the SInking of the USS Indianapolis and the Story of Its Survivors (Young Readers Adaptation)

by Doug Stanton and Michael J. Tougias

Publisher: Macmillan Publishers

Imprint: Henry Holt and Company

Release date: February 8, 2022

ISBN: 9781250771322

The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese on July 30, 1945 killing hundreds on impact; however that was only the beginning of a four day ordeal of survival.  Thrown into the South Pacific Ocean with only life vests, a few rafts, and no supplies, nearly 1,000 sailors  had to endure dehydration, injuries, the sweltering sun, and the worst – the sharks that fed on them each night. 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Hotel Magnifique by Emily Taylor

Hotel Magnifique

by Emily Taylor

Publisher: Razorbill

Release date: April 5, 2022

ISBN:  ‎ 9780593404515

Jani has always dreamed of Elsewhere. Her daily life, devoted to supporting her younger sister Zosa by working in a harsh tannery, is turned upside down when the Hotel Magnifique comes to town. The Hotel is magical not only in its marvelous enchantments, but also in its ability to appear in a new location every day. Jani and Zosa can’t afford to be guests at the Hotel, but they do apply for and receive coveted jobs that get them through the door. Once inside the Hotel Magnifique, though, Jani realizes that behind all the sparkly beauty, danger lurks.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Cold

by Mariko Tamaki

Publisher: Macmillan 

Imprint: Roaring Brook Press

Release date: February 8, 2022

ISBN: 9781626722736

Todd is dead and now watches over his own naked corpse while trying to determine how he died. Georgia didn’t know Todd when he was alive, but is mildly obsessed with his death. Why does he seem so familiar to her? What do they have in common? 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Imprint: Underlined

Release date: February 1, 2022

ISBN: 9780593483480

Every YouTuber dreams of making it to that one million subscriber mark, including Chase. He is the impetus for the Ghost Group, a foursome of friends who make money off of going to haunted places in and around Las Vegas and searching out paranormal activity.  What makes this bunch of ghost hunters different is that they have Chrissy, who can see ghosts.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams

Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
Publisher: Hachette
Imprint: Little, Brown and Company
Release date: February 8, 2022
ISBN: 9780759553873

After the death of their grandmothers, two biracial twins, one who appears black and one who has been passing as white, are reunited in Jim Crow Georgia. Nana’s dying wish is to be buried back home in Georgia so civil rights activist Charlie leaves Harlem to return to her familial roots, the place where her parents were killed. Magnolia was raised as a white southern belle but as her grandmother lies dying she reveals a family secret – Magnolia is biracial. As she learns the truth a powerful curse is unleashed and Magnolia can no longer see herself in mirrors.  Surrounded by the ghosts of dead slaves and murdered family members, the girls must break the curse that has the power to kill them and confront the racism that tries to tear them apart.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham

My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: March 29, 2022
ISBN: 9781728236414

Finch receives a scholarship to the school of her dreams after almost dying in the car accident that killed her parents. But soon after arriving at the elite prep school she takes a trip down to the tunnels under the campus where a chance encounter with Selena St. Clair, resident popular girl, leads to her accidentally summoning something ancient from beneath the school. Soon Finch, Selena, and their friends are promised everything they want in exchange for small favors that become increasingly gruesome. Together they must solve the mystery of the creature’s existence to escape its control.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Imprint:
Release date: June 28, 2022
ISBN: 9781250826367

Magic, mystery and witchcraft combine explosively in this dark fantasy. Ivy’s summer vacation plans go awry when she’s involved in a car accident with a stranger who appears naked in the middle of the road. From there, things get creepy and weird quickly. As Ivy struggles to make sense of secrets she didn’t know her mother had, she is drawn into a world of witchcraft and sinister supernatural powers. Gripping and fast paced, this is an enticing blend of mystery, magic and terror.

Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert