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.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Red Palace by June Hur

The Red Palace by June Hur
Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781250800558

In 1758 Joseon (Korea), 18-year-old Hyeon worked hard to become a palace nurse, one of the very few positions an illegitimate daughter can hold, with the hopes of doing a good job and earning her father’s approval, but her hopes are dashed when her mentor is accused of murdering four girls and Hyeon chooses to risk her life and position to help clear her mentor’s name.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
ISBN: 9780063060234

Yamilet Flores is doing the best she can. She’s working part-time to be able to afford the tuition at her new fancy private school and she’s trying to keep her brother on the straight and narrow. But it’s hard when you’re the new girl, with a supposedly difficult to pronounce name who also happens to be Mexican and queer but just wants to blend in. Add in a really nice, cute, and smart, openly queer girl named Bo and it becomes even harder.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Mamo, vol. 1 by Sas Milledge

Mamo, vol. 1 by Sas Milledge
Boom! Box / Boom! Studios
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781684158171

Mamo is a magical story in which Jo seeks out the help of a witch named Orla to help her seaside village of Haresden. Magic has gone out of control, Jo’s mom is cursed, and the whole town is suffering. Orla has returned to Haresden because of the death of her grandmother, Mamo. Mamo was the witch of Haresden, and now Jo and Orla must bury her bones correctly in order to save the town. 

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Narrated by Pete Cross

Scholastic Audio Books

Publication Date: August 16, 2022ISBN: 9781338853186

After the sudden, violent death of their twin sister, Caroline, gender-fluid Mars is determined to find out more about the last weeks of her life. That means returning to the Aspen Conservatory, a place they swore they’d never set foot in again. As Mars is slowly pulled into the orbit of Caroline’s friends at Aspen, nicknamed The Honeys for the beehives they tend, things slowly start to warp and spin out of control. Suspicious of everyone’s intentions, Mars doesn’t know who to trust. They just know that something is wrong – very wrong – at Aspen. But will the pull to join the peaceful lull and harmony of The Honeys and their hive win out over their quest for answers?  With menacingly wonderful and creepy twists, readers won’t see the end coming.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle
First Second
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781250297235

Winifred begins a lonely tenth grade year without her two best friends, who have moved away. In photography class, she meets Oscar and April, and the three form a fast friendship over art, zines and fashion. Though she still talks to her old friends, has a strong relationship with her mom, and finds new joy with Oscar and April, Winifred struggles with depression, self-harm and disordered eating, which eventually escalate. Will Win sabotage herself and her support system, or will she find the strength to tell the truth and ask for help?

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
Candlewick Press
Publication Date: April 12, 2022
ISBN: 9781536204957

Twelve year old Sai is assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker. No one knows that she has been harboring a secret; her father is a conman. When they set out on a journey to chart the southern seas, she has no idea that the ship may actually be heading to the fabled Sunderlands, a land thought to be guarded by dragons. As Sai struggles to conceal her identity aboard the ship, she discovers that she is not the only one with a secret. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos
Atheneum
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781534469242

During the Cuban revolution, Marisol’s parents decide to send her to the United States to get her away from the political unrest. Missing her culture, parents, and Cuba, Marisol’s life and the pages of this book lose all color when she first arrives in New York City. Unable to understand English, all the speech bubbles are either empty or filled with squiggling lines. With a language barrier between them, her caretakers attempt to find ways to make her feel welcomed and included. As time passes, Marisol’s world begins to bloom with color as she learns about her new community and the people who live in it.

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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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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of One True Loves by Elise Bryant

One True Loves by Elise Bryant
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication Date: January 4, 2022
ISBN: 9780062982865

Lenore (fans will remember her from Bryant’s Happily Ever Afters) is on a European cruise with her siblings and parents the summer after high school. She’s NYU bound in the fall – as long as she can pick a major by the end of the cruise. Also, her brother’s acting weird, and there’s an annoying guy hanging around. As Lenore struggles to make a plan for her future, she realizes maybe she doesn’t need to struggle alone. 

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