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Welcome to the We Are YA Podcast!


YA books are longer than 280 characters. Conversations about YA should be too. Welcome to the We Are YA podcast! Over 7 episodes, host Anna Borges will be talking all all things YA with the amazing authors that make up the modern YA community. Here is where you can find additional information and links to each episode!



Episode 8: Living Multiple Identities with Namrata Tripathi


Listen here

What Namrata is reading: 

  1. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  2. Usagi Yojimbo graphic novel series by Stan Sakai

Who Namrata likes to follow:

  1. @SFdirewolf on Twitter
  2. ContraPoints  (YouTube: )


Episode 7: Good Sex in YA with Laurie Halse Anderson


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What Laurie’s reading:

  1. The Vagina Bible by Dr. Jen Gunter, M.D., who is one of Laurie’s favorite Twitter people!
  2. Working by Robert A. Caro
  3. Daisy Jones & The Six (audiobook) by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Who Laurie likes to follow:

Laurie likes following journalists from other cultures, as well as historians. If you’re looking for specific recommendations, Laurie is on Twitter over at @halseanderson, and her lists are public and can be viewed here!


EPISODE 6: Is YA Losing its Edge? with Amanda Joy

WeAreYA_Joy_Twitter (1)

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What Amanda’s Reading:

  1. Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  2. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  3. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  4. She loves anything written by Kristin Cashore!

People to follow: 

  1. She recommends you follow @bookhoarders on instagram!


EPISODE 5: Who Owns #OwnVoices with Kat Cho


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What Kat’s Reading:

  1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee,
  2. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  3. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
  4. On the Come Up by Angie Thoma

People to follow: 

  1. Claribel Ortega (@Claribel_Ortega on Twitter)

EPISODE 4: Taking the Guilt Out of Guilty Pleasures with Renée Ahdieh


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Episode resource list:

What Renée’s Reading:

  1. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean
  2. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

  3. Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

People to follow:

  1. Renée loves to follow @celine fashion!


EPISODE 3: The YA Mental Health Crisis with Nina LaCour


This episode of We Are YA with Nina LaCour contains discussion around mental health and suicide. Remember that you can always get support by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or through the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

Listen here

Episode resource list:

Reads Nina recommends:

  1. There There by Tommy Orange
  2. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

People to follow:

  1. Nina recommends you follow @sitting_pretty on instagram!


EPISODE 2: Is Social Media Bad? with Akilah Hughes


Listen now!

About Akilah Hughes

Akilah Hughes is a writer, comedian, and YouTuber residing in Brooklyn, NY. She’s been a digital correspondent for MTV, Fusion, Comedy Central, Crooked Media, and more. A Sundance Labs Fellow, Akilah most recently appeared on the HBO series special Pod Save America. Her comedic YouTube channel, “It’s Akilah, Obviously!” has amassed more than 150,000 subscribers. Find her on Twitter @AkilahObviously or on Instagram @akilahh.


Episode resource list:

What Akilah is reading right now:

  1. Calypso by David Sedaris
  2. Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  3. We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

People to follow:

  1. @Lessons from the Screenplay and @Hot Ones (on YouTube)
  2. @jaboukie and @party_harderson (on Twitter)



EPISODE 1: Finding Joy with Gabby Rivera


Listen now on Spotify

About Gabby Rivera

Rivera’s critically acclaimed debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath was called “f*cking outstanding” by Roxane Gay, published in hardcover for the first time in 2019 by Penguin Young Readers. Gabby has also written in the Lumberjanes universe for Boom! Studios. Her latest short story O.1 can be found in Victor LaValle’s recent anthology A People’s Future of the United States. Gabby is currently working on her next novel. Gabby Rivera is also the author of AMERICA, the debut solo series for America Chavez, Marvel’s first queer Latina superhero.

When not writing, Gabby speaks on her experiences as a queer Puerto Rican from the Bronx, an LGBTQ youth advocate, and the importance of centering joy in narratives as Latinx people and people of color at events across the country.


Episode resource list:

Books that Gabby loved growing up!

  1. Entries from a Hot Pink Notebook by Todd Brown
  2. Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing by Erika Lopez
  3. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  4. Roald Dahl’s books!
  5. The Babysitters’ Club series
  6. Christopher Pike books!

Books Gabby is reading right now:

  1. Alien Nation graphic novels
  2. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
  3. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown

People to follow:

Gabby recommends you follow National Geographic, @bad_dominica, and @sapphicmemes!



See you next week for a new episode of We Are YA!


Huda Fahmy shares her inspiration for her graphic novel HUDA F ARE YOU?

From the creator of Yes, I’m Hot In This, Huda F Are You is a cheeky, hilarious, and honest graphic novel that asks the question everyone has to figure out for themselves: Who are you? We asked author and illustrator Huda Fahmy about why she decided to write Huda F Are You? Scroll down to read about her inspiration! By the … Continued
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Robyn Schneider’s Top 3 Influences for THE OTHER MERLIN

The Other Merlin is the perfect read for anyone in need of the perfect Gossip Girl meets Merlin fantasy  mash-up. So, we couldn’t help but ask author Robyn Schneider: how did you come up with it?! And she had answers! Scroll down for Robyn Schneider’s top 3 pop culture influences for writing The Other Merlin. About the book:  Channeling the … Continued
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Behind the scenes: Ayana Gray shares her biggest inspirations for writing Beasts of Prey!

We asked author Ayana Gray to share her top inspirations for writing her upcoming, HOTLY anticipated debut Beasts of Prey, a fantasy novel about two Black teenagers who strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the creature menacing their home. And here’s what she had to say! My Biggest Book Inspirations   An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir I … Continued
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Penguin Teen Authors Share Their Scariest Real-Life Stories: Part 2!

Welcome back to Real-Life Scary Stories with Penguin Teen Authors! We asked our authors to share their creepiest experiences and urban legends, so scroll down for the perfect Halloween reads!   First up, Kelly deVos, author of Eat Your Heart Out, and the story of the mysterious bellhop at the Hotel Monte Vista! My name is … Continued
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What it’s like to watch your book become a movie: Stephanie Perkins talks about There’s Someone Inside Your House on Netflix!

What is it like to watch your book become a movie? We asked Stephanie Perkins, whose There’s Someone Inside Your House just hit Netflix! Here’s what she had to say.     Hi, there! I’m Stephanie Perkins, and I’m the author of the new horror novel The Woods Are Always Watching—but today I’m here for my previous novel, There’s … Continued
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The official Beasts of Prey playlist!

With Beasts of Prey just around the corner (hello, Sept 28th!!) and the fandom growing FAST, we asked author Ayana Gray to share her Beasts of Prey playlist so you’re ready to tune in on Spotify and read along as soon as your copy comes in! So without further ado, onto you, Ayana! Hello!  This is definitely one of … Continued
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The official THE OTHER MERLIN playlist!

We can’t resist a thematic playlist to kick back and read to. So, we asked Robyn Schneider, author of The Other Merlin, if she had any tunes that fit her new fantasy novel, and BOY did she come through! Scroll down to tune into the official The Other Merlin playlist! About The Other Merlin: Channeling the modern humor of The … Continued
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5 things to know about HELLO (FROM HERE)

Hello (From Here) is a heartfelt, witty, and thought-provoking YA love story about two teens who fall for each other while forced apart during quarantine, written by two New York Times bestselling authors, and for fans of Five Feet Apart, Anna and the French Kiss, and My Life Next Door. Speaking of bestselling authors, we had some questions for Chandler and Wesley … Continued
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Penguin Teen Authors Share Their Scariest Real-Life Stories: Part 1!

Happy (almost) Halloween! We can’t resist a good scare here at Penguin Teen, and who’s better at scary stories than…well…authors?! As it turns out, our authors had some of their own not-so-fictional scary experiences that will have you sleeping with the lights on this Halloween. Prepare to be scared!   First up…the Black Dahlia Selfie … Continued
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Stephanie Perkins on 3 True Crime Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

Love a gripping true crime podcast? You’re not the only one! Stephanie Perkins, author of the new The Woods Are Always Watching a heart-stopping novel about friendship, survival, and navigating unmarked paths even as evil watches from the shadows, knows her way around a edge-of-your-seat thriller. So we asked her for some recommendations! Here are 3 … Continued
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