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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!


Listen to the FLYY GIRLS Playlist by Ashley Woodfolk!

We asked Ashley Woodfolk, author of Flyy Girls, what her characters would listen to–and she delivered! Read a bit from Ashley below and enjoy the tunes! Writing the Flyy Girls Series has been as much of a challenge as it has been a joy. Getting to know each girl intimately enough to tell her story while … Continued
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9 1/2 Things We Learned and Loved From Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana Documentary

If you found yourself deeply emotionally invested in Taylor Swift’s recent Netflix documentary, you’re not alone. And luckily, our fav YA couple IRL, Austin Siegemund-Broka & Emily Wibberley (Wibbroka, if you will) are also HUGE fans. So, they sat down to recap their top nine (and a half) things we learned (and loved) from Taylor Swift’s … Continued
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Plotting with Rosaria Munda

If you’ve been paying attention to the goings on of YA, you’ve probably have noticed a whole lot of chatter about the amazingness that is Fireborne by Rosaria Munda. Between the dragons, political intrigue, and wildly complex relationships of characters that had our hearts absolutely aching, Rosaria Munda pretty much captivated fantasy shelves everywhere. And that’s why we decided to … Continued
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A Beginner’s Guide to Nina LaCour Books

One of our favorite reads of this year is Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour, a modern ghost story about trauma and survival, chosen family and rebirth. Nina LaCour novels bring out the feels in a special way. So If you’ve somehow missed Nina’s books until now, read on for a beginner’s guide to Nina LaCour and where we recommend … Continued
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12 Things to Remember About The Brilliant Death Before You Start Reading The Storm of Life

We are SO excited that The Storm of Life is officially on shelves! But in case you need a quick refresher since reading The Brilliant Death, we asked author Amy Rose Capetta to recap the major stuff! Read her recap below! 1. Teodora di Sangro is a strega. A strega is a witchy-type of person, each one with a … Continued
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Rosaria Munda’s Fantasy Book Recs!

Fireborne is Rosaria Munda’s thrilling fantasy debut. In case you’re new to this Game of Thrones meets Harry Potter fantasy you’ve always needed in your life story, here’s a bit about the book! About Fireborne: Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing … Continued
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A Beginner’s Guide to #Wibbroka

You may have seen a lot of talk on the internet about the cutest writing couple ever that is #Wibbroka. They are Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. They write adorable YA rom coms and are #CoupleGoals themselves. Anyway, in case you’re new here, here’s your starter guide to all the #Wibbroka books!   Always Never … Continued
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Penguin Teen on Tour!

Not one, not two, but THREE internationally bestselling authors are coming together for the book tour of a lifetime! From historical fantasy, to royal intrigue, to dystopian survival, authors Marie Lu, Melissa de la Cruz, and Astrid Scholte are ready to celebrate some of 2020’s biggest books, and you’re invited! Check below to see if they’re coming … Continued
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5 Deleted Scenes That Were Cut From THE MERCILESS II Because They Were Too Scary

Don’t be deceived by the pretty pink cover: the insides of The Merciless are twisty, creepy, gory, and sometimes downright terrifying. Book 2 is no exception. We checked in with author Danielle Vega to get the inside scoop on writing the series, and boy did she deliver. Here are 5 scenes from the The Merciless II that got cut. Think you can … Continued
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A Q&A with Adib Khorram

We are IN LOVE with the cover for Darius the Great Deserves Better, and it got us thinking about some questions we have both about the cover and what to expect going into book 2! Luckily, Adib Khorram was kind enough to answer our questions. Scroll down for the Q&A! A Q&A with Adib Khorram! Q: We … Continued
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