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Cover reveal! From Morris Award finalist Sonia Patel comes a sharply written YA about a girl grappling with a dark, painful secret from her past, perfect for fans of All My Rage and The Way I Used to Be. Gita Desai Is Not Here to Shut Up hits shelves September 10, 2024.

It’s eighteen-year-old Gita Desai’s first year at Stanford, and the fact that she’s here and not already married off by her traditional Gujarati parents is a miracle. She’s determined to death-grip her good-girl, model student rep all the way to med school, which means no social life or standing out in any way. Should be easy: If there’s one thing she’s learned from her family, it’s how to chup-re—to “shut up,” fade into the background. But when childhood memories of her aunt’s desertion and her then-uncle’s best friend resurface, Gita ends up ditching the books night after night in favor of partying and hooking up with strangers. Still, nothing can stop the little voice growing louder and louder inside her that says something is wrong. . . . And the only way she can burst forward is to stop shutting up about the past.

Scroll down to see the cover and read a sneak peek. Remember to preorder your copy here!

Cover design by Kristin Boyle, Illustrations by Fatima Baig

Jane flings an arm around me like we’ve been best pals since elementary school. The only other person who’s ever done this is Sai, and I find myself automatically leaning into her. I can feel a tentative smile nudge itself across my face, like a turtle poking its head out of its shell.

“I’ll enlighten you, oh young one. To become a true Stanford woman we must—in the moonlight, on the quad—” she wiggles her eyebrows up and down dramatically. “Steal a kiss from a senior.”


The hopeful beginning of my unfettered smile tucks itself away, replaced by my tongue poking out in disgust. Contemplating cubism and the devastation of war makes kissing seem ridiculous. And would Leland and Jane Stanford, the founders, really approve of making out with strangers as a worthy tradition? I think not.

Seems to me that Full Moon on the Quad was probably started by pervy, Ayn-Rand-loving, full-of-themselves senior guys a long time ago. If Sigma Nu boy, aka Adonis, is a senior, I bet he’s going.

Is he a senior?

Is he even in Sigma Nu? Because wearing the shirt doesn’t mean he’s in the frat. Or does it? I’m not sure. I peek at my shirt that’s got an image of Queen Latifah on the front. Damn straight I’m not Queen Latifah.

I’m an eye-slut.

Queen Latifah wouldn’t secretly watch her dorm neighbor have sex. No decent person would.

Guilt pushes down on my chest like a CPR compression.

I glance at the Bible on top of the stack of other religion, philosophy, literature, and art history books—all required reading for our Integrated Humanities class—before my eyes shift back to Guernica. I stare at the screaming dove between the bull and the horse. It’s crying about the threat to peace in Europe . . . but I swear it feels like a few of its invisible tears are for the impending rift between Jane and me. Because eye-sluts don’t make for good potential friends.

At least I’m not a straight-up slut.

I startle at the thought. Where did it come from? I go over the definition of slut that was pitched around the hallways of my high school, mostly by boys to shame and shun girls.

Slut: A girl who sleeps with guys for attention.

Jane slept with Sigma Nu boy, but I don’t think she did it for attention—and what does “doing it for attention” even mean, anyway? Besides, Jane seemed to be enjoying it. The fact is, she isn’t some fragile little flower, begging to be picked. If anything, I bet she’s the one who does the picking.

Also, if a guy sleeps with a lot of girls, he gets a ton of high fives from his buddies. Isn’t that attention? So why is he called a stud instead of a slut? None of it makes sense.

I sneak a peek at Jane, tapping my pencil on my chin. To my relief, her expression is as mild as a spring day. Which means she isn’t reading my mind. And doesn’t know that three nights ago, I watched her and Sigma Nu boy—

Or does she?

I’m clinging to the hope that he didn’t say anything about me standing there. I put my pencil down as I try to convince myself—again—that she doesn’t have a clue. For starters, neither of us have stopped each other in the hallway or cafeteria to bring it up. I nibble on the inside of my cheek, wondering if I should confess. It doesn’t seem right to keep a secret this big from a friend. I open my mouth, letting the secret dance along the tip of my tongue.

Penguin Teen