Epistolary YA Lit Roundup by Michelle Biwer
Epistolary works weave various types of documents together into a unique form of narrative. Here are some recent releases in epistolary YA.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2017, Crown Books)
Justyce McAllister writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King as he tries to figure out his place at his all-white boarding school and what it means to be a black male teen in America.
From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon (2018, Simon Pulse)
Twinkle finally gets to try her hand at directing a film to premiere in the local film festival. As she navigates unexpected romance and follows her career dreams, Twinkle writes letters to her favorite female filmmakers.
I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (2017, Wednesday Books)
As two best friends head to college on opposite ends of the country they promise to update each other through texts and emails. Fans of the authors’ YouTube channel Just Between Us will be excited for Dunn and Raskin’s debut novel.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (2015, Knopf)
In this dystopian future Kady and ex-boyfriend Ezra have to survive a war, a plague, and a possibly evil AI by hacking documents, instant messages, maps and all sorts of other documents that are compiled to tell their story. Illuminae is the first book in this hugely popular sci-fi trilogy.
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (2017, Bloomsbury)
Juliet copes with her mother’s death by writing letters to her and leaving them at her grave. But when Declan finds them and starts writing back anonymously they begin a correspondence that may lead to something more.
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2016, Balzer + Bray)
When Simon’s emails to his crush Blue are leaked to the entire school he is outed as gay and has to figure out a way to save his relationship with Blue and survive school bullies. Recently adapted into a film called Love, Simon.
We are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen (2016, St. Martin’s)
Best friends Scott and Cath graduate from high school in 1982 and have to learn to live apart for the first time. They keep in touch through letters documenting their lives that start to take a romantic turn.
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About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
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