Right Where I Left You, March 15, 2022 (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Kacen Callender meets Becky Albertalli in a deliciously geeky best friends-to lovers romance from award-winning author Julian Winters!
School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won’t have his best friend, Diego. Where—despite his social anxiety—he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi—Isaac’s old crush—distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?
The Summer of Everything, Duet Books 2020
An avid comic book geek, Wes excels at two things: slacking off and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ’90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local indie bookstore, is threatened when a coffeeshop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his family won’t stop pestering him about picking a college major.
When all three problems converge, Wes must face with the one thing he’s been avoiding—adulthood.
How To Be Remy Cameron, Duet Books 2019
Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-proud, super-likable guy who friends, faculty, and fellow students alike admire for his cheerful confidence. The only person who isn’t entirely sure about Remy Cameron is Remy himself. Under pressure to write an A+ essay defining who he is and who he wants to be, Remy embarks on an emotional journey toward reconciling the outward labels people attach to him with the real Remy Cameron within.
★ “Rembrandt “Remy” Joshua Cameron is known at Maplewood High School for his confidence and super-likable personality. He is one of five African American students and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. He is the adopted son in a loving white family, which includes Uncle Dawson, who is also gay, and a beagle named Clover. He is a fan of indie pop music, and he aspires to attend the creative writing program at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. But when he’s assigned to write a personal essay about who he is, Remy isn’t sure what that means. While Remy dreads the Essay of Doom, he gains a new love interest, Ian Park, a Korean American 1980s pop music aficionado, and is sought after by Free Williams, a mysterious woman who has a surprising connection to his emotional journey. Winters has crafted a thought-provoking yet fun YA novel with a lot of wit and laugh-out-loud one-liners. The author pays homage to past and present LGBTQ wordsmiths Tennessee Williams and Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and has created an array of diverse characters without presenting them as preachy stereotypes and boxed-in caricatures.” —Donald Peebles, School Library Journal
Running With Lions, Duet Books 2018
Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie Sebastian Hughes should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing, and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood-best-friend Emir Shah shows up at summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends spark more than just friendship between them.
Winters’ debut novel was named Best Teen Fiction in the annual awards ceremony celebrating the best in independent publishing. The Independent Book Publishers Association also honored Messer for her cover art for the coming of age novel set at a summer soccer camp.
“Funny, wise, and ridiculously romantic. It hit me right in the heart.–BECKY ALBERTALLI, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
“A warm, funny, smart and poignant debut, full of heart and full of hope.
I loved the adorably cute relationship that emerges between Sebastian and Emir, I loved the humour, and I loved being reminded what it’s like to be a teenager during a long, hot, messy summer, when everything is new and exciting, anything seems possible, and the world is opening out in front of you.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it gets all the accolades and praise it deserves.–SIMON JAMES GREEN, author of Noah Can’t Even