Two YA Books to Watch For in 2021: The Project and You Have a Match

The Project by Courtney Summers (February 2, 2021)

Aspiring journalist and nineteen-year-old Lo works as an assistant for a prestigious news outlet. She’ll never be more than an assistant… Unless she manages to scoop an exclusive expose. When she witnesses a gruesome suicide connected to The Unity Project, she becomes pulled back into a world she thought she’d never be able to return to.

Lo’s older sister Bea has been part of The Unity Project for years. And Lo hasn’t heard from her since. Lo knows The Project is more than meets the eye: it’s not just acts of service and inspirational sermons. It’s a cult. When the leader grants Lo exclusive access to The Project for a profile article, she accepts. But Lo finds more answers than she was looking for, and things become more personal than she ever expected.

The dual point of view (POV) works as masterfully as it did in Sadie. The POV always swaps just before you’re ready, leaving you constantly yearning for just a little more information. Lo’s POV is written in a raw, speedy first person style, while Bea’s, still intimate to the extreme, is a more lyrical and removed third person. Summers lets you know a twist is coming, but makes you pray that you’re wrong.

Like another clever Canadian author, Emily St. John Mandel, Summers is able to intertwine multiple perspectives with sudden poetics, and just enough description so that the story plays like a movie in your head. Summers is an author to watch, an author to celebrate, and an author to be terrified of. Because she will destroy you.

You Have a Match by Emma Lord (January 12, 2021)

Emma Lord now has a brand of romcoms: adorable flirtatiousness among total and complete dorks. With delicious food. And snark.

I loved Tweet Cute, and I love You Have a Match. When teen photographer Abby takes a DNA test and finds out she has a secret sister who lives 30 minutes away, her whole world is turned upside down. Why did her parents hide this from her? Why is she now hiding it from Leo, her best friend who she is totally in love with? And why does her new sister seem like her polar opposite in every way? She’ll have to spend the whole summer at camp to find out.

This story is full of scheming, pranks, secret crushes, passion for hobbies, and legitimately great friendships. Teens are going to eat this up.

Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for providing me with review copies. See my post on How to Get and Use ARCs as a Librarian for more information on using Advanced Reading Copies.

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