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Episode 302: Talia Hibbert

BY MEGAN LABRISE • January 10, 2023

Talia Hibbert discusses her first YA romance, from new imprint Joy Revolution.

On this week’s episode—sponsored by MIT Press, publisher of Tenacious Beasts—bestselling author Talia Hibbert joins us to discuss Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute (Joy Revolution, Jan. 3). Hibbert, the bestselling author of Get a Life, Chloe Brown, writes joyful, funny, deep romance novels centering the lives and loves of characters of color. Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is her first YA romance, and the first book to be published by Joy Revolution, a new imprint of Penguin Random House helmed by bestselling authors and partners Nicola and David Yoon.

Here’s a bit from Kirkus’ starred review: On paper, Bradley and Celine are complete opposites. Brad is a handsome soccer player who can charm anyone in a five-mile radius. Celine is a fiercely guarded perfectionist who runs a popular conspiracy theory TikTok channel. After a major falling out nearly four years ago, the two avoid each other at all costs. When Celine learns that her hero, human rights lawyer Katharine Breakspeare, is running a program offering three full scholarships for incoming university students, she knows she has to apply—even if it requires two wilderness survival expeditions in English and Scottish forests. She also wants to prove a point to her estranged father, whose corporate law firm is a sponsor. For his part, Brad is eager to win a scholarship that would mean he wouldn’t have to take out loans after all. As their final year of school progresses, the 17-year-olds are thrown together as they attempt to conquer the Breakspeare course.”

Hibbert tells host Megan Labrise how she celebrated the publication of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute, and why she chose to partner with Joy Revolution for her first YA novel. They discuss love interests Celine and Bradley; the differences between writing adult and YA romance; the appeal of shifting POVs; the book’s glossary for non-British readers; working with editor Bria Ragin; what it takes to write a book a month; and much more.

Then editors Laura Simeon, Mahnaz Dar, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick share their top picks in books for the week.

 

Editors’ picks:

The Everlasting Road by Wab Kinew (Tundra Books)

An American Story by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Dare Coulter (Little, Brown)

The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin (Penguin Press)

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor (Riverhead)

 

Also mentioned on this episode:

Bittersweet by Susan Cain (Crown)

Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, illus. by Nikkolas Smith (Kokila)

The 1619 Project, ed. by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake Silverstein (One World/Random House)

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino, translated by Giles Murray (Minotaur)

 

Thanks to our sponsors:

The Blackest Blue by Luna Wright

The Huntsman by Judith Sanders

My Place in the Sun by George Stevens, Jr.

 

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

 

 

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