Event Recap: Penguin Teen Social 2022

I attended Penguin’s Teen Social a couple weeks ago so I’m sharing some exciting upcoming reads today!

Graphic for Penguin Teen Social Event. Photo of a leavy vine plant overhanging against a white wall. Text on the right reads "penguin teen social" with Penguin's logo of a penguin in an orange oval above the text.

Here are some YA books out this year!

Upcoming Releases

Book cover for TJ Powar Has Something to Prove. Illustration of half of an Indian-American teenage girl's face. She has long black hair, thick eyebrows, and a visible mustache above red painted lips. She holds a note paper that reads "It's about to get hairy".

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo
Genre: YA Rom-Com
Publication date: June 7, 2022

“A charming rom-com about high school debater TJ Powar who—after becoming the subject of an ugly meme—makes a resolution to stop shaving, plucking, and waxing, and prove that she can be her hairy self and still be beautiful…but soon finds this may be her most difficult debate yet.” – publisher’s promo

I love books that tackle the stigma of body hair, and it’s seemed like there’s a great growing selection in both YA and middle grade reads. We got to hear a bit from the author at the event and she sounds really passionate about sharing this story. She also used some of her own experience on a school debate team so any debate fans, you’re likely to find something to love here!


Aces Wild: A Heist by Amanda DeWitt
Genre: YA Fiction
Publication date: September 6, 2022

“What happens in Vegas when an all-asexual online friend group attempts to break into a high-stakes gambling club? Shenanigans ensue.” – publisher’s promo

The blurb has me hooked already! A poker adventure with an asexual cast of characters, this sounds like such a fun time. I haven’t read many YA adventures, and even fewer with a gambling focus (I suppose that’s for a reason based on the age range 😛 ) so I’m excited!


Book cover for How to Succeed in Witchcraft. Illustration of three teenage girls looking at the camera, wearing casual clothes and forming a triangle. One girl holds a steaming pink beaker. They stand in front of a large schoolhouse that is tinted in purple light.

How To Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication date: September 27, 2022

“An overachieving teen witch vies for a prestigious scholarship at her elite high school in this contemporary YA fantasy for fans of Never Have I Ever and Sabrina the Teen Witch!” – publisher’s promo

I love the title of this one. The publishers pitched it as Never Have I Ever meets Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which sounds like an excellent match-up. It looks like this one will combat sexual harassment too so possible CWs there but I’m looking forward to seeing how everything works together.


Book cover for Well, That Was Unexpected. Illustration of two Asian-American teenagers standing with their backs to each other, in front of a pond surrounded by silhouettes of palm trees. The sky behind them is purple and yellow with the setting sun, over pink and purple hills with pink flowers in the foreground.

Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Genre: YA Rom-Com
Publication date: September 27, 2022

“An outrageous, laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who’s whisked from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there.” – publisher’s promo

A new one from the author of Dial A for Aunties, which I’ve heard such good things about and still need to read! This book is a fun rom-com with fake dating, set in Indonesia. The cover is a lot of fun and each of Sutanto’s books sound so intriguing, I’m excited to finally dive in.


Book cover for

Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World by Frederick Joseph and Porsche Joseph
Genre: YA Non-Fiction
Publication date: October 11, 2022

“From the New York Times best-selling author of The Black Friend and a seasoned activist comes an indispensable guide to social and political progressivism for young people and anyone wanting to get more involved.” – publisher’s promo

This is such a great title for a book on social and political activism! I’d heard of Frederick Joseph’s previous book but this one is written by both husband and wife. I love the intended focus and think this will make a great introductory text for those who want to get involved.


I love how colourful all these covers are! YA book artists and designers keep doing amazing things.

What 2022 YA releases are you looking forward to?

Cover images and blurbs from publisher’s site.

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