Shelf-involved Podcast



A podcast about Young Adult fiction and coming-of-age stories.


  • Squads


    20/05/2020 Duration: 38min

    This week we’re talking about YA books with excellent squads, groups of friends where each character is fully realized and the group as a whole is incredibly memorable despite not being the center of the story. It’s hard to pull off and it’s one of our favorite things to read!

  • Book Club: An Ember in the Ashes

    Book Club: An Ember in the Ashes

    14/05/2020 Duration: 46min

    This week we’re back with the final book in our Book Club series. We’re talking about Saba Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, the first book in a fantastic series that will finish this year. Like with all our Book Club discussion episodes, light spoilers ahead.

  • Magical Realism

    Magical Realism

    06/05/2020 Duration: 42min

    This week we’re talking about magical realism and the roots in the Latinx community and the way the genre has evolved and sometimes been misconstrued. We are not experts in this genre, but as always, we want to learn, so if you have suggestions for us, please write to us and let us know!

  • Grief Mysteries

    Grief Mysteries

    30/04/2020 Duration: 32min

    This week we’re talking about a genre we may or may not have made up! We’re looking at books where the main character, in order to process grief, sets out to figure out a mystery involving the person they lost. It’s fairly common in YA and we love to see it.

  • Were Back!

    We're Back!

    24/04/2020 Duration: 48min

    We’re back with a recap of what we’ve been reading (and watching and listening to) during our podcast break, which timed up with, you know, a global pandemic. Strange times, and if you’re not reading right now, no judgement. But if you’re looking for some comfort or some escapism to get you through these days, we’ve got suggestions.

  • Book Club: With the Fire on High

    Book Club: With the Fire on High

    11/03/2020 Duration: 29min

    This week we’re discussing the next book in our book club series, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. To get in on the next book club discussion, visit our website at

  • Meet Cutes

    Meet Cutes

    04/03/2020 Duration: 28min

    This week we’re talking about meet cutes, a classic rom-com trope that we think matters even more in the context of a book. We’re talking about our favorite ones, twists on the trope, and why we care about this plot device so much.

  • Secrets


    26/02/2020 Duration: 38min

    This week we’re talking about YA characters with secrets. We’re focusing on books where the main character has a secret from everyone else in the story, but the reader is in on it. It’s an interesting (and common) plot device, and we talk a lot about how important stakes are to this device and why it’s so great when it’s done well.

  • Catching Up: I Capture the Castle

    Catching Up: I Capture the Castle

    19/02/2020 Duration: 38min

    We're back with another episode in our Catching Up series and discussing the classic coming-of-age novel from Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle. 

  • Teen Pregnancy

    Teen Pregnancy

    12/02/2020 Duration: 29min

    This week we’re talking about teen pregnancy in YA. We’re narrowing it down to books about characters who go through an entire pregnancy and deal with the aftermath of either motherhood or adoption, to keep the scope of our conversation focused.

  • Bad Girls

    Bad Girls

    05/02/2020 Duration: 31min

    In a follow-up to our Bad Boys episode, this week we’re talking about Bad Girls. It tends to be a more complicated (and rare) trope with girl characters in YA, and we’re very interested in the reasons behind that.

  • Royalty


    29/01/2020 Duration: 37min

    This week we’re talking about royalty in YA, specifically books where normal characters meet/fall in love with royals. We are extremely here for this trope, probably because of our shared tweenhood obsession with The Princess Diaries.

  • Book Club: All American Boys

    Book Club: All American Boys

    23/01/2020 Duration: 36min

    We’re thrilled to be back for another episode in our Book Club series. This time we’ll be discussing All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, which we think should be required reading.

  • Survival


    15/01/2020 Duration: 32min

    This week we’re talking about books with survival narratives––characters in life-threatening situations who have to use survival skills. We’re fascinated with this type of book and get into why this is appealing for so many readers and how it contributed to the widespread popularity of dystopian fiction.

  • 2020 Reading Challenge

    2020 Reading Challenge

    08/01/2020 Duration: 33min

    We’re back and ready to kick off a new year of reading and celebrate 100 episodes of Shelf-Involved! Thank you for listening in and making this so enjoyable for us. We both want to be more intentional about diversifying our reading lists this year, so we came up with this challenge. Head to our website or our Instagram for a graphic of the 2020 reading challenge. 

  • Top Ten of 2019

    Top Ten of 2019

    18/12/2019 Duration: 37min

    It’s our favorite time of year! The time where we manage (sort of) to narrow down our ten favorite YA books published this year. If you’re overwhelmed by the volume of buzzy great YA that’s getting published each year, this list is a great starting point. Also we’re sorry (but also not) for how much we sigh with love and say “so good” in this episode. We really love these books.

  • Toxic Masculinity

    Toxic Masculinity

    11/12/2019 Duration: 49min

    This week we’re talking about how toxic masculinity is represented in YA. We had to work a little hard because YA is full of soft, soft boys (which we’re obviously here for) but we really love these stories and the journey of these characters as they wade through problematic socialization and pressures to present their masculinity in a specific and harmful way.

  • Winter Books

    Winter Books

    04/12/2019 Duration: 26min

    This week we’re talking about winter books, the type of book you want to curl up under a blanket and read, but they’re also books that are not Christmas books. You know we love those too, but we wanted to offer some variety in your cozy season of reading.

  • Chosen Ones

    Chosen Ones

    27/11/2019 Duration: 29min

    This week we are so excited to talk about one of our favorite tropes, chosen ones. We tried to keep our book list short because there are so many series and books that have dealt with this and we predictably had a lot of thoughts. 

  • Book Club: I Know You Remember

    Book Club: I Know You Remember

    20/11/2019 Duration: 39min

    It’s another week in our Book Club series, and we’re super excited to talk about the newly released YA thriller from Jennifer Donaldson, I Know You Remember. For the full schedule of our upcoming Book Club picks, be sure to check out our website

page 1 from 5