Epic Reads Celebrates Epic Pride with a Pride-themed YA author meet and greet that is sure to delight! This event is open to the public but because this is an intimate gathering, space is limited to the first 80 people who RSVP with purchase of a ticket here via our eventbrite link. Each ticket offers the choice of one of the books included in the price so please choose whichever book you are most excited about, you will still have the option to buy the other three books and have them signed if you wish. Parents/guardians need tickets to accompany teens inside. This event is geared towards young people but all fans of Young Adult literature regardless of age are invited to attend. All four books will be available for purchase and signing. The first 50 people through the door will receive a free Epic Reads Pride Bandana! We apologize for any inconveniences Tehlor Kay Mejia has had to cancel her planned appearance at Charis Books, but you can still pick up her book We Set the Dark on Fire at the store or order it online.
About LIKE A LOVE STORY: It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating. Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart—and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known. This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.
About Abdi Nazemian: Abdi Nazemian is the author of The Authentics. His novel, The Walk-In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. His screenwriting credits include the films The Artist's Wife, The Quiet, and Menendez: Blood Brothers, and the NBC television series The Village. He has been an executive producer and associate producer on numerous films, including Call Me By Your Name, Little Woods, The House of Tomorrow and Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. He lives in Los Angeles with his fiancé and two children. Find him online at www.abdaddy.com. *Abdi’s preferred pronouns: he/him*
About THIS IS KIND OF AN EPIC LOVE STORY: ~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~ A fresh, charming rom-com perfect for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Boy Meets Boy about Nathan Bird, who has sworn off happy endings but is sorely tested when his former best friend, Ollie, moves back to town. Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings. Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life. Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend. After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after
About Kacen Callender: Kheryn Callender is originally from Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Kacen has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from the New School's writing for children program. They are also the author of the middle-grade novel Hurricane Child. This is their debut young adult novel. *Kacen’s preferred pronouns: they/them*
About THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN: ~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~ A raw, powerful, but ultimately uplifting debut novel perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe from debut author Angelo Surmelis. Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer. Tired, isolated, scared—Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in an abandoned monastery that feels as lonely as he is. And yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. Henry, who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he deserves more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by being silent. This is a powerful and revelatory coming-of-age novel based on the author’s own childhood, about a boy who learns to step into his light.
About Angelo Surmelis: Angelo Surmelis was raised in Greece until he immigrated to Illinois at the age of five. He currently lives in Los Angeles. An award-winning designer, Surmelis has been featured on over fifty television shows, including the Today show and Extra, as well as in magazines such as InStyle, TV Guide, and Entertainment Weekly. He has worked as a host on networks like HGTV and TLC. This is his debut novel. He can be found online here: www.angelohome.com. *Angelo’s preferred pronouns: he/him*
~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~
A raw, powerful, but ultimately uplifting debut novel perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe from debut author Angelo Surmelis.
~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~
A fresh, charming rom-com perfect for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Boy Meets Boy about Nathan Bird, who has sworn off happy endings but is sorely tested when his former best friend, Ollie, moves back to town.
“A love letter to queerness, self-expression, and individuality (also Madonna) that never shies away from the ever-present fear within the queer community of late '80s New York, Like a Love Story made me feel so full—of hope, love, courage, pride, and awe for the many people who fought for love and self-expression in the face of discrimination, cruelty, and death.
“We Set the Dark on Fire burns bright. It will light the way for a new generation of rebels and lovers.” —NPR.org
“Mejia pens a compelling, gripping story that mirrors real world issues of immigration and equality.” —Buzzfeed
Five starred reviews!!