Told in dual narrative, This Is My Brain in Love is a stunning YA contemporary romance, exploring mental health, race and, ultimately, self-acceptance, for fans of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and Emergency Contact.
Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade.
Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper.
Then Jocelyn’s father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it’s up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook).
What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance.
Early praise for This is My Brain in Love:
What reviewers are saying:
“Readers will come to this story for dynamic romantic and familial relationships, but they’ll stay for its smart exploration of depression, anxiety, and self-care.” – Publishers Weekly (⭐starred review)
“Deftly navigating issues of race and mental health, as well as giving voice to the reality of American teens born to immigrant families, many of whom grapple with different cultural and familial expectations, Gregorio has written a heartwarming foodie rom-com.” – School Library Journal (⭐starred review)
“This Is My Brain in Love is both a sweet love story and a tension-packed drama that provides 101-level advice about overcoming the social stigmas and personal shame that can be associated with mental illness. Author I.W. Gregorio creates highly differentiated first-person narrative voices for both Jos and Will, and their complexity and nuance as characters add authenticity as well as relatability to the book. Their experiences also vitally widen the representation of mental illness to include teens of color and teens from immigrant families. It’s a testament to Gregorio’s skill that by the time I finished This Is My Brain in Love, I felt like Jos and Will had become dear friends whose happiness in both life and love I was rooting for. I was sorry when their story came to an end.” – BookPage (⭐starred review)
“Mental illness is no match for love in this diverse, compelling novel… [Gregorio’s] cast of characters authentically navigate their mental illnesses through the twists and turns of a fast-paced plot, and the romance between Will and Jocelyn sparkles. A sweet, entertaining romance.” – Kirkus Reviews
“This dual-narrated novel will win readers with its sweet, sparky romance and its business-savvy plotline that celebrates young people working hard to overcome the odds.” -BCCB
What teens are saying:
“I would tell [readers] how realistically the book portrayed mental illness, how well the book was able to comment on racism without making it the focus of the book, how Jocelyn’s relationship with her parents was depicted, the book’s amazing characters, and how the book opens up a conversation about mental illness.” – Anica (age 16)
“This novel is very realistic. Never before have I read a teen romance novel that captures the essence of depression, anxiety, and insecurity so perfectly.” – Kailey (age 17)
What authors are saying:
“An amazing story of the struggle to balance love and brains, and instead finding joy. Absolute perfection.” — Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and SHOUT
“If there’s only one book you read this year, please let it be This is Your Brain in Love! Everyone needs to read this beautiful and important book not only because it manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and grab-a-tissue moving, but it’s a novel that can open eyes, change minds, and hopefully change lives. Gregorio’s writing made my heart hurt even as I was falling in love with Jocelyn and Will, two characters as complex and real as you’ll ever meet on a page.”— Ellen Oh, author of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
“Anxiety and depression can turn your brain into a fake news factory. With THIS IS MY BRAIN IN LOVE, I.W. Gregorio delivers a warm, honest, and timely story about friendship, family, love and asking for help when you need it. The chemistry between Jocelyn and Will is so crackling and irresistible, you’ll fall in love, too.”— Mary McCoy, author of Printz Honor Book I, Claudia
” Sweet, funny and full of feeling, This is My Brain in Love is a heartfelt and earnest look at mental health in the Asian American community. Gregorio captures so many truths about living with anxiety and depression in a story full of humor, wisdom and generosity. This is a book I needed as a teenager.“— Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Lost Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist Picture Us in the Light
” This is My Brain in Love is a sweet, honest love story about navigating mental illness, cross-cultural relationships, and self-acceptance. Humor and heart, happy and sad combine into a complex, contemporary romance as perfectly-blended as amah’s dumplings.” — Mackenzie Lee, NYT bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and Loki: Where Mischief Lies
” Authentic and fresh, I.W. Gregorio serves up a first-rate romance between two teens whose differences may prove too hot to handle. This is my bookish heart in love.”— Stacey Lee, award winning author of Outrun the Moon
“Line by zinging line, I.W. Gregorio’s second novel delights your brain and steals your heart. A deliciously, delicately wrought tapestry of culture, families and the fragile parts of ourselves that we should all learn to embrace.” — Abigail Hing Wen, author of Loveboat, Taipei
Publication date April 14, 2020 (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s world completely unravels. With everything she thought she knew thrown into question, can she come to terms with her new self?
Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
For a signed copy of None of the Above, order from Chester County Book Company (request that it be signed in the comments section)
What trade reviewers are saying:
“In this provocative and enlightening first novel, physician Gregorio creates a heart-wrenching story of self-discovery…[that] will strike a familiar chord with any reader who has felt estranged.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This coming-of-age novel develops Kristin beyond her chromosomes, offering a sophisticated exploration of gender and identity alongside nuanced plot threads involving family, friends, work, and romance. Affirming for intersex readers, enlightening for the rest, and affecting for all.” —Horn Book Review
“[R]emarkable…Eye-opening and important.” —Booklist
“…a compelling and touching narrative…NONE OF THE ABOVE rises above most young adult fiction because it has potential to evoke significant change.” —VOYA (5Q rating)
“Engaging and well-paced, with smart characters.” – School Library Journal
“Sensitive, informative and a valuable resource” —Kirkus Reviews
What other authors are saying:
“Noble, daring and necessary—I.W. Gregorio’s groundbreaking debut is a bittersweet, painful and ultimately life-affirming voyage of identity.” —Elizabeth Wein, Printz Honor winning & NYT bestselling author of Code Name Verity
“I couldn’t put this book down—it opened my mind in ways that few books have done before.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winning & NYT bestselling author of Brown Girl Dreaming
“Like the beloved physician that she is, I.W. Gregorio brings rare knowledge and acute empathy to the illumination of an anatomical difference—and to the teens who discover, in the nick of time, the saving grace of knowing and being one’s truest self. A book unlike any other.” —Beth Kephart, National Book Award Finalist and author of Small Damages and Going Over
“What a lovely and terrific book. I.W. Gregorio tackles so many thorny issues with so much grace and aplomb. My hat is off.” —Daniel Handler, NYT bestselling author of the Printz Honor winning Why We Broke Up
“None of the Above is a sensitive, beautifully written story, told with heart (break) and humor. Gregorio deftly explores the isolation of being ‘other’ in a highly relatable way. Bravo!!” —Kristin Elizabeth Clark, acclaimed author of Freakboy
What booksellers & readers are saying:
“This beautifully written and moving novel chronicles Kristin Lattimer’s discovery of her AIS diagnosis, and the fallout that occurs when her “secret’ is revealed…The universal theme of rising above a difficult situation is one everyone can relate to, and Kristin’s courage will be a source of inspiration to all those who read this exceptional book.” —Heather Hebert, Haverford Children’s Book World
“Both deeply moving and triumphant, I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above explores the adolescent pains of discovering one’s self and embracing both the good and bad. Full of heartbreaking believability that resonates with readers, she explores the important topics of learning to love yourself in ways that too few YA novels explore.”—Bonnie Lynn Wagner, Barnes & Noble Neshaminy Mall, PA
“Smartly and compassionately written for a young adult audience, None of the Above puts a new twist on the theme of adolescent difference and acceptance.” —Arlene Baratz MD (Moderator, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome- Differences of Sex Development Parents Group www.aisdsd.org)