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Pine Reads Podcast

Pine Reads Podcast

By Pine Reads Review Team
Pine Reads Review is an online children's and young adult literature publication based at the University of Arizona and run by our wonderful staff of undergraduate students. We are committed to showcasing a combination of debut, diverse and established authors. Listen to our podcast for the latest news in children's and young adult publishing, from reviews of the newest releases to topic-specific episodes. Visit our official site:
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S4, E8: Fancasts, Fanart, and Farewells | Casting Our Fave YA Books
Join your hosts, Sadie and Adrianna, in their last episode of the Pine Reads Podcast. Sadie shows Adrianna the ropes of fancasting with Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, while Adrianna teaches Sadie the joy of Fanart. Which one is your favorite? 
May 07, 2022
S4, E7: Love and Sci-Fi | Readings from the Pine Reads 2022 Contest Winners
On this very special episode of the Pine Reads Podcast, Adrianna and Sadie are joined by Jordan Emory Vens and Melanie Moreno, the winners of our Love Me, Love Me Not contest, and Vinny Cuadrado, the winner of our Spring Into Sci-Fi and Fantasy contest! Listen along to hear the winners read excerpts of their winning pieces, as well as chat with the hosts about their inspiration, writing processes, and other works!
April 23, 2022
S4, E6: Teenagers, Tropes, and Tackling Tough Topics | Our Favorite YA Fantasy Books
On this episode of the Pine Reads Podcast your host Adrianna is joined by Pine Reads Review interns Taylor and Sophie to talk all about fantasy. Kale, Chaol, Coal? Rowan Whitethorn as Tinker Bell? Listen along as they talk about all the best staples of the fantasy genre: odd names and how they are pronounced, multiple POV changes, and many, many creatures.  Books and Series Mentioned: The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, The Last Hours, The Dark Artifices, Vampire Academy, The Cruel Prince, Crave, Eragon, Throne of Glass, Air Awakens, Six of Crows, The Witch King, The Beautiful, Rebel of the Sands 
April 09, 2022
S4, E5: A Six of Crows Showdown | Battle of the Book Boos
On today's episode of the Pine Reads Podcast, hosts Sadie and Adrianna judge the biggest battle of the season: who is the ultimate book boo? Fellow PRR interns Emily and Sophie join in to argue for who they think the best book boo is. This debate gets heated as the pair tries to convince Sadie and Adrianna that their book boo is the best. Who will win this bookish battle: Emily's choice, Kaz Brekker, or Sophie's pick, Matthias Helvar? Listen to find out! SPOILER WARNING: This episode contains MAJOR spoilers for the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo.
March 26, 2022
S4, E4: Guess Who? | A Pine Reads Game Show
Adrianna and Sadie are joined by two Pine Reads interns, Erika and Sophie, for a game of Guess Who: YA Book Character edition! Tensions rise and the players get competitive as they battle to see who has the most knowledge of famous YA book characters. Listen and play along, and be sure to let us know how many you guessed right! Characters mentioned in this episode:  Percy Jackson, Lara Jean Covey, Tessa Johnson, Hazel Grace Lancaster, Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, Kiva Meridan, Lenore Bennett, Bronwyn Rojas, Bree Matthews, Madeline Moore, Nate Macauley, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Laia (An Ember in the Ashes!), Starr Carter, Simon Snow, June Iparis, Simon Spier
March 12, 2022
S4, E3: The Tessa Johnson Fan Club | A Discussion of HAPPILY EVER AFTERS
SPOILER WARNING: This episode contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the book HAPPILY EVER AFTERS. Read the book before listening to this episode!  On today's episode of the Pine Reads Podcast, Sadie and Adrianna discuss all things HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant! From sweet confections to love confessions, this fluffy YA rom-com is just delectable. Listen along to hear your hosts gush over all of the sweetness this book has to offer and why they're the latest members of the Tessa Johnson fan club!
February 26, 2022
S4, E2: Love, Love, Love | Our Favorite YA Romances
Listen along as Sadie, Adrianna, and Taylor get into the Valentine's Day spirit with discussions of their favorite YA romances! From tears of sadness to tears of joy, these books have it all. Be sure to let us know what your favorite YA romance is!
February 12, 2022
S4, E1: The Anti J-Name Episode | A Book Swap
The Pine Reads Podcast is BACK! Hosts Sadie and Adrianna kick off season 4 with a passionate discussion of their recent book swap. Listen along to hear Adrianna lose her mind over One Of Us Is Lying, Sadie share her thoughts on babies born in space, and why they both detest characters whose names start with the letter J! 
January 29, 2022
S3, E8: The Holiday Special | Readings From Words of Winter Contest Winners
In this jolly season finale, hosts Adrianna and Sadie are joined by the two winners of the Pine Reads Review Words of Winter writing contest: Gabriel and Logan. Get to hear readings of their festive winning pieces, learn about their holiday traditions, and much more!  Special thanks to Gabriel and Logan for joining us for this episode, and a big congratulations to them for winning our Words of Winter contest!
December 11, 2021
S3, E7: Out With the Old, In With the New | YA Classics of the 21st Century
Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer are all household names in the world of YA literature. In this episode of the Pine Reads Podcast, Sadie and Adrianna are joined by three special guests to discuss why they believe these books deserve to be recognized as classics, their cultural impacts, and their predictions on what the future holds for these iconic YA titles. SPOILER WARNING: This episode contains in-depth discussions and spoilers for the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series, The Fault in Our Stars, and the Twilight series.
November 27, 2021
S3, E6: The Good, The Bad, and The Questionable | Discussing Book-to-Film Adaptations
Join Adrianna, Sadie, and Taylor as they talk about their most loved and most hated book-to-film adaptations. Listen to hear a debate of the age old question "is the book better than the movie?", Sadie lose it over the events in The Mortal Instruments, and the most important thing of all: are your hosts Team Jacob or Team Edward.  This episode features an in depth discourse about popular YA novels and contains some MAJOR SPOILERS. 
November 13, 2021
The Halloween Special | Readings from Our Spooky Story Contest Winners
In today's spooky Halloween episode of the Pine Reads Podcast, hosts Sadie and Adrianna are joined by Aeden and Ezikiel, the winners of the Pine Reads Spooky Short Story and Poetry contest! Get to hear chilling readings of their winning pieces, a behind-the-scenes look at their writing processes, and much more! Special thanks to Aeden and Ezikiel for joining us for this episode, and a big congratulations to them for winning our first ever Spooky Story and Poetry contest!
October 30, 2021
S3, E4: The Books That Raised Us | Our Origin Stories
Join Adrianna and Sadie as they recount their favorite books growing up and the impact they had on their reading journeys.  Books mentioned in this episode: Johnny Lion's Book by Edith Thacher Hurd & illustrated by Clement Hurd, Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen, Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name by Tedd Arnold, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series by Laura Numeroff & illustrated by Felicia Bond, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Lucille Colandro & illustrated by Jared Lee, Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope-Osborn, Rotten Apple/Candy Apple series, Franny K. Stein series by Jim Benton, Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows & illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, and The Vampire Academy series Richelle Mead
October 16, 2021
S3, E3: Bad Synopses | A Pine Reads Game Show
On today's episode, Sadie and Adrianna are joined by two special guests, fellow Pine Reads Review staff members Erika and Kayla for a fun book guessing game! Play along with your hosts and their guests, and try to guess the book based on their bad synopses. CONTENT WARNINGS: Today's episode contains brief discussions of cancer, death, murder, the confederacy, and white-washed characters in films. This episode may also contain spoilers for the following books: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust, XOXO by Axie Oh, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Now That I've Found You by Kristina Forest. There are also spoilers for the film Jane.
October 02, 2021
S3, E2: There's Something About The Tension | A Discussion of GIRL, SERPENT, THORN
Join our hosts for a roundtable discussion of Melissa Bashardoust's GIRL, SERPENT, THORN, a recent YA, Persian fairytale re-telling. Topics include: a brief summary, some of our favorite moments, our ships and their wrecks, the poisonous ending, and that sweet, sweet tension. SPOILERS AHEAD!
September 18, 2021
S3, E1: It's All About The Books Baby! | New Hosts And New Reads
Get to know your new hosts and their favorite books from this summer! Books featured in today's episode:   From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks XOXO by Axie Oh Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
September 04, 2021
S2 Ep. 8: That's All She Wrote | Wrapping Up Season 2 With a Good Old Fashioned Book Swap
In the season 2 finale, join Hannah, Jackie, and Wendy for one last bookish chat. After choosing books for each other to read, our hosts discuss FIREBORNE by Rosaria Munda, PERMANENT RECORD by Mary H.K. Choi, and LEGEND by Marie Lu, as well as some of their most anticipated releases and favorite podcast moments. As always, thanks for listening and keep reading, folks! 
May 08, 2021
S2 Ep. 7: Death, Deception, & Daunis Fontaine | Why We Can't Stop Talking About FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER
Join our hosts for a roundtable discussion of the instant #1 NYT bestseller FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley, a smash-hit OwnVoices YA thriller about a Native teen going undercover to root out corruption in her community. Spoilers ahead!  Content Warning for FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER: anti-Native racism, misogyny, sexual assault, emotional and physical abuse, murder and death, grief, kidnapping and drugging, drug use, meth addiction, violence, and serious injuries
April 24, 2021
S2 Ep. 6: She's a Monster | Anti-Heroines and Women Villains in YA Lit
Join our hosts for a chat on some of our favorite monstrous women and bloodthirsty girls in young adult literature. Topics include: The difference between villains and anti-heroes; why Sharpay Evans was the real victim of the High School Musical franchise; and the intersections between "likeability," grey morality, and gender. 
April 10, 2021
S2 Ep. 5: Once and Future Queen | Arthurian Retellings, Black Girl Magic, & the One and Only Bree Matthews
Join our hosts for a roundtable (pun intended) discussion of Tracy Deonn's LEGENDBORN, a new YA fantasy retelling of the King Arthur myth that takes place in modern-day North Carolina. Topics include: our favorite moments, subverting Arthurian legend, ship wars, and that killer ending. SPOILERS AHEAD! 
March 27, 2021
S2 Ep. 4: Growing Pains | New Adult Books, Life After High School, & Coming-of-Age in YA Contemporary
Join our hosts as they discuss coming-of-age themes in young adult contemporary books, including topics like the "sex checklist," alternatives to college, and the ever-growing New Adult genre. Content Warning: brief discussions of sex, teen drug use, and sexual assault. 
March 13, 2021
S2 Ep. 3: It Takes Two to Tango | Dual Narratives and Why We Love Them
Whether it's two characters falling in love or fighting on opposites sides of a war, we absolutely love stories told from dual POVs. But what makes them so great? Join our hosts to find out as they chat about some of their favorite dual narratives in YA and children's lit. 
February 27, 2021
S2 Ep. 2: It's All About the Yearning | The Best (and Worst) Romance Tropes
Love is in the air! Okay, maybe that's a bit too much, but with Valentine's Day on the horizon, join our hosts as they discuss their favorite (and least favorite) romance tropes in YA lit. From the controversial love triangle to the angst-filled enemies-to-lovers, there's plenty of swoonworthy goodness to enjoy.  CW: Discussions of bullying and emotional abuse 
February 13, 2021
S2 Ep. 1: New Year, New TBR | Books We're Collectively Longing for in 2021
Hello listeners, and welcome to the season two premiere of the Pine Reads Podcast! Join our hosts Wendy, Jackie, and Hannah as they chat about their most anticipated kidlit reads of 2021. From epic YA fantasy to swoon-worthy romances, there are plenty of fantastic titles we can't wait to dive into this year. 
January 30, 2021
S1 Ep. 12: Wrapping Up Season 1 | The Books of YA Past, Present, and Yet to Come
Join us as we look back at Season 1 and the year of 2020. We discuss our favorite YA books of the year, our favorite episodes, upcoming books we're excited for, what we'd like to see more of in YA literature, and a sneak peek of Season 2. Thank you for joining us this season, and we can't wait to see you again in early 2021! Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Hannah Miller
December 05, 2020
S1 Ep. 11: Art School, Catfishing, and Love Triangles...Oh My! | Discussing FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender
In this episode, we talk about Kacen Callender's latest YA contemporary novel, FELIX EVER AFTER. Topics include: the complexity of identity, why we love complicated queer teens, the recurring theme of love, the reality of art school, and more. Join us for a fun chat about this fantastic book! Content Warnings for the Book: Strong language, transphobia, a character’s dead name and photos from before their transition being shared publicly without their consent, bullying, and cyberbullying Episode Cast: Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, Hannah Miller Trans Women of Color Collective Community Fund: Marsha P. Johnson Institute Donations: Transgender Law Center Donations:
November 21, 2020
S1 Ep. 10: Speculative Indigenous Voices | ELATSOE and RACE TO THE SUN
In this episode, we discuss ELATSOE written by Darcie Little Badger and illustrated by Rovina Cai, as well as RACE TO THE SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse. Topics include: our thoughts about the books, how both stories operate within the speculative fiction genre, how indigenous cultures influence these books, and more. Join us for a great discussion! Content Warnings for the Books: Kidnapping, mentioned loss of a parent, mentions of racism (RACE TO THE SUN); Murder of a loved one, racism (ELATSOE) Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, Hannah Miller Link to the COVID-19 relief funds:
November 07, 2020
S1 Ep. 9: Halloween Hauntings | Cemetery Boys
In this episode, we talk about Aiden Thomas's recently-released, best-selling novel CEMETERY BOYS. The discussion centers on our thoughts about the book, our favorite parts, the amazing representation in the book, and more. Join us for a great time while you prepare for Halloween! Content Warnings for the Book: Misgendering, strong language, transphobia, some blood and gore, some violence Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, Kevin Sanchez
October 24, 2020
S1 Ep. 8: Investigating the Truth | YA Mysteries
In this episode, we each read a different YA mystery novel to investigate the truth of YA mysteries. Topics include: the structure of the mystery novel and how the perspective was important, if the Big Reveal was satisfying and if we saw it coming, how the teenage protagonist(s) dealt with adult subject matter and trauma as opposed to an older protagonist, and our thoughts about the books in general. Books discussed are: ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus, SADIE by Courtney Summers, WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart, I KILLED ZOE SPANOS by Kit Frick, and MONDAY'S NOT COMING by Tiffany Jackson. Trigger Warnings for the Books: Death, a character publicly outed without consent, discussions of school shootings, emotional abuse, drug and alcohol use, bullying, depression (ONE OF US IS LYING); Sexual assault, murder, violence, pedophilia, drug use, depression (SADIE); Memory loss, death, arson, toxic family dynamic, animal death (WE WERE LIARS); Memory loss, death, drug overdose, alcohol and drug use, missing person, racism (I KILLED ZOE SPANOS); Memory loss, physical and emotional abuse, graphic violence, racism (MONDAY'S NOT COMING). Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, Hannah Miller
October 10, 2020
S1 Ep. 7: Returning to Darius | Darius the Great Deserves Better
In this episode, we discuss Adib Khorram's sequel DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER. Topics include: thoughts about the sequel in general and how it relates to the first book, a discussion about high school sports culture, thoughts about the changing family relationships and dynamics in the sequel, and predictions for a possible third book. Join us for a fantastic discussion! Trigger Warnings for the Book: Depression, bullying, racism, intimate scenes, homophobia Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, and Hannah Miller
September 26, 2020
S1 Ep. 6: Diving into Different Cultures | Darius the Great is Not Okay
In this episode, we discuss Adib Khorram's novel, DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY. Topics include: thoughts about the book, our favorite moments, how culture-blending is presented, how mental health is treated in America vs. Iran, predictions for the sequel, and more. Join us for a fantastic discussion! Trigger Warnings for the Book: Depression, anxiety, bullying, Islamophobia, fat/body/food-shaming, sickness of a loved one Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro
September 10, 2020
S1 Ep. 5: Exploring Intersectionality in Young Adult Literature
In this episode, we discuss intersectionality in YA literature by examining how it's depicted in several specific books. We look at the portrayal of characters, the complexities of writing outside of the scope of one's identities, how the characters' identifies affect their roles in the book, what effect reading about the intersection of multiple identities had on us, and more. Books discussed include: UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacy Lee, FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender, AVATAR: THE RISE OF KYOSHI by F.C. Yee, ANGER IS A GIFT by Mark Oshiro, and THIS IS MY AMERICA by Kim Johnson. Trigger Warnings for the Books: Violence (AVATAR: THE RISE OF KYOSHI); Racism, attempted sexual assault, death of a parent, sexism, murder (UNDER A PAINTED SKY); Queerphobia, transphobia, a character's dead name/photos before they transitioned posted publicly without their consent (FELIX EVER AFTER); Police brutality, racism, murder, hate crimes (ANGER IS A GIFT and THIS IS MY AMERICA) Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro, Hannah Miller
August 27, 2020
S1 Ep. 4: Return to Panem | The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
In this episode, we discuss THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES, Suzanne Collins' recently released prequel to THE HUNGER GAMES. Topics include: our general thoughts of the book, how it compares to the original series, the differences between Coriolanus and Katniss as protagonists, movie predictions, and more. Join us as we return to Panem! Trigger Warnings: Violence, murder, references to war Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, and Hannah Miller
August 13, 2020
S1 Ep. 3: Diversifying Sci-Fi and Fantasy | Books with LGBTQ+ Romances and BIPOC Protagonists
For this episode, we each read a different sci-fi or fantasy book with BIPOC protagonists and an LGBTQ+ romance, and in the episode, we discuss these books together. The novels talked about are: ACE OF SHADES by Amanda Foody, GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan, A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow, and WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE by Tehlor Kay Mejia. Join us for a great discussion about diversity in sci-fi and fantasy! Trigger Warnings: Violence, sexual assault, misgynoir, murder Episode Cast: Jon Kresal, Wendy Waltrip, Jackie Balbastro
July 30, 2020
S1 Ep. 2: Mental Health Representation in Young Adult Literature
In this episode, we discuss how mental health is represented in young adult literature. Several books that feature protagonists with various mental illnesses are talked about, including TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green, STARRY EYES by Jenn Bennett, BY YOUR SIDE by Kasie West, and MARBLES by Ellen Forney. We also talk about the experience of reading a book with a protagonist who shares a mental illness with the reader, as well as the importance of reading diverse books. Join us for a great discussion about mental health representation in young adult literature! Trigger Warnings: general discussion of mental health, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, OCD Episode Cast: Jon Kresal and Wendy Waltrip
July 16, 2020
S1 Ep. 1: Introducing Your Hosts | Books, Backgrounds, and More
Welcome to the Pine Reads Podcast! In this episode, we introduce ourselves and talk about...drumroll...books! Topics include: our positions at Pine Reads Review, our favorite books, what we like about young adult literature, why the young adult genre is important for people of all ages, and more. Join us for a fun, book-filled time! Episode Cast: Jon Kresal and Wendy Waltrip
July 16, 2020
Welcome to the Pine Reads Podcast
Hello listeners, welcome to the Pine Reads Podcast! Stay tuned for new episodes coming soon. In the mean time, follow us on social media and visit our official website: 
June 11, 2020