Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Book Review and Giveaway: Finally Heard by Kelly Yang

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m thrilled to share a review of Kelly Yang’s MG contemporary Finally Heard. I’m a huge fan of Kelly Yang’s Front Desk series and her Finally Seen series, which this is a sequel to. Kelly has been an amazing writer since she was a kid and immigrated to the U.S. from China as a middle grader. If you read her author notes at the end of her novels, you’ll learn what an incredible life Kelly has had.

I had hoped to have Kelly here for an interview, but she couldn’t do one given her busy schedule. However, she helped me obtain a book for a giveaway from her publisher. And thanks to her publisher for an ARC of Finally Heard for an honest review.

Here’s a blurb of Finally Heard from Goodreads:


From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes the sequel to Finally Seen in which Lina struggles to separate fact from fiction on social media.

When ten-year-old Lina Gao sees her mom’s video on social media take off, she’s captivated by the potential to be seen and heard! Maybe online she can finally find the confidence she craves. Whereas in real life she’s growing so fast, she feels like microwave popcorn, bursting out of her skin!

With the help of her two best friends, Carla and Finn, and her little sister, Millie, Lina sets off to go viral. Except there’s a lot more to social media than Lina ever imagined,

1. Seeing inside her classmates’ lives! Is she really the only person on the planet who doesn’t have a walk-in closet?
2. Group chats! Disappearing videos! Will anyone comment? What’s that emoji mean?
3. A bazillion stories about what to eat, wear, and put on her face . Could they all be telling the truth? Everyone sounds so sure of what they’re saying!

As Lina descends deeper and deeper into social media, it will take all her strength to break free from the likes and find the courage to be her authentic self in this fast-paced world.

Follower News

Before I get to my review, I have Follower News to share. Follower Sandy Grubb’s MG contemporary Just Like Click was recently released. Here’s a blurb: Eleven-year-old Nick Townley steps off the comic book pages he creates and ventures into the night as an undercover superhero to save his home and his father’s job, which would be a lot easier if he had actual superpowers. When three new kids discover his identity and want to join him, Nick vows to stay undercover…until he realizes even a superhero needs friends. And here are a few links: sandygrubb.com X and IG: @sandygrubb


Yvonne Osborne has an adult release Let Evening Come. Here’s a blurb: Let Evening Come is the love story between an Indigenous son displaced from his ancestral home on the Tar Sands of Canada and a motherless farm girl from Michigan who struggles to overcome loss while navigating the pitfalls of young adulthood. Together they combat suspicion and bigotry on both sides of the border and the cultural differences that separate them. And here’s a few links:
Amazon Website Barnes & Noble


Finally Heard Review

Finally Heard is a sequel to Finally Seen. While you may enjoy this sequel more if you read Finally Seen first where Lina immigrates to the United States as a middle grader, this can be read as a standalone. Like Kelly’s other books, it’s a riveting story that I had a hard time putting down. I devoured it in a few sittings. Here are a few things I loved about the story:

  1. ·      In Finally Heard, Lina deals with problems with social media that many middle graders will relate to.
  2. ·      I loved the relationship between Lina and her grandmother. Even though her grandma lives in China, Lina has been able to remain close to her.
  3. ·       I really enjoyed how this story highlights what it’s like to immigrate here as a middle grader and how Lina’s whole family is coping with their new life here. We learn how her mom, who is starting an online business, gets entrapped in social media too.
  4. ·       Lina is a very compelling character, as are her younger sister Millie and her friends, Finn and Carla.
  5. ·       I LOVED the last lines of the book. Those lines are for adults as well as middle graders. I’ve read them many times during a big personal challenge I faced a few weeks ago, and they helped me get through it.

I can’t recommend this and Kelly Yang’s other books enough. They’re all fantastic!

About Kelly:


Kelly immigrated to America when she was 6 years old and grew up in Southern California, where she and her parents worked in three different motels. She overcame poverty to go to college at the age of 13 and law school at the age of 17. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science, and Harvard Law School. After law school, she gave up law to pursue her passion of writing and teaching children writing. She is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project (kellyyang.edu.hk), a leading writing and debating program for kids in Asia. As a writing teacher for 13 years, Kelly helped thousands of children find their voice and become better writers and more powerful speakers. Before turning to fiction, she was also a columnist for the South China Morning Post for many years. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. She is the Honorary Chair of the American Library Association for National Library Week. She has three children and lives in Los Angeles.  

 Kelly is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of FINALLY SEEN, NEW FROM HERE, the FRONT DESK series ("One of the 30 Most Influential Children's Books Of All Time" -BookRiot), including FRONT DESK, THREE KEYS, and ROOM TO DREAM, KEY PLAYER, and TOP STORY, YES WE WILL, and young adult novels PARACHUTES and PRIVATE LABEL. FRONT DESK is Kelly's award-winning middle grade debut novel about a 10 year old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. FRONT DESK was awarded the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the Parents' Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NPR Best Book of the Year, and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year.

You can learn more about Kelly at https://www.kellyyang.com/.

Giveaway Details

Kelly’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of Finally Heard for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by April 27th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his blog.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Tomorrow, April 16th I’m participating in the Rain Drop on Roses Giveaway Hop

Monday, April 22nd I have an agent spotlight interview with Hillary Fazzari and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 1st I have an interview with author Stacy Stokes and a giveaway of her YA speculative thriller The Darkness Rises and my IWSG post

Monday, May 6th I have an agent spotlight interview with Miriam Cortinovis and a query critique giveaway

Wednesday, May 8th I have an agent spotlight interview with Jenniea Carter and a query critique giveaway

Monday, May 13th I have a guest post by debut author Sandy Green and a giveaway of her MG novel in verse Ghost Writers: The Haunting of Lake Lucy

Wednesday, May 15th I have a guest post by Rose Atkinson-Carter, a freelance writer for Reedsy

Monday, May 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Caroline Trussell and a query critique giveaway

I hope to see you tomorrow!





Valinora Troy said...

I'm sorry the giveaway is US only - it sounds great and I am very intrigued by those lines! :) Thanks for the recommendation!

Brenda said...

I've really enjoyed all of Kelly Yang's books Excited to see Finally Heard, and your review sounds lovely. Follower by blog, twitter, and mentioned on Twitter.

Jacqui said...

A lot of good books here. Love Finally Heard. Kids need to learn how to separate fact from fiction on the internet.

Danielle H. said...

I have read the first two books and loved them. I can't wait to read this book. I follow Natalie on Twitter and shared this post on tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Kate Larkindale said...

Sounds like a good one!

Anonymous said...

I can’t wait to read Kelly Yang’s new book Finally Heard. Love her writing and love this one is about social media!! We need more books like this. Thank you for a chance.

Anonymous said...


Liz A. said...

It sounds like a great book.

Anonymous said...

My daughter would love this! She is enjoying the front desk series right now. I subscribe by email.

Helloelizabethjames at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I follow on Twitter @elizjameswrites

Helloelizabethjames at gmail dot com

Greg Pattridge said...

I'm a big fan of Kelly's books but have not gotten to this one yet. Thanks for your insightful review and for being a part of MMGM this week.

Stephanie Jones said...

I'm super excited to see Finally Heard - thanks for the great review!

Pete Springer said...

I read everything under the sun by Kelly. I admire her willingness to not shy away from important topics.

Anonymous said...

I follow you on Twitter and shared there as well. dlawyer@wsesu.net

Anonymous said...

Destiny Lawyer

Carol Baldwin said...

Please count me in on this giveaway. Sounds intriguing. Carol

traveler said...

Finally Heard sounds captivating and meaningful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Katrina Dehart said...

Would love to win a copy

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks so much for the blurb and links! I appreciate it very much.

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

I've only read one book by Kelly Yang, Parachutes, but it was utterly fantastic, and I know she's published an astounding number of books that are all beloved! It sounds like Finally Heard is another great read from her. And I appreciate you sharing how much the last few lines meant to you—I feel like so many kids' books have ideas in them that people of any age can learn and grow from, myself included.

Also, reading Yang's biography, I am amazed by how much she's accomplished and in how many fields—publishing novels, writing journalism, starting an education company, working as a teacher, being a parent, and getting a law degree from Harvard that she doesn't even use! Wow. That is impressive.

I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks so much for the wonderful review, Natalie—it's always fun to hear your opinions on books! Enjoy your week!

Nancy P said...

Sounds fantastic! Following on Goodreads, Twitter & Facebook. LifeSmartly positive.ideas.4youATgmail

debi o'neille said...

Great book reviews. I'm going to be reading two of the books for sure, and I'll see about the others. Thanks for the introduction to new authors I'll likely follow.

Tonja Drecker said...

This theme hits the times so well... and I enjoyed the review. The point formatting is so easy to get through!

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

Kasey @ The Story Sanctuary said...

I loved Finally Seen, but I haven't managed to read Finally Heard yet! It looks so good-- relatable, deep, and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing your review!

polly said...

I am an email subscriber. The review was good!