S1 E10: Underrated Books Under 250 Pages

In the final episode of season one (!), Mackenzie and Lily give their recommendations for underrated books under 250 pages that you can read this holiday season. Plus, Mackenzie shares her favorite trash human read of quarantine and Lily discusses not knowing what a book's about even six months after reading it. If that wasn't enough, there are season two teasers at the end of the episode. See y'all on January 11th! Major episode timestamps: Introduction (0:00), Housekeeping (1:00), Introduction to Main Topic (2:12), Discussion of This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (6:09), Discussion of Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom (9:31), Discussion of Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (12:59), Discussion of Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-ju (14:52), Discussion of Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong (16:54), Discussion of Notes to Self by Emily Pine (19:14), Introduction to Bad Bitch Book Club Member Recommendations (21:52), Discussion of Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing (22:17), Discussion of Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (23:11),  Introduction to What We're Reading Now (25:06), Discussion of Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas (25:17), Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (27:58), Conclusion (30:23). You can get full show notes and episode transcriptions on the Bad Bitch Book Club website: Give us a five-star rating wherever you get your podcasts, and say hi to us at @F2LPodcast on Twitter and Instagram. You can also join the private F2L Facebook group:

If you want to support Bad Bitch Book Club's initiatives (including this podcast), become a Patreon member: Buy all books mentioned on Friends to Lovers: Friends to Lovers is a Bad Bitch Book Club podcast hosted by BBBC founder Mackenzie Newcomb and writer, editor, and bestie Lily Herman. Each week, they use books as a jumping off point to talk about sex, relationships, dating, love, romance, and more. Podcast logo by MKW Creative Co. ( and music by Eliza Rose Vera (

Show Notes

Books Mentioned

Episode Transcript

Introduction (0:00)

Lily Herman: Welcome back to the final episode of season one of Friends to Lovers, a podcast where we use books as a jumping-off point to talk about sex, relationships, dating, love, romance, and more. Friends to Lovers is part of the Bad Bitch Book Club network, and you can learn more at

Mackenzie Newcomb: The end! Oh my God. Well, as all you know by now, I would assume, I'm Mackenzie Newcomb. I'm a retired relationship blogger, I'm an influencer marketing expert and the founder of Bad Bitch Book Club.

Lily Herman: And I'm Lily Herman, a writer, editor person who's read three Rebekah Weatherspoon romance novels in a week, and one of Mack's best friends.

Housekeeping (1:00)

Mackenzie Newcomb: All right, well, for the last time this season, why don't you do a little housekeeping?

Lily Herman: Housekeeping, everyone's favorite 60 seconds of this podcast. So you can find our show notes and transcriptions for every episode, including every book we talk about, at You can also join the Bad Bitch Book Club Patreon at It's only $7 a month. It helps us produce this podcast. It helps us do a bunch of other things. And by us, I mean mostly Mackenzie because she is obviously the founder CEO and baddest of bitches of the Bad Bitch Book Club. And then you can also follow our podcast on social media at @F2LPodcast, two as in the number 2, as well as join our Friends to Lovers podcast Facebook group. And then lastly, if you want to follow the Bad Bitch Book Club on all the socials, you can follow it at badbitch.bookclub on Instagram and @badbtchbookclub—and that's "bitch" without the "i" on Twitter, because for the last time, Twitter is a dick when it comes to character limits. So housekeeping out for the last time of this particular season.

Introduction to Main Topic (2:12)

Mackenzie Newcomb: We're devastated as fuck that this is our last episode, but luckily we already have season two planned because we love and care about you and because my co-host Lily is incredibly Type A. Per always, starting now we're ending the season by talking about what else we're reading, because we love you and care about you. We're catering this episode to books under 250 pages. So if you are one of those people with reading goals, you can accomplish them, sleep at night, whatever it will help you do.

Lily Herman: Totally. And I feel like too, now that it's November, I don't know, people go home and some people want to sit and cozy up with like one 700-page book, and then other people, there's so much going on that they don't really want to commit to anything long or like a multi-series, like a lot going on. So we thought be best for those people if we kept things short.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Yeah. And we don't really have a lot of reading groups coming up. So it's kind of the perfect opportunity to do that. I do want to say though, I personally think reading goals are kind of bullshit. Sorry. They're a social construct. I think that it's cool to have a guideline that you want to read a book a week, or if you have a New Year's resolution to read, I don't know, say 50 books in a year because that translates to a book a week, which is really, really attainable. But I think when we start to get to some of those higher book reading goals, it just gets, I don't want to say toxic,cause that's not quite the right word, but it's an unnecessary thing to be stressed out about. Just be happy for yourself that you're reading. The average American does not even read a single book for fun or leisure in the entire year. Even if you are reading a book a month or a book a quarter, you are doing better than most people, and you should be proud of yourself for that. This year I'm set to read about 150 books. That's three times what I normally read, but next year I'm not going to try and beat that because we are living in a pandemic kind of situation that is very unusual. I'm going to go back to my 50-book-a-year goal. And that's always going to be my goal because it's reasonable and it works and it doesn't stress me out. Lily, do you even want to tell them your reading goal?

Lily Herman: I don't even know my reading goal. Well, my reading goal is just whatever I feel like it being this year. I'm probably gonna read somewhere—we've talked about this in our Q&A episode—but somewhere in the ballpark of 350 to 400 books. If you're sitting here like, "Oh my God, this is crazy," it's like, but I don't really, I look, I actually started with 50 and I literally ratchet up my, for example, my Goodreads reading goal number, depending on how many books I'm reading. So it's not a thing where I'm trying to reach a goal so much as I kind of push it up a little bit, depending on what's going on. But yeah, like if you want to, if you're like, "Hey, I'm off by like one book for my reading goal and I just need a little kick in the pants, I want to fit in that extra book," great. These will be great 250-page books, but definitely I think we—both Mackenzie and I—both agreed. Don't look at this list as like, "Oh , I'm a hundred books behind on my reading goal. I'm going to pop out like, you know, 150- to 250-page books just to make it" because then that takes like the fun nut of reading. Or like if you're someone who reads for like educational purposes, right? Yeah.

Mackenzie Newcomb: You want to be fatigued, fatigued, fatigued with your hobby, with something that's supposed to make you a happy. Last year I was supposed to—it's always 50 books. Last year I stretched it into 75 because things are going really fast and I made it to 69. And you know what, I'm still alive to tell the tale.

Lily Herman: Yeah, it's not, it's not the end of the world. So we look at this episode as like, okay, if you need a short book, because it's the holiday season and you're just, yeah, there's a lot going on with people, but between the pandemic and just like normal holiday life that happens every year, 250-page books, great. Or like under, if you want to get through a couple of quick things, great, 250 page books. If you just finished something that was super long and you're like, I just need like a short palate cleanser or like, if you're in a reading slump and want something short that's reasons, like pick up these books. Don't do it because you suddenly in a month, month and a half, two months time want to like reach some kind of arbitrary goal in a way that would be toxic or unhealthy for you. Don't do it for those reasons. That's what we're saying.

Discussion of This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (6:09)

Mackenzie Newcomb: Now, moving on to what books we recommend, Lily, why don't you kick us off?

Lily Herman: Awesome. Okay. The other thing too, I should probably note is every season when we do like a What We're Reading, it is that we aren't necessarily gonna be recommending solely like romance-related books. So some of my recs have those themes, but it's not that I was looking directly for.

Mackenzie Newcomb: My recs are actually all about toxic masculinity.

Lily Herman: Oh, great. Excellent. Can't wait. Super exciting. My first book, which is just my what the fuck book, um, is This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. So if I'm being completely honest, I've looked back at this book, I reskimmed it after I read it in preparation for this episode, I have no fucking idea what this book is about. And I could read it 20 more times and still never really be quite sure if I "got" it. The good news is my favorite booktuber of all time, whom I've talked about multiple times in this podcast, aka Read with Cindy aka Cindy Pham, also said in a video including this book that she didn't understand it. So I'm in good company. Cindy's very smart, if she doesn't get it and I don't get it like no harm, no foul. So from what I gather, This Is How You Lose the Time War is only 200 pages. And it's a queer romance in the form of an epistolary novel between two female agents from opposing warring entities who are continuing to fight each other through space and time and then fall in love over time. So basically you have two people in morning opposing warring factions and they're basically sent on various missions partially sometimes to kill each other or to like wound each other's "side." And they keep meeting up and then start this friendship via letters that they leave for each other as they like pop in and out of these different time-space continuum moments and then send letters back and forth. So the prose is like nothing I've ever read before my entire life, but it's gorgeous, but it's very, not even dense, just very poetic and abstract. So it's just like, you have to read every sentence like six times then you realize you're never going to quite understand what it says, which is also kind of the point. But what I think is very cool about this book is that, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone actually talked about this in interviews when the book came out, is that they would each—so basically they knew what the general gist of the book was that they were writing together, but they didn't, for instance, plot out the letters. Cause again, it's written letters back and forth. They didn't plot those out together instead they would write a letter, send it to the other person and that person would write a letter back reacting to what was said in that letter and so on. So the book unfolds very organically because they didn't write out the entire book together or like map out or storyboard exactly what each letter had to be or like what they could add or not add. So it's a very interesting way to go about writing a book together. And just really—I can guarantee you will not read a book like this book this year, or in a very long time. So This Is How You Lose the Time War. 200 pages. Short, what-the-fuckery going on but in the best possible way. I enjoyed very, very much, even though I don't really know what I read.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Okay. I like the concept of the co-authors writing letters to each other back and forth.

Discussion of Thick and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom (9:31)

Mackenzie Newcomb: So my first recommendation is Thick and Other Essays by Tressie Cottom. Ooh, I loved this book and I have to tell you there's 256 pages to it. Sorry. I know it's against the rules. I shouldn't have included it, but you know, I just felt like a rebel this morning and thought that it should be there despite those extra six pages, which are really just an anthology. So who cares? Right. So Thick and Other Essays is a 2019 collection of essays by American sociologist, professor, and writer Tressie McMillan Cottom. This book covers topics such as Black womanhood, body image, and overall McMillan Cottom's experience as a Southern Black woman academic. And it was actually a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. So first and foremost, I listened to this on audiobook, which I highly recommend. It was about a four-hour audio book, which is, when I saw that, it was an immediate buy for me because sometimes you're not only looking for a short book, but you're looking for a short audiobook. And this was exactly that. I've read a lot of anti-racism books, not just this year, because obviously a lot of us have read them this year, but in the last two years; this book is not that. This book is written with not white people as an audience in mind, it's almost like listening in on a conversation amongst Black women critiquing culture. But I feel because of that, I learned so much from it. One thing I was not aware of and something that really stood out to me in this book was the concept of burden of proof for rape victims. So obviously most rape cases in the world and in the United States are not taken seriously. They never go to court and they're rarely is a conviction. And all rape victims have to deal with this concept of what it is to have a burden of proof, right? Which means you have bruises or scratch marks something to prove that something happened to there's evidence, physical evidence, usually on your body, because there's usually no video, but like that something bad happened to you. And I think all of us knew this to a degree, but what I had never thought of and what Tressie covers in here is that Black women—and as the darker you are as a Black woman, the more this is going to affect you—that you don't show bruises if you're a super dark-skinned Black woman. And so that burden of proof is suddenly so much more difficult to reach. And that's just one example. I'm not spoiling the entire book for you, but that was just one example of the many jaw-dropping aha moments. I'm walking my dog, listening to this audiobook, being like, "ah, oh, wow" to the whole entire time. And it totally rocked my world. And I highly, highly, highly recommended. She also toys with the concept of beauty and what it means to be beautiful and what it means to acknowledge that you are not beautiful, which is a conversation I love to have. Overall 10 out of 10 highly recommend. And that was a recommendation from Deonnah Davis who runs the YA group. Overall, absolutely loved it.

Discussion of Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (12:59)

Mackenzie Newcomb: What's your next one?

Lily Herman: Okay. So I feel like I also have like a queer theme going on, which was not on purpose, but love it. I was just going through what books have I really fucked with that are like a little different than, I don't know, what's what's out there. So my second book pick is up Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey and I can think of no better novella for the time that we're in than one. That is about a bunch of lesbians riding around in the dystopian American West posing as librarians, delivering materials, and they're delivering materials on behalf of an authoritarian regime. But in reality, they're spreading revolutionary pamphlets to communities, like rural communities in this dystopian America. I fuck with it. So hard. Love it. It's only like 175 pages. It's a novella. Oh my God. I was like, I saw the description for it. I was like, this bitch is out here, doing the Lord's work. Oh my God.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Everything of the sort. Oh yeah.

Lily Herman: And I'm one of those people who's constantly saying like, "Oh my God, this book could have been a hundred pages shorter" or whatever, but I would happily have read a full length, like 300- to 350-page novel of this book, of these characters. Really great book. Good themes. Quick. If you're also looking to get into more LGBTQ literature, Sara Gailley has written both other novellas and standalone full length novels. So definitely check them out. But I just think, yeah, this book was fun. It was quick. It definitely felt of the time. It was both like kind of depressing, but like a true delight at the same time. You too want more revolutionary lesbians in the American West.

Mackenzie Newcomb: The more the merrier, honestly. Speaking of revolution...

Lily Herman: I loved it. But anyway.

Discussion of Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-ju (14:52)

Mackenzie Newcomb: My next recommendation is Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 by—and I hope I pronounce this last name right—Cho Nam-ju. I think I'm right. Okay.

Lily Herman: Yeah. The American version.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Okay. So this is actually the book that kicked off the #MeToo movement in Korea. Many people are unaware of this, but Korea actually has the biggest wage disparity amongst the developed world for women. And that's obviously really messed up. I had no idea about this, and this book was just released in 2020 in the U.S. I had gotten an advanced copy and I waited almost a year to read it. And then when I was reading it in one setting, I was like, why did I wait a year to read this? So this is the story of a woman who lived a very normal life in Korea. That's kind of the point of the whole thing, except that she, and this actually part of the normalcy, unfortunately had sexist microaggressions at every turn in her life from when she was born to going through school to her first job, since the workforce, and even into her marriage, this woman just constantly faced sexism, but the book is meant to be the story of any woman in Korea, that she's just a figure for who could be absolutely anybody. Her life was very mundane. And it was an incredibly powerful book about how that essentially can make someone go crazy. And this is a translated text; it was originally published in Korea, like I said, so in the beginning, I definitely had—I have a little bit of a hard time with translated texts. I have ADHD. So it took about 20 or so pages for me to really get into it. But once I was in, I was all in. So I encourage those of you who do decide to read it, to give it a moment, let yourself adjust to the translation and really take it all in. I just loved it. And it was also kind of good to know that other countries are fucked up like us read it.

Discussion of Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong (16:54)

Mackenzie Newcomb: What's your third?

Lily Herman: All right. My third one is a non-fiction recommendation. Definitely one to check out as we continue to work through anti-racism principles in our society and kind of expanding what that looks like for different people in different groups. The book is Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong, who I believe is actually a poet first and foremost, and this was kind of a non-fiction, almost like a book of essays, but basically it's by Cathy Park Hong, and this book puts forth this idea of what she calls "minor feelings" that many Asian Americans experience. And it's this idea that American optimism contradicts your own reality as an Asian person or a person of color to the point where you start to believe the falsehoods you're told about your own identity and kind of those like small things that go that, you know, almost kind of like microaggressions too, that kind of go about during the day and the weeks and the months and the years living in America that then pile up and make you start to believe them, even though they are rooted in prejudice or racism or what have you. So the essays are all really, really different from each other. Some of them are more historical deep dives into a major Asian American history. There's some personal writing. She has this one really excellent essay unpacking this incredibly complex friendship she had with two women in college and beyond and just "dealing with a toxic friend" is essentially the theme of that chapter. And I was hooked the entire chapter. She writes about an Asian-American artist, a woman who was brutally raped and murdered in New York City, and why her case has never really gotten any traction and trying to not erase her work over time, even though it's very well known in kind of literary and academic circles. So it's just a really impactful book in so many ways. And it's also, like I said, so different where if you even, you know, were like, "Hey, I want to spread out these essays over time," you could do that easily and not feel like you're missing anything or you're ruining the momentum. So if you're looking for like a little more of a slightly academic or introspective non-fiction read for the holiday season, I would definitely recommend this one as sort of like a palate cleanser if you've been in a little bit of like a fiction—on a fiction path for a while. So that's my third rec. I really enjoyed it, but yeah, very intense, but in a really important and needed way. Yeah. Enjoyed it. But yes. What did you also recommend?

Discussion of Notes to Self by Emily Pine (19:14)

Mackenzie Newcomb: The last book I'm recommending is one I read about a year and a half ago. I got an ARC of it cause it's published by Random House and it was a super random pick at the moment, but it's one that really stuck with me and it's called Notes to Self by Emily Pine. So Emily Pine is an Irish woman, and for those of you who are aware, I'm assuming most of you, Irish law is very much dictated or at least historically has been dictated by their Catholic culture. Is Catholicism a culture?

Lily Herman: Yeah. I mean, it's very much centered on a religious identity and that there's no separation of church and state.

Mackenzie Newcomb: There's no separation of church in Ireland, that's for sure. Yeah. And so this is essays and I believe it's like 175 pages from this woman Emily on how her life has intersected with Irish politics in every way. So from an ectopic pregnancy, where she was not able to get an abortion because this is Ireland and they just basically, they can't tell you what to do. They just shrug their shoulders. They can kind of allude that you should go to a different country to have it happen, but they can't straight up tell you that. Just really fucked up shit. From her childhood and having divorced parents and up until she was a teenager, it was illegal for her parents to divorce. So even though they separated at the age of five, it became this like super secretive thing in school that the teacher would pull her aside separately to talk to her about, because it was so, so taboo to have divorced parents of the Catholic culture. I love this book. I had never really thought too critically about Irish politics. I know that they had just fought to get the right to abortion a couple of years ago and that's something I followed, but I just found this to be a really interesting essay series about why those things are problematic just through the lens of one ordinary woman. And I would say I absolutely recommend it. So that's Notes to Self by Emily Pine.

Lily Herman: Love it. And I love that idea too, cause it seems like a theme of your books. While my theme is like, "Angry queer people, yay!" your theme is kind of everyday people but showing how oppressive forces affect them.

Mackenzie Newcomb: I guess I had a theme totally accidentally. I was like, you had a theme and I guess these are the best books I read under 250 pages. Then they are cultural critics, like dissecting their own upbringing and where they are from. So hey, consider it an extension of the new feminist classic reading group that Lily's running. You're not done with your feminism. Keep going. We got some recs for you.

Lily Herman: 250 pages or under feminism, but still impactful!

Introduction to Bad Bitch Book Club Member Recommendations (21:52)

Mackenzie Newcomb: What did the book club to say?

Lily Herman: Oh yeah. So this was one of the episodes where we have recommendations from the book club and there's actually, if you're a Bad Bitch Book Club Facebook group member, there's actually a thread where we asked people for their recs. So feel free to do some little search searching through that group to find that, because there's a lot of really just great recommendations all under 250 pages or thereabouts that are great.

Discussion of Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing (22:17)

Lily Herman: So Sarah Andrews recommended the book Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing. And that last name is spelled E-W-I-N-G, which is about just what can only be described as the utter fuckery of the Chicago public school system and in particular how officials in a certain culture there has completely failed children of color, especially Black children. Chicago, obviously, there's been a lot of conversation in recent years about police brutality and what not, but there's also been this entire other conversation and debate going on around the public school system in Chicago schools that predominantly serve communities of color have been shut down. There's just a lot going on there. And so Eve Ewing really dives into that and obviously does a really impactful job in doing it in around 250 pages or less. So Ghosts in the Schoolyard is the first pick.

Discussion of Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (23:11)

Lily Herman: And the second pick by Bad Bitch Book Club superstar Caroline Brooks is Sabrina & Corina, which is by Kali Fajardo-Anstine. And it's essentially a series of short stories about Indigenous and Latino women in the American West. But it's, I will say because I think both Mackenzie and I read it, it is definitely a melancholy book. It's a super important to read and also very quick to read to a certain extent.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Yeah, I wouldn't say it's a speed read book. I'd say it's like read a couple chapters, go read a romance novel, read a couple of chapters.

Lily Herman: Yeah, yeah, exactly, which is what I did with this book. But basically there's a lot of themes of generational trauma and violence at all stages of life and also showing kind of this, you know, because of this long history of violence against Indigenous and Latinx populations in the U.S., what that leads to in the present day, but it features young girls who are kids, teenagers, women in their twenties and thirties trying to find themselves at various points, you know, older women kind of trying to make that transition to, for instance, living in a nursing home or something like that. So a great book, but definitely, definitely, definitely a sadder read I would say.

Mackenzie Newcomb: And that cover!

Lily Herman: The cover's gorgeous as fuck. Oh my God. Gorgeous. Loved it. So there's basically eight whole recommendations for y'all. There's just a lot out there that's under around 250 pages,

Mackenzie Newcomb: I'm proud of us though. We didn't resort to any short, like real short stories. Like we didn't name the Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid. We found like book-books under 250 pages.

Lily Herman: Yeah, a novella is a book, Taylor Jenkins Reid's is a short story. The short story is good but—

Mackenzie Newcomb: It's 45 minutes. It's a short story. Cool, cool. I mean, go ahead and read Evidence of the Affair, but I might doubt you whether or not it counts as a full book.

Lily Herman: Goodreads doesn't know the difference, which is both great and terrible at the same time, but amazing.

Introduction to What We're Reading Now (25:06)

Lily Herman: Oh, so I guess we'll finish off with, what are we reading now? That's maybe not romance-related and not under 250. What are you reading right now?

Discussion of Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas (25:17)

Mackenzie Newcomb: Okay. The book that I recently read that I'm going to recognize to those of you who identify as human trash is Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas, which was one of the picks for the IRL romance book club that Lily runs. Sorry, you can't join unless you live in New York city and you talk to us, but yeah. So this is a taboo romance. It is self-published by Penelope Douglas, which I feel like is worth noting because it's not the most eloquently written book, but it is the story of Jordan who is 19. And she's literally—

Lily Herman: Newly 19.

Mackenzie Newcomb: She's not newly 18, Lily.

Lily Herman: Yeah.

Mackenzie Newcomb: She's 19. She's an adult and she's had a long, hard life. So Jordan and her boyfriend Cole have been living together. They live somewhere in we're guessing rural Illinois. It's really never fully told to us, but based on our book club conversation, we're guessing rural Illinois and Jordan's family is the worst. They don't call her on her birthday. They live in a dirty trailer with her stepbrother and nothing, nothing good, creepy friends. Nothing good has happened in Jordan's life until her trash boyfriend Cole spends all their money and forces them to move in with Cole's dad Pike.

Lily Herman: Doesn't also Cole like burn their apartment down or some shit?

Mackenzie Newcomb: I thought of Cole Labrant the whole time I was thinking of Cole. So Jordan and Cole move in with Daddy Pike. And it turns out that he is the same man that she had met at a movie theater on her birthday that she felt this instant spark and connection to thought he was really hot, had kind of a good banter with—.

Lily Herman: And Pike, it should be noted, is like 38. He had Cole as a teen.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Yeah, he has a 19-year-old son and he's a 38-year-old dad and sparks are a flyin'. And that's all I'm going to tell you. And I think you're gonna really like it if you like age differences and if you don't mind taboo, if you're someone who can't handle infidelity in books. I know we have a lot of members who don't like infidelity. We have a lot of members who don't like age gaps. If that's you, then like, I respect you and your journey, we're not the same, but if it is not you, and this sounds kind of sexy to you, read Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas, probably available on Kindle Unlimited.

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (27:58)

Mackenzie Newcomb: What about you Lily? I hope you're reading something with a little more class, taste.

Lily Herman: I am! I will also just say Birthday Girl is one of those books I found and was able to recommend to the book club because everyone on booktube talks about it constantly. So I finally was like, I need to just read this because if I hear another booktuber say it's one of the best books of the year, I will start yelling. Onto my much more like fun, fun and appropriate pick I did want to highlight. So I've been trying this year to read books b more Indigenous authors and also trying to expand the genres of those books. So not just reading for instance, like non-fiction history of Indigenous people in America, you know, like really trying to expand what that means. So my book is actually a YA pick, and it's Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith. She's written a lot of actually fantasy and what not, and this is a standalone, but essentially it follows teenager in high school who—her family moves. They used to be closer to their family, she's Indigenous and from an indigenous tribe, and essentially starts over at a new school. She has a very white school, her and her brother struggle socially, and she joins essentially the school newspaper and begins to unravel a large town scandal in her Kansas town. And along the way, of course, the co-kind of editor or her writing partner on this story is this very cute but infuriating boy who is kind of doing the most all the time, but they of course strike up a little something-something. So it was like a cute 300-page YA kind of romance. Very cute, very quick. The writing style is really conversational. It's definitely a little too pithy for a teenager, but I didn't even care. It was just very nice and adorable and quick, but also had some really much deeper themes and what not. So, if you're, like I said, trying to look for more work by Indigenous authors,that kind of spans a lot of genres, this is a great one for YA and romance. So that's what I just finished reading and it was great—

Mackenzie Newcomb: For a healthier option.

Lily Herman: And if you just want to be scandalized like roommate and friend of the pod, Kaitlyn, then read Birthday Girl. I think I broke Kaitlyn.

Conclusion (30:23)

Lily Herman: So usually we have a teaser for the following week's episode, but this concludes season one!

Mackenzie Newcomb: We've made a podcast!

Lily Herman: A podcast baby was born. It is now, well, I wouldn't say 10 because it hasn't been on for 10 years, but like, it's a formidable baby. If you liked this season, just to give a small preview of what's to come for season two, so we're still nailing down the full season and starting to storyboard and record episodes, but we're feeling very strongly about there being an episode all about books from your adolescence that ruined your adult love life, of which there are many books. We're also looking at potentially doing an episode on some of the most polarizing recent romance books that have come out in the last couple of years. We're looking at a discussion of plus-size heroines and love interests and a whole lot more. And then in terms of our ranking episode, we'll just tease that the author we're probably going to feature knows a thing or two about a wedding date. Super mysterious.

Mackenzie Newcomb: Speaking of which, if you know of any great plus-size heroines or even better plus-size male love interests, please let us know because we're always looking to explore that more. Anyways, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening to our podcast. Since you made it to episode 10, I'm assuming you've already given us a five-star rating, but if you haven't, what are you waiting for? Give us a five-star rating and review. Please subscribe to this podcast so that you can get deets for season two. If you are looking for more info on the Bad Bitch Book Club, you can find us on Instagram. We are at @badbitch.bookclub and Twitter at @badbtchbookclub without the "i" in "bitch" due to character limits and nothing else. Or you can head to In addition to show notes and transcriptions, BBBC has very, very, very chic merge, some of which is limited edition for the fall reading groups, and it will be taken offline soon. You're going to want to make sure to shop that following this podcast. And follow us at @F2LPodcast on Instagram and Twitter and join our podcast Facebook group. And you can find me, one of your two favorite hosts, at @makinstyle on all social media platforms and on my blog Lily, where can they find you?

Lily Herman: You can find me at @lkherman on Twitter and @lilykherman on Instagram. And yeah, I mean, I don't really know how to— how does one end a season of a podcast?

Mackenzie Newcomb: Hope you all have a lovely and socially distanced holiday and we can't wait to see you in 2021. Maybe it will be a better year. Maybe it will be worse. We don't know, but we'll have book recommendations. That's all we know.

Lily Herman: We'll have book recommendations. We'll have plus-size heroine and love interest combos. We'll have a trip down teen YA book trash memory lane.

Mackenzie Newcomb: And hot takes on hot takes on hot takes on hot sex And so see y'all, later, have a good day!

Lily Herman: Thanks everybody. Bye!


Subscribe Form


New York, NY

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

©2020 by Bad Bitch Book Club