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Did you know Book Riot has a podcast devoted to all things YA? You do now! (Or maybe you’ve already done it. In which case, thanks for listening! You are our favorite! Please rate and rate.)

I joined Book Riot and Hey YA in September 2020. Founding co-host Eric Smith left big, hot dog-shaped shoes to fill, but I talked to fellow founding co-host Kelly Jensen about things we’d been talking about all along anyway.

Kelly and I both seek variety to read, which is not a chore but a joy, and of course that happens because we are both interested in a number of different things. BUT there are definitely books that come up multiple times. In total, more than 1,387 unique titles were mentioned on the podcast, and the reason I give such an accurate number and then say “more than” is because I didn’t include books that were published as middle class, kids, or adults, though there are tons of excellent crossover books out there, we recommend them regularly! Always check the show notes.

Here are the three most mentioned books (the kind of – you’ll see) and runners-up since the podcast debut in September 2017. Those numbers are included in episode 89. After the list you will find some connections and clues as how I got these numbers.

5. Bound for 7 mentions

4. Bound for 8 mentions

The cover of the ballad of songbirds and snakes

3. Bound for 9 mentions

Do you want Cindy Pon cover picture

2. 11 mentions in total

1. Bound for 12 mentions each

Please note that I have counted this by hand and literally went through every set of show notes so there may be errors. I counted serial books as one title and took out any books that weren’t published as YA, which means crossover for adults and crossover for middle class were not included. Of course, because of the way linear time works, books published before 2020 had more chances of getting out than books that have only been out for about a year. Many of the titles you see here are backlisted.

Speaking of linear time, if you’ve been a long-time listener, you might be surprised at some absences and say, “Nah gurl, you definitely referenced X a lot.” But no. You probably feel this way because there are definitely some author favorites around these parts. If I had counted repeat authors, this list could be very different. But I didn’t, and please don’t ask me because it took me over 8 hours to get these numbers – and I’m not kidding or exaggerating for timing it. The judges aren’t sure if it was worth the time, but when I started it felt like it would be more meaningless if I stopped.

So were there any surprises?

Switch to Hey YA every other Thursday wherever you get your podcasts, and take turns catching Hey YA on Thursdays: Extra Credit for Bonus Content!