Jessica Harriton

Penguin Random House, Razorbill

My Manuscript Wish List®

I’m looking for YA and middle-grade in a variety of genres to add to my growing list.

In terms of YA, I love stories with evocative, vivid settings that transport the reader, such as Emily Henry’s The Love That Split the World, The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. Small town angst always gets me! Additionally, books that pose big “what if?” questions are always exciting to me. I would really like to find a speculative novel for teens like Station Eleven on the adult side or More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I also have a soft spot in my heart for women’s fiction and rom coms. I’m on the lookout for great beach reads with depth, much like Liane Moriarty’s novels and the Crazy Rich Asians series, as well as sweet, smart romances like Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

I’m sucker for suspense and devour thrillers like One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and Sadie by Courtney Summers. I’m most drawn to thrillers that are both fast-paced and emotionally resonant. A super strong romance, friendship, family issue (or all of the above!) paired with an enticing mystery is my jam! I’m also always up for a good scare and I’m hoping to add more YA horror to my list, like Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins, and of course, the terrifying Merciless series by Danielle Vega.

I am not the best fit for high fantasy, but enjoy immersing myself in grounded fantasy reads and portal fantasies like The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Books that infuse magical elements into grounded stories are also super appealing to me, such as Bone Gap by Laura Ruby and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.

While my list is YA-focused, I’m also interested in finding some fabulous middle grade voices as well! I love MG stories that take something ordinary and make it extraordinary, such as Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Daryl Conners and Elise Allen.  I’d also like to find a sports story for girls and I am looking for a strong friendship story told in a non-traditional format, like an updated version of Snail Mail No More by Ann M. Martin and Paula Danziger or Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss. Additionally, Margaret Peterson Haddix is a favorite of mine and I’m on the lookout for an upper middle grade thriller like Running Out of Time.

Lastly, I love reading essay collections from hilarious, strong women and would be so excited to add a YA version to my list. Examples include, I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley, Bossypants by Tina Fey, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort, You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson, and Razorbill’s own This is Really Happening by Erin Chack.

Other areas of interest include:

  • Cooking/food
  • Ensemble casts
  • True crime podcasts/documentaries
  • 80s and 90s rom coms
  • Moody, seaside locales
  • Diverse voices
  • Villains you hate, but also kind of are in love with.
  • Non-traditional formats
  • Lyrical prose
  • Running & yoga
  • Smart, dry humor
  • Advice columns
  • Portals (grounded fantasy/time travel)

Vital Info