Hi, hi! I'm Valerie Wong, the Digital Marketing Associate at LBYR. I mainly work on strategizing and executing digital campaigns for both our titles and brand, oversee the division’s social accounts and websites, and manage NOVL. Basically, all the hours I’ve spent on the internet cackling at memes and watching Instagram stories have really come in handy. I love udon, rabbits, stationery, and all things brand design.
Favorite Book of All Time
We had a team meeting not too long ago where our boss asked us what our favorite book is, and all of us had at least three different answers, so here goes. My favorite young adult novel is The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. It defined what I knew to be love and friendship during my teenage years. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is what defines my early adulthood. I regret not reading it earlier, but I’m glad I read it when I did. I love his simple yet concise way of describing complex emotions—it tore my heart out, filled my soul, and left me breathless. Honorable mention goes to the entire Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale. The world-building, character development, and storyline all tied together so well that I flew through the series.
Favorite LBYR Book
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. It gave me so many feels, but not just any feels—the ones that you experience when you first dive into YA as a teen (admittedly, the last book that gave me these feels was Twilight). It’s set in a world where humans can trade with demons: one body part in exchange for a wish. I’d trade one of my body parts in a heartbeat for unlimited udon 5ever.
Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read for a While
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. A good friend in high school absolutely loved this book, so it's been on my TBR for a while now. My little recently got me The *Ultimate* Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy—the one with all five novels. It's intimidating, but I plan to tackle it soon.
Book(s) You Think Everyone Should Read
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley. This book is remarkable and changed my worldview. I think Malcolm X’s story is vastly misunderstood and undermined. The challenges that he faced in this harsh world returns to us as lessons to respect and hear each other. It changed the way I view my own and others’ hardships. Highly recommend.
Most Worn-Out (but Well-Loved) Book
Bloomability by Sharon Creech. This book is the reason why I even have this job, because it turned me into a book lover. I read it over 20 times throughout my elementary and middle school years. I carried it everywhere with me—the spine is broken down, the pages are yellow, there’s a green stain on the side from an unknown source, and it has that old, dusty book smell. I haven’t read it in a while, but talking about it makes me want to read it all over again.
Favorite Book Cover
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG. I also love this book. And Mary H.K. Choi. I love me some representation. Am I a fan girl? Yes. 150%. I met her at YALLWEST and I had to pretend like I didn’t scream when she followed me on Twitter.
A Literary Obsession
I love reading books about fictional people who are exorbitantly rich. People love to say that money doesn’t fix everything, so what if you have all the money in the world? What kind of problems exist then? How do you fix it? This is why I love Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, Katharine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I only like fictionally rich people, though—I don’t want to know that real people like this exist even though I know they do.