#PenguinIcebreakers with Alexandra Leigh Young

As you may know, we’ve been doing #PenguinIcebreakers over on Instagram for the last year. Alexandra Leigh Young, author of Idol Gossip, decided to change things up by sending us her answers in written from – check them out below, along with our K-pop playlist inspired by our #Penguin10 titles!

#PenguinIcebreakers with Alexandra Leigh Young

What’s the weirdest/most random book on your bookshelf?

The most random book on my bookshelf has to be Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner. Years ago, I was alone in a subway station in Manhattan late at night, waiting for a train back to Brooklyn, and I noticed a book had been abandoned on the bench next to me. On a whim, I picked it up and read it on the train all the way home. It ended up being one of my favorite books of all time, and I am so grateful to whoever left it there!

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Made in Korea by Sarah Suk and My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki.

What is the one book you tell everyone to read?

Earlier this year, I read Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor and recommended it to everyone in my life. I am a better person for having read that book.

Alexandra Leigh Young at Books Are Magic

What’s a unique or unexpected talent that you have?

Most people don’t know this, but I used to be a competitive pole vaulter in high school. I even held my school’s record until my best friend’s little sister broke it years later!

If you could be quarantined anywhere in the world, where would you be?

I was an exchange student in Hokkaido, Japan when I was in middle school, and I’ve continued to visit over the years. Japan makes me feel deeply nostalgic for my childhood, and it’s been calling to me during the pandemic.

Make sure to check out Idol Gossip, in stores now!

Want some more K-pop (and YA) in your lives? Here’s our playlist of songs inspired by our #Penguin10!


Idol Gossip
By Alexandra Leigh Young
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213645 | Walker Books US
Every Friday after school, seventeen-year-old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong to sing karaoke. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, her only musical outlet is vamping it up in a private karaoke booth to an audience of one: her loyal sister. Then a scout for Top10 Entertainment, one of the biggest K-pop companies, hears her and offers her a spot at their Star Academy. Can Alice navigate the culture clashes, egos, and extreme training practices of K-pop to lead her group onstage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans – and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way. . . . This debut novel is about standing out and fitting in, dreaming big and staying true. It will speak to fans of K-pop and to anyone who is trying to take their talents to the next level.

Alexandra Leigh Young: website | instagram

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