Have you heard the news? Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham are collaborating on Lunar New Year Love Story! 

The young adult graphic novel (ages 14 – 18) is scheduled for publication by First Second on January 9th, 2024. In the meantime, you can get your first look at the cover, right here at The Beat!

Lunar New Year Love Story

Here’s the description of Lunar New Year Love Story from the publisher:

“Graphic novel superstars Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham join forces in this heartwarming rom-com about fate, family, forgiveness, and lion dancing.

“Valentina Tran was named after Valentine’s Day, which used to be her favorite holiday. But when Val learns the truth behind what happened with her parents and why she’s being raised by a single father, she realizes true love is a lie. This is reinforced when she meets the spirit of Saint Valentine, who tells her she and her family are cursed to always be unlucky in love. Val is ready to give into her fate, until one Lunar New Year festival, where a mysterious lion dancer hands her a paper heart, and ZING. Val becomes determined to change her destiny, prove Saint Valentine wrong, and give her heart to the right person.

“Meanwhile, lion dancing is the only thing that has given Jae peace after his dad passed away. It’s also what keeps him connected to his father’s side of the family. Both Jae and his cousin Leslie notice Val at the Lunar New Year festival, and for some inexplicable reason, Jae hands Val a paper heart. But it’s Leslie, with his K-Pop good looks, who starts to date Val. Jae still feels this connection with Val and feels it’s somehow tied to how he feels about losing his father.

“Both Val and Jae struggle with the spirits who haunt them as they are inextricably brought together in a love story that is satisfying, sweet, and moving.”

In quotes obtained by The Beat for the cover reveal, LeUyen and Gene shared their thoughts on Lunar New Year Love Story.

“I’m excited to introduce the world to Val,” said LeUyen. “This story is incredibly personal to me in so many ways — Val’s family history, her love of dance, her fear of love. Gene wrote the book that I would have longed for as a teenager and found myself in. I’m so lucky to be a part of it all.”

“I’ve been friends with, and a fan of, Uyen for a long, long time,” said Gene. “We’ve always talked about collaborating. I’m so grateful that things lined up and we were finally able to make it happen!”

Gene had this to say about the cover: “Uyen and Kirk Benshoff [Creative Director of First Second] did such an incredible job on the cover. Starry lions dancing in the sky… the imagery really captures the beauty and the nuance of the story we want to tell.”

Arriving January 2024

What do you think of the cover? Will you be checking out Lunar New Year Love Story when it arrives at your local bookstore and/or comic shop beginning January 9th, 2024?

The Beat is waiting to hear from you! Give us a shout-out in the comment section.