First Second has announced a new graphic novel by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and Real Friends artist LeUyen Pham. Lunar New Year Love Story is a rom-com set in the Asian community of Oakland. High school junior Val is convinced her family is cursed to be unlucky in love, and none other than St. Valentine himself (or an apparition of him) is trying to persuade her to give up on love altogether. On the other side of that argument are Les and his cousin Jae, whom she meets while studying lion dancing. Val is Vietnamese American, Les is of Chinese descent, and Jae’s parents are Korean and Chinese, and the graphic novel weaves together the traditions of all three in a story that centers on both Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year. The book, which is rated for ages 14-18, will go on sale on January 9, 2024, in two formats, a hardcover with an MSRP of $25.99 and a paperback with an MSRP of $17.99.

Yang is the creator of American Born Chinese, which was recently adapted into a Disney+ series; his other work includes the Eisner Award-winning Dragon Hoops, the best-selling Avatar the Last Airbender graphic novels, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings (see “Marvel to Launch New ‘Shang-Chi’ Series”), and DC’s The Monkey Prince (see “DC Announces New ‘Monkey Prince’ Series”). Pham collaborated with Shannon Hale on the Real Friends trilogy, the third volume of which launched with a first printing of 1 million (see “First Second Summer-Fall 2021 Season”), and she was nominated for a 2014 Eisner Award for Templar.