• A Junior Library Guild Selection

Vanilla and Hunter have been dating since seventh grade. They came out together, navigated middle school together, and became that couple in high school that everyone always sees as a couple. There are complications and confusions, for sure. But most of all, they love each other.

As high school goes, though, and as their relationship deepens, some cracks begin to show. Hunter thinks they should be having sex. Vanilla isn’t so sure. Hunter doesn’t mind hanging out with loud, obnoxious friends. Vanilla would rather avoid them.

If they’re becoming different people,can they be the same couple?

Falling in love is hard. Staying in love is harder.

Praise for Vanilla (PUSH / Scholastic Press, 2017):

“A feast for those hungry for character-driven literary fiction.” —Michael Cart,  Booklist, starred review

“A deeply personal and poetic dissection of young love and identity. Merrell has crafted a total knockout.”  —John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and winner of the Printz Medal

“It’s a story not just for LGBTQIA+ readers, but for anyone who’s ever navigated the confusions, complications, and commemorations of a relationship. With Vanilla, Billy Merrell makes a remarkable fiction debut.” —David Levithan, winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award

Talking in the Dark

• Named a Book for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library

This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know – when you see your parents’ marriage dissolving, when you realize you’re a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don’t know if it will be heard. The moments you don’t recognize until later – when you leave things unsaid (even to yourself), when you feel your boyfriend letting go, when you give up on love. And the moment you get love back.

Praise for Talking in the Dark (PUSH / Scholastic, 2003):

“An affecting memoir told in verse, this work launches a promising young poet…, [Merrell”s] sophisticated verse and compelling story will capture attention as it stirs compassion.” —School Library Journal

Sample Poems:
Folding Sheets
3 1/2 Love Sonnets
Give It Wings

Read additional sample poems “Before,” “Histories,” “Heaven,” and “To the Living” at the PUSH website.

Talking in the Dark is now available as an ebook!

The Full Spectrum

• Recipient of the Lambda Literary Award

YA authors David Levithan and Billy Merrell have collected original poems, essays, and stories by young adults in their teens and early 20s. The Full Spectrum includes a variety of writers—gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, transitioning, and questioning—on a variety of subjects: coming out, family, friendship, religion/faith, first kisses, break-ups, and many others.

The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities (Knopf, 2006)