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Young Adult Fiction Contemporary

Something More

by (author) Jackie Khalilieh

Tundra Book Group
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Contemporary, Diversity & Multicultural, Neurodiversity
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


A contemporary teen romance novel, now available in paperback, featuring a Palestinian-Canadian girl trying to hide her autism diagnosis while navigating her first year of high school, for fans of Jenny Han and Samira Ahmed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie, a quirky loner obsessed with the nineties, is diagnosed as autistic just weeks before starting high school. Determined to make a fresh start and keep her diagnosis a secret, Jessie creates a list of goals that range from acquiring two distinct eyebrows to getting a magical first kiss and landing a spot in the school play. Within the halls of Holy Trinity High, she finds a world where things are no longer black and white and quickly learns that living in color is much more fun. But Jessie gets more than she bargained for when two very different boys steal her heart, forcing her to go off-script.

About the author


  • Short-listed, Snow Willow Award

Contributor Notes

JACKIE KHALILIEH is a Palestinian-Canadian writer with a love of nineties pop culture, Dad jokes, and warm and fuzzy romance. Like many autistic females, she received her diagnosis as an adult. She is passionate about positive representation within her writing. She currently resides just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband and two daughters, complaining nightly about having to cook dinner. Something More is her debut YA novel.

Editorial Reviews

One of Audible Canada's Best of 2023
One of the New York Library's Best Books for Teens for 2023
One of CBC's Best Canadian Books for Kids and Teen for 2023
PRAISE FOR Something More:

"As an autistic person herself, Khalilieh presents readers with a genuine protagonist. Jessie’s identity as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants is woven into the novel through cultural elements and brief explorations of Palestinian issues. . . . [A]n enjoyable read that will have readers rooting for Jessie’s success in love and life." —Kirkus Reviews
"Jessie’s attempts to define herself within her school and home life are enhanced by Khalilieh’s own experiences as an autistic Palestinian Canadian, imbuing Jessie’s challenges with organic-feeling nuance and making for a fully realized protagonist. [A] thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining debut that centers questions of identity via a fresh lens." —Publishers Weekly
"This is the best kind of YA romance, brimming with endearing adolescent awkwardness, bittersweet soul-searching, angsty emotions, and lovable, realistic characters. Something More is a warm, sweet, hope-filled portrayal of neurodivergence and coming of age that spoke deeply to my heart, as a grown woman who was once a confused, awkward (unbeknownst to her then) autistic girl, who’s learned, just as Jessie does, to understand and love her neurodivergent self. I adored it." —CHLOE LIESE, author of Two Wrongs Make a Right
"Compelling and so relatable, this unique YA romance is filled with memorable characters and vibrant prose. I loved watching Jessie’s journey to accept that high school friendships, as well as first love, can be messy and unexpected, and still be so joyous. Jessie’s emotions and struggle to fit into a neurotypical world seem so authentic, and the author perfectly portrays feelings of teenage longing and yearning for connections. An essential book for YA autism representation." —FARAH HERON, author of Tahira in Bloom and Accidentally Engaged

"Laugh-out-loud funny and heart-wrenching, Jessie Kassis has won my heart. For fans of Jenny Han and Helen Hoang, Something More has something for everyone." —OLIVIA ABTAHI, author of Perfectly Parvin

"Hands down the best YA I’ve read in years! It was impossible to put down, bursting with charm, and I never wanted it to end. I dare you not to fall in love with Jessie!" —LYNN PAINTER, NYT-bestselling author of Better Than the Movies

"Something More is a funny, painfully relatable coming-of-age novel, but as its title suggests, it provides more than laughs with a uniquely nuanced portrait of an endearing protagonist whose trials in high school will remind readers of the power of self-love." —AARON H. ACEVES, author of This Is Why They Hate Us