Annabelle’s Book Club in Studio City Hopes to Attract the YA Readers

Bookish & proud!

  • Category
    People, Uncategorized
  • Written by
    Anna Ephron Harari
  • Photographed by
    Stephanie Girard

With her new bookstore along the busiest stretch of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, Annabelle Chang aims to change the perception that young adult (YA) books are just for teenagers.

“I think the literary community has historically undervalued the power of young adult stories, but I think we are at a moment where that is changing. More than half of the customers in my store buying YA literature are adults. I think there was a perception that YA books are just fun reads, but there is now a realization that they often tackle difficult and serious issues,” Annabelle says.

The store seems perfectly positioned, particularly for a younger clientele. Its bright pink facade is nestled between Bluestone Coffee and the ice cream shop Salt & Straw.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am with this location,” says Annabelle. “I often came over here for shopping and to hang out. It’s a vibrant community.” 

Annabelle’s origin story reads like a YA novel itself. She started Annabelle’s Book Club as a blog during the pandemic to give book recommendations to friends. She got such great feedback that last year she stocked a rolling cart at the LA Times Festival of Books and ran a pop-up shop for the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Festival of Books.

The success of those events convinced her there was demand for a YA shop, and she was able to get her parents on board. Annabelle’s mother, Amanda Brown, wrote the semiautobiographical novel Legally Blonde. Dad Justin Chang is a real estate investor.

Her attention to detail is evident throughout the 1,400-square-foot store, from the cozy, draped reading nook to the eye-catching window displays. From the sidewalk, through the window, pedestrians can see what she calls the “book dress,” a Victorian-style garment made out of book jackets. She commissioned the work from artist Rob Younkers, and hand-selected each book to be featured.

Strolling around the store, one gets the impression that Annabelle’s Book Club also aspires to be a lifestyle brand. In addition to some 2,500 titles, the store has a couple racks of merchandise. A T-shirt with a Roy Lichtenstein-style design reads “Sob, does he even read?” Hoodies spell out “Zodiac Book Tropes,” and silk blazers feature book covers designed by the high-end digital fashion brand Tribute Project.



Annabelle’s can-do attitude runs in the family. She is one of four sisters, and has an identical twin. Her eldest sister runs the popular blog The Zeitgeist. 

She cites “connecting with authors and fellow book lovers through events” as one of the most rewarding aspects of having a store. 

“Authors have always been my personal heroes, and it has been amazing to host signings and discussions for some of my all-time favorite writers. I love having the opportunity to meet people who are as passionate about reading as I am,” she says. 



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