Teen books attract an avid school-age readership, but seldom does an actual teenager establish a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. Annabelle’s Book Club L.A., which opened on Black Friday in Los Angeles’s Studio City neighborhood, stands out for its hot pink façade, its YA-focused inventory, and its 16-year-old proprietor, Annabelle Chang.

Despite her youth, Chang is no stranger to publishing or the entertainment industry. Chang’s mother, Amanda Brown, rocketed to fame with her novel Legally Blonde, and Chang’s sister, Alexandra Chang, is the writer and founder of a fashion-and-culture blog, The Zeitgeist. (Annabelle also has a twin sister and a 12-year-old sister, and her father is real-estate investor Justin Chang.)

Speaking via Zoom, attired in a fuchsia jacket over one of the book-themed T-shirts she designs and sells at the shop, Chang talked about her longtime love of reading and her new business. Like many elementary-age readers, she loved the Daisy Meadows Rainbow Magic series and graduated to the Percy Jackson books and more serious fare like the Hunger Games series and Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (still a favorite).

In early 2021, Chang launched an Instagram account, then “got so many requests for book recommendations that I thought it would be fun to post about them and share them with people,” she said. She established a blog where she could recommend her top titles and places (including “10 Bookstores You Must Visit”), interview authors including Tirzah Price (Pride and Premeditation) and Kara McDowell (This Might Get Awkward), and sell books online.

The positive reception led to her running SoCal pop-up shops. She stocked a rolling cart for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this past April, and did a pop-up at the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Festival of Books in August, which convinced her there was demand for a YA-centered shop. “I started looking at bookstores around L.A., and even across the country,” she said, “and I realized that there was no YA-focused bookstore. I really wanted to fill that gap in the market.”

Chang talked with her family network and sought advice from seasoned booksellers while planning her Studio City location, which is close to high schools and thus her target demographic. (Chang herself is a junior in an online high school.) Josh Spencer of the Last Bookstore, John Evans of DIESEL, and Mary Williams of Skylight Books all shared suggestions for everyday operations as well as sidelines. Designer Christine Markatos developed the bright look of the 1,400-square-foot space, which will house an inventory of about 2,500 titles to start.

Opening weekend brought readers of all ages, and Chang found many customers gravitating to gift books, “particularly in the film category.” Although her primary interest is in YA books like the Heartstopper series, she carries general interest titles along with picture books, graphic novels, and other kids’ fare. “It’s important to me to have something for everyone,” she said, and the store interior features a cushioned reading nook, perfect for families diving into a picture book or early reader, plus ample event space. Her first event will be a book signing on December 17 with Suzanne Park, author of The Christmas Clash.

In addition to books, Chang carries pop-art shirts and totes, with Roy Lichtenstein-influenced graphics and references to reading. One graphic hearkens back to midcentury Hollywood, with a melodramatic heroine sobbing, “Does he even read?!” Another pictures two young women in a pink convertible, reimagining movie dialogue from Mean Girls and providing a snarky, teen-friendly invitation: “Get in, loser! We’re going to book club!”