YA Science Fiction

ANY SIGN OF LIFE by Rae Carson

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

When Paige wakes up, her first thought is that she’s missing basketball practice. Her mom probably hoped she’d oversleep and would say she shouldn’t be overdoing it while recovering from the flu. She apparently brought home a ton of IV bags from the hospital and hooked Paige up to all of them to keep her hydrated. It’s weird, though, that all the bags have run dry. And that she’s so thirsty that her first sip of water makes her vomit.

And then she finds the corpses.

Paige’s whole family is dead. Everyone on her street is dead–possibly everyone in Ohio. That flu that was going around wiped everyone out in less than a week. But Paige remembers the Covid-19 pandemic that happened less than a decade earlier. That virus didn’t even come close to this death toll. Is it even possible? Paige goes in search of supplies, aware that her mom’s last wish as she daisy-chained those IVs together was that Paige would live. But when she meets another survivor, a fellow teen athlete named Trey, she learns that her suspicion was correct. The virus wasn’t a coincidence. And the aliens that created it will stop at nothing until all the humans are eradicated…

Before I get to my effusive praise, I want to note that this book won’t be for every reader–at least not right now. For many readers, a book about an alien virus that wipes out 99.999% of humanity will be far enough removed from the reality of our current pandemic that it will allow them to work through some of the emotions and experiences of our real world in the fantastical extreme of the story. But for some teens, especially those who have recently lost loved ones to Covid-19, the wounds will be too raw and too deep. Early in this story, the protagonist abandons the corpses of her family, compartmentalizing her grief and focusing instead on survival. But for readers in mourning, this difficult shift and the constant presence of corpses–and reminders of the people they used to be–might be unduly upsetting. So I would hesitate to recommend this book to a teen who has lost someone during the pandemic.

That caveat aside, this book is excellent. The action and suspense starts on page one and builds to a thrilling climax, but what really elevates the story beyond a basic alien war is the constant search for–and discovery of–meaning in a post-apocalyptic world. The survivors aren’t just fighting for their lives; they are fighting to build something new and to preserve the memories of everyone who perished. It is truly a fight to preserve humanity rather than individual humans. The characters are nuanced, the moral quandaries complex, and the story riveting from the first sentence. I highly recommend this to fans of sci-fi, dystopias, and thrillers/suspense.

THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE US by Eliot Schrefer

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Ambrose can’t remember the launch. He knows he’s on a spaceship bound for Saturn’s moon Titan, tasked with rescuing his sister, Titan’s only colonist. But he can’t remember the launch.

And he certainly doesn’t know why he was in a coma.

The ship’s OS assures him that he will recover and have plenty of time to finish all of the necessary maintenance on the ship to prepare for their approach to Titan–especially since the ship has a second spacefarer. Another surprise. When he meets Kodiak, the surly and infuriatingly attractive spacefarer from Dimokratía, Earth’s most backward, sexist, and homophobic country, Ambrose suspects he would be better off alone. But that’s before Ambrose discovers blood smeared on a panel in the engine room, blood that OS claims to know nothing about but which Kodiak is able to date to 5,000 years in the past–a time before the ship could have possibly existed. As they work to unravel the mystery, trying to somehow hide from OS’s constant surveillance, Kodiak and Ambrose quickly realize they will have to put mistrust and national rivalries aside if they want to survive.

THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE US is both 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY-esque sci-fi and YA queer romantic suspense. If you thought you only liked one of these genres, think again. This book will change your mind. It is both true to the classic tropes of each genre and somehow fresh and inventive in their application. It has humor and heart, gnarly moral situations and thrilling action, devastation and hope. This summer has seen a wealth of exceptional YA releases, but this one really stood out to me. It will be tricky to use in book clubs because there is sex, but I will definitely be recommending and displaying it. If you are a fan of either YA sci-fi or romantic suspense, this novel is a must-read!

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Featured Booklist: Book Club Titles for Kids and Teens

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The school year is underway, and whether you’re a teacher or librarian running a book club or a parent stockpiling good reading material for those inevitable Covid-exposure quarantines, I have a book list for you!

This list includes titles for upper elementary schoolers, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. All of the books were released within the last year, and they have a blend of unputdownable storytelling and though-provoking thematic content. As always, you will need to evaluate the individual titles to be sure they fit within the specific parameters and needs of your students/children, but think of this list as your launchpad.

I will continue to curate this list throughout the year, but titles include:

FAST PITCH by Nic Stone, a middle grade sports story about a girl combatting racial injustice while vying for a softball championship.

NIGHTINGALE by Deva Fagan, a middle-grade fantasy about an orphan thief, a reluctant prince, a magic sword, and worker’s rights in a racially diverse, Victorian-London-esque fantasy world.

GENERATION MISFITS by Akemi Dawn Bowman, a middle grade contemporary novel about four social outcasts and one popular girl who find friendship and the courage to express themselves through their mutual love of J-Pop.

ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE by Sabina Khan, a YA contemporary novel about a Pakistani Muslim immigrant wrestling questions of home, identity, and belonging after a bigot targets her family with hateful vandalism.

VIOLET GHOSTS by Leah Thomas, a YA historical fantasy about a transgender boy in the ’90s coming to terms with his identity as he helps restless ghosts find justice and a safe haven in the afterlife.

THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE US by Eliot Schrefer, a YA sci-fi about two young men from rival countries on a mission to rescue a fellow spacefarer aboard a ship that may or may not be trying to kill them.

Check out the full list on Bookshop.org. (Don’t worry if you’re not looking to buy; just see what titles look good to you, then find them at your local or school library!)

SWITCH by A.S. King

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Time stopped on June 23, 2020. The world never stopped. The sun still rises and sets. People still wake up, go to school, come home. But the clocks and stopwatches and oven timers don’t move. Time no longer exists.

For two hours at the start of each school day, teenagers are tasked with brainstorming solutions to this problem. Tru is pretty sure she knows the cause. As with most global crises, it’s people who caused it–people who didn’t care enough about each other. Tru is an expert in the evils of humanity because she spent most of her life living with a bomb, the sister she hasn’t spoken to since she moved out. Sister left Tru’s family in tatters, her mom gone, her brother on edge, her father at the brink of insanity, turning their whole house into a series of plywood boxes, shutting off from one another and covering up the mysterious switch in the wall that no one’s allowed to touch. But just as her father spends his days pounding nails in, Tru spends her nights pulling nails out. And when Javelin throwing on the track team gives her an outlet for the incredible, almost superhuman energy that’s been building inside her, Tru realizes the solution. If a lack of human empathy cause the problem, only a swell of human emotion can break them out. And Tru is going to be the one to flip the switch.

Another stunning, powerful literary novel from A.S. King. Though the novel is slim, it is dense with poetry and heavy thematic content. This is one to savor. The sci-fi of this poetic book is unveiled symbolism for the brokenness of Tru’s family as they resist healing and connection, and I would therefore recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction and literary fiction–both teens and adults.

Switch by A.S. King: 9780525555513 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

EAT YOUR HEART OUT by Kelly deVos

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Vivian is going to survive. Allie knows it. Because that’s what happens in all horror movies. The strong, determined, fearless girl survives. Because she has to. But the basket case? The girl who’s barely holding it together; the girl who only signed on to come to fat camp because she was so broken up about her rich best friend’s rejection that she chased her all the way to the middle-of-nowhere-Arizona in a sad attempt to humiliate her; the girl who looks at the other five teenagers around her and sees not the only five humans still alive to fight the zombies that have overrun the camp but the characters they would be in the horror movie of their life: Action Girl, the Nerd, the Jerk, the Jock, the Outcast–and the Basket Case, Allie, who will be the first to die.

Indulge my nerdiness for a moment because I want to talk about how brilliantly crafted this book is. I will admit I was skeptical when I picked it up, because six first person narrators? Really? But it worked because of the way it was crafted. This novel is NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD at fat camp. If you have not seen NOTLD, it is not only a classic horror film, it is social commentary featuring athletic zombie-like creatures (that do not follow the “rules” of proper zombies). The social commentary elements are woven in through a cast of archetypal characters and a brilliant, perfect ending that I won’t give away here.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT is intentional and self-aware in how it mimics and updates NOTLD, even down to the character archetypes. It starts out with a list of the characters and the likelihood that each will survive which makes it really easy to keep track of who each of the narrators is and to get a handle on each of these characters even though they’re sharing “screen time” with so many other people. The social commentary in this one, as you can probably tell from the premise, focuses on how society devalues fat people–even to the point that death is sometimes perceived as preferable to fatness. There is a disclaimer at the front of the book for anyone who might find this material triggering. For me as a reader, though, I felt like the absurd, satirical tone of the book both “lightened” the dark reality, making it palatable and even fun, and made the darkness even darker, when you think about how the over-the-top horror story has a substantial foundation in reality.

So maybe it’s my love of NOTLD, or my love of satire, or my love of YA SFF, but I was incapable of putting this book down. It was such a thrill! Highly recommend it to others who enjoy these kind of satirical SFF stories!

Amazon.com: Eat Your Heart Out (9780593204825): deVos, Kelly: Books

GEARBREAKERS by Zoe Hana Mikuta

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Sona let the military carve out nearly every human part of her body, replacing them with gears and wires that will allow her to pilot the elite Valkyrie weapons, the mechanized gods that support Godolia’s repressive government regime. But Sona had a reason for joining. Because the only way to bring down a god is from the inside.

Eris knows the only way to bring down a Valkyrie is by getting inside it, taking it apart one gear at a time. But when one of the pilots approaches her, offers to help her bring down Godolia, she hesitates. After all, these mecha pilots are the reason the tyrannical government has been able to persecute and murder her people. And the only thing more dangerous than forming an alliance would be if the elite mecha warrior and the renegade scavenger fall in love…

An inventive, fast-paced YA sci-fi that felt to me like an LGBTQIA+ Pacific Rim x The Force Awakens. This will be a winner with sci-fi fans!

THE DISASTERS by M.K. England

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Nax Hall can’t believe he flunked out of the Academy.  He has been planning this for years–to become a pilot, leave Earth, and head out to the Colonies to start a new life.  He should have been top of his class, but instead he is sitting with the other handful of rejects, waiting for the shuttle that will take them back to Earth.  But as their shuttle is arriving, a group of terrorists invade the space station.  Nax and the other three rejects barely make it onto the shuttle and escape before the terrorists deplete the space station of oxygen.  With everyone else at the Academy dead and a terrorist ship on their tail, Nax and the others make the jump to the colonies where they learn that no one knows of the attack.  In fact, whoever orchestrated the assault has claimed that Nax and his companions are wanted fugitives.  As the only ones who know the truth, it is up to this misfit band of strangers to pull together and figure out the terrorists’ plan while there’s still time to save the world.

Billed as “Guardians of the Galaxy meets the Breakfast Club,” this novel is a thrilling start to a new sci-fi series.  An action-heavy plot is balanced by the deep and nuanced characters and rich world-building.  I highly recommend it to sci-fi fans!

 

 

COME FIND ME by Megan Miranda

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Ever since the chilling tragedy that shattered her world, Kennedy has been trying to keep her brother, Elliot’s, work alive.  She sneaks back to her old house (the one her uncle and now guardian Joe is intent on selling) and takes the readings from Elliot’s radio telescope, continuing his search for messages from extraterrestrial beings.  But she isn’t the expert that Elliot was, and when she gets a strange reading–a negative frequency that shouldn’t exist–she has to turn to the Internet message boards to ask for advice on how to interpret the results.  The consensus is that there must be something wrong with the telescope or the computer program.  The frequency cannot exist.  But one other user has somehow detected the same pattern of negative frequencies.  Nolan has been searching for his older brother ever since he mysteriously disappeared.  Although his parents have turned their house into a call center to search for missing children, Nolan is convinced that the explanation for Liam’s disappearance is not so simple.  After all, Nolan had a strange premonition the night before that Liam would disappear.  And there was that night when Nolan had the high fever that he was so sure he saw Liam in the living room–like he was trying to communicate with Nolan from another dimension.  That was when Nolan got the EMF meter and started taking readings in the woods where Liam disappeared.  When his path crosses with Kennedy, they realize that the two tragedies that took their brothers might be connected, and that the frequency they’ve discovered might hold the key to solving both of the mysteries.

I would classify this book as a truly character-driven thriller.  While the tantalizing mysteries thread through the story, it is the emotional plot of these two teens finding one another and helping each other process the tragedies that truly drives the book forward and makes it impossible to put down.  It is a masterful piece of writing that will appeal to fans of thrillers, mysteries, and even realistic fiction.  (The sci-fi elements actually turn out to be very light.)  Highly recommend it!  The audiobook is very good, as well.

DREAD NATION by Justina Ireland

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Jane would have grown up a slave if not for the War Between the States. Instead, she grew up helping her white mother defend the plantation against the onslaught of the undead who began to rise after the Battle of Gettysburg. Although the agreement to end the War so that North and South could join forces against the undead shamblers included the abolition of slavery, Black people are far from equal—arguably not even free. When Jane was rounded up with the rest of the Black teens on the plantation and sent to a finishing school where she would train to defend wealthy white women from shamblers, she hoped it would be an opportunity to gain some sort of liberty and life experience. Instead, she finds herself hampered by the racism and sexism that pervade her society. But when she and a classmate uncover a deadly conspiracy, they find themselves in grave danger and caught between the desire for self-preservation and the knowledge that if they don’t do something, the entire world could be lost to the undead.

This novel is stunning: well-written, nuanced, thought-provoking, timely, and with a gripping and richly imagined historical sci-fi that is nearly impossible to put down. Jane is a compelling and complex protagonist, and it is a pleasure to root for her against both the zombies and the disturbing social institutions that try to hold her back. For all of its thrilling adventure, it never shies away from a powerful and disturbing look at racism and its impact. I loved every page and highly recommend it to teen and adult fans of sci-fi, dystopia, or even historical fiction.

Coming Soon: YA Fiction in 2019

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A lot of great YA Fiction is slated for release in 2019!  Here’s a preview of some books to expect.  As always, publication dates and summaries are based on the info publishers have made available thus far and may be subject to change.

 

Continuing Series and Sequels

UNDYING by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (1/8)
An Unearthed novel

THE WICKED KING by Holly Black (1/8)
The Folk of the Air, Book 2

YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING by Kristen Orlando (1/8)
Black Angel Chronicles, Book 3

FIRESTARTER by Tara Sim (1/15)
Timekeeper, Book 3

IMPRISON THE SKY by A.C. Gaughen (1/22)
The Elementae series

SONG OF THE DEAD by Sarah Glenn Marsh (1/22)
Reign of the Fallen, Book 2

THE VANISHING STAIR by Maureen Johnson (1/22)
Truly Devious, Book 2

RANSACKER by Emmy Laybourne (1/29)
Sequel to BERSERKER

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE by Tomi Adeyemi (3/5)
Legacy of Orisha, Book 2

THE EVERLASTING ROSE by Dhonielle Clayton (3/5)
The Belles, Book 2

GRAVITY’S PULL by Marinaomi (3/5)
Life on Earth, Book 2

RUSE by Cindy Pon (3/12)
Sequel to WANT

THE FALL OF CRAZY HOUSE by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet (4/8)
Sequel to CRAZY HOUSE

ALL FOR ONE by Melissa de la Cruz (4/9)
Alex and Eliza, Book 3

THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (4/9)
A Shadowhunters Novel

FINALE by Stephanie Garber (5/7)
Caraval, Book 3

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS by Rachel Hawkins (5/7)
Royals, Book 2

NEXUS by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (5/7)
The Andromeda Saga, Book 2

THE CLOCKWORK GHOST by Laura Ruby (5/14)
York, Book 2

SPLINTERED by Jon McGoran (5/14)
Spliced, Book 2

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon (5/14)
Companion to WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI

BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo (5/21)
Follow-up to IF I WAS YOUR GIRL

STORM AND FURY by Jennifer L. Armentrout (6/11)
The Dark Elements, Book 4

#MURDERFUNDING by Gretchen McNeil (8/6)
#MurderTrending, Book 2

 

Fantasy & Sci Fi

THE SIMILARS by Rebecca Hanover (1/1)
When six clones of current and former students enroll at her boarding school, a teen finds herself in the uncomfortable position of interacting with the clone of her dead best friend.

THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu (1/8)
When their father bypasses succession customs to name a distant male cousin as his heir, two sisters must embrace an ancient magic and combine forces to reclaim the empire as their own.

WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri (1/8)
After being kidnapped by goblins and pressed into service by the King’s nephew, a girl finds her humanity slipping away as she begins to feel at home with her captors.

THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi (1/15)
An elite secret society enlists a diverse group of desperate people for a dangerous treasure hunt.

PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY by Laurie Boyle Crompton (1/15)
A teen must relive the first 24 hours as a new senior in high school until she finds her one true love.

STAIN by A.G. Howard (1/15)
After being raised in exile by a witch, a mute princess returns to her kingdom to claim it as her own.

CIRCLE OF SHADOWS by Evelyn Skye (1/22)
Two apprentice warrior-sorceresses engage on a secret spy mission in an enemy camp in an attempt to prove themselves to their superiors.

THE COLD IS IN HER BONES by Peternelle van Arsdale (1/22)
A teen must undertake a dangerous journey when her only friend is possessed and kidnapped by a demon.

COME FIND ME by Megan Miranda (1/29)
Two teens who both survived tragic events and the disappearances of their brothers discover a mysterious radio signal that seems to be summoning them.

A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer (1/29)
A random act of kindness causes a girl with cerebral palsy to be transported to the world of a cursed prince.

KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo (1/29)
To keep his kingdom together, a young king must defeat the dark magic rising inside himself.

THE WILD LANDS by Paul Greci (1/29)
In post-apocalyptic Alaska, two teens must undertake a harrowing journey in order to survive.

STOLEN TIME by Danielle Rollins (2/5)
An early 20th century con artist’s path collides with a late 21st century time traveler.

THE WANING AGE by S.E. Grove (2/5)
Although she’s already reached the age when most people have completely lost their emotions, a teen finds that she still loves her brother so fiercely that she is driven to rescue him when he is kidnapped.

AN AFFAIR OF POISON by Addie Thorley (2/12)
After unknowingly helping her mother assassinate a king, a 17th century teen decides to help a bastard prince reclaim his throne.

CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto (2/12)
A war orphan flees her controlling sister, disguising herself as a boy to become a Phoenix Rider.

SPECTACLE by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (2/12)
A young morgue columnists begins having visions of a serial killer’s victims, from the murderer’s perspective, and gets swept up in the hunt to stop him from killing again.

THE AFTERWARD by E.K. Johnston (2/19)
An apprentice knight and a thief find that their country’s “golden age” isn’t quite what it was supposed to be.

TAROT by Marissa Kennerson (2/19)
The bastard daughter of a magician discovers her ability to create new worlds in tapestries.

MIKE by Andrew Noriss (2/26)
A young rising tennis star wonders why he is the only one who is able to see his new, strange friend, Mike.

THE LAST 8 by Laura Pohl (3/5)
One of few human survivors after an alien attack of Earth, a teen joins a group of other survivors but uncovers a dark secret.

THE MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT by Lenore Appelhans (3/5)
Although he knows he is supposed to stay on script, a stock character in a novel goes off-book and finds himself in therapy.

THE OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS by Justin A. Reynolds (3/5)
When his girlfriend dies, a teen finds himself somehow transported back in time to the moment they first met.

BLOODLEAF by Crystal Smith (3/12)
A princess flees the pressures of the crown and practices magic disguised as a commoner.

WHEN THE SKY FELL ON SPLENDOR by Emily Henry (3/12)
After a tragic accident leaves her brother in a coma, a girl and her friends devote themselves to pursuing signs of the supernatural.

BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE WOODS by Simone Smith (3/19)
After using forbidden magic to save her younger brother, a girl must undertake a dangerous journey to warn the king of the dark powers that have been awakened.

GIRLS WITH SHARP STICKS by Suzanne Young (3/19)
Teens at an elite boarding school for beautiful, accomplished young women, discover they are being trained to be auctioned off upon their graduation.

INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed (3/19)
In a future where Muslims have been forced into internment camps, a teen girl starts a rebellion from inside the camp.

NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS by Sarah Porter (3/19)/
After dark faeries entrap two foster-siblings, the teens must fight for their freedom.

THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE by Ally Condie (3/26)
The young captain of a mining ship discovers a traitor among her crew and a routine voyage becomes treacherous.

ONCE AND FUTURE by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta (3/26)
King Arthur is reincarnated as a teen girl and teams up with a teenage Merlin to break the curse of reincarnation.

SKY WITHOUT STARS by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (3/26)
Three teens get swept up in a rebellion against the elite controlling classes that rule their planet.

THE ACCIDENT by Glasko Klein (4/2)
After a serious car accident, a teen gets a mysterious text message offering him the chance to go back in time for a “do-over.”

THE CHEAT by Sarah Richman (4/2)
After failing a test, a teen accepts the offer in a mysterious text message to go back in time and cheat on the test.

DESCENDENT OF THE CRANE by Joan He (4/2)
A princess embraces illegal magic to find her father’s murderer.

THE DEVOURING GRAY by Christine Lynn Herman (4/2)
When one of them accidentally releases an ancient monster, three teens are forced to overcome their differences to save their town from the curse of darkness.

WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan (4/2)
A prince and a girl with the power to communicate with gods plan to assassinate the king.

LOVE AND OTHER CURSES by Michael Thomas Ford (4/9)
When a teen finds himself falling in love with the new boy in town, he is in danger of suffering from his family’s ancient curse, which might cause the boy he loves to die.

THE RAVEN’S TALE by Cat Winters (4/16)
Young Edgar Poe’s life turns awry when he is haunted by a shadowy muse named Lenore.

THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT by Swati Teerdhala (4/23)
A soldier and a rebel find their loyalties tested when they fall in love.

AURORA RISING by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5/7)
After graduating from the Academy that prepared him for interstellar missions, a teen is assigned to lead a less-than-desirable squad, which includes a cryogenically frozen girl from the past.

CASTLE OF LIES by Kiersi Burkhart (5/7)
An army of invading elves traps an ambitious noblewoman in the castle and threatens her plans to seize power herself.

FOUR DEAD QUEENS by Astrid Scholte (5/7)
A young thief and a boy she robbed become suspects when their country’s four queens are murdered.

NOCTURNA by Maya Motayne (5/7)
A face-shifting thief and a grieving prince join forces to fight an ancient evil.

LAST BUS TO EVERLAND by Sophie Cameron (5/14)
A group of misfits find an entrance to a magical world where their problems seem much smaller, but when the doors to their fantasy world start to close, they must chose where to stay permanently.

THE KINGDOM by Jess Rothenberg (5/28)
An android programmed to work in a fantasy-themed amusement park begins having romantic feelings for one of the park employees.

THE BEHOLDER by Anna Bright (6/4)
The daughter of a political leader is sent by her stepmother on a dangerous journey with strict instructions to find a suitable husband.

BLOOD HEIR by Amelie Wen Zhao (6/4)
After being framed for her father’s murder, a princess turns to the country’s seedy underworld for help tracking down the true murderer.

THE HAUNTED by Danielle Vega (6/4)
When her family moves into a haunted house, a teen must take down the ghosts before they get her first.

WHERE I END AND YOU BEGIN by Preston Norton (6/4)
Two teens who have spent years antagonizing each other, somehow switch bodies and use the opportunity to help each other woo their respective crushes.

STRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON by Mary Fan (6/11)
Although she is dismayed that her village chose her as the bride to convince a powerful ruler to serve as their protector, she decides to track down the thief who stole the other half of the village’s payment: an enchanted jewel.

ALL OF US WITH WINGS by Michelle Ruiz Keil (6/18)
Although she thinks she has escaped the dysfunction of her past and started a new life as a governess, a teen accidentally summons demons that want to seek vengeance on those who wronged her.

THE EVIL QUEEN by Gena Showalter (6/25)
A girl with the ability to commune with mirrors discovers that she is destined to become the Evil Queen in the story of Snow White.

WICKED FOX by Kat Cho (6/25)
An immortal, soul-eating fox-girl falls in love with a human boy.

THE STORM CROW by Kalyn Josephson (7/9)
After a devastating attack on her kingdom, a princess hopes to hatch a magical crow to restore balance to her kingdom and avoid an arranged marriage.

THE MERCIFUL CROW by Margaret Owen (7/30)
When a prince fakes his own death, a young mercy-killer becomes his unlikely protector.

VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK by Marcus Sedgwick and Julian Sedgwick (8/13)
When his brother is killed in WWII, an artist wounded in the London blitz loses his grip on reality and begins a journey into the Underworld in search of his brother.

 

Historical Fiction

INVENTING VICTORIA by Tonya Bolden (1/8)
In the post-Reconstruction South, a young black woman wrestles with her identity when she is offered the chance to join “high Black society” in the nation’s capital.

ALL IS FAIR by Dee Garretson (1/22)
After receiving an encoded telegram, a young woman escapes an English boarding school to become a World War I spy.

SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY by Rachel Dewoskin (1/22)
When her mother disappears, a Jewish teen and her family flee to Shanghai from Nazi-occupied Poland.

THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY by Hanna Alkaf (2/5)
Separated from her mother in a violent race riot, a teen must fight against her OCD and rely on an unlikely ally to find her way back home.

ANGEL THIEVES by Kathi Appelt (3/12)
A teen who is forced to steal angel grave markers to pay his room and board stumbles upon a connection to a slave mother desperate to get her daughters to safety and a caged ocelot starving near the bayou.

SHERWOOD by Meagan Spooner (3/19)
After Robin Hood’s death, Maid Marian takes on his dangerous mission.

A PLACE FOR WOLVES by Kosoko Jackson (4/2)
Two teen boys fall in love as they attempt to fight their way back to their families during a terrifying war in Kosovo.

WHITE ROSE by Kip Wilson (4/2)
A girl and her friends begin resisting the Nazi regime by circulating anti-Nazi propaganda.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRUE by Susan Kaplan Carlton (4/9)
A Jewish girl tries to hide her religion when her family moves to the deep South and encounters prejudice and hate crimes.

PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos (5/14)
A nonverbal girl struggles in her new foster home without her older sister, but hopes to see her again for the launch of the Challenger space shuttle, with which they are both obsessed.

 

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

 DEATH PREFERS BLONDES by Caleb Roehrig (1/29)
A young socialite and her drag queen friends moonlight as cat burglars and find their lives in grave danger.

THE LONELY DEAD by April Henry (1/29)
A teen who can speak to ghosts becomes a suspect in her best friend’s murder and must track down the real killer.

THE DECEIVERS by Kristen Simmons (2/5)
After being accepted to an elite school, a girl gets swept up in the administration’s secret agenda to con the city’s officials.

IF YOU’RE OUT THERE by Katy Lautzenheiser (3/5)
When her best friend moves across the country, bizarre social media posts lead a teen to believe that her friend may be being held against her will.

KILLING NOVEMBER by Adriana Mather (3/26)
A teen becomes a suspect in the murder of a fellow student at an elite boarding school for spies and assassins.

THE LOST by Natasha Preston (4/2)
Two teens trying to figure out what happened to the girls who have disappeared in their town find themselves imprisoned with a series of challenges designed to keep them from escaping.

KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF by Tom Ryan (5/7)
After losing his best friend, a teen gets wrapped up in the hunt for the serial killer who murdered him.

LAST THINGS by Jacqueline West (5/7)
When strange things start happening in the woods, a metal band performer finds himself in danger and a teen fan claims to be able to protect him.

THE LOVELY AND THE LOST by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (5/7)
A teen who spent her childhood alone, lost in the woods, is enlisted to help search the wilderness for another missing child and begins to uncover some unsettling truths about her adoptive family.

THE THINGS SHE’S SEEN by Ambelin and Ezekial Kwaymullina (5/14)
A dead teen tries to help her detective father solve the mystery of another girl’s death.

ALL EYES ON US by Kit Frick (6/4)
When an anonymous stalker begins texting them, a secretly gay teen and the actual girlfriend of her fake boyfriend team up to find out who is threatening them and why.

WHEN WE WERE LOST by Kevin Wignall (6/4)
After their plane crashes in the jungles of Costa Rica, a small group of teen survivors fight for their lives.

 

Realistic Fiction

THE ME I MEANT TO BE by Sophie Jordan (1/1)
A teen finds herself caught between a solemn pact and her heart when she falls in love with her best friend’s ex, whom she promised never to date.

MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Tiana Smith (1/8)
Even though her best friend is a match-making expert, a teen tries to set up her own date for Homecoming but winds up in a complicated love triangle.

A SKY FOR US ALONE by Kristin Russell (1/8)
A teen searching for answers after his brother’s death must face some hard truths about his small hometown, even as he finds a kindred spirit and falls in love.

WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS by RuthAnne Snow (1/8)
When a suicidal teen goes missing after prom, her three best friends try to find her while confronting struggles of their own.

96 WORDS FOR LOVE by Rachel Roy and Ava Dash (1/15)
Overwhelmed by her upcoming transition from high school to college, a teen travels to India on a soul-searching journey.

FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN by Emma Mills (1/15)
In an attempt to get funding for a marching band trip, a teen tries to convince her small town’s only famous resident, a country singer, to come back and headline a fundraiser.

LET’S GO SWIMMING ON DOOMSDAY by Natalie C. Anderson (1/15)
In order to save his family from jihadists, a boy is forced to become a child soldier and attempts to mitigate the horrors he experiences by undertaking the dangerous role of a double agent for the Americans.

OUR YEAR OF MAYBE by Rachel Lynn Solomon (1/15)
After a teen donates a kidney to her best friend (and secret crush), their relationship becomes unexpectedly complicated.

THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU, AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh (1/22)
A straight-laced teen takes a stand against abstinence-only education, handing out sex information and contraception in the bathroom of her high school.

THE FIELD GUIDE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN TEENAGER by Ben Phillipe (1/22)
A Canadian teen tries not to get too involved in the complex social scene at his new Texas high school.

ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry (1/22)
To escape her dark home life, a teen must rekindle a friendship with the former best friend who broke her heart.

THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI by Sabina Kahn (1/29)
When a teen’s conservative Muslim parents discover that she is gay, they derail her future by sending her to Bangladesh where she must struggle to stay true to her identity.

A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS by Alyssa Sheinmel (2/5)
Although she believes her confinement in the mental institution is a mistake, a teen must confront the terrible events that led the doctor and the judge to send her there.

FLIGHT OF A STARLING by Lisa Heathfield (2/5)
Two circus-performer sisters find their relationship strained when one sister enters into a forbidden romance with a non-circus boy.

NO ONE HERE IS LONELY by Sarah Everett (2/5)
After her best friend and her crush die in a car crash, a teen turns to her late crush’s online persona for comfort.

WATCH US RISE by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan (2/12)
Two young activists start a Women’s Rights Club, despite the opposition they face from their school administration and others in their community.

THE YEAR I DIDN’T EAT by Samuel Pollen (2/12)
As a boy struggles with anorexia, his family life begins to fall apart and someone discovers his secret journal.

THE ART OF LOSING by Lizzy Mason (2/19)
A teen finds out that her boyfriend has been hooking up with her younger sister, but is consumed by guilt after her sister ends up in a coma as a result of a drunk driving accident.

THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS by Bill Konigsburg (2/26)
Two teen boys, each with a secret to keep, fall in love over an unusual summer.

RAYNE AND DELILAH’S MIDNIGHT MATINEE by Jeff Zentner (2/26)
Two teens try to deal with difficult decisions their senior year while hosting a local TV show with B-Rated horror movies.

SORRY, NOT SORRY by Jaime Reed (2/26)
A teen faces a difficult decision when her former best friend needs a kidney donation.

BARELY MISSING EVERYTHING by Matt Mendez (3/5)
Two Latino teens struggle to realize their dreams despite the obstacles posed by the endemic racism of the culture around them.

CHICKEN GIRL by Heather T. Smith (3/5)
A teen tries to regain her optimism after experiencing online bullying.

FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (3/5)
After her sister is killed in Iraq, an LGBT teen decides to escape her school bullies and intolerant mother by going on a road trip inspired by her sister’s last letter.

FIELD NOTES ON LOVE by Jennifer E. Smith (3/5)
After his girlfriend dumps him, a teen places an ad looking for a stranger to take her place on the road trip they had planned.

THE ISLAND by D.A. Graham (3/5)
A boy jumps at the chance to be on an island survival reality show until he realizes he is in way over his head.

THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY by Laura Steven (3/8)
When private photos of her appear on a slut-shaming website, an aspiring comedian takes a stand against sexism.

A COLD DAY IN THE SUN by Sara Biren (3/12)
The only girl on the ice hockey team becomes the center of attention when the team is featured on TV.

HEROINE by Mindy McGinnis (3/12)
After a devastating accident, a teen athlete struggles with a growing addiction to prescription pain killers.

IZZY + TRISTAN by Shannon Dunlap (3/12)
Two teens from different backgrounds fall in love and embark on an epic romance.

THE SOUND OF DROWNING by Katherine Fleet (3/12)
Although she is desperate to stay in her relationship with her first love (even though it must stay a secret) a teen falls for the new guy in her small OBX town.

TIN HEART by Shivaun Plozza (3/12)
After receiving a life-saving heart transplant, a girl struggles with her identity in her second-chance life.

DIG by A.S. King (3/26)
Five teens struggle to make ends meet while trying to live up to their wealthy grandparents’ expectations.

XL by Scott Brown (3/26)
A short teen who has always longed to be tall finds his relationships strained when he has an unexpected and extreme growth spurt.

THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE by Ria Voros (4/2)
After her famous mother’s mysterious disappearance, a teen starts a new friendship and begins to uncover secrets about her mother’s past.

EVERY MOMENT AFTER by Joseph Moldover (4/5)
Two teens are still struggling with grief and guilt from a horrifying incident of gun violence in their elementary school years.

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK by Kathleen Glasgow (4/9)
A teen’s world turns dark with grief after her mother dies.

THIS BOOK IS NOT YET RATED by Peter Bognanni (4/9)
When their beloved movie theater is slated for destruction, one teen and his fellow cinema employees hatch a plan to save it.

THE MEANING OF BIRDS by Jaye Robin Brown (4/16)
When her first girlfriend dies, a teen finds herself struggling to process her grief without the help of her love.

IF I’M BEING HONEST by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (4/23)
A teen with a justified reputation for being horribly mean tries to change herself in order to get her crush to like her.

BRIEF CHRONICLE OF ANOTHER STUPID HEARTBREAK by Adi Alsaid (4/30)
A teen advice columnist who writes an eMag about love fears that she can’t go on with her writing when she has her own heart broken.

HOW TO BE LUMINOUS by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (4/30)
When her eccentric single mother disappears, a budding artist finds herself only able to see the world in monochrome as she processes her grief.

DEPOSING NATHAN by Zack Smedley (5/7)
A teen must come to terms with his complicated relationship with his best friend when he is called to testify against him in court.

HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES by Julie Buxbaum (5/7)
Two teens whose lives were each affected by the tragedy of 9/11 meet at a summer camp and have a chance to help one another heal.

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME by Mariko Tamaki (5/7)
When a girl begins to question whether her on-again-off-again relationship with her seemingly perfect girlfriend is healthy.

SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW by Maurene Goo (5/7)
A K-pop star falls in love with a tabloid reporter over a midnight cheeseburger.

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo (5/7)
A high school student balances her aspirations for becoming a chef with her need to care for her young daughter.

DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS by Nina Moreno (5/14)
When she falls in love for the first time, a teen wonders if there is anything to the stories her grandmother tells about the family curse that destroys all the Santos women’s relationships.

AMELIA WESTLAKE WAS NEVER HERE by Erin Gough (5/21)
Two teen girls begin a secret campaign to expose their swim coach’s pattern of sexual harassment, and in the process they fall in love with each other.

BRIGHT BURNING STARS by A.K. Small (5/21)
A fierce competition and mutual love interest strains the friendship of two dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

GOING OFF-SCRIPT by Jen Wilde (5/21)
A TV writing intern is furious when the show’s head writer steals her script and rewrites her lesbian character as straight.

SYMPTOMS OF A HEARTACHE by Sona Charaipotra (5/21)
After graduating from med school at age 16, a girl struggles with her career as a doctor, especially after she falls in love with a patient.

THE VOICE IN MY HEAD by Dana L. Davis (5/28)
When her terminally ill sister decides to pursue medically assisted suicide, a teen hears a voice in her head compelling her on an insane road trip that the voice claims will save her sister’s life.

IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY by Claire Kann (6/4)
A girl is dismayed when she is crowned Summer Queen and swept up in a series of publicity obligations, including the expectation that she’ll fall for the Summer King.

THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT by Misa Sugiura (6/4)
A teen finds a cause to fight for when her mom tries to sell the family business to the same family who exploited her grandparents during the Japanese Internment during WWII.

TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL by Aminah Mae Safi (6/11)
Two teen girls from different social classes who hate each other find themselves falling in love.

SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY by Amber Smith (6/18)
A transgender boy and a girl grieving the loss of her sister find their paths colliding after a near-fatal car crash.

THE VIRTURE OF SIN by Shannon Schuren (6/25)
With the prospect of being forced to marry someone against her will, a teen finally finds the courage to try to break out of the cult in which she lives.

WE WALKED THE SKY by Lisa Fiedler (7/2)
Although her grandmother found freedom from her dysfunction family when she joined the circus, her granddaughter’s life is turned upside down when she is forced to leave it so that her mom can pursue a normal job.

PAST PERFECT LIFE by Elizabeth Eulberg (7/9)
When a teen sends in her college applications she discovers that she has been living her life under an assumed identity.

THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE by Sandy Hall (7/9)
A new college freshman expects to start life with a clean slate, but is dismayed when a boy she hated in high school winds up in most of her classes.

THE UNDOING OF THISTLE TATE by Katelyn Detweiler (7/23)
When a famous bestselling teen novelist falls in love, she is tortured by the secret she keeps from everyone, including the boy she loves—that she didn’t really write her books.

TRULY, MADLY, ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud (7/30)
An American teen’s life gets complicated when she falls in love with a European prince.

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Katy Upperman (8/6)
After her sister’s death, a teen’s life falls apart and she begins to wonder if her sister is haunting her.

PUMPKINHEADS by Rainbow Rowell (8/27)
Two friends who only see each other one season a year when working at a pumpkin patch decide to make their last season together a memorable one.