Young Adult Fiction
The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me

Owen and Lucy live in the same apartment building, but don’t meet until they’re stuck in an elevator together during a blackout. They forge an instant connection—but almost immediately after, Owen and his father take off for New Mexico, then California, then Seattle, and Lucy and her parents move to Scotland, then England. (Long-distance travel is quite the metaphor for adolescence, no?) As they move farther apart, their connection deepens, which makes them wonder: what if home isn’t a place, but a person?

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Cinder

Cinder

Each book in the YA fantasy series The Lunar Chronicles puts a new spin on an old fairy tale. In this first installment, Cinderella becomes a kickass mechanic, despised by her mother and stepsisters because she’s a cyborg. Admittedly, it sounds cheesy, but it works. Though it’s clear where the story is headed, spotting the imaginative ways Meyer reinvents the old fairy tale keeps the reader turning the pages. Fresh, fun, surprising, and compulsively readable.

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Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone

The first in a YA trilogy, rooted in Russian and Slavic myth, in which each new book is better than the one before. During a terrifying encounter on the magically-created Shadow Fold, quiet and passive Alina discovers her remarkable gift: she is a sun summoner. As she studies with the magical elite, she begins to understand how she has the power to save her kingdom—or ruin it, if her gift falls into the wrong hands. A magical coming-of-age story.

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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

$10.99$2.99

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han. After her family (or what’s left of it) impulsively moves from California to Connecticut, Amy has to get her car cross-country. There’s just one problem: because of a tragic accident, Amy doesn’t drive. Enter Roger, an old family friend who volunteers to come along for the ride, and who is dealing with his own heartbreak. Before long, the two friends decide to ditch her mom’s carefully-orchestrated route in favor of the scenic route, stopping to see familiar haunts, old loves, and plenty of small town America. Matson adds color to this sweet story with emails, receipts, and playlists galore. Sure to inspire wanderlust. If you like this, read Since You’ve Been Gone next.

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The Book Thief

The Book Thief

$9.99$2.99

"You are going to die," begins this 2006 novel. A fitting beginning to a story about hard things: a little girl and her family struggling to endure in WWII Nazi Germany. The characters are interesting and unexpected, right down to the unusual narrator. You'll see why this was an instant staple on school reading lists when it was published ten years ago, and why it has captured the hearts of readers from age 10 to 110. Beautiful, haunting, fascinating, hopeful.

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Winter

Winter

$11.99$2.99

Coming November 10. I blew through Fairest last week and now I can't wait to read this fifth and last installment of The Lunar Chronicles. Come on, November!

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The Mother Daughter Book Club #7

The Mother Daughter Book Club #7

Sarah and I blew through the The Mother Daughter Book Club series in December, and now we're impatiently waiting for the seventh and final book. Coming Summer 2015.

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Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles

$9.99$2.99

I inhaled the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles on vacation last summer and have been waiting impatiently for the next installment ever since. Fairest hits shelves January 27. The series' final book Winter, coming November 2015, is also on my list.

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The Day the Angels Fell

The Day the Angels Fell

5.95 (AUDIBLE)

Neil Gaiman meets Madeleine L'Engle. Shawn Smucker's excellent YA novel, and I just found out another podcast guest Adam Verner read the audiobook! Listen to Shawn on Episode 84 of What Should I Read Next, and Adam Verner on Episode 31. I'm a longtime fan of Smucker's nonfiction. Read my mini-review here. The ebook is not on sale, but you do not have to be an Audible member to get this price.

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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

In the post-apocalyptic country of Panem, 12 poor districts are each forced to send two tributes to the oppressive Capitol’s annual Hunger Games: a gladitorial-style competition where the teens are forced to fight each other to the death while the district’s citizens have to watch. But rebellion is already brewing in the districts, and the Capitol gets more than it bargained for when Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister’s place as tribute.

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Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter Series

Orphaned Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is until he turns 11 and receives his invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, opening up a whole world of magic and muggles, potions and spells, friends and enemies. The series is now available in ebook form--which makes it a lot easier to take a whole boxed set on vacation. Starting June 19, Amazon Prime members can borrow Harry Potter books for free from the Kindle lending library, (though borrowing is limited to one book a month at this time).

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The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)

The title of this YA hit riffs Shakespeare: wholly appropriate for this story of teenage star-crossed lovers (and cancer patients). 16-year-old narrator Hazel is smart, funny, and sincere, and she tells a great story. Quirky, charming, heartbreaking.

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Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 12.99 (Whispersync)

I finished this one on a weekday afternoon when I was supposed to be working, because all I wanted to do was finish this book. (Interestingly, I also inhaled Rowell's newest, Landline, which just came out yesterday. But I didn't like it nearly as much.)

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Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things

I feel like I've been holding out on you on this one because I read and loved this book months ago. (I DID recommend it on this episode of What Should I Read Next with Leigh Kramer.) A girl-next-door type suddenly finds herself in an elite California prep school, and has to figure out how to navigate this new privileged world while still grieving her mother's death. When she gets an email from an unidentified boy who calls himself "Somebody Nobody" offering to be her spirit guide to her new school, she doesn't want to say yes—but she really needs his help. A sweet and fun teen romance, but also a pitch-perfect portrayal of the grieving process. I couldn't stop myself from cheering for Jessie as she put her life together again. Published April 5 2016.

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Cinderella is Dead

Cinderella is Dead

A brand new Cinderella retelling! I'm intrigued. Set 200 years after Cinderella marries her prince, the annual ball still serves as a matchmaking event. However, if the young women who attend don't make a match, they disappear. Sophia flees the ball early, hiding out in the castle's mausoleum where she meets Constance, a descendant of Cinderella who encourages Sophia to question everything. They create a plot to take down the patriarchal kingdom, learning more about their society as their plan unfolds. I love this book's cover, and I'm hoping for a fun page-turner.

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The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything

$10.99$1.99Audiobook: 4.49 (Whispersync)

I love Morgan Matson books—I've chosen at least one of her books for previous Summer Reading Guides, and others have been strong contenders—and was absolutely delighted to stumble upon this brand-new release (May 3) at my local bookstore. Andie is a politician's daughter who has her life, and her summer, all planned out: she can't wait to flee town (and the ever-watchful eyes of her father's staff) for her perfect summer internship that's going to help her land her spot at the perfect college. But that was before the scandal. Now her summer plans are off ... and a girl who never does anything unexpected faces a whole summer full of just that. This isn't great literature or anything but Matson does what she does really well. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Smith or Jenny Han. Without giving too much away, I'll just say you writerly types have an extra reason to love this one.

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Fangirl: A Novel

Fangirl: A Novel

The popular precursor to Rowell's new novel Carry On. It's not my favorite Rainbow Rowell novel, but many of you disagree with me there.

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Bellweather Rhapsody

Bellweather Rhapsody

While not technically a YA book, it sure reads like one. (No wonder it won the Alex Award, which goes to adult books teens will love.) In a remote tumbledown hotel packed with hormone-fueled high school students gathered for a statewide music festival is the backdrop for this whodunit. Fifteen years after a wedding night murder-suicide, a teen prodigy disappears from the same hotel room. Strongly reminiscent of Greenglass House and Clue: The Movie. Essential reading for Rainbow Rowell fans.

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The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

Tom and Isabel live alone on Janus Rock, keeping the lighthouse. After two miscarriages and one stillbirth, all on the isolated island, Isabel is despondent. When a boat holding a dead man and a crying baby washes up on shore, Isabel persuades Tom to leave the discovery out of his log and eventually adopts the child as her own. But when they visit the shore and its nearby community two years later ... you can imagine what might happen.

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Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing

This brand new release from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook is on my summer reading list. In this coming-of-age story, good girl Nanette is drifting through her quiet suburban life—until her teacher gives her a copy of the cult classic The Bubblegum Reaper . She obsesses over the book, and is challenged to confront the conformist way she's been living. But when she chooses a different path, she realizes every choice has a cost. Critics are praising this for its strong female lead and numerous Catcher in the Rye references. Published May 31, 2016.

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Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself
Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey

$9.99$1.99Audiobook: 9.49 (Whispersync)

This is Sophie Kinsella's 24th novel but her very first for younger teens and tweens. After a bullying incident at school that's never fully described, 14-year-old Audrey is practically crippled with anxiety. She's been making steady progress, but when her older brother brings home his friend Linus, she's pushed way out of her comfort zone. But maybe that's just what she needs. This engaging novel weaves together family, friendship, mental illness, and video games.

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All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places

The publisher describes this as The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park, which sounds right to me. This is Niven's eighth novel, but her first for young adult readers, inspired by her friend's experience with mental illness and suicide. Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of their high school's bell tower. It's unclear who saves whom, but an unlikely friendship is born between the troubled bad boy and grieving good girl. But it's only a matter of time before things begin to fall apart.

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Shuffle, Repeat

Shuffle, Repeat

Think When Harry Met Sally for the YA crowd. I read this in a day. Two teens who seem like total opposites are thrown together, not exactly happily, and each discover there's more to the other than meets the eye. The book unfolds in a series of rides to school, and comes complete with playlist. Perfect for Morgan Matson fans. Published May 3, 2016.

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Saint Anything
Suffer Love

Suffer Love

I enjoyed this, especially the literary references woven into the story. Sam and Hadley meet at high school and fall in love, but Sam soon discovers an unfortunate (think: Romeo and Juliet) connection between their parents. He can't bear to tell Hadley, which simplifies—and complicates—their relationship. This is a smart, well-executed teen romance that also does a good job of exploring the joy and pain of love, and the devastating ripple effect of a single decision. Published May 3, 2016.

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The Age of Miracles: A Novel

The Age of Miracles: A Novel

$16.00$1.99

The writing is okay and the plot gets a little muddy in the middle, but the concept of this YA almost-apocalyptic novel is brilliant: the rotation of the earth is slowing down, and the wheels are coming off. A little science fiction + a little coming-of-age make for a good read, if not a must-read.

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Passenger

Passenger

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 3.99 (Whispersync)

Part historical romance, part time-travel adventure. 17-year-old Etta is a talented violinist about to make her debut in New York City. But her future changes in a moment when her mentor is killed and she suddenly finds herself aboard a sailing ship ... in 1776. She's soon indoctrinated into a whole new dimension, and a world family secrets. The book ends on a major cliffhanger: there's clearly more to come. (I'll be reading book 2.) Reminiscent of Outlander and Sara Zarr's The Lucy Variations.

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Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers

$17.103.95 (AUDIBLE ONLY)

Bestselling funny guy Dave Barry turns to Kid Lit in this fantasy tale, a prequel of sorts to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Great characters, daring adventure, and not a small amount of hijinks. Jim Dale narrates.

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The First Time She Drowned

The First Time She Drowned

When she was 16, Cassie was wrongly admitted to a psychiatric hospital—by her mother. Now, at age 18, she struggles to find her true self and her independence at college, but her tormented relationship with her mother threatens to pull her under. For fans of R. J. Anderson's Ultraviolet. Published March 15, 2016.

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