Young Adult Staff Picks
Before Katniss or Celaena, Katsa was the first YA heroine I really obsessed over. I love her, and I love disappearing into the world Cashore creates around her.
My favorite book from my favorite author -- Wasteland by Francesca Lia Block -- is out of print, so I offer up my second favorite book of hers: Psyche in a Dress. Written in verse, this is a retelling of Greek myths of Psyche and Eros, Echo and Narcissus, Persephone and Orpheus. I ate it up as a teenager and come back to it as an adult for peak escapism reading.
I probably should not have read this right after a break up... but alas. This book made me wish I could've been a Charlie who found his Nick in high school. Despite the dreamy wish fulfillment romance at the center of the story, Oseman still packs the characters with an emotional depth that rings true.
While the mystery is expertly crafted, the heroine riveting and the pacing snappy and electric, what makes Boulley’s novel memorable is how Daunis’ challenges find their roots in the community context of growing up Ojibwe in America. It’s rare enough to find an entertaining thriller, let alone one that also provides a genuine exploration of current and historical wrongs, and Indigenous community and identity. Lucky for you, “The Firekeeper’s Daughter” does all of this and more.
My favorite book of 2020. This book made me laugh and cry and laugh-cry for 352 pages. The world-building and character development was just perfect, perfect, perfect.
Have you ever been watching an awful guy on a TV dating show and realised that the girls on the show had more chemistry with each other than with him? This is that moment.
At a remote island boarding school for girls off the coast of Maine, a mysterious illness dubbed the Tox has left the students and teachers indefinitely quarantined and irrevocably altered both physically and mentally. Feminist, gothic, and queer, this entirely original YA debut isn’t for the faint of heart.
One of my favorite parts of this book was when its teenage protagonist, Quique, turns to queer literature to find affirmation in his bisexuality, which is so relatable to myself and other young queer people on their journeys of self-love. I am delighted to add this book to my own growing collection of queer literature I found myself in, with its beautiful portrayals of friendships between queer people, challenges with mental health, making mistakes as you grow, and how sexuality intersects with race and religion.
This book is a beautiful love letter to family and all the different ways a family can be. Each of the characters has a unique perspective and voice in the story and the way they come together in small and big ways throughout the story was so heartwarming.
A sweet story about realizing you're in love with your best friend. Ellis was taken in by a wealthy family years ago to help her escape her negligent family. Their eldest son Easton has always been her rock. She's spent a year away after getting in trouble with the law, and now she's back she is coming to terms with the past and her true feelings for her friend, except everything is going wrong...
Assassins, evil kings, banished magic, and one sarcastic heroine trying to win her freedom. Some might call this book a guilty pleasure; I'd just call it a pleasure.
A devastatingly and hauntingly beautiful tale that will stay with you for a long time. Magical realism set in war-torn Syria that covers true love, family, dreams, and PTSD. The writing is raw and real and will burrow into your heart in ways you didn't know you needed. If I could give it a 100 stars, it still wouldn't be enough.