Recently in YA novels Category


Heartless.jpgHeartless (Feiwel and Friends Book, 2016) by Marissa Meyer is quite the interesting look at Wonderland. Meet Catherine who has caught the eye of the unmarried King of Hearts, but would rather be a baker, plus she's rather too fascinated by the king's new joker. Cath's parents, of course, want her to marry the king. But Cath knows she's the best baker in the realm. What's a girl to do?

There's also the familiar character of the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit and the Jabberwocky, but not like you've ever seen before. I loved this story and had difficulty putting it down. I think Lewis Carroll would have approved. And I'd love to see it made into a movie.

Renegades.jpgMarissa Meyer is also the New York Times bestselling author of the amazing Lunar Chronicles. Read about them and the author here. Marissa's newest book, Renegades, comes out in November.

Just a Normal Tuesday

JustaNormalTuesday.jpgJust a Normal Tuesday (KCP Loft, 2017) by Kim Turrisi is a powerful book with an inside look at grief.

It's just a normal Tuesday until sixteen-year-old Kai finds a suicide letter from her older sister Jen. She tries to save her sister, but it is too late and Kai's stuck letting their parents know. Jen meant everything to Kai. How could Jen do this? Kai saw nothing to warn her of Jen's unhappiness. To deal with the loss, Kai self-medicates with alcohol and the same drugs Jen used to kill herself, until she inevitably crashes. To save her, Kai's parents send her away to grief camp. There she can begin healing.

Warning: the book does have language that may be offensive

This is author Kim Turrisi's debut novel. Although not an autobiography, she's not a stranger to this kind of grief. She wishes grief camp had been something available to her. Read more about Kim on her website.

Defy the Stars

defythestars.jpgDefy the Stars (Little, Brown and Company, 2017) by Claudia Gray is a fascinating book. I want to say it's about artificial intelligence, but it is so much more.

Seventeen-year-old Noemi knows she'll die in three weeks. One of the teen and young adult soldiers ready to go on a suicide mission, her sacrifice will help give the planet Genesis time. And at least she can save her best friend/almost sister Esther. Their enemy has better ships and a robot army. The mechs aren't afraid to die. Noemi wonders, "How evil do you have to be to kill another world's people and risk none of your own?"

Abel is a mech (robot model) trapped in a marooned enemy ship on Genesis for almost thirty years. His one overriding desire is to get back to his creator, his father. But he's also tired of being alone.

These two enemies meet and end up having to work together.

I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the story. This book is the first in the Constellation series. I look forward to more.

Author Claudia Gray has written many more books including some Star Wars novels! Here's her website where you can see her other titles, find out that she chose her name, and more.

Given to the Sea

giventosea.jpgI've been on a YA novel binge lately.

Given to the Sea (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2017) by Mindy McGinnis is a disturbing story of how people will sacrifice others for their own safety. In that way it reminds me of the Newbery winner The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhilll. It's also told in multiple viewpoints.

Khosa will be given to the sea--after she has a child. It's her destiny and the only way to save the people of the Kingdom of Stille from the rising sea. In Khosa's words, "One day my body will betray me, dancing into the sea, my mind a passenger only. The water will close over my head and I will drown, my death bringing a reprieve for those who are not me." But there's a complication. Khosa can't bear the touch of another.

Seventeen-year-old Vincent is royal, but doesn't like being called Prince, since he's in line for the throne after his aging father, after his grandfather the present king.

Twins Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, and friends of Vincent. Both have magic.

Witt is the leader of the Pietra, enemies of Stille who plan to attack.

All of these people's lives collide in this story. Given to the Sea is the author's fourth book and will have a follow up book, which I'll be anxiously awaiting.

Mindy McGinnis is an Edgar Award-winning author and librarian. On her blog, Mindy has a section of books she recommends here plus much much more such as query critiques and author interviews. Check it out.

Holding Up the Universe

holduptheuniverse.jpgHolding Up the Universe (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016) by Jennifer Niven is an interesting read told from two colliding viewpoints.

On the one side is LIbby Strout, who three years ago had to have a wall knocked down to get her out of the house. She'd lost her mother and ate and ate until she weighed 653 pounds. Now that she's lost 302 pounds, she can walk, run, dance, ride in a car, and Libby's going to high school. Where, of course, she's still the biggest girl there.

On the opposite side is Jack Masselin. He has a secret--face blindness that makes it very difficult for him to tell people apart, even his own family. He covers it up by being the life of the party--being friendly with everyone. Not his girlfriend or even his family know about his problem.

A dare at school makes the two teens meet and they are forced to spend time together. The weird part is--they should be enemies--both are surprised at how well they get along.

I think the bad language could have been toned down, but I do understand there are teens who talk like this.

On her website, Jennifer Niven says her stories are "about ordinary people doing extraordinary things." That definitely fits this story. Read more about her here.


Just a Normal Tuesday

Defy the Stars

Given to the Sea

Holding Up the Universe

The Passion of Dolssa

The Diabolic

The Secret of a Heart Note

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Enchantress Sacrifice


A Time to Dance


The Scourge

Written in the Stars


the impossible knife of memory


In the time of the Dragon Moon

The Chance You Won't Return

Ship Breaker


Not in the Script

All the Bright Places

This Girl Is Different

An Ember in the Ashes

Tunnel Vision

How It Went Down

Thrills and Chills - The Third Twin

Eerie - Sorrow's Knot

Draw or Die - The Rithmatist

Not just a Mystery Weekend - Suspect

Dangerous Impersonation - The False Prince

Girl in Trouble - The Rules for Disappearing

Shaping Her Own Fate - Passion Blue

Fated to be Useless? - Firstborn

Secrets! - The Pledge

Ultimate Fractured Fairytale - Enchanted

A Cat Lover's Novel - Cat Girl's Day Off

Fantasy AND Humor - The Last Dragon Slayer

The amazing Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Eye-opening Historical - Jepp, Who Defied the Stars

Not Your Average Greek Myth - King of Ithaca

Amazing Historical - The Year We Were Famous

Fascinating Premise - Wake

Fascinating problem - Flip

Whose life? - How to save a life

Historical YA Giveaway - Second Fiddle

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Another place - Island's End

Powerful Story - After

Memorable Story - Tell Me A Secret

Twist after twist - White Cat

Distinct voices - Blink & Caution

Great first line - Split

Very Very Good! - Crunch

Very Interesting - The Everafter

Hard to put down! - Divergent

Murder in Space? - Across the Universe

Another great heroine - Girl, Stolen

Another Very Good Book - Absolutely Maybe

Unputdownable Fantasy - The Demon King

Humorous SciFi - The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Historical Fantasy - Plain Kate

Facts just slip into your mind - The Red Umbrella

How could you not care?

Focus, shoot! - Flash Burnout & hold still

Book Felt SO Real - memoirs of a teenage amnesiac

Book Plus - Invisible i - The Amanda Project

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Book 1 - glad more is coming - Shiver

Steampunk and Darwin - Leviathan

Emotional Book - Rubber Houses

Modern Fantasy - The Demon's Lexicon

Powerful Book - Hate List

Please let me slap the father! - Candor

Unforgettable - Unwind

Parental Discretion Advised - Jumping Off Swings

Companion Book - Eternal

Character Growth - Red Glass & Mexican WhiteBoy

Modern-day Retelling - Beastly

Powerful story - Right Behind You

Must read - The Hunger Games

Fantasy to Love - Graceling

"we become what we have to be" - Nation

Catching Up on Reading - Book of a Thousand Days

Murder Mystery, yet so much more - Perfect Shot

Couldn't Stop Reading - Elsewhere

Prepare for fun - Once Upon a Marigold

Science Fantasy - Enchantress from the Stars

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

Limits not reached - Downsiders

Hooked by Voice - Stuck in Neutral