This year has been full of great books for young adults. Hard-hitting books like An Ember in the Ashes and My Heart & Other Black Holes are being made into movies, and beloved series like The Lunar Chronicles are coming to an end. New series start with the first book in the series (all hail the Red Queen).
Half Wild by Sally Green
Half Wild is the second book in Sally Green’s best-selling Half Bad Trilogy. It tells the story of Nathan, a teen who is caught between two warring groups of witches. In the first book, Nathan is trained to be a killer and is treated like a bad person. Irregular child: He’s an illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful witch, and he goes on a journey to find him and learn how to use his own magic. Half Wild picks up where the first book left off. Nathan is learning how to use his skills and going on the run. Before the last book in the series, Half Lost, comes out in March, you should read this series. It’s magical and thrilling.
For the Record by Charlotte Huang
Huang’s first book is everything you want in a young adult book about music, but it’s not all about music. It’s about love, friendship, achieving your dreams, and the fact that those dreams aren’t just in your head. For the Record is about Chelsea, a teenager who has always wanted to be a rock star. As the lead singer of a band, she goes on tour with the group and meets a lot of new people. Life on the road doesn’t seem as interesting to Chelsea as it did when she lived in her small town. The band doesn’t really like her, the bassist loves her a little too much, and a teen idol is in love with her. It’s honest, fun, and one of the best books of the year.
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Dahlia Adler’s second book, Behind the Scenes, is one of the best young adult contemporary romances of the year. You’ll find a lot of heart in this book, as well as a lot of kissing in this book. The book is about Josh and Vanessa, two teenagers who were cast in the popular Daylight Falls TV show. Josh isn’t sure about his life in the spotlight, but he’s very sure about himself when he’s around women. Vanessa has a good life as a star, but she has trouble with everything else until Brianna comes along and gives her a boost. The alternative POV works so well, and the characters are so cute. It’s a love story that will make you laugh and smile.
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
It is one of the best books of the year, and it has a beautiful cover. During the pages of Magonia, readers will find themselves in a world where airships are floating, superpowers are strong, and a war is brewing between Earth and another world and the one that is here on Earth. When she’s on Earth, she’s very ill. In the sky, she’s very powerful. Is she going to be able to save the world below from the one above? Go ahead and read the first book in Headley’s series now. The second book comes out early next year.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Reader: Red Rising was one of the best surprises of 2014 for this person who reads books. Readers of the Hunger Games-like sci-fi book set on Mars learned about an interstellar class system made of nightmares. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are: everyone has a job in society when they grow up. When Darrow learns the horrible truth about why he is a Red, he joins a plot to overthrow the Golds’ rule. This is how it works: Golden Son picks up where the first book left off. Darrow is still infiltrating the world of the Golds in a story that is both violent and imaginative, with twists and turns and betrayals in almost every chapter. The last book in the trilogy, Morning Star, will be out in February.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
In Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy, there was a group of people called Grishas. Now, there’s a new group of people called Six of Crows. The book takes you back to Bardugo’s fantasy world, where a group of outcasts must pull off a major heist. When you read this book, you’ll be glued to the (beautiful) pages for hours. If you haven’t read Bardugo’s first three books, don’t worry! Six of Crows stands alone.
Tracked by Jenny Martin
As soon as you find a book that reads like a sci-fi, YA version of The Fast and the Furious, you’ll keep it close to your heart. This is what you’ll do with Tracked. It’s about a young street racer who gets caught up in a lot of politics and corporate corruption on a global level. The book is full of love triangles, dark family secrets, and an imaginative, futuristic world. It’s a book that you can’t put down.
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
The Girl at Midnight has a lot of magic in it, but most people don’t see it because they’re too busy to look. Except for Echo, a lucky human who finds himself in the middle of a battle between two magical species at war. He or she might be the person who can stop the fighting and save the magical world. If you like fantasy books like The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Mortal Instruments series, you should read this book. It’s a must-read for people like that.
Those Girls by Lauren Saft
Lauren Saft’s first book, Those Girls, is about… those girls. Those high school queens everyone knows and wants to party with. What are their lives like? They don’t know everything their classmates think they do. This book is full of complicated characters who have even more complicated, toxic friendships in it. It’s also very raw and funny. Then, take it.
Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Courtney Alameda’s Shutter is about Micheline Helsing, one of the last people in the Van Helsing bloodline. She exorcises ghosts with her camera. She’s what’s called a tetrachromat; she can see the auras of the dead. Michelle and her friends have a few days to get rid of the curse, or they will die. For people who go to Comic-Con, Shutter is a great book to read. Shutter will fill that Buffy the Vampire Slayer-shaped hole in your life, so you can read more. Check out this short story set in Micheline’s world for a bonus.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen is a great first book that takes place in a world where people are divided by blood. If you’re born with red blood, you’re basically a servant for people with silver blood. Their silver blood makes them unique. Oh, they’re not crazy. They just have super powers. These two skills are very different from each other: Some people can control metal and others can read your mind. When a red-blooded girl finds herself in the world of silver, she turns it upside down. I think it’s a mix of X-Men, Red Rising, and The Selection, with a very strong main character who is very brave. Stores will have Glass Sword on them next month.
The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
“The Night We Said Yes” is a sweet YA romance about a group of high school friends who say “yes” to everything for one night. This helps them keep their high school friendship strong. Matt and Ella are in love with each other until Matt goes away, which makes them very happy. The book moves back and forth between the present and the night they said yes, telling the story of their love and breakup. The Night We Said Yes is a great book about first love and high school friends. It will make you want to read Lauren Gibaldi’s next book, Autofocus, which comes out in June.
Hit by Delilah S. Dawson
Enter a world where the United States has finally paid off its national debt, but Valor National Bank has bought it out of debt. Valor is able to hunt down and kill debtors thanks to a little bit of fine print in their credit cards. Because Patsy’s family is so in debt, she has no choice but to become an indentured assassin who must kill 10 people in order to pay off the debt. Most of these people aren’t strangers. Hit is a gripping story, and you’ll be eager for the next one, Strike, which comes out in April.