Summer 2019 is mere weeks away from ending. As fall approaches, now’s the time to develop your reading list for the remaining months of this year. Throughout the summer, many amazing young adult novels were published, and I’ve rounded up a list of the best ones. From the darkest drama to the sweetest romance, this list has it all. With these novels in hand, the end of 2019 is sure to be one for the books!
The Haunted is the story of Hendricks Becker-O’Malley. She’s the new kid in a small town. Her parents are house flippers, and they’ve decided to simultaneously renovate and live inside a notoriously creepy house. Sounds easy enough, right? (Wrong.) The Haunted is a perfectly paced, well-thought-out twist on a classic horror trope. The characters are realistically written, especially the teenagers. While Vega does utilize high school stereotypes (cheerleader, jock, queen bee, etc.), she doesn’t limit the characters to their cliches. The cheerleader has an artsy side, the jock is the furthest thing from a bully and the queen bee’s heart is pure. It’s a refreshing take on a haunted house story reminiscent of Stephen King but with more contemporary vibes. If you’re into getting a little bit spooked, then this is the book for you.
Most Memorable Quote: “Hendricks didn’t know what pissed her off more – starting over or becoming a cliché.”
Like a Love Story takes place in 1989 New York at the height of the AIDS crisis. The novel follows three characters: Reza, a closeted Iranian teenager; Art, the proud LGBT guy that Reza falls for; and Judy, Art’s best friend. Abdi Nazemian addresses a multitude of tough topics such as death, grief, coming out and betrayal. Although the story occurs in the late 80s, some of the bigotry is still very current. It’s a novel that is extremely relevant to today’s political and social climate. Everyone, regardless of race or sexuality, should give it a read.
Most Memorable Quote: “I’ll tell you what we will never be deficient of. LOVE. We love art and beauty. We love new ideas and pushing boundaries. We love fighting against corruption. We love redefining archaic rules. We love men, and women, and men who dress like women, and women who dress like men. We love tops and bottoms, and top hats, especially when worn by Marlene Dietrich. But most of all, we love each other. Know that. We love each other. We care for each other. We are brothers and sisters, mentors and students, and together we are limitless and whole. The most important four-letter word in our history will always be LOVE. That’s what we are fighting for. That’s who we are. Love is our legacy.”
Sorry for Your Loss, as the title suggests, is about grief at its core. It follows Pup (whose real name is James), the youngest of eight, after the death of one of his brothers. His family is falling apart, and none of them are willing to talk about it. Pup is sinking in school until his art teacher hands him a camera. Through this, Pup is presented with a new way of looking at the world. I found this book to be a deeply moving story with themes of grief and forgiveness. Pup’s narration is realistically written and extremely emotional. Jessie Ann Foley has a knack for immersing you in the lives that her characters lead. It’s a poignant coming of age story that will leave you thinking about it for a long time after finishing the story.
Most Memorable Quote: “When you lose something, there’s a chance you might find it again. Keys, a missing homework assignment, a few extra pounds. But Pup would never find Patrick. He couldn’t feel him anywhere. There was no rainbow, no familiar song, no ghostly scent floating in the air…Patrick wasn’t lost he was just dead.”
Wilder Girls was one of the most anticipated YA debuts of the year. And for me, it lived up to the hype. A feminist adaptation of Lord of the Flies, Wilder Girls follows three friends trapped under quarantine at a boarding school. It is set on an island in Maine that has been hit with a mysterious disease known as the Tox. The Tox has wiped out all but two teachers, and most of the students. The three friends spend their days in fear of the next outbreak until one of the girls, Byatt, goes missing. The remaining two friends, Hetty and Reese, set off to find her, but they end up uncovering that the quarantine isn’t quite as straightforward as it appears. This is a page-turning thriller with queer representation and prose-like writing. It’s one of my favorite books of 2019.
Most Memorable Quote: “We don’t get to choose what hurts us.”
What books do you plan on reading in the fall? Let us know!
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