2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults

The members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team are: Coordinator, Lorraine Roussin, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX; Megan Baird, Yuma County Library District, San Luis, AZ; Cathy DeCampli, Haddonfield Public Library, Haddonfield, NJ; Kimmie DePinto, Thornton, CO; Molly Dettmann, Pioneer Library System, Moore, OK; Lindsay Fricke, Novi Public Library, Novi, MI; Mary Gensel, Lansing, IL; Dana Hutchins, Jackson Middle School, San Antonio, TX; Carol Maples, Central High School, Lufkin, TX; Shelbie Marks, Prescott Valley Public Library, Prescott Valley, AZ; Cate Merlin, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA; Cathy Rettberg, Menlo School, Atherton, CA; Celeste Rhoads, The American Library in Paris, Paris France; Jenny Zbrizher, Morris County Library, Whippany, NJ; and with the help of administrative assistant Molly Moore, Bogart Library, Bogart, GA.

*denotes Top Ten

*Acevedo, Elizabeth. The Poet X. 2018. Harper Teen. $17.99 (9780062662804). Xiomara Batista struggles with, well, most things in her life- her mother, her twin, and her place in the Catholic church. In the past, she's used her fists to solve problems, as well as secretly writing poetry, but now it may be time to use those poems to fight back.   
Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone. 2018. Henry Holt and Co. $18.99 (9781250170972). Eleven years ago, magic was lost and Maji, Diviners blessed by the gods, were killed by the King, including Zelie's mother a once great Reaper. Now Zelie, with the help of her brother Tzain and the rogue princess Amari, must restore magic to Orisha before it is lost forever. 
Albert, Melissa. The Hazel Wood. 2018. Flatiron Books. $16.99 (9781250147905). Alice and her mom Ella, receive news that Alice’s grandmother, Althea, author of the gruesome Hinterland fairy tales, has died inside her estate, The Hazel Wood. When Ella is abducted from their home, Alice goes in search of The Hazel Wood and begins to wonder if Althea’s twisted stories are real.
*Albertalli, Becky. Leah on the Offbeat. 2018. Balzer + Bray. $17.99 (9780062643803). When it comes to music, Leah has it all together, but with other parts of her life, it's a totally different story. She's insecure about her drawing and hasn't been able to tell her best friends she's bisexual. Things get really complicated when she falls for someone she didn't expect. 
Albertalli, Becky & Silvera, Adam. What if It’s Us. 2018. Harper Teen. $18.99 (9780062795250). After the universe brings Arthur and Ben together outside the post office, neither make a move and both leave wondering if they missed a chance at love. What if they were meant to be?
Arnold, David. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik. 2018. Viking. $17.99 (9780425288863). After being hypnotized after a party, Noah Oakman wakes up to his world turned subtly upside-down. From his best friend Alan's switch from DC to Marvel fan, to an unexplained scar on his mother's face, Noah must navigate his new life while still dealing with problems from his old one.
Barker, Michelle. The House of One Thousand Eyes. 2018. Annick Press. $18.95 (9781773210711). When Lena’s subversive uncle disappears without a trace in Communist East Berlin, she risks everything to find out what happened to him in this immersive historical mystery. Rife with well-crafted suspense and chilling period detail, this thrilling story will appeal to fans of dystopias and historical fiction alike.
Barter, Catherine. Troublemakers. 2018. Carolrhoda Lab. $17.99 (9781512475494). Amid an ongoing bomb threat in East London, Alena starts asking questions about her mother, who died when she was a baby. When her questions are met with frustrating silence and dead-ends everywhere she looks, she becomes determined to uncover the truth behind her mother’s activist past.
Boecker, Virginia. The Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason. 2018. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9780316327343). In Shakespearean England, Lady Katherine vows to complete her father’s failed plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I. To succeed, she dresses as the male actor and earns a part in Shakespeare’s new play- specifically re-written by Toby Ellis, spy to the queen, to lure Katherine’s fellow co-conspirators into the open.
*Black, Holly. The Cruel Prince. 2018. Little, Brown and Company. $18.99 (9780316310277). Violently taken from her human home, Jude has struggled to navigate the dark world of the Fae. Jaded from years of being viewed as inferior for being human, she publicly challenges the wicked Prince Cardan and his friends, unleashing the prince’s wrath upon her and her sisters.
Blake, Ashley Herring. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World. 2018. LIttle, Brown and Company. $16.99 (9780316515467). After Ivy's home is destroyed in a tornado, not only does she have to rebuild her home with her family, but also grapple with romantic feelings for a girl and the missing notebook with drawings depicting those feelings.
Blake, Ashley Herring. Girl Made of Stars. 2018. HMH Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9781328778239). After her twin brother is accused of rape by one of her best friends, high school junior Mara must grapple with her feelings about the who to believe, while reliving a similar incident of her own.
Bliss, Bryan. We’ll Fly Away. 2018. Greenwillow Books. $17.99 (9780062494276). As kids Luke and Toby dreamed of escaping their lives of poverty and abuse in a rusty crop-dusting plane they discovered and spent a summer mending. Now Luke writes hopeless letters to Toby from death row where he awaits a fate from which there is no escape.
*Caletti, Deb. A Heart in a Body in the World. 2018. Simon Pulse $18.99 (9781481415200). After a traumatic incident, Annabelle manages to finish her senior year with the support of her friends and family and the comfort of routine: school, work, cross-country. One night, she reaches her breaking point and she begins to run - across the US. Along the way she becomes a reluctant activist.
Clayton, Dhonielle. The Belles. 2018. Freeform. $17.99 (9781484728499). In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles possess the power to restore beauty to its cursed citizens. Camille covets the honor of being named the Queen’s favorite Belle, but she soon discovers that a darkness lurks beneath Orleans’ veneer of beauty, and that her position comes at a steep price.
Cole, Olivia A. A Conspiracy of Stars. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062644213). Octavia dreams of the day she joins her parents as a whitecoat, an elite N’Terra scientist who studies the wondrous natural world of their adopted planet, Faloiv. However, her surprising early internship in the secret labs reveals some scientists’ experiments have sinister motives threatening their tenuous peace with the Faloii.
Dao, Julie C. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. 2017. Philomel. $18.99 (9781524738297). Xifeng longs to fulfill her destiny to become empress, but the path leading to the throne may make her one of the most vicious villains in all of the stories ever told.
Daud, Somaiya. Mirage. 2017. Flatiron. $18.99 (9781250126429). Under a brutal regime, Amani reads poems and dreams of a normal life. Until she is kidnapped and chosen as a body double for the ruling class's princess.
Fleming, Candace (et all). Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All. 2018. Schwartz and Wade. $18.99 (9781524716196). Six women would forever be changed by Henry the VIII’s ruthless ambition. Each of them must navigate Henry’s unpredictable nature, the political machinations of his court, and their own feelings concerning motherhood. Seven authors tell the story of each wife, interjecting Henry’s own interpretation of the events.
Flores-Scott, Patrick. American Road Trip. 2018. Henry Holt & Co. $17.99 (9781627797412). Teodoro's family is sinking fast: his father lost his job, his brother returned from Iraq with PTSD, and his parents are struggling to cope. T’s sister spirits her siblings away on a road trip, taking them to reconnect with family, to heal and to find a way forward.
Foody, Amanda. Ace of Shades. 2018. Harlequin Teen. $19.99 (9781335692290). When Enne's mother disappears, she heads to the City of Sin, New Reynes, determined to track her down. Enne's only clue takes her to the Iron Lord, gang leader. But the City of Sin is filled with games. To get back her mother, Enne must play, no matter the cost.
Gilbert, Kelly Loy. Picture Us in the Light. 2018. Disney-Hyperion. $17.99 (9781484726020). Danny knows his future holds a scholarship and a career as an artist. However, he doesn't know how his best friend will fit into that future, or why his father lost his job. When he starts digging into his parents' past, Danny discovers secrets that threaten his family and future.
Grimes, Nikki. Between the Lines. 2018. Nancy Paulsen Books. $17.99 (9780399246883). Aspiring journalist Darrian Lopez signs up to participate in a poetry slam at his school. Using their poetry, students piece together their stories and Darrian learns that though they may be different, they are all just trying to do their best with the life they have been given.
Hand, Cynthia, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. My Plain Jane. 2018. Harper Teen. $17.99 (9780062652775). Jane Eyre sees ghosts which attracts the attention and a job offer from a supernatural investigator. However, Jane accepts a governess position with the mysterious Mr. Rochester which leads her best friend and aspiring author, Charlotte Bronte, to join in a mission to solve a mystery and save Jane.
Hardinge, Frances. A Skinful of Shadows. 2017. Amulet Books. $19.99 (9781419725722). This dark historical fantasy pits a girl named Makepeace against her birth father’s ominous family and their strange birthright. The Felmottes harbor dark secrets, but Makepeace possesses a secret of her own: a ghost which suffuses her with the ferocity of spirit to flee them and fight for her life.
Hesse, Monica. The War Outside. 2018. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9780316316699). Held prisoners of war by the country they both love, two teenage girls, one Japanese-American and the other German-American, forge an unlikely and dangerous friendship. While World War II wages a world away, Haruko and Margot fight their own battles for survival inside a Texas family internment camp.
Hill, Will. After the Fire. 2018. Sourcebooks Fire. $17.99 (9781492669791). After a government raid on The Lord's Legion, a secretive religious commune in the Texas desert, 17 year-old Moonbeam finds herself in the outside world for the first time and must confront the destructive lies that tore apart her family.
Holczer, Tracy. Everything Else in the Universe. 2018. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. $16.99 (9780399163944). When Lucy's injured father returns home from Vietnam, the war which had until then felt far away and abstract becomes very real, and Lucy begins to comprehend its effect on everyone around her.
Hutchinson, Shaun David. The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. 2018. Simon Pulse. $17.99 (9781481498548). Despite years as a social outcast due to her virgin birth, Elena believes the inanimate voices she hears foretells an extraordinary destiny. Even she could not have foreseen her healing a dying gunshot victim in the Starbucks parking lot setting her on a course to potentially save the world.
*Ireland, Justina. Dread Nation. 2018. Balzer + Bray. $18.99 (9780062570604). In post-Civil War America where the dead have refused to stay buried, Jane has spent her entire life training in a special combat school for African American children, preparing to save the lives of the wealthy. When entire families go missing, she learns her combat skills are incredibly useful- against both the dead and the living.
*Jackson, Tiffany D. Monday’s Not Coming. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062422675). When Claudia's best friend Monday suddenly disappears without a trace, Claudia knows something is up and will not stop until she uncovers the possible horrifying truth.
Johnson, Maureen. Truly Devious. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062338051). Murder mystery obsessed Stevie transfers to Ellingham Academy, a remote boarding school with its own unsolved crime that she intends to solve. But a tragic death on campus forces her to put all of her deductive power to work to discover if one of her classmates could be a murderer.
Kaplan, Ariel. We Regret to Inform You. 2018. Knopf Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9781524773700). Rejected by every college she applied to, top student Mischa Abramavicius and her best friend Nate join forces with an eccentric trio of hacker girls to uncover what went wrong. This is a smart, entertaining, and hilarious romp through the politics of the college admissions process at an elite school.
*Khorram, Adib. Darius the Great is Not Okay. 2018. Dial Books. $17.99 (9780525552963). Darius is not okay with his impossible-to-please father, his mother and sister's shared Farsi sisterhood, and his "Fractional Persian" heritage. A family trip to his mother's homeland means learning more about his family, himself, and the many forms love can take.
Killeen, Matt. Orphan Monster Spy. 2018. Viking. $18.99 (9780451478733). After her mother’s death, Jewish teen Sarah avoids capture by the SS thanks to a British spy named Captain Floyd. Jeremy obtains a false identity for Sarah and convinces her to help him infiltrate the home of one of Hitler’s nuclear scientists, Hans Schafer, by befriending Schäfer’s daughter.
Kisner, Adrienne. Dear Rachel Maddow. 2018. Feiwel & Friends. $17.99 (9781250146021). After starting out as a class assignment, but turning into an unsent journal, Brynn Harper begins emailing Rachel Maddow as she works through her feelings while dealing with the death of her brother and a heated school election.
Kristoff, Jay. Lifel1k3. 2018. Knopf Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781524713928). After a public display of her robot-destroying abilities, Evie flees for her life. On the run, she stumbles upon a “Lifelike” android that holds the secrets to her past. When the fight of human versus machine ensues, she fights to survive, and to find the truth.
Lee, Mackenzi. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $18.99 (9780062795328). Felicity Montague wants nothing more than to enroll in medical school, but is limited by her gender. Therefore, she must obviously traverse the European continent, trust a mysterious young lady and a former best friend, and command a pirate ship, all in the name of following her dreams.
Legrand, Claire. Sawkill Girls. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062696601). Local legend warns evil lurks on Sawkill Rock where girls vanish without a trace. As the disappearances escalate, three girls stumble into an ancient crusade. Loss of a loved one joins newcomer Marion and outsider Zoey in a search for answers which lead them to beautiful Val and her secrets.
Leno, Katrina. Summer of Salt. 2018. Harper Teen. $17.99 (9780062493620). Descendants of a magical family, twins Georgina and Mary, help their mother keep up the Inn. Business booms during the summer when the “Birdheads” come to watch the rare bird, Annabella, in her natural environment. When the bird doesn’t appear, the island erupts into chaos.
Lucier, Makiia. Isle of Blood and Stone. 2018. HMH Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9780544968578). Old wounds are reopened when a mysterious map is brought to the royal palace, sending Elias, Mercedes, and King Ulises on a quest to try and solve the mystery of the kidnapping and murder of Ulises' two older brothers eighteen years earlier.
Mather, Janice Lynn. Learning to Breathe. 2018. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781534406018). Indy is sent away from home to live with relatives in the city so that she doesn’t fall into the same lifestyle as her mother, but trouble finds Indy. She learns to carve out a future without letting her past and the choices of others dictate who she will be.
McCullough, Joy. Blood Water Paint. 2018. Dutton Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9780735232112). Artemisia Gentileschi at 17 is already a brilliant painter. She wants to become better and escape her father's control. A man who she hopes will save her, instead is her worst nightmare. Artemisia must decide either to remain silent or to speak the truth, just as her heroines did.
McLemore, Anna-Marie. Blanca and Roja. 2018. Feiwel and Friends. $17.99 (9781250162717). Two sisters fight to escape the magic of a family curse dooming one of them while two boys embrace the enchantment saving them from lives they can't bear. Steeped in Latino folklore, their heartbreaking stories entwine in this contemporary retelling of "Snow-White and Rose-Red' and "Swan Lake.”
Miller, Samuel. A Lite Too Bright. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062662002). Arthur Louis Pullman the Third, the troubled grandson of a famously reclusive Beat-generation writer, sets out on a cross-country train journey to discover to truth behind the last week of his grandfather’s life. Puzzles and poetry lead to self-discovery in this dynamic incarnation of the great American road trip novel.
*Mills, Emma. Foolish Hearts. 2017. Henry Holt & Co. $17.99 (9781627799379). When Claudia finds herself ensnared in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she must also navigate the elaborate politics of her private girls’ school, her budding friendship with prickly Iris, and a charming, tentative romance in addition to family drama in this funny, feel-good contemporary novel.
Mitchell, Saundra. All Out: The No-Longer Secret Stores of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages. 2018. Harlequin Teen. $18.99 (9781335470454). Seventeen short stories written by different authors illustrate the experiences of queer teens throughout history.
Moore, David Barclay. The Stars Beneath Our Feet. 2017. Knopf Books for Young Readers. $16.99 (9781524701246). Reeling from the shooting death of his older brother, 12-year-old Lolly finds solace in building fantastical, epic cityscapes out of Lego blocks. His Lego building attracts the attention of the kids in his Harlem after-school program and beyond, while the violence of the streets threatens to pull him in another direction.
*Norton, Preston. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. 2018. Disney Hyperion. $17.99 (9781484790625). Aaron is the star of Happy Valley High School until he suffers a concussion after a boating accident, or receives a visit from God, depending on who you believe. God gives him a to-do list and tells him he will need the help of Cliff Hubbard (a.k.a. Neanderthal).
Nwaubani, Adaobi Tricia. Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree. 2018. Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062696724). A Nigerian teen looks forward to the day when she will leave her village to pursue a university degree, but her life changes drastically when she and her schoolmates are kidnapped by Boko Haram.
Oh, Ellen and Chapman, Elsie (editors). A Thousand Beginnings and Endings. 2018. Greenwillow Books. $17.99 (9780062671158). Fifteen young adult authors of Asian descent weave magical stories inspired by their favorite childhood Asian myths and legends. Ranging from traditional stories to contemporary to science fiction and populated with everything from goddesses to androids and vampires, there is something for everyone.
Oliver, Lauren. Broken Things. 2018. Harper Collins. $18.99 (9780062224132). Five years ago Mia and Brynn were blamed for the ritualistic killing of their best friend. Now, new evidence has come to light that could solve the murder and finally clear their names.
*Plozza, Shivaun. Frankie. 2017. Flatiron Books. $17.99 (9781250142993). Frankie Vega's half-brother suddenly presents himself, and just as she begins to get to know him, he disappears. Frankie is the only one who seems worried about his whereabouts so she sets out to find him.
Ramos, Nonieqa. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary. 2018. Carolrhoda Lab. $17.99 (9781512439762). Fierce in her perseverance and flawed in nature, Macy’s ability to survive in her toxic environment has secured her the label of the disturbed girl at school. She documents her experiences in her self-made dictionary that shows the toxic and tragic events that have shaped who she is today.
Savage, Kim. In Her Skin. 2018. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $17.99 (978-0374308001). Jo Chastain is attempting her biggest con yet- impersonating Vivi Weir, who vanished 9 years ago. Jo is welcomed with open arms into the Lovecraft household, the family of Vivi's best friend Temple, the last person to see Vivi before she disappeared- but the Lovecrafts have secrets of their own.
Schwab, Victoria. City of Ghosts. 2018. Scholastic. $17.99 (9781338111002). After briefly dying, Cassidy can see ghosts, including her friend Jacob. When her parents receive a ghost hunting television job, the family go to Edinburgh, Scotland. There, Cassidy meets Lara, another person who can see ghosts. While learning about her abilities, Cassidy also runs into a ghost that eats souls.
Shusterman, Neal and Jarrod. Dry. 2018. Simon & Schuster BFYR. $18.99 (9781481481960). When the water in the tap runs dry, Southern California is forced into a state of emergency. Neighbors turn on one another, and suburbia is a hot zone for “water-zombies.” When Alyssa’s parents go missing, she must do whatever it takes in order to survive the Tap-Out.
Smith, Heather. The Agony of Bun O'Keefe. 2017. Penguin Teen. $16.99 (9780143198659). Fourteen-year-old Bun O’Keefe leaves home one day after her negligent hoarder mother tells her to get out. She hitchhikes to the nearest city, where she’s taken in by a ragtag group of loveable housemates living in “temporary accommodations,” who teach her the real value of the family you make for yourself.
Stamper, Vesper. What the Night Sings. 2018. Knopf Books for Young Readers. $19.99 (9781524700386). Saved by music and surviving Aushwitz as a member of the Women's Orchestra, liberated Gerta Rausch works to reclaim her voice and find a new life for herself, but is still haunted by what happened in the concentration camp.
Steiger, A.J. When My Heart Joins the Thousand. 2018. Harper Teen. $17.99 (9780062656476). Seventeen-year-old Alvie lives by herself, works a full-time job at the zoo, and is waiting to turn eighteen so she can be legally emancipated. Living with Asperger’s, Alvie prefers to spend time with animals until she meets Stanley, with whom she starts to fall in love.
Stone, Nic. Odd One Out. 2018. Crown. $17.99 (9781101939536). Courtney has been in love with his best friend Jupiter for years. When new girl Rae comes along, both friends find themselves interested in her, and confused about their feelings for each other.
Summers, Courtney. Sadie. 2018. Wednesday Books. $17.99 (9781250105714). Two sisters: one dead, one missing. This gripping thriller for mature readers unfolds in alternating chapters: one thread follows 19-year-old Sadie as she hunts down her sister’s murderer, while the other follows her trail via a true-crime podcast that attempts to uncover what happened before she herself disappeared.
Thomas, Kara. The Cheerleaders. 2018. Delacort Press. $15.99 (9781524718329). Five years after the deaths of five Sunnybook cheerleaders Monica, the sister of one of them, decides to look further into their deaths. She uncovers information that leads her to believe there is a deeper, darker truth to what happened. What really transpired all those years ago?
Thomas, Leah. When Light Left Us. 2018. Bloomsbury USA Childrens. $17.99 (9781681191812). Something infected the Vasquez kids that night in the canyon forming a bond between them, filling the void their father’s abandonment left, and leaving their mother an outsider. However, when It suddenly leaves taking the best pieces of them, can they ever become whole and a family again?
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Wild Bird. 2017. Knopf Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9781101940440). Out-of-control Wren is shipped off to a wilderness survival camp for troubled teens after her parents reach their wits’ end with her. Despite her best efforts to remain uncooperative, the stark reality of survival in the desert gradually forces her to face her inner demons.
Young, Adrienne. Sky in the Deep. 2018. Wednesday Books. $17.99 (9781250168450). As a fierce Aska warrior, Eelyn fights an ancient blood feud against the enemy Rikki clan to honor her god and avenge her brother’s death at their hands. However, when Eelyn becomes a prisoner after spotting the presumed dead Iri fighting beside the Rikki, her world forever changes.
White, Kiersten. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. 2018. Delacorte Press. $18.99 (9780525577942). Elizabeth has spent her life changing herself to please others to survive. When she is offered as a gift the boy Victor Frankenstein, she believes her life will change for the better. But when a monster appears that begins to kill, Elizabeth's world begins to fall apart.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Harbor Me. 2018. Nancy Paulsen. $17.99 (9780399252525). Six kids in a special school are sent to a room to talk to one another weekly. As the year goes on, they all open up their deepest fears, hopes, and dreams.
Zoboi, Ibi. Pride. Balzer + Bray. $17.99 (9780062564047). In this classic retelling, Zuri Benitez meets the handsome Darius Darcy, the rich boy who moved in across the street in her Bushwick neighborhood. Despite their good looks, Zuri sees the Darcys as a threat to her way of life and her beloved Bushwick.