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New Young Adult Novels!

April 03, 2017

It’s that time of year! Spring is almost here, and we’re all looking for books we can sink our teeth into over the break or just to keep us company during the final cold days. Spring has sprung us some great new young adult reads!

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Ages 14 & Up

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a goodbye day with her to share their memories and say a proper farewell. Soon the other families are asking for their own goodbye day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses? Or will these goodbye days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown, or—even worse—prison?

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Ages 12 & Up

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong, but her fate takes another course when she inadvertently breaks her sister’s debutante spells. Anna is exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary. Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems—not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome gypsy Gábor, not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion sweeps across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. The Binding that holds all magic in place has long made magic available only to those at the highest levels of society, but Anna’s power to break spells might be able to break the Binding, making magic available to all—maybe even to her. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and gypsies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta
Ages 14 & Up

A teenage girl is haunted by dreams and compelled to self-harm until she discovers a family secret and a past full of magic that could both save her and put her in mortal danger in this dark, suspenseful novel that’s perfect for fans of Katie Alender, Mindy McGinnis, and Natasha Preston.

All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came uncomfortably to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does, at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin. Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything . . . except her nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who seem to be tied somehow to Heather’s own life. They’re a murky memory that lurks underneath the surface, ripping apart her summer. The twins might hold the key to putting her soul at rest . . . or they could slice her future deeper than any knife ever could.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
Ages 12 & Up

When your favorite after-school activity is tagging walls with graffiti, friends are a liability. Julia learns this the hard way when she covers up a slur about her best friend with a beautiful (albeit illegal) mural sprayed right across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf. Her best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a mainstream school in the suburbs, where, as the only deaf student, she’s treated like a sideshow freak. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could get her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. A tag on a sign, a piece on an overpass. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone has been adding to her tags, making them better, showing off. She expected her art might get painted over by cops, but she never imagined getting involved in a graffiti war.

Now Julia must go toe to toe with her rival . . . or face losing the only piece of her identity that still makes sense. Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A. E. Kaplan
Ages 12 & Up

Tom Grendel lives a quiet life—writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the manic pixie dream girl label. But when Willow’s brother Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap) starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed—his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD—so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But it’s not that simple.

One retaliation leads to another, and things quickly escalate out of control, driving Tom and Willow apart even as the parties continue unabated. Add to that an angsty existential crisis born of selectively reading his sister’s Philosophy 101 coursework, a botched break-in to an artisanal pig farm, and ten years of unresolved baggage stemming from his mother’s death . . . and the question isn’t so much whether Tom Grendel will win the day and get the girl, but whether he’ll survive intact.

The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Ages 12 & Up

Tessa and Caleb have always been close, but it was on the field where their friendship sparked into something more. Summertime flag football holds every bright memory for these two, but like many events tinged by summer’s glow, their pending school year and the social implications that come with it carry them into a situation they never saw coming. Football is said to be a boys sport, and before Tessa, not a single girl had tried to play. Until now. Tessa is on a mission. She loves football, and she’s good at it. Why can’t she try out?

When Tessa’s mission turns into something else and Caleb starts to withdraw from both her and his friends, the two of them must decide what really matters: the love of those around them or the love of the game.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Ages 12 & Up

Love, sadness, and years of good and bad decisions collide over the course of one bittersweet summer in a dysfunctional, privileged family filled with secrets in this beautifully written novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares.

Teenagers Ray and Sasha have grown up sharing a bedroom in their summer house on a pond in Wainscott, yet they’ve never met. Over the course of one summer filled with misunderstandings and new insights, each of them, along with their shared half-siblings—Emma, Quinn, and Mattie—must learn to accept the hand they’ve been dealt, culminating in a devastating tragedy that will either break or heal their family forever.