This year, April brings showers, impending flowers, and some young adult fiction so mindblowingly good it’ll spring clean your brain. It’s the best month for YA lit since, well, March. Here are the new must-read teen books we’re finally getting our hands on:
Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor
In 2011 Taylor introduced the world of her Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, where angels and monsters exist in a world just beside our own. The two realms are linked by a blue-haired art student named Karou, whose connection to the monstrous creatures she lives with and works for is more tangled and powerful than she realizes. The trilogy comes to a conclusion this month, in a final installment that increases on the velocity and complexity of the books that preceded it. Read this series. Read it.
Noggin, by John Corey Whaley
In Whaley’s sophomore novel, 16-year-old Travis has just become the second person to receive a successful full-body transplant, five years after his head was removed from his cancer-ridden body and cryogenically frozen. Combining elements of science fiction and bildungsroman and immense heart, it will continually surprise you with how thoroughly it imagines the implications of waking up to a world that’s moved on without you.
Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige
Power has corrupted the gingham’ed girl from Kansas in this dark story set in the increasingly unwonderful land of Oz. Amy Gumm is a modern-day Kansan with problems of her own when she’s swept up in a tornado and transported to the Yellow Brick Road, where she’s received by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked as Oz’s Great Midwestern Hope. Prepare to watch Paige kill your childhood idols: Dorothy and her happy gang of the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow stone-cold terrified me.
Great, by Sara Benincasa
Benincasa’s rewrite of The Great Gatsby recasts our greatest tale of conspicuous consumption and long-deferred desire with overprivileged Hamptons teens. Soon after Naomi Rye arrives at the beachfront house of her TV personality mother, she’s drawn into the glittering orbit of next-door neighbor Jacinta, a mysterious fashion blogger who’s desperate to make a connection with Naomi’s friend Delilah Fairweather. Benincasa follows the contours of Fitzgerald’s original while maintaining a funny, singular voice, and giving the story a modernizing twist that keeps its stakes high.
What teen books are you reading right now?