This month’s most exciting young adult titles have it all—ghosts, superpowers, epidemics, and love in all its forms (star-crossed, triangular, requited, un…). Here are 5 great books hitting YA shelves now:
Sinner, by Maggie Stiefvater
A new Stiefvater book is always cause for celebration. Sinner finds two hardheaded characters from her mega-hit Shiver series reuniting in Los Angeles. Recently clean Cole is finishing an album while embarking on a spectacularly ill-advised reality TV career, while guarded Isabel is living with her mother and extended family, hiding out from the fallout of her parents’ failing marriage. It’s immensely satisfying to watch these two damaged souls banter, circle each other, and move in for the kiss.
The Vanishing Season, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
In this atmospheric, slow-blooming thriller, a lonely teen moves with her family to a lonely shore, where her life is quietly watched by a lonely ghost. Maggie’s the bright daughter of parents struggling to make ends meet, which spurs their move to a dilapidated house in a tourist town on the edge of Lake Michigan. The day they move in is also the day a young girl’s drowning—murder, accident, or suicide?—hits the local papers. One death becomes a string of them, and the fearful atmosphere adds an eerie edge to Maggie’s coming-of-age story, as she meets and falls for Liam, who’s already in unrequited love with his beautiful best friend. Fans of the crystalline, often interior voice of Anderson’s 2012 book Tiger Lily will fall hard for this one, too.
Conversion, by Katherine Howe
This dual narrative sets an account of modern-day teens succumbing to disturbing, seemingly contagious symptoms—seizures, gagging, fits—against a story that unfolded three centuries prior, when the teens’ hometown of Danvers, Massachusetts, was known as Salem Village. One of the original accusers from the infamous Salem witch trials has stepped forward to come clean about what she’s done, while in 2012, one of the suffering Danvers girls is trying to determine whether the mystery outbreak has supernatural origins.
Like No Other, by Una LaMarche
This star-crossed love story finds two teens who never should have met overleaping engrained prejudices and familial expectations to be together. Though Devorah and Jax live on the same Brooklyn street, they’re divided by their backgrounds: he’s the geeky son of West Indian immigrants, she’s a highly sheltered Hasidic Jew. When they meet in a stalled hospital elevator, Devorah finds her doubts about her strictly prescribed life path growing into something more powerful, and Jaxon is swept away by his first taste of grand romance. The perils of their budding attraction—disapproving family members, racial violence—make this first-love tale a page-turner.
Illusive, by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Who among us can resist a book billed as “X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven”? Ciere is our slippery narrator, a teenaged superhero (of a kind) who has developed the power of “disguise,” allowing her to manipulate her surroundings and blend in to the point of invisibility. And she’s not the only one: for a small subsection of humanity, a vaccine deployed in response to a plague outbreak had the unintended side effect of granting them one of seven types of superpower. When we meet Ciere, she’s a fugitive from the government. We learn why she’s on the run, and the conditions of the new world order, in a propulsive narrative that hops between Ciere and superpowered escape artist Daniel Burkhart.
What YA are you reading this month?