Sara Shepard’s Reading Recommendations

Sara Shepard

Sara Shepard, author of the darkly addictive Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game series, gives us her recommendations for great YA reads—heavy on intrigue and perfect for summer:

1. Shadowlands, by Kate Brian. After escaping death at the hands of a serial killer, Rory and her family leave their life behind, entering the witness protection program. But right when things start to feel normal, one of her new friends goes missing…

Shepard: “I read this book as a galley, and it was amazing. It’s a compelling mystery, and you know how I feel about mysteries!”

2. Legend, by Marie Lu. In a futuristic, militarized western U.S., now known as the Republic, the new order’s top teen soldier, June, faces off against its most notorious teen criminal, Day, suspecting him of murdering her brother.

Shepard: “I was recently at a book event in Miami, where all of the booksellers told me how awesome this is. I love dystopian fiction, so I can’t wait to start this one.”

3. The Boyfriend App, by Katie Sise. In a desperate bid for college cash, code-savvy teen Audrey, still reeling from the death of her father and the loss of her social standing, builds The Boyfriend App, a piece of matchmaking tech that may or may not really work. But the attention it brings her has unforeseen consequences.

Shepard: “I toured with Katie last week, and I read the book before we met. It’s super fast-paced, really funny, and tells you how to hack into people’s email—not that I’d ever recommend that! (Unless you’re a pretty little liar and you’re trying to track down A.)”

4. The Incarnation series, by Avery Williams. In the Middle Ages, Seraphina was saved from death by an alchemical potion, making her into an immortal capable of jumping from body to body. Centuries later, she’s ready to finally die…until she falls in love with a mortal.

Shepard: “Shape-shifting? Inhabiting another girl’s body? That’s just as good as twin-switching—and we know how much I love that. Count me in!”

5. The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. The love story about two teen cancer patients that launched a thousand cryfests.

Shepard: “I know, I know, it’s pretty inconceivable that I haven’t read this yet—everyone raves about it, including a lot of PLL fans. It’s definitely on my list for the summer; John Green is a great writer.”

And a bonus: “I know these are going to sound like school reading-list suggestions, but if you like dystopian fiction, you should check out some of the originals: Anthem, by Ayn Rand; 1984, by George Orwell; or Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. I read these in high school and they were part of why I became a writer—chilling, prophetic, and totally inspiring. Check them out. I’m sure your teachers will be impressed, too.”

Will you check out any of these summer-friendly reads?

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