Even though we’re well into the new year, the weather is still pretty vicious out there. While a lot of us were given a surprisingly warm holiday season, we’re paying for it now, with blustery days and frigid evenings. But as we all know, the best cure to fight the cold is a snuggly blanket, a piping hot mug of something tasty, and a good book or six.
So! Turn the heat on under your tea kettle, pick out your favorite comforter, and dive into any of these wintry YAs. Because you’re not the only one feeling chilly—so are some of your favorite (or soon to be favorite) fictional characters.
How to Save a Life, by Sara Zarr
This one even has a chilly cover! Look at those thick blankets of snow. In Zarr’s moving contemporary novel, we’re introduced to Jill, a teen girl who has lost her father and finds herself wrestling with her mother’s decision to adopt a baby. And then there’s Mandy, a teen who has grown up always feeling unwanted, then becomes pregnant. The two teens come together in this snow-covered, dual POV novel about families and friendships.
The Mystery of Hollow Places, by Rebecca Podos
Need a little bit of mystery for your long winter nights? I mean, people say thrills and chills for a reason, right? (That was terrible, I’m sorry.) A newer book, Podos’ debut came out just this month, and sets readers down in the world of Imogene Scott, a teen investigating the disappearance of her father, a famous author of medical mysteries. Because there’s a chance, just a chance, he might be searching for her long-estranged mother, across a landscape of brutal winter weather.
The Well’s End, by Seth Fishman
Hold on to that blanket tight, you guys. Fishman’s debut takes readers into the freezing snow, as time ticks down and an outbreak of a bizarre virus threatens to take out an entire community…and quite possibly the world. And Mia, the novel’s brave protagonist, might be the only one who can connect the dots, from her father’s lab to a mysterious well that brings back terrifying memories, and save everyone. It’s a super underrated book, and I highly recommend checking it out. The companion, The Dark Water, came out just last year.
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
I don’t think you can legally make a list of YA books about winter without talking about Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I think you get sent to book jail. Set in the town of Mercy Falls, Minnesota, Shiver follows a girl who has been watching the wolves that lurk behind her house all her life. One in particular, with yellow eyes, haunts her. And then the wolf, a werewolf named Sam, grows bold enough to shift back into human form, talk to her, and change both of their lives forever.
The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth Laban
Just look at that snowy cover. An intense novel about forbidden love, The Tragedy Paper introduces readers to Tim Macbeth, an albino teenager who just wants to blend into the crowd, which is impossible for him. Then the most popular girl in the school falls for him, and he has to juggle their secret romance while trying desperately to finish his senior thesis. It’s a POV jumping book that’s impossible to put down.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Hey! It’s the duo that wrote the wonderful Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist! In New York City during a blustery winter, two teens, Lily and Dash, look for each other in a city full of clues and secrets. Lily leaves a notebook in her favorite bookstore, full of challenges for the right guy. And Dash? He finds it, accepting the challenge. Perfect for you bookstore lovers…which is all of you.