This is a lovely and quietly powerful release week, combining new names with familiar names doing things you’ve never seen from them before. Lose yourself in one of this week’s beautiful reads and get to know some authors in brand-news ways.
When the Stars Lead to You, by Ronni Davis
Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things. The stars. And the boy she fell in love with last summer. When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks she’ll never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together. Now it’s senior year and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it, as she prepares for a future studying galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive and open her heart to him again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
Color Outside the Lines, ed. by Sangu Mandanna
Interracial relationships are definitely a mixed bag in terms of depiction in YA, which only highlights the necessity of this collection which features them in every story, written by authors who live them. The delightfully varied list of contributors includes editor Mandanna (A Spark of White Fire), Hungry Hearts co-editors Caroline Tung Richmond and Elsie Chapman (each with her own story), Eric Smith (Don’t Read the Comments), Lori M. Lee (Forest of Souls), Adam Silvera (Infinity Son), L.L. McKinney (A Blade So Black), Tara Sim (Timekeeper), Lauren Gibaldi (This Tiny Perfect World), Michelle Ruiz Keil (All of Us With Wings), Anna-Marie McLemore (Blanca & Roja), Danielle Paige (Stealing Snow), Samira Ahmed (Internment), Lydia Kang (Toxic), Karuna Riazi (The Gauntlet), and the writing team of Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shankar (These Vicious Masks).
Coral, by Sara Ella
Coral isn’t like the other mermaids, and the fact that she feels too much is getting seriously problematic. Meanwhile, on land, Brooke is tired of her feelings, too, specially of anxiety, depression, and isolation. For her, the sea is a refuge from all of that, but it’s hard to get out there when she’s stuck at a group home. And then there’s Merrick, who desperately wants to escape his miserable home life and emotionally abusive father. When his search for his mother leads to him colliding with both Coral and Brooke, their newfound relationships may be the key to all of their survival in this modern take on The Little Mermaid.
Day Zero, by Kelly DeVos
You don’t see a lot of genre jumping from debut to sophomore, but that’s exactly what’s happening here as DeVos leaves contemporary behind in Fat Girl on a Plane and pulls us into a thrilling duology set in the near future and starring a seventeen-year-old coder. Jinx has spent her life helping her dad prep for doomsday, and now that her parents have divorced, she’s looking forward to taking it easy. But when an explosion traps her in a burning building, all that survival training comes majorly in handy, even helping her get her siblings to safety. On the outside, though, the world keeps on exploding, and so does Jinx’s life: her dad’s been accused of the violence. Now she has to take her siblings and run, while also figuring out the truth, as the entire world burns behind them.
All-American Muslim Girl, by Nadine Jolie Courtney
Things for Allie are complicated, even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside. After all, if you’re cool and popular and smart and dating a sweet guy, what more could you possibly want? Well, you could maybe not want your boyfriend’s father to be the biggest conservative shock jock in the country, especially if your family is Muslim, whether anyone knows it or not. When Allie sees a rising wave of Islamophobia, both within her small town and without, she decides that her faith is more important than she ever realized. She embarks on studying it, observing it, and even dealing with the blowback from people who don’t know any better. What results are new friends, a newfound love of her religion, and a thoughtful, nuanced book about the ways religion is approached from both the inside and the outside.
Dear Twin, by Addie Tsai
When Poppy’s twin Lola disappeared, it was like losing part of herself; that’s how alike they looked. And now, with Lola gone, Poppy’s losing even more, because her father won’t let her out of his sight, no matter how badly she wants to go to college and just fit in. Poppy’s forced to reach out with her last hope: a series of letters to Lola, one for each year of their lives. If eighteen letters can’t bring Lola home, Poppy may as well kiss her own future goodbye. (Releasing November 15)
Practically Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira