I won’t mince words: the trio of new YA books this week covers illness and PTSD, and will make you cry. But there’s much to be thankful for with each one. The characters are put through the ringer, but also discover hope where none seemed possible, and what could be more uplifting than that during this Thanksgiving holiday?
Five Feet Apart, by Rachel Lippincott (with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis)
“Starcrossed” doesn’t begin to describe these lovelorn teens. Stella Grant and Will Newman could literally kill each other if they breathe the same air; she’s on the transplant list for a new lung and can’t risk an infection, and he’s desperate to live a life beyond the confines of cystic fibrosis. After meeting at a hospital and slowly falling for one another, how are they supposed to make their dreams come true when they must stay apart farther than six feet at all times? Fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green will be especially intrigued. Bonus: The movie version hits theaters March 2019, starring Cole Sprouse (Riverdale) and Haley Lu Richardson.
Any Second, by Kevin Emerson
The two teens at the heart of this tough, beautiful read are brought together by a horrifying event: Elian’s kidnapper forces Elian to attempt a suicide bombing at the mall, and Maya finds herself in a position to prevent the act. A year after that fateful day, the two are classmates, bonded for life by their shared experience and persistent PTSD. As the anniversary draws near, a new, unexpected peril comes into play. But hope is equally persistent, and together, perhaps Maya and Eli can find a new path forward.
The Dark Days Deceit, by Alison Goodman
The conclusion of Goodman’s Dark Days trilogy finds Regency-era demon hunter Lady Helen about to marry a duke while simultaneously exploring her supernatural bond with Lord Carlston, demon hunter. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of absorbing the deadly power of a magical object; the ensuing mental agony proves a bigger challenge than she anticipated. Now her life and sanity are at risk, and the aforementioned power may be her only chance at defeating her enemies once and for all.