So you’re sitting at the bookstore, faced with what could possibly be the most important decision you’ll make all summer: which book should you read next? It’s a tough choice. The covers seem to swirl together, the titles blend, and you start to panic. How can you choose just one? But wait! Never fear—we’re here for you with a handy guide for choosing your next YA read.
1. Summer is best for…
A. Honing your secret talents.
B. Lots and lots of kisses, and maybe a midnight swim or two.
C. Traveling to new and exotic places. Preferably with cute boys involved.
D. Getting to know the most important person in your life: you.
E. Chilling out with your best friend, of course.
F. Working hard for your money. You’ve got a retirement to plan!
2. How do you feel about your friends?
A. Great! Your friends are all awesome, but you wish you had more time for them.
B. Awful. You’re definitely cutting ties with your toxic bestie this summer.
C. Completely platonic, but you are related after all.
D. A little wary—you’re not really sure your friends get you at all.
E. Pretty casual, honestly; you’re just in deep, deep love with your best friend.
F. Friends? Who has time for friends?
3. Your favorite sumer color is…
A. You’re more of a prints and patterns individual, actually.
B. A nice deep blue, thanks.
C. Anything glittery would be perfect.
D. White! Got to get it in before Labor Day.
E. As long as it’s bright, you don’t care.
F. You like to keep it dark, like your soul.
4. If you could go anywhere this summer, where would it be?
A. New York! It’s time to party in the Boroughs.
B. The beach, of course. Where else is there?
C. Europe for sure; you’re tres chic.
D. Who needs to travel? There’s no place like home, right?
E. You’re not into hardcore plans, but you’d love a nice, meandering road trip.
F. A city, any city, the grittier the better.
5. Your biggest fear is…
A. The apocalypse. Duh.
B. That the people closest to you will figure out you’re not quite what you seem.
C. That your family will pressure you into becoming someone you’re not.
D. Rejection…or messy closets. It’s a toss up.
E. Losing your best friend.
F. Betrayal, murder, backstabbing—that sort of thing.
6. How do you organize your bookshelves?
A. Wherever they fit on the shelf is fine, really.
B. By color—it looks so pretty!
C. Alphabetically, mostly.
D. By genre, then alphabetically by author; look, you’ve got a detailed chart, all right?
E. Just by genre; you’re not too set on anything.
F. You’re more the haphazard stack sort, to be honest.
Mostly A’s: Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older
Sierra thought she was going to have a normal sort of summer…and then the zombie shows up trying to kill her. Cut to Sierra learning about a secret family talent for shadowshaping—a kind of magic that resides in different kinds of art. With the help of her new friend Robbie, Sierra’s got to delve deeper into the mysteries of shadowshaping before she’s killed for them. Fast-paced, colorful, and well-written, this book is the perfect combination of fun and thrilling.
Mostly B’s: Between Us and the Moon, by Rebecca Maizel
Sarah is determined to be just as grown up has her older sister Scarlett…which is why she lies to Andrew about her age. But as their relationship deepens, her lie becomes more of a problem. Will Andrew still loves her when he learns she’s not 18? And how can Sarah really grow up when she’s still struggling to accept herself? Light and steamy, with a boy you really can’t help but fall in love with, Between Us and the Moon is meant to be a beach read.
Mostly C’s: Silver in the Blood, by Jessica Day George
Dacia and Lou are cousins, friends, and heiresses, but it turns out their inheritance includes more than just money and stuff: they’ve also inherited the family ability to shapeshift. And the task of helping out the Dracula family, like their forebears before them. But Dacia and Lou aren’t quite sure that the Draculas are the way to go, and the family is not happy with their reluctance. Coups, romance, and intrigue combine to make an easy summer fantasy read, perfect for that lovely break with reality you were craving this summer.
Mostly D’s: Every Last Word, by Tamara Ireland Stone
Samantha may have the exterior of a popular girl, but on the inside she’s crippled by her intense OCD, which keeps her focused on picking the right outfits to please her friends and living in her head. When she becomes friends with Caroline and the rest of Poet’s Corner, she starts to explore what it feels like to be normal and just let go. But can she let go long enough to be happy? For a summer of self-discovery, Every Last Word will have you questioning what it is that really makes you happy.
Mostly E’s: Never Always Sometimes, by Adi Alsaid
Look, it’s totally cool, but Dave has been in love with Julia for a loooonnng time. Which is why, when they made a list of cliches they’d never fall prey to in high school, Dave is at an impasse: does he break rule #8 (never pine after someone for the entirety of high school) or rule #10 (never date your best friend)? But then Julia suggests they actually do all the “nevers,” he just might get the chance he’s been looking for. For everyone who’s ever crushed on their bestie, or just been confused by high school and all of its dos and don’ts, this book is a must-read.
Mostly F’s: Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz is a criminal, and a good one at that. Skilled as he is, though, he’s not good enough to pull off this prison heist on his own; he’s going to need a team. And with teams of criminals come buckets of trust issues and personal problems that might just make this heist a little bit more difficult than Kaz would like. But hey, it’s a hell of a lot of money, okay? If you were craving a smart, heart-pounding summer thrill, Six of Crows will definitely hit the spot.
Which summer release are you dying to read?