September’s Best New Teen Books

Tales of the Peculiar

The weather is about to turn chilly, but that’s a-ok for us book nerds, who prefer the great indoors anyway. Here are 10 great young adult reads to curl up with this September, from heisty and superpowered sequels to 2015 favorites to fantasy epics you’ll lose yourself in.

Tales of the Peculiar, by Ransom Riggs
Riggs’ story collection, styled as foundational lore for the world of the “peculiars” introduced in his Miss Peregrine trilogy, is full of stories that are genuinely eerie and surprising, and occasionally grotesque. He invents a fork-tongued princess whose happily ever after might not involve a prince; a girl who can see ghosts and who, in fact, has trouble befriending anyone who isn’t spectral; and, in perhaps the most memorable tale, a group of prosperous cannibals who find an appropriately horrifying solution to their food-supply issues. The stories are fairytalish in tone, with touches of sly humor and a modern sensibility that makes the collection a blast to read.

Jack & Jack: You Don’t Know Jacks, by Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson
Social media and recording stars (and BFFs) Jack and Jack bring their whirlwind energy and delightful silly worldview to this insider’s take on their rise from regular teens to international superstars, and all the hilarious Vines, wild tales, and live performances along the way. Their first book, it includes photos illuminating the lives of the boys behind the screens.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5, B&N Exclusive Edition), by Sarah J. Maas
Aelin Galathynius has been through hell and back on her long road to discovering her rightful place: not as the king’s assassin, but as his replacement, by right of blood, on the throne. In a falling-apart world of shattered kingdoms and broken trust, she must continue her deadly march to reclaiming her kingdom, while fighting to keep the people she loves alive.

The Cabin, by Natasha Preston
Mackenzie and her friends head to an isolated cabin in the woods to blow off some steam, but a wild night of partying comes to a horrific end when two of the attendees are found murdered the next morning. Just five people are left, and without any sign of a break-in, odds are high one of them is the killer. Now it’s just a matter of finding out who’s telling the truth…and who may be biding their time before they can kill again.

Cradle and All, by James Patterson
Disasters of Biblical proportion are boiling up around the globe, from disease to drought to flood. Then one teen girl in Boston and one in Ireland—both of them virgins—discover they’re pregnant. A century-old prophecy and the investigation of a nun-turned-PI reveal the impossible: these girl, pawns in a battle between good and evil, may be carrying the Savior and his opposite, the Devil’s child. Cradle and All is a fascinating reworking of Patterson’s early novel Virgin.

Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco
Despite her sheltered upbringing, Victorian lord’s daughter Audrey feels more at home in the mortuary than the drawing room. Cutting up corpses and analyzing crime scenes is her passion, which she pursues in her uncle’s lab alongside his infuriating (and handsome) assistant Thomas. Then a string of vicious murders lures her into the heart of a criminal investigation, one she may not be able to hide from her disapproving father. Period photos enhance the textual horrors, weak stomachs be warned.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2), by Leigh Bardugo (September 27)
Spoiler alert! Don’t read on if you haven’t yet read Six of Crows.
By the end of Bardugo’s mesmerizing supernatural heist epic Six of Crows, Kaz Brekker and his crew have traveled to the very heart of anti-Grisha sentiment in pursuit of their quarry: a prisoner with impossible abilities, ripe to be weaponized. But by book’s end they learn they’ve been used by the powerful man who sent them on their mission, and in Crooked Kingdom they’re once again fighting for survival. And this time, their war is on home soil: the filthy, dangerous streets of Ketterdam, where criminal mastermind Kaz is king, and a deadly powerful drug threatens to decimate the world order.

The Graces, by Laure Eve
The Graces—Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer—are a trio alleged to be witches, the most magnetic and feared students at misfit teen River’s new school. River will do anything to insinuate herself into their world, shaping her personality in a bid for BFF-ship with the youngest, Summer Grace. But there are very dark reasons behind River’s obsession with the alluring trio, which soon become shockingly clear. I’m in major cover love with this contemporary-set fantasy.

The Hawkweed Prophecy, by Irena Brignull
In order to ensure her own daughter becomes the prophesized leader of her people, powerful witch Raven Hawkweed uses magic to switch her sister’s daughter with a human child at birth. More than 15 years later, the two girls, Ember and Poppy, finally meet. Both feel out of place in their lives—Ember living among witches but unable to cast a spell, and Poppy dogged by strange occurrences she can’t explain, as she overflows with magic she doesn’t understand—and they form a hungry friendship that brings them into tantalizing contact with the lives they should have had. As they come closer to learning the truth about themselves, the danger rises in both the magical and mundane worlds.

Swarm, by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti
Last year’s Zeroes was a downbeat take on superheroes, in a world where powers don’t make you immune to trouble, they just lead you into more of it. Among the “zeroes” were Crash, compelled to take down electronics with her mind; Scam, who has an unnatural ability to say exactly what people want to hear; Bellwether, who can harness and direct the energies of a crowd; and Flicker, a blind teen who can see through other people’s eyes. Follow-up Swarm finds the gang experimenting with their powers within the confines of an underground night club, until the arrival of two new, morally bankrupt zeroes threatens their status quo…and carries with them the threat of a malevolent hunter targeting the superpowered.

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