Teen Readers Share Their Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Meet the Young Adults, the B&N Teen Blog’s swat team of awesome teenaged bloggers. YA literature is a vast and wonderful landscape of books that should be read by everybody, but each month we highlight the perspective of teens reading the best of the best books written for and about them. Check back monthly to see what they’re recommending next, and read previous installments here.

Today the Young Adults are sharing the book they most anticipate reading in 2018.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner, by Lianne Oelke (January 9)
I shelved Oelke’s debut on my to-read list back in August, and I’ve been excited for its release ever since. The film industry is such a fascinating but mysterious field; I‘m interested to see how Jane Sinner will depict it. From its synopsis, I’m expecting the novel to be a hilarious but honest depiction of human behavior. Using the limited knowledge she has about psychology, seventeen-year-old Jane attempts to build a fanbase in order to win House of Orange, a Big Brother–style reality show featuring students from Elbow River Community College. Since the novel is narrated through Jane’s diary entries, I’m excited to learn how the show is structured from the perspective of a contestant. I can’t wait to delve into the complex relationships Jane forms with other members of the house as they all fight for the grand prize: a used car. With such a unique premise, Jane promises plenty of humor, loads of drama, and an intriguing exploration into the competitive nature of adolescents.

Nicole S., 16, a writer with a passion for biology. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and playing the ukulele.

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert (January 30)
Seventeen-year-old Alice has spent her whole life running. She and her mother, Ella, hop from place to place, never staying anywhere too long for fear of the bad luck that seems to follow at their heels. After the death of Alice’s grandmother, the mysterious author of Tales From The Hinterland, Ella is convinced their luck has finally changed. But as soon as they settle down things take a turn for the worst. Ella is kidnapped by a menacing group of individuals that seem to have stepped straight from the dark pages of the Tales. In order to save her mother, Alice must travel to her grandmother’s estate, the Hazel Wood, and uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past.

My most anticipated book of 2018 is actually one I’ve already had the privilege of reading. Even before Melissa Albert was nice enough to send me an ARC, I was looking forward to reading her YA fantasy, The Hazel Wood, and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. I pretty much devoured this dark, fairy tale–inspired book in a day. Luckily, you won’t have to wait very long to read it, since it comes out at the end of the month. Its a beautifully written book, and I firmly believe it should be at the top of any fantasy lover’s list.

–Evalyn H., 16, loves scented candles, Broadway musicals, and strong female characters. She can usually be found hoarding books, struggling with character development, or daydreaming about having a pet dragon.

The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (February 6)
My most anticipated book of 2018 is The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton. It’s a book I had the pleasure of reading early, and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. It is as opulent and lush as its cover. The story takes place in the world of Orleans, where everyone but a select few are born gray and must rely on the Belles to make them look beautiful. Camellia is a Belle whose dream is to be the Favorite, the one who serves the Royal Family themselves, the highest honor a Belle can receive. But as Camellia discovers, not everything in Orleans is as beautiful as it’s made out to be.I am so excited for this book to come out and captivate everyone else like it did with me. This book is special and amazing: please check it on February 6 from Disney/Hyperion Books.

–Tatiana J. is a teenaged reader who always carries a book around and constantly has her headphones in. She is also intersectional feminist who spends her time uplifting black and brown women. She also spends way too much time listening to KPop and playing video games.

Obsidio (Illuminae #3), by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (March 13)
The book I am most excited to read in 2018 is Obsidio, a book that means a lot to me. I began reading the Illuminae series back in 2016, on a whim. I noticed the cover, flipped through the pages and noted the odd format, and checked it out without reading what it was about.
Normally, I don’t like sci-fi, but I made an exception for Illuminae, with its well-crafted world full of clever, relatable characters, beautiful descriptions, and wickedly cool formatting that makes the whole thing even more exciting. Every printed-out email and censored chat log makes you feel like you’re reading something secret, illicit, and just a little scary. The audiobook, too, is a masterpiece: over thirty voices join to tell the story, shouting at some points and whispering at others, with a faint heartbeat in the background during the tensest moments, so you feel like you’re experiencing everything, too.
I shared it with my mother, and she she absolutely adored it. We gave copies to my grandfather and aunt to read, and they loved it, too. It became a talking point for us whenever we got together. Now, as the third book in the series comes out in March, I’m absolutely ecstatic. At this point, it’s a family bonding tool as well as a story.

Jamie R., 14, is an avid reader, writer, and Broadway fan. She can often be found reading, singing, or memorizing lines, though usually the first two are done when she should be doing the third.

Obsidio (Illuminae #3), by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Let me preface this review with the fact that I read both Illuminae and Gemina on audiobook and my love for the series stems heavily from the sheer amazingness of the audiobooks. It’s honestly like watching a movie without the visuals, and though I do wonder whether I’m missing some of the joy of reading the series’ incredibly unique formatting, I love the audiobooks so much and will definitely be reading Obsidio on audio, too. Each book os narrated by an ensemble cast with no repeat voices (even the artificial intelligences get their own voices), and the sound effects make you feel like you’re actually floating through space, really adding to the audio’s vividness and production value. That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to finding out what happens now that everyone in the series is truly stranded in the middle of space. There’s a level of thrill and horror this series has that seriously puts me on edge while reading it, but that’s part of what draws me in: there’s something about reading a book that can make you feel viscerally that you can’t help but keep going. I’ve been so impressed by the series thus far, and I can’t wait for this concluding book to come out in 2018!

–Kelvin L., 17, is a figure skater and audiobook lover and thinks teleportation is the most useful superpower. He is definitively a Ravenclaw, a water type Moroi (who secretly wants to be fire type), and an Erudite; he cannot see Hollowgasts and would 100% not survive the Hunger Games.

Not If I Save You First, by Ally Carter (March 27)
Carter’s book has topped my list of anticipated 2018 books since it was first announced. Her other works, including the Heist Society and Embassy Row series, are some of my favorite YA reads, so I’m especially excited for this new release. She often writes characters in unconventional circumstances—thieves, spies, princesses—and Maddie from Not If I Save You First is the daughter of a Secret Service agent and friend to the president’s son. Strong female characters are in high demand, and Carter’s new book promises not just a badass young woman, but one who can brave the Alaskan wilderness (sans phone!). I’m ecstatic for the mix of mystery, adventure, and romance this book is sure to deliver, and even more so for the opportunity to be immersed in another one of Carter’s exciting worlds.

Naomi N. is a book-loving and sleep-lacking 16-year-old who can’t quite seem to find enough hours in the day and might need an additional bookshelf in the near future.  

Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (April 3)
In the summer of 1863, Jane McKeene begins her walk on this earth. Two days later, so do the dead. With the Civil War derailed in favor of protecting the living against the hordes of corpses who refuse to stay buried, a teenaged Jane is sent to Baltimore to learn how to wage war against the undead, and to carve out a better life for herself as a society girl. But Jane has her own plans for her future, and they involve neither politics nor soirées. Then people in Baltimore start going missing, and the hunt for the truth will be costlier than anyone wants to admit.

–Assaf T., 17, likes his books very interesting and very heavy, because exercise isn’t as fun but is still important.

Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (April 10)
After Loving Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares and its sequel, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, there is literally nothing Cohn and Levithan can produce that I won’t absolutely love. Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah, coming out in April, is releasing just in time for graduation season, and while I’m not graduating, I think this book could be a great gift for my friend who is. I loved Cohn’s book Kill All Happies, which came out last year and was also a book about having one last moment of glory before leaving high school behind. If this book is anything like the that one, I’m in for one hell of an exciting ride, and I can’t wait for it.

–Kaitlin D., 16, self-proclaimed bibliophile, hardcore selfie taker, and lover of the oxford comma. Secretly a superhero. May have taken a bite out of the moon. Current status: Trapped in a romance novel. 

My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (June 26)
In 2016 I laughed my head off at the Lady Janies’ My Lady Jane, a quirky faux-history about Miss Lady Jane Grey, a young woman whose life and claim to power were both short-lived: she held the British throne for a total of nine days before her execution by the beheading-happy Queen Mary. The novel included patriarchy smashing, flirtation-technique making, and a man who spent half his days as a horse—so needless to say I was ecstatic when I heard this trio was bequeathing us another funny masterpiece. My Plain Jane follows not-so-little orphan Jane Eyre through her adventures at Thornfield Hall and, as usual, our Lady Janies don’t have just any old retelling in store for us. No, this take on the classic boasts of ghosts and Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë as a main character, and, if it’s anything like its predecessor, I know the storytelling will be wonderfully wacky and as charming. This book will be anything but Plain, and I can’t wait to read it in 2018.

–Maddie M.’s favorite Jane would have to be Jane Austen. Other favorites of hers include hot chocolate (she’s not much of a coffee person), Hermione Granger, and the color pink.

Vengeful, by V.E. Schwab (September 25)
This may be the only book on this list that has no cover and no blurb and is still being written. But none of that matters at all, because the book is also written by my all-time favorite author and is the sequel to my all-time favorite book. Vengeful, the sequel to Vicious—the most perfect book ever written—is the follow-up I never knew I wanted. I’ve always been satisfied with Vicious as a standalone, but the news that there’s more to Victor Vale’s story was the best announcement ever. So far, all we’ve got is a title, but that’s enough for me to start speculating. Whose vengeance is this? Victor’s? Eli’s? And yes for the V alliteration!!! Oh, and is Victoria finally going to do something about the tension between the two enemies? So many questions. Oh, I just can’t wait.

–Mishma N., die-hard fan of Victoria Schwab, lover of villains and antiheroes, old movies and a capella covers, dreams of working in publishing and opening a bookstore in the future.

What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (October 2)
This book is written by two of my favorite authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Need I say more?
Okay, I will say more. These two are known for having opposing storytelling styles: Albertalli makes you smile and laugh, Silvera makes you smile and cry. It’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic works out in this cowritten story. They’re also best friends, and that definitely means something beautiful will happen. Even if it rips my heart out.

–I’m Wren L., your friend who likes anime and books. I’m a word nerd, a language lover. I’m a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction. My favorite authors are V.E. Schwab, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, and Leigh Bardugo. I’m a graphic designer who is still learning about graphics. But my favorite color scheme consists of anything and everything pastel. It’s so soothing.

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