Your Next YA Book Club Pick
These poignant and powerful novels are the perfect way spark discussion with your teen readers.
Chaos Theory By Nic Stone
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with a diagnosed mental disorder and a politician's son who is running from his own addiction and grief. Don't miss this gut punch of a novel about mental health, loss, and discovering you are worthy of love.
Scars exist to remind us of what we’ve survived.
Since Shelbi enrolled at Windward Academy as a senior and won’t be there very long, she hasn’t bothered making friends. What her classmates don’t know about her can’t be used to hurt her—you know, like it did at her last school.
Andy Criddle is not okay. At all.
He’s had far too much to drink.
Again. Which is bad.
And things are about to get worse.
When Shelbi sees Andy at his lowest, she can relate. So she doesn’t resist reaching out. And there’s no doubt their connection has them both seeing stars . . . but the closer they get, the more the past threatens to pull their universes apart.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone delivers a tour de force about living with grief, prioritizing mental health, and finding love amid the chaos.
Friday I'm in Love By Camryn Garrett
It's too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if Mahalia had a coming-out party? A love letter to romantic comedies, sweet sixteen blowouts, Black joy, and queer pride.
“A perfect ode to romantic comedies, wrapped in a dazzling rainbow dress.” —Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Five Feet Apart and She Gets the Girl
Mahalia Harris wants.
She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying—about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.
Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.
The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?
A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.
“Mahalia’s story lives, breathes and glows. I’m in love with it every day of the week!” —Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda
Dear Medusa By Olivia A. Cole
This searing and intimate novel in verse follows a sixteen-year-old girl coping with sexual abuse as she grapples with how to reclaim her story, her anger, and her body in a world that seems determined to punish her for the sin of surviving.
"This is more than a story about sexual violence—this book is about race, sexuality, love, and how anger can be a catalyst for healing."
—Gabrielle Union, bestselling author, actress, and producer
Sixteen-year-old Alicia Rivers has a reputation that precedes her. But there’s more to her story than the whispers that follow her throughout the hallways at school—whispers that splinter into a million different insults that really mean: a girl who has had sex. But what her classmates don't know is that Alicia was sexually abused by a popular teacher, and that trauma has rewritten every cell in her body into someone she doesn't recognize. To the world around her, she’s been cast, like the mythical Medusa, as not the victim but the monster of her own story: the slut who asked for it.
Alicia was abandoned by her best friend, quit the track team, and now spends her days in detention feeling isolated and invisible. When mysterious letters left in her locker hint at another victim, Alicia struggles to keep up the walls she's built around her trauma. At the same time, her growing attraction to a new girl in school makes her question what those walls are really keeping out.
"[This] fierce and brightly burning feminist roar…paints a devastating and haunting portrait of a vulnerable young woman discovering the power of her voice, her courage, and her rage." —Samira Ahmed, New York Times bestselling author of Internment and Hollow Fires
Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim By Patricia Park
A multicultural teen struggles to fit into her elite prep school, her diverse Queens neighborhood, and even her own home. A hilarious, poignant, and powerful YA novel from the award-winning author of Re Jane.
“Simply brilliant!” —David Yoon, New York Times best-selling author of FRANKLY IN LOVE
“Scathingly funny.” —Gayle Forman, New York Times best-selling author of IF I STAY
Alejandra Kim feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere.
Not at home, where Ale faces tense silence from Ma since Papi’s passing. Not in Jackson Heights, where she isn’t considered Latinx enough and is seen as too PC for her own good. Certainly not at her Manhattan prep school, where her predominantly white classmates pride themselves on being “woke”. She only has to survive her senior year before she can escape to the prestigious Whyder College, if she can get in. Maybe there, Ale will finally find a place to call her own.
The only problem with laying low— a microaggression thrusts Ale into the spotlight and into the middle of a discussion she didn’t ask for. But her usual keeping her head down tactic isn’t going to make this go away. With her signature wit and snark, Ale faces what she’s been hiding from. In the process, she might discover what it truly means to carve out a space for yourself to belong.
Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim is an incisive, laugh-out-loud, provocative read about feeling like a misfit caught between very different worlds, what it means to be belong, and what it takes to build a future for yourself.
Nubia: The Awakening By Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes
From beloved actor and producer Omar Epps and writer Clarence A. Haynes comes the biggest epic fantasy of the year. A powerful saga of three teens, the children of refugees from a fallen African utopia, who must navigate their newfound powers in a climate-ravaged New York City. Perfect for fans of Black Panther and Children of Blood and Bone.
For Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, Nubia is a mystery. Before they were born, a massive storm destroyed their ancestral homeland, forcing their families to flee across the ocean to New York City. Nubia, a utopic island nation off the coast of West Africa, was no more, and their parents’ sorrow was too deep for them to share much of their history beyond the folklore.
But New York, ravaged by climate change and class division, is far from a safe haven for refugees, and Nubians live as outcasts, struggling to survive in the constantly flooding lower half of Manhattan, while the rich thrive in the tech-driven sky city known as the Up High.
To many, being Nubian means you’re fated for a life plagued by difficulties and disrespect. But Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are beginning to feel there might be more. Something within them is changing, giving each of them extraordinary powers. Extraordinary and terrifying powers that seem to be tied to the secrets their parents have kept from them.
And there are people Up High watching, eager to do anything they can to become even more powerful than they already are. Now Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho will be faced with the choice—do they use their inheritance to lift their people, or to leave them behind. The fate of their city, and their people, hangs in the balance.