Chelsea Bobulski | The Children’s Book Review | August 10, 2017
When I first sat down to make a list of the top five YA books I would recommend, it ended up being so much harder than I thought it would be. It really is an amazing time in young adult literature, with so many wonderful authors crafting beautiful and unique stories. After much teeth-gnashing and soul-searching, I somehow managed to narrow it down to five (with a few bonus 2018 books I couldn’t not mention). So, without further ado, the five YA books that need to be on your radar if they aren’t already . . .
Written by Rae Carson
This book, you guys. THIS. BOOK. I knew it would be amazing before I even read the first sentence. I fell in love with Carson’s effortless storytelling a few years back when I read her GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series, so I knew this first book in her newest series wouldn’t disappoint. What I didn’t expect was that Carson, who I already thought was amazing, would up her game this much from one incredible series to another. The voice is everything you would want from a classic Western while still remaining authentic to the YA genre. Add in a cross-country adventure and an interesting fantasy twist, and you’ve got an absolutely un-put-down-able book. I could not recommend this highly enough.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 2016 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0062242921
Written by Angie Thomas
An extremely necessary and timely book that will grab you from the first page and refuse to let go. Once again, the thing that stands out the most in this book is the voice, which has a gorgeous literary quality to it that melds so seamlessly with the very important and sensitive topic Thomas so beautifully tackles. This book not only keeps you on the edge of your seat, but paints a vivid picture of the issues behind the Black Lives Matter movement in a very poignant and heart-wrenching way.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | February 28, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062498533
Written by Julie C. Dao
Dao executes this East Asian retelling of the Evil Queen legend from Snow White with effortless pacing and flawless prose. I can’t tell you the number of times I had to stop and stare at a gorgeous line of description or dialogue and bask in its perfection before I could continue reading. Whether you’re a fan of beautifully-crafted fantasies or of strong female characters treading the line between good and evil, you are not going to want to miss this utterly mesmerizing debut!
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Philomel Books | October 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1524738297
Written by Stephanie Perkins
As an extremely dedicated Stephanie Perkins fan who has read Anna and the French Kiss more times than I can count, I have been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced several years ago. A new genre for Perkins, this book is a straight-up horror novel written in the vein of classic teen-slasher movies, and while it is a total departure from the romantic comedies of her previous works, I have no doubt that Perkins’ engaging style will make this one yet another book I won’t be able to read just once (although it may force me to sleep with the lights on for a while, which I’m sure my husband will just love).
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers | September 26, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0525426011
If you’re looking for an impeccably researched pirate novel with a fantasy twist similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, then look no further than Daughter of the Pirate King. A smart, sassy, independent, and extremely capable heroine who has absolutely no need for a man to rescue her, Alosa is not only a main character to root for, she is the kind of character that I hope my daughter will someday emulate (aside from the thieving and killing and general pirating, of course). An absolute must-read.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Feiwel and Friends |2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1-250-09596-1
And for some bonus 2018 reads I can’t wait to get my hands on, there’s REIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh (an epic dark fantasy that sounds amazing, featuring a necromancing soul-retriever and super creepy zombie-like creatures called Shades, out January 23, 2018) and CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi (I was lucky enough to be a Pitch Wars mentor last year when this book basically blew everyone’s minds, and while I was not Tomi’s mentor, it was so much fun to see all of the excitement behind the scenes for this stunningly beautiful and thrilling West African fantasy. Expected release date is March 6, 2018).
So, those are my recommended reads! I hope you enjoy them!
Written by Chelsea Bobulski
Publisher’s Synopsis: An enchanted wood poisoned at the roots. A girl bound by an inherited duty. And the lost traveler from another time who might help her uncover the truth.
From debut author Chelsea Bobulski comes The Wood, a YA novel filled with dark mystery and atmospheric fantasy.
Winter didn’t ask to be the guardian of the wood, but when her dad inexplicably vanishes, she’s the one who must protect travelers who accidentally slip through the wood’s portals.
The wood is poisoned, changing into something more sinister. Once brightly colored leaves are now bubbling inky black. Vicious creatures that live in the shadows are becoming bolder, torturing lost travelers. Winter must now put her trust in Henry―a young man from eighteenth century England who knows more than he should about the wood―in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
Bobulski’s beautiful and eerie young adult debut, is a haunting tale of friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250094261
About the Author
CHELSEA BUBOLSKI is the author of THE WOOD (August 1, 2017; Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends), a thrilling YA debut in which a high school student’s father goes missing in the woods they protect and she must seek the truth about what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger. Chelsea was born in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from Ohio State University and now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, daughter and German Shepherd/Lab mix. You can visit her at chelseabobulski.com.
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