I want to thank The Children’s Book Review for hosting me once again and allowing me to share some books that I consider must reads for the fall. There are so many books published this season that quickly made it on my To-Be-Read list and I’ve had the opportunity to read a couple of them already. Most of the authors represented here have written books focused on relationships—friendships, romantic, and familial—and how they develop or change as the characters do.
By C.K. Kelly Martin
C.K. Kelly Martin has a way of stirring up emotions in a subtle, quiet way that you don’t even realize that it is happening until it consumes you. That is exactly what she has done with her latest novel The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing. With her story, Martin captures the experiences of a girl growing up, figuring out what she wants, and finding her voice. She explores the confusion and complexity of maturing relationships with compassion.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Dancing Cat Books | Sept. 1, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1770864115
By Selene Castrovilla
Fans of novels written in verse will appreciate this story of survival and love. It is gripping and moving and so satifying. Castrovilla has a way of bringing the reader into the scene with character. I didn’t feel like I was just reading what was happening to the characters, but I was there experiencing it with them. Melt is a book that I couldn’t stop reading until the very end. And when I did finish those last pages, all I could think was Wow, that happened. And it was powerful.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Last Syllable | Nov. 6, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0991626106
By Laurie Boyle Crompton
I want more people to know about Laurie Boyle Crompton so I am including her on a Top Five list for the second time. Her books have a social conscienceness to them and she definitely has something to say. She always gets her point across without being preachy and with lots of humor. She makes readers laugh and makes readers think at the same time. I’m drawn to Adrenaline Crush because it is about a female dare-devil, Dyna, who likes to take risks and push limits and she definitely wouldn’t be considered the social norm. I don’t know of many characters who are this brazen in contemporary YA, and I want to know what she’s all about.
Ages 12-18 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Sept. 23, 2014 | ISBN-13: 9780374300616
By Denise Jaden
Denise Jaden moved me beyond words with her previous novels Losing Faith and Never Enough. She writes dynamic stories often focusing on sibling relationships and how they affect other relationships as the characters come into their own. Foreign Exchange has two sets of siblings who have their own complicated relationships, add in some travel and a little bit of romance, and it will undoubtly make for an interesting read.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Evernight Teen | Oct. 9, 2014 | ISBN-13: 9781772330489
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Anthologies are a great way to become introduced to new authors. They are also a fantastic way to get new selections from authors that we already love. In this holiday collection, readers get some of the YA all-star authors all in one place. While the stories are set during the winter, like most holiday tales, I expect them to be timeless and can be enjoyed all year round.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin | Oct. 14, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1250059307
Joli Huynh of Actin’ Up With Books is a reader, reviewer, and gal with entirely too many books. You can find her on Twitter (@ActinUpwb) and Southern Book Bloggers where she is a regular contributor. Check out more of Joli’s picks for “Best Young Adult Books ” on The Children’s Book Review.