5 Young Adult Novels Recommended by a YA Author
Brigid Kemmerer | The Children’s Book Review | April 18, 2017
Oh my goodness, this is such a hard post to write! I have to narrow my list of favorite YA novels down to five? It’s like picking a favorite child! Okay, here goes, in no particular order:
Written by Sabaa Tahir
I loved this book so much. The story follows Laia, a girl who infiltrates a military school to save her brother, by pretending to be a slave, and Elias Veturius, the school’s most talented student, who secretly wants nothing to do with violence. I love fantasy with political intrigue and well-drawn characters and many layers of plotting and story. Basically, I love complexity in anything I read. I also love big, buff guys who know how to swing a sword, and Elias Veturius (*swoon*) sure did deliver.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Razorbill | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1595148032
Written by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Huntley Fitzpatrick has an amazing talent for creating characters that seem to peel back like an onion: layer after layer after layer. This book follows Tim, a boy who’s screwed up at so many things in his life but he’s trying to get himself back together—only to have one huge screw up show up on his doorstep. This book made me laugh out loud numerous times—and cry just as many. I loved Tim and Alice. I loved the choices they both faced, and the decisions they were forced to make. When it came to a final reveal about Tim, I honestly couldn’t decide which way I wanted the story to go. It was so hard! I loved taking this emotional journey with them.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: Speak | 2016 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0147513076
Written by Bill Konigsberg
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Another one that made me laugh out loud—and also cry. Openly Straight is the story of Rafe, a boy who was openly gay in his high school, to the point where he began to feel like the “gay mascot.” When he goes away to an all-boys boarding school, he doesn’t go back in the closet—but he doesn’t tell anyone about his sexual orientation, either. It’s not a big deal until he starts to fall for one of his classmates… I loved how this book explored Rafe’s decisions, and I thought it was really fun to read a book that wasn’t about coming out, but more about discovering who you are.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books | 2015 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-05457986554
Written by Alex Flinn
This is a contemporary/fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, set in New York City, and I’ve read it at least a dozen times. I love the whole book. Everything about it. There’s something just so compellingly charming about how it all unfolds. I don’t want to give too much away, but it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: HarperTeen | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0060874162
Written by Veronica Rossi
I loved this book so hard. It’s dystopian fantasy, where a spoiled rich girl named Aria is cast out of her protective bubble society, where she finds herself stuck with Perry, a somewhat feral boy from a vicious outsider tribe. I loved the detail of Rossi’s world in this book, and this is a story that’s stuck with me for years. It’s definitely one I recommend often. I love the characters.
Ages 14 and up | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0062072047
As I was creating this list, I had such a hard time picking these books as my favorites, because there were so many more I wanted to include! (The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper, Easy by Tammara Webber, etc etc) I could go on all day!
What are some of your favorites?
Written by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher’s Synopsis: Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | April 4, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1681190082
About the Author
BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons. You can visit her at www.brigidkemmerer.com
This article, 5 Young Adult Novels Recommended by a YA Author, was written by Brigid Kemmerer, the author of “Letters to the Lost.” Discover more article and books by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Best YA, Brigid Kemmerer, and Young Adult Fiction.