Dear Martin (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017) by Nic Stone is one of those oft recommended books that didn’t disappoint. It’s compelling, moving, sad, and hopeful.
Justyce McAllister is a senior at Braselton Prep and despite what his friend Manny thinks, he’s not treated equally. He found that out the hard way when helping his former girlfriend who is too drunk to drive and he gets arrested. He’s released, but the experience wakes him up to the reality of what he’s been reading in the news. And that’s just the beginning. Things are going to get worse. Much worse.
This book made me sad and mad on behalf of Justyce and young men like him. I wish everyone would read it.
Amazingly enough, this book is Nic Stone’s debut. Her newest book is Odd One Out. Read more on her website. Follow her on Twitter here.
The Belles (Freeform Books, 2018) by Dhonielle Clayton is a thought provoking and hard-to-put-down book.
Camille and five other Belles are sixteen. It’s their turn to show what they can do in the Royal Square. One will be chosen as Favorite by the Queen of Orléans. That girl will be the one taking care of the beauty for the royal family and the court for the next three years. And, of course, Camille wants to be the Favorite. The test is for each girl to take a naturally gray Orléansian and turn him/her beautiful. Who will win? More importantly, can a dreadful cycle be broken?
This story has twists and turns, shocks and scares, and ugly and beautiful.
I’m excited about the sequel called The Everlasting Rose. Read about it and Dhonielle’s other books here.
Read about the author here. Follow her on Twitter here.
If you loved Maggie Siefvater’s Scorpio Races, I think you’ll love The Wicked Deep (Simon Pulse, 2018) by Shea Ernshaw. Both books are eerie.
Two centuries ago, in the small town of Sparrow, three teen girls were drowned in the harbor for being witches. Each June since, they return and take possession of teen girls’ bodies. The locals call it the Swan season after the dead girls. And each season at least three boys will be drowned for revenge. Sometimes it is local boys and sometimes tourists.
Our main character is seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot who lives on Lumiere Island with her grief-stricken mother. A boy comes to town looking for work and Penny gets involved with him. Can she save him from the three sisters?
This books has unexpected twists and turns, flashbacks to the past, and keeps one turning the pages. I highly recommend it.
This is author Shea Ernshaw’s debut and it quickly became a NY Times Best Seller. Netflix won the screen rights to the book–I hope they make the movie! Though I might not be able to watch it alone…
Read Shea’s bio here. I’m looking forward to her next book. Read this tweet about it.
The YA novel The Fandom (Chicken House/Scholastic, 2018) by Anna Day reminds me a bit of The Inn Between for middle grade readers–things are not always what you think. It was a compelling read, too.
Seventeen-year-old Violet, two girlfriends, and her fourteen-year-old brother are at Comic-Con to meet the actors from The Gallows Dance. A strange accident transports them into the universe where the real people from the story live. Was the book (and movie) based on this universe, or birthed out of the book? They don’t know, but all their lives are in danger. Especially if they can’t get back home.
This is the author’s debut book and was first published in the UK. If you don’t want to read the whole long version “About Anna,” definitely read the last paragraph.
Don’t Get Caught (Sourcebooks Fire, 2016) by Kurt Dinan was a compelling read.
When Max gets a note from the prank pulling Chaos Club to show up at the school at 10 pm, he’s suspicious why they chose him. But since he’s tired of being “Just Max,” he shows up. Along with four others who get busted by the campus “cop” and blamed for the graffiti they found. Max and his newfound friends decide to get payback.
I loved Max’s voice, the humor, how characters changed, and the heist movie references.
You can get a bit of the author’s sense of humor by reading his bio. I hope we see more books from Kurt.