As a voracious reader, especially of YA literature, I have many favorites to recommend! 💜 The linked lists constitute all the books I’ve enjoyed most within the past five years. For each entry, I’ve listed the title, the author, and my short blurb of the story.
(Some entries have been removed due to the hurtful behavior of the respective authors.)
2022 New Additions
MAY 2022: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum: This teen contemporary novel is a dark, unstable portrayal of a codependent relationship between two teens struggling with mental illness, internalized heteronormativity, and exhaustive neglect.
APRIL 2022: Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson: This contemporary teen thriller is a strong, chilling depiction of the various influences that enable abusive and predatory men both in and beyond Hollywood.
APRIL 2022: The Red Palace by June Hur: A blood-soaked teen historical thriller set in 1758 Korea amidst a time of brutal, power-supported injustice–but with some of love’s beauty still shining through.
APRIL 2022: Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams: A thoughtful, eerie teen ghost story set in 1953 that explores the violent horrors of whiteness enacted upon an interracial family.
APRIL 2022: Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian: This teen fantasy series starter has a lot of what I enjoy: magic, romance, political intrigue, family drama.
MARCH 2022: Skyhunter by Marie Lu: An unnerving teen dystopian science fiction series starter that confronts the brutality of imperialism and the struggle of refugees.
MARCH 2022: Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan: A vibrantly original teen apocalyptic sci-fi duology with a half-Native Hawai’ian main character whose epilepsy proves to have epic repercussions.
MARCH 2022: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus: A clever and relevant teen thriller that uses different perspectives to reveal the deadly interweaving of human drama.
MARCH 2022: Camelot Rising by Kiersten White: A thoughtfully built, female-centered teen fantasy trilogy that breathes new life into Arthurian legend as it explores the complexities of identity and duty in the personal, interpersonal, and societal spheres.
MARCH 2022: Gilded by Marissa Meyer: A fiercely beautiful teen fantasy series starter that reinvents “Rumpelstiltskin” and “Beauty and the Beast” through a storyteller’s dark interweaving of ghosts, gods, and Fae.
FEBRUARY 2022: The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta: This teen contemporary fantasy novel is such a soft, beautiful story of queer love, identity, and emotion that I want to cry. ❤
FEBRUARY 2022: Little Thieves by Margaret Owen: This fairytale of a teen fantasy novel, inspired by “The Goose Girl,” is indeed perfect for “the gremlin girls”–and anyone else who has been abused, unloved, or unheard. Gorgeous. Chaotic. Heartrending.
JANUARY 2022: Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass: This teen thriller is the most honest depiction I’ve read of the generational waves of devastation created by queermisia.
JANUARY 2022: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin: A sumptuous, irreverent teen fantasy series starter about religious corruption and prejudice.
JANUARY 2022: The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley: A delightful romantic contemporary novel about the wild vibrancy of the arts, (sapphic) teen love, and superstition.
JANUARY 2022: Forgotten Gods by Marie Rutkoski: A sapphic teen fantasy duology written in beautiful prose that reveals a land touched by strange gods and full of horrible lies and terrible memories.
JANUARY 2022: Kingdom of Cards by Janella Angeles: A vibrant, fantastical teen duology spectacle inspired by The Phantom of the Opera that’s full of a beautiful and terrible darkness.
JANUARY 2022: All These Bodies by Kendare Blake: A terse, uneasy teen horror novel set in 1958 that wavers between reality and fantasy in its exploration of death, abuse, and guilt.
JANUARY 2022: I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee: This teen contemporary romance novel about K-pop and body image and including a difficult mother-daughter relationship is super fun and beautifully unapologetic!