Fall 2018’s Can’t-Miss Young Adult Books

Fall 2018’s Can’t-Miss Young Adult Books

Clear room on your TBR shelves, readers. We’ve rounded up 12 of fall’s must-read young adult books, and you’ll want to read them all. Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera are treating us to a love story set in New York City, Tahereh Mafi is back with a powerful tale about Islamophobia in the wake of 9/11, and Ngozi Ukazu is making her debut with a graphic novel about love, pies, and hockey. Fall won’t last forever, so get cozy and get reading.

Craving some fantasy and sci-fi YA books as well? We’ve got you covered right here.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sisters Sadie and Mattie never knew what it was like to live in a stable home. Their drug-addicted mother brought men in and out of the house throughout their childhood until one day she left, and the girls had to fend for themselves. As the older of the two, Sadie does everything she can to care for her younger sister, but her hopes for a brighter future for them both are shattered when Mattie is murdered. Dissatisfied with the police’s handling of her sister’s case, Sadie resolves to do whatever it takes to find Mattie’s killer. When a neighbor notices that Sadie has gone missing, she contacts radio reporter West McCray, who begins to share Sadie’s story and the hunt for her on his podcast The Girls. After finishing this gripping novel, readers can continue to learn more about Sadie through the book’s companion seven-episode podcast The Girls: Find Sadie.

On shelves: September 4

Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

If you like Beyoncé, pies, or hockey, this graphic novel is for you. Meet Eric Bittle (aka Bitty), a freshman at Samwell University who is vlogging his first-year adventures in hockey and baking. Bitty played hockey in high school, but his old team forbid checking (for any hockey newbies, that’s physical contact). He’s terrified of being hit, to the point where it starts to affect his performance on the ice. When the team captain, blue-eyed hunk Jack Zimmerman, steps into help, Bitty starts to fall for him. Ngozi Ukazu’s debut (the first in a series) started as a popular online comic and quickly gained readers around the world. Fans new and old are sure to fall in love with this funny and heartwarming tale about friendship, overcoming fears, and being yourself.

On shelves: September 18

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi’s latest novel is a contemporary retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Haitian-Dominican Zuri Benitez is tired of seeing her home gentrified with pricey renovated houses. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, her four sisters are attracted to the two Darcy brothers, but Zuri declares that she wants nothing to do with them. It’s only when she meets Darius Darcy at an open mic night that she begins to wonder if she judged him too quickly. It is a truth universally acknowledged that this book should be on your TBR pile.

On shelves: September 18

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Annabelle Agnelli is going for a run. This is no ordinary jog around the block. She’s preparing to run nearly 3,000 miles from Seattle to Washington, D.C. It all begins with a man in a parking lot. He gives her a lewd look that sends her running for eleven miles and it sparks the idea that perhaps she can run longer and farther to escape the trauma she experienced the year before at the hands of a person she refers to as The Taker. Annabelle isn’t alone in her journey (her grandfather is following along in an RV, and her brother is sharing her story with the country through a GoFundMe page), but only she can find a way forward past her guilt and grief. Deb Caletti’s novel explores the expectations put on women, the dangers they face, and the damage that society does when it blames women for the violence done to them.

On shelves: September 18

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

This fall Kiersten White returns with a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Elizabeth Lavenza’s life changes when she leaves her abusive caretaker and joins the Frankenstein family as a companion for young Victor. In exchange for calming his violent moods and helping him learn to socialize with people his own age, Elizabeth is given a bed, food, and clothing—luxuries she once only dreamed of. But when Victor leaves to pursue his studies and stops contacting his family, Elizabeth fears that she may be thrown out on the streets once more. She leaves in search of Victor, unprepared for what she’ll discover when she finds him. Fans of the original tale will devour this spine-tingling novel.

On shelves: September 25

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of our favorite YA novels of 2017, and we’ve been counting down the days until we could reunite with the ever clever Felicity Montague. A supporting character in Gentleman, Felicity stands front and center in this companion novel where she fights to pursue her passion for studying medicine. A year after a dramatic Grand Tour with her brother and his beau Percy, Felicity is preparing to embark on another adventure. This time she’s traveling to Germany to meet with Dr. Alexander Platt and apply to be his research assistant. There are only two problems: First, he’s preparing to marry Felicity’s former close friend Johanna. Second, Felicity doesn’t have the funds for the trip. Help arrives in the form of Sim, an Algerian Muslim woman who offers to pay for the trip if she can come along. Felicity is sure that Sim is hiding something, but she agrees and the two set off on a journey they’ll never forget.

On shelves: October 2

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Dry transports readers to a near-future America in the middle of a drought, known as the Tap-Out. The situation becomes more dire when when California’s water supply runs out. Without an end in sight, citizens become desperate. Panic rises and society quickly begins to crumble. Alyssa and Garrett’s parents disappeared after leaving to find water, and the two siblings decide to brave the dangerous world outside to find them with the help of their survivalist neighbor. Father and son duo Neal and Jarrod Shusterman deliver a harrowing thriller that feels all too possible.

On shelves: October 2

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Beloved YA authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera teamed up to create a heartwarming novel about summer love in New York City. Ben, a NYC native, is at the post office mailing off a box of his ex-boyfriend’s belongings when he runs into Arthur, a Southern boy spending his summer in the city. They part ways without exchanging numbers, but the universe ensures that these two find each other again and get a second chance at a romance worthy of the Broadway shows Arthur loves so much. With the combined power of two authors who have proven their mastery over our emotions in the past, this is certain to be one of the best books of the season.

On shelves: October 9

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Dear Martin author Nic Stone is back with a contemporary tale of love, gender, race, sexuality, and friendship. The book is split between three perspectives: Coop, who is in love with his neighbor and best friend Jupiter; Jupiter, who likes girls but finds herself rethinking her identity; and Rae, the new girl in town who befriends the two and finds herself attracted to them both. Each character goes on their own journey to discover who they are, exploring the complexities of personal identity and combating the pressure to fit into a clearly defined label. This is a relatable and timely novel about how messy, confusing, and wonderful self-discovery can be.

On shelves: October 9

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Readers, the 13-year wait is over. This fall Markus Zusak is delivering his first novel since The Book Thief. Bridge of Clay follows the five Dunbar brothers as they care for each other in the wake of their mother’s death and father’s abandonment. Years later, when their father returns and asks for help building a bridge, Clay is the only Dunbar boy to agree. Told in a series of present-day chapters and flashbacks, this generational tale is narrated by Matthew, the oldest brother. As an adult with a wife and two kids, he tells the family story on the old typewriter that his father once buried in the backyard. Fans of Zusak and stories about family legacy will not want to miss this one.

On shelves: October 9

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

This contemporary novel from Tahereh Mafi is a heartbreaking exploration of life in America for a Muslim girl in the wake of 9/11. Sixteen-year-old Shirin uses her love of music to escape from the hate she receives every day. When others stereotype her based on the color of her skin or the hijab that she wears, she keeps her frustrations inside and later dances them out with her brother. She’s used to keeping the world at arm’s length so that she doesn’t get hurt. When she meets Ocean James, she’s wary of his kindness and his interest in getting to know her. But little by little, she begins to let him in. This highly anticipated release delivers a satisfying love story while also combating prejudices and ignorance.

On shelves: October 16

Pulp by Robin Talley

Robin Talley’s latest novel uses 1950s lesbian pulp fiction to connect two girls living 62 years apart. In 1955, Janet Jones is living in Washington DC and keeping her relationship with her best friend Marie a secret. The discovery of novels about women loving other women sparks a passion for writing that Janet didn’t know she possessed. As she devours book after book, she begins to dream of writing her own. In 2017, high school senior Abby Zimet finds the novels of a woman who used the pseudonym Marian Love while working on a school project. Abby connects with Love’s books in a way that she hasn’t with any other author’s, and she decides to uncover the author’s real identity.

On shelves: November 13

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