Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Or at least that is what Skye Shin has been told her entire life. But Skye loves to dance and, frankly, she’s really good at it. So when Skye nails her audition to compete in an International K-Pop competition she vows to prove to everyone that her body doesn’t define her talent.
As a competitor, Skye must face fatphobic judges, contestants, and social media trolls, while navigating her complicated home life, newfound fame, and the famous Henry Cho.
This book primarily addresses fatphobia and body shaming while deftly navigating discussions of online bullying and emotional abuse. Skye’s bisexuality is a definite topic of discussion throughout the book but it is not the main focus. This book is ultimately a celebration of loving yourself the way you are when the world is telling you that you shouldn’t.
I’ll Be the One is perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Puddin’ and Claire Kann’s If It Makes You Happy. For the K-Pop fans, pair it with Somewhere Only We Know by Maureen Goo.
All These Monsters by Amy Tintera
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
The world has been ravaged by scrabs – monsters that erupt from the earth and attack anything in sight. Europe has it worst, so when seventeen-year-old Clara is given a chance to train to fight monsters by a Zuckerberg-like tech titan, she takes her shot. However, the reality of daily hand-to-hand fighting and death among her colleagues soon makes her a weary veteran. When her beleaguered squad is threatened by a conspiracy, they discover that humans can be the worst monsters of all.
A breezy, easy to read style takes us overseas with Clara, as she naively approaches her first fighting action. Social media and publicity are critical to her bosses and those around her, as they gain fame online for their exploits. Tintera has a gift for making fight scenes evocative and immediate.
A movie-based corollary for All These Monsters is Live, Die, Repeat with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Fans will also recognize aspects of Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave book trilogy, particularly the sense of desperation and weariness at constantly being under attack.