Best Fiction for Young Adults Featured Review: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

  • Spell Bound
  • by F.T. Lukens
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Release Date: April 4, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781665916226

Rook is a genius who grew up around magic, but isn’t magical. He gets a job working in the office of the famous sorceress Antonia Hex who handles magical emergencies. Rook is introduced to a big magical world including rival apprentice Sun who he begrudgingly thinks is cute despite their moody disposition. Rook realizes he must break the rules in order to become who he was always meant to be, but might bring everyone he cares about down with him.

With some excellent world building and lots of humor, Lukens brings us a feel-good story that highlights not always believing what you have been told about yourself. In this enemies to friends modern fantasy, readers will enjoy this journey of belonging and acceptance.

Any teen who likes a robust magical world or queer romance will find something to love in this novel. This book is for anyone who enjoyed Carry On by Rainbow Rowell or How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy.

-Giovanna Forsyth

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 27, 2022
October 18, 2022
January 31, 2023
November 8, 2022

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: