Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen

  • A Door in the Dark
  • by Scott Reintgen
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Release date: March 28, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781665918688

Working class wizard, Ren Monroe, does her best at Balmerick University to prove her magic prowess so she can be recruited for a career in one of the major houses. When a portal spell malfunctions, she is transported with five other students to dangerous wilderness days from home, and must survive with her unlikely companions who are telling lies and keeping secrets.

A Door in the Dark is action-packed, with a “don’t trust anyone” vibe that makes for a suspenseful, engaging read. Ren is a well-developed main character, with a unique voice and her own motivations that create new twists as the stories of her companions are slowly revealed.

This title is perfect for teen readers who want accessible fantasy where worldbuilding is peppered in while the action is already going.  Readers who enjoy thrillers like One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus will appreciate this adventure full of backstabbing and lies, with plenty of magic and monster fighting as well. A large cast of relatable, vibrant characters will appeal to fans of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

-Emily Williams

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: