2024 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Nominees

The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for whatever reason. The list selects both fiction and nonfiction. Click on the title or image of each book to be taken to the blog post featuring a review, or browse all blog posts here. You can see previous lists on the YALSA website and on the Teen Book Finder app.

Blogging Team

Coordinator, Jessica Lorentz Smith, Rachel Adams, Sarah Carnahan, Cathy DeCampli, Mike Fleming, Katie Guzan, Katrina Henderson, Emma K. McNamara, Julianne Novetsky, Warren Public Library, Warren, Michigan;  Lorraine Roussin, Luna Middle School, San Antonio, Texas; and Molly Sprague-Rice, Springfield-Greene County Library, Springfield, Missouri.

Top Ten

  • A First Time for Everything
  • By Dan Santat
  • February 28, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • First Second, $22.99
  • 9781626724150
  • Grades: 6-8
  • Dan Santat’s graphic novel memoir takes readers along with him on a 3-week cultural exchange trip to Europe during the summer before high school. Heartfelt, funny, and beautifully illustrated, Santat shares what it takes to open up to a series of incredible firsts and create memories that last a lifetime.
  • Breakup from Hell
  • By Ann Davila Cardinal
  • January 3, 2023
  • Length: 304p
  • Harperteen, $18.99
  • 9780063045309
  • Grades: 8-12.
  • Mica and her best friends must battle Hell’s legions and her ex-boyfriend if they want to save their town and possibly the world.
  • The Do-Over
  • By Lynn Painter
  • November 15, 2022
  • Length: 304 p.
  • Simon Pulse, $19.99
  • 9781534478862
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Emilie finds herself trapped in Valentine’s Day, reliving the day over and over. Though she attempts to alter her course, she keeps colliding with Nick, her science lab partner. Nick helps Emilie realize that just because she and her boyfriend Josh look good together on paper, planning to interfere with fate never works out. 
  • Five Survive
  • By Holly Jackson
  • November 29, 2022
  • Length: 388 p.
  • Delacorte Press, $19.99
  • 9780593374160
  • Grades: 9-12
  • An RV with six teenage friends breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Someone starts shooting at the RV demanding that the one with the secret come out. Trapped inside, the friends are now forced to share their secrets or die in the RV. 
  • Missing Clarissa
  • By Ripley Jones
  • March 7, 2023
  • Length: 244 p.
  • Wednesday Books, $18.99
  • 9781250801968
  • Grades: 9-12
  • High school juniors Blair and Cameron create a podcast about a popular cheerleader named Clarissa who disappeared from their town twenty years prior. But what starts as a school project could have some very serious consequences in the present. 
  • Promise Boys
  • By Nick Brooks
  • January 31, 2023
  • Length: 304 p.
  • Henry Holt and Company, $19.99
  • 9781250866974
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Urban Promise Prep is respected for helping young men succeed. When Principal Moore is found dead in his office, the three boys in detention are the only suspects – Trey, J.B., and Ramon. Each had reasons to hate Principal Moore and now must work together to prove their innocence.
  • Royal Blood
  • By Aimee Carter
  • March 7, 2023
  • Length: 364 p.
  • Delacorte Press, $18.99
  • 9780593485897
  • Grades: 7-12.
  • Evan’s life is shattered when the world discovers that she’s the King of England’s secret daughter and a suspect in a murder investigation.
  • Sun Keep Rising
  • By Kristen Lee
  • January 24, 2023
  • Length: 229 p.
  • Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99
  • 9780593309193
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Teen mom B’onca has always found a way to survive. But when her Memphis neighborhood becomes gentrified B’onca and her sister get an eviction notice. B’onca can’t lose her home or baby. Pushed into a corner, B’onca decides to take a risk to get quick money, putting everything in jeopardy. 
  • Thieves’ Gambit
  • By Kayvion Lewis
  • September 26, 2023
  • Length: 384 p.
  • Nancy Paulsen Books, $19.99
  • 9780593625361
  • Grades: 8-12.
  • Ross must compete in the Thieves’ Gambit, an international competition consisting of different heists, in the hopes that she might win so that she can have a wish granted. 
  • The Truth About Everything
  • By Bridget Farr
  • October 11, 2022
  • Length: 288 p.
  • Flux, $19.99
  • 9781635830804
  • Grades: 8-12
  • Lark’s conspiracy-theorist parents refuse to allow her to attend school so she secretly enrolls herself.

Nominees

  • 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers. By Adam Sass. 2022. 344p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593464786). Gr. 9-12. Micah Summers is on a quest to find the boyfriend of his dreams. A chance encounter with a lost jacket, and Micah must search all over Chicago for his prince. Micah and his friends search for the mysterious boy, but will Micah have his happily ever after?
  • Aces Wild. By Amanda Dewitt. 2022. 352p. Peachtree Teen, $17.99 (9781682634660). Gr. 8-12. When Jack’s family legacy of running a casino is jeopardized with his mother’s arrest, he and his friends must come together in Vegas to get to the bottom of why she is in jail and who is to blame.
  • All the Fighting Parts. By Hannah Sawyerr. 2023. 400p. Harry N. Abrams, $19.99 (9781419762611). Gr. 9-12. After an assault by a beloved community member, Amina finds a way to find her voice and herself by confronting her abuse after he is accused of another crime.
  • At the Speed of Lies. By Cindy Otis. 2023. 368p. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (9781338806762). Gr. 9-12. High school junior Quinn Calvet gets caught up in the disappearance of kids in a nearby town, soon beginning to suspect more to the story than anyone understands, and it is up to her to figure out what’s going on.
  • The Black Queen. By Jumata Emill. 2023. 400p. Delacorte Press, $18.99 (9780593568545). Gr. 8-12. When the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High is found dead the night of her coronation, her best friend Duchess suspects Tinsley, a white girl who lost. But as more clues are revealed the two girls end up working together to find the real killer.
  • Borrow My Heart. By Kasie West. 2023. 320p. Delacorte Press, $12.99 (9780593643259). Gr. 7-12. Sitting in a coffee shop where her best friend works, Wren overhears a guy getting accused of making up an online relationship by his friend, accusing him of being catfished, she jumps in to save the day–and pretends to be his online crush.
  • *Breakup from Hell. By Ann Davila. 2023. 304p. Harperteen, $18.99 (9780063045309). Gr. 8-12. Mica and her best friends must battle Hell’s legions and her ex-boyfriend if they want to save their town and possibly the world.
  • Chaos Theory. By Nic Stone. 2023. 288p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593307700). Gr. 8-12. Andy Criddle mistakenly texts Shelbi Augustine while drunk at a party. After receiving a DUI, Andy crosses paths again with Shelbi while working at a soup kitchen for his community service. Shelbi is determined to keep their relationship to friends only. Stone addresses self-harm, substance abuse, and mental illness in this novel.
  • *The Do-Over. By Lynn Painter. 2022. 304p. Simon Pulse, $19.99 (9781534478862). Gr. 9-12. Emilie finds herself trapped in Valentine’s Day, reliving the day over and over. Though she attempts to alter her course, she keeps colliding with Nick, her science lab partner. Nick helps Emilie realize that just because she and her boyfriend Josh look good together on paper, planning to interfere with fate never works out. 
  • The Dos and Donuts of Love. By Adiba Jaigirdar. 2023. 336p. Feiwel & Friends. $19.99 (9781250842114). Gr. 9-12. A delightful, contemporary romance about first loves, first losses, and lots of yummy desserts. 
  • Fight for Midnight. By Dan Solomon. 2023. 288p. Flux, $19.99 (9781635830866). Gr. 9-12. When Alex gets a call from his longtime crush to join him at the Texas capitol for a protest, he has no idea that he is about to enter the abortion debate and witness Senator Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster against SB5 on June 25, 2013.
  • *Five Survive. By Holly Jackson. 2022. 388p. Delacorte Press, $19.99 (9780593374160). Gr. 9-12. An RV with six teenage friends breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Someone starts shooting at the RV demanding that the one with the secret come out. Trapped inside, the friends are now forced to share their secrets or die in the RV. 
  • Funeral Girl. By Emma Ohland. 2022. 272p. Carolrhoda Lab, $19.99 (9781728458007). Gr. 8-12. Georgia’s parents run the only local funeral home so it seems natural that someone would be able to communicate with ghosts. Discovering this after the death of her grandma, Georgia finds purpose in granting last wishes until one day one of her classmates arrives. Can she help him too?
  • Her Good Side. By Rebekah Weatherspoon. 2023. 304p. Razorbill, $18.99 (9780593465301). Gr. 9-12. California high schoolers Bethany and Jacob make a fake-dating pact in order to practice what it means to be boyfriend-girlfriend. They fall in actual love while helping each other confront their main stressors: Bethany wants to quit the basketball team, and Jacob wants to create the perfect film.
  • The Lake House. By Sarah Beth Durst. 2023. 356p. HarperTeen, $19.99 (9780063214071). Gr. 8-12. Three strangers must work together to survive on an abandoned island when the remote summer camp they planned to attend is not at all what it seems, and a possible killer is on the loose. 
  • Last Chance Dance. By Lakita Wilson. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593525616). Gr. 7-12. After being dumped before graduation, Leila decides to participate in the tradition of Last Chance Dance. She writes down three of her crushes and gets paired up with them on dates. As Leila goes out with each person she learns about love, loss and what it takes to find the right one.
  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen. By Isaac Blum. 2022. 218p. Philomel Books, $18.99 (9780593525821). Gr. 8-10. Hoodie Rosen faces anti-Semitism, ostracization, and possible romance when his Orthodox Jewish family moves to a non-Jewish town.
  • A Long Stretch of Bad Days. By Mindy McGinnis. 2023. 368p. Katherine Tegen Books, $19.99 (9780063230361). Gr. 9-12. Lydia, a small town legacy, and Bristal, a legacy for the wrong reasons, team up to finalize a podcast on the town’s history to graduate. They focus on a week in 1994 which included a tornado, flood, and the town’s first murder. This uncovers a shocking truth about Henley, Ohio. 
  • The Luis Ortega Survival Club. By Sonora Reyes. 2023. 320p. Balzer +Bray, $19.99 (978063060302). Gr. 9-12. Ariana is an autistic girl who rarely speaks. After having sex with a popular boy, Ariana isn’t sure she consented to the act. Confused, she finds a mysterious note in her locker leading to a group of other assault victims. Together they decide to seek vengeance against their shared attacker.
  • Make Me A Liar. By Melissa Landers. 2023. 240p. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (9781368098380). Gr. 9-12. Tia, a teen girl who can “mind-hop” and take over another person’s consciousness to perform tasks for them, is framed for a murder while she is out of her own body. Using her street savvy and skills, she must find the real killer. 
  • *Missing Clarissa. By Ripley Jones. 2023. 244p. Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250801968). Gr. 9-12. High school juniors Blair and Cameron create a podcast about a popular cheerleader named Clarissa who disappeared from their town twenty years prior. But what starts as a school project could have some very serious consequences in the present. 
  • The Prince and the Apocalypse. By Kara McDowell. 2023. 320p. Wednesday Books, $19.99 (9780063091597). Gr. 9-12. With eight days until the end of the world, American student Wren and Prince Theo go on the run across Europe in hopes of reaching their desired destinations before the apocalypse.
  • *Promise Boys. By Nick Brooks. 2023. 304p. Henry Holt and Company, $19.99 (9781250866974). Gr. 9-12. Urban Promise Prep is respected for helping young men succeed. When Principal Moore is found dead in his office, the three boys in detention are the only suspects – Trey, J.B., and Ramon. Each had reasons to hate Principal Moore and now must work together to prove their innocence.
  • The Q. By Amy Tintera. 2022. 352p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593486177). Gr. 9-12. Can Maisie, a girl born inside the Q and Lennon, a kidnapped son of a politician, navigate the dangers inside the Q before Lennon’s vaccination wears off and he becomes vulnerable to the virus?
  • Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling. By Elise Bryant. 2023. 400p. Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (9780063212992). Gr. 8-12. Reggie and Delilah randomly meet on every holiday over the course of one year. As they start to fall for one another, they both struggle with how to be their authentic self in the world.
  • The Reunion. By Kit Frick. 2023. 317p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $18.99 (9781665921466). Gr. 9-12. A wealthy extended family meets for vacation in Cancun to celebrate a recent engagement. Throughout the week, someone will die, multiple people will lie, and long-standing family secrets may or may not get resolved. 
  • The Revelry. By Katherine Webber. 2023. 240p. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338828528). Gr. 9-12. Bitsy begins to suspect she is cursed after sneaking into the Revelry, a mysterious yearly party in the woods outside her small town. Mystery, magical realism, and a realistic portrayal of adolescent friendship are woven together in this short novel. 
  • *Royal Blood. By Aimee Carter. 2023. 364p. Delacorte Press, $18.99 (9780593485897). Gr. 7-12. Evan’s life is shattered when the world discovers that she’s the King of England’s secret daughter and a suspect in a murder investigation.
  • The Ruby Code. By Jessica Khoury. 2023. 304p. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338859287). Gr. 3-7. Bullied at school and home, Ash finds respite from his unhappy life in virtual reality games. One night, he spends his meager savings to help a stranger, who thanks him with a copy of an old fantasy game called The Glass Realm. 
  • Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. By Ellen O’Clover. 2023. 312p. HarperTeen, $18.99 (9780063255036). Gr. 9-12. Ro creates an app based on the popular MASH game for a senior project that can predict someone’s future with 93% accuracy. She is matched with Miller, her childhood friend who she had a falling out with, as her soulmate.
  • Someone is Always Watching. By Kelley Armstrong. 2023. 368p. Tundra Books, $18.99 (9780735270923). Gr. 7-12. A close-knit group of friends must find out what really happened to their supposedly mentally-ill friend. In the process they will also seek the truth about their parents, the high-tech company their parents work for, and themselves.
  • Spells for Lost Things. By Jenna Evans Welch. 2022. 368p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 (9781534448872). Gr. 7-12. Willow must go to Salem, MA, to help her mother tend to a family death. Mason must go to Salem, MA, because his new foster family lives there. After their chance meeting, the two search to find answers to Willow’s family’s mystery and search to find Mason’s mother.
  • Stars and Smoke. By Marie Lu. 2023. 328p. Roaring Brook Press, $19.99m (9781250852816). Gr. 9-12. A pop star and a spy race through London to stop an international arms dealer from delivering a weapon of mass destruction.
  • *Sun Keep Rising. By Kristen Lee. 2023. 229p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593309193). Gr. 9-12. Teen mom B’onca has always found a way to survive. But when her Memphis neighborhood becomes gentrified B’onca and her sister get an eviction notice. B’onca can’t lose her home or baby. Pushed into a corner, B’onca decides to take a risk to get quick money, putting everything in jeopardy. 
  • Swarm. By Jennifer Lyle. 2023. 336p. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 (9781728270913). Gr. 9-12. Shur must protect her family from an invasion of giant man-eating butterflies.
  • *Thieves’ Gambit. By Kayvion Lewis. 2023. 384p. Nancy Paulsen Books, $19.99 (9780593625361). Gr. 8-12. Ross must compete in the Thieves’ Gambit, an international competition consisting of different heists, in the hopes that she might win so that she can have a wish granted. 
  • *The Truth About Everything. By Bridget Farr. 2022. 288p. Flux, $19.99 (9781635830804). Gr. 8-12. Lark’s conspiracy-theorist parents refuse to allow her to attend school so she secretly enrolls herself.
  • We’ll Never Tell. By Wendy Heard. 2023. 320p. Christy Ottaviano Books, $18.99 (9780316482332). Gr. 9-12. Plans go awry for a group of teens exploring an infamous murder house when one of them ends up in a coma. The remaining friends must try to figure out what happened to him, and how it relates to the original 1972 murder-suicide, despite not knowing if they can trust anyone, including one another. 
  • What Happens After Midnight. By K.L. Walther. 2023. 384p. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 (9781728263137). Gr. 9-12. Lily agrees to help the campus jester prank their boarding school before realizing it’s her ex-boyfriend.
  • Whiteout. By Dhonielle Clayton. 2022. 291p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99 (9780063088146). Gr. 9-12. A snowstorm shuts down Atlanta in this collection of short stories that has a much more cohesive throughline than its companion, Blackout (2021). The teenaged characters navigate first love, family, and loyalty while trying to understand their own identities. 
  • A Whole Song and Dance. By Sarvenaz Tash. 2023. 304p. Disney Hyperion, $18.99 (9781368077552). Gr. 9-12. College freshman Nasrin is studying drama at NYU but her parents think they are paying for a business degree. Now she has to find a way to break the news to them.
  • You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight. By Kalynn Bayron. 2023. 230p. Bloomsbury YA, $19.99 (9781547611546). Gr. 8-12. Charity, the final girl, who plays a terror game at The Curse of Camp Mirror Lake, uncovers a killer’s motives and the bloody history of the real Mirror Lake.

Graphic Novel or Illustrated Text

Fiction

  • *A First Time for Everything. By Dan Santat. 2023. 320p. First Second, $22.99 (9781626724150). Gr. 6-8. Dan Santat’s graphic novel memoir takes readers along with him on a 3-week cultural exchange trip to Europe during the summer before high school. Heartfelt, funny, and beautifully illustrated, Santat shares what it takes to open up to a series of incredible firsts and create memories that last a lifetime.
  • Hungry Ghost. By Victoria Ying. 2023. 198p. First Second, $17.99 (9781250767004). Gr. 9-12. Valerie Chu’s attempts to be the perfect daughter begin to crumble under the pressure of personal tragedy, troubles with friends, and an eating disorder. To heal she must learn to follow her own path.
  • Mall Goth. By Kate Leth and Diana Sousa. 2023. 256p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $14.99 (9781534476943). Gr. 8-12. Liv, a Goth, bisexual teen, struggles to find her place after she moves to a new town with her mom. Even though her job is embarrassing, she loves spending time with her new friends at the mall. But trouble at home, with her friends, and at school threaten her happiness.
  • Pardalita. By Jona Estrala. 2023. 244p. Levine Querido, $21.99 (9781646143177). Gr. 7-12. Raquel is finally back in school after being suspended for a week. Her best friend Fred decides to sign up for the theater to try something new; Raquel is signing up to get closer to Pardalita. (not that she would ever tell her friends that.)
  • The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. 2023. 256p. Little Brown Ink, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-12. In the kingdom of Fromage, an unmarried woman cannot legally inherit property. Lady Camembert, disguised as a man after her father’s death, relocates to the kingdom’s capital city where she befriends Princess Brie, and the two soon form a fast friendship and maybe more. What if Cam’s secret comes out?
  • Sunshine: A Graphic Novel. By Jarrett Krosozka. 2023. 240p. Graphix, $14.99 (9781338356311). Gr. 7-12. In high school, Jarrett J. Krosoczka joined a program sending students to counsel seriously ill kids at Camp Sunshine. Despite initial worries about the potential sadness, he discovered a surprising atmosphere of hope and determination. Engaging in camp activities, he met extraordinary kids, learning about illness challenges and the liberating power of a supportive environment.

Non-Fiction

  • Extra Life (Young Readers Adaptation): The Astonishing Story of How We Doubled Our Lifespan. By Steven Johnson. 2023. 128p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593351499). Gr. 5-8. Extra Life explores the scientific advancements that have prolonged human life. It provides a deep dive into modern history and scientific advances, making it an ideal book for younger readers.
  • Welcome to Consent: How to Say No, When to Say Yes, and How to be the Boss of Your Body. By Yumi Stynes & Dr. Melissa Kang, illustrated by Jenny Latham. 2023. 224p. Walker Books US, $17.99 (978153622617). Gr. 5-9. Understanding consent is important for people with all kinds of bodies, in all kinds of circumstances–from getting a haircut or letting the doctor check your blood pressure to hugging a friend, picking up a child, or kissing someone.
  • Where to Start: A Survival Guide to Anxiety, Depression, and other Mental Health Challenges. By Mental Health America, illustrated by Gemma Correll. 2023. 208p. Rocky Pond Books, $19.99 (9780593531402). Gr. 5-12. Clear and accessible information about mental health challenges one might face. Engaging illustrations make this easy to pick up and read.

Celebrating Faces of Filipino American Music and YA Storytelling

October is Filipino American History Month, celebrating the second-largest Asian American ethnic group in the U.S. It honors the first recorded arrival of Filipinos in the continental United States in 1587. U.S. Congress officially recognized October as Filipino American History Month in 2009 (Filipino American National Historical Society [FANHS], 2020).

So, let’s celebrate! Here are some of the music artists and YA authors contributing to Filipino American history:

Listen

H.E.R.

Ruby Ibarra

Olivia Rodrigo

Toro y Moi

Read

Tracy Badua

Mike Curato

Juleah del Rosario

Makala Gharib

Maura Milan

Rod Pulido

Randy Ribay

-Stephanie Mahar

References

About. (n.d.). Juleah del Rosario. https://www.juleahdelrosario.com/ 

About the author. (n.d.). Rod Pulido. https://www.rodpulido.com/aboutandcontact 

Bazan, M. (2022, April). [Photograph of Toro y Moi wearing hat]. MusicTech. https://musictech.com/features/interviews/toro-y-moi-new-album-mahal/ 

Blake, F. (n.d.). [Photograph of Juleah del Rosario]. https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/58917c85a5790a492c823600/1569625827149-2USP4RRFJRQAYGMPR86V/Juleah+delRosario-3.jpg?format=2500w 

Blog. (2019). Maura Milan. https://www.mauramilan.com/blog 

Curato, M. (2023). Mike Curato. https://www.mikecurato.com/ 

Filipino American National Historical Society. (2020). About Filipino American history month. http://fanhs-national.org/filam/about/

Fury, R. (2020, January 26). [Photograph of H.E.R. at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards]. Harper’s BAZAAR. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a30668618/her-without-sunglasses-grammys-2020/

Geffen Records. (n.d.). Olivia Rodrigo. https://www.oliviarodrigo.com/ 

HarperCollins, & Huang, A. (2023, January). [Image of book cover and author, Tracy Badua]. KPBS Public Media. https://cdn.kpbs.org/90/c4/3a0f8f164508ad1cf61be0724ef7/tracy-badua-this-is-not-a-personal-statement.jpg  

Macaya, L. (2023). [Photograph of the author, Randy Ribay]. http://www.randyribay.com/uploads/1/0/9/7/109705059/ribay-author-photo-by-leopaldo-macaya-2023_orig.jpg 

Malaka Gharib. (n.d.). https://www.malakagharib.com/ 

Mercene, M. [Photograph of Malaka Gharib]. (n.d.). Malakagharib.com. https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/626c4eb59f0cac06991e5799/94afcc15-9a37-44bf-96a6-ab9cb1305939/IMG_0044+%281%29.jpg?format=1500w 

Osborne, D. (n.d.). Mike Curato. Macmillan Publishers. https://us.macmillan.com/author/mikecurato 

Randy Ribay. (n.d.). http://www.randyribay.com/ 

Ruby Ibarra Entertainment, LLC. (2023). Ruby Ibarra. https://www.rubyibarra.com/

Sony Music Entertainment. (2023). H.E.R. https://www.her-official.com/

Sykes, C. [Photograph of Olivia Rodrigo on NBC’s “Today” show at Rockefeller Plaza]. (2023, September). KING 5 Media Group. https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/olivia-rodrigo-2024-arena-world-tour-full-list-dates-prices/507-5f065a7c-6a15-42a5-8786-b94d9d8f84df 

Toro y Moi. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2023 from, https://toroymoi.com/ 

Vilcek Foundation. (2023, March 20). [Photograph of Ruby Ibarra for Vilcek Foundation Prize]. https://vilcek.org/news/ruby-ibarra-language-is-a-form-of-survival/

Villanueva, G. (n.d.). Tracy Badua: Author. https://tracybadua.com/ 

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

  • Divine Rivals
  • by Rebecca Ross
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books
  • Release date: April 4, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250857439

After centuries of slumber, the gods have woken and they are angry, launching the country into a brutal war that forces mortals to choose sides. Iris and Roman are in a fierce competition to become the new newspaper columnist for the prestigious Oath Gazette, both with their own reasons for competing. Iris has struggled to pay the bills ever since her brother joined the war and her mother became consumed by grief and her alcohol addiction. Roman comes from a wealthy family, but wants to carve a life for himself out from under his father’s shadow. While Iris continues to fight for the better paying job and can’t stop worrying about her brother, she finds comfort in writing letters and slipping them into her wardrobe where they vanish – into the hands of Roman, her rival at the paper, who decides to anonymously write her back. 

Divine Rivals is a historical fantasy romance with a focus on the power of family and love in a time of war. The magical letter writing is romantic and fun. The two main characters, Iris and Roman, are delightful to read about as they face different obstacles from different backgrounds, and the supporting characters are just as powerful and interesting. While some readers may think the pacing starts off slow, the second half takes off at such a rapid pace it’s hard to put down and is utterly captivating as the setting of the story shifts to the war front.
This is a strong choice for teens who are a fan of rivals-to-romance fantasy titles and don’t mind a cliffhanger. Readers who enjoyed The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski or Lovely War by Julie Berry should give Divine Rivals a try.

-Allison Riggs

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: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1, by LambCat

  • Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1
  • by LambCat
  • Publisher: Wattpad WEBTOON Studios
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781990259791

Cursed Princess Club is a fun twist on traditional fairy tales. The usual rivalries of palace life do not plague the royal family of the Pastel Kingdom. The princesses and prince, along with their father, King Jack, are so warm, supportive, and loving that Princess Gwendolyn doesn’t realize she is a bit different–with green-tinged skin and a possum munching on her hair–from her beautiful siblings until she overhears the Plaid Kingdom’s youngest prince, Frederick, tell his brothers that she is “very ugly.” This shock puts Gwen on the path to meeting the titular club and all of the cursed princesses (and one prince) who live in the nearby forest.

This webcomic turned graphic novel combines manga-like illustration with quirky, offbeat humor. Misunderstandings of the Shakespearian variety keep the story moving, and the shattered fairy tale tropes amuse throughout. The storytelling is both heartwarming and hilarious. The cursed princesses are endearing and relatable, each with their unique curse, which serves as a clever metaphor for real-life insecurities. The witty dialogue and well-crafted character development keep readers engaged and emotionally invested in the story.

One of the standout elements of this webcomic is its beautiful artwork. LambCat’s illustrations capture the whimsical nature of the fairy tale world while also precisely conveying the characters’ emotions. Color and scenic detail add depth to the narrative and enhance the reading experience.

Cursed Princess Club is more than just a fun twist on classic tales; it celebrates self-acceptance, friendship, and embracing one’s uniqueness. The story’s positive message is delivered with a light-hearted touch, making it suitable for readers of all ages. Teen readers who enjoy stories that play with well-established norms, such as The Witches Throne by Cedric Caballes or ND Stevenson’s Nimona, will appreciate Cursed Princess Club.

Patricia Jimenez

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Release Date: September 26, 2023

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.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See the full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the officially nominated titles to date. These titles have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple team members, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, each team will choose the final list of nominations and determine the Selected List’s Top Ten from these titles. For brevity, we have not included official nominations of subsequent volumes in ongoing series in this round-up, only first volumes and standalone titles. Missed our Spring/Summer Round-Up? Check it out here.

–Kelley Blue, GGN Coordinator

Akane-banashi, vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). General Adult. 741.5952.

Motivated by revenge, 17-year-old Akane sets out to conquer the world of rakugo, a traditional Japanese storytelling art.

Ay, Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico. By Christine Suggs. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Little, Brown Ink, paper (9780316591928). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973/920.

Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, she grapples with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. By Steve Sheinkin. Art by Nick Bertozzi. 2023. 256p. Roaring Brook Press, paper, $17.99 (9781250206749). Gr. 4-6. 623.45119.

A graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of nonfiction, Bomb explores the history, intrigue, and impact of the race to build the world’s first atomic weapons.

A Boy Named Rose. By Gaelle Greniller. Art by the author. 2023. 212p. Fairsquare Comics, paper, $29.99 (9798985927863). General Adult. 741.

1920s Paris: Rose is a boy who wants to dance with the girls at Le Jardin, the cabaret owned by his mother.

Break of Dawn. By Tetsuya Imai. Art by the author. 2023. 528p. Kodansha, paper, $22.99 (9781646518159). General Adult. 741.5952.

In 2038, Yuma and his friends are embroiled in a space mission when his family’s robot is taken over by an alien ship in need of help.

Brooms. By Jasmine Wells. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan compete in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.

Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973.

Just out of prison, Selina Kyle sets out on one last, big score with her fellow Gotham villains, but the past won’t let Catwoman escape its claws.

Clock Striker, vol. 1: I’m Gonna Be a Smith! By Issaka Galadima with Frederick L. Jones. Art by Issaka Galadima. 2023. 224p. Rockport Publishers, paper, $13.99 (9780760381571). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

A new shonen-style adventure series about a young girl, Smith’s apprentice, in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.

Codex Black, bk. 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 7-9. 741.5972.

Itzcacalotl, a teen with wings, and Donaji, a teen with a god-possessed poncho, find themselves in a world of magic and adventure in Mesoamerica.

The Cursed Princess Club, vol. 1. By LambCat. Art by the author. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly, until her betrothed prince says she is. Enter the Cursed Princess Club!

Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1. By Hiromu Arakawa. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Square Enix Manga, paper, $12.99 (9781646091867). General Adult. 741.5952.

Separated at birth, twins Yuru and Asa are unaware of their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.

Danger and Other Unknown Risks. By Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save the world in this standalone sci-fi romp from the creators of Squirrel Girl.

The Dog Knight, vol. 1. By Jeremy Whitley. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 224p. Feiwell & Friends, paper, $14.99 (9781250756725). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Nonbinary middle school student Frankie saves a dog from bullies and is given the chance to become The Dog Knight, a magical pact between humans and dogs.

Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix / Kaepernick Publishing, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971/B.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took in his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players.

Dreams, vol. 1: Visions of the Crow. By Wanda John-Kehewin. Art by Nicole Marie Burton and Kielamel Sibal. 2023. 80p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920459). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

High school senior Damon Quinn has a lot to feel angry about, and he doesn’t need a vision-causing crow following him around on top of everything else.

The Faint of Heart. By Kerilynn Wilson. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Greenwillow Books, paper, $18.99 (9780063116221). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

If you could, would you remove your heart? Never feel stress, anger, fear or hurt? June has kept her heart and navigates a world where most have had it removed.

Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

After unfortunate events, Mateo must rely on a ghost he isn’t even sure exists to complete his journey across the Sonoran Desert to the United States.

The Girl That Can’t Get a Girlfriend. By Mieri Hiranishi. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $16.99 (9781974736591). General Adult. B.

The artist details her journey entering the w/w dating scene, covering her first relationship and heartbreak in this humorous and reflective memoir.

Goodbye, Eri. By Tatsuki Fujimoto. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974738939). General Adult. 741.5952.

Ostracized by his classmates after making an insensitive documentary film, Yuta contemplates suicide. He then meets Eri, a mysterious girl harboring secrets.

Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day. By Dan Nott. Art by the illustrator. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $17.99 (9781984896049). Gr. 7-9. 509.

An in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet, demonstrating the urgent need for systems change.

The Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Mari and Kat arrive in Estrella Roja for different reasons, and together they investigate the small town’s strange happenings, developing feelings for one another along the way.

If You’ll Have Me. By Eunnie. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, paper, $17.99 (9780593403235). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Opposites attract when shy, sensitive college freshman Momo meets the cool, popular PG in this sapphic romance.

The Lonesome Hunters, vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). 741.5973.

An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together on a quest to destroy ancient evil forces.

Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). General Adult. 741.5952.

First year university student Chika explores the spectrum of asexual identities with the help of new friends, classmates, housemates, and old fashioned research.

The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls, vol. 1. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). 741.5952.

Rose leaves her old life behind and takes on the role of squire in her quest to become a knight.

Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). General Adult. 741.5973.

Delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.

Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 10-12. 302 / B.

Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom.

My Special One, vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). General Adult. 741.5952.

All her friends are fangirls falling for pop idols but never Sahoko! Will that change when an idol wanders into her family’s restaurant?

Night and Dana. By Anya Davidson. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphic Universe, paper, $18.99 (9781728430362). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they get assigned to a film class at a local community college.

Northranger. By Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey meets American Gothic meets Heartstopper in this romantic and atmospheric retelling set in rural Texas.

The Ojja-Wojja: A Horror Mystery, or Whatever. By Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Jenn St-Onge. 2023. 192p. HarperTeen, paper, $13.99 (9780062852427). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Best friends Val and Lanie dig too deep into their town’s folklore, unleashing an ancient demon. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christiansen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741.

A collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators featuring vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.

Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraw. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

Two former friends are sent to camp after an incident at school. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their relationship?

Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverson, Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel. Art by Willem Samuel. 2023. 168p. Catalyst Press, paper, $19.95 (9781946395740). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Pearl works many odd jobs to help her father. One day while diving in a restricted area, she befriends a sea creature with secrets.

Poison Ivy, vol. 1: The Virtuous Cycle. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Marcio Takara. 2023. 200p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779518491). General Adult. 741.5973.

Having lost most of her powers, Pamela Isley leaves Gotham and Harley Quinn behind in a quest for vengeance for herself and the planet Earth.

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Lady Camembert disguises herself as a man in order to inherit her father’s title without marrying, but falling for beautiful activist Princess Brie wasn’t part of her plan.

Project Nought. By Chelsea Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Teenager Ren is yanked forward in time to 2133 for a time travel exchange program where everything seems good… until it seems it isn’t.

Roaming. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. 2023. 444p. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $34.99 (9781770464339). General Adult. 741.5971.

During their first year of college, high school friends Dani and Zoe meet up in NYC for a long-planned adventure, but Dani’s classmate Fiona interrupts their happy reunion.

The Sea in You. By Jessi Sheron. Art by the author. 2023. 210p. Iron Circus, paper, $15.00 (9781638991113). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

This modern graphic retelling of The Little Mermaid ventures into dark new waters while maintaining the timeless themes of transformation, empowerment, and true love.

Season of the Bruja, vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe, but loses her mentor and grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy her.

Side Effects. By Ted Anderson. Art by Tara O’Connor. 2022. 112p. Aftershock Comics, paper, $17.99 (9781956731088). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952.

Starting college is overwhelming for Hannah. When she begins a medication prescribed by the school psychologist, she ends up experiencing side effects best left in superhero comics.

Stars in Their Eyes. By Jessica Walton. Art by Aśka. 2023. 224p. Graphix, paper, $15.99 (9781338818796). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Maisie, an above-the-knee amputee, meets Ollie at her first ever FanCon, and the two bond quickly over movies, shows, and comics.

The Summer Hikaru Died, vol. 1. By Mokumokuren. Art by the author. 2023. 180p. Yen Press, paper, $15.00 (9781975360542). General Adult. 741.5952.

High school student Yoshiki has an unsettling feeling about his lifelong friend Hiakaru. Though he looks, talks, and acts the same, Hikaru is not Hikaru anymore.

Tegan and Sarah: Junior High. By Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Art by Tillie Walden. 2023. 304p. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $14.99 (9780374313029). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971.

A fictionalized version of twin musicians Tegan & Sara Quin’s early teen years, featuring new friends and new tests to the bonds of sisterhood.

Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. By Petra Erika Nordlund. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99 (9781638584193). Gr. 10-12. 741.94897.

Ludovica is a sheltered royal who yearns to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail, though the high seas hold much more than she anticipated.

True Beauty, vol. 1. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webstoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). 741.5951.

Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her love for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the first print volume of this popular web series.

Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Mia is both Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage, so plans to secretly visit her father.

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). General Adult. 741.5952.

After Iruma Suzuki’s parents sell his soul to a demon, he must do his best to survive high school in the underworld.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo

  • Northranger
  • by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo
  • HarperAlley
  • Publication Date: June 6, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9780063007383

Cade is just your average horror-loving, queer Texas teen who stays closeted in the face of his step-dad’s casual household homophobia and gender stereotyping.  When he has to help out on a ranch for the summer, sparks fly with the equally closeted rancher’s son Henry. Their budding friendship and romance is just one piece of a large web of truths that can’t be said out loud. The mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother threatens to tear them apart when Cade’s pre-disposure to translate the world through the eyes of a horror movie gets the best of him. 

Indigo’s choice of sepia tones and shaded renderings of rural and urban Texas create a perfect mood for this contemporary gothic romance take on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Sibling squabbles, crushes, parent quarrels—all relationships—are depicted and conveyed with a surprising amount of nuance and depth within such a quick read. Teens will enjoy the tension and flow of these relationships, especially as they exist within Cade’s obsession with all things horror. Family connections, and learning to talk about uncomfortable subjects out loud, are the only things that might save the day in this wildly charming love story.

Ideal for fans of Heartstopper and Bloom, the romance and real-life complications of Northranger are beautifully portrayed. This graphic will be equally appealing to teens who find the creepiness, mystery, and tension of gothic romance especially thrilling, or for anyone who enjoys horror tropes mixed with real life. Readers who enjoy Northranger may want to also want to check out The Hills of Estrella Roja by Ashley Robin Franklin. Finally, fans of Jane Austen’s original novel and of remixes in general will find a lot to love here.

-M’issa Fleming

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 10, 2023
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Release Date: August 29, 2023

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.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: The Dog Knight by Jeremy Whitley and Bre Indigo

  • The Dog Knight by Jeremy Whitley and Bre Indigo
  • Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Publishing Group
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9781250756725

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 8, 2022
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: September 12, 2023
Release Date: October 17, 2023

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.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: In Nightfall by Suzanne Young

  • In Nightfall
  • by Suzanne Young
  • Narrated by Elena Rey
  • Books on Tape | Listening Library
  • Publication Date: March 28, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593667934

After their parents’ divorce, Theo and her brother Marco are packed into a car to spend the summer in their father’s hometown of Nightfall, Oregon. The rainy little town is cute in a touristy way, but Theo still misses her friends, the sunshine of Arizona and her mother- even if they aren’t speaking. When the siblings meet their strange, antisocial grandmother she says she has only one rule: be home by dark. On that first day, Marco and Theo meet a group of beautiful, fun girls. Minnow and the other girls seem to take a liking to the siblings and at first, it seems like it won’t be a completely boring summer. But soon, Theo discovers that her grandmother’s warnings weren’t just superstition: the streets of town and its residents change once darkness falls. And when Marco gets pulled into the glamour of their new friends, Theo realizes that she’ll have to be the one to keep her family safe. 

Young’s vampire story is full of an eerie ambiance. Readers who enjoy spooky tales and vampires will be pulled into the story. Rey’s narration keeps the reader engaged, enhances the chilling atmosphere and portrays a realistic teen point of view. Great for readers who enjoyed The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig, The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters and the classic vampire film The Lost Boys.

–Natalie LaRocque

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.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Summer Quarterly Round-Up

  • Divine Rivals
  • By Rebecca Ross
  • Publication Date: 2023.
  • Length: 357 p.
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books, $18.99
  • ISBN: 9781250857439
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12.

As the war between the gods creeps closer to the city, Iris and Roman fiercely compete to become the new newspaper columnist for the prestigious Oath Gazette. Their lives become further entwined and complicated thanks to the magical letters they unknowingly write to each other.

  • Friends Like These
  • By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Length: 377 p.
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593309674)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

Power couple Jessica and Jake’s relationship is irreparably damaged when Jake’s former girlfriend live streams their sexual encounter at a party.  Jake wakes up disoriented, Jessica leaves the party devastated, and Tegan–the ex–is missing and presumed dead.

  • Give Me a Sign
  • By Anna Sortino
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 303 p.
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593533796)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 10.

Lilah is hard of hearing and uses hearing aids, but she feels like she doesn’t fit in with the hearing world. She learns to embrace her Deaf identity while working as a junior counselor at a summer camp for the deaf and blind, while also making friends and starting a summer romance.


  • Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend
  • By Brandon Hoàng
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 293 p.
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780374388577)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 12

Gary Võ’s revelation that he has an “in” with the untouchable Gloria Buenrostro has the potential of lifting him and his best friend, Preston, out of social obscurity–if he is willing to betray Gloria’s trust in the relationship the two of them have built.

  • Going Bicoastal
  • By Dahlia Adler
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 325 p.
  • Publisher: Wednesday Books, $20.00 
  • ISBN: (9781250871640)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12.

Jewish, bisexual Natalya has to choose between trying something new and scary or making the familiar new again in this light-hearted rom-com, which tells two parallel romance storylines: one where Natalya spends her summer in LA with her estranged mother and one where she stays in NYC with her dad.

  • I Kick and I Fly
  • By Ruchira Gupta
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 336 p.
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9781338825091)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 12

Heera is a girl, told since she was little, that she is destined for a life of prostitution. She is invited into a hostel for endangered girls and is given the chance to learn kung fu and, in the process, learn about how strong she really is.

  • If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come
  • By Jen St. Jude
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 397 p.
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury YA, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781547611362)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12

Avery is ready to end her life when she receives a call that an asteroid is imminent and  will end the world for everyone. With a handful of days left, she must decide how and with whom to spend the remaining time.

  • Into the Light
  • By Mark Oshiro
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 442 p.
  • Publisher: Tor Teen, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250812254)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12.

Manny, exiled from his adoptive family and their religious organization, roams about trying to survive. When he sees the report of a dead body near the organization’s camp, he is determined to discover if the body belongs to his sister in hopes he is not too late.

  • Invisible Son
  • By Kim Johnson
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 404 p.
  • Publication Date: Random House, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780593482100)
  • Reading Grade: Gr. 9 – 12

Andres Jackson just spent two months incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit.  A restorative justice program allows him to return to his family home in Northeast Portland but his  plans for returning to school and establishing his innocence are interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Izzy at the End of the World
  • By K. A. Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 330 p.
  • Publication Date: Clarion Books, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780358467779)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 5 – 9

Izzy Wilder is a fourteen-year-old autistic girl who recently lost her mom. Now living with her grandparents, Izzy witnesses a bright light that causes everyone she knows to vanish. With only her beloved dog left of her family, Izzy must try to survive.

  • Nigeria Jones
  • By Ibi Zoboi
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 369 p.
  • Publisher: Balzar + Bray, $17.99 
  • ISBN: (9780062888846)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 12

Growing up in a Black Nationalist compound, Nigeria Jones has accepted her father’s philosophies without question. His decision to begin a relationship with a younger woman in the absence of Nigeria’s mother as well as his restrictions prohibiting her from attending the private school her mother wanted her to attend are causing Nigeria not just to question him, but to rebel.

  • Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling
  • By Elise Bryant
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 392 p.
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9780063212992)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 11

A New Year’s Eve gig that Delilah can’t get out of and a little peer pressure forcing Reggie to attend a party where Delilah’s band is performing is the beginning of a relationship that neither of them can seem to escape.

  • The Dos and Donuts of Love
  • By Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 321 p
  • Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250842114)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 12.

Shireen Malik is determined to win the Junior Irish Baking Show to save her parents’ struggling donut shop, but finds herself partnered with her ex-girlfriend.  Navigating friendships, romantic entanglements, and the competition is enough to challenge any baker.

  • The Minus-One Club
  • By Kekla Magoon
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 360 p.
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781250806208)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

After fifteen year-old Kermit loses his older sister in a car accident, he finds a message signed “-1” in his locker, inviting him into an unlikely group of fellow students dealing with grief.

  • The Queens of New York
    • By E.L. Shen
    • Publication Date: 2023
    • Length: 326 p.
    • Publisher: Quill Tree Books, $19.99 
    • ISBN: (9780063237957)
    • Reading Level: Gr. 8 – 11

Summer has just begun when three best friends, Everett, Jia and Ariel head separate ways for a summer of discovery, romance, and most importantly, friendship. That summer will also test their relationship and create opportunities for personal growth.

  • This Delicious Death
  • By Kayla Cottingham
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 290 p.
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 
  • ISBN: (9781728236445)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 9 – 12

A new pathogen requires individuals to eat synthetic human meat to not turn into monsters. All is going well until people start disappearing at a music festival. As users of the synthetic meat, Zoey, Celeste and their friends are determined to solve the mystery before more people get hurt.

  • What Happened to Rachel Riley?
  • By Claire Swinarski
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 343 p.
  • Publication Date: Quill Tree Books, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9780063213098)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 5 – 8.

When Anna starts eighth grade at a new school, she is immediately drawn to the mystery surrounding Rachel Riley, a former popular student who the entire eighth grade class has shunned. Anna decides to use her fact-finding skills to create a podcast dedicated to figuring out what happened to Rachel Riley.

  • Where You See Yourself
  • By Claire Forrest
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 306 p.
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press, $19.99 
  • ISBN: (9781338813838)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 10 – 12

Effie, a high school senior with cerebral palsy, grapples with advocating for herself, deciding which college to attend, and revealing her feelings to the guy she has had a secret crush on for years.

  • Wings in the Wild
  • By Margarita Engle
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Length: 211 p.
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $18.99 
  • ISBN: (9781665926362)
  • Reading Level: Gr. 7 – 10

A hurricane displaces Soleida and her family, leading to her parents’ imprisonment for making illegal art and forcing Soleida to flee Cuba alone on foot. Dariel travels with his Cuban grandfather to Costa Rica to help those in need. Soleida and Dariel fall in love and fight the climate crisis.

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: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

  • Promise Boys
  • by Nick Brooks
  • Narrated by Renier Cortes, Christopher Hampton, Alfred Vines, and a full cast
  • Macmillan Audio| Macmillan Young Listeners
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250877253

The Urban Promise Prep School is determined to create responsible, upstanding, college-bound young men out of all of its students. Principle Moore, the founder of the school, says that following the school’s unyielding discipline is what it takes to escape the violence of the students’ neighborhoods and to make it to college.  When Moore, a beloved pillar of the city of Washington D.C. turns up murdered in the school, three detention students are immediately suspects. J.B., Trey and Ramón. Each maintain that there is no way they could have committed the crime, no matter how much it may look like they did. The students and their friends are soon working together to discover who really murdered Principle Moore and why.

Nick Brooks has written a compelling mystery that will appeal to lots of different readers. The short chapters and constant change in point of view helps create urgency in the plot making this a fast read, even for reluctant readers. This is produced to great effect in the audiobook due to a full cast of narrators and sound effects. Readers who love crime or mystery and gravitate toward the television version of One of Us is Lying, the books of Karen McManus or Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s Ace of Spades will enjoy Promise Boys.

-Natalie LaRocque

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 29, 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.