2024 Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominees

YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. Click on the title 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, Jodi Kruse; Stephanie Burdic, Kirsta Hutley, Marie LeJeune, Kaitlin Malixi, Melissa Palmer, Allison Riggs, Maryjean Riou, Gia Ruiz, Zoe Smolen, Emily Williams, Matthew Layne, Katie Patterson

Top Ten

  • Becoming a Queen
  • By Dan Clay
  • April 25, 2023
  • Length: 407 p.
  • Roaring Brook Press, $19.99 
  • 9781250843098
  • Grade Level: 8 – 12
  • Mark Davis wore a pretty dress and his boyfriend broke up with him. Now Mark is on his road to a new romance and self-acceptance when tragedy strikes, and he must figure out who he wants to be in order to move on.
  • Dear Medusa
  • By Olivia Cole
  • March 14, 2023
  • Length: 377 p. L
  • Labyrinth Road, $18.99 
  • 9780593485736
  • Grades: 9 – 12
  • After being sexually abused by a popular teacher at her school Alicia feels cut off from the world around her, until one day, she gets a note from another survivor.
  • Divine Rivals
  • By Rebecca Ross
  • April 4, 2023
  • Length: 357 p.
  • Wednesday Books, $18.99 
  • 9781250857439
  • Grades 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.
  • For Lamb
  • By Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • January 10, 2023
  • Length: 304 p.
  • Holiday House, $18.99 
  • 9780823450152
  • Gr. 9-12
  • Lamb’s forbidden friendship with a white girl in 1940s Mississippi has devastating consequences for her and her family.
  • I Kick and I Fly
  • By Ruchira Gupta
  • April 18, 2023
  • Length: 336 p.
  • Scholastic Press, $18.99 
  • 9781338825091
  • Grades: 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.
  • Plan A
  • By Deb Caletti
  • October 3, 2023
  • Length: 404 p.
  • Labyrinth Road, $18.99 
  • 9780593485552
  • Grades: 10 – 12.
  • Ivy and her boyfriend Lorenzo embark on a cross-country road trip from Texas to Oregon so Ivy can legally choose to end an unintended pregnancy.  Along the journey, Ivy finds support through many surprisingly encouraging encounters in this story with a sweetly developed romance, healing, and hope.
  • Promise Boys
  • By Nick Brooks
  • January 31, 2023
  • Length: 294 p.
  • Henry Holt and Co., $19.99 
  • 9781250866974
  • Grades: 9 – 12.
  • J.B., Ramón, and Trey are students at the prestigious and strict Urban Promise Prep School when their principal is murdered and the three become the prime suspects. 
  • Saints of the Household
  • By Ari Tison
  • March 28, 2023
  • Length: 312 p.
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99 
  • 9780374389499
  • Grades: 9 – 12.
  • Max and Jay are brothers who have relied on each for everything including protecting their mother from an abusive father. After a violent altercation with a classmate, they begin a journey of healing through an exploration of their Bribri American identity as well as looking outward to others for help.
  • Their Vicious Games
  • By Joelle Wellington
  • July 25, 2023
  • Length: 407 p.
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 
  • 9781665922425
  • Grades: 9 – 12.
  • Adina struggles after losing her admission to Yale and her potential gleaming future. When the elite Remingtons invite her to participate in the Finish, she has an opportunity to gain it all back and then some. Yet, the price of the competition might be more than she bargained for.
  • Warrior Girl Unearthed
  • By Angeline Boulley
  • May 2, 2023
  • Length: 396 p.
  • Henry Holt and Company, $19.99 
  • 9781250766588
  • Grades: 9 – 12.
  • Perry Firekeeper-Birch finds herself embroiled in a plot to steal the remains of her tribal ancestors before they are turned over to a university museum or sold to private collectors.

Nominees

  • Always the Almost. By Edward Underhill. 2023. 307 p. Wednesday Books, $18.99  (9781250835208). Gr. 9 – 12. Miles makes a New Year’s resolution to win back his ex-boyfriend and defeat his piano rival. When he meets Eric, a kind and thoughtful new kid, and starts practicing with a new piano teacher, Miles begins to learn more about himself and what he really wants.
  • Ander and Santi Were Here. By Jonny Garza Villa. 2023. 355  p. Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250843999). Gr. 9 – 12. Nonbinary teen, Ander, is preparing to leave for college but is spending one last year working at their family’s taqueria and painting murals in San Antonio. When they meet the new waiter Santi, everything changes.
  • As You Walk On By. By Julian Winters. 2023. 328 p. Viking, $18.99  (9780593206508). Gr. 9 – 12. Seventeen year-old Theo finds himself hiding in a bedroom during a party following his promposal that goes horribly wrong. As, one by one, Theo’s fellow classmates pop into that bedroom seeking refuge of their own, an unlikely group forms that changes the status quo.
  • *Becoming a Queen. By Dan Clay. 2023. 407 p. Roaring Brook Press, $19.99  (9781250843098). Gr. 8 – 12. Mark Davis wore a pretty dress and his boyfriend broke up with him. Now Mark is on his road to a new romance and self-acceptance when tragedy strikes, and he must figure out who he wants to be in order to move on.
  • Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything. By Justine Pucella Winans. 2023. 362 p. Clarion Books, $19.99  (9780358721642). Gr. 9 – 12. Bianca Torre enjoys bird and people from their bedroom window. When they witness the murder of their neighbor, they start a bizarre journey to solve the murder, despite having a long list of fears. Through the process, they also find themselves and valuable relationships. 
  • Bittersweet in the Hollow. By Kate Pearsall. 2023. 373 p. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, $18.99  (9780593531020). Gr. 9 – 12. One year after Linden James returns from the woods with no memory of what happened on Summer Solstice, another girl is found murdered in the same woods.  Linden and her sisters use their family’s controversial magic to discover what lurks in the woods before it can strike again.
  • The Buried and the Bound. By Rochelle Hassan. 2023. 375 p. Roaring Brook Press, $19.99  (9781250822208). Gr. 9 – 12. When the barrier between her hometown and the adjacent fairyland in the woods starts thinning, Aziza must team up with a cursed high school student and a mysterious necromancer to save the city they call home.  
  • The Chalice of the Gods. By Rick Riordan. 2023. 268 p. Disney-Hyperion, $19.99 (9781368098175). Gr. 5 – Up. Percy Jackson returns with the need to acquire three godly letters of recommendation in order to get into the same college as his girlfriend. 
  • Chaos Theory. By Nic Stone. 2023. 278 p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99  (9780593307700). Gr. 8 – 12. Genius high school senior, Shelbi, meets politician’s son, Andy, on one of his worst days, and reaches out to help. Their unlikely friendship becomes more, but they both have complicated pasts that might end up keeping them apart.
  • City of Nightmares. By Rebecca Schaeffer. 2023. 374 p. Clarion, $18.99  (9780358647300). Gr. 9 – 12. No one dreams in Newham, where pills and treated water keep sleeping people safe from transforming into literal Nightmares. After surviving a ferry bombing, self-described coward Ness works with the other survivor, Cy, a Nightmare, to investigate why they are still being targeted, leading them to uncover a dark conspiracy.
  • Cruel Illusions. By Margie Fuston. 2022. 503 p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $21.99  (9781665902106). Gr. 9 – 12. Following her mother’s murder by a vampire, Ava leaves her brother and new foster family to join a mysterious magic troupe that performs impossible illusions. Recognizing her hidden powers, they invite her to compete in a dangerous game to become a magician and join them as vampire hunters.
  • *Dear Medusa. By Olivia Cole. 2023. 377 p. Labyrinth Road, $18.99  (9780593485736). Gr. 9 – 12. After being sexually abused by a popular teacher at her school Alicia feels cut off from the world around her, until one day, she gets a note from another survivor. 
  • Delicious Monsters. By Liselle Sambury. 2023. 504 p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $21.99  (9781665903493). Gr. 9 – 12. Two young women’s experiences with a haunted manor in northern Ontario intersect as Brittney researches Daisy’s hotly debated disappearance.
  • *Divine Rivals. By Rebecca Ross. 2023. 357 p. Wednesday Books, $18.99  (9781250857439). 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.
  • A Door in the Dark. By Scott Reintgen. 2023. 361 p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $19.99  (9781665918688). Gr. 10 – 12. Working class wizard Ren Monroe does her best at Balmerick University to prove her magic prowess so she can be recruited by a major house. When a portal spell malfunctions, she is transported with five other students to dangerous wilderness days from home.
  • The Do-Over. By Lynn Painter. 2022. 291 p. Simon & Schuster, $19.99  (781534478862). Gr. 9 – 12. Emilie Hornby gets stuck in a time loop where she is forced to relive the most dreadful Valentine’s Day over and over again, but she soon discovers that running into her grumpy and cute Chemistry partner may not be the worst thing to ever happen.
  • The Dos and Donuts of Love. By Adiba Jaigirdar. 2023. 321 p. Feiwel and Friends, $19.99  (9781250842114). 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 Fall of Whit Rivera. By Crystal Maldonado. 2023. 342 p. Holiday House, $19.99  (9780823452361). Gr. 9 – 12. Whit Rivera has recently been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and is learning to navigate her new life. Together with her two best friends and her middle school ex-boyfriend, Whit plans the Fall Fest of her dreams and might just find love along the way.
  • *For Lamb. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. 2023. p. Holiday House, $18.99  (9780823450152). Gr. Lamb’s forbidden friendship with a white girl in 1940s Mississippi has devastating consequences for her and her family.
  • Forever Is Now. By Mariama Lockington. 2023. 398 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99  (9780374388881). Gr. 9 – 12. A painful breakup coupled with witnessing police brutality toward another young Black woman triggers Sadie’s agoraphobia and anxiety, effectively ending her summer plans. Sadie works toward a fuller life with the help of her family, friend, and a new neighbor on his own mental health journey.
  • Forget Me Not. By Alyson Derrick. 2023. 308 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99  (9781665902373). Gr. 9 – 12. After an accident leaves Stevie with a case of amnesia, she no longer remembers her tender romance with Nora nor their plans to flee their conservative home town. Slowly, Stevie must struggle to remember her own full identity and who really matters in her life.
  • Give Me a Sign. By Anna Sortino. 2023. 303 p. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $18.99  (9780593533796). 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. 2023. 293 p. Farrar Straus Giroux, $19.99  (9780374388577). 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. 2023. 325 p. Wednesday Books, $20.00  (9781250871640). 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.
  • Gone Wolf. By Amber McBride. 2023. 348 p. Feiwel & Friends, $17.99  (9781250850492). Gr. 4 – 7. Imogen is a “blue” and wants to be free to make her own choices. However, her role is to be “spare parts” for Lark, a white boy.
  • Gorgeous Gruesome Faces. By Linda Cheng. 2023. 311 p. Roaring Brook Press, $19.99  (9781250864994). Gr. 9 – 12. After a scandal that ended her popstar career, Sunny finds herself face-to-face with her demons when she enters a K-Pop competition alongside her former bandmate. When contestants start getting injured, Sunny becomes worried that her former bandmate is responsible.
  • Heartbreak Boys. By Simon James Green. 2022. 376 p. Clarion Books, $18.99  (9780358617259). Gr.8 – 12. Jack and Nate used to be best friends, but have not spoken in years. When they find out on prom night that their boyfriends have secretly been seeing each other, they take off on a summer road trip to prove that they are living their best lives and start to remember along the way why they were friends and why now maybe they could be more.
  • Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute. By Talia Hibbert. 2023. 319 p. Joy Revolution, $19.99  (9780593482339). Gr. 9 – 12. Celine and Brad used to be best friends, until Brad ditched Celine for the in-crowd. Now, they’re academic rivals. When they both sign up for a survival course in the woods, with a scholarship as the grand prize, their competition brings up long-buried resentments, but also the possibility of reconciliation. 
  • How To Succeed in Witchcraft. By Aislinn Brophy. 2022. 406 p. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99  (9780593354520). Gr. 9 – 12. Shay Johnson is one of the top witches at her school To win the coveted Brockton Scholarship, ensuring her admittance to the college of her dreams, Shay must step outside her comfort zone to do the school musical with a teacher who has questionable motives.
  • *I Kick and I Fly. By Ruchira Gupta. 2023. 336 p. Scholastic Press, $18.99  (9781338825091). 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. 2023. 397 p. Bloomsbury YA, $19.99  (9781547611362). 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. 
  • Invisible Son. By Kim Johnson. 2023. 404 p. Random House, $18.99  (9780593482100). 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. 2023. 330 p. Clarion Books, $19.99  (9780358467779). 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.
  • The Lake House. By Sarah Beth Durst. 2023. 354 p. HarperTeen, $19.99  (9780063214071). Gr. 9 – 12. Three girls arrive at a remote island summer camp to find the lodge burned to the ground and no others around. Even without cell service, they figure rescue will come soon, until they find a dead body in the woods and realize they’re not as alone as they thought.
  • Mascot. By Charles Waters and Traci Sorrell. 2023. 248 p. Charlesbridge, $13.57  (9781623543808). Gr. 5 – 8. Seven middle school English-Honors students must debate the pros and cons of keeping their future high school’s Indigenous mascot.
  • Miles Morales Suspended. By Jason Reynolds. 2023. 303 p. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $19.99  (9781665918466). Gr. 7 – 12. Miles Morales, Spider-Man, is stuck serving an undeserved In School Suspension along with his crush Alica Carson and a nefarious library aid.  Miles’s Spidey senses go on full alert when he hears an unnatural sound that results in an epic adventure to save history from being destroyed.
  • The Minus-One Club. By Kekla Magoon. 2023. 360 p. Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $19.99  (9781250806208). 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.
  • Nigeria Jones. By Ibi Zoboi. 2023. 369 p. Balzar + Bray, $17.99  (9780062888846). 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.
  • *Plan A. By Deb Caletti. 2023. 404 p. Labyrinth Road, $18.99  ( 9780593485552). Gr. 10 – 12. Ivy and her boyfriend Lorenzo embark on a cross-country road trip from Texas to Oregon so Ivy can legally choose to end an unintended pregnancy.  Along the journey, Ivy finds support through many surprisingly encouraging encounters in this story with a sweetly developed romance, healing, and hope.
  • *Promise Boys. By Nick Brooks. 2023. 294 p. Henry Holt and Co., $19.99  (9781250866974). Gr. 9 – 12. J.B., Ramón, and Trey are students at the prestigious and strict Urban Promise Prep School when their principal is murdered and the three become the prime suspects. 
  • The Queens of New York. By E.L. Shen. 2023. 326 p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99  (9780063237957). 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.
  • Rain Rising. By Courtne Comrie. 2022. 327 p. Harper, $16.99  (9780063159730). Gr. 5 – 12. Rain is struggling to find out who she is and where she fits in during her eighth grade year of school when her beloved older brother is attacked during a college visit in what appears to be a racially motivated beating. 
  • Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling. By Elise Bryant. 2023. 392 p. Balzer + Bray, $18.99  (9780063212992). 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. 
  • Remind Me to Hate You Later. By Lizzy Mason. 2023. 308 p. Bloomsbury YA, $18.99 (9781547609185). Gr. 9 – 12. Reeling from the death of her best friend, Jules, by suicide. Natalie must learn how to move on with her life as she grapples with blaming herself and Jules’s mom, a lifestyle blogger. Told in dual narration between Jules and Natalie.   
  • Rhythm and Muse. By India Hill Brown. 2023. 248 p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99  (9780063217553). Gr. 8 – 12. Darren is pining for Delia, but is too in his own head to tell her how he feels.  That’s when his best friend sends a song Darren has recorded to Delia as an entry into a contest to find a new intro to her podcast. Now Darren needs to step up and own his music or lose Delia.
  • *Saints of the Household. By Ari Tison. 2023. 312 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99  (9780374389499). Gr. 9 – 12. Max and Jay are brothers who have relied on each for everything including protecting their mother from an abusive father. After a violent altercation with a classmate, they begin a journey of healing through an exploration of their Bribri American identity as well as looking outward to others for help.
  • The Secrets We Keep. By Cassie Gustafson. 2022. 340 p. Simon & Schuster BFYR, $19.99  (9781665906944). Gr.. 9 – 12. Fifteen-year-old Emma’s life is turned upside down when her father is accused of molesting Hannah, her best–and only–friend in this hopeful story of two sexual abuse survivors.
  • The Sharp Edge of Silence. By Cameron Kelly Rosenblum. 2023. 473 p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99  (9780062932105). Gr. 9 – 12 Quinn, Max, and Charlotte must decide how far they are willing to go to end the tacitly accepted rape culture at their prestigious boarding Lycroft Phelps School.
  • She Is a Haunting. By Trang Thanh Tran. 2023. 341 p. Bloomsbury, $18.99  (9781547610815). Gr. 9 – 12. When Jade Nguyen visits her estranged father in Vietnam, she plans to help him restore his French colonial home, in exchange for the college money he promised. Instead, she finds the house haunted by its past, hungry for visitors, and willing to keep her entire family within its walls forever.
  • A Spark in the Cinders. By Jenny Elder Moke. 2023. 361 p. Disney Hyperion, $18.99  (9781368039918). Gr. 8 – 10. Aralyn finds herself aligned with her former stepsister, Cinderella, on a quest to save the kingdom of Novador from the machinations of the scheming Lady Tremaine who plans to marry off Aralyn’s youngest sister to a rival prince.
  • Spell Bound. By F.T. Lukens. 2023. 323 p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $19.99  (9781665916226). Gr. 7 – 12. 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 soon realizes he must break the rules in order to become who he was always meant to be.
  • The Spirit Bares Its Teeth. By Andrew Joseph White. 2023. 381 p. Peachtree Teen, $19.99  (9781682636114). Gr. 10 – 12. Silas, attempting to escape an arranged marriage, is forced to attend a finishing school for “Veil Sickness,” an illness that is claimed to make violet-eyed people go mad. When the ghosts of missing girls speak to him, he struggles to find the truth of their whereabouts and possible deaths. 
  • Star Splitter. By Matthew Kirby. 2023. 305 p. Dutton Books for Young Readers, $18.99  (9780735231665). Gr. 7 – 12. In 2199, space exploration and teleportation are routine and considered safe. However, when 17-year-old Jessica is made to travel via teleportation to be reunited with her parents and assist them with a science expedition, she wakes up confused and alone on a crashed lander.
  • Stateless. By Elizabeth Wein. 2023. 384 p. Little, Brown and Company, $18.99  (9780316591249). Gr. 8 – 12. As the only female pilot in a high stakes aviation race for young people set during pre WW II Europe, Stella North must band together with other young pilots to solve a mystery of why one pilot seemingly purposefully caused the death of another.
  • *Their Vicious Games. By Joelle Wellington. 2023. 407 p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99  (9781665922425). Gr. 9 – 12. Adina struggles after losing her admission to Yale and her potential gleaming future. When the elite Remingtons invite her to participate in the Finish, she has an opportunity to gain it all back and then some. Yet, the price of the competition might be more than she bargained for.
  • This Dark Descent. By Kalyn Josephson. 2023. 387 p. Roaring Brook Press, $20.99  (9781250812360). Gr. 9 – 12. A young woman desperate to save her family, a practitioner of forbidden magic longing for safety, and a crafty nobleman with high ambitions come together to win a deadly enchanted horse race that promises to solve all their problems, if it doesn’t destroy them first.
  • This Delicious Death. By Kayla Cottingham. 2023. 290 p. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99  (9781728236445). 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. 
  • This Time It’s Real. By Ann Liang. 2023. 337 p. Scholastic Press, $18.99  (9781338827118). Gr. 9 – 12. When Eliza’s “true” essay about her fake relationship goes viral and she is offered the chance at an internship, she makes a deal with a famous classmate to partake in a mutually beneficial fake romance, but it becomes hard to separate her real feelings and keep up with the lies.
  • Those Pink Mountain Nights. By Jen Ferguson. 2023. 328 p. Heartdrum, $19.99  (9780063086210). Gr. 9 – 12. Berlin is a perfectionist, Cam is a high school dropout, and Jessie is the rich girl. They all work at Pink Mountain Pizza and discover that they just might need each other to find a missing Indigenous girl and prevent the corporate buyout of their favorite pizza place.
  • Unraveller. By Frances Hardinge. 2023. 423 p. Amulet Books, $24.99  (9781419759314). Gr. 6 – 9. In Raddith, a marshy country bordered by the dangerous Wilds, terrible curses are commonplace. Kellen, a young man with the strange power to unravel curses, is hired to unravel a curse that leads him to uncover a conspiracy to create more cursers and use them to target specific people–including him.
  • *Warrior Girl Unearthed. By Angeline Boulley. 2023. 396 p. Henry Holt and Company, $19.99  (9781250766588). Gr. 9 – 12. Perry Firekeeper-Birch finds herself embroiled in a plot to steal the remains of her tribal ancestors before they are turned over to a university museum or sold to private collectors.
  • We Are All So Good at Smiling. By Amber McBride. 2023. 283 p. Feiwel & Friends, $19.99  (9781250780386). Gr. 9 – 12. Whimsy is back in the hospital to treat her ongoing clinical depression. This time proves different and life changing when she meets a boy there named Faerry. Over time she realizes they both share magic, a fear of the forest, and a dark forgotten secret.
  • We Deserve Monuments. By Jas Hammonds. 2022. 375 p. Roaring Brook Publishers, $18.99  (9781250816559). Gr. 9 – 12. Avery is nursing a broken heart when her parents drag her from her Washington, D. C. home to Georgia to care for her crabby grandmother, Mama Letty. New friends, new loves, and the painful mystery of her grandfather’s death at the hands of the sheriff make for an emotional visit.
  • What Happened to Rachel Riley?. By Claire Swinarski. 2023. 343 p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99  (9780063213098). 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.
  • What Stalks Among Us. By Sarah Hollowell. 2023. 385 p. Clarion Books, $19.99  (9780063251816). Gr. 9 – 12. When Sadie and Logan skip school they find themselves in a corn maze. A corn maze that they’ve entered over and over again stuck in a time loop. Can they work together to escape the maze before they’re consumed by it forever.
  • When the Angels Left the Old Country. By Sacha Lamb. 2022. 400 p. Levine Querido, $19.99  (9781646141760). Gr. 9 – 12. A patient angel and a mischievous demon who have been studying Talmud together for centuries in their little Russian shtetl travel to America to perform a mitzvah, locating a young woman who left for the “golden land” to find her fortune but hasn’t been heard from since. 
  • Where You See Yourself. By Claire Forrest. 2023. 306 p. Scholastic Press, $19.99  (9781338813838). 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. 

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: Mascot by Charles Waters and Traci Sorell

  • Mascot
  • by Charles Waters and Traci Sorell
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge
  • Release date: Sept 5, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781623543808

As part of their 8th grade Honors English class, students are asked to consider whether their mascot, an “Indian Brave”, is appropriate and whether it should be changed.  Their assignment: write a research paper and be prepared to debate the topic as partners in class.

Told from the perspectives of the students in the class, their teacher, and community stakeholders, this provides a nuanced discussion of a timely and controversial topic written by #ownvoices authors. Engaging writing with ample white space allows the plot to flow well.  Student voices and perspectives are distinct and realistic, but the language used makes it accessible to teens on the younger end of the age range.
Students who are athletes or are passionate fans, as well as those readers who want to better understand diverse perspectives will connect with this books. Hand this title to young social justice advocates who liked Miles Morales: Suspended by Jason Reynolds or those who want to think deeply about identity and liked Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie.

-Melissa Palmer

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 21, 2023
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Release Date: September 12, 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.

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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: Stateless by Elizabeth Wein

  • Stateless
  • by Elizabeth Wein
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Release date: March 14, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780316591249

What starts out as an air race between young pilots to promote peace across Europe quickly turns into a murder mystery when one plane seemingly purposefully attacks another.  As the only female pilot in the race, Stella North feels unsure of her place amidst the intrigue and competition, yet she cannot help but be drawn into a search for the truth.

This book had gripping suspense and richly researched historical details.  The dramatic irony comes as the reader realizes that many of these current allies in the novel will soon be pitted against each other as WWII looms ahead. A burgeoning romance between Stella and an arch-rival adds yet another layer as she battles for her right to be taken seriously as a pilot while trying to determine whether he is a ruthless killer.


This book will be well liked by fans of suspenseful historical fiction who enjoyed Wein’s previous work as well as fans of Ruta Sepetys and Monica Hesse.  Readers who loved the high stakes racing scenes of Kalyn Josephson’s This Dark Descent will also find plenty to appreciate in this title.

-Marie LeJeune

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: May 2, 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.
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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: For Lamb by Lesa Cline-Ransome

  • For Lamb
  • by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Publisher: Holiday House
  • Release date: January 10, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780823450152

Lamb Clark doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about all the things she cannot change in Jackson, Mississippi. Her mom, Marion, does, though.  All her life, Lamb has heard her mother demanding strength of Lamb and her older brother, Simeon.  Hardship and keeping out of the way of white folks is just a way of life, and keeping one’s head down when white mobs go on a lynching rampage is a matter of life and death for the Clarks. That’s why Lamb’s forbidden friendship with Dr. Tremper’s daughter, Marny, is dangerous. Lamb and Marny share a love of reading, a parent who is not in the picture, and older brothers who try to parent the girls. Their difference is that while Lamb’s brother, Simeon, could be accused of and lynched for taking liberties with a white woman, Marny’s brother, George, can assault Lamb and then bring a mob calling for “justice” when Simeon retaliates. 

Cline-Ransome uses multiple perspectives–each with a unique voice–to bring readers into the violence of 1940s Mississippi. Like Emmett Till’s mother who insisted on an open casket, Cline-Ransome lays bare the brutal ugliness of a time period of history in which citizens of our country were treated with savage indifference and gross injustice. The plot is compelling. Lamb’s fears of what others will think of her, her aggravation with a mother who doesn’t seem to understand her, and the longing for a relationship with her father are universally recognizable, making the terror with which she lives daily all the more palpable. The conclusion is breathtakingly painful, and yet Cline-Ransome manages to end the story on a note of hope.


This is a book for teens who connect with characters empathetically. It will be especially appreciated by those who want to understand how historical traumas inform current events. Readers who connected with Liselle Sambury’s Delicious Monsters, Angeline Boulley’s Warrior Girl Unearthed, or Ruchira Gupta’s I Kick and I Fly will also find this an unforgettable story.

-Jodi Kruse

Other Nominated Titles

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.

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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson

  • This Dark Descent
  • by Kalyn Josephson
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Release date: September 26, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250812360

Mikira Rusel’s family was once famous for breeding enchanted horses, but their ranch has fallen on hard times thanks to the spite of the Kelbras family, one of the Great Houses of Veradell. When Mikira’s father is discovered to be an unlicensed enchanter and arrested, Mikira makes a dangerous bargain with Rezek Kelbras: if she wins the Illinir, an infamously lucrative, but dangerous, horse race using an unenchanted horse, her father will be freed. To do this impossible task, she partners with an upstart nobleman, Damien, and a practitioner of forbidden magic, Arielle, who have their own reasons to hate the Kelbras. Yet Mikira wonders if, in pursuit of their own revenge, her allies will eventually become enemies as well.

This Dark Descent is compelling, fast-paced, and intricately plotted. Dual narrators Mikira and Arielle are strong, sympathetic characters, two women who are tired of being powerless in an unequal society, but who come to have vastly different, conflicting ideals when wresting power for themselves. The dynamics among this group of secret rebels is fascinating, as Mikira, Arielle, and Damien all have something precious to lose that brings them together while also putting them at cross-purposes. Josephson expertly balances each character’s desires, motives, secrets, and moral codes to craft a taut thriller filled with bargains, betrayals, sacrifices, and revenge. The four horse races that make up the Illinir are packed with action and danger, while the introspective character moments make it clear what is at stake. The enchantment-based magic system is unique and steeped heavily in Jewish lore of the golem. Josephson also includes bisexual and demiromantic characters and references other queer couples in the story to make a queer-inclusive fantasy world.

Teens who love morally gray characters, twisty political intrigue, and dark magics will find much to love here. Readers of other dark fantasies with epic stakes like A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, and The Young Elites by Marie Lu will appreciate the worldbuilding and political intrigue. Those who enjoy the racing aspect may also enjoy The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater and Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin.

-Krista Hutley

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 24, 2023
Release Date: April 11, 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.
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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review:The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White

  • The Spirit Bares Its Teeth
  • by Andrew Joseph White
  • Publisher: Peachtree Teen
  • Release date: September 5, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781682636114

Silas Bell has ambitions of being a doctor and has some training on anatomy and surgical technique. However, Silas, a trans boy, has been tutored into submission to hide his autism and will likely be forced to marry as a doting housewife. He is sent away to a school for girls to cure their “Veil Sickness,” a claimed madness that afflicts violet-eyed people who can speak with the dead. Several girls go missing, and their ghosts begin to speak to Silas, launching him into a violent and twisted quest for the truth. 

This is a complex and compelling horror, mixing paranormal and psychological elements that will enchant readers. An exploration of the harm done to those that are “other” by society, with biting critique and deep compassion, White’s story set in the Victorian era feels eerily current.  Silas offers a well-developed protagonist, alongside a powerful cast of secondary characters. 

Teens seeking gory historical horror, with a deeper examination of various forms of oppression will find this a must read.  Readers who loved White’s Hell Followed with Us will definitely want to check out this title. Additionally, this would be a good pick for fans of The Honeys or The Wilder Girls.  

-Kaitlin Malixi

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 24, 2023
Release Date: April 18, 2023
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Release Date: May 2, 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.
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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan

  • The Buried and the Bound
  • by Rochelle Hassan
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Release date: January 24, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250822208

Aziza is the only hedgewitch in her Massachusetts hometown and is the only one who can protect the town from the fairyland that exists in the woods. When the barrier between her town and the fairyland in the woods starts thinning, Aziza teams up with Leo, a local boy who is desperate to solve the curse that has caused him to forget his true love. Together, Aziza and Leo will have to work with a mysterious necromancer, Tristian, and other fairyland creatures to save their hometown from the force that is causing the barrier to thin.

This fast-paced contemporary fantasy features strong familial bonds, found family, and interesting characters. Hassan draws on mythology to form the basis of her world, using creatures that are familiar and some that may be new to teen readers. Aziza, Leo, and Tristian all have their own unique points of view which aid the story in moving along quickly. Each of the  three main characters occupy different places in society and teen readers are sure to see themselves in at least one character. While there is a solid conclusion to the ending, the novel sets up book number twice quite nicely and leaves the reader looking forward to more.

Teens who like a queer-positive, diverse, and fast-paced story will enjoy this book. This book is great for readers who enjoyed Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, The Witchery by S. Isabelle, and These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. 

-Zoe Smolen

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: April 25, 2023
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Release Date: June 6, 2023
July 25, 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.
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

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

  • This Delicious Death
  • by Kayla Cottingham
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • Release date: April 25, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781728236445

When melting ice-caps cause a new pathogen to be released into the world, an event called the Hollowing begins and those infected with the pathogen must consume human flesh or risk turning into a monster. Luckily, scientists are able to quickly create a synthetic meat allowing those infected with the pathogen to lead relatively-normal lives. All is going well until people start disappearing from a music festival. Can Zoey, Celeste and their friends figure out what is happening before the Hollowing takes them over? 

Cottingham has crafted a novel that is equal parts terrifying and responsive to modern-day teen issues. Underneath the body horror there are currents of Covid-19 trauma, fear of global warming, and a queer-normative story. The book is fast paced and keeps readers engaged while meeting teens where they are.

Teens who enjoy horror and thrillers with social commentary will like this book. Similar titles are The Getaway by Lamar Giles and The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson.

Content warnings for: body horror and cannibalism.

-Zoe Smolen

Other Nominated Titles

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

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