2024 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens is a list of recommended graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those ages 12-18, prepared yearly by YALSA. 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

Kelley Blue, Portland Public Library, ME (Coordinator); Meg Bowie, Free Library of Philadelphia; Jean Broughton, Vancouver Public Library; Jacqueline Bush, Stratford Library Association; M’issa Fleming, New Orleans Public Library; Patricia Jimenez, Teacher-Librarian, Sunnyslope High School; Rachel Johannigmeier, Kirkwood Public Library; Kaileigh Oldham, Danville Public Library; Ness Shortley, Wake County Public Schools, NC; Mariela Siegert, Downers Grove North High School Library; Scot Smith, Robertsville Middle School; Cheyenne Sons, Mayfield Senior School; Lee Stokes, Upper Darby Township Library; Adam Wheeler, Chicago Public Library.

Coordinator note: Age range recommendations for all titles on this list are determined by information provided from publishers, professional reviews, and the professional reading knowledge of committee members.

Top Ten

  • Belle of the Ball
  • By Mari Costa
  • Art by the author
  • March 21, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250784124
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 741.5973
  • Feelings get complicated between team mascot Belle, cheerleader Regina, and all-star athlete Chloe in this refreshing take on the high school love triangle.
  • Brooms
  • By Jasmine Walls
  • Art by Teo
  • October 10, 2023
  • Length: 248 p.
  • Levine Querido, paper, $18.99
  • 9781646142682
  • Grades: 9-12
  • sqaa
  • In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan risk competing in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.
  • Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam
  • By Thien Pham
  • Art by the author
  • June 20, 2023.
  • Length: 240 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250809728
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 305.9.
  • Distinct memories of food link the chapters of Thien Pham’s life: fleeing Vietnam, surviving a refugee camp, growing up in California, and becoming a graphic artist.
  • Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1, Vol. 2
  • By Makoto Ojiro
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 178 p., 200 p.
  • VIZ Media, paper, $12.99
  • 9781974736577, 9781974737031
  • Grades: 9-12
  • 741.5952.
  • Sleepless high school student Ganta Nakami begins napping in his school’s abandoned astronomy tower with classmate (and fellow insomniac) Isaki Magari in this sweet slice-of-life manga series.
  • Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir
  • By Pedro Martín
  • Art by the author
  • August 1, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Dial Books, paper, $14.99
  • 9780593462294
  • Grades: 5-8
  • 305.86
  • Pedro embarks on an epic, often hilarious, family road trip from California to Mexico and back again on a mission to bring his legendary abuelito to the U.S.
  • Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story
  • By Sarah Myer
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 272 p.
  • First Second, paper, $17.99
  • 9781250268808
  • Grades: 8-12
  • Length: 305.
  • Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom in this coming-of-age memoir.
  • Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria
  • By Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus
  • Art by Julie Robine
  • 2022
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Little, Brown Ink, paper, $12.99
  • 9780759556904
  • Grades: 5-10
  • 956.9104.
  • After losing nearly everything to endless war and devastation, teenager Muhammad gathers the stories of Syrian children and makes a global impact with his journalism.
  • The Talk
  • By Darrin Bell
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 352 p.
  • Henry Holt and Co., hardcover, $29.99
  • 9781250805140
  • General Adult
  • 305.896
  • As he raises his own son, Darrin Bell reflects on how “The Talk” shaped his childhood, teen years, and young adult life, and how he found a voice through cartooning.
  • Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. 
  • By Petra Erika Nordlund
  • Art by the author
  • 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99
  • 9781638584193
  • Grades: 10-12
  • 741.94897.
  • Ludovica is a sheltered royal who longs to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail! But the high seas hold much more than she ever anticipated.
  • Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice
  • By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes
  • Art by Dawud Anyabwile
  • 2022
  • Length: 208 p.
  • Norton Young Readers, paper, $17.95
  • 9781324052159
  • Grades: 7-12
  • 796.42.
  • Track-and-field gold medalist and civil rights icon Tommie Smith recounts his life leading up to his participation in the 1968 Summer Olympics in this riveting and relevant graphic memoir.

Nominations

Nonficton

*Denotes a Top Ten Title

  • 83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary. By Don Brown. Art by the author. 2023. 128p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $22.99 (9780063311565). Gr. 10-12. 947.7086. This work of graphic nonfiction focuses on the siege of Mariupol and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • The Bodyguard Unit: Edith Garrud, Women’s Suffrage, and Jujitsu. By Clément Xavier. Art by Lisa Lugrin. 2023. 136 p. Graphic Universe, paper, $17.99 (9798765607473). Gr. 8-12. 324.623. This graphic biography tells the story of how jujitsu instructor Edith Garrud taught women demanding the right to vote in England how to defend themselves against violent oppression.
  • 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. 6-8. 623.45119. This graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of narrative nonfiction explores the history, spycraft, and science of building the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II.
  • Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 6-8. 796.962. Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took during his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players and coaches.
  • Embrace Your Size: My Own Body Positivity. By hara. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Yen Press, paper, $17.00 (9781975347291). General Adult. 306.4. This nonfiction manga contains vignettes about the creator’s personal experiences with body image and how body positivity does/does not exist in society.
  • *Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam. By Thien Pham. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250809728). Gr. 9-12. 305.9. Distinct memories of food link the chapters of Thien Pham’s life: fleeing Vietnam,  surviving a refugee camp, growing up in California, and becoming a graphic artist.
  • A First Time for EverythingBy Dan Santat. Art by the author. 2023. 230p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250851048). Gr. 6-8. B. The summer before his first year in high school, Dan Santat travels to Europe with his classmates and steps outside his comfort zone.
  • 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. 7-12. 509. This work of graphic nonfiction provides an in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet and demonstrates the urgent need for changes to the current systems.
  • In Limbo: A Graphic Memoir. By Deb JJ Lee. Art by the author. 2023. 339p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250252661). Gr. 10-12. B. This graphic memoir explores some of the author’s most poignant and painful memories of growing up as a Korean-American and perpetually feeling ‘in limbo’ with friends, family, and community.
  • It Won’t Always Be Like This: A Graphic Memoir. By Malaka Gharib. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. Ten Speed Press, paper, $19.99 (9781984860293). General Adult. B. After Malaka’s parents divorced and her father left the US, she now spends summers with him in Egypt, where she struggles to understand where she fits within family and culture.
  • The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women’s Lives. By Kelcey Ervick. Art by the author. 2022. 336p. Avery Publishing Group, paper, $27.00 (9780593539187). General Adult. B. One athlete’s personal history with Title IX is interspersed with factual details about the fight for equality in women’s sports and the history of women’s soccer.
  • Kwändǖr. By Cole Pauls. Art by the author. 2022. 140p. Conundrum Press, paper, $25.00 (9781772620771). General Adult. 741.5973. This collection of shorter comics and zines brings together the culture and experience of the artist and other Dene and Arctic peoples living in Haines Junction, Yukon Territory.
  • Maybe an Artist: A Graphic Memoir. By Elizabeth Montague. Art by the author. 2022. 176p. Random House Studio, paper, $17.99 (9780593307823). Gr. 7-9. B. Liz Montague describes her life from childhood to the start of her professional career as a Black female cartoonist.
  • *Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir. By Pedro Martín. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Dial Books, paper, $14.99 (9780593462294). Gr. 6-8. 305.86. Pedro embarks on an epic, often hilarious, family road trip from California to Mexico and back on a mission to bring his legendary abuelito to the U.S.
  • *Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 8-12. 305. Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom in this coming-of-age memoir.
  • *Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria. By Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus. Art by Julie Robine. 2022. 320p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $12.99 (9780759556904). Gr. 6-10. 956.9104. After losing nearly everything to endless war and devastation, teenager Muhammad gathers the stories of Syrian children and makes a global impact with his journalism. 
  • Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting. By Kindra Neely. Art by the author. 2022. 304p. Little, Brown & Co., paper, $17.99 (9780316462099). Gr. 8-12. 362.88/B. The author recounts a mass shooting at her college and explores what it is like to be a survivor in an age of epidemic gun violence.
  • The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christensen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741. This collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators features vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.
  • Sunshine: How One Camp Taught Me About Life, Death, and Hope. By Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphix, paper, $14.99 (9781338356311). Gr. 8-12. 618.92. In this graphic memoir, Krosoczka recounts his experiences as a volunteer counselor at a summer camp for terminally ill children and their families.
  • *The Talk. By Darrin Bell. Art by the author. 2023. 352p. Henry Holt and Co., hardcover, $29.99 (9781250805140). General Adult. 305.896. As he raises his own son, Darrin Bell reflects on how “The Talk” shaped his childhood, teen years, and young adult life, and how he found a voice through cartooning.
  • The Tryout: A Graphic Novel. By Christina Soontornvat. Art by Joanna Cacao. 2022. 272p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338741261). Gr. 6-8. B. In this graphic memoir, Christina recalls her experiences of trying out for the cheerleading squad as one of the only Asian-Americans in her Texas middle school.
  • Unaccompanied: Stories of Brave Teenagers Seeking Asylum. By Tracy White. Art by the author. 2023. 168p. Street Noise Books, paper, $19.99 (9781951491208). Gr. 10-12. 362.87. Based on interviews with real teens and the adults helping them seek U.S. citizenship, this collection presents a variety of perspectives and experiences from asylum seekers.
  • *Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice. By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes. Art by Dawud Anyabwile. 2022. 208p. Norton Young Readers, paper, $17.95 (9781324052159). Gr. 7-12. 796.42. Track-and-field gold medalist and civil rights icon Tommie Smith recounts his life leading up to his participation in the 1968 Summer Olympics in this riveting and relevant graphic memoir.
  • We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story. By Frank W. Baker. Art by Tim E. Ogline. 156p. Imagine and Wonder, paper, $19.99 (9781637610206). Gr. 8-10. 900/B. This graphic biography follows the lives of Bluma and Felix Goldberg from childhood, life inside German concentration camps, and their years together after the war.

Fiction

*Denotes a Top Ten Title

  • Akane-banashi, Vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). Gr. 7-12. 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. 7-12. 741.5973/920 Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, they grapple with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.
  • *Belle of the BallBy Mari Costa. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250784124). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Feelings get complicated between team mascot Belle, cheerleader Regina, and all-star athlete Chloe in this refreshing take on the high school love triangle.
  • 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). Gr. 8-12. 741.5952. In the year 2038, a kid named Yuma and his friends find themselves embroiled in a space mission after the family robot is taken over by an alien ship in distress.
  • *Brooms. By Jasmine Walls. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan risk competing in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.
  • Call the Name of the Night, Vol. 1. By Tama Mitsuboshi. Art by the author. 2023. 194p. Yen Press, paper, $13.00 (9781975352004). Gr. 6-12. 741.5952. Gifted or cursed? With the help of a new mentor and some shadowy spirits, young Mira may learn to feel good about her strange new powers.
  • Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973. Fresh out of prison, Selina Kyle plans one last big score with fellow Gotham supervillains. Can she pull it off before her past catches up?
  • Charisma’s Turn. By Monique Couvson. Art by Amanda Jones. 2023. 128p. The New Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781620974018). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. After repeat suspensions for fighting, Charisma is given an alternative way to work out her issues at school: lead the social justice club.
  • 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 who lives in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.
  • Codex Black, Book 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 6-8. 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 this Mesoamerican adventure.
  • Cosmoknights, Book 2. By Hannah Templer. Art by the author. 2023. 280p. Top Shelf Productions, paper, $24.99 (9781603095112). General Adult. 741.5973. This long-awaited sci-fi sequel kicks right into hyper-drive with rebel gladiators Bee and Cass fighting the colonialist, capitalist patriarchy! Committee note: this volume can be enjoyed without having read other books in the series, though we do recommend purchasing volume 1.
  • The Cursed Princess Club. By LambCat. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973 Vol. 2. 2023. 352p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990778407). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973 Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly–until her betrothed says she is! Enter the Cursed Princess Club: part support group, part hot mess.
  • Dai Dark, Vol. 5. By Q Hayashida. Art by the author. 2023. 214p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638588252). Gr. 10-12. 741.5952. This series follows teen Zaha Sanko and company on a fully unserious journey of eldritch space horror and comedy. Committee note: this volume is best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books as well as this volume.
  • D&D Dungeon Club, Vol. 1: Roll Call. By Molly Knox Ostertag. Art by Xanthe Bouma. 2022. 208p. HarperAlley, hardcover, $19.99 (9780063039247). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Middle schoolers Jess and Olivia have a long-running, two-person Dungeons and Dragons campaign. When Olivia wants to bring in new players, Jess worries about their friendship.
  • 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. In this new series from the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, twins Yuru and Asa discover their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.
  • Danger and Other Unknown RisksBy Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 9-12. 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 behind The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
  • DC vs. Vampires. By James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Otto Schmidt. Vol. 1. 2022. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779516794). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 2. 2023. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779521248). General Adult. 741.5973. A mysterious master is turning both heroes and villains into vampires. With the Justice League compromised, can Batman save (or even survive) the day?
  • Dinosaur Sanctuary. By Itaru Kinoshita and Shin-ichi Fujiwara. Art by Itaru Kinoshita. Vol. 1. 2022. 194p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685793241). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 200p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685793258). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Rookie dino-keeper Suma brings new energy and ideas to a failing dinosaur sanctuary in Japan where the staff share a special bond with their Jurassic charges.
  • Doughnuts and Doom. By Balazs Lorinczi. Art by the author. 2022. 136p. Top Shelf Productions, paper, $14.99 (9781603095136). Gr. 9-12. 741.5941. Magical Margot heads to a local doughnut shop after failing an exam, then accidentally wrecks the shop and curses sweet-slinger Elena. Oops!
  • DPS Only! By Velinxi. Art by the author. 2022. 432p. Andrew McMeel Publishing, paper, $18.99 (9781524876494). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Vicky’s brother is a big-shot esports player, and he has no idea that she’s been secretly playing (and winning) the same game behind his back.
  • 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. 9-12. 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.
  • Enemies: Berrybrook Middle School, Vol. 5. By Svetlana Chmakova. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. JY / Yen Press, paper, $13.00 (9781975312725). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Aspiring artist Felicity struggles to maintain relationships with her classmates after entering her school’s entrepreneur club pitch contest. Committee note: this volume can be enjoyed without having read other books in the series.
  • Everything Is Fine, Vol. 1. By Mike Birchall. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $19.99 (9781990259777). General Adult. Sam and Maggie have a perfect life along with all their neighbors. Everything is fine! Questioning this existence, however, leads to deadly risks that Maggie may be ready to take.
  • FirebirdBy Sunmi. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780062981516). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. After sophomore Caroline begins tutoring senior Kimberly, the two strike up an increasingly close relationship while navigating family issues, queer identities, and potential romance.
  • Freestyle. By Gale Galligan. Art by the author. 2022. 240p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338045802). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Cory navigates the challenges of eighth grade with members of his dance crew and newfound friend, Sunna, along with plenty of breakdance moves and yo-yo tricks.
  • Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 9-12. 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 Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Mari and Kat arrive in remote Estrella Roja for different reasons, but together they investigate the small town’s spooky mysteries–developing feelings for one another along the way.
  • Hollow. By Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White. Art by Berenice Nelle. 2022. 176p. Boom Box, paper, $19.99 (9781684158522). Gr. 9-12. 741.5. In this modern retelling, Izzy Crane moves to the town of Sleepy Hollow where “the legend” and the legacy are all too real.
  • Hooky. By Míriam Bonastre Tur. Art by the author. Vol. 2. 2022. 368p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $24.99 (9780358693093), Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Vol. 3. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $24.99 (9780358693574). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. The magical adventures of twins Dani and Dorian continue right in this popular WEBTOON series. Committee note: this complete three volume series is best enjoyed as a whole. We recommend purchasing all three volumes.
  • Hoops. By Matt Tavares. Art by the author. 2023. 215p. Candlewick Press, paper, $12.99 (9781536231953). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Inspired by real players and events, “Hoops” tells the story of a trailblazing women’s high school basketball team at the dawn of Title IX.
  • Hungry GhostBy Victoria Ying. Art by the author. 2023. 198p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250767004). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. A significant life event forces high school senior Valerie to realize that her relationships with food, her body, and her mother are toxic and causing her harm.
  • 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 Infinity Particle. By Wendy Xu. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Quill Tree Books, paper, $18.99 (9780062955760). Gr. 8-12. 741.5973. When young scientist Clementine Chang moves to Mars, a blossoming romance with her mentor’s humanoid AI, Kye, challenges her understanding of humanity.
  • *Insomniacs After School. By Makoto Ojiro. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 178p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974736577). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974737031). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Sleepless high school student Ganta Nakami begins napping in his school’s abandoned astronomy tower with classmate (and fellow insomniac) Isaki Magari in this sweet slice-of-life manga series.
  • Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). Gr. 10-12. 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.
  • Kaiju No. 8. By Naoya Matsumoto. Art by the author. Vol. 4. 2022. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974732340). General Adult. 741.5952. Vol. 5. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974734184). General Adult. 741.5952. The gorey and hilarious adventures of half-man, half-kaiju Kafka Hibino continue! Should our hero reveal his true self if it means saving others? Committee note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books as well as these new volumes.
  • The Keeper. By Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. Art by Marco Finnegan. 176p. Abrams Comic Arts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419751554). General Adult. 741.5973. Aisha’s grandmother promised she would never end up in the foster system. Even when she dies, someone (or something) is keeping that promise to Aisha.
  • The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685794972). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. In this manga for fans of medieval adventure, young Rosa leaves her old life behind to take on the role of squire in her quest to become knight.
  • The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic NovelBy Antonio Iturbe and Salva Rubio. Art by Loreto Aroca. 2023. 144p. Laura Godwin Books, paper, $14.99 (9781250842985). Gr. 7-9. 741.5946. This graphic adaptation of the YA novel is based on the life of Dita Kraus, who was entrusted with keeping forbidden books safe while imprisoned in Auschwitz.
  • The Lonesome Hunters, Vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). General Adult. 741.5973. An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together in an attempt to destroy ancient evils.
  • Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. The delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.
  • Malcolm Kid and the Perfect Song. By Austin Paramore. Art by Sarah Bollinger. 2023. 208p. Oni Press, paper, $24.99 (9781637152232). Gr. 7-12. 741.5973. Aspiring piano player Malcolm follows his friend, Ari, into a strange shop to find the perfect keyboard, unsuspecting of the ghost trapped inside it.
  • Match Point. By Maddie Gallegos. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250784148). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Rosie Vo hates racquetball, but her dad, a former champion, wants her to play. Can a new teammate turn things around for Rosie?
  • Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand. By Yoko Komori. Art by the author. 2023. 408p. VIZ Media, paper, $19.99 (9781974734658). Gr. 6-8. 741.5952. Tokiko and her father move from Tokyo to a small seaside town with a strange secret. Can Tokiko and her new friend Yoskue discover the truth?
  • Miss Miyazen Would Love to Get Closer to You. By Akitaka. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 146p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291419). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 2. 2022. 130p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291426). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 3. 2023. 143p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291730). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Vol. 4. 2023. 162p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647292133). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Transfer students Miyazen and Matsubayashi are from different worlds but are drawn to each other at their new school. Shyness makes getting closer a lengthy process. Committee Note: this four volume series is complete, concluding with volume 4.
  • Monkey Meat. By Juni Ba. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $16.99 (9781534323230). General Adult. 741.5973. Welcome to a wacky world where the Monkey Meat corporation rules, and their products might give you supernatural powers!
  • The Moth KeeperBy K. O’Neill. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $13.99 (9780593182260). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Anya becomes the apprentice Moth Keeper for her nocturnal village, but the job is more difficult than she imagined.
  • My Life Among Humans. By Jed McGowan. Art by the author. 2023. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781637151990). General Adult. 741.5973. An alien is forced to spy on an earth family, but observing humans leads him down a path of self-discovery.
  • My Special One, Vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). Gr. 9-12. 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. 9-12. 741.5973. When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they’re principal enrolls them in a film class at a local community college.
  • The Night Eaters. By Marjorie Liu. Art by Sana Takeda. Book 1: She Eats the Night. 2022. 208p. Abrams ComicArts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419758706). General Adult. 741.5973. Book 2: Her Little Reapers. 2023. 272p. Abrams ComicArts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419758720). General Adult. 741.5973. The creators of Monstress weave a new horror-fantasy tale focused on twenty-something twins Billy and Milly, who are about to discover more about their parents than they ever wanted to know.
  • Nightwing. By Tom Taylor. Art by Bruno Redondo. Vol. 2: Get Grayson. 2022. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779517456). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 3: The Battle for Bludhaven’s Heart. 2023. 176p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779520166). General Adult. 741.5973. Fighting for the future of Bludhaven is tough when you’re both Dick Grayson and Nightwing, and everyone wants both of you dead! Committee note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting the first book in this series as well as these volumes
  • NorthrangerBy Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. In this retelling of Jane Austen’s gothic Northanger Abbey, Cade works at a Texas ranch where he finds romance with the mysterious Henry Tyler, a houseful of secrets, and ghosts of all kinds.
  • 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 and unleash an ancient monster. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.
  • Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Guide, Vol. 3. By Mone Sorai. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Love X Love, paper, $12.99 (9781427872531). Gr. 10-12. 741.5952. Ashahi and Mitsuki continue their trip abroad, visiting London, Spain and Morocco, and enjoy the company of one of Mitsuki’s friends. Committee Note: this volume is best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting previous books in this series as well as this volume.
  • Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraws. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 8-12. 741.5952. After an incident at school, two former friends endure a camp for teens with behavioral problems. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their broken relationship?
  • PardalitaBy Joana Estrela. Art by the author. 2023. 224p. Levine Querido, paper, $16.99 (9781646142569). Gr. 8-12. 741.5946. A coming-of-age story told in poems and panels about 16-year-old Raquel and her developing relationship with alluring drama student Pardalita.
  • Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverston, 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 odd and semi-dangerous 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 on a quest of 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. 7-12. 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 Chelsey Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 8-12. 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.
  • Saving Sunshine. By Saadia Faruqi. Art by Shazleen Khan. 2023. 224p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250793812). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. On a family trip to Key West, bickering twins Zara and Zeeshan have their phones confiscated to help them learn to get along. What will they do now?
  • Scarlet Witch, Vol. 1: The Last Door. By Steve Orlando. Art by Sara Pichelli, Carlos Nieto, and Russell Dauterman. 2023. 168p. Marvel Comics, paper, $19.99 (9780785194743). General Adult. 741.5973. In this portal fantasy, Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, runs a magic shop that lures only those with problems that cannot be solved by conventional means.
  • 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.
  • Sea Serpent’s Heir, Book 1: Pirates Daughter. By Mairghread Scott. Art by Pablo Tunica. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $14.99 (9781534321298). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Aella’s pirate mom keeps a BIG secret from her: Aella is the reincarnation of the demonic sea serpent Xir, destined to destroy the world.
  • Season of the Bruja, Vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe but falters after losing her grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy all her kind.
  • Space Trash, Vol. 1. By Jenn Woodall. Art by the author. 2022. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $21.99 (9781637150405). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973. Sent to a reformatory high school on the moon, Stab, Yuki, and Una want nothing more than to find a way back to Earth.
  • The Spirit of DenendehBy Richard Van Camp. Art by Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk and Nickolej Villiger. Vol. 1: A Blanket of Butterflies. 2022. 56p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920404). Gr. 9-12. 741.5971. Vol. 2: As I Enfold You in Petals. 2023. 72p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920411). Gr. 9-12. 741.5971. This slim but powerful comics duology blends history and spirituality with the present day lives of indigenous Tłı̨chǫ Dene characters.
  • 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). Gr. 9-12. 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.
  • Superman: Son of Kal-El. By Tom Taylor. Vol. 2: The Rising. By Tom Taylor. Art by Cian Tormey and Bruno Redondo. 2022. 168p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779517388). General Adult. 741.5973. Vol. 3: Battle for Gamora. By Tom Taylor and Nicole Maines. Art by Cian Tormey and Clayton Henry. 2023. 136p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779520074). General Adult. 741.5973. New Superman, new problems. Jonathan Kent has to handle Lex Luther pairing up with the dictator of Gamora! Can his dad just come back already? Committee Note: these volumes are best enjoyed as part of the ongoing series. We recommend collecting the first book in this series as well as these volumes.
  • Talli, Daughter of the Moon, vol. 1. By Sourya. Art by the author. 2022. 168p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781637150825). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952. Talli is a summoner, a descendent of the moon goddess, and she is forced to live on the run with a ragtag group of allies.
  • 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. 6-8. 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 longs to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail! But the high seas hold much more than she ever anticipated.
  • Tower of God, Vol. 1. By S.I.U. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259906). Gr. 9-12. 741.5951. Welcome to the Tower. Everyone’s dream is to ascend it. Hundreds will try; few, if any, will rise to its challenges.
  • True Beauty. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 288p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). Gr. 7-12. 741.5951. Vol. 2. 2023. 267p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990778025). Gr. 7-12. 741.5951. Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her passion for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the print volumes of this popular web series.
  • Twelfth Grade Night: Arden High, Book 1. By Molly Horton Booth and Stephanie Kate Strohm. Art by Jamie Green. 2022. 160p. Disney-Hyperion, paper, $14.99 (9781368064651). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973. Twins Vi and Sebastian start a new year at different schools. Soon Vi is swept up in some Shakespearean-level romantic drama. Literally!
  • Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 6-8. 741.5973. Mia is Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage. She secretly visits her father to learn about her Muscogee heritage.
  • Unfamiliar, Vol. 1. By Haley Newsome. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876838). Gr. 8-12. 741.5973. A culinary witch named Planchette gathers help from new friends and familiars to exorcize the many ghosts living in her new home.
  • Villains Are Destined to Die, Vol. 1. By Gwon Gyeoeul. Art by SUOL. 2022. 256p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900006). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952. Ever fall asleep grinding too many hours on a new RPG? Careful! You may wake up inside the game. On hard mode. As the villain.
  • Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, Vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). Gr. 9-12. 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 as a human.
  • The Witch’s Throne. By Cedric Caballes. Art by the author. Vol. 1. 2022. 320p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876500). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Vol. 2. 2023. 272p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524881276). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973. Inspired by the heroic stories of her childhood, young alchemist Agni ventures out to become a Throne Seeker, picking up three companions haphazardly along the way.
  • The World After the Fall, Vol. 1. By S-Cynan. Art by Undead Gamja. 2022. 280p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900044). Gr. 9-12. 741.5951. Jaewhan is the last of the Tower Walkers, an elite group of ‘chosen ones’ selected to climb the levels of nightmarish towers filled with monsters.

2024 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Each year, YALSA’s Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team selects and annotates an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years. 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 Jennifer Sutton, Catherine M. Andronik, Rebecca Baldwin, Jennifer Balke, Sarah Carpenter, Jen Haas, Amy Hailey, Alyssa Johnson, Natalie LaRocque, Ileana Pulu, Haley Shaw, Lysha Thompson

Top Ten

  • Check and Mate
  • By Ali Hazelwood
  • Read by Karissa Vacker
  • November 7, 2023.
  • Length: 9.5 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593744543
  • Grades: 8-12.
  • This enemies to lovers, character-driven romance, is set in the world of competitive chess. Mallory swore off chess but when she accepts a chess fellowship she finds herself falling back in love with the game and in love with the world’s number 1 chess player. Karissa Vacker’s narration is engaging and brings the characters to life with multiple voices.
  • Imogen, Obviously
  • By Becky Albertalli
  • Read by Caitlin Kinnunen
  • May 2, 2023
  • Length: 9.5 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Balzer + Bray, DD
  • 9780063045903
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Imogen is the world’s best queer ally, so it is no big deal to pretend to be her best friend’s ex when she visits her at college. Imogen finds herself falling in love with the college and someone unexpected. This lighthearted audio eases listeners into exploring deeper and more complex issues.
  • Lei and the Fire Goddess
  • By Malia Maunakea
  • Read by Jennifer Robideau
  • June 6, 2023
  • Length: 8 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593681244
  • Grades: 4-6.
  • Lei begs her Tūtū / grandma to do touristy things during a visit to Hawai’i, but tūtū prioritizes family traditions and folklore. Then Lei picks a sacred flower and insults Pele, fire goddess, whose wrath sends her on an impossible adventure. A fast-paced action story with expert pronunciation of ʻŌlelo Hawai’i / Native Hawaiian.
  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
  • By Isaac Blum
  • Read by Josh Bloomberg
  • September 13, 2022
  • Length: 6 hr.
  • Listening Library, DD
  • 9780593630037
  • Grades: 7-10. 
  • Hoodie Rosen’s life is turned upside down when his Orthodox Jewish community relocates to an unwelcoming town. Hoodie’s only solace is Anna-Marie, whose mother, the mayor, opposes Hoodie’s community. Bloomberg expresses humor while exploring the painful topic of religious prejudice.   
  • Promise Boys
  • By Nick Brooks
  • Read by a full cast
  • January 31, 2023
  • Length: 6.5 hr.
  • Macmillan Audio, DD
  • 9781250877253
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • When the principal of The Urban Promise Prep School is found dead several students find themselves suspects, as the students begin their own investigation, they find a dark side to the prestigious school. A suspenseful reading by a full cast pulls the listener into the twists and turns of this whodunit. 
  • The Queens of New York
  • By E.L. Shen
  • Read by a full cast
  • June 6, 2023
  • Length: 8 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD
  • 9780063237988
  • Grades: 8-11.
  • Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable until this summer. Each friend goes on their own summer adventure and readers get to see them become more comfortable with themselves and the world they want to live in. The three narrators each have a unique delivery perfectly reflecting the teen characters.
  • Warrior Girl Unearthed
  • By Angeline Boulley
  • Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc
  • May 2, 2023
  • Length: 11.5 hr
  • Macmillan Audio, DD
  • 9781250877277
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Perry Firekeeper-Birch just wanted to enjoy her summer. Instead she is forced to complete an internship at her tribe’s museum. There she learns about NAGPRA and repatriation. She and her friends embark on a journey to bring their ancestors home. The narrator brings the story to life with her pronunciation of Ojibwa language and her captivating tone.
  • We Deserve Monuments
  • By Jas Hammonds
  • Read by Tamika Katon-Donegal
  • November 29, 2022
  • Length: 10.5 hr.
  • Recorded Books, Inc., DD
  • 9781705069530
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Avery’s life changes when she leaves her home in DC to live in a small southern town where she encounters a hostile grandmother, a racist community, and the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance decades ago. Tamika Katon-Donegal emotionally portrays Avery’s journey in this LGBTQ+ slow-burn mystery.
  • What Happened to Rachel Riley?
  • By Claire Swinarski
  • Read by a full cast
  • January 10, 2023
  • Length: 6 hr.
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD
  • 9780063213128
  • Grades: 5-8.
  • Anna Hunt just moved to East Middle, where she discovers that former popular girl, Rachel Riley, is now enemy number one. Using a full cast of readers to present a variety of clues in the form of notes, emails, and text messages, Anna digs into the mystery.
  • Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor
  • By Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Read by Eric Yang.
  • November 11, 2022
  • Length: 9 hr.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio, DD
  • 9781797158914
  • Grades: 6-8.
  • Zachary Ying is just trying to survive school and play his favorite AR video game. Suddenly, his game becomes more reality than augmented reality. He embarks on a journey across China to save his mom and save the world. The narrator expertly brings each character to life with unique voices. 

Nominees

  • Afterglow. By Phil Stamper. Read by a full cast. 2023. 9 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593347720). Gr.  9-12. In the sequel to Golden Boys, Gabe, Reese, Sal, and Heath navigate senior year as they encounter life changes, discrimination, and love. Can they accomplish their dreams and keep their friendships alive? A heartfelt story about growing up performed earnestly by an ensemble cast.
  • Beyond the Wand. By Tom Felton. Read by the author. 2022. 7 hr. Hachette Audio, DD (9781668619483). Adult. Tom Felton rose to fame as the villainous Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movie series. In his memoir, he details his experience as a boy wizard and struggles with addiction and mental illness in adulthood. Felton’s story comes to life with his masterfully humorous and honest narration. 
  • The Black Queen. By Jumata Emill. Read by Angela Pean and Erin Spencer. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667699). Gr. 9-12. Nova is the first Black homecoming queen of Lovett High, but she is murdered shortly after being elected. Her best friend, Duchess, and main suspect, Tinsley, are determined to solve the crime. The alternating voices add a depth to the story and keep listeners in suspense. 
  • Blood Debts. By Terry J. Benton-Walker. Read by a full cast. 2023. 14.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250883186). Gr. 9-12. In magical New Orleans, twins Clement and Cristina are the descendants of the dethroned Generational magic queen. When their family is attacked by unknown assailants, they must uncover secrets of the past, to save their futures. The full cast of narrators brings listeners into the intrigue and plays out the expansive plot. 
  • Borrow My Heart. By Kasie West. Read by Caitlin Kinnunen. 2023. 7.5hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593680162). Gr. 8-12. To save Asher from the embarrassment of being catfished, Wren secretly pretends to be his online girlfriend. Wren knows that she needs to come clean, as her feelings for Asher grow. Told with typical Kasie West panache, Caitlin Kinnunen’s narration keeps the fun going.
  • The Brothers Hawthorne. By Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Read by Jay Ben Markson. 2023. 13 hr. Hachette Audio, DD (9781668623817). Grayson and Jameson Hawthorne each face a challenge of their own, half a world apart. Both rely on everything their grandfather taught them. Nash and Xander offer their support as does Avery Grahams, the newly named Hawthorne heiress. The narrator’s smooth, mellow voice is perfect for multiple characters. Gr. 9-12.
  • *Check and Mate. By Ali Hazelwood. Read by Karissa Vacker. 2023. 9.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593744543). Gr. 8-12. This enemies to lovers, character-driven romance, is set in the world of competitive chess. Mallory swore off chess but when she accepts a chess fellowship she finds herself falling back in love with the game and in love with the world’s number 1 chess player. Karissa Vacker’s narration is engaging and brings the characters to life with multiple voices. 
  • Chloe and the Kaishao Boys. By Mae Coyiuto. Read by Becca Q. Co. 2023. 8.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593663806). Gr. 9-12. Chloe plans to leave Manila behind next year when she travels to the United States for college to learn animation. Before she leaves, her family insists on throwing an epic traditional debut and her dad is working on finding the perfect escort for her. This rom com is taken to new heights with the fun audio narration. 
  • The Davenports. By Krystal Marquis. Read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. 2023. 12 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593634783). Gr. 7-10. Olivia, Helen, Amy-Rose and Ruby navigate a world of privilege and passion in 1910 Chicago. The Davenports are one of Chicago’s most highly respected families and are expected to uphold the family legacy while looking towards the future. The narrarator conveys the romance, heartbreak, courage and drama through expertly executed voice variation and tone changes. 
  • The Depths. By Nicole Lesperance. Read by Phoebe Strole. 2022. 9hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593630631). Gr. 9-12. When Addie is dragged along on her mother’s honeymoon, she quickly learns that their island destination isn’t a slice of paradise. Addie needs to discover the island’s secrets before she becomes its next victim. This haunting audio gives a sinister voice to the island and enhances the creep factor.
  • Dinged. By Tommy Greenwald. Read by Ramon De Ocampo and Carly Robins. 2022. 5 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798765054598). Gr. 5-8. Caleb follows his NFL superstar father’s path by playing on his high school’s varsity team. Once there, Caleb is forced to witness the risks of repeated concussions. Ramon de Ocampo conveys the emotional journey Caleb struggles with as he decides what place football will have in his future.
  • Fake Dates and Mooncakes. By Sher Lee. Read by Joshua Chang. 2023. 8 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593680209). Gr. 9-12. Follow a heartwarming story about Dylan Tang, who wants to enter a mooncake-making contest to honor his mother’s memory and save his family’s restaurant. When he starts fake dating the wealthy and handsome Theo Somers things become a bit more complicated. Joshua Chang expertly brings this emotional story to life with his narration.
  • Flowerheart. By Catherine Bakewell. Ready by Morag Sims. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperTeen, DD (9780063214651). Gr. 10-12. Clara’s magic has always defied her control, but it has never hurt anyone until now. It is only with the help of her former best friend, Xavier, that she may have a chance to stop the damage. Morag Sims gives voice to sweet Clara, and makes it easy to root for Clara while facing the hurtful internal voice of her magic.
  • For Lamb. By Lesa Cline-Ransome. Read by a full cast. 2023. 8 hr. Dreamscape Media, DD (9781666631708). Gr. 8-12. Lamb, an African American teen growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1930s, agrees to befriend a white girl, never realizing that her actions will make her family a target for lynching.
  • If You Could See the Sun. By Ann Liang. Read by Natalie Naudus. 2022. 9 hr. Harlequin Audio, DD (9781488217968). Gr. 9-12. As a scholarship student at an elite Beijing bording school Alice Sun feels unseen. Alice develops an uncontrollable power of invisibility that turns into a buisness endeavor to raise money for her tuition. Natalie Naudus does a stellar job crafting characters in Liang’s exploration of class differences. 
  • Imogen, Obviously. By Becky Albertalli. Read by Caitlin Kinnunen. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Balzer + Bray, DD (9780063045903). Gr. 9-12. Imogen is the world’s best queer ally, so it is no big deal to pretend to be her best friend’s ex when she visits her at college. Imogen finds herself falling in love with the college and someone unexpected. This lighthearted audio eases listeners into exploring deeper and more complex issues. 
  • In Nightfall. By Suzanne Young. Read by Elena Rey. 2023. 11.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667934). Gr. 9-12. Theo and her brother discover a dark presence that hunts at night when they spend the summer in their father’s hometown of Nightfall. Can Theo and her family survive the town’s murderous curse? Elena Rey’s atomospheric reading highlights the spookiness of Young’s vampire tale. 
  • Kismat Connection. By Ananya Devarajan. Read by Reena Dutt and Vikas Adam. 2023. 8.5 hr.  Harlequin Audio, DD (9781488227509). Gr. 9-12. Madhuri wants to avoid her family’s “curse” of every family member marrying their first love. Madhuri enters into an agreement with her best friend, Arjun, to pretend to date, but their fake relationship leads to real feelings. Dual narrations illustrate the struggles and joy of first love. 
  • *Lei and the Fire Goddess. By Malia Maunakea. Read by Jennifer Robideau. 2023. 8 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593681244). Gr. 4-6. Lei begs her Tūtū / grandma to do touristy things during a visit to Hawai’i, but tūtū prioritizes family traditions and folklore. Then Lei picks a sacred flower and insults Pele, fire goddess, whose wrath sends her on an impossible adventure. A fast-paced action story with expert pronunciation of ʻŌlelo Hawai’i / Native Hawaiian. 
  • *The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen. By Isaac Blum. Read by Josh Bloomberg. 2022. 6 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593630037). Gr. 7-10.  Hoodie Rosen’s life is turned upside down when his Orthodox Jewish community relocates to an unwelcoming town. Hoodie’s only solace is Anna-Marie, whose mother, the mayor, opposes Hoodie’s community. Bloomberg expresses humor while exploring the painful topic of religious prejudice.    
  • Lucha of the Night Forest. By Tehlor Kay Mejia. Read by Elena Rey. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593613962). Gr. 8-12. Lucha has never understood her ability to evade the deadly monsters in the forest, but people in high places will do anything to control that power. When her sister is caught in the crossfire, Lucha journeys to save her. This tenacious main character is successfully brought to life in the audio by Elena Rey.
  • Miles Morales: Suspended. By Jason Reynolds. Read by Guy Lockard and Nile Bullock. 2023. 4 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797145600). Gr. 7-12. After the previous novel’s events, Miles is serving a day of in-school detention. Even though he just saved the world from the evil wardens, his spidey sense alerts him to a new threat, termites! This lively audio recording follows Miles as he fights to save the world.
  • The Night in Question. By Kathleen Glasgow and liz Lawson. Read by a full cast. 2023. 11 hr. Listening Library, DD (978059368026). Gr. 9-12. Glasgow and Lawson are back with Alice and Iris months after Alice’s best friend Brooke was killed. Can the two figure out who attacked a student at a dance and solve a decades old case at the same time? Narrators Amoss and Linneman drive the mystery at an exciting pace. 
  • Nightbirds. By Kate J. Armstrong. Read by Saskia Maarleveld. 2023. 12.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593664292). Gr, 9-12. There is a prohibition on magic, but the Nightbirds are young women, who still help the rich and desperate access the spells they most desire. The audiobook solidifies the voices of the three Nightbirds, Matilde, Æsa, and Sayer, and their path to uncovering the treachery surrounding them.  
  • Other Side of the Tracks. By Charity Alyse. Read by a full cast. 2022. 12.5 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797152769). Gr. 7-12. Everyone knows not to cross the tracks between Bayside and Hamilton, but newcomer Zach ignores that. Capri and Justin crossed from Hamilton once, to see their mama perform on Broadway. The long-running feud between the racially divided towns has the teens caught in the middle. Expertly narrated in alternating voices. 
  • Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh. By Rachel Lippincott. Read by Natalie Naudus and Shakira Shute. 2023. 8 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797161617). Gr. 9-12. A spin on a regency romance, Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh is a Sapphic time travel story about finding yourself. The main characters, Audrey and Lucy, are brought together when a toss of a coin transports Audrey from 2023 to 1812. The narrators do an excellent job bringing these characters and their emotional journey to life.
  • *Promise Boys. By Nick Brooks. Read by a full cast. 2023. 6.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250877253). Gr. 9-12. When the principal of The Urban Promise Prep School is found dead several students find themselves suspects, as the students begin their own investigation, they find a dark side to the prestigious school. A suspenseful reading by a full cast pulls the listener into the twists and turns of this whodunit. 
  • *The Queens of New York. By E.L. Shen. Read by a full cast. 2023. 8 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063237988). Gr. 8-11. Best friends and New York natives Jia, Ariel and Everett are inseparable until this summer. Each friend goes on their own summer adventure and readers get to see them become more comfortable with themselves and the world they want to live in. The three narrators each have a unique delivery perfectly reflecting the teen characters. 
  • The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway. By Ashley Schumacher. Read by Ellie Gossage. 2023. 8 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798765070079). Gr. 7-10. Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway’s life on the Renaissance faire circut changes when she meets Arthur who makes her question her life’s rules. Madeline must find the courage to take on a new role at Faire and possibly a new relationship in this audiobook with an heartwarming and sincere narration.
  • Rubi Ramos’s Recipe for Success. By Jessica Parra. Read by Karla Serrato. 2023. 8.5 hr. Dreamscape Media, DD (9781666633634). Gr. 9-12. Rubi Ramos has a recipe for success to make her immigrant parents proud, but when Rubi gets waitlisted for her dream college, she has to change her plans to make herself happy. Karla Serrato’s narration of Parra’s debut novel is hilarious while relatable.   
  • Some Kind of Hate. By Sarah Darer Littman. Read by Michael Crouch and Andrew Eiden. 2023. 9 hr. Blackstone Audio, Inc., DD (9798212170697). Gr. 7-10. Declan had plans of rising to baseball stardom but it is all taken away when he irreparably injures his arm. Declan trades his best friend and practicing Jew, Jake, in for new antisemitic gamer friends.  The audio uses alternating narrators to give voice to both Declan and Jake, truly highlighting how easily hate can warp a life.  
  • Spice Road. By Maiya Ibrahim. Read by Krupa Pattani. 2023. 14 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593667859). Gr. 9-12. Determined to restore her brother’s tarnished reputation, Imani uses her spice-infused magical abilities to find her presumed dead brother. Imani’s epic journey through the Qalian landscape is easily matched by Krupa Pattani’s stellar narration, which sticks with readers as they deal with frustratingly hot warriors and snarky djinns.
  • Then Everything Happens at Once. By M-E Girard. Read by Aida Reluzco. 2023. 9.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | HarperTeen, DD (9780063206717). Gr. 9-12. Baylee has had a long-time crush on her friend, Freddie, but she has recently started dming Alex. As things heat up with each love interest, COVID sweeps the nation and everything in Baylee’s life is going to change completely. Aida Reluzco crystalizes Baylee’s self-deprecating quirkiness with her narration of this story. 
  • Thieves’ Gambit. By Kayvion Lewis. Read by Jade Wheeler. 2023. 10.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593744796). Gr. 9-12. Ross Quest is the youngest member in a family of master thieves. When her mother is kidnapped during a heist, Ross must join the Thieves’ Gambit, a competition for teenaged thieves, to win and get her mother home. Wheeler’s narration harnesses the action as Ross problem solves challenges and worries about her mother.
  • This Is Not a Personal Statement. By Tracy Badua. Read by Ferdelle Capistrano. 2023. 8.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063217782). Gr. 10-12.  Perla, a sixteen-year-old high school senior, worked her whole life to get into her dream university. When she isn’t accepted, or even waitlisted, she concocts a plan to fake her acceptance and heads off to school. Armed with meticulous spreadsheets Perla tries to cover up her lies in an anxiety-ridden romp. The narrarator brings Perla’s naive and stressful story to life wth good pacing and inflections.
  • Turtles of the Midnight Moon. By María José Fitzgerald. Read by Elena Rey and Frankie Corzio. 2023. 7.5 hr. Listening Library, DD (9780593666777). Gr. 3-6.  An eco-mystery set in a coastal village in Honduras, brings two girls with different lives and languages together to stop sea turtle poachers. Abby and Barana deal with twists, turns and cultural barriers while learning about each other. Read by a trio of narrators, the vivid setting and intense characters combine well with the quick story pace and clear pronunciation.
  • *Warrior Girl Unearthed. By Angeline Boulley. Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc. 2023. 11.5 hr. Macmillan Audio, DD (9781250877277). Gr. 9-12. Perry Firekeeper-Birch just wanted to enjoy her summer. Instead she is forced to complete an internship at her tribe’s museum. There she learns about NAGPRA and repatriation. She and her friends embark on a journey to bring their ancestors home. The narrator brings the story to life with her pronunciation of Ojibwa language and her captivating tone. 
  • *We Deserve Monuments. By Jas Hammonds. Read by Tamika Katon-Donegal. 2022. 10.5 hr. Recorded Books, Inc., DD (9781705069530). Gr. 9-12. Avery’s life changes when she leaves her home in DC to live in a small southern town where she encounters a hostile grandmother, a racist community, and the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance decades ago. Tamika Katon-Donegal emotionally portrays Avery’s journey in this LGBTQ+ slow-burn mystery. 
  • *What Happened to Rachel Riley? By Claire Swinarski. Read by a full cast. 2023. 6 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063213128). Gr. 5-8. Anna Hunt just moved to East Middle, where she discovers that former popular girl, Rachel Riley, is now enemy number one. Using a full cast of readers to present a variety of clues in the form of notes, emails, and text messages, Anna digs into the mystery.
  • What Happens After Midnight. By K.L. Walther. Read by Tina Wolstencroft. 2023. 9.5 hr. Tantor Audio, DD (9798350836394). Gr. 9-12. Lily’s senior year is uneventful until a mysterious note invites her to help plan the senior prank. Lily is excited until she learns the prank’s mastermind is her ex-boyfriend; as the two work together, secrets, old hurts, and romantic feelings resurface. Wolstencraft’s fun and playful narration is perfect for romance fans. 
  • Where You See Yourself. By Claire Forrest. Read by Ali Stroker. 2023. 8 hr. Scholastic Audiobooks, DD (9781339004815). Gr. 10-12. Effie Galanos is a senior with a lot on her plate: friendships, school, romance and the dreaded college search. Finding a college is more challenging than usual when Effie focuses on accessibility as she is a wheelchair user. Stoker’s singular narration brings listeners into Effie’s head as she advocates for herself and the future.
  • Whiteout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, et. al. Read by a full cast. 2022. 7.5 hr. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. | Quill Tree Books, DD (9780063088177). Gr. 9-12. Romance finds a way when a snowstorm shuts down Atlanta, and twelve teens band together to pull off an apology to help their friend reconcile with their girlfriend. Multiple narrators weave together artful narrations; in this novel about the holidays, love, and Black Joy. 
  • *Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor. By Xiran Jay Zhao. Read by Eric Yang. 2022. 9 hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD (9781797158914).Gr. 6-8.  Zachary Ying is just trying to survive school and play his favorite AR video game. Suddenly, his game becomes more reality than augmented reality. He embarks on a journey across China to save his mom and save the world. The narrator expertly brings each character to life with unique voices.

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.

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

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover

  • Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
  • By Ellen O’Clover  
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Imprint: Harper Teen
  • Release date: January 17, 2023 
  • ISBN: 9780063255036\

Ro creates an app based on the popular game of MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) for her senior project. She works with her neighbor, a retired behavorial scientist, to make sure the app works – and it works well. It can predict someone’s future with 93% accuracy. Ro is shocked when she is paired with Miller, her childhood best friend, as her soulmate. They had a falling out years ago. Ro is determined to have her app make it big and Miller reluctantly agrees to play along and pretend to be in love so that they can prove that the app works and get backing from the tech greats. 

This is a fresh spin on the classic “used to be friends, now a love interest” plot. The slow-burn romance between Ro and Miller keeps the reader guessing if they will end up together. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. Each character had quirks and interests that leave the reader wanting to learn more about them. 

Other authors who write with a similar tone include Jennifer E. Smith, Emma Lord, and Jenny Han.

-Katie Guzan

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: May 14, 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: 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

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: The Brothers Hawthorne by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • The Brothers Hawthorne
  • by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Narrated by Jay Ben Markson
  • Hachette Audio | Little, Brown Young Readers
  • Publication Date: August 29, 2023
  • ISBN:9781668623817

Grayson Hawthorne takes care of his family. Always. When his half-sisters (who know nothing about him) need help, he’s there. Thankfully, Xander and Nash show-up, too, just when Grayson needs them most. Jameson Hawthorne loves to win. When his absent father presents him with the challenge to win back his father’s inherited family residence, he is determined to win, as usual. Avery (the girl who inherited the boys’ grandfather’s fortune in The Inheritance Games) becomes his his accomplice. Tobias Hawthorne prepared his grandsons to solve every puzzle, to protect family at all cost, and – above all else – to win. In the face of new challenges, Grayson and Jameson are prepared to do just that. Except, this time, the Hawthorne brothers aren’t together to do so.   

The mystery of the Hawthorne family seems to never end. New readers will fall in love with Grayson and Jameson and be drawn into the current challenges. Curiosity may lead to reading the previous titles, but isn’t necessary. Jay Ben Markson’s narration keeps readers on the edge of their seats, rooting for Grayson and Jameson as each works to solve the clues to their own challenge, likely to change each of their lives.  


Perfect for readers who read other books in the series or enjoyed One of Us is Lying, Truly Devious, or Firekeeper’s Daughter. Also a good choice for teens who’ve seen and enjoyed the mystery of Knives Out and Glass Onion

-Lysha Thompson

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: October 18, 2022
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: March 7, 2023
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Release Date: September 26, 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.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: Royal Blood by Aimee Carter

  • Royal Blood
  • by Aimee Carter 
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Imprint: Delacorte Press
  • Release date: March 7, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593485910

Evan Bright has been kicked out of many boarding schools but this last infraction included possible felony charges. Which leads her caretaker, Jenkins, with one option, get her out of the country and to her father, the King of England. Evan and the King’s legitimate family have always known about her parentage but when her existence is leaked to the press it becomes the scandal of the century. Soon after her arrival, Evan is assaulted by a friend of the royal family who later ends up dead, leaving her as the prime suspect and public enemy number one. She doesn’t know who to trust and has few people on her side in a foreign country while she is determined to clear her name.

Royalty is a hot topic in books and real life. Evan gets the Meghan Markle treatment in the press clippings that start each chapter. This book gives a peek into how real life mistakes can be twisted to create a narrative for the press. Evan is sympathetic and side characters grow to create a family and support system that Evan so desperately needs. The treatment of sexual assault and mental illness is gentle and educational. 


Readers might also enjoy American Royals by Katherine McGee and The Castle School for Troubled Girls by Alyssa B Sheinmel.

-Cathy DeCampli

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 17, 2023
Release Date: May 14, 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: Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

  • Spice Road
  • by Maiya Ibrahim
  • Narrated by Krupa Pattani
  • Books on Tape | Listening Library
  • Publication Date: January 24, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593667859

Misra tea has the power to awaken magic hidden within. However, the Council closely guards its use and severely punishes those who violate its rules. Misra misuse can lead to magical obsession and death if the Council doesn’t get to you first. Imani shows her loyalty to the Council by strictly following their Misra rules. She is determined to prove her worth as a Shield and is different from her deceased Misra-obsessed older brother. When Imani uncovers evidence that her brother may still be alive and using Misra, she takes the opportunity to prove her loyalty by returning him to the Council. Imani and a group of Council-selected Shields embark on the expansive journey to find her brother. The farther Imani gets from home, the more she learns about her world and Misra, which calls into question everything she thought was true. 


This sweeping journey draws readers into a new sandswept world filled with ghouls and snarky djinns. There is something for every reader in this adventurous romantic fantasy.  Pattani’s narration takes this gorgeous story to new heights. She successfully helps readers navigate this new world and compels them forward. It is an audiobook that will hold listeners attention for just one more minute, followed by one more. Spice Road is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Roshani Chokshi.

-Sarah Carpenter

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 22, 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.