#ICYMI: 8 Books You Might Have Missed

It’s almost the end of 2023 and time to submit your last carts for the year!  If you find yourself with extra funds, here are some titles from the last two years that you might have missed. Some are from debut authors that snuck under the radar, while others are old favorites with new projects.

    • There’s No Way I’d Die First
    • By Lisa Springer
    • Delacorte Press: 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593643174

    This debut is for the horror-obsessed teen and pulls out all the tropes in what ends up being a campy, gory romp. If the tropes aren’t enough of a tell, each chapter starts with a quote from a horror movie and gives a hint to upcoming events. This is an homage to all the greats, with references to Stephen King, Scream, a killer clown with superhuman strength that rivals Michael Myers, and a heavy dose of teen drama. It also tries to tie in some political and social commentary and a hint of romance. Does this require suspension of belief? Yes. That’s the point. Hand to your older teens or your horror movie buffs.

    • Holly Horror
    • by Michelle Jabé Corpora
    • Penguin Workshop, 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593386217

    A scary take on our patchwork-clad, bonnet-wearing gal, Holly Hobbie. After her parents split, Evie’s mom moves the family back to her hometown and into the Horror House, so named because Holly vanished from it decades before. As Evie pokes around in the attic and discovers more of Holly’s story, weird things start to happen to her. The book ends on a cliff-hanger and readers will eagerly await book two. For younger teens that are more into supernatural mysteries, rather than slasher stories.

    • 16 & Pregnant
    • by LaLa Thomas
    • MTV Books, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781665917278

    If you are a millennial, you probably remember when this show first aired back in 2009. The show followed teens that found themselves pregnant and documented how their lives were impacted, eventually leading to the spin-off series, Teen Mom. Two teens find themselves dealing with a surprise pregnancy that derails their life plans. All options are discussed and the book does not shy away from health challenges that can accompany a pregnancy. This is an empowering story about friendship and parenthood. This is a great option for those looking for relatable stories about teen pregnancy, as well as viewers of the MTV show. This would also be a great option for parents and teens to read and discuss together.

    • Hotel Magnifique
    • by Emily J. Taylor
    • Razorbill, 2022
    • ISBN: 978059340515

    This 2022 debut is Caraval meets Howl’s Moving Castle and my favorite cover of 2022. This dark fantasy features a magical hotel that moves to a new place every night. Employees of the hotel are magically bound to service and although the hotel is gorgeous and luxurious, it’s a gilded prison. Franco-philes and fans of lush, character-driven fantasy will devour this. Additionally, the stunning cover makes this an easy book to hand-sell.

    • A Million to One
    • by Adiba Jaigirdar
    • Harperteen, 2022
    • ISBN: 978006291632

    Published right before the end of 2022, I think this one snuck past a lot of people. Take a diverse group of teens, put them on the Titanic and add in a heist. Jaigirdar’s previous YA novels have been sapphic romances–here she moves more into action and historical fiction territory. This reads quickly and is a nice option for younger teens that enjoy heists or books about the Titanic. 

    • Something More
    • by Jackie Khalileh
    • Tundra Books, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781774882139

    This romance is about a Palestinian-Canadian teen, newly diagnosed as autistic. She makes a list of all the things she wants to accomplish in high school before she graduates. She quickly learns there is no guidebook for matters of the heart when she finds herself caught between two guys. This is a refreshing take on the classic coming of age story.

    • The Grimoire of Grave Fates
    • by Hanna Alkaf and Margaret Owen, et al.
    • Delacorte Press, 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593427453

    If you have teens looking for a Harry Potter-esque story, hand them this one. It checks all the boxes: a magical boarding school that flies around à la Howl’s Moving Castle or the aforementioned Hotel Magnifique, an evil professor, a murder mystery, and magical beasts. This isn’t really a short story collection, nor is it a traditional novel. Each chapter is by a different YA author and features a different character that propels the plot forward. Some stories are stronger than others–I need a whole book about Diego, please! This collaborative effort has something for everyone and is a great option for younger teens.

    • A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy
    • by Jeff Bishop
    • Putnam, 2022
    • ISBN: 9781984812940

    Don’t be fooled by the cotton candy cover!  This book is a lot of things–technically it’s speculative fiction. You could also consider it a romantic comedy. It should be about a boy having the best time of his life, the summer after his senior year. But ultimately, it’s about a boy that suffers a torn ACL, leaving him stuck on the couch recovering from surgery, while dealing with a really bad breakup with his girlfriend, who happens to be in a coma from a car accident, which makes it pretty weird that Cam can see and talk to her while on his sofa. Tandy is chaotic and will have you laughing and weeping, reminiscent of the John Hughes movies referenced throughout. This was my favorite debut of 2022 and one of my favorites of the year. Hand to your older teens– especially your broken-hearted high school seniors

    -Megan Nigh

    6 Diverse Teen Authors

    So many wonderful books are written by diverse and neurodiverse authors. Let’s get to know six amazing writers!

    Edward Underhill: Transgender

    Edward is a queer, trans man who grew up in Wisconsin. Underhill is a young adult author and composer who writes music for cartoons. He wrote ghost stories for the campus magazine while studying at Oberlin Conservatory. In addition to writing novels, he wrote music for Kid Cosmic on Netflix. He “is passionate about representation both on the screen and on the page.”

    • Title:  Always the Almost
    • Genre:  Transgender Romantic Comedy
    • Publisher:  Wednesday Books
    • Release Date:  February 14, 2023
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 7-12
    • ISBN:  9781250835208

    • Title:  This Day Changes Everything
    • Genre:  Transgender Romantic Comedy
    • Publisher:  Wednesday Books
    • Release Date:  February 13, 2024
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 7-12
    • ISBN:  9781250835222

    Jackie Khalilieh: Palestinian- Canadian, Autism

    Palestinian-Canadian Jackie lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. Her main female characters tend to reflect her heritage and autism.

    • Title:  Something More
    • Genre Romantic Comedy
    • Publisher:  Tundra Books
    • Release Date:  June 6, 2023
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 7-12
    • ISBN:  9781774882139

    Alechia Dow: Black, Queer, & Body Image

    Alechia was a pastry chef and librarian before becoming an author of Science Fiction. She has a passion for representing African Americans and characters whose bodies are not perfect in the sense of how society presents them. She embraces the perfect imperfections of her characters.

    • Title:  The Sound of Stars
    • Genre:  Science Fiction
    • Publisher:  Inkyard Press
    • Release Date:  February 25, 2020
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 8-12
    • ISBN:  9781335406699

    • Title:  The Kindred
    • Genre:  Science Fiction
    • Publisher:  Inkyard Press
    • Release Date:  January 4, 2022
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 8-12
    • ISBN:   978-1335418616

    • Title:  A Song of Salvation
    • Genre:  Science Fiction
    • Publisher:  Inkyard Press
    • Release Date:  July 11, 2023
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 8-12
    • ISBN:   9781335453723

    Mark Oshiro: Latinx, Queer

    Mark is a Latinx Queer author who uses the pronouns they/them. They co-authored a book with Rick Riordan They live in Atlanta, Georgia and according to his About Me page, he loves to pet every dog he meets.

    • Title:  Each of Us a Desert
    • Genre:  Magical Realism
    • Publisher:  Tor Teen
    • Release Date:  November 9, 2021
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 7-12
    • ISBN:  9781250169228

    • Title:  Into the Light
    • Genre:  Thriller
    • Publisher:  Tor Teen
    • Release Date:  March 28, 2023
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 7-12
    • ISBN:  9781250812254

    Malinda Lo: Chinese, Queer

    Award winning and New York Times bestselling author Malinda Lo has written seven novels. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her wife and dog.

    • Title:  Last Night at the Telegraph Club
    • Genre:  Historical, Asian American
    • Publisher:  Dutton Books for Young Readers
    • Release Date:  December 28, 2021
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 9-12
    • ISBN:  9780525555278

    • Title:  A Scatter of Light
    • Genre:  Asian Teen Fiction
    • Publisher:  Dutton Books for Young Readers
    • Release Date:  October 4, 2022
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 8-12
    • ISBN:  9780525555285

    Kelly Andrew: Deaf

    Kelly Andrew lives just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Her debut novel The Whispering Dark features a female, deaf lead.

    • Title:  The Whispering Dark
    • Genre:  Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
    • Publisher:  Scholastic Press
    • Release Date:  October 18, 2022
    • Reading Level:  Gr. 9-12
    • ISBN:  9781338809473

    -Jennifir Huston


    About me. Jackie Khalilieh. (n.d.-a). https://www.jackiekhalilieh.com/about-me 

    About. Kelly Andrew. (n.d.). https://www.authorkellyandrew.com/about 

    About. Malinda Lo. (n.d.). https://www.malindalo.com/about 

    About. Mark Oshiro. (n.d.). https://www.markoshiro.com/about/ 

    About. Mysite. (n.d.). https://www.alechiadow.com/about-7 Edward Underhill. EDWARD UNDERHILL. (n.d.). https://www.edward-underhill.com/