What New In YA? January 24, 2023

 

January 24, 2023

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Delacorte Press 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎HL790L
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

The first book in an epic fantasy series set in an Arabian-inspired land with secret spice magic. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, sixteen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother, whose betrayal is now the country’s greatest threat.

In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.

Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice—a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.

But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.

Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes—and in her own heart—but will she find her brother?

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Wednesday Books 
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord’s Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Melissa de la Cruz Studio 
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 12

 

Sometimes the prettiest Instagram feeds mask the darkest, and bloodiest, secrets.

Social media influencer Summer Cartwright leads a very charmed life: millions of followers, the hottest designer and vintage clothes at her fingertips, a newly minted book deal, the coolest friends, and, until recently, the hottest boyfriend at her über-elite prep school. Every moment of her life has been carefully planned and cultivated to complement her “imperfectly perfect” social media persona. She is truly #LivingHerBestLife.

But when Summer goes missing during her annual Halloween party and then an unscheduled post appears on her feed stating that she’ll be dead within the next five minutes, those closest to Summer know something isn’t quite right―or on-brand. Grace, Summer’s camera-shy best friend; Adam, Summer’s gamer ex-boyfriend; Laney, Summer’s moody camp roommate; and Cora, an influencer wannabe, all decide to investigate. And when they come upon Summer’s lifeless body, they soon realize that no filter is strong enough to mask the lies we tell ourselves.


Told in multiple POVs interspersed with social media posts and flashbacks, Live Your Best Lie has twists and turns that will keep readers turning the page and no one will be able to guess the ending.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Lumarias Press
  • Reading age: ‎17 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎9– 12

 

The captivating, heart-wrenching fifth instalment in the bestselling series AN HEIR COMES TO RISE from Chloe C. Peñaranda.

When a true heir awakens, a returning past can break. And when war follows, a lifelong vow may shatter.

A RISE…

Awakening from a dark defeat, Faythe discovers a greater threat to the life she took back. Staggering truths will challenge her and reveal that some bonds were forged to defy. With the battle lost, the war has just begun, and as an enemy is captured, it soon becomes clear a storm can be tamed but never bottled.

A THRONE…

Her return to Rhyenelle stirs Faythe’s rival to the throne. In this new twist of fate, against the pressures of the court, it’s a test of strength and will to keep her cunning cousin at bay. Two hands reaching for a crown is a challenge bound to end in blood, but which one will bleed for their right to reign?

A PHOENIX…

Still, no conflict in the realm can match that which began long ago. The time is now for Faythe to face her title of heir before kingdom. But not without the help of those tied in destiny may the Phoenix Queen rise should all burn and fall.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 and up

 

Six moments lead us to two girls, one kiss, and three little words that were maybe always true in this gorgeous novel perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Jenny Han.

After years of bickering, Penny and Tate have called a truce: they’ll play nice. They have to. Their mothers (life-long best friends) need them to be perfect, drama-free daughters when Penny’s mother becomes a living liver donor to Tate’s mom. Forced to live together as the Moms recover, the girls’ truce is essential in keeping everything—their jobs, the house, the finances, the Moms’ healing—running smoothly. They’ve got to let this thing between them go.

There’s one little hitch: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.

They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other.

And some things—like their kisses—can’t be almosts forever.

Told through two girls’ present and six moments from their past, this dynamic love story shows that sometimes the person you need the most has been there for you all along.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

What starts off as a lighthearted competition to live without modern technology for a year turns into a fight for survival in this unputdownable young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author Jarrod Shusterman and debut author Sofía Lapuente.

It was never meant to happen this way.

Things were never supposed to get this out of hand.

After a cyberbullying incident at her school goes viral, Luna Iglesias finds herself at the heart of a brewing controversy. When the social media company Limbo—who are also implicated in the scandal—sweeps in with an offer that sounds like an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and receive a scholarship to the college of her dreams, she’s happy to jump on the new trend. It’s called the Retro Challenge, where contestants live without modern technology, wear vintage clothes, party as if the future weren’t already written, and fall in love as if they were living in a movie.

At first, the challenge is fun. But then things get dangerous. Kids start disappearing, including Luna’s friends. There are voices in the woods. Bloodred markings on the trees. And Luna increasingly begins to wonder if all these strange happenings are connected with the Retro Challenge.

Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. The weight of her family on her shoulders. There’s so much on the line for Luna, not to mention she’s falling in love with the last guy she expected. Unless she can figure out the truth behind who’s sabotaging the challenge, the next person to disappear may be Luna herself.

 

  • Publisher: ‎Roaring Brook Press 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

A contemporary fantasy YA debut from Rochelle Hassan about monsters, magic, and wicked fae, perfect for fans of The Darkest Part of the Forest and The Hazel Wood.

As the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts―an uncommonly magical place―Aziza El-Amin has bargained with wood nymphs, rescued palm-sized fairies from house cats, banished flesh-eating shadows from the local park. But when a dark entity awakens in the forest outside of town, eroding the invisible boundary between the human world and fairyland, run-of-the-mill fae mischief turns into outright aggression, and the danger―to herself and others―becomes too great for her to handle alone.

Leo Merritt is no stranger to magical catastrophes. On his sixteenth birthday, a dormant curse kicked in and ripped away all his memories of his true love. A miserable year has passed since then. He’s road-tripped up and down the East Coast looking for a way to get his memories back and hit one dead end after another. He doesn’t even know his true love’s name, but he feels the absence in his life, and it’s haunting.

Desperate for answers, he makes a pact with Aziza: he’ll provide much-needed backup on her nightly patrols, and in exchange, she’ll help him break the curse.

When the creature in the woods sets its sights on them, their survival depends on the aid of a mysterious young necromancer they’re not certain they can trust. But they’ll have to work together to eradicate the new threat and take back their hometown… even if it forces them to uncover deeply buried secrets and make devastating sacrifices.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Crown Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎HL590L
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

When rent increases put a teen mom at risk of losing her home, she resorts to a dangerous game to keep her family afloat. But all games have consequences, and this isn’t one she can afford to lose. A gripping story about race, income instability, and the strength it takes to survive from a critically acclaimed author.

“Kristen R. Lee is a miraculous story weaver”-Mahogany L. Browne, author of Vinyl Moon

B’onca always knew how to get by. And then her daughter is born. She wouldn’t trade Mia for anything, but there is never enough cash to go around. When their gentrifying Memphis neighborhood results in higher prices and then an eviction notice, B’onca’s already fragile world spirals. Desperate to make things right, B’onca forges a risky plan to help pay the bills. But one wrong move could cost B’onca—and her family—everything.

From the celebrated author of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman comes a compelling story about a teen mom navigating income disparity and racial inequality, and defying challenges to protect those she loves.

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Henry Holt and Co. 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

From the Coretta Scott King and Printz Honor-winning author of How It Went Down, Light It Up, and Revolution In Our Time comes a moving contemporary YA novel about the bonds between a group of teens whose lives have been upended by tragedy.

Fifteen-year-old Kermit Sanders knows grief and its all-encompassing shadows. After losing his beloved older sister in a tragic car accident, nothing quite punctures through the feelings of loss. Everywhere Kermit goes, he is reminded of her.

But then Kermit finds a mysterious invitation in his locker, signed anonymously with “-1.” He has no idea what he’s in for, but he shows up to find out. Dubbed the “Minus-One Club,” a group of his schoolmates has banded together as a form of moral support. The members have just one thing in common―they have all suffered the tragic loss of someone they loved.

The usual dividing lines between high school classes and cliques don’t apply inside the Minus-One Club, and Kermit’s secret crush, the handsome and happy-go-lucky Matt (and only out gay student at school), is also a part of the group. Slowly, Matt’s positive headstrong approach to life helps relieve Kermit of his constant despair.

But as Kermit grows closer to Matt, the light of his new life begins to show the cracks beneath the surface. When Matt puts himself in danger by avoiding his feelings, Kermit must find the strength to not only lift himself back up but to help the rest of the group from falling apart.

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