Books are another universe that one just has to open up and enter. Each book is unique and an endless cornucopia of superb greatness. With a never-ending amount of books to read, it can be pretty difficult to decide what to read next. Here are 10 young adult books published between 2016 and 2017 that should be at the top of your list. Click on the book titles to start your journey.
1. Waste of Space by Gina Damico
This is a satirical take on reality television shows that has you holding your stomach with laughter. This book might have a major focus on comedy, but it is interspersed with moments of what it means to be human. The format is different: Instead of it being chapters, it is a compilation of emails, television scripts and other documents. These documents are used to discuss an incident that occurred during the course of the ill-fated show.
If you like ridiculous reality shows (or the mocking of them) and tons of laughter, this is the book for you. While it may be possible to set the book down, it will fill you with curiosity as everything is unpredictable.
2. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
All causes of death and hardship, from disease to starvation, have been solved. With death no longer “possible” came the creation of the Scythes. These beings are responsible for doling out executions in a world where the population is only growing. Two teens are chosen as apprentice Scythes and must learn how to kill. Yet, if either teen fails, their own demise awaits them.
All the characters are headstrong and set in their beliefs, but these beliefs and their strength will be tested in the course of the book. Shusterman does a fantastic job in creating a well-written and nicely-paced first book in his new series. The ending promises a riveting next installation.
3. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
How well do you really know someone? Stereotypes and perspectives are put to the test in "Holding Up the Universe" as the two characters collide — quite literally. People think they know Jack and Libby, but they aren’t who they appear. After the cruelty of high school throws the two together, they get to know each other as they are.
Once you pick up this book, be prepared to not want to say goodbye to the characters. Jack and Libby have their own characteristics and personalities that are the result of their relationships. While this may cause them to clash at first, their aversion of each other grows into something meaningful.
4. This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
In a world populated by people and monsters, who is really the monster? "This Savage Song" draws you in with the first chapter and does not let go. Kate Harker is a dashing female lead who only wants to follow in her father’s footsteps. August Flynn, meanwhile, only wants to be human. In the course of the book, each character has his or her own darkness that must be faced. With familial responsibilities and their own set of morals, they must each come to a conclusion on who they are and who they want to be.
As the first book in a new series by Schwab, he gives you enough information to come running back for the next. Both characters have you rooting for them by the end with the acquired need to know more.
5. The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs
Seven narratives create a plot that takes place in a three-hour period. These few hours change the course of the seven individuals’ lives irrevocably. The novel is set after the Boston Marathon bombing. One of the main characters has a disorder that causes her to remember all tragic events associated with the month of her birth. With a memory that causes her to focus on the worst, will she ever be able to focus on the positive?
Combs creates outstanding narratives. Each one has a unique voice and background that only serves to further build their character. While it is not initially clear how all these individuals' accounts are related to each other, it becomes more obvious as the clock counts down.
6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This beautiful novel addresses the controversy of the police shootings of African American women and men. It opens the eyes of the reader and gives a fresh perspective of what these events mean and why they matter. Lives are lives, and each and every single one of them was important to someone.
Starr is a very human character, who is living a life between two very different worlds. One is the poverty-filled neighborhood that she grew up in and the other is the expensive prep school that she attends. These two worlds meet when Starr witnesses the death of a childhood friend at the hands of a cop. The thing is, her friend was unarmed, and everyone is wanting to know the real events of that night. Will the true events be revealed or will they forever remain unknown?
7. Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
If you could revive a person you loved, would you? More importantly, would that be enough to save them? Adam is trying to find himself after the death of his best friend, who was also his first love, girlfriend and bandmate. In a world obsessed with Sunshine, all Adam can remember is Marybeth. Filled with grief, the chance to get Sunshine — no, Marybeth — back is all that he wants.
Koosis does a spectacular job in portraying the loss of someone important and the hole that it creates in life. Her diction is incredible and what she doesn’t say only causes the reader to want to discover what is living between the lines. The build up to meeting Sunshine is excruciating but worth every page.
8. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Whaley gives the reader an original story with his character, Solomon. Solomon is agoraphobic and hasn’t left his house in years. This was all fine and dandy. Then, Lisa came along. Lisa is driven. She wants to get into one of the top psychology programs for college. The only problem is proving she is worth getting accepted. To her, Solomon is the answer. If she can get him to overcome his agoraphobia, she would definitely get in, right?
From the Star Trek references to the friendship displayed, "Highly Illogical Behavior" is a book you should read if you are anywhere close to logical. The book is divided into two perspectives, Lisa and Solomon. Every single detail provided from their point of view further pushes Whaley’s story to a new level of phenomenal.
9. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
A Diabolic is a humanoid being that lives to protect its assigned charge. They do whatever it takes to protect their person, even if it involves killing. Nemesis is a Diabolic. She provides protection for an important senator’s daughter, Sidonia. One day, Sidonia is requested to appear in front of their galactic emperor, which is never good. To protect Sidonia from the emperor, Nemesis comes to the realization that she must become her.
However, is it possible for someone who is not human to become one? Kincaid has the reader turning each page faster as the dominoes fall one by one for not everything is as it seems and emotions are more powerful than some think. Of all the emotions, revenge packs the most destructive punch.
10. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Tessa and Callie are haunted by a horrible loss during their adolescence. Now young adults, both are forced to face and question whether what they think happened actually occurred. Tessa moved away shortly after, but she must now return at the news of her father’s impending death. Callie never left and dealt with it in her own way. Yet, the past can no longer be avoided because it was never really meant to be left behind. These once-best-friends must band together and push past their differences to find out the true events of that night.
A mystery with numerous shocking twists, each twist only serves to pull you further into the darkest corners of their reality. Thomas delivers a magnificent thriller with the truth haunting you even after you finish the last sentence.
Now that you know about these excellent books, go find one, pick a comfy spot and crack it open.
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