If you haven’t read these books, make some room on your summer reading TBR pile! I know I am.
I picked the ones I’m excited about, but you can read the entire list of 26 titles at the original post, here.
Frances Hardringe’s THE LIE TREE
Shortlisted for both The Bookseller’s YA Prize and the 2016 Carnegie Medal, Francis Hardinge’s Victorian mystery isn’t one to miss. It’s the story of Faith, who sets off to prove that the death of her father, a prominent natural scientist, was no accident. It’s a unique and fascinating narrative, layered over with magical realism, science, history, and feminism.
Lisa Williamson’s THE ART OF BEING NORMAL
This groundbreaking peek into the lives of transgender teens offers a story equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming. Williamson, who used to work as an administrator at the Gender Identity Development Service in London, tells the story of David and Leo, two teens from different sides of the tracks at different stages in their transitions. The two form a shaky friendship as they try to navigate isolation at school, crushes, opening up to their families, and finding themselves. Shortlisted for the YA Prize, The Art of Being Normal is a compelling story with a ton of heart.
Ryan Graudin’s WOLF BY WOLF
This thrilling alternative history narrative is an unmissable summer read. Ryan Graudin reimagines a 1950s Europe in which the Axis powers won WWII. The book follows Yael, who suffered miserably at a concentration camp during the war, but through Nazi experimentation, gained the ability to change her appearance at will, and is now out to kill Hitler.
Patrick Ness’s THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE
Patrick Ness subverts tropes and genre stereotypes in his newest and endlessly clever book about what happens to those of us who aren’t the “Chosen One” that so often dominates YA literature (and literature in general, for that matter). This YA Prize-shortlisted title tells the story of Mikey, whose friends are out saving the world from supernatural threats while he’s just trying to make it to prom and manage his struggle with OCD. It’s a funny and poignant look at what it means to come of age under pressure, and a reminder that getting by is a superpower all its own.
Louise O’Neill’s ASKING FOR IT
In the follow-up to her YA Prize-winning debut, Only Ever Yours, Irish writer Louise O’Neill tackles the consequences of rape in the social media age. Asking for It is the story of Emma, a popular girl in a small Irish town, who finds herself the victim not just of gang rape, but of unending public humiliation when photos of the attack spread across Facebook and Snapchat like wildfire. The novel pulls from high-profile cases around the globe, and paints a frustrating and heartbreakingly realistic picture of the aftermath of rape both in private and the public eye.
Holly Bourne’s AM I NORMAL YET?
The fallout of secrets and lies come to a head in this delightful YA Prize-shortlisted book from Holly Bourne. Am I Normal Yet? takes a hard look at young people’s experiences with mental health through the eyes of Evie, who’s trying to leave her struggles with OCD behind as she starts at a new college. But it’s not that simple, and she quickly learns that she must learn to navigate her mental illness alongside her fresh start.
Excuse me…I’ll come back up for air in August.