~post by Ellen, BookKids Inventory Manager
We get customers – teenagers and adults – who need the newest and best teen books because they “have read everything.” I try to keep up with as many of the major new releases as I can, but it’s impossible to read all the new books. Here are five recent novels I did read this month. Grab them for your voracious reader today. Bonus: Four of the five books below are stand alones meaning they aren’t the beginning of a series or trilogy, and one of these books is actually for adults but has strong appeal for teen readers.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
This is an amazing book. Fantastic, high quality literary writing telling the story the women in one family and how they have been affected by love. Oh, and there is also a girl with wings. She is not a fairy or an angel, though some might believe her to be. The title of the book really describes it well. There is much sorrow in this story, but as sad as it is, there is so much beauty surrounding it. A must read; one of the best books to come out this year. Recommended for those readers who like something different and magical realism.
For fans of: Isabel Allende, Laini Taylor
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Travis has lost his head. Well, maybe not quite. He actually still has his head, but it has been attached to someone else’s body. Really, that’s what is going on in this weird story about a head of a teenager that has been cryogenically frozen until a time when it can be thawed and surgically reattached. Travis must deal with how life has moved on while he’s been on ice and how he fits back into the relationships he left behind. Funny, unapologetic, and realistic (except for the head reattachment thing), especially the voice and emotions of Travis.
For fans of: Andrew Smith, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, John Green
Here & Now by Ann Brashares
Prenna is from the disease-ridden future. The future that is falling apart. Part of a group of people who have traveled back to our present day, she adheres to strict sect-like rules when it comes to interacting with people outside their group. Two of those rules include not falling in love outside the group, and not doing anything that will change the course of history. Prenna questions these two rules and just about everything else as she embarks on a journey to save the scientist who may be able to prevent the future she knows. She has help from Ethan, a boy with whom she falls in love, and together they set out to change the world. Questions about fate, humanity, and love are at the heart of this romantic time-traveling story.
For fans of: The Time Travelers Wife, Lauren Oliver, The Shatter Me series
Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
A reality television show has arrived at Selwyn Academy, an elite school for students focused on performing and visual arts. Proponents of the show say that the fame is only bringing good to the school. Opponents wonder how much damage the show is really doing to the school and its real student “stars.” Enter stage left a small but passionate group of friends inspired by the poetry of Ezra Pound and their English teacher. They start an underground movement to expose to the ugly workings of the show and to make sure the show doesn’t return to the school for a second season. Bonus: a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise.
For fans of: E. Lockhart, A. S. King, The Breakfast Club, RENT
The Martian by Andy Weir
Absolutely everything can kill you on Mars. Sure, there are no venomous snakes, carnivorous animals, or cars to hit you as you cross the Martian street, but lack of oxygen, food, and zero pressure can sure bring a man down. One man finds himself marooned on the Red Planet and has to make do with what materials he has at hand and his own smarts in order to live until NASA can figure out how to retrieve him. Told in alternating scenes between Mars and Earth, this is a funny, tense, and adventurous story about the ultimate test of survival.
For fans of: Apollo 13, Gravity, science fiction, survival stories
For more YA recommendations, check out reviews and news from the BookPeople Teen Press Corps.