Summer is beginning to wind down and soon a new school year will be upon us. If you are like me, you might be thinking it’s time seize the last few days of summer and get some reading done! But what should you read? May I suggest a few fresh new YA novels? If you are looking for diverse, spunky characters, lush description, and maybe a good cry, the following books could be a great fit for you.
THE SOUND OF STARS
By Alechia Dow
This book is set after the invasion of the Ilori. More than 1/3 of earth’s population has been wiped out. Humans are being kept in lock down. They are not allowed to read or listen to music. Janelle is running a clandestine library, until one of her books goes missing. This could lead to a death sentence. But the Ilori who found it doesn’t turn Janelle in. Instead, he talks to her. Janelle and M0RR1S find they share a passion for music. This passion sends them on a road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums in a race to save humanity.
CLAP WHEN YOU LAND
By Elizabeth Acevedo
Camino Rios can’t wait for dad’s yearly visit to the Dominican Republic. When she arrives at the tiny airport, she finds her dad’s plane crashed. Camino has to come to terms with her grief, but then she discovers something more about her father. She has a sister named Yahaira in New York City. Does her father’s life hold more secrets? This story is told in verse from dual perspectives. It’s a fast read, but it sure packs a punch.
MAD, BAD, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW
By Samira Ahmed
Kayyam is seventeen and on a dream trip to Paris. She should be in heaven, but she’s not. She just wants to go home. That is until she runs into a descendant of Alexandre Dumas and begins research on Leila, a 19th century Muslim woman with ties to Dumas and Lord Byron. Kayyam is a strong female protagonist who is full of passion and sparkle. The rush to find Leila throughout history is really fun to read.
LOVE BOAT, TAIPEI
By Abigail Hing When
Ever Wong thinks she is going to Taiwan for an educational immersion program. But when she gets there, she discovers she’s on the infamous “Loveboat”. Every passenger is a prodigy, or a rich kid, or both. But no one seems to be interested in studying. They just want to party. While Ever is navigating Taipei’s nightlife, she also is figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. But will her parents approve of a life they haven’t already chosen for her?
YES, NO, MAYBE SO
By Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehrman couldn’t be more different. But when the two are thrown together to canvas for their local state senate candidate, things suddenly start to change. Jamie begins to have a serious crush on Maya and Maya starts to see Jamie as more than just “that awkward guy.” This book has it all. Political activism. Check! Cute love story. Check! Multicultural bonding. Check! I liked it a lot.