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28 YA Books Everyone Should Read

Fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, and SO MANY SEQUELS. [UK release dates.]

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1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Hachette

This excitedly awaited followup to last year's Six of Crows is an absolute must for anyone who loves a brilliant adventure. Kaz Brekker and his gang of thieves, assassins, disgraces soldiers, magical Grisha, and explosive experts are the urban fantasy equivalent of Ocean's 11, and their clever and breathtaking stunts are completely captivating thanks to Bardugo's razor sharp writing.

Crooked Kingdom picks up where Six of Crows leaves off, with the Crows devising a smart and very illegal plan to rescue their kidnapped friend, Inej.

Out 27 September. Pre-order now.

2. The Graces by Laure Eve

Faber & Faber

Laure Eve's debut is an equally fun and stunning paranormal pageturner following River, a new girl in a Cornish coastal town ruled by the mysterious Grace family. Like everyone else in town, River is convinced the Graces have magical powers, and she embarks on a journey to get closer to the elusive Grace siblings and earn their love as well as learn their tricks.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Penguin Random House

Neither Natasha nor Daniel believe in love at first sight, and considering the outrageous respective pressures of an imminent deportation and family expectations, they wouldn't have time for it even if they did. So it's exactly what happens to them, of course.

Nicola Yoon's newest book is a fascinating and realistic rumination on love and youth and the way that life and other people can get in the way of the things that really matter.

Out 3 November. Pre-order a copy here.

4. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Orion Publishing

This short but captivating novel tells the story of Subhi, a young boy who was born and has lived his entire life in a refugee camp. Everything changes when Jimmie appears on the other side of the fence, carrying a notebook that she can't read, but that Subhi can.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

5. The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon

Faber & Faber

This version of the story of the Norse Goddess of the Underworld (and Loki's daughter), imagines Hel as a rebellious teenager and is the third instalment in Francesca Simon's Mortal Gods trilogy, though can definitely function as a standalone. It's worth it for the gorgeous cover alone, but fans of retellings will adore the fractured fairytale aspect as well.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

6. The Hypnotist by Laurence Anholt

Penguin Random House

This fascinating hybrid of paranormal and historical fiction follows Jack, an Irish neurologist with secret hypnotic skills and Pip, a young black farmhand. The pair's lives merge when Jack relocates to the American South and must face the realities of racial tension as well as come to terms with his own strange powers.

Out 6 October. Pre-order a copy here.

7. The Call by Peadar O'Guilin

David Fickling Books

The creepy and absorbing hybrid mixes fantasy, horror, and folklore (aka it's PERFECT for Game of Thrones fans). It imagines an Ireland cut off from the rest of the world and follows Nessa, a young woman with a severe disability as she waits for the mysterious "call."

Out now. Buy a copy here.

8. Unboxed by Non Pratt

Barrington Stoke

This novella about friendship and loss from Non Pratt is great for a commute read, and also part of Barrington Stoke's laudable efforts to commission books for reluctant, struggling, and dyslexic readers. The story evolved overnight as a group of old school friends reunite to unbox a time capsule leftover from years before – secrets and old conflicts soon come to a head, and the group must find away to accept the loss of their friend Millie.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

9. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Mass

Bloomsbury

The newest epic from Sarah J. Mass is an unmissable addition to fantasy lover's shelves. Empire of Storms follows Aelin, the kick-ass heroine of Maas's Throne of Glass series as she continues her quest for the throne of Erilea. Expect action-packed battle scenes, epic political grabs, and steamy romance all wrapped up into one.

Out 6 September. Pre-order a copy here.

10. Girl Detached by Manuela Salvi

Barrington Stoke

This novel from Italian writer Manuela Salvi was banned in Italy for its depiction of the grooming of a teenage girl by an older man. An important and unsettling read, Girl Detached follows Aleksandra, a young actress who falls prey to the subtle abuse of the charming and doting Ruben.

Out 15 September. Pre-order a copy here.

11. Lydia by Natasha Farrant

Chicken House

Natasha Farrant's delightfully sassy Pride and Prejudice inspired novel is a perfect back-to-school read. Breaking off from Elizabeth's story, Lydia, as the title implies, is the story of the wild sister of the Bennett brood, and offers and exciting feminist angle to Jane Austen's classic.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

12. Goldenhand by Garth Nix

Hot Key Books

Prepare yourself for nostalgia with Nix's long, long awaited fifth instalment to the Old Kingdom series. Without giving away too much, Lirael is back, but she's taken on a new role as Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and an old threat has taken hold in the Old Kingdom.

Out 10 October. Pre-order a copy here.

13. Alpha by Bessora Barroux

Barrington Stoke

This arresting graphic novel illustrates the current refugee crisis through stunning ink images. Alpha is the story of Alpha Coulibaly who leaves his home in Côte d’Ivoire to join his family in Paris. Through its gorgeous imagery and gripping story, the book depicts the frustrating, painful, and unjust experiences of refugees and educates readers along the way.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

14. Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Hot Key Books

This funny, honest, and moving coming-of-age story is a perfect YA read. Following Layla, Alex, Zoe and Emma's transition out of high school, the book focusses on the expectations and realities of 'first times' and what it's really like to be a young woman discovering her sexuality.

Out now. Get a copy here.

15. ...And A Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne

Usborne

This follow up to Holly Bourne's Spinster Club trilogy picks up after Lottie, Evie, and Amber have spent their first term at separate Unis. Back together for the first time over the Christmas holidays, the friends catch up and deal with their evolving and drifting relationship.

Out 1 November. Pre-order a copy here.

16. Darkness Follows by L.A. Weatherly

Usborne

The brilliant follow up to Weatherly's Broken Sky is set in an alternative, dystopian 1940s America and follows Amity, an inmate at a secure prison in a world where war has been made illegal.

Out 1 October. Pre-order a copy here.

17. Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Penguin Random House

Fan's of Niven's first book, All the Bright Places, will be thrilled to pick up Holding Up the Universe. Niven continues in her exploration of teen mental health, this time focusing on body image and social anxiety through the story of Libby, who must deal not only the isolation and judgement because of her size, but also the harrowing grief of her mother's death, and Jack – who has a condition that renders him unable to recognise faces.

Out 6 November. Pre-order a copy here.

18. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Katherine Tegan

If you've got your eye out for the next Gone Girl, this YA thriller is for you. Faced-paced and guided by electric prose, The Female of the Species follows Alex Craft, whose sister was murdered three years ago.

Alex has a dangerous side, so she keeps to herself, but when the lasting effects of her sister's death link her to two to other students at school, her carefully composed world in the shadows threatens to unravel.

Out 20 September. Pre-order a copy here.

19. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Bloomsbury

This is the YA fairy-tale fans of Frozen have been waiting for. Loosely adapted from Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, Stealing Snow offers a darker twist on the children's story, relocating it to a high security New York mental hospital.

Out 10 October. Pre-order a copy here.

20. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Hachette

The sequel to Ryan Graudin's truly excellent Wolf by Wolf picks up where the first book left off. Set in an alternative 1950s Europe where the Axis powers won WWII, it follows Yael, a former prison camp experimentation victim with shapeshifting powers, now on the run after attempting to kill Hitler. It's an epic, gritty, and thought-provoking page-turner and you won't be sorry you picked it up.

Out 6 October. Pre-order a copy here.

21. Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield

Text Publishing

This book from Australian writer Vicki Wakefield perfectly encapsulates a life-changing transition between girlhood and womanhood. Jacklin is sick and tired of her dying town, and when she drops out school to live with her sister, she has no idea the events that precipitate from there; like meeting the unavailable Luke, seeing the cracks in her sister's seemingly perfect life up close, and figuring out what it really means to be on her own.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

22. The Reader by Traci Chee

G.P. Putnam's Sons

After her father is murdered, Sefia and her aunt Nin escape into the woods, where they must learn to survive. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia sets out into the rest of the world to rescue her, where she must outwit pirates and assassins, decide if she can trust a mysterious stranger, and work out how to use the one object her father left behind – a book that doesn't seem much use in her illiterate world.

Out 13 September. Pre-order a copy here.

23. You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche

Razorbill

This compelling new novel from Una La March is the story of a close group of friends at a performing arts high school, who, in the run-up to a career-defining performance, must come to terms with the way their lives are about to change, and the one event that changed their lives already.

Out 1 November. Pre-order a copy here.

24. Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Penguin Random House

Whether or not you've been an avid reader of Rigg's Miss Peregrine's Children series, you're bound to be delighted by these strange and wonderful original fairy tales from the universe of the book.

Out 8 September. Pre-order a copy here.

25. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Macmillan

This new fantasy is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass and The Hunger Games, and even better, it features THREE kick-ass feminist heroines.

Mirabeth, Katherine, and Arsinoe are triplets, each with her own set of unique powers, and each with an equal claim to the crown of Fennbirn. The only way to win it? A fight to the death.

Out 22 September. Pre-order a copy here.

26. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Oneworld

This harrowing examination of teen emotional and mental distress tells the story of Charlie, who, at 17, has already faced debilitating loss and copes through self-harm.

It's ultimately a story of recovery, but bear in mind that it may trigger some readers.

Out 6 October. Pre-order a copy here.

27. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Razorbill

The sequel to An Ember in the Ashes catches up with Laia and Elias on a quest to free Laia's brother from Kauf Prison. Meanwhile Helene Aquilla being controlled by the new emperor, Marcus and finds herself caught between proving herself and ruining everything.

Out 8 September. Pre-order a copy here.

28. Mother Tongue by Julie Mayhew

Hot Key Books

Julie Mayhew's newest book surrounds the tragedy that befalls a young Russian girl, Darya Ivanova. With the future she once dreamed cast into doubt, she finds a new dream: escaping to Moscow to become someone new.

Out now. Buy a copy here.

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