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Just Some Really Excellent YA Books You Need To Know About

Add these recent and upcoming UK releases to your reading list stat.

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1. We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

Bloomsbury, BIA

Award-winning authors Crossan and Conaghan teamed up for this stunning verse novel, which they wrote primarily over WhatsApp. We Come Apart tells the story of two teens with troubled home lives: Jess, whose step-father forces her to record his violent outbursts, and Nicu, whose first generation immigrant family are planning to arrange his marriage against his will and return to Romania. It's an equally lovely and painful story about the brief intersection of Jess and Nicu's lives, and its theme of celebrating shared human experiences despite cultural and linguistic borders is particularly relevant in recent times.


Out 9 February.

2. Margot and Me by Juno Dawson

Waterstones / Joel Ryder / Via junodawson.com

After relocating to the countryside with her mother to live her difficult grandmother Margot, Fliss finds herself floundering, but the chance discovery of Margot's wartime diary offers an unexpected source of escape, strength, and intrigue.

Juno Dawson's newest novel charts a bittersweet story of iron wills and heartache over three three generations of women, and is a spectacular read.

Out now.

3. The Jungle, by Pooja Puri

Black and White Publishing

When he left his home and family in search of a better life, Mico couldn't have predicted that he'd find himself instead trapped in the brutal purgatory of the Calais refugee camp. It isn't until he meets Leila that things start to turn around, and that the better life he hoped for starts to seem possible.

Out 16 March.

4. Mind the Gap by Phil Earle

Barrington Stoke / United Agents

From publisher Barrington Stoke, whose dyslexia-friendly projects are a revelation, comes Mind the Gap, in which an unnamed narrator sets out to support his best friend Mikey through the death of his father. Short and sweet, Phil Earle offers a charming and heart-wrenching ode to male friendship – a topic that doesn't often get to shine on YA shelves.

Out now.

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5. Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

HQ / Via robyntalley.com

In this unputdownable road trip story, Robin Talley weaves the tale of Aki, a bisexual teenager who sets out to live a more interesting life, starting with getting involved with the older and more experienced Christa. It's a lovely depiction of budding sexuality and female friendship, and the perfect read for anyone missing summer.

Out 9 February.

6. Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Amazon / Cecilia Vinesse / Via Twitter

Fans of last year's The Square Root of Summer should check out this stunning debut from Cecilia Vinesse, following the seven day overlap between former friends Jamie's arrival in Tokyo and Sophia's departure. A delightful exploration of young love, growing up, and living in the moment, Seven Days of You is the perfect choice for a literary escape.

Out 9 March.

7. Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Walker Books / Via katherinewebber.com

Charming and triumphant, Katherine Webber's debut novel Wing Jones offers a wholly original coming of age story. The book follows Wing, a half-Chinese, half-Ghanaian high schooler in mid 90's Atlanta, who has always defined herself by her close relationship with her older brother. But when she suddenly finds herself renegotiate her place in the world, she discovers something that becomes completely her own: running.

Out now.

8. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Faber & Faber

The epic sequel to last year's Rebel of the Sands doubles down on the adventure and political intrigue that made the first such a page-turner. Picking up six months after Rebel left off, Traitor to the Throne sees Amani (a badass heroine for the history books if there ever was one) stripped of her powers and her guns and thrown into a brand-new kind of battlefield: the Sultan's harem. Meanwhile, outside the palace walls, the Rebellion is a powder-keg building to burst, and Jin, her partner in more-than-crime, is nowhere to be found. Traitor is a captivating and triumphant sequel, as funny as it is romantic, as smart as it is heart-pounding, and as spirited as it is magical.

Out now.

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9. Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Amazon / Via reneewatson.net

Renée Watson's razor sharp novel examines stereotypes and calls out a culture of microaggressions through the story of Jade, who accepts a scholarship to a mostly white private school and is subsequently invited to participate in a mentorship program for "at risk" youth.

Out 22 February.

10. See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Puffin / Jack Cheng / Via Facebook

Alex is an eleven year old with an existential crisis, and even though he has a lot going on at home, he's more concerned with trying to communicate with lifeforms beyond earth by way of launching his iPod into space.

Sweet and smart, Jack Cheng's newest book is an enlightening and lovable read for all ages.


Out 2 March.

11. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Hive / Marissa Meyer / Via Facebook

Marissa Meyer proved she was the queen of retellings with her inventive and addictive Lunar Chronicles series, and now she's tackling Alice in Wonderland with this creative novel that delves into the history of the Queen of Hearts. It's a romantic and heart-racing origin story perfectly suited for fans of Wicked.

Out 9 February.

12. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Amazon / Via susinnielsen.com

Canadian author Susin Neilson's newest book tells the story of Petula, a teenage girl who faces overwhelming grief following a family tragedy. As a result of her mounting anxiety and isolation, Petula's forced to attend an art therapy course, where she meets Jacob, a charming boy with an amputated leg and his own demons to face.


Out 2 March.

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13. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Amazon / Rin Chupeco / Via Twitter

Tea didn't mean to raise her brother from the dead, but that's what happened, and now she has to confront the fact that her gift for necromancy separates her from the rest of her family. Cast out and sent to live with another bone witch, Tea learns to use her powers, but something wicked is on its way and she finds herself faced with deadly choices.

Out 7 March.

14. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Amazon / Via veronicarothbooks.com

In her first book since completing the Divergent series, Veronica Roth tells the story of Cyra and Akos, two young people who live on a planet dictated by violence and fate. While everyone in their world develops powerful "currentgifts", Cyra and Akos's gifts are particularly remarkable, and when the two cross paths, they're forced to help each other survive despite their nation's rivalries.

Out now.

15. All About Mia by Lisa Williams

David Fickling Books

The author of 2015's The Art of Being Normal, delivers her follow-up, All About Mia, the story of a wild middle child who, when it comes to her social life, has it all together, but at home is constantly fighting for space between her high-achieving older and younger sisters. It's a charming and heartfelt look into losing and trying to find yourself as a teen, and a thoughtful exploration of sisterhood and family life.

Out now.

16. Gilded Cage by Vic James

Amazon / United Agents

In the first book of her Dark Gifts trilogy, Vic James imagines a modern Britain with an insidious magical twist. In a society where the upperclass have magic and the lower class are forced into ten years of service, siblings Abi and Luke Hadley find themselves working under two different, but equally dangerous circumstances. Meanwhile, a powerful young aristocrat is trying to use his gifts to reshape the world order, possibly for the worst. Thrilling and utterly unique, Gilded Cage is one for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Garth Nix.

Out now.

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17. The Liar's Handbook by Keren David

BArrington Stoke / Via kerendavid.com

Another gem from dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke, this delightful novella from Keren David follows River, a school boy who has a bad feeling about his mum's new boyfriend, Jason. As he starts his own private investigation into Jason, he finds himself learning more about his family's own secret's than he ever expected.

Out now.

18. Birdy Flynn by Helen Donohoe

One World Books

Birdy fights to keep her secrets and her struggles to herself in this bittersweet and beautifully written coming-of-age story. Crushed under the weight of cruel peers, selfish authority figures, and a family with enough troubles already, Birdy has to find her place in the world without much help.

Out now.

19. History is All You Left Me With by Adam Silvera

Hive / Via adamsilvera.com

Seventeen-year-old Griffin is coping with OCD and the loss of his best friend and ex-boyfriend Theo in a drowning accident. In his grief he reaches out to Jackson, who dated Theo leading up to the accident, as while the pair grows closer their secrets, and Theo's, seem to grow deeper.

Out now.

20. King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Orion / Harper Collins

The much-anticipated third instalment of Victoria Aveyard's epic Red Queen series drops this week, and you won't be able to put it down. King's Cage picks up where Glass Sword left off: with Red-blooded Mare Barrow stripped of power and imprisoned by Silver-blooded Maven, while the exiled prince Cal fights to free her.

Out 9 February.

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21. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Hive / Via ibizaboi.net

This stunning story of a Fabiola and her Hatian immigrant family is based on author Ibi Zaboi's real life experience. Zaboi related Fabiola's transition into a new life and the struggles that come with it, infusing the harsh world of Detroit with magical realism with gorgeous language that will leave you desperate for more.

Out 23 March.

22. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

stephaniegarberauthor.com

In this glittering magical mystery, Scarlett and her sister Tella are thrilled to finally have the chance to attend the decadent and fantastical week-long Caraval performance, where everything is a flight of fancy and nothing is as it seems. But things become all too real when Tella is kidnapped by the show's leader and Scarlett must navigate the spectacle to save her.


Out now.

23. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Hive / Via sjaejones.com

This dark and seductive fairy tale follows Liesl, a young musician who's always been fascinated by stories of the mysterious Goblin King. At eighteen, just when she's starting to loosen her grip on her childhood fantasies, her sister is kidnapped, and Leisl must go on a quest to save her. Underground, she finds herself immersed in a new world where she comes with the Goblin King himself.

Out now.

24. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Hive / Via rcwlitagency.com

Author of last year's lovely ode to female friendship, Beautiful Broken Things, brings to life the love story that unfolds between Steffi, a selective mute and Rhys, who is deaf. Fans of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe will adore this sweet and powerful romance about finding your strength and your voice.

Out now.

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25. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Amazon / Via writeinbk.com

This smart, dark, and relevant debut from Tiffany D. Jackson examines some of the disadvantages faced by young black people in the justice system and the media. When, at nine, Mary is convicted of killing a white baby under her care, she doesn't fight it, but years later when she finds herself living in a group home, in love, and pregnant, she sets out to find out what really happened for a chance to keep her own baby.

Out 23 February.

26. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Hive / Via alexandrabracken.com

Time-hopping Etta Spencer is back in the sequel to Passenger. Stuck in turn of the century Texas and separated from Nicholas, Etta unearths a plot that could ruin the future she belongs to, while Nicholas, in finds himself in the Bahamas in the 18th century, trying to fight his way back to Etta. Romantic and epic, Wayfarer is a heart-racing and perfect conclusion to Etta's story.


Out now.

27. The Educations of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Hive / Via lilliamrivera.com

This fun and exciting debut from Lilliam Rivera is a coming-of-age novel done just right. Margot maxxes out her dad's credit card, and is subsequently grounded and made to work off the debt in the family grocery store. This is not great for her budding social life, but she's not above all kinds of hijinks to get back on top.

Out 21 February.

28. The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

Amazon / Samantha Shannon / Via Twitter

The Song Rising is the third book in Samantha Shannon's thrilling dystopian fantasy series. It follows Paige Mahoney, who has become the leader of London's criminal population, as she fights for stability in a world wrecked by rebellion and bloody battles. Meanwhile and unbeknownst to her, a technology is being developed that could destroy everything she's built.

Out 7 March.

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29. Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

Hive, Len Vlahos

When Jackie’s dad sells himself to a TV station to pay the bills for his cancer treatment, her family life is turned upside down and inside out as she and her parents become a reality TV sensation. Thoughtful, bittersweet, and full of sharp wit, Life in a Fishbowl is a fascinating look into celebrity culture and family tragedy.

Out now.

30. The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

Hive / Via melindasalisbury.com

In the hotly-anticipated conclusion of Melinda Salisbury's Sin-Eater's Daughter , series the villainous Sleeping Prince controls Lormere and Twylla and Errin seem helpless to stop him. As the two fight to reconnect and take him down, he continues to grow stronger, and the fate of Lormere hangs in the balance.


Out 2 March.

31. We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

Amazon / Via ninalacour.com

After a terrible tragedy, Marin leaves her life in California behind to start over at college in New York. But when her best friend Mabel comes to visit from the west coast over winter break, she's got no choice but to look the history she tried to outrun in the face. Beautifully written and refreshing in its look at grief and friendship, We Are OK probably won't leave you with dry eyes but it will leave you with a full heart.

Out February 14.

UPDATE

A book has been removed from this round-up at the author’s request.