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    23 YA Books That We're Absolutely Loving This Summer

    2019 has blessed us with some wonderful summer reads.

    Farrah Penn/BuzzFeed

    1. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

    Swoon Reads, clairekann.com

    Release date: June 4

    What it's about: Set in the small town of Misty Haven, Winnie has officially graduated high school and will go off to college in the fall. But she has her whole summer ahead of her first, which includes hanging out with Dallas and working at her granny's diner. Winnie's dream is to take over the diner one day, but that won't happen if they can't keep the doors open, so Winnie plans to enter a cooking competition to win extra money despite her grandmother's protests. Kann pens a lovely contemporary story that highlights queerness, body positivity, and growing up.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.77, Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    2. Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas

    Bloomsbury / Via instagram.com

    Release date: June 4

    What it's about: All Kalyn wants to do is disassociate from the legacy of her murderer-father, which is hard now that she's moved back to the town where he committed the crime. Kalyn strikes up a friendship with Gus, a queer boy with cerebral palsy, and the two become thick as thieves. But things are tested between them when it comes to light that one, Gus's dad is the man Kalyn's dad is in jail for murdering and, two, Kalyn's dad may be innocent. This heartfelt story truly tests the bonds of friendship.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.26+, Barnes & Noble for $17.09, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    3. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

    Balzer + Bray, abdaddy.com

    Release date: June 4

    What it's about: It's the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1989. Reza, a young and closeted Iranian teen, is new to NYC. Soon, he begins dating Judy, who quickly falls in love with him. But while Reza is pretending with Judy, he begins to fall for Art, who happens to be Judy's best friend. It's a love triangle of epic proportions where there's more at stake than a broken heart. This book is a must read — get ready to feel your feelings.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99+, Barnes & Noble for $12.59, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    4. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

    HarperTeen, laura-steven.com

    Release date: June 11

    What it's about: Izzy O’Neill is confident, funny, and passionate about what she wants — which is to one day write comedy scripts. She's also unapologetic about having a thriving and enjoyable (yet safe) sex life. So when someone starts a website calling her a slut and spreads pictures of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, she's thrown into an unwanted spotlight. Luckily she has her BFF Ajita to help her through it and her other ride-or-die, Danny — if only he wasn't being weird about her unrequited love. Izzy refuses to let shame culture get to her, deciding to get to the bottom of who started the website once and for all. While Steven's writing will have you nonstop cackling, she also gracefully tackles relevant topics like feminism, slut shaming, and privilege.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    5. Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

    Penguin Random House, Dave Londres

    Release date: June 18

    What it's about: Jay Reguero is a Filipino-American who plans to attend University of Michigan in the fall, but when he discovers that his cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he's confused why nobody in his family wants to talk about it. So he goes to the Philippines to find the truth. There, he slowly unravels what transpired — and the part he may have played in Jun's death. Ribay pens an emotional and topical read that's truly eye-opening.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.21, Barnes and Noble for $14.39, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    6. Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

    Margaret K. McElderry Books / ambersmithauthor.com

    Release date: June 18

    What it's about: Chris and Maia have a meet-not-so-cute, and things spiral from there. Despite their awful run-ins, these neighbors can't stay away from one another. But their romance isn't an easy one. Maia is still grieving over the loss of her sister and Chris, who recently came out as trans, is still getting over an assault he endured a few years prior. This story is as beautiful as it is breathtaking.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $13.29, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    7. Fake It Til You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen

    Swoon Reads / jennpnguyen.com

    Release date: June 18

    What it's about: Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives because their mothers are best friends — but that doesn't mean they are. In fact, it's quite the opposite. They can't stand to be in the same room together. When Mia's mom doesn't approve of another cute boy Mia likes, Jake and Mia stage a plan to get BOTH of their mothers off their backs: Pretend to date, then create a very messy breakup. But what if they discover that they don't hate each other as much as they thought? World, meet your new favorite poolside read. This book is the sweetest.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.32, Barnes and Noble for $16.19, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    8. Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Claribel Ortega

    Release date: June 25

    What it's about: This YA fantasy is inspired by Korean mythology and set in modern-day Seoul, where creatures called gumihos feed off energy of men in order to survive. Gu Miyoung is a gumiho. But when she decides to save the life of a boy, Jihoon, one night by rescuing him from a goblin, she changes the course of her immortal life. A romantic and unique read bursting with lush atmosphere.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.32, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    9. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

    Pointe, Douglas Adams, Jr. / Via simonandschuster.biz

    Release date: July 30

    What it's about: In this swoon-worthy romance, 16-year-old Zora meets a boy named Owen, but she's caught off-guard when she finds out he's an actual prince. And with his older brother's wedding coming up, Zora finds herself attending as a guest on Owen's behalf. Don't miss out on this adorable and swoon-worthy read.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99, Barnes and Noble for $9.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    10. Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman

    Jimmy Patterson Books, en.wikipedia.org

    Release date: Aug. 6

    What it's about: 17-year-old Aidan finds himself in New York City for a night and spontaneously decides to hookup with a guy named Benoit. But the next morning, Benoit is dead beside him, and Aidan receives a mysterious call telling him to flee. Caught up in a huge case of mistaken identity, Aidan is on the run from everyone, including federal agents and a cyber-terrorist group. Once Aidan discovers the object they want returned, he'll have to find a way to deliver it before being caught — or killed. Milman graces us with an action-packed thriller that'll have you holding your breath as you flip each page.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.59, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    11. Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, justbejb.com

    Release date: Aug. 6

    What it's about: In 1973, Jonathan Collins spends more time in fantasy land, daydreaming about his idol, Ziggy Stardust, and having imagined conversations with his dead mother, than reality. But that all changes when a boy name Web enters Jonathan's orbit and he begins falling for the fearless, brooding boy. This heartfelt book will leave you in a puddle of your emotions.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes & Noble for $17.99, or at a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    12. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

    Delacorte, Cyndi Whipkey / Via erinacraig.com

    Release date: Aug. 6

    What it's about: Annaleigh lives in Highmoor, a seaside manor with her father, stepmother, and sisters. But after a string of mysterious deaths begin to take the lives of her some of her siblings, she begins to wonder if the whispers throughout the surrounding villages are true: They are cursed. Annaleigh is disturbed by a series of ghostly visions and concerned that her sisters have been sneaking out at night to to attend glittering balls, and she isn't sure what to do — but then another sister goes missing. Annaleigh must figure out what's going on before she becomes the next victim. Without a doubt, House of Salt and Sorrows is a haunting, atmospheric, and immersive story.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.09, Barnes and Noble for $17.09, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    13. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

    Putnam, goodreads.com

    Release date: Aug. 13

    What it's about: This historical YA follows 17-year-old Jo Kuan. By day, Jo works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta, but by night she moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." As her column becomes popular, she uses her power to address some issues in society. But she's not prepared for the backlash from people, or those who want to uncover Miss Sweetie's true identity. Lee's profound writing tackles topics of politics and race with a main character who isn't afraid to speak her mind.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    14. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Jessie Weinberg / Via brandycolbert.com

    Release date: Aug. 20

    What it's about: Birdie strives to be the perfect student and daughter for her family, but when Booker — a nice boy with a troubled past — enters her life, she's sure her parents would never approve. Then her aunt Carlene returns to Chicago after years of being in and out of treatment for alcoholism, moving into Birdie's family apartment. But as Birdie becomes close with both Booker and Carlene, buried secrets arise and flips everything Birdie has believed to be true. A beautiful and necessary read.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    15. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

    goodreads.com

    Release date: Aug. 20

    What it's about: Nevaeh Levitz is a biracial 16-year-old from a suburb of New York City. When her parents split up, she moves to her mom's family home in Harlem and comes face-to-face with her identity for the first time. Nevaeh wants to blend in with her family, but one of her cousin's thinks she passes as too white, too privileged, and too pampered to truly understand racial injustices. With her dad pressuring her to have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, Navaeh feels caught between two worlds. But the more Navaeh begins to learn about her mom and sees the prejudice her family faces, she begins to realize she has a voice — and she plans to use it. This coming-of-age story is written with heart.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.59, Barnes and Noble for $12.59, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    16. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

    HarperCollins, Aaron Gang Photography

    Release date: Sept. 3

    What it's about: This West African fantasy follows a girl who comes from a long line of witchdoctors, but she is unable to produce even simple magic that she inherited from her ancestors. But when her kingdom is threatened, she must sacrifice years of her life for magic in order to try and defeat the Demon King. Brace yourselves — Barron takes you on a thrilling adventure.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    17. Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

    Simon & Schuster, en.wikipedia.org

    Release date: Sept. 3

    What it's about: Pablo is working at a 24-hour deli in New York City after a year of college, trying to figure out his next move in life. Leanna has experienced a huge amount of success, from having a No. 1 single at age 15 and continuing to produce top hits. When the two meet during a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they immediately hit it off — but they know they can't keep it from the world forever. Choi's heartwarming coming-of-age story focuses on not only romance, but identity, growth, and questioning your future.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.29, Barnes and Noble for $13.29, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    18. The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

    Wednesday Books, Twitter: @adriennebooks

    Release date: Sept. 3

    What it's about: Tova lives among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child. She doesn't remember much of her home or her clan, but she knows she can cast rune stones and see into the future. When two clans in the east join together for the first time, the Svell are divided, unsure whether to keep the peace or begin a war with the allied clans. They look to Tova to cast her runes, setting into motion a series of events that changes what she knows forever. Young is sure to capture readers with her lush, atmospheric story and incredible prose.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.39, Barnes and Noble for $13.39, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    19. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite

    Harlequin Teen, maikaandmaritza.com

    Release date: Sept. 3

    What it's about: After a prank goes wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended from her elite private school. But when her aunt offers her an invitation to spend her suspension at the family’s estate in Haiti, she accepts. Alaine is back in her homeland for the first time but is quickly put to work at her aunt's start-up providing help to native children. What Alaine doesn't expect is to find letters, articles, emails, and diary entries that provide insight to a mother she never truly understood. A beautiful story from start to finish.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    20. Eclipse the Skies by Maura Milan

    Albert Whitman & Company, goodreads.com

    Release date: Sept. 3

    What it's about: In the action-packed sequel to Ignite the Stars, Eclipse the Skies follows Ia, Brinne, and Knives on another epic adventure. Ia's agreed to help the Royal Star Force find her brother Einn, who is trying to tear apart the universe. Brinn struggles to come to terms with her Tawny identity in the midst of backlash, and Knives must adjust to his new role as Aphelion’s headmaster. This sequel just might be more adventurous and explosive than the first.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes and Noble for $17.99, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    21. Frankly in Love by David Yoon

    Penguin Random House, Penguin Young Readers / Via ew.com

    Release date: Sept. 10

    What it's about: Frank Li is a Korean-American high school senior who feels stuck between what he wants and how to live up to the expectations of his parents, especially their one rule of dating: "Date Korean." This proves to be a problem when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is incredibly smart and pretty, but also white. His family friend Joy Song is in a similar situation, so they make a pact. They'll pretend to date each other so they earn more freedom to be with their real significant others. It's a perfect plan — right? Yoon's stellar debut expertly and authentically tackles racism, privilege, and characters who are trying to navigate their Korean-American identity.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.82, Barnes and Noble for $13.82, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    22. His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Alder

    Flatiron Books, goodreads.com

    Release date: Sept. 10

    What it's about: This anthology is chock-full of talented young adult authors reimagining Edgar Allen Poe's works in the form of their own original short stories. Spoiler alert: you might not get much sleep if you read before bed. If chilling, haunting, and gruesome are your go-to buzzwords for picking up books, then you're going to devour this one.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.39, Barnes and Noble for $13.39, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    23. How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

    Duet, goodreads.com

    Release date: Sept. 10

    What it's about: Remy Cameron has always accepted the labels given to him by others. He's gay, super-likable, and confident. But when his AP Literature teacher assigns the class to write an essay describing who they are, Remy realizes he has to dig deeper to discover his truths instead of accepting how outsiders see him. Tender and heartfelt, Winters writes a touching story about exploring your identity.

    Get it from Amazon for $12.77, Barnes and Noble for $12.77, or a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

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