Skip To Content
  • Best of 2018 badge
Updated on Dec 12, 2018. Posted on Dec 12, 2018

The 24 Best YA Books Of 2018

Here are all the YA books our staff loved in 2018.

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Here are BuzzFeed Books pick of the best 2018 YA titles that came out this year, in order of their release date.

1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Little, Brown, Sharona Jacobs / Via blackholly.com

Release date: Jan. 2

What it's about: Jude's life changed at the age of seven when her parents were murdered and her and her sisters were taken to live in the High Court of Faerie. The fey hate humans and make sure Jude and her sister are well-aware of that, yet Jude wants nothing more than to belong and to win a place in the court. But on the brink of a civil war, Jude will have to risk her life to not only save her sisters, but Faerie itself. This splendidly wicked and richly created story is one you won't want to miss.

Get it from Amazon for $12.91, Barnes & Noble for $13.03, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

2. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Simon & Schuster, Gaby Gerster / Via Simon & Schuster

Release date: Jan. 9

What it's about: In this adventurous sequel to Scythe, Rowan had adopted the role of vigilante, taking down corrupt scythes across the continent. Citra wants the corruption to end and real change to begin — but taking on such a massive problem comes with a great price. Shusterman creates a heart pounding, high stakes sequel that's hard to put down until you reach the last page.

Get it from Amazon for $10.44, Barnes & Noble for $15.19, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

3. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Soho Teen, Erielle Bakkum

Release date: Jan. 16

What it's about: Maya is an Indian-American Muslim teen with a love for film, but she doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with what her parents want for her. She has dreams of attending NYU and would prefer not to be set up with a parent-selected Muslim boy. But when a terrorist attack strikes not too far from home, Maya is subjected to Islamophobia, racism, hate, and prejudices within her community. Ahmed authentically and expertly tells a story relevant to today's climate. More than that, it's a meaningful #OwnVoices book about identity and inner strength that everyone should absolutely read.

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

4. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

Philomel Books, atiaabawi.com

Release date: Jan. 23

What it's about: After a bombing rips Tareq and his family apart, he must travel with his sister and father as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece. But in the midst of chaos and destruction, it's a journey that won't be easy. Abawi pens a powerful and emotionally true novel with compelling prose about the horrors and hardships refugees face.

Get it from Amazon for $12.59, Barnes & Noble for $16.19, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

5. The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

HarperTeen, imdb.com

Release date: Jan. 30

What it's about: Evan is a Greek-American and senior in high school, but he's also struggling with defining his sexuality. While not yet out, he's been having strong feelings for his best friend, Henry. But Evan also hides a tragic secret from his friends. His mother is both verbally and physically abusive, and his father, while empathetic toward Evan, is unable to put a stop to it. As the beatings become more frequent when Evan can't prove to be the "perfect Christian boy" his mother wants him to be, he finds it harder to hide. Surmelis portrays a raw, honest, and heartbreaking character in Evan and sensitively touches on a subject matter that is a reality for many teens.

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

6. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Disney-Hyperion / Via dhonielleclayton.com

Release date: Feb. 6

What it's about: Set in the luxurious world of Orléans where people are born gray, Camellia Beauregard is a Belle — someone of high importance who has the power to control beauty. Camellia hopes to be chosen by the Queen of Orléans to be a Belle in the royal court, but arriving at the palace isn't everything her and her sisters imagined. Dark secrets and danger lie at the hands of the queen, and Camellia must face a hard decision: save herself and her sisters or save the people of Orléans. Clayton creates a rich, luscious world, gripping plot, and strong characters that'll have you wanting the sequel ASAP.

Get it from Amazon for $12.78, Barnes & Noble for $13.39, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

7. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

HarperTeen, acevedowrites.com

Release date: March 6

What it's about: 15-year-old Xiomara Batista has been struggling with the way boys see her and her curves, questioning her religion under her incredibly strict (and incredibly religious) mother, and feeling guilty about being attracted to a boy in her class. The only people who do seem to understand her are her twin brother and best friend. Xio slowly begins to find her voice when her teacher invites her to the school's poetry slam club, but she has to lie to her mother to attend. With so many secrets and lies building up, Xio isn't sure she'll ever be able to connect with her mother. While this book reads quick, each word pounds straight into your heart. It's a story about family, friendship, and love that's gorgeously told and impossible to put down.

Get it from Amazon for $16.19, Barnes & Noble for $16.38, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

8. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Elena Seibert / Via goodreads.com

Release date: March 6

What it's about: Adeyemi creates a rich, compelling Nigerian fantasy bursting with action, adventure, and magic. At one point in time, Orïsha was brimming with maji (those who possess magic) but under the king's orders, maji were slain and rid of in order to bring about peace. Zélie knows magic isn't meant to be buried, nor is it as bad as the king makes it out to be. Thrown into an unexpected adventure, Zélie, her brother, and Princess Amari must travel and escape impending danger to outwit the crown prince Inan in order to save magic — and themselves. Told from three perspectives, Adeyemi expertly crafts a story about accepting and loving the magic that makes you YOU even when outsiders try to challenge that.

Get it from Amazon for $11.39, Barnes & Noble for $11.96, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

9. The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Katherine Tegen Books, brittanycavallaro.com

Release date: March 6

What it's about: The Case for Jamie is the much anticipated third installment of the Charlotte Holmes saga. We see Jaime and Charlotte in a different place than we've seen them before, facing new challenges in their relationship. This story not only delved into the twists and turns of the mystery that had to be solved, but it explored facets of Jamie and Charlotte's relationship that honestly left us on the edge of our seat.

Get it from Amazon for $13.44, Barnes & Noble for $16.19, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

10. Obsidio by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Random House Children's Books, Christopher Tovo / Via barnesandnoble.com

Release date: March 13

What it's about: This is the third and final book in Kaufman and Kristoff's series, The Illuminae Files. Told through a dossier of hacked documents, emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more, Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik find themselves aboard a container ship, Mao, along with about two thousand refugees. With everyone together, they must figure what's left to save. With a spectacular plot, tension, and action, Obsidio doesn't disappoint.

Get it from Amazon for $14.99, Barnes & Noble for $17.99, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

11. The Astonishing Color Of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Little, Brown, exrpan.com

Release date: March 20

What it's about: Leigh, half white and half Taiwanese, recently lost her mother to suicide, but she is certain of one thing: her mother has turned into a bird. In search of answers, Leigh travels to Taiwan to visit her maternal grandparents for the first time and, while there, searches for her mother the bird while uncovering family secrets. Sprinkled with magical realism and achingly beautiful passages, Pan crafts a brilliant, lyrical, heartfelt, and astounding debut about grief, love, and the complexity of family relationships.

Get it from Amazon for $12.91, Barnes & Noble for $13.16, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

12. Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Balzer + Bray, Christy Archibald / Christy Archibald Photography (<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.christyarchibald.com">http://christyarchibald.com</a>) / Via juliemurphywrites.com

Release date: May 8

What it's about: This YA contemporary follows two teens in the companion novel to NYT Bestselling novel, Dumplin': Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes. Set in Clover City, Texas, Millie — who has gone to fat camp every summer — has set bigger goals for herself. She wants to get into her dream broadcast journalism camp. Then there is Callie, who seemingly has it all with dance team and a popular boyfriend. But when an unfortunate mishap brings both girls together, Millie and Callie form an unlikely friendship. At its core, Murphy pens a true friendship book filled with finding your strengths, loving yourself, and standing up for your dreams — and what you believe in.

Get it from Amazon for $15.28, Barnes & Noble for $15.94, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

13. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

HarperTeen, goodreads.com

Release date: May 15

What it's about: This is the epic, highly anticipated final novel in Aveyard's Red Queen series. This series follows Mare living in a kingdom where silver bloods are favored above red bloods because of their abilities. After much trial and tribulation, the finale follows Mare as she resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all.

Get it from Amazon for $13.98, Barnes & Noble for $15.99, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

14. Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Katherine Tegen Books, writeinbk.com

Release date: May 22

Claudia and Monday have been inseparable best friends for as long as she can remember, but when Monday doesn't show up for the first day of school, or the second, or the next weeks, Claudia knows something has to be wrong. The only thing is, no one seems to want to believe her. Monday's mom isn't helpful, and neither is her sister. Jackson creates a compelling contemporary thriller that will have you questioning where Monday is the entire ride.

Get it from Amazon for $14.39, Barnes & Noble for $14.39, or from your local indie bookstore through Indiebound here.

15. Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Tor Teen, Rakeem Cunningham / Via rakeemc.com

Release date: May 22

What it's about: Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer six years ago. Because of the media's twisted portrayal of what happened, Moss suffers from crippling panic attacks. Now in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his friends find themselves treated like criminals with constant locker searches, new rules, and intimidation tactics from Oakland police. But when Moss and his friends decide to push back, they're not prepared for the tension and tragedy that follows. This stunning yet devastating contemporary realistically portrays the injustice and systematic oppression in society. It's a beautifully told story that will break your heart and put it back together.

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

16. Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Flatiron Books/Macmillan, stephaniegarberauthor.com

Release date: May 29

What it's about: Told from Scarlett's younger sister's perspective, Tella must enter another game of Caraval to pay a debt and deliver master Legend's true identity. However, in order to obtain this, she must win the game. But Tella is in search for more than just a name, and she hopes that Caraval will help her find her missing mother — who disappeared when Tella was very young. But the stakes get higher before Caraval even begins, and Tella learns that it may not be just a game this time: it may cost her life. Legendary is a whirlwind adventure that contains vivid, complex, and enchanting characters you'll want to follow to the last page.

Get it from Amazon for $12.19, Barnes & Noble for $12.75, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

17. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Dial Books, Afsoneh Khorram / Via goodreads.com

Release date: August 28

What it's about: Darius Kellner feels a disconnect with his Persian heritage. He doesn't quite fit in at home in Portland, and he's sure he won't fit in in Iran. When his parents propose a trip to visit his ailing grandfather, Darius meets Sohrab — the boy next door who feels like the first true friend Darius has had in some time. Sohrab even calls him Darioush, the original Persian version of his name. But when Darius goes back to America, he'll have to learn how to become Darioush on his own. This is an incredible story of friendship, family, and identity that you absolutely won't regret reading.

Get it from Amazon for $17.99, Barnes & Noble for $17.99, or from your local indie bookstore through Indiebound here.

18. Buried Beneath The Baoba Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Katherine Tegen Books, goodreads.com

Release date: Sept. 4

What it's about: In April of 2014, Boko Haram gained national media attention when he kidnapped 276 girls from Chibok in Nigeria, 50 of whom were able to escape. Although Nwaubani tells a story of a fictionalized girl, the events are true to reality. The nameless narrator of this story is determined to gain a government scholarship in order to attend university for free and help her family, but then her village is attacked by Boko Haram. She and her best friend are kidnapped and forced to serve their captors’ radical beliefs. Yet, despite everything, she is determined to escape. This is a must-read for everybody. It is poignant, powerful, and heartbreakingly real.

Get it from Amazon for $12.32, Barnes & Noble for $15.29, Indiebound, or find a copy at your local library.

19. Sadie by Courtney Summers

Wednesday Books, goodreads.com

Release date: Sept. 4

What it's about: This solid, gripping mystery is told in alternating sections. The first is from the point of view of 19-year-old Sadie, who is on a journey to find her younger sister's killer. The other perspective tells the same story as a true crime podcast, covering what happened to Sadie five months after her departure. Summers has penned a dark, gritty, but truly captivating novel that will appeal to fans of true crime.

Get it from Amazon for $12.32, Barnes & Noble for $13.18, Indiebound, or find a copy at your local library.

20. Wildcard by Marie Lu

penguinrandomhouse, Primo Gallanosa / Via penguinrandomhouse.com

Release date: Sept. 18

What it's about: This is the sequel to Lu's wildly successful novel, Warcross. After Emika Chen hacked Warcross last year — a move that put her in touch with the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka — she barely made it out of the Warcross Championships. But now that she knows Hideo's new plans, she must make the right moves in order to save more than herself. Lu's sequel is full of action, suspense, and character complexity.

Get it from Amazon for $10.97, Barnes & Noble for $15.19, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

21. Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sarah Shatz

Release date: Sept. 18

What it's about: Doris, Nell, and Grant are three unlikely friends who work in the same store over the summer — a store called Unclaimed Baggage that catalogs and sells other people's lost luggage. But through their friendship they realize they might be able to help each other unpack their own emotional baggage. Every single character in this book is fantastic. Jen Doll gives everyone she writes (even the boss who gets, like, two scenes) rich and distinct personalities.

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

22. What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

HarperTeen, Margot Wood / DECISIVE MOMENT EVENTS

Release date: Oct. 9

What it's about: Ben is a NYC native, whereas Arthur is only staying for the summer to help his mother out in her law office. When the universe offers them a meet-cute at the U.S. Post Office, their exchange leads them to NOT exchanging phone numbers. Ben is trying to get over his ex, so is it worth even searching for Arthur? Arthur's never had a boyfriend, so is he crazy for wanting to find Ben? In this adorable contemporary by YA superstars Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, we get dual point of views and a truly feel-good story about love and friendship.

Get it from Amazon for $17.09, Barnes & Noble for $17.43, Indiebound, or find a copy at your local library.

23. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Doubleday, Elena Seibert

Release date: Oct. 9

What it's about: After the death of their mother and disappearance of their father, five brothers must come together to help and support each other. It's an emotionally powerful story that will sit in your heart for a long time. Also, bring tissues.

Get it from Amazon for $16.90, Barnes & Noble for $18.64, or a local bookseller through Indiebound here.

24. A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

HarperTeen, taherehbooks.com

Release date: Oct. 16

What it's about: Set in post-9/11 2002, Shirin is 16, Muslim, and tired of being stereotyped. Shirin, her older brother, and her parents are constantly moving from city to city, and when Shirin starts her new school, she's greeted with whispers about her hijab. Worst of all, she has to put up with degrading comments and harassment from her peers. Her outlet is forming a breakdancing club with her brother and his friends, but still, Shirin has learned to build walls. She doesn't see the good in any of her classmates — that is, until a boy named Ocean James sincerely puts forth an effort to be her friend. And the closer the two become, the more conflicted Shirin feels. This deeply moving story is a work of fiction based on personal experiences from the author, but it is powerful in the way it tackles white privilege and racism.

Get it from Amazon for $16.71, Barnes & Noble for $18.05, Indiebound, or find a copy at your local library.

Want great book recommendations in your inbox every week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Books newsletter!

Newsletter signup form