YA Picks

Rare and unusual YA finds for the Leap Year!

Cover of the book Illuminae by Amie KaufmanIlluminae

Amie Kaufman

It’s 2575, and Kady and Ezra live on a remote colony on the planet Karenza. She broke up with him one morning and that afternoon, their planet was invaded. Rival corporations are warring over Karenza, and the survivors end up on a handful of spacecraft not designed to hold so many humans.  A bioengineered contagion which causes murderous behaviour is free on one of the ships, the fleet’s AI must be shut down after giving orders to terminate hundreds of lives, and those in charge won’t say a thing. Kady is determined to hack into the system to figure out what’s really happening. Unfortunately she must enlist the help of her ex-boyfriend, Ezra. This new addition to the sci-fi horror genre is a tantalizing dossier of unencrypted secret communications, military files, medical records, IMs, interview transcripts, and schematic diagrams.

Shadow and BoneShadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo

Alina is an orphan. Along with her best friend, Mal, she has joined the army of Ravka and is sent on a dangerous mission to the Fold, a region of darkness that cuts across the land and teems with terrifying monsters. When the flesh-eating creatures attack their convoy and death seems certain, a dormant power is unleashed from Alina. No one is more surprised than Alina, who is taken from her routine life and sent to the luxurious court to be trained as a magic-wielding Grisha.  So begins the fantastic and imaginative trilogy of The Grisha. The author also has a new series, Six of Crows, set in the same world.

YA Picks

Here are a couple of good books to enjoy and talk about with your older teenager.


Those Who Wish Me DeadThose Who Wish Me Dead
– by Michael Koryta

In this wilderness thriller, 14-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a murder at a quarry, but escapes the killers, the notorious Blackwell Brothers. For Jace’s protection, he is given a new identity and sent to a wilderness survival camp for troubled teens. Even though Jace is off the grid, the killers are soon on his trail. The only things between Jace and the killers are survival skills instructor Ethan Serbin, his wife Allison, fire lookout Hannah Faber, and mountainous Montana landscape, burning with wildfires.

Lock InLock In – by John Scalzi

Not long from now, a new virus appears and relentlessly sweeps across the world. A small percentage of those who contract the virus get Haden’s syndrome: they become locked inside their bodies, existing in a state of consciousness, but unable to interact with their surroundings. Neural net technology allows locked in individuals to escape their unresponsive body. They can use an Integrator, a person who allows a Haden’s sufferer’s consciousness to inhabit their body, or they can inhabit a mechanical personal transport unit called a threep. Two FBI agents, Leslie Vann (a former Integrator) and Chris Shane (a threep), are new partners who are tasked with solving a very unusual mystery: Who used an Integrator’s body to commit a murder?

YA Picks

My True Love Gave to Me - Book CoverMy True Love Gave to Me – Twelve Holiday Stories – edited by Stephanie Perkins

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkuh, Winter Solstice or New Years, there is something in this collection for everyone who loves holiday stories. Enjoy 12 cozy tales by bestselling young adult authors including Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Ally Carter, and Gayle Forman. So curl up with this book and a hot beverage… it’s okay to stay inside.

Let_It_Snow-_Three_Holiday_RomancesLet It Snow – by John Green, Lauren Myracle, & Maureen Johnston

This is a sweet trio of interconnected stories which take place in the wake of a giant Christmas Eve snowstorm. You will find holiday cheer and young romance to warm your heart.

YA Picks

If you like supernatural tales that are strange and creepy enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, then these are for you.

White SpaceWhite Space by Ilsa J. Bick

Lizzie’s dad is a writer, pulling his characters from the White Space through a mirror into his Now. Sometimes these characters don’t stay in the books… they hide in Lizzie’s house. Emma’s a teenager with a metal plate in her head and migraines that come with the ability to see into Lizzie’s Now. An unsettling story of alternate realities, White Space is the first book in the Dark Passages series.

Walls Around UsThe Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

On the outside is Violet, a dancer within reach of her dream life, when something threatens to reveal the truth of her achievement. Inside the walls of Aurora Hills juvenile detention center is Amber, a stranger to freedom for years. Tying their worlds together is Orianna, who holds  the key to unlocking the girls’ dark secrets. Guilt and innocence are seldom black and white.

YA Picks

With October just around the corner, set the mood for Hallowe’en with these horror-filled tales. Sorry, but you’ll probably have to sleep with the lights on.

Forget About Me(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Skylar lives in Gardnerville where no one can leave, and people age slowly, seldom becoming ill or dying. At regular intervals, however, tragedy strikes the town when the teenagers experience intense emotions and dreamlike fits of madness. Skylar is haunted by the actions of Piper, her older sister, who has been in the Reformatory since leading her classmates to jump from a trestle bridge 4 years earlier. Waiting anxiously for Piper’s release, the secrets left behind taunt Skylar and she realizes that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle for good.

NightfallNightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski

On Marin’s and Kana’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every 24 hours–it comes every 28 years. Now the sun is just a sliver on the horizon, the weather is turning cold, and the shadows are growing long. The islanders are frantically following bizarre rituals to prepare their houses for the departure, rituals that none of the adults in town will explain. Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing–the twins’ friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling, their island is in transformation, and it may already be too late…