Current YA Books
April 29, 2017 4:24 PM   Subscribe

What are some good current YA books? I prefer them to NOT be dystopias because dystopias tend to feel rather bleak to me but if there is less of a bleak feeling go ahead. I have enjoyed Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Enthusiasm (by Polly Shulman). Bonus points for nerdy characters, strong friendships, or some mystery, but please recommend anything new and exciting.
posted by azalea_chant to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Check out A. S. King maybe.
posted by Knicke at 4:29 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Flower by Elizabeth Craft and Shea Olsen. Nerdy, friendship. It's a about relationships. Strong narrative drive.
posted by valannc at 4:39 PM on April 29, 2017

Have you read Gail Carriger? Some of hers are YA. Definitely not bleak or dystopian. Strong Female characters.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:48 PM on April 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Bonus points for queer characters as well.
posted by azalea_chant at 4:51 PM on April 29, 2017

Just in case you don't know about this resource, YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association) has a pretty good website with a blog about current YA lit as well as a Book Finder that allows you to see what has been winning awards or what's popular in various genres. I mostly read dystopic stuff and graphic novels so I may not be helpful with suggestions otherwise.
posted by jessamyn at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Geography Club
Everything Leads To You
Eleanor & Park
Wonderful Feels Like This
posted by pxe2000 at 4:57 PM on April 29, 2017

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Very compelling, sharp writing, and a bit of a mystery too.
"Simon is a 16-year-old gay teenager in the closet that enjoys acting in his school's theater and musical productions. However, one day he forgets to log out of his email account at a school computer, which allows class clown Martin to access a secret back-and-forth between Simon and another boy who goes by the pseudonym Blue. Martin blackmails Simon into being his wingman so that Martin can enter a relationship with one of Simon's friends. Simon now somehow has to keep his sexuality and his penpal secret from the rest of the world while maintaining his friendships and journeying into the real world."
posted by Neeuq Nus at 5:05 PM on April 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've heard The Hate U Give is pretty great
posted by bahama mama at 5:19 PM on April 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

Do you like comics? Lumberjanes is the very best YA style thing I've read in a long time, and it definitely has nerdy characters, strong friendships, and some mystery. Raina Telgemeier writes/draws YA graphic novels that would also meet those criteria.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:20 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I loved Fangirl.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:37 PM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (nerdy characters, friendships, family relationships, romance)
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (queer characters, a bit of a mystery, family relationships, interesting story structure)

All of the above recs are great as well. A.S. King is one of my faves, I'd start with Ask the Passengers or Glory O'Brien's History of the Future.

Since you've already read Disreputable History, you might also like E. Lockhart's Boyfriend List series. Nerdy characters and friendships abound.
posted by wsquared at 5:38 PM on April 29, 2017

Mo and Dale Mysteries by Sheila Turnage! No queer characters, unfortunately, but charming kids solving mysteries. Link here.
posted by janepanic at 5:56 PM on April 29, 2017

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston, Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard and We Are Okay by Nina LaCour sound like they could be up your alley. I think all three are fantastic.
posted by ferret branca at 7:50 PM on April 29, 2017

Oh, yes, can also attest to the fact that The Hate U Give is AMAZING.
posted by ferret branca at 7:51 PM on April 29, 2017

If you're open to fantasy, I can't recommend Sarah J. Maas enough, especially A Court of Thorns and Roses. SO good.
posted by Tamanna at 8:06 PM on April 29, 2017

S.J. Goslee's Whatever
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:44 PM on April 29, 2017

Looking for Alaska. Love!
posted by Rocket26 at 6:37 AM on April 30, 2017

Best answer: Autostraddle has a great queer YA round up. I'm most familiar with Queens of Geek which is all about friendship and fandom and has a queer ship
posted by (Over) Thinking at 8:09 PM on April 30, 2017

Response by poster: In case anyone else is looking for awesome YA books too I just found this list myself:

Thanks for all the great suggestions!
posted by azalea_chant at 9:40 PM on April 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe has a strong friendship at its core, and some of the best parent-child relationship portrayals I've seen in any YA fiction, and gorgeous lyrical prose...I could go on for a while. Probably the best book I've read so far this year. (Definitely has distressing moments, but ultimately uplifting).
posted by ActionPopulated at 11:20 AM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: Emily's best friend vanishes, leaving behind a list of things Emily should do. She works her way through the list while searching for her friend. (Also great by this author, The Unexpected Everything.)
She Wore Red Trainers by Na'ima B. Robert: A teen Muslim love story set in London.
Play Me, I'm Yours by Madison Parker. (Bonus: gay and bi charaters.)
Sarah Dessen writes books that often hover around poignant -- not sure if they're cheerful enough for you or not. Some of my favorites are Along for the RIde, The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, and The Moon and More.
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan. (Neurodiversity.)
Everything Leads to you by Nina LaCour. (Bonus: gay characters and mystery elements.)
Paper Towns by John Green. (Bonus: mystery.)
Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski. (Bonus: gay characters. The imprint, Swoon Reads has books with gay, straight, asexual, questioning, bi, characters and doesn't seem to value one more than the others.)
The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon. A meet-cute in NYC with a deportation deadline.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: a "chosen one" story with magic and a variety of queer characters.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness: like Buffy from the perspective of classmates.
Peter Darling by Austin Chant: Peter Pan goes back to Neverland years later (gay & trans characters).

If you like these, feel free to memail me for more suggestions. These are just my favorites.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:48 AM on May 5, 2017

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