YA
"Words We Don't Say" follows a teenager who's haunted by the things he leaves unsaid. (Image via Deskgram)

Now that publishers and authors alike have come to understand just how popular young adult fiction can be, it seems like new releases are being announced daily. As a result, it can almost feel impossible to keep up with. Granted, there are worse problems than having so many wonderful books being written that you feel paralyzed by all the choices, but it’s a problem nonetheless.

So, to help, I’ve curated a little selection of some of the best YA books that have been recently released, or will be released this month, so you don’t have to do all the sorting yourself. Plus, all the books listed below are great reads, and many of their authors have written more than one work, so if you find yourself enthralled by a novel, be sure to check out its author’s other books.

1. That Night

In the Amy Giles YA novel “That Night,” two teens survive a mass shooting at a movie theater in Queens. The novel covers grief, tragedy, loss and love, as the characters pick up their pieces.

The novel follows Jess and Lucas as they cope with the aftermath of the shooting, the loss they feel and the trauma they have to learn to deal with. The novel doesn’t do much for diversity, besides leaving the main characters’ appearances open for interpretation. However, Giles’ description of the minor characters as diverse would lead the reader to believe the two protagonists are white.

Regardless, the novel is worth the read and will have you thinking about the ways in which people deal with grief. Catch the novel in stores Oct. 23.

2. This is Kind of an Epic Love Story

Follow Nathan Bird and Oliver James Hernandez as best-friends-turned-lovers in this coming-of-age story by Kheryn Callender. The rom-com is similar to its contemporaries, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and “Boy Meets Boy.”

The story is the lighthearted, funny tale that every teen needs to read. It has a cute narrative of friends becoming lovers, diversity and representation in its characters and a comedic voice throughout. Will Bird pursue his own happiness and tell Hernandez how he feels? Find out Oct. 30.

3. What If It’s Us

Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine forces in their queer YA novel, “What If It’s Us.” The story follows Ben and Arthur in a meet-cute at a post office and their series of dates that follow.

Albertalli is the author of “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” which was recently adapted into the film “Love, Simon” (2018). “What If It’s Us” is anticipated to follow the same agenda and eventually go onto the big screen like its successor.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted queer romance that still gets into the realness of relationships, this is the book for you. The book came out Oct. 9.

4. Odd One Out

Nic Stone, author of the New York Times bestselling book “Dear Martin,” is back with another anticipated YA novel. “Odd One Out” follows the love triangle of Courtney “Coop” Cooper, his best friend Jupiter “Jupe” Charity-Sanchez and her crush Rae. The novel deals with relationships, LGBTQ+ themes, racial divides and family dynamics for people with different home backgrounds.

The novel is divided into three parts and voices: Coop, Rae and Jupe. The Gen Z kids go through experiences of sex, all types of relationships, sexuality, gender and freedom from parents. It came out Oct. 9.

5. What They Don’t Know

Released Oct. 2, Nicole Maggi follows 16-year-old Mellie Rivers after she gets pregnant from being raped in her novel “What They Don’t Know.” The novel covers some deep topics, from rape, teenage pregnancy, pro choice v. pro life, religion and gender roles.

Through diary entries Rivers and her classmate Lise write to their English teacher, the pair try to work through the situation Rivers is in and decide what she should do about the pregnancy.

6. My Whole Truth

My Whole Truth” follows 17-year-old Seelie Stanton as she goes through everything she never wanted to do. The YA mystery novel, written by Mischa Truth, follows Stanton after she was attacked by the older brother of one of her classmates, Shane. She ends up murdering him in an act of self-defense, and finds herself charged with the murder.

Follow Stanton in the aftermath of the attack, her relationships (and yes, it is LGBTQ+ friendly) and how the murder trial plays out.

7. Words We Don’t Say

Joel Higgins is a 17-year-old boy in his junior year of high school with 901 unsent text messages, 901 opportunities he let go unread.

K.J. Reilly’s “Words We Don’t Say” is a gut-wrenching YA novel following Higgins through a coming-of-age moment in his life. Like most angst-driven teens he has emotions, anger and problems that he has difficulty expressing to others. Higgins is a less problematic, modern day Holden Caulfield. Covering a multitude of topics from grief and PTSD to depression and daily relationships, Reilly offers all readers a little moment in the book to hold onto.

8. Someday

Someday” is the sequel to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller “Every Day,” which was turned into a movie adaptation of the same name back in February. “Someday” continues the journey of A as they switch from body to body every day; however, they discover that they are not the only one — there are others just like them. Readers can dive deeper into the lives of A, Rhiannon and Nathan and continue answering the question of “What makes us who we are?”

The novel was released Oct. 2, so hurry out to your local bookstore and snag a copy.

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