Best Teen Books 2019

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This novel is pure science fiction joy. The cast is quirky and very funny, the plot is fast moving and cleverly built, and the aliens are believable.

black enough edited by ibi zoboi

Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi

Incredible authors come together to create an anthology that is very impressive. The interplay of the stories as edited by Zoboi makes for a fascinating journey through the various facets and aspects of being an African-American teen.

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

Painful and traumatic, this book is filled with sweat, work and more than a little love.

Dig by A. S. King

Dig by A. S. King

A great teen novel full of depth with a strong voice and a definitely point of view.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

A superb historical novel that looks at race, gender and America.

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I approach every retelling of a fairy tale with trepidation. There are few that can really transform the tale into something new and fresh. Kemmerer does exactly that with her retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Skillful and haunting, this look at Spain’s history is vivid and unflinching.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Yoon has created one of the hottest YA titles of the fall. To my delight, it’s popular for a reason.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This is a complex teen novel filled with engaging characters who all are distinct from one another and enticing to spend time with. She has included all sorts of diversity in her characters, including neurodiversity, bisexuality, and racial diversity.

Gravity by Sarah Deming

Gravity by Sarah Deming

A gripping, feminist sports novel that will grab readers and not let them go.

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

This is a remarkable debut novel. Set in Australia, the book explores mental illness with a tenderness that is haunting.

Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

More than a simple collection of short stories, these short stories are beautifully connected to one another.

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

Beautiful, powerful and full of feeling, this book is amazing.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War by Julie Berry

An incredible piece of historical fiction. This is one of the best of the year.

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen 

A great new voice in YA fantasy, this novel is dark, bloody and compelling.

Mike by Andrew Norriss

Mike by Andrew Norriss

A fresh sports novel filled with fish, invisible friends, and frankness.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Wow. What a book! The voice here is what hits you first, unique and strong, it speaks in a Nigerian-laced rhythm that creates its own magic immediately. Add in the power of Jam herself, a black, trans girl who often chooses not to speak aloud but with sign language.

Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt

Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt

I love any LGBTQIA+ book for teens that allows love to win in the end. This book is full of hope, brimming with acceptance even as it explores having family members who don’t understand.

Slay by Brittney Morris

Slay by Brittney Morris 

A brilliant video game book that celebrates being black and the many dimensions that brings.

The Things She's Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Unusual and incredibly powerful and moving, this genre-bending novel is one of a kind.

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan

Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan

Powerful and engaging, this feminist read is written with strength and conviction.

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Bartlett weaves fantasy with a military story line that really creates something special on the page.

wesetthedarkonfirebytehlorkaymejia

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Latinx, LGBTQ love, political intrigue, and a vivid fantasy world come together to make an impressive teen read.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo 

In this novel, Acevedo gifts us with a story in prose where you can see her skill as a poet shining through often, taking words and making them dazzling.

One thought on “Best Teen Books 2019

  1. I’m reading ‘Redwood and Ponytail’ right now and so far I really like it. I love how it’s tied in with ‘House Arrest’ and ‘Knock Out,’ I get a kick out of books that use a shared universe. The only book on this list that I’ve read all the way through is ‘The Things She’s Seen,’ which I enjoyed. 🙂

    Like

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