If you haven’t noticed already, YA books appeal to millennials in every age bracket — Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter – do we need to continue? They strike emotions which capture the glory of whimsical youth and haul us into another world, even if ever so shortly. These convo-stirring YA novels aren’t any different and will leave you permanently intrigued. Here are 12 youthful delights to add to your summer reading plans.
1. One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank ($10): Summer in Paris? The name of this book alone should have you picking it up. Two teenagers visit The City of Lights to spend the summer with their estranged father who abandoned them to pursue his career. It isn’t all art and croissants, but One Paris Summer has a delicious dose of French romance and risqué drama.
2. Within Reach by Jessica Stevens ($12): BRB — we have to run to the store and buy out all tissue supplies. Seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s greatest dream is to simply fall more in love with his girlfriend this summer. Death has other plans. Trapped in a dark realm for 30 days, Xander fights against fate to convince the girl he loves that he’s still alive.
3. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry ($11): Those emotion-packed months after high school graduation — we’ve all been there. Full of possibility and overflowing with new beginnings and bittersweet endings, those precious days are the launching pad for possibility. Natalie is having a quite… different experience during her last summer in her Kentucky hometown. Haunted by apparitions and a morphed reality, Natalie suddenly finds herself existing for a boy named Beau who she has never met before.
4. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando ($11): For those craving a super dose of eerie summer mystery, The Leaving is the best thing to happen to your reading game this year. Six kindergartners went missing without a trace 11 years ago. Now five have returned, and they have no recollection of what happened to them or the sixth victim — or is it all an act? This novel is filled with suspenseful puzzle pieces and intense secrecy that will leave readers reeling once they discover the disturbing truth.
5. The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady G. Stefani ($10): If you think you felt isolated as a teenager, we’re sure Courtney Hoffman has you beat. Between alien scouts making midnight visits to a mysterious tattoo her conspiracy-driven grandfather marked her with, she has about 99 problems and getting perfect Kylie Jenner lips isn’t one. Courtney’s mission to discover her true past will leave you sweating from adrenaline all summer long.
6. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley ($11): Being agoraphobic is a struggle — ask Soloman, who hasn’t left his house in three years. Driven Lisa is determined to get into one of the nation’s best psychology programs and sees an opportunity to not only “fix” Soloman, but to score the coveted scholarship of her dreams too. She steps in with her fascinating boyfriend Clark and the three form bonds which none of them knew possible — and the emotions which ensue, dang. You won’t be able to put this YA gem down.
7. Running for Water and Sky by Sandra Kring ($11): We hope you don’t mind bawling your eyes out this summer. Foster child Bless Adler has no intentions of giving her heart to anyone, especially after countless families rejected her. Then she meets her soulmate at the ripe age of 17. A local psychic derails Bless’ happiness when she paints a bloody vision of the nightmare to come. Racing against time and her abusive alcoholic father, Bless adventures to save her love’s life. Running for Water and Sky will leave your heart sore from the flurry of emotions.
8. Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer ($10): Here’s yet another tearjerker for you to bring poolside this summer. Since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Levi hasn’t uttered a single word. Desperate to help her son, Levi’s mother sends him to live in Maine with his father, but once the wheels of his plane touch the runway, Levi is faced with personal struggles, self-doubt and a difficult relationship with his father. And don’t even get us started on the girl Levi meets who reminds him of someone he once lost…
9. True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan ($12): This novel is about to send ripples of emotion throughout the LGBT world. By day, James Liddell is your picture-perfect jock: star on the field and dating the peppy and perfect “it” girl of his high school class. By night, he takes his pen and spills to paper who he really is — and who he really wants. Trapped by the expectations of his parents and the norms of society, James dances on the line of living a fictional life forever.
10. The Girls by Emma Cline ($12): Easily the most anticipated novel of the summer, The Girls is a dark reminder that youth can take nastily sinister turns. Inspired by the Manson family, this consuming debut novel on the impossibly dark sides of girlhood and dangers of obsessive romance will be the thriller-to-read for this summer and countless more to come.
11. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys ($12): If you are a fan of All the Light We Cannot See, your reading appetite is about to have a major portion of satisfaction. Sepetys’ latest novel illuminates the lives of thousands of displaced young refugees in the height of World War II and the unknown tragedies that nearly destroyed them. In this moving tale of survival and the power of human spirit, Salt to the Sea will create literary shockwaves in the YA world.
12. Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy ($11): There is an asteroid headed for earth. That is enough of a storyline, but trust us, it gets even better. Seventeen-year-old Nobel Prize-winning Russian physicist Yuri is perhaps the only one who can save the better half of the planet. Recruited by NASA and struggling for his voice to be heard, Yuri adventures to defeat an asteroid and finds the solution not in a book but rather with an affair of the heart. Be prepared to swoon.
13. Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee ($10): Ah, the isolating struggles of being homeschooled. They make you do crazy things — even getting on board with faking death. BFFs and Austin-dwellers Stevie and Sanger learned to create their own fun since their local homeschool cooperative doesn’t believe in much of it. Harmless entertainment takes a spontaneous turn when the boy next door goes on a quest to defy mortality. Romantic, sweet and deftly captivating, Lucky Few makes a perfect addition to YA lineups.
What’s on your to-read list? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
(Photo via Getty)