12 Must-Read Young Adult Books in May
Y'all know what time it is, bibliophiles! It's time to refresh your bookshelves, update your e-readers, and get cracking on some brand-new young adult books for May. From the stunning companion novel to Julie Murphy's Dumplin' (AKA Brit + Co's first ever book club pick) to a remarkable celebrity-infused collection of essays on activism and hope, here are a dozen brand new young adult books that every fan needs to know about this May.
The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan ($20) The third book in the popular The Trials of Apollo series, The Burning Maze tells the story of the formerly glorious god Apollo as he is transformed into an awkward teenager named Lester Papadopoulos who needs to restore five dark Oracles to regain his place at Mount Olympus. After surviving his first two trials with the help of some demigod friends, Lester must now journey through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor and an Oracle who speaks in puzzles hidden somewhere in the American Southwest. Publishing Date: May 1
Ship It by Britta Lundin ($18): Sixteen-year-old Claire is a diehard fangirl for the show Demon Heart, so when she gets the chance to meet actor Forest at a Comic-Con panel, it's obviously a dream come true. But at the Q&A portion of the panel, Forrest laughs off Claire's question about a potential love interest between his character and his male frenemy, which deeply insults both Claire and the LGBTQ+ community. As a subsequent PR nightmare unfolds, the team hires Claire to join the cast for the rest of their publicity tour to help soften their image. Full of Comic-Con clashes, blossoming romances, and shipping catastrophes, Britta Lundin's latest novel is a dorky coming-of-age story that will resonate with fangirls everywhere. Publishing Date: May 1
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne ($18): Jane Eyre in outer space!? Consider us thoroughly intrigued. Stella Ainsley makes the brave decision to leave her life of poverty aboard the Stalwart to becoming a governess on a private ship and is delighted to find the abundance of creature comforts (not only is there no water rationing, but there are more books than she's ever seen). But as hauntings and mysteries surround both the ship and Stella, she begins to question her connection with the brooding 19-year-old Captain Hugo. Trust us, this is one gothic Charlotte Brontë retelling that you won't want to put down. Publishing Date: May 1
Tiffany Sly Lives Here by Dana L. Davis ($19): After 16-year-old Tiffany Sly loses her mother to cancer, she is forced to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with her biological father, whom she's never actually met. Already traumatized from the past year, Tiffany doesn't feel like she fits in with Mr. Stone's luxurious yet super strict household and is already butting heads with her new sister London. Plus, she has one big secret she's keeping from the family: There's another man who claims to be her real father… and she only has seven days before he shows up on Mr. Stone's front door and demands a paternity test. Publishing Date: May 1
Puddin' by Julie Murphy ($18): After falling in love with Julie Murphy's New York Times bestseller Dumplin' (which is now being turned into a movie starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston), we can't wait to get our hands on her latest companion novel! Despite going to fat camp every year since she was a little girl, Millie Michalchuk is skipping the headache this year and instead making new plans to chase her dream of becoming a newscaster and finally kissing her crush. But on the way to journalism superstardom, circumstances bring Millie together with Callie Reyes, the pretty dance team captain with the popular boyfriend. With girl power, friendship, and romance aplenty, this mega-popular YA novel needs to be on your to-read list for May. Publishing Date: May 8
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard ($20): If you haven't binge-read the Red Queen series yet, stop everything you're doing and Amazon Prime the first book now. Seriously, we'll wait. In the stunning conclusion to this epic series, Mare Barrow must embrace her fate and summon all her power to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all. With a tagline of "victory comes at a price," we can only assume that not everyone will survive this highly anticipated final battle. Prepare your tissues now! Publishing Date: May 15
How I Resist by Maureen Johnson ($19): This stunning collection of essays about activism, edited by bestselling YA author Maureen Johnson, should be on every reader's radar. With a collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews from Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Hamilton's Javier Muñoz, Rosie O'Donnell, and Jodi Picoult, among many others, How I Resist is a passionate response to the youngest generation's push for change with insightful knowledge, practical instruction, and deeply moving testimony. Publishing Date: May 15
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake ($18): Twins Mara and Owen are practically inseparable, so when Mara's friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, she is completely thrown off balance. Wrestling with the idea of her brother being capable of such an act, Mara struggles to untangle her newly complicated life in this delicate book about consent, sexual assault, and victim blaming. Publishing Date: May 15
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon ($19): From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes a brand-new book about aspiring teen filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra. When fellow film buff Sahil Roy approaches Twinkle to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is thrilled (it also doesn't hurt that the opportunity might get her closer to Sahil's twin brother and her longtime crush). Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, this exciting new book is an inspiring ode to finding love in unexpected places. Publishing Date: May 22
Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro ($18): Moss Jeffries is many things — he's a considerate student, devoted son, affectionate boyfriend, and enthusiastic nerd. He also happens to be the accidental rallying point for a community after one tragic night. Unable to escape his fate at the crumbling West Oakland High where it sometimes seems that students are treated more like criminals, tensions boil and tragedy strikes again. Now Moss must decide whether to succumb to fear and hate or realize the power of his anger. Publishing Date: May 22
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson ($18): Best friends Claudia and Monday have always been more sisters than friends, so when Monday doesn't show up for the first day of school, Claudia is obviously worried. She's even more worried when Monday doesn't show up for the second day of classes and then totally bails on the second week. But when Claudia goes to Monday's mother, she refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday's sister is even less help. How can someone vanish without anyone noticing that they're gone? Publishing Date: May 22
Legendary by Stephanie Garber ($19): In this imaginative sequel to her bestseller Caraval, Stephanie Garber delivers action, romance, and intrigue all at once! After being in the center of Caraval, a magical once-a-year performance where the audience participates in mysterious ways, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from her frightening arranged marriage. But to do so, she made a bargain with a mysterious criminal to deliver Caraval Master Legend's true name. Now Donatella must rejoin the Caraval competition again to uncover this secret, which may destroy Caraval and Legend forever. Publishing Date: May 29
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