Furyborn by Claire Legrand
It’s difficult to put into words how much I loved Furyborn. This high fantasy follows the rise of two queens and their fights for freedom, power, and the ones they love. This a very mature YA fantasy that has an incredible world that I got sucked into right away. Claire Legrand is able to provide foreshadowing and yet you still never know where the story is going. This the one book this year that I have pushed into people’s hands and told them they need to read it ASAP!
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Sky in the Deep is a historical viking story that I couldn’t put down. The action sequences in this story were fantastic, but I loved the story of family that was at the heart of the book. The romance in this book wasn’t the focal point, which I enjoyed, however it was well written with amazing chemistry. I definitely want more viking inspired YA.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
I’ve read a lot of contemporary YA this year and Emergency Contact is definitely my favorite. I loved the voice of Mary H.K. Choi’s writing. The prose was sharp, witty, and engaging. The characters were dynamic and beautifully developed. The text conversations felt realistic and genuine. The slow-burn romance was built in such a wonderful way. This story is set during college and it made me crave more YA stories that are in this transition period. Both of the main characters are out of high school and technically adults, but the commonality is that they are both fumbling through.
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
I love a great space opera and I have a soft spot in my heart for the classic story, Jane Eyre, so when you put them together you get this gem of a story. Alexa Donne deftly combines the main threads of Jane Eyre, while putting them against this space drama where the remnants of humanity are living in space ships during an ice age. Even if you’re not a fan of Jane Eyre, you could enjoy this story and I think a lot of the problematic issues of Jane Eyre are addressed. This one was so much fun and I have pitched it to so many readers this year!
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
This has to be the biggest book of this year. I don’t have to say much that differs from everyone’s rave reviews. The world building here is incredible. I highly recommend the audiobook. I am always the person that never pronounces character names correctly so listening to the audiobook is great for that and pulls you further into the world.
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Artemis by Andy Weir
Artemis was one of my first reads of the year and also one of my favorites. I had heard mixed reviews about this book, but wanted to read it because of how much I loved The Martian by the same author. It met and exceeded every expectation I had. It had the same snarky and smart voice as The Martian did but with far more diverse and dynamic characters. It also had a bit of a heist plot which is my biggest weakness.
Warcross by Marie Lu
Warcross is everything I could want in a book. It’s a book about video games, trust, hacking, friendship, and hard choices. It a fun book that kept me turning pages while simultaneously causing my to grow very attached to the characters. The setting and worldbuilding was so unique and there were so many plot threads interweaving at once. This book gave me the same reading vibes that I got when I first read The Hunger Games. It was that good.
When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
I think When the Moon was Ours is going to stay with me forever, partially because it was the first Anna-Marie McLemore book I read. This author has an incredibly distinctive and lyrical writing style that I was immediately enamored with. Not only that, but she seamlessly works together story threads to create a plot that is simultaneously indescribable and unforgettable. I also read and loved Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore this year and I definitely plan to read everything this author writes.
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens
Dress Codes for Small Towns was a favorite that I feel incredibly strongly about. There were so many times throughout this story that I felt like my own life was being addressed in the thoughts of the main character. It’s a gorgeous story about small town friendships and expectations. The connections and friendships in this book gave me the feelings I’ve been searching for since I first read The Raven Cycle, which is the highest praise I can give.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
This book was strangely nostalgic for me. Although it’s classified as an adult book, it’s really blends elements of a lot of genres and target audiences. It’s a story about teenagers that feels like the fantasy books I used to read as a kid. It’s a story about magic, school life, and a murder mystery. It blends all of these elements seamlessly into an incredibly short but memorable book. I found it to be an absolutely magical read.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Blackout by Kit Mallory
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell