Summer Reading List: YA Lit

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Looking for some Young Adult books to bring to the beach for the summer? Below are some of our recommendations!


gameofloveanddeathTHE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough

The Game of Love and Death features some familiar faces: Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Helen of Troy and Paris. However, in this stellar read, all of these infamous lovers are connected by a mysterious game featuring none other than Love and Death. The entities choose players to see what will rule: love or death. So far, Love isn’t holding up too well. Love’s last hope lies in the polar opposite characters of Flora and Henry. Brockenbrough features an interracial couple set in 1930’s Seattle, who have more issues to deal with than an intense game reminiscent of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Despite the supernatural setup, the relationship between Flora and Henry is what really shines through. Brockenbrough creates a spark between the two that is anything but forced, and retells a familiar “opposites attract” story in a refreshing way. Come for the beautiful cover, stay for the remarkable love between these two characters.




If you have happened upon any online reviews of the book Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, the one word that never ceases to appear is “adorable”. This is completely warranted. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, a 2015 Texas Book Festival book, is an  adorable, refreshing book.  Simon is a closeted sixteen-year-old boy with a flirty pen pal named Blue, who gets wrapped up in some serious hi-jinx in order to avoid revealing his sexuality. Although he has a supportive group of friends and family, he goes to great lengths to evade coming out.  Simon’s rapport with Blue is cute and will remind anyone of their first attempt at a relationship. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda will leave you with a smile on your face days after you finished the book.



DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy

Yes, you’ve probably seen this cover before, and you’ve probably already been told to read this book. We’re going to tell you just one more time: read this book. An oddity in itself, Dumplin’ features a “self-proclaimed fat girl”, who doesn’t get relegated to the best friend role. Instead, Willowdean gladly takes the spotlight in this delightful read, and has a good time along the way. Julie Murphy, a Texas Book Festival 2015 author, creates a genuine character that readers will want to hear more about. More importantly, she wrote a book that proudly showcases body positivity: Willowdean struggles with her confidence, like many of us do, but she never lashes out at other women or tries to put anyone down. Willowdean even catches the eye of classic cutie, Bo. This sophomore novel is both heartwarming and hilarious.



LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare

The hype around this book did not disappoint. Clare again creates a rich world in which readers can immerse themselves in this third Shadowhunters trilogy. The new trilogy revolves around Emma and Julian, two young Shadowhunters who are parabatai (basically supernatural best friends), and are expressly forbidden to fall in love. Can you guess what happens next? Against the backdrop of an enthralling mystery involving the murder of Emma’s parents, Lady Midnight proves it is much more than a teen love story. If you haven’t read any Shadowhunters books before, you can dive right in to Lady Midnight and come out on the other side a new found fan. Lady Midnight exhibits what is so addictive about YA novels while building a world that is consumable for everyone.



PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken

A#1 New York Times Bestseller, Passenger is immensely popular for all the right reasons. Passenger revolves around Etta, a young violin prodigy who suffers a tragic loss before discovering her ability to travel through time. She finds herself in 1776, where she meets Nicholas, a freed slave. The hunt for a mysterious object pulls Etta and Nicholas together, and takes them on a journey through time that will leave the reader reeling. With a sequel planned for 2017, Passenger is a great new find to get behind. The inclusion of an interracial relationship sets this book apart from the usual YA fantasy, and the gripping story keeps the reader engaged all the way through. Passenger is an epic adventure that will leave you wishing it was 2017.



A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS by J. Anderson Coats, Andrea Cremer, Y. S. Lee, Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, Kekla Magoon, Marissa Meyer, Saundra Mitchell, Beth Revis, Caroline Tung Richmond, Lindsay Smith, Jessica Spotswood, Robin Talley, Leslye Walton, Elizabeth Wein

If you’ve been craving some serious girl power in your life, then A Tyranny of Petticoats is for you. Featuring 15 short stories by 15 female authors, this compilation contains “badass girls” spanning decades and the country. This book appeals to every kind of YA reader: you can find both historical fiction and fantasy packaged in one little book. With a richly diverse group of characters in unique situations throughout history, it’s nearly impossible not to connect to at least one character. Not to mention that this is the holy grail of female authors (Legend and The Lunar Chronicles fans will rejoice) coming together to celebrate  femininity in every sense of the word. Give A Tyranny of Petticoats a try, and you won’t regret it.



RUINED by Amy Tintera

If you’re looking for a brand new dystopian fantasy to obsess over this summer, Ruined is for you. Set in the ravaged country of Ruina, a ferocious girl named Emelina vows to take revenge for her family and find her kidnapped sister. In order to do this, Emelina must infiltrate the royal family of Lera, where she meets Prince Casimir. Filled with twists and romance, Ruined dares to go darker than most YA novels with a fierce heroine who is unafraid to kill, and should rightfully intimidate any reader. With alternating points of view between Emelina and Casimir, Ruined will give you both sides of the story while delving deeper into the tattered relationship between Ruina and Lera. Ruined will appeal to any Red Queen fans while forging an entirely new path of its own.