You’re never too old for these timeless page-turners.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Young adult (YA) novels are priceless narratives about the tumultuous lives of adolescents. Centered around mature and adult themes, YA novels grapple with poignant moments of growth and grief, making them both a place of refuge and reckoning for readers of all ages.
Since immersing yourself in a YA novel every now and then is a must, we’re sharing a few books you definitely don’t want to miss. Read on to discover the six tales worthy of every summer reading list.
1. Kings of B’moreby R. Eric Thomas
Best-selling author and playwright R. Eric Thomas is making his contemporary YA introduction with Kings of B’More. The story follows two Black, queer best friends, Harrison and Linus, around the city of Baltimore as they “carpe diem” before parting ways for college. (Think Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets modernity and melanin.) From first Pride celebrations to rooftop parties, this is an epic adventure that explores friendship, queerness, and the growing pains of growing up.
2. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys and Andrew Weiner
We would be remiss not to mention Lolo Wright, the superpowered heroine in Alica’s debut graphic novel Girl On Fire. As Lolo ventures out into her Brooklyn neighborhood, she soon discovers her telekinetic abilities and the strength she has possessed all along. Alongside co-author Andrew Weiner and illustrator Brittney Leeanne Williams, Alicia brings the story of Lolo to life, reminding all of us that we’re more than we can even begin to imagine.
3. Salaam, with love by Sara Sharaf Beg
Who doesn’t love a tale of awkward interactions with family and cute crushes? Sara Sharaf Beg gives us that and more in Salaam, with love. As we follow Dua on a whirlwind Ramadan adventure in Queens, we find ourselves enchanted by the relatable battles between familial traditions, miscommunication, and finding a path of your own — while honoring where you come from. This charming take on love and all the ways it overwhelms us is sure to find its way into your bookshelf — and your heart.
4. Six Cimison Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Six Cimison Cranes is no ordinary fairytale. Elizabeth Lim creates a world of fantasy, enriched by dragons, unmentionable curses, and a princess who’s not in need of saving. With forbidden magic at her fingertips, Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, is left with the weight of a dark secret and an even darker journey to save the brothers she loves. From evil stepmothers to unwanted betrothment, Six Crimson Cranes will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
5. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Crystal Maldonado is the genius writer behind Fat Chance, Charlie Vega; the coming-of-age novel centers Charlie, a fat, funny, intelligent student in search of love, friendship, and self-acceptance. Maldonado lets readers confront the struggles of body image, societal pressures, and family dynamics through humor and vulnerability on every page. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever been told they’re not “enough” and chose to rise anyway.
6. She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick
If you’re into romantic comedies, She Gets the Girldelivers. Rachael Lippincott, co-author of Five Feet Apart, and Alyson Derrick collaborate to bring this queer love story to life. The two protagonists, Alex Blackwood and Molly Parker, are from different planets. But, in an unexpected turn of events, their worlds collide while on a quest to win the affection of their respective crushes. As they navigate the murky waters of shyness and flirtation, the two soon discover that love has a plan of its own.
Which titles are you adding to your reading list? Drop your favorites in the comments!