New YA, New Year

Date posted: January 7, 2020, 12:54 pm

Wondering what to read in the new year? How about the history, fantasy, humor, romance, and more found in these new releases in YA?

Pick your genre!

Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden
Keywords: Historical fiction, suffragists, race relations, post-war life

The story of an African-American girl becoming a woman on her own terms against the backdrop of widespread social change in the early 1900s America. As a daughter of an upper class African American family in Washington D.C., Savannah is lucky. Feeling suffocated by the structure of society, Savannah meets a working-class girl named Nell who introduces her to the suffragette and socialist movements, inspiring her to fight for change.

Enhanced by a comprehensive author’s note, this is a valuable portrayal of affluent African-American society and of post-WWI life—Publishers Weekly (11/04/2019)

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles
Keywords: Coming-of-age stories, dating, masculinity, virginity

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. He quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?

With true-to-life characters and a straightforward handling of sex, including often ignored aspects of male sexuality, Giles’s thoughtful, hilarious read offers a timely viewpoint on religion, toxic masculinity, and teen sexuality. –Publishers Weekly (11/04/2019)

Nameless Queen by Rebecca McGlaughlin
Keywords: Fantasy, queens, secrets

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me. It shouldn’t even be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?

A fantasy with relevant themes that will entice readers who love books like Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen –School Library Journal (12/01/2019)

Layoverland by Gabby Noone
Keywords: Dark humor, death, purgatory, romance

Two teens, one stuck atoning for her sins and one destined for heaven, fall in love in purgatory in this darkly hilarious and heartfelt rom-com, perfect for fans of The Good Place.

On Beatrice Fox’s last day on Earth, she ruined the life of the person she loves most–her little sister, Emmy. So when Bea awakens from a fatal car accident to find herself on an airplane headed who knows where, she’s confused, to say the least. Once on the ground, Bea receives some truly harrowing news: she’s in purgatory. If she ever wants to catch a flight to heaven, she’ll have to help five thousand souls figure out what’s keeping them from moving on.

Plenty of laughs here, mixed deftly with meditations on what it means to be alive. –Booklist (11/15/2019)

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera
Keywords: Fantasy, magic, war, brothers

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures. Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.

A bright spark of a promising series. –Kirkus Review (10/13/19)