Where can the new releases in YA take you this month? To the edge of the galaxy for adventure and romance. To New York for a heart-pounding thrill ride. Bombed-out WWII London for a fever dream of war and loss. 1890s Atlanta for a look at life below the stairs of the rich and powerful. Or to a dark and swampy forest to rescue a girl from monsters.
Where will you go?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge a Crash of Fate by Zoriaida Cordova
Keywords: Science Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Adventure
Izzy and Jules were childhood friends, climbing the spires of Batuu, inventing silly games, and dreaming of adventures they would share one day. Then, Izzy’s family left abruptly, without even a chance to say goodbye. Izzy’s life became one of constant motion, traveling from one world to the next, until her parents were killed and she became a low-level smuggler to make ends meet. Jules remained on Batuu, eventually becoming a farmer like his father, but always yearning for something more.
Now, thirteen years after she left, Izzy is returning to Batuu. She’s been hired to deliver a mysterious parcel, and she just wants to finish the job and get gone. But upon arrival at Black Spire Outpost she runs smack into the one person who still means something to her after all this time: Jules. When Izzy’s job goes wrong, the two childhood friends find themselves on the run. And all their secrets will be revealed as they fight to stay alive?
A fast-paced and alluring adventure in a far-flung corner of the galaxy. —Kirkus Reviews (7/13/19)
Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman
Keywords: Thriller, Suspense, Online dating, Social Justice, LGBTQIA characters
Finding himself alone in a posh New York City hotel room for the night, Aidan does what any red-blooded seventeen-year-old would do–tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgement leads him to a room with a dead guy and a mysterious flash drive…two things that spark an epic case of mistaken identity that puts Aidan on the run–from the authorities, his friends, his family, the people who are out to kill him–and especially from his own troubled past.
Inspired by a Hitchcock classic, this whirlwind mistaken-identity caper has razor-sharp humor, devastating emotional stakes, and a thrilling storyline with an explosive conclusion to make this the most compelling YA novel of the year.
As a thriller, it’s twisted and engaging; as a character study, it has lingering, affecting aftershocks. –Booklist (5/1/19)
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick
Keywords: War, Brothers, London, Loss, Greek mythology, Illustrated novels
Harry Black, a conscientious objector, artist, and firefighter battling the blazes of German bombing in London in 1944, wakes in the hospital to news that his soldier brother, Ellis, has been killed. In the delirium of his wounded state, Harry’s mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of war-torn London, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry sets off on a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city’s Underworld.
The reader is so transported into Harry’s fever dream that the muddling delusions become a shared experience. –Booklist (6/1/19)
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
Keywords: Historical fiction, Chinese Americans, Journalists, Prejudice
1890, Atlanta. By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.
An optimistic, sophisticated portrayal of one facet of Chinese American—and simply American—history. —Kirkus Reviews (4/16/19)
Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé
Keywords: Horror, Sisters, Monsters, Forests, Secrets
Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. Then Deirdre disappears.
And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.
A creepy, insidious tale that shows how treacherous a sister’s attachment can be. —Kirkus Reviews (4/16/19)