Ahdieh, R. (2015). The Wrath and the Dawn. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
This title is also available in Kindle and Audible formats
Awards/Honors: Nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards for YA Fiction; Junior Library Guild Selection; Indie Next List Top 10 Pick
A young woman seeks to end the pattern of murders of each of the king’s new brides.
Khalid is the young Caliph of Khorasan with a deep dark secret and is feared by his people. Each day he takes a new bride and each morning she is executed. Shahrzad is the next bride in line and she vows to break the cycle after her best friend met the same horrible fate. Will her charm and wisdom help her make it through the dawn?
The Wrath and the Dawn is filled with a beautifully colorful culture and sprinkled with magic. Ahdieh masterfully weaves her tale with plenty of mystery and some well-placed cliffhangers. This book is a fantastic retelling of the classic A Thousand and One Nights (also known as Arabian Nights).
Be sure to check out the playlist that Renee created for this book on 8Tracks
Red, vintage, neon motel sign on blue sky; Shutterstock ID 95002717
Demetrios, H. (2015). I’ll Meet You There. NewYork, NY: Henry Holt and Company.
The title is also available in Paperback and Kindle formats
A quirky motel in the middle of nowhere offers an escape for two teens working through their painful personal problems.
Skylar can’t wait to get out of Creek View. Who could blame her when the alternative is to stay in the trailer park, get knocked up, and work as a waitress in the middle of nowhere. Sky has spent her high school career working hard to get into art school, while also working the desk at a local motel to save up enough to get out of town. As if doing all of that isn’t tough enough, she also has to deal with the loss of her father and her emotionally unstable mother.
Of course, things get interesting when the town hero gets back from his military tour overseas with his own baggage. Skylar and Josh somehow manage to create an unlikely friendship while fighting their demons. Between her mixed feelings toward Josh and things getting worse at home, will Skylar give up everything she has worked for?
Heather Demetrios highlights the hardships of teens trying to make their own way in the world, while also framing the struggle of living with physical and emotional disabilities.
Silvera, A. (2015). More Happy Than Not. New York, NY: Soho Press.
Hardcover-$12.74 (Barnes & Noble)
This title is also available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audible formats
Awards/Honors: Booklist Top 10 LGBTQ for Youth; Booklist 2015 Top 10 First Novels for Youth; SLJ’s Best Books of 2015, Young Adult; Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015, Teen; Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
Life has dealt Aaron a pretty rough hand and he is trying to figure out who he really is.
More Happy Than Not covers the dark, gritty feelings of Aaron, a teenage boy dealing with a family member’s suicide, as well as his attempt on his own life. As if this isn’t hard enough for a teenager to deal with, he starts having feelings for his new friend, Thomas. Aaron becomes confused because he still loves his girlfriend, but he can’t deny this new attraction. All of these feelings become overwhelming and come with some brutally unfair consequences. Blank considers taking the easy way out by having his memory altered, but is it really worth losing his identity to be “happy”?
This book covers some pretty tough subjects, but they are realistic feelings and emotional struggles that teenagers deal with on a regular basis. Silvera’s debut novel is essential for anyone trying to figure out his or her own identity. It lets teens know that they aren’t alone and it is okay to be yourself, whoever you are. Do you have any memories that you would want erased or do you feel those memories help make you who you are?
Take a look at this Epic Reads interview to see what Adam Silvera had to say about diversity in YA