Read: 5 Young Adult Book Recommendations - Sheba Karim
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Read: 5 Young Adult Book Recommendations

As a young adult writer, I’m often asked for YA book recommendations. Here are some of my favorite books I’ve read in the recent past.

  1. The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas – This book has received the most buzz of any YA novel published this year, and it lives up to the hype. When Starr, whose lives in the dissonant worlds of her black neighborhood and her very white private school, witnesses her unarmed friend being killed by a cop, she must decide what to do next. One of the most important books of the year, in any genre.
  2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – Set in the small, Midwestern town of Bone Gap, this National Book Award Finalist and Printz Award Winner is parts dark mystery, poignant love story, supernatural tale.  It’s a lush, haunting, unforgettable read that stays with you long after the mystery is resolved.
  3. Under the Wolf, Under the Dog by Adam Rapp –If you think you know what YA is all about, think again.  Narrated in retrospect by Steve, a teenager who goes on a downward spiral after his mother’s death and brother’s suicide, this is a gritty, graphic, keenly observed book that is both hysterically funny and heartbreakingly brutal.
  4. How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras – After her mother dies, Georgia, an endearing, witty and memorable protagonist makes a list of goals. As she sets out to accomplish these tasks, nothing goes quite as planned. Interspersed with lyrical flashbacks, this is a moving meditation on grief and a heartwarming story of a young woman’s journey toward self-acceptance.
  5. None of the Above by I.W. Gregario – Like the other books on this list, I didn’t want to put this one down.  When Kristen discovers she’s intersex, her entire sense of self is thrown into question.  When the rest of her school finds out, she must find the courage to fight ignorance.  Told with humor and sensitivity, it’s a compelling and fascinating exploration of a timely and important subject.