Following up on last week's adult spring book preview, here's the list of Y.A. novels I can't wait to read (or have already devoured) this spring. I'm including a couple from March and early April that are already out; get your reading done early to make room for the surge of great books headed our way in June. There's a little bit of everything, from the second in Kiera Cass's gorgeous Selection series to the coming-of-age tale of a 14-year-old boy in Andrew Smith's Winger to to Rick Yancey's much discussed dystopian novel The Fifth Wave ... and plenty more.
Crap Kingdom, by DC Pierson. (Viking, March 7). I missed this one in my winter roundup, so I'm including it here. The latest (and the Y.A. debut) from the author of The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had to brings us "The story of a normal teenager who learns he's the Chosen One in a magical kingdom, and then learns that the magical kingdom he's the Chosen One in... SUCKS." Hilarious.
OCD, the Dude, & Me, by Lauren Roedy Vaughn. (Dial, March 21). Alternative-high-school-goer Danielle Levine is one of those wonderful, unforgettable, quirky, relateable characters you cannot not love in this book about "the life of one charmingly obsessive outcast."
Awakening: A Tankborn Novel, by Karen Sandler. (Tu Books, April 1). Sandler's latest continues the story of Kayla, a GEN (or genetically engineered nonhuman girl) who's now a member of a secret organization called the Kinship, working to promote GEN freedom.
That Time I Joined the Circus, by J.J. Howard. (Scholastic, April 1). If you've ever dreamed of becoming a fortune-teller, or simply want to read about a character who does, Howard's debut novel provides that very opportunity. Music-loving New York City girl Lexi tries to track down her mom—rumored to be in Florida with a traveling circus—and in the process, finds herself (and maybe romance).
In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters. (Amulet, April 2). One of the creepiest (in a good way) covers of the season! What's inside, historical Y.A. set at the time of the Spanish influenza, is equally haunting.
My Life After Now, by Jessica Verdi. (Sourcebooks Fire, April 2). Verdi's debut novel, which deftly addresses sex, HIV, and AIDs, features Lucy, a teen girl who makes a mistake one night that changes her life forever.
This Is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith. (Poppy, April 2). A story about teens—a star and a small-town girl—who fall in love over, what else?, the Internet.
Rapture Practice, by Aaron Hartzler. (Little, Brown, April 9). In his moving, funny memoir, Hartzler tells of his upbringing in a fundamentalist Christian family, and how he, as a gay teen, began to question everything he'd been taught.
White Lines, by Jennifer Banash. (Putnam Juvenile, April 9). Cat is growing up in Alphabet City in the 1980s, with a job "as club-kid royalty working the door at the hottest spots in New York." Of course, that doesn't mean her life is perfect. New York City buffs and nostalgists will love this one especially.
The Elite, by Kiera Cass. (HarperTeen, April 23). The second in Cass's combination dystopia-fairy-tale-esque Selections series, with a cover—and thrilling romantic storyline—that parallels the the first.
Defriended, by Ruth Baron. (Scholastic, April 30). Nostalgic horror with a modern technology twist: "Whether she was alive or dead, Lacey Gray was online."
Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick. (Scholastic, April 30). 18-year-old Becky Randle's mom dies, and suddenly, with the help of mysterious, never-aging top designer Tom Kelly, Becky becomes Rebecca, the most beautiful woman in the world (at least, in the eyes of her adoring public). Rudnick's first Y.A. novel is full of magic, snark, style, heart, and hilarity.
Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan. (Philomel, May 7). Just another teen love story, except the boy is invisible and can only be seen by the girl who loves him. Also, New York is full of curses! I couldn't put this one, by two beloved Y.A. authors, down.
The Fifth Wave, by Rick Yancey. (Putnam, May 7). Everyone I trust is telling me to read this book, a sci-fi thriller about an alien invasion (but not your grandmother's alien invasion), and it's next on my list. Teen Lit Rocks' Sandie Angulo Chen called it "addictive dystopian!" It's already been optioned by Tobey Maguire and Graham King. (Get a teaser by reading The Guardian's excerpt of the first chapter.)
Icons, by Margaret Stohl. (Little, Brown; May 7). Stohl, co-author of the best-selling Beautiful Creatures saga, has a new series that begins with Icons. Same fast-pace, same romance, new sci-fi setting.
The Kissing Booth, by Beth Reekles. (Delacorte, May 14). Seventeen-year-old Reekles has a three-book deal with Delacorte based on the viral success of this, her first book, which arrives in paperback in May. It's adorable and about first kisses, among other things.
School Spirits, by Rachel Hawkins. (Disney-Hyperion, May 14). This is the first of Hawkins' spinoff series from her bestselling Hex Hall trilogy, and brings more magic, mystery, and romance as 15-year-old Izzy Brannick, from a magical-creature-hunting family, moves to a new town that has some secrets.
Winger, by Andrew Smith. (Simon & Schuster, May 14). Smith's substantial (448 pages!) novel is about 14-year-old Ryan Dean West, a junior at the "troubled kids" dorm in a rich-kid boarding school. Among his particular troubles, West rooms with the biggest bully on the rugby team, and has a crush on his best friend, Annie. The book features hand-drawn infographics and illustrations as well as a compelling coming-of-age story. (And give a look to the spine of the book.)
September Girls, by Bennett Madison. (Harper Teen, May 21). As WORD's Molly Templeton says, "I have an eye out for Bennett Madison's September Girls for the simple reason that I can't resist a book that shares a name with a Big Star song." The premise will get you, too: There's a secret at the beach town where Sam is spending the summer, and it has to do with the beautiful bonde girls there who mysteriously never swim (hint? hint). This is the perfect book to start up your summer beach reading—just look at that cover.