5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBR

I just cannot stick to a single genre within young adult. For the most part, I like it all, as you can see below. Here’s five books from a few different young adult genres spanning contemporary to science fiction to fantasy that you might want to get your hands on – depending on your mood.

Five More YA Books To Add To Your TBR - including You Were Here, There Will Come A Darkness, Dangerous, Nemesis, and The Lovely And The Lost.

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBRYou Were Here by Cori McCarthy
Narrator: Emily Lawrence, Jessica Almasy
on March 1, 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Friendship, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781492617051

Cori McCarthy delivers an emotionally taut page-turner perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennifer Niven, and Jandy Nelson.
Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn't: live past graduation.
Jaycee is dealing with her brother's death the only way she can by re-creating Jake's daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She's not crazy, okay? She just doesn't have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.
Jaycee doesn't expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she's joined by a group of unlikely friends all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and... Mik. He doesn't talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.
Cori McCarthy's gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world's largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, and inevitable change.
"You Were Here is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us-and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together."?Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry's and Read Between the Lines
"The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them?and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters' stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!" ?Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things

I really enjoy young adult contemporary books that deal with grief. I think it is because of the emotions involved while reading. You just get so invested and really end up feeling something for the characters. You Were Here by Cori McCarthy centers the grief of main character Jaycee, who is almost in stasis for the years after her daredevil brother Jake died. McCarthy’s book explores the impact this has not only on Jaycee, but on her childhood friends Mik and Natalie. Rounding out the case is Natalie’s boyfriend Zach and Zach’s friend Bishop.

You Were Here is told in chapters that alternate between Jaycee, Natalie, and Zach. Interspersed are manga chapters for Mik and street art for Bishop. While I did not connect with any particular character, I did think this story was uniquely told. I enjoyed the different forms the story took. Also, moving between characters kept the story from getting stale.

I would not say this is my favorite book. However, it’s an okay read. It also is a relatively fast read as well. I think if you want to read a book that doesn’t pull punches and that is different, pick up You Were Here. It is a great book for the actual audience that it is aimed at. As someone who is actually not a part of the intended audience, it wasn’t quite for me, and that is just fine.

I think if you want to read a book that doesn't pull punches and that is different, pick up You Were Here.

Nemesis by Anna Banks

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBRNemesis by Anna Banks
Also by this author: Joyride
Series: Nemesis #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 4, 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250106094

The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.
Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.
Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.
Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
A thrilling futuristic fantasy in which the fate of the world's energy source is in the hands of a prince and princess who are rivals, by the New York Times-bestselling author of the Syrena Legacy.

I am so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Nemesis by Anna Banks. You see, I wasn’t a big fan of Of Poseidon but I really liked Joyride. So, Nemesis was a book that could honestly go either way. It ended up really working for me. And now I absolutely want to check out the sequel, at some point, once I get through all my Netgalley queue books.

Nemesis follows two main characters – Sepora and Tarik. Sepora is princess of Serubel and also a prisoner. She’s a forger meaning she naturally produces spectorium which is this rare element I guess. So, anyways she runs away to Theoria. It’s not an easy journey but somehow she ends up in the employ of Tarik who is now king of Theoria. He does not know Sepora’s real identity.

Of course, there’s a romance that blooms. Beyond that though, there’s also some really interesting world building. Also, there’s a plague. I liked learning about the different kingdoms. It’s fascinating – the contrast between Serubel and Theoria and the ruling styles.

This book goes by really fast. It’s not one where I felt myself getting bored. Both Sepora and Tarik are decent characters with different motivations but kind of the same goal. Granted, they’re both prioritizing their own kingdoms, but that’s to be expected. Give this book a shot, it’s a quick fantasy read without a ton of sequels so you get a complete story in just two books.


I am so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Nemesis by Anna Banks.

There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBRThere Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
Series: The Age Of Darkness #1
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on September 3, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, Action & Adventure, Romance, Historical
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250211767

Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows meets Kristin Cashore's Graceling, with a dash of Winter is Coming, in this showstopping debut YA fantasy--and recipient of FOUR starred reviews! A Morris Award Finalist for best debut young adult novel! A Kirkus Best Book of the Year!A Tor.com Best YA SFF/Horror Book of the Year!
“A can’t miss debut from an exciting new talent.” –Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Slayer"If you've been waiting for the next big fantasy series, it has arrived." --The Amazon Book Review
The Age of Darkness approaches.Five lives stand in its way.Who will stop it . . . or unleash it?
For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations—until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.
All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. With chaos on the horizon, five souls are set on a collision course:
A prince exiled from his kingdom.A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.
One of them—or all of them—could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.
Praise for There Will Come a Darkness
“Even in a world filled with graces and prophets, the real magic of There Will Come a Darkness is in how Pool has crafted her heroes—messy, flawed, and so beguilingly human. I dare you not to fall madly in love with all of them.” —Laura Sebastian, New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess
* "A well-crafted, surprising, and gripping start to a new trilogy." —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

I suppose I am ending 2019 with what feels like a return to my roots – a fantasy young adult book with hints of apocalypse. There Will Come A Darkness is Katy Rose Pool’s debut and boy does it slap. It’s a long book and quite the journey from beginning to end. I am glad I read and will happily be back for book two.

There Will Be A Darkness follows five main characters who each get focused chapters. Hassan is a prince in exile. Ephyra lives with her sister Beru and has a strange and terrible Grace. Beru, FYI, is very sick. Anton is very good at card games and is running from his Grace. Jude is the Keeper Of The Word and in search of the Prophet. He also has to reconcile his heart and his duty. You see, in Pool’s world, some people have extraordinary gifts called Graces – this means some people can create wondrous inventions. Some people have amazing reflexes and strength. Some people can scry. Others have the power to heal. Meanwhile, there’s a cult called the witnesses who are lead by the Hierophant who want to wipe out the Graced. And man, this book gets INTENSE.

At times, yes the book does feel a little over long. It’s worth persevering through. I found that each character’s motivations were complex and interesting. There’s a whole lot of action. Also, we get snippets of romance. But honestly, the best piece of the whole book lies in the world building and the character growth for SOME characters. Not all, but some. So, add this to your list if you’re here for a big meaty book and some solid adventures.

There Will Come A Darkness is Katy Rose Pool's debut and boy does it slap. It's a long book and quite the journey from beginning to end.

Dangerous by Shannon Hale

I received this book for free from Publisher, Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBRDangerous by Shannon Hale
Also by this author: The Goose Girl
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Length: 10 Hours 35 Minutes
Published by A&C Black on April 10, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, Juvenile Nonfiction, Technology, Science Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 400
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781408845486

Maisie 'Danger' Brown needs excitement. When she wins a harmless-sounding competition to go to astronaut boot camp, that's exactly what she gets . . . But she never imagined it would feature stumbling into a terrifying plot that kills her friends and might just kill her too. Now there's no going back. Maisie has to live by her middle name if she wants to survive – and she'll need to be equally courageous to untangle the romance in her life too. A clever, suspenseful thriller-adventure by New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Shannon Hale.

The end of my Netgalley queue is right in sight. Dangerous by Shannon Hale was currently the oldest unreviewed and unread book on that queue. And so when I got two free Audible credits (for some class action lawsuit) I decided to plunk one down on Dangerous. The better to listen to it and knock another book from the queue quite easily.

I don’t even know what initially drew me to Dangerous. It was years ago that I grabbed it off Netgalley — likely because I had read The Goose Girl by Hale and enjoyed it immensely. As it turns out though, my tastes really have evolved since 2014/2015. This book is a science fiction romp with a little bit of romance and some high stakes.

Hale’s story follows Maisie Danger Brown who is a teenage girl who just wants to venture from home — yes, she is homeschooled. So, one day she wins a free trip to space camp. That’s when things go a little bit sideways and Maisie unwittingly finds herself as part of a larger plot where people die and life back on Earth is about to get real dangerous real quick.

Friends, this is just not really my kind of thing anymore. I found myself bored and ready to just be done with this book. Sure, Maisie is kick ass. She’s also a diverse lead in that she does not have one of her limbs. It’s great that she gets a love story. I just couldn’t find it in me to care. The audiobook, FYI is a little bit of a slog too. It’s 10 hours and 35 minutes long. The narrator is new to me. I’d say this is good for someone in the YA stage of their life or people who love science fiction. It’s just not my cuppa.

The Lovely And The Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I received this book for free from Publisher, Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 More YA Books To Add To Your TBRThe Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Also by this author: The Naturals, Killer Instinct
Narrator: Emily Lawrence
Length: 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Published by Disney Electronic Content on May 7, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Animals, Action & Adventure, Survival Stories
Pages: 325
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Publisher, Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781484785867

Kira Bennett's earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along with Cady's son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world's most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home. But when Cady's estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child—one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months—the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it's like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone. But this case isn't simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira's memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

It feels like I’ve just gobbled up Jennifer Lynn Barnes books in 2019 and apparently 2020 is going to include a few more of her books on my slate too. The Lovely And The Lost is the first of Barnes’ books that I’ve read this year and not a bad one to kick off with. The audiobook absolutely was worth a listen.

The Lovely And The Lost is a story about Kira Bennett who has early memories of living in the woods — which play kind of a big role to her flashbacks of woods life in the story. Anyways, she is found by a search and rescue dog and ends up adopted by the rescuer, Cady. She then goes on to live with Cady and her son Jude and get into the family business of search and rescue. Flash forward a few years, Kira is now a teenager. There’s a new case where a young girl named Bella is missing. As it turns out, this brings up a lot of feelings for Kira.

What happens, well, Kira learns some secrets about her family as well as some more context to her childhood. She also is deeply enmeshed in the search for Bella. Oh and there’s also some shady dealings with the local sheriff. This book has got some layers.

There’s no romance in The Lovely And The Lost. Rather, the focus is on family and bonds. It’s on Kira kind of figuring out her place. Also, she does come across as distant, so the lack of romance does make sense. Plus honestly, the dogs of this book have really big personalities and I am not sure I could handle even more packed in. Instead, it was nice to just deeply explore the search and rescue theme as well as family without any unnecessary plot elements.

The audiobook version is real easy to follow. Emily Lawrence is the audiobook narrator. It is 8 hours and 30 minutes long. It is up on Hoopla. Lawrence embodies the voice of a teenage girl quite well. On the whole, another successful audiobook as well as story by Barnes. I know this is a standalone, but I could see more from this story and world.

The Lovely And The Lost is the first of Barnes' books that I've read this year and not a bad one to kick off with. The audiobook absolutely was worth a listen.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. No stop! No more, please! The list is already so long

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