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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.
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.

Comments

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

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