Best Books: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
Summer Reads: 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012


Samuel Teer, illus. by Mar Julia (Versify)

When her mother accepts a principal role in a dance tour, almost-15-year-old Almudena must stay with her father, whom she’s never met, while he renovates a dilapidated brownstone in this affecting summer-of-1995-set graphic novel told via the teen’s resourceful and unfettered perspective. Julia’s fluid illustrations, saturated in rich earth tones, breathe life into the vibrant metropolitan neighborhood of Teer’s satisfyingly transformative story about connection and identity, which culminates in an emotionally grounded tale about a teen struggling to determine where—and with whom—she belongs.


The Grandest Game

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little, Brown)

Set a year after the conclusion of Barnes’s Inheritance Game trilogy, this captivating series launch introduces the Grandest Game, an annual competition run by billionaire Avery Grambs and the Hawthorne brothers, the previous series’ protagonists. Fan favorites—such as Grayson from The Brothers Hawthorne—and new characters collide in this high-stakes game of power, wealth, privilege, and revenge that follows eight teens who will do whatever it takes to win a shot at fame and fortune.


Looking for Smoke

K.A. Cobell (Heartdrum)

When authorities seem uninterested in solving the disappearance of a Blackfeet Reservation teen and the subsequent murder of another, the teens’ peer group resolves to investigate and apprehend the killer—even if it means condemning one of their own. Interweaving intricacies of reservation life and striving to highlight the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis, Cobell delivers a gut-punch debut thriller via a timely mystery plot that is by turns spine-tingling and emotionally raw.


Of Jade and Dragons

Amber Chen (Viking)

Taking her younger brother’s identity as an alias, and getting unexpected help from a prince, Aihui Ying infiltrates the renowned, male-dominated Engineers Guild following the murder of her world-class engineer father. Debut author Chen draws inspiration from Qing dynasty China to craft cleverly complex worldbuilding, employing vivid sensory language to set the stage for a teen’s quest for answers—and revenge—in this gripping silkpunk fantasy that entices from start to finish.


Our Shouts Echo

Jade Adia (Disney Hyperion)

L.A. transplant Niarah never expected that her plans to build a backyard doomsday shelter would attract the attention of cute surfer boy Mac, who coaxes her out of her bunker to participate in myriad summer adventures, including sunset bonfires and breakfast burrito runs. Sex-positive messaging throughout adds further depth to Adia’s already potent romance, in which a teen grappling with depression, eco-anxiety, future uncertainties, and burnout endeavors to open herself up to love and possibility.


Wish You Weren’t Here

Erin Baldwin (Viking)

In this charming debut from Baldwin, which gives way to electric romance, Juliette is ready for a break from class frenemy Priya. When Priya arrives at Fogridge Sleepaway Camp, though, Juliette realizes she doesn’t hate Priya after all—she might even like her. This organic enemies-to-lovers summer camp romp unspools via biting and introspective prose that amps up the seasonal vibes by humorously highlighting Fogridge customs and the characters who take part in them.


© PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.