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10 Critically-Acclaimed Novels You Should Have on Your Shelf

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 If you’re looking for some incredible reads that will make you think, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 of our recommendations for amazing, critically-acclaimed novels you should have on your shelf!

 

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

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A Finalist for the National Book Award. When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a HBCU, it’s the first time she’s ever been so far from her family—and the first time that she’s been able to make her own choices and to seek her place in this new world. As she stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her sexuality, Ada must brush off the destiny others have chosen for her and claim full ownership of her body and her future.

 

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

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Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a teaching job and a place to live on an isolated part of the Northern California coast, she immediately accepts. The farm is a refuge, but it’s also haunted by the past, and Mila’s own memories are starting to rise to the surface.

 

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Named a best book of the year by: The New York Times, NPR, TIMEWall Street JournalBoston Globe, Entertainment WeeklySouthern LivingPublishers Weekly, BookPage, A.V. Club, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and many more.

Aza Holmes never intended to pursue the disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Pickett’s son Davis. John Green returns with a novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

 

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

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In this companion to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius suddenly has it all: a boyfriend, an internship, a spot on the soccer team. It’s everything he’s ever wanted–but what if he deserves better?

 

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

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A Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

 

Dig by A.S. King

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Winner of the Michael L. Printz Medal. With her inimitable surrealism, award winner A.S. King exposes how a toxic culture of polite white supremacy tears a family apart and how one determined generation can dig its way out.

 

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay 

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A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

 

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer

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We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

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BookPage Best Book of 2020, A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2020, A School Library Journal Best Book of 2020, and A New York Public Library 2020 Top 10 Best Book for Teens.

A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

 

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship.

 

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

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A William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist
2018 National Book Award Longlist

Joy McCullough’s bold novel in verse is a portrait of an artist as a young woman, filled with the soaring highs of creative inspiration and the devastating setbacks of a system built to break her.

 

 

Looking for a book to keep you on the edge of your seats? We recommend these 11 high stakes thrillers!

 

#ShelfGoals

The perfect TBR for fans of enemies to lovers books!

Is enemies to lovers your trope of choice? Here are a few reads featuring hate-to-love couples we can’t help but fall for!     What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka In the game of love, there’s always room for extra creditAn enemies-to-lovers YA rom-com filled with perfect banter, nerdy drama, and … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: FLYY GIRLS #3 – Noelle: The Mean Girl by Ashley Woodfolk

The third installment in Ashley Woodfolk’s Flyy Girls series is here! There are only three things that matter to Noelle Lee: her family, school, and the cello. She doesn’t care if people see her as selfish or mean because she knows she has her priorities in order. That’s why when her dad loses his job, Noelle doesn’t … Continued
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Read an excerpt of We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire by Joy McCullough

From the author of the acclaimed Blood Water Paint, a new contemporary YA novel in prose and verse about a girl struggling with guilt and a desire for revenge after her sister’s rapist escapes with no prison time. Scroll down to read an excerpt of Joy McCullough’s We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire. Content warning: this … Continued
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Love triangles we LOVE in YA!

Love a good love triangle? Here are a few of our recommendations if you’re looking for your next love triangle to feel deeply conflicted over!   The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, The Kinder Poison is an enthralling fantasy adventure that follows a teenage girl chosen to be … Continued
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Start reading THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD

Debut author Rebecca Mahoney delivers an immersive and captivating novel about magical places, found family, the power of grief and memory, and the journey toward reconciling who you think you’ve become with the person you’ve been all along. Scroll down to start reading The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney My taillights cut a path down … Continued
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Best Sisters in YA

We love an epic protagonist. But you know who we really need to talk about? The underrated siblings we adore. So here are a few of our favorite sisters in YA!   The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe Nora O’Malley’s badass big sis is someone you do NOT want to mess with.   The … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: What’s Not to Love

Author couple #Wibbroka is back! What’s Not to Love is an enemies-to-lovers YA romcom filled with perfect banter, nerdy drama, and heart-pounding romance—perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Emma Lord, and Sandhya Menon. Scroll down to read an excerpt! One I hold my head high, sitting up straight in the passenger seat of my mom’s SUV. Whatever happens, I … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: THE SHADOW WAR

Today we’re sharing an excerpt of Lindsay Smith’s The Shadow War! Inglourious Basterds meets Stranger Things in this dark and thrilling tale of power, shadow, and revenge set during World War II. Scroll down to start reading! Chapter One Liam Liam staggered through the storybook village with a fistful of shadows and a mouthful of lies. The whitewashed … Continued
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High Stakes Thrillers That Will Keep You Guessing

If you’re looking to escape real life for a bit for some fictional thrills, these high stakes books have everything you need, from pirates to reanimated sisters to assassins! Scroll down for 17 high stakes thrillers that are sure to keep you guessing.   Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi A deadly virus is only one … Continued
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Start reading THE WIDE STARLIGHT

The Hazel Wood meets The Astonishing Color of After in this dreamy, atmospheric novel that follows sixteen-year-old Eli as she tries to remember what truly happened the night her mother disappeared off a frozen fjord in Norway under the Northern Lights. Scroll down to start reading The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance! I find the letter one slushy February afternoon, … Continued
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