Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

Best Book Club Reads of the Year!

SHARE

Some reads just require a buddy to talk about them with. And some reads require more than just one person to discuss, so here are our favorite book club picks of the year!

 

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly-in-Love-COVER

You’ll have a lot of feelings both while and after reading this book. Get ready to bring a lot of thoughts and strong opinions on Frankly in Love to your next book club!

About the book: High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

 

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

The Grief Keeper COVER

This book is beautiful and heartbreaking and begs to be shared among friends.

About the book: Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol’s mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber’s, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn’t be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn’t have been caught crossing the border.

But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.

 

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

How-it-Feels-to-Float

Biz’s journey is such an inspiring, important story, and definitely worthy of book club discussion.

About the book: Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface–normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach–first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe–maybe maybe maybe–there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay 

patron-cover

An honest and heartbreaking look at the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity, this book lends itself to deep discussions and hard questions.

About the book: Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

 

Lovely War by Julie Berry

LovelyWar1

The shifting perspectives between the mortals on earth in the midst of World War II and the Greek Gods watching from above will give you a LOT to discuss. Julie Berry’s Lovely War takes a deep look at the impacts of war, loss, and fate.

About the book:  They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect turned soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by the goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

 

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The-Fountains-of-Silence-COVER

This book is one of the absolute most bookclub-worthy books of 2019. There’s no lack of material to discuss in the newest Ruta Sepetys masterpiece, which will both break your heart and open your eyes as she shines a light in an often overlooked, dark corner of history.

About the book: Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

 

The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

TheVirtueofSin

This compelling novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free is definitely a top 2019 pick for us.

About the book: Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together.
But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs.
Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.

 

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

TheDownstairsGirl

“Holds a mirror to our present issues while giving us a detailed and vibrant picture of life in the past.” —The New York Times 

About the book: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

 

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

FIREBORNE

This is the kind of book you need to read with someone for the same reason you immediately live-texted your bestie while watching Game of Thrones. There’s just so much happening at once and it’s executed so shockingly well you’ll need to share your reactions with people in real time.

About the book: Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.
Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.
But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.
With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

 

 

All the Bad Apples by Möira Fowley-Doyle

All-the-Bad-Apples-cover

Unflinching and gorgeously written, this feminist novel is important, timely, and a compulsive read.

About the book: When Deena’s wild older sister Mandy goes missing, presumed dead, Deena refuses to believe it’s true. Especially when letters start arriving–letters from Mandy–which proclaim that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions but a curse, handed down to women from generation to generation. Mandy’s gone to find the root of the curse before it’s too late for Deena. But is the curse even real? And is Mandy still alive? Deena’s desperate, cross-country search for her beloved sister–guided only by the notes that mysteriously appear at each destination, leading her to former Magdalene laundry sites and more–is a love letter to women and a heartbreaking cathartic journey.

 

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

juliet

Speaking of lots to discuss, Juliet Takes a Breath will give you a lot to unpack. It’s the kind of book you put down every now and then, stare blankly at the wall, and repeat the quote on the cover, and you’ll want some people to share it with!

About the book: Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.

Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?

With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.

 

We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fielder

WeWalkedTheSky_coverWR

This one is a stunning, multigenerational story about two teenagers: Victoria, who joins the circus in 1965, and her granddaughter, Callie, who leaves the circus fifty years later.

About the book: In 1965 seventeen-year-old Victoria, having just escaped an unstable home, flees to the ultimate place for dreamers and runaways–the circus. Specifically, the VanDrexel Family Circus where, among the lion tamers, roustabouts, and trapeze artists, Victoria hopes to start a better life.

 

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

stars-and-the-blackness-between-them

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.

About the book: Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels–about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

 

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

We-Speak-In-Storms-Cover

A powerful and haunting debut novel about friendship, acceptance, and learning to let go as the balance between the living and the dead is upended,

About the book: It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens — a whole generation of Mercerites — dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward–if only they work together.

 

 

 

Looking for more addictive reads? Check out these 7 vampire books to read before you die!

#Bookish

What to read based on your favorite Love Is Blind couple

Is it safe to assume everyone is eagerly waiting on season 2 of Love Is Blind? We’re going to go with yes. You probably know that not *all* couples had a very happy ending on the show for season 1. But we’ve picked out the perfect romance reads to match the couples who did!   … Continued
See More

A Playlist Inspired by DOWN AND ACROSS

After reading this quirky, coming-of-age story about a high school senior who spends a summer finding himself in D.C., we knew we had to make a playlist full of summer jams (ok, it’s April, but still.) Check out our Spotify playlist and read along with us! 📚🎶   Pssst! Btw this ebook is on sale until … Continued
See More

Best of Bookstagram: The Storm of Life

We adore the amazing community that makes up #bookstagram and all the stunning photos we’ve been seeing for Amy Rose Capetta’s new novel, The Storm of Life! Scroll down to see some of our favs!   About The Storm of Life: With her power over magic finally in hand, and her love for Cielo at last confessed, … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: GIRLS SAVE THE WORLD IN THIS ONE

You know what you need right now? BFFs slaying zombies. Luckily, we’re sharing an excerpt. Get ready for Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons! Shaun of the Dead meets Clueless in this hilarious YA horror comedy set at a local zombie convention–featuring a teenage girl gang that has to save the world from a horde of … Continued
See More

Royal Fantasy MUST Reads!

Ok, ok, ok, is it really surprising that we all continue to be obsessed with kings, queens, kingdoms, and magical ongoings of all sorts? We grow up playing in imaginary castles and then BOOM, we’re just expected to give that up to be adults, make doctors appointments, buy groceries, and do laundry? Ha. No. Welcome to … Continued
See More

7 Book squads that will be there for you if you’re missing yours right now

If you’re feeling a bit secluded at the moment, here are 7 of our favorite squads from books to keep you company!   1. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker One squad that you can bet will always be there is Caledonia and her fearless crew aboard the Mors Navis in Seafire. You just can’t help but feel like you’re riding the … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: ORPHAN MONSTER SPY

If historical fiction is your jam, then this is your reminder that it is definitely time to jump on the Orphan Monster Spy duology by Matt Killeen. After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah finds herself on the run from the Nazis in Third Reich-ruled Germany. While trying to escape, Sarah meets a mysterious … Continued
See More

Your Historical Fiction TBR

If you’re always on the lookout for that special book that transports to an older world the second you turn the page, we have a few recommendations you’ll definitely want on your list! Welcome to your historical fiction TBR!   Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: VERONA COMICS by Jennifer Dugan

Did someone say Romeo and Juliet inspired romance set in a comic book shop? Ha, oh right, WE DID. We’re obsessed. From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop. Jennifer Dugan’s Verona Comics is hitting shelves this month, and … Continued
See More

The thriller TBR for anyone who loved ONE OF US IS LYING

If the plot twist of One of Us Is Lying knocked your socks right off, we have a few twisty thrillers recommendations for that TBR.   I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson Talk about a PLOT TWIST. We won’t give anything away, but I Know You Remember revolves around a missing person case that gets real wild real fast. … Continued
See More
BACK TO TOP