On account of the absolutely outstanding books hitting shelves lately, we rounded up a few that we dare regard as instant YA classics.
1. Frankly in Love by David Yoon
“This is a classic in the making.” —Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Warcross
Who are we to argue with Queen Marie Lu? Frankly in Love is getting ready to hit shelves next month, and the love around this book from authors to early readers to us penguins is so real. This debut about first love, identity, and family is one for the ages. We hope you love this classic in the making as much as we do!
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.
2. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
“Darius the Great is Not Okay is a supernova of heart and hope that’s sure to become a classic.”
—Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin
This is one of those beautiful, quiet books that has just grown and grown since its publication in 2018. This award-winning coming-of-age tale is bittersweet and so memorable, and we expect it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And we can’t wait to see what Adib Khorram writes next!
About the book: Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.
Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.
3. The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
“Brutal. Beautiful. Honest.” —Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes
Sabaa Tahir pretty much sums it up. The Fountains of Silence is a classic in the making will look great alongside Ruta Sepetys’ other unforgettable works of historical fiction, including Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea. Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again proves her ability to shine light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true post-war struggles of Spain.
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.
4. SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson
“A captivating, powerful read about clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is. Fervent and deafening.” —Booklist, starred review
Laurie Halse Anderson’s searing memoir and call to action is sure to join Laurie’s other YA classic, Speak. Described as “powerful,” “captivating,” and “essential” in the nine starred reviews it’s received, this must-read memoir is being hailed as one of 2019’s best books for teens and adults, and is sure to stick around long after.
About the book: Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, Laurie Halse Anderson has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. A denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts, SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
5. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
“This is the homegirl I’ve always wanted to see in literature, made flesh by Rivera’s pen.”—Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X
This gutsy, queer coming-of-age story is loud, proud, and its rise to re-publication (YAY!) has it on track to be on YA Favs Lists for a long time. Also, the quote on the cover kind of says it all. We are thrilled to be re-publishing this work of art, and for sure, YA classic in the making.
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.