YA Best Books of the Month: October 2016

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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven Holding Up the Universe
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Libby Strout feels invisible; all she wants is someone to see her for who she is. Enter Jack, a boy with his own issue—he can't recognize faces. Expectedly fate brings these two together in this story about seeing someone as they truly are. Stacee says, "Jack and Libby are fantastic characters who took me on a roller coaster of feels. I was gleeful, swooning, heartbroken, and cheering.”
...more
Libby Strout feels invisible; all she wants is someone to see her for who she is. Enter Jack, a boy with his own issue—he can't recognize faces. Expectedly fate brings these two together in this story about seeing someone as they truly are. Stacee says, "Jack and Libby are fantastic characters who took me on a roller coaster of feels. I was gleeful, swooning, heartbroken, and cheering.”
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Iron Cast by Destiny Soria Iron Cast
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It's 1919, and at gangster-owned nightclub the Cast Iron, Ada and Corinne work as hemopaths—magical illusionists, thanks to their “afflicted” blood. By day they pull cons. But when a con goes wrong, the friends face danger at every turn. K.E says, “A beautifully written story of friendship, individuality, and a perpetual fight against small-mindedness. Though it’s historical fiction, its commentary on racism, feminism, and politics is timely.”
...more
It's 1919, and at gangster-owned nightclub the Cast Iron, Ada and Corinne work as hemopaths—magical illusionists, thanks to their “afflicted” blood. By day they pull cons. But when a con goes wrong, the friends face danger at every turn. K.E says, “A beautifully written story of friendship, individuality, and a perpetual fight against small-mindedness. Though it’s historical fiction, its commentary on racism, feminism, and politics is timely.”
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When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore When the Moon Was Ours
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Best friends Sam and Miel are as individual as they are inseparable. He is a transgender boy with a mysterious past. She is a girl who grows roses from her wrists. Magic and multiculturalism abound in this narrative of secrets and love. Olivia says, “A hauntingly beautiful and lyrical masterpiece…. The story is poetic, imaginative, and captivating. I imagine this book will easily become a classic and is, to me, an important read in how we treat people and the fears/secrets which weigh us down.”
...more
Best friends Sam and Miel are as individual as they are inseparable. He is a transgender boy with a mysterious past. She is a girl who grows roses from her wrists. Magic and multiculturalism abound in this narrative of secrets and love. Olivia says, “A hauntingly beautiful and lyrical masterpiece…. The story is poetic, imaginative, and captivating. I imagine this book will easily become a classic and is, to me, an important read in how we treat people and the fears/secrets which weigh us down.”
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Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King Still Life with Tornado
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Sarah is 16 and thinks she’s having an existential crisis. She searches for truth by following a homeless artist, encountering past and future versions of herself as the seeds of her trauma—including the toxic “tornado” of her family—are revealed. Sam says, “Still Life with Tornado is a book about art, abuse, and what it means to feel stagnant when the world is moving past you before your very eyes…. This novel broke my heart right in half…. A.S. King at her finest.”
...more
Sarah is 16 and thinks she’s having an existential crisis. She searches for truth by following a homeless artist, encountering past and future versions of herself as the seeds of her trauma—including the toxic “tornado” of her family—are revealed. Sam says, “Still Life with Tornado is a book about art, abuse, and what it means to feel stagnant when the world is moving past you before your very eyes…. This novel broke my heart right in half…. A.S. King at her finest.”
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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig Last Seen Leaving
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In this dark mystery, Flynn's girlfriend, January, has vanished. The police think he's involved, and he sets out to find answers. But Flynn also has a secret and soon faces life-changing revelations not just about January but about himself. Kathleen says, “What a riveting story. Last Seen Leaving delves wholeheartedly and unashamedly into YA-mystery-romance tropes and then turns them upside down and subverts your expectations at every turn.… A true page-turner.… I could not put this book down.”
...more
In this dark mystery, Flynn's girlfriend, January, has vanished. The police think he's involved, and he sets out to find answers. But Flynn also has a secret and soon faces life-changing revelations not just about January but about himself. Kathleen says, “What a riveting story. Last Seen Leaving delves wholeheartedly and unashamedly into YA-mystery-romance tropes and then turns them upside down and subverts your expectations at every turn.… A true page-turner.… I could not put this book down.”
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Nemesis by Anna Banks Nemesis (Nemesis #1)
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Princess Sepora is the only one who can forge the invaluable mineral spectorium. After her father imprisons her to make it, she escapes but is captured and sold to a rival, young king Tarik, an enemy who soon becomes much, much more. Hannah says, “Addicting, romantic, and wonderfully creative, Nemesis throws readers into a magical world that seems to contain a fun hodgepodge of different environments varying from ancient Egypt to medieval times. [The] amazing storytelling and fantastic character development ...more Princess Sepora is the only one who can forge the invaluable mineral spectorium. After her father imprisons her to make it, she escapes but is captured and sold to a rival, young king Tarik, an enemy who soon becomes much, much more. Hannah says, “Addicting, romantic, and wonderfully creative, Nemesis throws readers into a magical world that seems to contain a fun hodgepodge of different environments varying from ancient Egypt to medieval times. [The] amazing storytelling and fantastic character development had me engaged from page one.”
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