New YA Books to Enjoy

Even during this time of social distancing, new books are released every week. If you have been speeding through your backlog of TBR, you might welcome each new title that appears in your Overdrive account. So, if you love new releases, here are a few of the new YA titles that have been released in the last few months.

*All descriptions are from the publishers.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’ lives, but his own life as well.

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus

Liv Fleming’s father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he’s dead, though that doesn’t mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend, Doug Monk, trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him.

But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father’s absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug’s sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she’s faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him.

Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities…or they can take matters into their own hands.

On the heels of the worldwide success of The Shape of Water, Daniel Kraus returns with a horrifying and heartbreaking thriller about the lengths people go to find justice and the painful reality of grief.

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry.

Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good.

But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her.

A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions.

About the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home.

About broken boys and vicious wolves.

About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more. Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

We are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win.

Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now.

Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, and break into the high school for the perfect picture.

But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.

Are there any titles you are looking forward to being released in the next few months? Let us know in the comments below!

Three YA Novels in Verse (And a Bonus Memoir!) to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than, well, by reading poetry? If poetry is your thing (and even if it isn’t!), mix things up this month with some young adult novels in verse. These books combine the best of both worlds: the deeply impactful, engrossing storylines of a novel, with the linguistic lyricism of poetry. Check out a couple of these excellent, quick reads (or listens — all audiobooks here are four hours long or less) to get your poetry fix.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

In this beautiful, award-winning debut novel by acclaimed slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo, Xiomara Batista grapples with religion, identity, and all of the complexities of being a teenager through the medium of slam poetry. If you have ever felt unsure or unheard and are looking for your voice, this one’s for you. Give this a listen if you can — Acevedo narrates the audiobook in expert slam poet fashion and it is superb.

Available as an ebook and e-audio on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla.

Bull by David Elliott

David Elliott’s Bull takes on the classic story of Theseus and the Minotaur and twists it into a rowdy, witty, Hamilton-esque myth-in-verse for the modern age. This dark comedy gives an unexpected, behind-the-scenes view of one of Greek mythology’s most infamous monsters and his cohorts. Sass abounds as some of the all-time Greek mythology greats chime in with their lyrical two cents. Ever wondered what it would be like if Poseidon could rap? Wonder no more. Warning for some explicit language, and also a warning for laughing your socks off. 

Available as an ebook on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

Jason Reynolds began his life as a poet before going on to become an award-winning and prolific middle grade and young adult novelist. Long Way Down is his return to the world of poetry, and it is one heck of a homecoming. This is a dark, dizzying, and often difficult read about teenage gun violence, the lengths we will go to for the people we love, and the ghosts of the past that we just can’t shake. Reynolds narrates the powerful audio version of this book, which is well worth a listen.

Available as an ebook and e-audio on Overdrive/Libby. 

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson’s deeply personal poetic memoir will break your heart — in the best way. She recounts her life, through poetry, and all of the events that were the basis for her modern classic, Speak. It is brave, touching, and raw, and will leave you with a healthy dose of righteous indignation and a little more courage than you came here with. Give a listen to the audiobook, too — it’s really something special to hear the author give voice to her own story. 

Available as an ebook and e-audio on Overdrive/Libby.