It’s finally fall, which means chilly temps (unless you’re in drought-ridden CA like me!) and pumpkin spice everything. Now’s about the time when I start hoarding YA novels (yes, even more so than usual) and stacking enough paperbacks to insulate my home with. Fortunately, this fall shows no shortage of amazing YA novels being released. Since we’re at the start of a new month, I’m adding October titles to my TBR. Here are five young adult novels I cannot wait to read this coming month.
Is this book’s tagline—”John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again”—too much to hope for? Maybe, but I for one cannot wait to get my hand on Krystal Sutherland’s much-hyped debut. This contemporary romance matches two misfits, uber-nerd and hopeless romantic Henry Page and broken-and-awkward Grace Town, who work together on their high school newspaper. Henry can’t help falling for Grace, who, though edgy, has let him in a little. Does Henry fall in love with her? Or an idea of her? Grace grapples with the rights and wrongs while trying to deny her feelings. For two people struck with a spark of desire, their romance could turn into a fiery passion—or burn the whole world down. I know where I want to be this October; reading this novel with a huge cup of tea on hand.
You may have read or heard of Anna-Marie McLemore’s wildly popular The Weight of Feathers, but regardless she is certainly a name to know and definitely someone to put on your radar this fall. When the Moon was Ours has already been longlisted for the National Book Award. In this inventive novel spinning webs of magical realism, two friends, Miel and Sam, may no longer be able to keep their spark of attraction at bay when a coven of four witches conspire to steal Miel’s supernatural power. This novel received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, which said, “Readers will be ensnared in this ethereal narrative long before they even realize the net has been cast.” With a four-star average on Goodreads, this book kicks off October as a must-read.
Who could forget Jennifer Niven’s slammer of a debut novel, 2015’s All the Bright Places? In that novel, Niven announced herself as a formidable presence in YA contemporary romance. Never one to shy away from exploring real issues, Niven picks up gritty reality again with Holding Up the Universe. In this novel, the once-dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen” Libby Strout reaches the end of her rope and is determined to prove she is more than just her weight. Meanwhile, smooth-talking Jack Masselin uses his social standing to give people what they want, to make them into who they want to be. Yet all is not as it is for him, as suddenly Jack cannot recognize faces, not even those of his brothers. Thrown together by accident, Jack and Libby discover surfaces only run skin deep when they realize how deeply they are in tune. This novel is sure to be controversial as Niven explores themes of identity, bullying, and ethics. Likewise, you won’t want to miss this contemporary romance that matches depth with page-turning plots and amazing romance.
I’ve talked up Illuminae before here, and the much-anticipated sequel to this epistolary futuristic sci-fi space opera hits shelves on October 18. Illuminae was compulsively readable, with nonstop action and a completely spellbinding format of texts, instant messages, lab reports, flight reports, and more. We can expect more of the same in Gemina, which focuses on two new protagonists, Hanna and Nik. These two unlikely heroes—one a spoiled ship captain’s daughter, the other a member of a crime family—are thrown together after a Kerenza invasion threatens their safety. This series is best read in order, and now is the time to get caught up. Pick up Gemina and save it for a rainy day when you can clear your schedule and curl up in front of a roaring fire.
P. C. Cast is the author of some of YA fantasy’s most beloved books, including the House of Night series. In Moon Chosen: Tales of a New World, Cast paints a vividly real fantasy landscape in which our protagonist Mari becomes determined to save her Clan. In a world where animal allies act as a sort of spirit guide, Mari fights to save her people using her unique healing powers. Meeting Nik of a rival clan throws a wrench in her plans…and a flutter in her heart. Can she team up with Nik and save not only her own people but the whole planet? When dark forces descend upon earth, Mari must sacrifice everything to embrace her destiny. If you’re looking for a fantasy, this novel is definitely one to put on your fall TBR now.