Spring is officially here, which means it’s time for us bookworms to crawl out from our cozy reading nooks by the fireplace and start basking in the warm glow of the sun in a hammock somewhere. Because that’s what we do! This spring in particular there is a bouquet of books to choose from with April being the month that kicks it all off. These 5 young adult novels to watch for in spring 2016 pack a punch of swoon-worthy romance, page-turning pacing, and awe-inspiring fierce female protagonists.
The highs and lows of bipolar disorder are realistically displayed in this tearjerker romance by Emery Lord (author of The Start of Me and You and Open Road Summer). In When We Collided, Vivi is the vibrant, free spirit who crashes into Jonah’s vanilla-bland existence. At first Vivi’s infectious love for life is thrilling, jolting Jonah out of his grief for his recently-deceased father. Yet soon Jonah realizes that Vivi’s soaring highs are symptomatic of bipolar disorder, a condition she refuses to take medication for, believing it quells her addictive happiness. Will Jonah love Vivi even when she crashes into a deep depression? Can he save her from her sorrow just as she saved him from his? Or is this the inevitable course of a disabling illness bigger than anything they can conquer? Lord’s novel asks hard questions about mental illness, medicine, family, and love. It is not to be missed.
Sarah Rees Brennan’s Tell the Wind and Fire is a modern-day, fantasy retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Tale of Two Cities. In Brennan’s version, New York is divided between Light and Dark, and heroine Lucie is caught between these worlds. Originally born in the Dark section of the city, Lucie was raised in the world of the Light. As a violent revolution erupts in the city between the two warring factions, Lucie must fight to stay alive, and fight off her feelings for her boyfriend and the mysterious young man tempting her to the Dark side. Brennan’s novel deals with serious themes, such as terrorism, totalitarianism, and prejudice, but with a fantasy-romance bent. As provocative as it is unputdownable, Tell the Wind and Fire ushers in the spring with good old fashioned storytelling with a touch of magic and a dash of romance.
Ambitious. Cautious. Confident. Vulnerable. A queen is full of contradictions, and seventeen year-old Maya of The Star-Touched Queen is no exception. Maya may give off the impression that she’s powerful and decisive, yet inwardly she is plagued by doubts as she tries to avoid her family’s dynastic rule as much as possible. Can she avoid the regency and pursue her scholarly interests? To quell a rebellion, her father marries her off to Amar to form an alliance. Their marriage is one of mutual respect and passion as they rule over Akaran, but can they lead their people when mysterious forces both Otherworldly and human threaten the stability of all they know? This debut novel from author Roshani Chokshi is influenced by Indian folklore and contains all the elements for a hot spring read.
Ruined is carried by its bold and intelligent heroine who is driven by a quest for vengeance. Emelina Flores’ life is shattered, her parents killed and her sister kidnapped. But Emelina, an unmagical second-class citizen of Ruina, doesn’t wallow in pity or let her sorrow stop her dead. Instead she formulates a brilliant plan: infiltrate the court and pose as the betrothed to the crown prince. From their she can get her revenge and upend the royals’ chokehold on the persecuted people of Ruina. It all seems so simple, until it’s not. After all, how can she kill a prince she’s falling for? Amy Tintera’s novel is a block-off-the-weekend fantasy romance you’ll be binge-reading this May.
A new novel from Morgan Matson (author of Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance Summer) is the perfect pairing to the winding down of spring and transition into summer. Matson, known for satisfying beach reads about friends, love, and vacation, packs all the elements of a funny and feel-good novel in The Unexpected Everything. Andie has always had a plan for everything. She’ll get into med school. She’ll be friends forever with her besties. And most important, she’ll see her politician dad as little as possible. Everything is working out great until her dad is enveloped in a political scandal and to hunker down at home—with Andie. Andie thought she knew everything, until the summer she learns she doesn’t. From her dad to her friends to herself, Andie learns that people change, especially over an unexpected summer.
This spring is already blooming with books you’ll want to tear right through late into the night. Check out one of the reads above, and make sure you clear your schedule for some hammock time!