The Best YA Books of 2016

'Tis the season for "Best of" lists, and so we put together a list of some of the best Young Adult books that came out this year. This may have been a rough year in a lot of ways, but 2016 has been a great one for new YA books. What books would make your "best of 2016" list?

this-savage-songThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (Book 1 in the Monsters of Verity Series)

As the heirs to opposing sides in a warring city, Kate Harker and Augustus Flynn should never have met. A Romeo and Juliet-esque fantasy about the difference between good and evil and the blurry gray area in between.

if-i-was-your-girlIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy only wants to fit in at her new school, but she is keeping a big secret, so when she falls for Grant, guarded Amanda finds herself yearning to share with him everything about herself, including her previous life as Andrew.

the-geeks-guide-to-unrequited-loveThe Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Graham Posner is trying to get his best friend, Roxana, to fall in love with him by planning the perfect weekend for her at Comic-Con.

BurnBabyBurnBurn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit.

lady-midnightLady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (Book 1 of The Dark Artifices Series)

Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn race to stop a demonic plot that threatens Los Angeles.

RoseAndDaggerThe Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (Sequel to The Wrath and The Dawn)

In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her in an attempt to break Khalid's curse, save the empire, and reunite with her one true love.

tell-me-three-thingsTell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Sixteen-year old Jessie, still grieving over her mother's death, must move from Chicago to "The Valley, " with a new stepfamily but no new friends until an anonymous fellow student emails and offers to help her navigate the school's treacherous social waters.

anna-and-the-swallow-manAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

When her university professor father is sent by the Gestapo to a concentration camp, seven-year-old Anna travels the Polish countryside with the mysterious Swallow Man during World War II.

beastBeast by Brie Spangler

After falling off the roof, fifteen-year-old misfit Dylan must attend a therapy group for self-harmers where he meets Jamie, a beautiful and amazing person he does not know is transgender.

exit-pursued-by-bearExit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

At cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged and raped, but she is not sure whether it was one of her teammates or a boy on another team--and in the aftermath she has to deal with the rumors in her small Ontario town, the often awkward reaction of her classmates, the rejection of her boyfriend, the discovery that her best friend, Polly, is gay, and above all the need to remember what happened so that the guilty boy can be brought to justice.

kids-of-appetiteKids of Appetite by David Arnold

Teens Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco sit in separate police interrogation rooms telling about the misfits who brought them together and their journey sparked by a message in an urn.

LieTreeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.

my-sister-rosaMy Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

When his father's business takes the family to New York City, a seventeen-year-old Australian boy must balance his desire to protect his ten-year-old sister, a diagnosable psychopath, from the world with the desperate need to protect the world from her.

PassionOfDolsaThe Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, is condemned by the Inquisition as an "unnatural woman, " and is hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy. Botille is a matchmaker trying to protect her sisters from being branded as gypsies or witches--but when she finds the hunted Dolssa dying on a hillside, she feels compelled to protect her, a decision that may cost her everything.

salt-to-the-seaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull.

scytheScythe by Neal Shusterman

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't

the-serpent-kingThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The son of a Pentecostal preacher faces his personal demons as he and his two outcast friends try to make it through their senior year of high school in rural Forrestville, Tennessee without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self.

still-life-with-tornado-cdStill Life with Tornado by A.S. King

A talented 16-year-old artist slowly discovers the history of domestic violence behind why her brother left the family years earlier and why she suddenly cannot make art.

the-sun-is-also-a-starThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel has always been a good son and good student. But when he sees Natasha he forgets all that and believes there is something extraordinary in store for both of them.

unbecomingUnbecoming by Jenny Downham

Life has just become very complicated for seventeen-year-old Katie; her father walked out a year ago, her mother is stressed out, her brother is a "special needs" teenager, and she is caring for the maternal grandmother she has never met, who is suffering from Alzheimer's--and Katie has a secret of her own that she cannot reveal.

a-torch-against-the-nightA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Book 2 in the Ember in the Ashes Series)

Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia's brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison, a mission that is complicated by hunting Empire soldiers, the manipulations of the Commandant, and lingering ghosts from their pasts.

crooked-kingdomCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Sequel to Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets--a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

heartless-meyerHeartless by Marissa Meyer

In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester.

girl-in-piecesGirl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasglow

As she struggles to recover and survive, seventeen-year-old homeless Charlotte "Charlie" Davis cuts herself to dull the pain of abandonment and abuse.

empire-of-stormsEmpire of Storms by Sarah Maas (Book 5 in Throne of Glass Series)

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world.

lucky-strikesLucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Set in Depression Era Virginia, this is the story of orphaned Amelia and her struggle to keep her siblings together.

all-we-have-leftAll We Have Left by Wendy Mills

In interweaving stories of sixteen-year-olds, modern-day Jesse tries to cope with the ramifications of her brother's death on 9/11, while in 2001, Alia, a Muslim, gets trapped in one of the Twin Towers and meets a boy who changes everything for her as flames rage around them.

Explode Your Holds with New Fiction!

explodeyourholds

Check out what's new for you in a variety of different genres:

Continued Series Fiction:

a-million-worlds-with-youA Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (Third in the Firebird Trilogy)

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite's hands in the final installment of the Firebird trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray. Ever since she used the Firebird, her parent's invention, to cross through alternate dimensions, Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud. Now she has learned that the evil Triad Corporation plans to destroy hundreds of universes, using their ultimate weapon: another dimension's Marguerite who is wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead. Even though her boyfriend Paul has always been at Marguerite's side, the Triad's last attack has left him a changed man, and he may never be the same again. Marguerite alone must stop Triad and prevent the destruction of the multiverse. It's a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win. In the epic conclusion to the sweeping series that kicked off with A Thousand Pieces of You, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed.

the-turncoats-gambitThe Turncoat’s Gambit by Andrea Cremer (Finale to the Inventor’s Secret Saga)

"In an alternate nineteenth-century America, Charlotte is on the run from both the empire and the revolution. Now she must figure out whom she trusts, once and for all.

Speculative Fiction:

of-fire-and-starsOf Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire--a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden. Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria's formidable warhorses before her coronation--and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought--and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms--and each other.

merrowMerrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith

Enduring whispers about her absent mother's alleged merrow origins after her father drowns, twelve-year-old Neen questions her identity as she becomes increasingly torn between the worlds of the sea and her island home.

snow-summerSnow Summer by Kit Peel

Massive climate change has caused a winter that will not thaw, and it seems that the forces of nature have turned on humanity itself. In the sleepy British village of Pateley Bridge, Wyn, an orphan, has always known that she is different. Unable to feel the biting cold of wind and snow, she does what she can to blend in. When mysterious figures start to appear in the village, insisting that she may have the power to restore order to the natural world, Wyn must look deep inside herself to face the secrets of her past that she has kept hidden even from herself.

Realistic Fiction:

all-in-piecesAll in Pieces by Suzanne Young

A girl struggles to take care of her younger brother with special needs while confronting her own anger issues.

pushing-perfectPushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff

Although she seems to have the perfect life, Kara is caught up with a group whose secrets threaten to ruin her perfectly planned future.

gap-lifeGap Life by John Coy

Despite acceptance from his father's college, Cray decides to take a gap year with Rayne, who helps him find a job at a home for developmentally disabled adults, and he learns more about himself and others than any university could teach him.

Historical Fiction:

blood-red-snow-whiteBlood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

A novel based on the life of children's book author Arthur Ransome, who left his home, his wife, and daughter and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman and was suspected, by both sides, of being a spy.

four-four-twoFour-Four-Two by Dean Hughes

Forced into an internment camp at the start of World War II, eighteen-year-old Yuki enlists in the Army to fight for the Allies as a member of the "Four-Four-Two," a segregated Japanese American regiment.

Mystery & Thrillers:

die-for-youDie for You by Amy Fellner Dominy

Eighteen-year-old Emma Lorde thought her gorgeous, good guy boyfriend, Dillon, had saved her life, but senior year has brought about many changes and challenges to their picture perfect future.

the-stranger-gameThe Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

When Nico Morris's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties. Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found. But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, when Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical--where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah.

Romance:

the-romanticsThe Romantics by Leah Konen

When his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents' painful separation, seventeen-year-old Gael is heartbroken until Love intervenes.

 

Audiobooks:

crimson-boundCrimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand, the man she hates most, Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. They navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing.