Powell's employees share their top picks of the year in the young adult category:
All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven
This isn't a young adult novel about something as black and white as cancer. All the Bright Places
lives in a world of gray. Being mentally unwell — whether it's depression, bipolar disorder, or grief — is difficult for other people to really understand, and it's the difficulty Violet and Finch face each day. Love won't solve anything; it isn't that simple. But to have experienced it, at least, is nice. A fantastic new YA voice who doesn't make
you feel something — you just do.
– Jordan S.
by Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon's first novel is a young adult marvel that will give you endless butterflies. I found myself constantly blushing and saying, "Awwww," out loud because I was so overcome with the cuteness. Yoon captures perfectly what it is like to be in love and how far the heart will go to experience everything love has to offer. I cannot stop recommending this book to friends.
– Lisa A.
Library of Souls
by Ransom Riggs
In this thrilling conclusion to the Miss Peregrine trilogy, Ransom Riggs was able to match the high standards set by the two previous books in the series. We see Jacob complete a convincing transformation from outcast reject to self-effacing lionhearted hero. The use of repurposed, found photos adds an extra mysterious element for readers to enjoy and decipher.
– Angelo R.
Symphony for the City of the Dead
by M. T. Anderson
An important, true tale of the power of music and the inspiring hope it can give to the starving, besieged citizens of Leningrad, Symphony for the City of the Dead
tells the story of the creative genius composer Dmitri Shostakovich, a complex man who is sometimes a hero and sometimes a coward, along with two brutal dictators — Stalin and Hitler — pitting themselves and their nations against each other. Anderson has written a book filled with unspeakable horror and beauty that poses relevant questions for us all to consider today.
– Richard C.
The Shepherd's Crown
by Terry Pratchett
Touching and emotional, this posthumously released novel is a fitting send-off to Pratchett's beloved Discworld series. The whole Discworld is thrown out of balance following the loss of a powerful figure, and Tiffany Aching, a young witch, is left to hold everything together. Terry Pratchett tackles subjects like loss, grief, and change with humor and hope.
– Carrie L.
Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
"No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck.'" With a paced, plotted heist and a dark, imaginative fantasy world, Six of Crows
is a thrill to read, but what shoots it to the top of my list are the six titular thieves. A criminal mastermind, a shadowy acrobat, a sharpshooting gambler, a secretive runaway, an exiled witch, and the prisoner who once hunted her — these characters are so well fleshed out, their conflicts and collaborations so absorbing, that I would happily read about them doing something as boring as making sandwiches for 465 pages.
– Madeline S.
The Scorpion Rules
by Erin Bow
The book begins with a prologue from Talis, an artificial intelligence, explaining how our world ended: "...and of course people started shooting, because that's what passes for problem-solving among humans. See, guys, this is why you can't have nice things." I mean, how can you resist reading more? Talis puts an end to wars by taking the children of all the rulers hostage. If a country declares war, its ruler's child is killed. It has worked well so far, but now there's a problem…
– Kathy H.
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More Best Books of the Year from Powell's: