Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The 20 Best Young Adult Books of 2018

I read a lot of books. When I say a lot, I mean that between me and all my book nerd friends, we are reading over a thousand books per year! I’ve read the good, the bad, and the ugly. But mostly, I’ve read beautiful books that I love to share with my friends. That being said, you know I’ve done my research. Of all the young adult new releases in 2018, these are my favorites. Most of these were 5-star reads and I can’t wait to share them with you!
1. Once a King by Erin Summerill – A young king desperate to save his kingdom. A girl with magical abilities and a closed off heart. This fast-paced fantasy novel gives readers romance, revenge, a kingdom on the brink of war and a magical society you’ll want to join!
2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
3The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson- Once ruled by an ancient magic, Wren’s people–the Augurs–are now controlled by the Judges, set on destroying the Augurs for good. In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern amidst those who want her dead. Caught in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, she finds herself hurtling towards a truth that threatens to consume her and reveal who she really is. Not only has she come to the attention of powerful Judge Cassa Harkness, but she is also falling dangerously in love with the one person she shouldn’t . . . (You can get the LitJoy Crate of this book here).
4. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children to attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations. But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
5. Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd – Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.
6. For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig – The first book in a new trilogy from the acclaimed Heidi Heilig blends traditional storytelling with ephemera for a lush, page-turning tale of escape and rebellion. For a Muse of Fire will captivate fans of Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, and Renée Ahdieh. 
7. Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas – Sizzling with action and suspense, #1 New York Times bestselling author SARAH J. MAAS delivers a coming-of-age Selina Kyle who will steal readers’ hearts in a new, highly anticipated YA blockbuster.
8. Sanctuary by Caryl Lix – Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.
9. Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
10. My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows – Move over, Charlotte Brontë. The authors of the New York Times bestselling My Lady Jane are back with an irreverent spin on Jane Eyre—a tale of mischief, romance, and supernatural mayhem perfect for fans of The Princess Bride or A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.
11. Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett – This slow-burning passion and fast-paced adventure YA fantasy novel is about an outcast girl, the boy she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.
12. Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey – In this charming YA regency romance/mystery, young Imogene and Ben find themselves falling into life, danger, and maybe even into love.
13. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – When royalty from two different realms collide, there will be war, vengeance, romance, and treachery! In this fantasy YA fairytale retelling, nobles with feet and fins are at odds and the hearts of readers will be drawn to the story like it’s the call of a siren!
14. The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross – Debut author Rebecca Ross deftly mixes magic, loyalty, and revenge in this spellbinding YA fantasy about a girl who is thrust into a treacherous plot to overthrow the king.
15. Batman: Nightwalker –  Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
16. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Sequel to Strange the Dreamer! In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of. As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead? 

17. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – In this highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. A must-have for fans of Mackenzi Lee’s extraordinary and Stonewall Honor-winning novel.
18. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This is the third book in the Illuminae Files. Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion? Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.
19. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world.
20. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – In 2002, Muslim teen Shirin hides from the turbulent world through afternoons break-dancing with her brother. Even when she meets Ocean James, who wants to get to know her, Shirin’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let her guard down.
What are your favorites from 2018? Did I miss yours? I’d love to hear what books you think should have made this list!
About the Author: Robin M. King is the author of three young adult novels (Remembrandt Series), devourer of books, and lover of brownie batter and cheesy superhero shows

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