I’ve had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a number of authors who, like me, write fiction for the young adult audience. Also simply referred to as YA, these novels typically have main characters between the ages of 13 and 18, sometimes older. They are read by young people in junior high and high school, yes, but more and more adults are enjoying them too.
While awaiting the release of my own novel, Bird Face, I’ve been devouring YA contemporary, historical, mystery, romance, science fiction, speculative, and combinations thereof. There’s something for everyone in YA! Some of these books, released just this summer, are by new authors or rising stars. I’m excited for them and so happy to introduce the following novels to you. These three are from my to-read list, so all information was provided by the authors themselves.
Sometimes God puts people in our lives that test us right down to the very core of who we are. They are people we have to forgive over and over and over and over again. She gets right under your skin. He pushes every button you knew you had and even some you didn’t think you had. She makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time.
In the book UnEmbraceable, we learn the story of Tamar and all the reasons why she walked around like a stem of thorns with hardly a rose. Steadfast love causes a turnaround, but not without a great deal of hurt, and quite a few of her Christian friends asking “WHY, ME, GOD? WHY ME?!!” In the end, Tamar, the one who is unembraceable, isn’t the only one who changes.
Precarious Yates lives in Texas with husband, daughter, dogs, chickens, rabbit, lizard and by the time you read this, some other exotic creature. She had studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. She was further inspired by the work of her sister-in-law, who helped to found Love146, an organization that works to raise awareness about human trafficking and builds safe homes in vulnerable regions. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines.
Things get messy when Meg Kavanagh gets involved—first with Jo Russell, the eccentric old artist, and then with Quinn O’Neill, the intriguing loner who can’t hide how he feels about Meg. Her senior year isn’t turning out like she planned it, but sometimes the best parts of life happen in the in-between moments. And Henry will be home soon, right?
He commits to one year in an orphanage that needs him more than he ever dreamed. Thousands of miles from Meg and the new punk who has fallen for her, and absent from the ranch that’s in his blood, Henry Whitmire finds out what it means to trust. When you’re so far from home, it’s terrifying to realize you’re not who you thought. But the perfect glass of calamity makes the best mirror.
An identity crisis, long distance love, new temptation, and growing pains teach Henry and Meg how to hang onto each other and to what really matters.
Laura Anderson Kurk writes unconventional and bittersweet contemporary YA. Her debut novel, Glass Girl, and its sequel, Perfect Glass, are available now from Playlist Young Adult Fiction. Laura lives in Texas with her husband and two children.
I live in the in between. Between what if and what is. It’s how I manage. It’s the only way I know. Everyone has their way. This is mine. When high school, cell phone disruption forces a classroom ban, the words on a Post-it note spark a sticky romance between two unlikely friends. Transfer student Talia Vanderbilt has one goal at her new school: to blend in with the walls. Lagan Desai, basketball captain and mathlete, would do just about anything to befriend the new girl. One Post-it note at a time, Lagan persuades Talia to peel back her heart, revealing her treasure chest of pain—an absent mother, a bedridden brother, and an abusive father. In a world where hurt is inevitable, the two teens search for a safe place to weather the storms of life. Together.
Rajdeep decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and she writes masala-marinated, Young Adult Fiction, blogging weekly at InSearchofWaterfalls dot com.