Since I was a child, stories steeped in secrets have fascinated me. I spent many hours devouring books about detectives and spies, shadows and deceit. As an adult, it is a rare treat to discover one that is so engaging I must know how it unfolds as soon as possible, and is told in a way that leaves me surprised by how it ends. Each of these books is deliciously tricky, inspiring me to read quickly, before the ghosts between the pages could escape to haunt me.
New school. New friends. New stalker.
Megan Pritchard aches to find safety and security when she starts fresh in a new town. Yet the habits of a chilling past are hard to break. Keep her head down. Never tell them who she is. When someone asks about her scar... lie. For a brief flicker of time, she thought she was safe. That she could find ways to fit into that small town with secrets of its own. Then... the prickle down her spine returns. Someone is watching and waiting—just like before. But this time they won’t settle for shallow cuts. Knives, and secrets, will be buried deep.
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We think you will like When the Moon Was Ours, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and Tell Me Everything if you like this list.
Honestly, I could’ve picked any book by McLemore. They are all absolutely stunning. McLemore’s prose is lush and poetic, rich in metaphor and nuance. Their stories have a timeless quality about them at once grounding them in reality and yet offering glimpses of the surreal and ephemeral. When the Moon Was Ours is an incredibly poignant love story between Sam, a Pakistani trans boy, and Latinx Miel who has literal roses growing out of her wrists. This story provided insight into both Pakistani and Latinx culture while weaving a breath-taking tale of love and identity.
From Erica's list on the best devastatingly sad books that make you laugh out loud.
I love everything A.S. King. She is my absolute favorite YA author. Her books are weird and thoughtful, and they stick in my head forever. Her award-winning Please Ignore Very Dietz is no different. Vera’s (former!) best friend Charlie has died. While she’s struggling with family stuff, and drinking stuff, and working at pizza place stuff, she’s being haunted by Charlie’s ghost who insists she tells the police what she knows. The story itself is quirky, and Vera’s narration is clever. And, then, of course, there’s a twist at the end!
From Kayla's list on the best YA fiction on art, creativity, and chasing your dreams.
This is one of my favorite YAs combining the modern influence of technology on art, friendship, and love. Quiet sophomore Ivy ends up becoming a semi-public figure at her school and the world after she starts using an app, VEIL, to help other artists and students who are asking for supplies and support. While her impact is meaningful and it all sounds well and good, her own creative steps have sent her on a more public, emotionally-vulnerable journey than she ever wanted or expected.