The best young adult books with a twist

The Books I Picked & Why

Your Life Has Been Delayed

By Michelle I. Mason

Book cover of Your Life Has Been Delayed

Why this book?

Jenny has big dreams. She’s going to be a journalist when she grows up. And when she returns home from her grandparents’ house in New York, she’s going to kiss her boyfriend for the first time.

The Twist? Jenny boarded her plane in 1995 and when it lands in St. Louis, 25 years have passed. Everyone in her life is much older or has passed away, and she’s been deemed long dead. As Jenny navigates social media, the internet, and the world that has gone on without her, she finds everyone is hiding things from her.

Your Life Has Been Delayed is a YA contemporary with a speculative twist that reads a bit like a thriller and had me flipping pages to find out what happens next and how each twist would affect Jenny.

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By Meredith Tate

Book cover of Shipped

Why this book?

Wes and Stella have bonded online over their favorite sci-fi show that was tragically cancelled after the first season ended on a cliffhanger. Something I, as a huge sci-fi fan, sympathize with. Wes draws amazing fan art, while Stella writes fanfic and deals with the mansplaining of what a real sci-fi fan is. Wes and Stella agree to meet in person to uncover their identities at the local comic con.

The Twist? In real life, they hate each other, to the point of a prank war and are both competing to be valedictorian.

Shipped is You’ve Got Mail at comic con. It’s a love letter to fandom and played to my sci-fi-loving heart.

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By Alex London

Book cover of Proxy

Why this book?

Knox has it all. Born into a wealthy family, he has the latest tech, a fancy car, and riches beyond his greatest imagination. Syd has very little. He spends his life repaying his debts to society and scrounging for tech he can fix-up.

The Twist? Syd is Knox’s proxy. Every time Knox gets in trouble, Syd is beaten while Knox watches. And when Knox commits an unspeakable crime, Syd’s life is on the line. 

Proxy is a fast-paced dystopian that left me flipping pages, rooting for Syd and cursing Knox until the very end. This was the first sci-fi I’d read with Jewish rep and inspired me to include more Jewish rep in Tracker220.

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One (One Universe)

By Leigh Ann Kopans

Book cover of One (One Universe)

Why this book?

In a world with superpowers, two abilities mean you’re a Super and none means you’re Normal.

The Twist? Merrin Grey has a single power, meaning she’s half a Super called a One. And when she’s forced to transfer to a normal high school she meets Elias who is also a One. When they combine their powers, they can fly! 

One is a love letter to superheroes and comics and plays with the idea of what makes someone a superhero vs a less than. I loved all the sci-fi tropes stood on their heads in this book. And Merrin and Elias are the cutest. This was one of the first indie-published novels I read. It showed me the art of possible, and how fantastic the world of indie publishing is.

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All Your Twisted Secrets

By Diana Urban

Book cover of All Your Twisted Secrets

Why this book?

Six teens invited to a scholarship dinner are locked in the room with a bomb, a syringe full of poison, and a note saying they have to kill one person or they all die.

The Twist? Who locked them in the room? And if I say more than that I’ll spoil the jaw-dropping end to this one.

With the word twist in its title, All Your Twisted Secrets left me guessing with every page turned. The story alternates between the hour in the locked room and flashbacks to the months leading up to the ill-fated dinner. I enjoyed following Amber’s journey as she questioned her choices that led to who she became on the night of the scholarship dinner. And it all comes to a head with the big reveal I never saw coming.

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