The best survival books

Who picked these books? Meet our 291 experts.

291 authors created a book list connected to survival, and here are their favorite survival books.
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What type of survival book?


Extraordinary Machine

By Kelly Sue DeConnick,

Book cover of Extraordinary Machine

Jackson Ford Author Of The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind

From the list on swear words in the title.

Who am I?

Jackson Ford is the author of The Frost Files series, including The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind and Random Sh*t Flying Through the Air. He may or may not be the alter ego of author Rob Boffard, a South African author based in Vancouver, but he is definitely 100% a jackass.

Jackson's book list on swear words in the title

Discover why each book is one of Jackson's favorite books.

Why did Jackson love this book?

That title. That. Title. It's also a pretty killer idea, with some razor-sharp social commentary. Women that society views as difficult are quite literally shipped off to a prison planet. Only someone like Kelly Sue DeConnick could pull this off, and her tag team with the artist Valentine De Landro makes this a must-read. It's funny, emotional, and has the added benefit of making you think.

By Kelly Sue DeConnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Extraordinary Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

" of the most unique and subversive artifacts of pop culture in recent memory." -

"Seldom do comics burst onto the scene and shatter our worldview by being entirely poignant, raw, and captivating - but then, most comics aren't Bitch Panet." - Entertainment Weekly

Eisner Award-nominated writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel) and Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) team up to bring you the premiere volume of Bitch Planet, a deliciously vicious riff on women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation.

In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her…

Down the Long Hills

By Louis L'Amour,

Book cover of Down the Long Hills

Allison M. Azulay Author Of The Ghost of the Highlands

From the list on historical fiction those born in the wrong century.

Who am I?

A psychic once told me I was born in the wrong century, and I can believe it. I have always been drawn to tales of the past, feeling a kinship for the men and women of whom I read―whether they are real or born of someone's imagination―and longing for a life not digitalized or controlled and one in which self-reliance and community are not at odds. Am I a romantic? You bet, and happy to be.

Allison's book list on historical fiction those born in the wrong century

Discover why each book is one of Allison's favorite books.

Why did Allison love this book?

There is a reason Louis L'Amour books remain popular. I wish I had the whole collection, and I read every one I can get my hands on. One I particularly recommend is Down the Long Hills, which is a slight departure from his usual tales. In this one, two children find themselves alone and pitted against weather, wilderness, warriors, and their own worry that they are too little for this journey. I could not help measuring my own knowledge and ingenuity against that of a seven-year-old boy and finding it wanting. Nor could I help admiring the resolve and sense of responsibility that would put most adults to shame. I'll be reading this one again, too.

By Louis L'Amour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down the Long Hills as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures series, this edition contains exclusive bonus materials!

Everyone was dead. Indian raiders massacred the entire wagon train. Only seven-year-old Hardy Collins and three-year-old Betty Sue Powell, managed to survive. With a knife, a faithful stallion, and the survival lessons his father taught him, Hardy must face the challenges of the open prairie as they head west in search of help. Using ingenuity and common sense, Hardy builds shelters, forages for food, and learns to care for Betty Sue. But their journey through this hostile wilderness is being tracked by even more hostile…

Girl in Pieces

By Kathleen Glasgow,

Book cover of Girl in Pieces

Kathleen Fine Author Of Girl on Trial

From the list on contemporary YA about peer pressure and addiction.

Who am I?

I started to experiment at a very early age with alcohol. During my teen years, like so many of my peers, I had low self-esteem. I wanted to fit in so I understand firsthand the effects that peer pressure can have on a teenager. When I think back to those years, I sometimes wonder: what if? There were so many terrible outcomes that could have occurred in my life. These novels show their readers a “what if.” I hope that teens who read these books think twice before following a crowd and stand firmly with what they know is right in their heart as well as hope for healing.

Kathleen's book list on contemporary YA about peer pressure and addiction

Discover why each book is one of Kathleen's favorite books.

Why did Kathleen love this book?

Girl in Pieces is such an important story for anyone who has gone through any addiction or trauma of any kind before.

Charlotte, the protagonist, is in pieces. At seventeen she’s lost more than most people lose in a lifetime and she’s learned how to forget her trauma in order to protect herself. This is a book about Charlotte surviving in a world that has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together.

Although this book tells a story of people being cruel to themselves, it is ultimately a book about learning how to be gentle with yourself.

By Kathleen Glasgow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Girl in Pieces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book."—Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts…

The Crossing

By Mandy Hager,

Book cover of The Crossing

Merryn Corcoran Author Of The Silent Village

From the list on for lovers of French and Italian history, romance, and mystery.

Who am I?

I was born in New Zealand and now live half the year in London and the other half on the border of The French and Italian Riviera. I am fascinated by the history of the buildings and the color of the European lifestyle. I love to write novels about the past and how that past relates to scenarios of present day. I am keen to tell the untold stories of WW2 that are based on fact. Then weave them with embellishment from my own imagination.     

Merryn's book list on for lovers of French and Italian history, romance, and mystery

Discover why each book is one of Merryn's favorite books.

Why did Merryn love this book?

The Crossing is the first book of a trilogy. Many Hager is billed as a young person's author but I just adored this story set in the south pacific on a tiny atoll. The scene is set with a young girl called Maryam who has been raised to believe that she and her blessed sisters are special. Soon they will cross the sea and serve a Lord and his apostles. But Maryam is wracked with doubt. As we read on, we can see she has good reason to be. She is being lined up as a human sacrifice. But she is brave and resourceful, she escapes with 3 companions and takes the reader on a magnificent journey into the void.  

By Mandy Hager,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in a stunning trilogy full of action, suspense and drama. bThe Crossing is the first book in a stunning trilogy that follows the fate of Maryam and her unlikely companions - Joseph, Ruth and Lazarus. This is fast, suspenseful drama underpinned by a powerful and moving story about love and loss. The people of Onewere, a small island in the Pacific, know that they are special - chosen to survive the deadly event that consumed the Earth. Now, from the rotting cruise ship Star of the Sea, the elite control the population - manipulating old texts to…

In the After

By Demitria Lunetta,

Book cover of In the After

Nicole McInnes Author Of 100 Days

From the list on teens overcoming impossible odds.

Who am I?

As a former teen who faced my own slew of challenges, I became a YA author who writes about teen characters who do the same. It’s not easy being an adolescent these days: From the seeming hopelessness of some social, academic, and family situations to the lack of support many teens receive, things can seem pretty bleak at times. As the protagonists in books like the ones I’ve mentioned here show us, however, there are many good people out there who are willing to help if we’re willing to hang in there and keep pushing forward toward a better day and a better life.

Nicole's book list on teens overcoming impossible odds

Discover why each book is one of Nicole's favorite books.

Why did Nicole love this book?

Demitria Lunetta is a wonder. Her debut novel, In the After, has been described as a postapocalyptic thriller, but it’s the inclusion of sci-fi and horror elements that really makes this book unputdownable. The novel’s teen protagonist, Amy, is a fierce, plucky, and formidable heroine who literally faces what looks like the end of the world before living to fight, be rescued, and fight some more for herself and the person she cares about most. It’s the perfect read for anyone who loves speculative fiction with grit and adrenaline thrown in.

By Demitria Lunetta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the After as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In debut author Demitria Lunetta's heart-pounding thriller, one girl must fight for her survival in a world overrun by violent, deadly creatures. Perfect for fans of New York Times bestsellers like The 5th Wave and Across the Universe. Amy Harris's life changed forever when They took over. Her parents-vanished. The government-obsolete. Societal structure-nonexistent. No one knows where They came from, but these vicious creatures have been rapidly devouring mankind since They appeared. With fierce survivor instincts, Amy manages to stay alive-and even rescues "Baby," a toddler who was left behind. After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken…


By Una,

Book cover of Eve

Una Mccormack Author Of Star Trek: Picard: Second Self

From the list on speculative fiction crackling with feminist themes.

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction writer who loves my chosen genre for the promises it makes for the worlds that we can have—and the warnings that it offers for the worlds that might be ours if we don’t take care. I’ve picked books for people who like their thinking to be challenged, and who also long for the world to be a much better place. These are the kinds of books I love to readand the kinds of books I try to write. 

Una's book list on speculative fiction crackling with feminist themes

Discover why each book is one of Una's favorite books.

Why did Una love this book?

England, in the near future, walking blindly into totalitarianism, everything falling apart. Eve has grown up in a happy family, with loving parents, but not even they can protect her from the world collapsing around them. Eve sets out on a journey, alone, across the wild Yorkshire moors, in search of new ways of living. This is a powerful, beautiful graphic novel from Una. 

By Una,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful novel of mothers and daughters, and how we imagine our future, from acclaimed author of BECOMING UNBECOMING

'A disturbing and necessary book for our times ... Una has held up a chilling mirror for us, and leaves us with a choice - what kind of world will we make for ourselves?' JACKY FLEMING

In the near future, in a world that seems just like our own, Eve grows up in a loving family that is increasingly threatened by a society which seems to be sleepwalking into totalitarianism. After a catastrophe that changes everything, Eve must set off on…


By T.L. Payne,

Book cover of Turbulent

Alex Apostol Author Of Dead Soil

From the list on zombies with characters other than ex-CIA agents.

Who am I?

I grew up watching the best horror movies of the 80s. My parents put me to bed watching Nightmare on Elm Street and this harbored my passion for a truly scary bedtime story. Zombies became my focus when I was trying to decide what road to take with my own writing. There’s something familiar about them, since they were once humans, but also terrifying. They don’t need to eat or sleep, they never stop, and they’ll just keep coming no matter how much you fight them off. I spent my twenties devouring every zombie book and movie I could and now I'm privileged to be a part of this classic horror genre.

Alex's book list on zombies with characters other than ex-CIA agents

Discover why each book is one of Alex's favorite books.

Why did Alex love this book?

I love thrilling action books, especially zombie ones, that feature a strong female heroine. The more believable they are as an everyday woman and not some CIA agent superhero the better! Turbulent delivered on this and more. I loved the main character and her survival in this post-apocalyptic world was extremely believable. I also loved the twist that technology helped to bring us down because that’s something I have a real fear of, so it made it all the scarier for me. The topping on the rotting cake that tipped this book into my favorites pile was that the story was set in Chicago, near where I live and where most of my books take place as well. It really brought the story home for me (pardon the pun).

By T.L. Payne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Turbulent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In an instant, everything stops. No lights. No phones. No transportation.

When coordinated EMP and Cyber attacks wipe out the nation’s power grid and communications, ultra marathon runner, Maddie Langston, is forced to run for her life.

Stranded in a Chicago airport when the lights go out, Maddie is in a race against time. According to her father, she doesn’t have long before the city descends into chaos. She must leave the airport before it is too late.

Although she knows she must flee the Windy City, Maddie’s first battle is to overcome her fear of the violence she knows…

Extinction Horizon

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Book cover of Extinction Horizon

R.A. Seckler Author Of Containment Zone

From the list on zombies that can think.

Who am I?

I hated reading as a kid. It wasn’t until I was in college I picked up Chuck Pahalniuk’s Survivor and fell in love with books and writing. Since then, I’ve been a non-stop reader and writer. I’d consume on average a book a week (sometime’s more) and write fiction every day. My first novel Containment Zone, combined my love of horror and zombies with themes of coming to terms with the end of one’s life and how we treat the elderly and infirm. For me, writing horror stories is a way of exploring deeper aspects of what it means to be human, all while having some thrills and chills along the way.

R.A.'s book list on zombies that can think

Discover why each book is one of R.A.'s favorite books.

Why did R.A. love this book?

Call me weird. I’m not a fan of series books. Unless, that is, they’re written by Nicholas Sansbury Smith. The problem with a book series for me is that I get bored of the same idea book after book after…zzzzzz. But when someone writing a book series is constantly bringing new ideas to the table, it keeps me reading. Couple that with characters we care about, and a heavy focus on moving the plot forward, and I’ll finish a book in no time and be eager to read the next one. This, my friends, is the first book in one of those series. 

By Nicholas Sansbury Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Extinction Horizon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction...

Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. As cities fall, Team Ghost is…

Night of the Howling Dogs

By Graham Salisbury,

Book cover of Night of the Howling Dogs

Lehua Parker Author Of One Boy, No Water

From the list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens.

Who am I?

Growing up in a kanaka maoli—Native Hawaiian—family in Hawai’i, I hungered for stories centered around island kids and their authentic lived experiences. I scoured classrooms, libraries, and bookstores looking for stories that reflected my reality, but all I ever found were dusty collections of ancient legends, not books that appealed to my sense of wonder or adventure. It’s the reason I wrote the Niuhi Shark Saga trilogy and why I’m so excited to share this collection with you. These books are everything I always wanted to read as a child growing up in Hawai‘i—and more!

Lehua's book list on authentically Hawaiian books for tweens and teens

Discover why each book is one of Lehua's favorite books.

Why did Lehua love this book?

What starts out as a camping trip in remote Halape for a boy scout troop from Hilo turns desperate when an earthquake hits and their camp is devastated by a tsunami. The boys are scattered, and it’s up to Dylan and his nemesis Louie to reunite the troop and get them to safety. Inspired by real events that I remember, this book is a survival story about friendship, leadership, and teamwork that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

By Graham Salisbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night of the Howling Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DYLAN'S SCOUT TROOP goes camping in Halape, a remote spot below the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The only thing wrong with the weekend on a beautiful, peaceful beach is Louie, a tough older boy. Louie and Dylan just can't get along.That night an earthquake rocks the camp, and then a wave rushes in, sweeping everyone and everything before it. Dylan and Louie must team up on a dangerous rescue mission. The next hours are an amazing story of survival and the true meaning of leadership.

The Terror

By Dan Simmons,

Book cover of The Terror: A Novel

Mark Lukens Author Of Ancient Enemy

From the list on horror set in the dead of winter.

Who am I?

There’s something about a horror story set in the winter, especially with characters stuck in a snowstorm, that makes it more chilling to me. My first novel, Ancient Enemy, was inspired by my love of horror set in the dead of winter. If you haven’t read these books on my list, I hope you’ll check them out. It was difficult narrowing the list down to just five – I can think of so many other great winter-themed horror novels.

Mark's book list on horror set in the dead of winter

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

This novel is a gritty, realistic look at the crew of a ship attempting to voyage through the Arctic Circle in the 1800s. Soon, they are iced in, and something horrifying waits out in the tundra for them. Loved this book, the building tension, the detail of Dan Simmons’s writing – I could tell he really researched this book.

By Dan Simmons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Terror as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is…

Your Heart, My Sky

By Margarita Engle,

Book cover of Your Heart, My Sky: Love in a Time of Hunger

Kip Wilson Author Of The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin

From the list on YA books in verse that bring history alive.

Who am I?

I write historical YA in verse—pretty much the niche of the niche. Before I was published, I spent many years writing and querying various YA projects in prose, but it wasn’t until I decided to try a project in verse that I really found my groove. Nowadays, everything I write falls under that same (small) umbrella, so I really looked to novels like the ones here to learn from the best. These days, I still love reading YA historicals and anything in verse, but YA historicals in verse remain forever my favorite.

Kip's book list on YA books in verse that bring history alive

Discover why each book is one of Kip's favorite books.

Why did Kip love this book?

Your Heart, My Sky is a gorgeous book set on the island of Cuba during a terrible period of starvation in the 1990s. The points of view of two young lovers and a stray dog work together to paint a full picture of both the bleak situation and their heightened emotions during this desperate time.

I found the romance to be the perfect bright spot as the protagonists and their families struggle to survive on the island they love. As always, Engle’s poetry sings as the perfect vehicle for this very personal story that YA fans will surely devour. 

By Margarita Engle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Heart, My Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a “deeply felt and engrossing” (Horn Book Magazine) story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.

The people of Cuba are living in el período especial en tiempos de paz—the special period in times of peace. That’s what the government insists that this era must be called, but the reality behind these words is starvation.

Liana is struggling to find enough to eat. Yet hunger has also made her brave: she finds the courage to skip a summer of so-called volunteer farm…

Book cover of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

Sara Foster Author Of The Hush

From the list on dystopias to make you think about women’s experiences.

Who am I?

I recently spent seven years studying the theme of mothers and daughters in dystopian fiction with young adult heroines for my PhD, for which I received a Vice Chancellor’s commendation. I am passionate about interrogating the subthemes and silences in fiction, particularly in women’s writing and stories about female identity and experience. I am also the author of eight published works of fiction, mostly psychological thrillers (often female-driven). My most recent publication is the near-future dystopia The Hush

Sara's book list on dystopias to make you think about women’s experiences

Discover why each book is one of Sara's favorite books.

Why did Sara love this book?

After a virus decimates the world’s female population, an unnamed midwife must work out how to survive and make her way to safety in a world where women are scarce, and men seek to control the few who are left.

I loved this story for its incredible world-building and the fresh approach to the struggles of a woman trying to exist in a world of chaos, competition, and aggression. I really appreciated the practicalities of survival that the main character prioritises over any sense of idealism or femininity: the novel beautifully casts those themes aside to portray the midwife’s deeper and more profound strengths. 

By Meg Elison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of the Unnamed Midwife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 and Philip K. Dick Award Winner

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.

In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population-killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant-the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power-and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even…

The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse

By Lauren Wilson, Kristian Bauthus (illustrator),

Book cover of The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide

Steven J. Kirsh Author Of Parenting in the Zombie Apocalypse: The Psychology of Raising Children in a Time of Horror

From the list on surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Who am I?

Like many of my generation, my formal introduction to the zombie genre started with George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Stories of the zombie apocalypse, and the arterial sprays, dismemberments, and eviscerations that accompanied it, have fascinated me ever since. But, I'm also a psychology professor. Although I was initially captivated by the carnage of the undead, I quickly found that the mindsets of the survivors were equally fascinating. More than anything, I love seeing how fictional worlds represent real-world psychological concepts.

Steven's book list on surviving a zombie apocalypse

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

An undead-rising means that there will be no early-bird buffets, no fast-food drive-throughs, and no food delivery services. And all of the Michelin chefs will be zombies, incapable of providing star-level dishes. But that doesn't mean you have to eat poorly! Wilson's and Bauthus' book details the culinary techniques and recipes needed to meet even the most finicky eater's gustatory and nutritional needs. The names of the recipes are worth the read alone! My personal favorite is "The Wok-ing Dead Stir-fry," although "Life's Chard, but it will be OKale" is a close second. 

By Lauren Wilson, Kristian Bauthus (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Just because the undead's taste buds are atrophying doesn't mean yours have to! You duck into the safest-looking abandoned house you can find and hold your breath as you listen for the approaching zombie horde you've been running from all day. You hear a gurgling sound. Is it the undead? No--it's your stomach. When the zombie apocalypse tears down life and society as we know it, it will mean no more take out, no more brightly lit, immaculately organized aisles of food just waiting to be plucked effortlessly off the shelves. No more trips down to the local farmers' market.…


By Ling Ma,

Book cover of Severance

Joe Milan Jr. Author Of The All-American

From the list on coming-of-age while Asian.

Who am I?

The heights of American literature are crowded with coming-of-age tales like Huckleberry Finn and Catcher and the Rye. It’s probably because for us, as Americans, figuring out what it means to be American is something that isn’t as clear as what it means to be from another country with thousands of years of existence behind it. Yet, the stories I was given rarely had people who looked like me (Asian) or lived lives that weren’t solely defined as being “foreign.” These books tell coming-of-age stories in different ways that I wish I had read when I was coming up to broaden my own mind with what was possible.

Joe's book list on coming-of-age while Asian

Discover why each book is one of Joe's favorite books.

Why did Joe love this book?

A child of immigrants 20-something professional selling bibles, Severance is about Cadence Chen’s story of completing her early career job during a pandemic before setting off into the dystopian horror of society’s collapse.

Severance is a satire everyone needs to read after our own worldwide pandemic.

It’s funny: the prologue starts the band of survivors that Candence joins learning to start campfires in the wilderness from youtube and how to shoot. It parodies our materialistic culture that treats occupations like destinies and shares the feeling of estrangement many of us children of immigrants feel too.

It’s a maturation story with a different flavor: coming of age out of the material sensibilities that sometimes overwhelm our own good sense.

By Ling Ma,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Severance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance.

"A stunning, audacious book with a fresh take on both office politics and what the apocalypse might bring." ―Michael Schaub,

“A satirical spin on the end times-- kind of like The Office meets The Leftovers.” --Estelle Tang, Elle

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: NPR * The New Yorker ("Books We Loved") * Elle * Marie Claire * Amazon Editors * The Paris Review…

Meet the Sky

By McCall Hoyle,

Book cover of Meet the Sky

Brandy Woods Snow Author Of As Much As I Ever Could

From the list on YA romances set in the American Deep South.

Who am I?

There’s never been a time I haven’t had a pen in my hand, crafting a good story. And as the YA literature movement grew, so did my love of it. There’s not a more “blooming” time of life when life and love and friendship can grow with such authenticity and excitement. And true to my Deep South roots, I write and gravitate to romance novels that capture the beauty of first love and Southern culture in tandem, from the slow, relaxed pace to the sometimes gritty culture to the never-meet-a-stranger, colorful personas. Where humidity is thick but the accents are thicker, that’s where you’ll find my Southern-fried heart!

Brandy's book list on YA romances set in the American Deep South

Discover why each book is one of Brandy's favorite books.

Why did Brandy love this book?

There’s just something about the man-versus-nature struggle, especially when the sheer force of Mother Nature is so vividly described in the pages of this book based in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Main characters Sophie and Finn, no strangers to backstories brimming with tremendous pain and loss, face down the eye of the hurricane, learning to lean on each other while learning more about the beauty of life. With such immersive descriptions (including the location’s wild horses!), readers can expect to be transported to the Southern coast on a true journey of self-discovery and second-chance love.

By McCall Hoyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Meet the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author McCall Hoyle comes a new young adult novel, Meet the Sky, a story of love, letting go, and the unstoppable power of nature.

It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie's dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie's older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.

With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future-keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast…

Under the Never Sky

By Veronica Rossi,

Book cover of Under the Never Sky

Jessica Lynn Medina Author Of Echo Through the Stars

From the list on action-packed YA sci-fi with hate-to-love romance.

Who am I?

I don’t just write YA sci-fi, fantasy, and magic steeped in romance—I’m obsessed with the subject in general. Whether it’s the newest book series, tv show, movie, or anime… you can bet your golden snitch that I will be devouring any of these stories I can get my hands on. I'm a sucker for coherent plot work, snappy dialogue, fun action sequences, and phenomenal character building. Trust memy list has your back.

Jessica's book list on action-packed YA sci-fi with hate-to-love romance

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

This book is the first in a series and has such a unique premise. It feels part sci-fi, part dystopia, and part fantasy which makes for a fascinating read. Set in a dismal future, humanity lives inside a controlled domed city called Reverie. Our main protagonist—Ariahas to leave its protection when things go awry for her and venture into the wilderness outside. She meets Perry, a member of the tribes that claim the outside world as their own. Sparks fly as they work through their prejudices and come to understand one another, and help each other to survive. Always a fabulous recipe for a breathtaking enemies-to-lovers romance.

By Veronica Rossi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Never Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART. DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER. Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim. Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive. If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for…

Book cover of My Long List of Impossible Things

Amanda McCrina Author Of Traitor: A Novel of World War II

From the list on unusual YA books about WWII.

Who am I?

I have a degree in history and political science, with a particular interest in military history—especially World War II history, and most especially Eastern Front history. My family has Polish roots, and my own stories tend to focus on the Polish and Ukrainian experiences, but I keenly feel the need for more YA books not only about the Eastern Front but about other, even lesser-known theaters of World War II.

Amanda's book list on unusual YA books about WWII

Discover why each book is one of Amanda's favorite books.

Why did Amanda love this book?

This is a haunting and uncomfortable book, in the best way; it’s one that you can’t stop thinking about because it raises difficult questions without providing easy answers. Barker writes about the immediate postwar period through the eyes of a German girl who must come to terms with what her country and her own family have done during the war. This book doesn’t gloss over anything; we see firsthand what the Soviet occupation means for the German civilian population, and we must grapple with questions of culpability and justice, of who deserves judgment and who has the right to mete it out.

By Michelle Barker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Long List of Impossible Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant historical YA that asks: how do you choose between survival and doing the right thing?

The arrival of the Soviet army in Germany at the end of World War II sends sixteen-year-old Katja and her family into turmoil. The fighting has stopped, but German society is in collapse, resulting in tremendous hardship. With their father gone and few resources available to them, Katja and her sister are forced to flee their home, reassured by their mother that if they can just reach a distant friend in a town far away, things will get better. But their harrowing journey…

Book cover of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

Kerry Chaput Author Of Chasing Eleanor

From the list on taking you on an adventure with a found family.

Who am I?

Found family changed my life, allowing me to find acceptance for the real, messy, complicated me. I believe everyone should have that experience. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic disorder for my entire life, something that was never understood by my family growing up. As I worked to understand my own mental health struggles, it was the people who came into my life with love and compassion who helped me accept that I was never broken. I want every reader to feel that when they read one of my books. Chasing Eleanor was inspired by all five of these book recommendations, with adventure and found family at its heart.

Kerry's book list on taking you on an adventure with a found family

Discover why each book is one of Kerry's favorite books.

Why did Kerry love this book?

This World War II story with a mystical twist had me fascinated and invested the whole way through.

Yona lives as a girl of the wilderness and finds herself fighting to protect Jewish refugees who have escaped the ghettos. With her knowledge of the forest, she vows to protect her found family, though surviving the German winter proves very dangerous.

The lengths Yona goes for people she just met tugged at my heartstrings, and the unique setting felt almost otherworldly. With a touch of folklore, this story keeps your head in the stars, but your heart grounded to Earth.

By Kristin Harmel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Forest of Vanishing Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Parade “Best Books of Summer” pick * Real Simple pick * She Reads “Best WWII Fiction of Summer 2021” pick

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after…

Fear No Evil

By James Patterson,

Book cover of Fear No Evil

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

From the list on African American mysteries.

Who am I?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

Discover why each book is one of Michael's favorite books.

Why did Michael love this book?

Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson are preparing to leave on their “manly trip” into the Montana wilderness when they receive a call from Metro PD. A dead CIA officer puts a pause on their plans. During his investigation, Alex receives an unnerving text from the criminal genius known as “M” who has terrorized Cross and his family for years. Alex and John eventually make it to Montana. Their vacation takes a treacherous 360-degree turn as they venture deep into the rugged Montana wilderness. Two rival teams of trained assassins are hunting them. One controlled by “M”. The other by the cartel. Cross and Sampson are isolated and cut off in a life-or-death struggle. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. A thriller right up until the end.

By James Patterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear No Evil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alex Cross enters the final battle with the all-knowing genius who has stalked him and his family for years.

Dr. Alex Cross and Detective John Sampson venture into the rugged Montana wilderness—where they will be the prey.
They’re not on the job, but on a personal mission. 
Until they’re attacked by two rival teams of assassins, controlled by the same mastermind who has stalked Alex and his family for years. 
Darkness falls. The river churns into rapids. Shots ring out through the forest. 
No backup. No way out. Fear no evil.

Wilder Girls

By Rory Power,

Book cover of Wilder Girls

Katie Jane Gallagher Author Of Specter

From the list on young adult for spooks and thrills.

Who am I?

I’ve loved stories with a horror/thriller focus ever since I can remember. Yes, I was that creepy kid who read all of Goosebumps, as well as checked out a copy of Dracula from the library at the tender age of eleven, much to the chagrin of the elderly librarian. My own books are multi-genre, but tend to include a thriller or horror element—it’s such fun to write a page-turner that ends with a bang. I truly hope you enjoy these picks as much as I did. They are some of my very favorites!

Katie's book list on young adult for spooks and thrills

Discover why each book is one of Katie's favorite books.

Why did Katie love this book?

In Wilder Girls, a bizarre, unprecedented plague called the Tox has infested an island home to an all-girls boarding school. The Tox causes those it infects to mutate in gruesome ways—growing gills, claws, an extra spine, et cetera. The schoolgirls and remaining sparse crew of staff members have developed a system of survival, but when one girl goes missing and her friend determines to find her, everything is thrown into chaos.

This book will grip you hard from the first sentence, sink its teeth into you, shake you around, then have you gasping for air on the floor by the time you hit the last page. Seriously, this is an insane, intense ride, perfect for any fan of weird fiction and body horror. (That’s me.)

By Rory Power,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wilder Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


"The perfect kind of story for our current era."—Hypable

Featured in Vulture’s "11 Books to Read If You Already Miss Yellowjackets"!

From the author of Burn Our Bodies Down, a feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you've read before.

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled…