Five-star young adult books published this year
Liked it, really liked it, it was amazing — if you’re a GoodReads user, you’ll recognize these as the three, four, and five star ratings on the site. I admit, I’m probably a little over-generous with my stars.
Looking back at this year’s reads, I’ve given no less than three stars to each. But I also feel like I’ve read some really good books.
Because I order books for the teen collection, many of those reads were young adult books. I know it’s a tad bit early for “Best of 2017” lists, but here are five published this year that I unhesitatingly gave five stars:
“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” By Mackenzi Lee
With “The Gentleman’s Guide,” Mackenzie Lee brings the 18th century to life in a way that engages and enlightens the modern reader. Henry “Monty” Montague embarks on a grand tour of Europe with his younger sister, Felicity, and his best friend Percy. Monty is charmingly arrogant, secretly obsessed with Percy, and has a penchant for getting the three of them in the worst trouble. Through their adventures, Felicity and Percy bring balance to the reckless and self-obsessed Monty we meet at the beginning of the book. It’s a fun romp full of history, adventure and forbidden romance.
“Radio Silence” by Alice Oseman
Frances spends most of her free time studying, but she has one extracurricular obsession: a podcast mystery. When she gets the opportunity to contribute her artwork, she befriends the otherwise anonymous creator, but as the podcast gains popularity, it’s hard to keep his trust. Fans of Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor & Park” take note: current, diverse, and filled with quirky adorableness. You won’t want to put it down until you’re done.
“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
This is probably one of the most important and timely reads of the year. Starr Carter’s life is turned upside down when she witnesses the death of her best friend at the hands of a police officer during a traffic stop. Born and raised in a predominantly poor, black neighborhood, Starr attends a private school that’s mostly white. After her friend’s death, she struggles with helping bring justice for her friend and determining her place in these two communities.
“Perfect Ten” By L. Philips
If the adorable cover doesn’t draw you in, the story definitely will. Frustrated with the lack of eligible guys at his school, Sam crafts a list of 10 traits he wants in a boyfriend for a love spell his Wiccan best friend, Meg, suggests performing. And voila, three perfect guys enter Sam’s life — all in pursuit of him. Sam’s the kind of character you’ll be annoyed with and then adore, never want to hear from again, and then find yourself obsessing over. A delightful teen rom-com with lots of heart, some drama and hints of magical realism.
“Looking for Group” by Rory Harrison
My new favorite road trip novel. It’s a beautiful story about taking charge of your own life and connecting with those who accept you for who you are. Dylan is in remission, addicted to medications and struggling to get along with a mother who only takes advantage of his situation. Arden lives with a father who refuses to accept her as she is. They’ve only met online playing World of Warcraft, but when Dylan shows up on Arden’s doorstep, they decide to abscond across the country on their first real life mission. A fun, endearing read.
— William Ottens is the Cataloging and Collection Development Coordinator at Lawrence Public Library.