Best YA Books of 2016 That You (Probably) Haven’t Read Yet

Here at The Fandom, we read A LOT of books. Many of them are bestsellers from big publishers with major advertising that everyone is talking about. However, we also devour some books that are published quietly and without fanfare, even though some of them really deserve all the fanfare!

Today, we celebrate those smaller books, the ones you probably have read yet, but should definitely consider scooping up with all those holiday gift cards.

Listed in alphabetical order.

Jennifer recommends HOW TO HANG A WITCH  by Adriana Mather

Just like the title tells it Adriana Mather’s witching novel takes a modern day spin of the Salem witch trials. Sam Mather is a descendant from the infamous Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the Salem witch trials, which doesn’t help her as she moves to Salem where her school and the whole town already judge her of her ancestry. Sam also quickly becomes enemy to a group of girls called The Descendants (guess who they are?) As her story unravels Sam must come to terms with The Descendants and an angry ghost to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first witch trial. You would think that the people of Salem, holding on to their history, would have learned from it. It seems like history is about to repeat itself in How To Hang A Witch.

This book took the Salem witch trials and spun it to a modern day Mean Girls story. It has everything you want from thrilling, to spooky, to romance. It had me page turning every night.

Ellie recommends LOVE ME NEVER  by Sara Wolf

sara wolf love me never lovely vicious

Isis Blake is excited to start over at a new school, where the boy that broke her heart is far away. When everyone’s boy-crush hurts her new friend right in front of her, Isis does what only a best friend would: punches him in the face. Now she’s in a battle war of wits with Jack Hunter, the only person who could possibly keep up with her. But in constantly trying to take him down, Isis discovers her new town has a dark history, and her newest nemesis seems to be right in the middle of it all. With a twist of an ending, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat.

The best part of this book is it was the first re-published from a completed trilogy, so the second (Forget Me Always) was also re-published this year! The third (Remember Me Forever) is coming in May 2017!

Kait recommends TELL US SOMETHING TRUE  by Dana Reinhardt

If you like shows like Shameless that deal in the comedically naughty and deceptive nature of people, we think you’ll love this zany but poignant teen novel. It follows River Anthony Dean, a teen who is so crushed when her first love dumps him that he finds himself in a self-help group. River doesn’t want to cop to a simple broken heart in a room full of teens with addictions and disorders, so he makes up one of his own. As River begins to form real relationships with the kids in group, he realizes things may have gotten a little out of hand.

Josh Recommends THE IRON CHRONICLES  by Brad R. Cook

Are you looking for a new steampunk adventure? Travel the high skies in airships and battle against shadowy societies as the teenage duo Alexander Armitage and his team fight to save both his father and the United Kingdom. The final book of the trilogy was released last month, Iron Lotus, but to start, check out Iron Horsemen. Let the swashbuckling adventure begin!

Halee recommends THE LEAVING SEASON  by Cat Jordan

The Leaving Season is told through the perspective of the main protagonist, Middie, who seems to have the perfect life. She has a boyfriend who cares about her, and she knows exactly what she wants to do. However, this all falls apart when her boyfriend disappears, and Middie’s life comes crashing down around her. For her, however, hope comes from the place she least expects– her boyfriend’s best friend.

This story feels so incredibly authentic. Cat Jordan writes impeccably real characters that are flawed but very enjoyable to read. For someone like me, who has undergone so many changes in the last few years, this story speaks to me. It’s a story about change and how we, as people, respond to these changes. People leave, things change, and at the end of the day, you have to be happy with yourself because that’s all you will always have.

In its essence, The Leaving Season is a story about the hope that, no matter what, permeates all of our lives.

Ellie recommends THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH  by Lisa Brown Roberts

Book blogger and romance lover Viv recently had her heart broken and has decided to protect herself by choosing her next crush very carefully. The top priority: he can’t be someone she actually likes, because then she could get hurt again. But when a new boy (Dallas) comes who town that she immediately takes to, she realizes she must find her replacement crush quickly, before she gives away her heart for real. The banter between Viv and Dallas creates a fun experience. Sure, the protagonist’s refusal to accept what’s right in front of her can be frustrating at times, but that just adds to the excitement of the story.

Nat recommends THE SOUND OF US  by Julie Hammerle

The story is told through the eyes of a high school senior named Kiki Nichols as she tries to prove herself worthy of a fully-paid music scholarship to an exceptional music program. In order to prove herself, she takes on the difficult summer camp program the university is offering to such people like Kiki. The competition is hard and she constantly has to challenge herself both mentally and vocally.

Being a music major in college with an emphasis in voice, I found familiarity with Kiki and with some of her challenges. I can’t say I went through the exact same situations as she did, but I know how hard it can be to not only prove to everyone that you belong, but you have to prove it to yourself as well. It’s a nice tale about self-worth, self-determination, and a bit of romance.

Kait recommends TYRANTS AND TRAITORS  by Joshua McHenry Miller

Full disclosure: Josh is one of our writers– a super talented one, at that. Aaaand he got published this year! How cool is that?! Tyrants and Traitors is the first in a YA trilogy and a take on the biblical giant-slayer tale filled with original characters, wild adventures, and tons of wit. We think you’ll love it!

Kait recommends WITH MALICE  by Eileen Cook

Part sensationalized Amanda Knox, part memory mystery, Eileen Cook’s thriller follows Jill, a high school teenager who wakes up from a coma only to be accused of killing her best friend during a class trip to Italy. Jill can’t remember anything about the trip or the few weeks leading up to it, but she knows she’d never harm her best friend. As the evidence stacks up against her and her memory plays tricks, Jill must try to prove her innocence– even after the court of public opinion has found her guilty.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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