Hot YA Titles for Beach Reading

From a summer romance to a vicious motorcycle race and a camp that’s just a bit unusual to a mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very end, the following titles are just what teens need to finish off the last weeks of summer.
Summer is the perfect time for stories that can transport readers to far-off places and immerse them in other worlds. What qualifies as a beach read? It could be a title that offers young adults a glimpse into what life is like through someone else’s eyes or takes them on an adventure. A poolside read can make teens laugh or even fall in love. From a summer romance to a vicious motorcycle race and a camp that’s just a bit unusual to a mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very last page, the following titles are just what teens need to finish off the last weeks of summer. Superhero summer I am Princess XBest friends, May and Libby, created the comic Princess X; Libby drew the pictures and May wrote the narrative. But all that ended when Libby and her mother were killed after their car drove off Ballard Bridge. Three years later, May, now almost 17, is back in Seattle to spend the summer with her father when she sees a sticker of Princess X in a shop window. Soon, she begins to notice these stickers everywhere and discovers that Princess X is a webcomic with a robust following. The more she uncovers, the more she is convinced that Libby is alive and leaving clues for her to find. With the help of her neighbor, computer hacker Patrick, May follows the clues to uncover the truth about Princess X and Libby. Seamlessly integrating comics with text, Cherie Priest’s I Am Princess X (Scholastic, 2015; Gr 6 Up) is a mystery with a tantalizing hook  that will keep teens on the edge of their seats. Readers who especially enjoyed the hybrid format of Swati Avashti’s Chasing Shadows (Knopf, 2013) and the missing friend aspect of John Green’s Paper Towns (Dutton, 2008) will gravitate to this offering. The need for speed Hofmeyr_Stone Rider_In a future United States in which living on the Earth’s surface is so brutal that the oldest man in town is barely over 50, the only hope for escape is to win a race on the treacherous Blackwater Trail and a one-way ticket to Sky Base. After his brother Frank is killed, Adam risks everything to enter the competition. Riding without a gang is perilous, but Adam discovers that he is not alone when his crush Sadie. and the mysterious Kane, save his life. As the danger mounts and the end of the course draws closer, Adam, Kane, and Sadie realize that it is their fellow riders who are the real threat. A high-octane ride from start to finish, David Hofmeyr’s debut YA novel, Stone Rider (Delacorte, 2015; Gr 7 Up), will appeal to adventure and dystopia fans alike who will find much to enjoy in this heart pounding motorcycle ride to the death. Reluctant readers who enjoyed James Dashner’s The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009), will also speed through this fast-paced, exciting work. 99 days cotugnoSummer lovin’ A year ago, Molly ran away to boarding school when the complicated truth about her relationship with the Donnelly brothers became public knowledge, thanks to her mother’s best-selling book. Now the teen is back home for the summer before college, although time has done nothing to change people’s negative opinion of her. She knows that Patrick, her ex-boyfriend, may never forgive her for sleeping with his older brother Gabe. Despite the drama, the friendship between Molly soon turns to romance.  When Patrick returns to town, Molly is forced to confront her feelings for both brothers and decide what and who she wants. Expertly weaving the past with the present, Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days (HarperCollins, 2015; Gr 9 Up) will satisfy young adults’ craving for a summer romance. Teens looking for a book with more heft than “Gossip Girl” but just the right amount of love triangles will welcome Cotugno’s latest. sit-coverDan Cereilli is having a terrible break—his parents are getting divorced, the family business has gone bankrupt, his father has come out of the closet, he’s forced to move into a house reeking of urine, and he has to switch schools. At least going to a new place means he can reinvent himself, right? Dan writes a list of Six Impossible Things (Little, Brown, 2015; Gr 8 Up) that he hopes to accomplish:
  1. Kiss Estelle (the girl next door)
  2. Get a job to help out his mom with the expenses
  3. Cheer up his mother
  4. Try not to be a total nerd/loser at school
  5. Talk to his dad when he calls
  6. “Figure out how to be good”
As he sets out to achieve these goals (often inadvertently), Dan makes a lot of mistakes, but he also makes friends, stands up for himself, and realizes that things maybe aren’t quite as bad as he thought. This fun, quick read with lots of humor and heart, will have readers rooting for Dan to pull off his six “impossible” things. Characters from Australian author Fiona Wood’s Wildlife (Little, Brown, 2014) make an appearance in this sweet, hijinks-filled novel. SLJ1502-Fic58GN_Stevenson-LumberjanesThe weirdest summer camp ever Holy Mae Jemison! Summer at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpt’s Camp for Hard Core Lady-Types has never been more exciting! Earning their Lumberjane badges, April, Molly, Ripley, Jo, Mal, and their long-suffering counselor Jen encounter monsters, talking statues, possessed scouting lads, and other supernatural creatures. Can they succeed in figuring out what “the junk is going on” and stopping it before it’s too late? Noelle Stevenson and company’s Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy (Boom! Box, 2015; Gr 5 Up) is clever, girl-powered graphic novel that will leave readers wishing their summer camp experiences had been half as thrilling. Friendships and first love are just some of the themes found in this lighthearted collection of the first four issues of the “Lumberjanes” comic. Kefira Philippe is a middle school librarian Nichols Middle School in Evanston, IL. She’s currently serving on YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults committee and was recently elected to the 2017 Printz committee.    

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