2016 YA Reads by Authors of Color
*more titles will be added once more covers are revealed*
American Ace by Marilyn Nelson - Connor’s grandmother leaves his dad a letter when she dies, and the letter’s confession shakes their tight-knit Italian-American family: The man who raised Dad is not his birth father.But the only clues to this birth father’s identity are a class ring and a pair of pilot’s wings. And so Connor takes it upon himself to investigate.
Black Disc by David Ramirez - On the surface, 17-year-old Susan King is a normal girl with normal problems - but Susan has a secret online life as a hacktivist, using the internet to bring down corrupt corporations around the world. Until the day a black disc appears from nowhere and begins to orbit the earth. That same day, Susan - and millions of people around the globe - receive an incoherent chain email, full of lunatic predictions claiming to foretell the end of the world. Susan, and everyone else, ignores the email. And then the predictions start coming true. But what can one girl do to stop the apocalypse?
Burn Baby Burn by Med Medina - Nora Lopez is 17 during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam is on the loose. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late?
Consider by Kristy Acevedo - As if Alexandra Lucas’ anxiety disorder isn’t enough, mysterious holograms suddenly appear from the sky, heralding the end of the world. They bring an ultimatum: heed the warning and step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or stay and be destroyed by a comet they say is on a collision course with earth. How’s that for senior year stress?The holograms, claiming to be humans from the future, bring the promise of safety. But without the ability to verify their story, Alex is forced to consider what is best for her friends, her family, and herself.To stay or to go. A decision must be made.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye - Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. When Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for Vika, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear … the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond - After the Nazis killed her brother on the North African front, 16-year-old Lucie Blaise volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, DC, to do my part for the war effort. Only instead of a desk job at the OSS, Lucie is tapped to join the Clandestine Operations – a secret espionage and sabotage organization of girls, and employed to German-occupied France to gather intelligence and eliminate Nazi targets. Her current mission: Track down and interrogate a Nazi traitor about a weapon that threatens to wipe out all of Western Europe.
Dove Exiled (Dove Chronicles #2) by Karen Bao - Phaet Theta fled the Moon and has been hiding on Earth with her friend Wes and his family. But Phaet’s past catches up with her when the Lunar Bases attack the community and reveal that Phaet is a fugitive. She’s torn between staying on Earth with Wes—whom she’s just discovered her feelings for—and stowing away on a Moon-bound ship to rescue her siblings.
Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia -
Reshma Kapoor is a college counselor’s dream, but if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all. What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does. Her agent wants to represent Reshma, and with scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford. But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)
Even If The Sky Falls by Mia Garcia - Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. In a moment of daring, she ditches her work and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they fall in love. But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill - 17-year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple.The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.
The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard - Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.
The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since. But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend, 16-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.
Golden (Heart of Dread #3) by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston - In this epic conclusion to the trilogy, Nat and Wes go on a journey to find the Rift, save the source of magic and defeat the Drau, the pirates, and the RSA—but at a great sacrifice.
The Head of the Saint by Scorro Acioli - 14-year-old Samuel is newly orphaned and homeless in a small town in Brazil. He lives in a giant, hollow, concrete head of St. Anthony, and since coming there, he hears beautiful singing, echoing like magic in the head twice a day. So he stays.Miraculously, he can also hear the private prayers and longings of the villagers. Feeling mischievous, Samuel begins to help answer these prayers, hoping that if he does, their noise will quiet down and he can listen to the beautiful singing in peace. Ironically, his miracles gain him so many fans that he starts to worry he will never fulfill his own true longing and find the source of the singing.
Incriminated (Emancipated #2) by M.G. Keyes - Scandal, romance, treachery, and murder—all under one roof. And no one to clean up their messes. In the thrilling second book in the Emancipated trilogy, limits are pushed, friendships are tested, and the truth has a nasty way of showing up uninvited.
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung - Gilmore Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat in this witty novel about navigating life in private school while remaining true to yourself. Lucy tries to balance her life at home surrounded by her Chinese immigrant family, with her life at a pretentious private school. There, she is welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike. Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless—everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet. As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh—and to her old life—threatens to snap.
Into White by Randi Pink - 16-year-old Latoya Williams, who is black, attends a mostly white high school in the Bible Belt. In a moment of desperation, she prays for the power to change her race and wakes up white.
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana - An evocative debut about the discovery of a mirror planet to Earth and how it dramatically changes the course of one Indian-American girl’s junior year.
Never Ever by Sara Saedi - Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight. Then she met a real-life Peter Pan, Phinn. Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond 17 and life is a constant party. But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.
No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista - Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee - Spirited, 15-year-old Mercy Wong pretends to be an heiress from China to get entry into an all white boarding school, but more than her future plans are shaken up when the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake hits and she and her school sisters must band together to survive
Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis - A white teen named Dess is placed into foster care with a black family, the Carters, while her mother is incarcerated. Dess doesn’t exactly fit in with the Carters. They’re so happy, so comfortable, so normal, and Hope, their teenage daughter, is naïve to the harsh realities of the world. Dess and Hope couldn’t be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters. Over time their differences, insurmountable at first, fall away to reveal two girls who want the same thing: to belong.
Playing for the Devil’s Fire by Phillipe Diederich - 13-year-old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles. An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil’s Fire marble. His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him. This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing much happens. Then Boli’s parents leave for Toluca and don’t arrive at their destination. A washed out masked wrestler turns up one day, a man only interested in finding his next meal. Boli hopes to inspire the luchador to set out with him to find his parents.
The Reader by Traci Chee - Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed.
The Rose and the Dagger (Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Adhieh - In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki - Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don’t even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren’t for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High’s Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained.Then there’s the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having two moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym.
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate - Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame.
The Shadow Hour (Girl at Midnight #2) by Melissa Grey - Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome. She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight. Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature–or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?
Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2) by Dhonielle Clayton & Sonia Charaipotra - June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.
The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn - 17-year-old Arman Dukoff is struggling with severe anxiety and a history of self-loathing when he arrives at an expensive self-help retreat in the remote hills of Big Sur. He’s taken a huge risk for a chance to “evolve,” as Beau, the retreat leader, says. But the program is a blur of jargon, bizarre rituals, and incomprehensible encounters with a beautiful girl. Arman is certain he’s failing everything. But Beau disagrees; he thinks Arman has a bright future—though he never says at what. And then, in an instant Arman can’t believe or totally recall, Beau is gone. Suicide? Or murder? Arman was the only witness and now the compound is getting tense. And maybe dangerous.As the mysteries and paradoxes multiply and the hints become accusations, Arman must rely on the person he’s always trusted the least: himself.
Solider (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa - Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They’ll need Garret’s skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, an all-out war will start.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi - Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, 16-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth. But beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly. Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
The Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider - Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. These are the things 17-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen - Taylor Simmons is screwed. Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip. Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas - Jane Austen meets X-Men in this gripping and adventure-filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.
There is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang - Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school. But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing.
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell - For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia. But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Penaflor - A young actress struggles to meet the demands of an ambitious director, his edgy script, and her pushy mother.
The Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3) by Danielle Paige -
Amy Gumm’s mission to take down Dorothy Gale is not going according to plan. Dorothy has found a way to bridge the worlds of Oz and Kansas, and if the power-hungry dictator of Oz has her way, Kansas will be destroyed forever. Now, Amy has to team up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save her home, restore the balance between the magic and nonmagic worlds, maybe get the guy—and kill that not-so-sweet Kansas farm girl once and for all.