YA Wednesday: Best young adult books of January

Seira Wilson on January 22, 2020
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If January is any indication, 2020 is going to be a fantastic year for young adult novels.  There are so many good books releasing this month and the ten titles on our best YA of the month list includes new installments in favorite series, something completely different from popular YA author Adam Silvera, a long awaited follow-up to Mildred D. Taylor's award-winner Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and a hilarious rom-com from newcomer Emma Lord.  Below are a few of the books on our list, and you can see all ten here.


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Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This novel made me smile all the way through. Pepper and Jack go to the same high school and know of each other peripherally but it is a very special grilled cheese that brings them together. When Big League Burger--Pepper's family's mom-and-pop joint, now a national chain--launches a new sandwich that looks suspiciously like the famous grilled cheese created by Jack's grandmother at their family-owned deli called Girl Cheesing, it sets off a Twitter snark war between them. Guess who runs these Twitter accounts? You got it--Pepper and Jack. The pressure of family and achievement weighs on both and gives this clever rom-com a little more heft than the usual fare.  Surprises are plentiful and I highly recommend this one for readers wanting a story that is lighthearted but still has some meat on its bones.



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The Night Country: A Hazel Wood Novel by Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood first drew us into the Hinterland, her dark fairy tale world come to life. Now her spellbinding sequel, The Night Country, takes readers deeper into the darkness. Alice Proserpine, Alice-Three-Times in her origin story, has left the Hinterland for New York City. She is not alone. Others from the Hinterland are there, too, trying to live as humans in a place they don’t belong. Someone begins killing these storybook characters, but who is doing it, and why? Albert has crafted a sequel that can also stand on its own, and for those among us who love a good fairy tale, and a mystery, The Night Country is a dragon’s hoard of riches.


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The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs

The fifth installment of the Miss Peregrine series continues the thread began in A Map of Days and set in America.  The Conference of the Birds picks up right where the last book left off, Jacob having found the new peculiar Noor Pradesh but now both of them trying to escape the clutches of the seriously creepy American villains.  Jacob now has a secret prophecy given to him by H, and in usual peculiar fashion the others get it out of him--an obvious relief to Jacob.  Together they set out to find the mysterious V and deliver Noor to her, because the alternative is the end of peculiardom.  Riggs' novels are always a pleasure to read and this one is full of action, suspense, and fascinating characters.

 


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Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

A chilling and compulsive read by the author of several popular young adult novels, including the Blue is for Nightmares series.  The story is narrated by Jane Anonymous, a 17-year-old girl who is kidnapped then held in a house for seven months.  The novel uses "then" and "now" alternating points of view on Jane's life before and after her captivity and eventual escape.  Stolarz does an excellent job of keeping the reader on their toes, trying to figure out who her kidnapper is, what the motive is, and later when there is a mind-blowing reveal, to work out what exactly was happening while Jane was being held along with another teen named Mason.  Jane's struggle to return to her life is powerful, adding a different psychological thread to her experience that makes this story special.


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