The best young adult books of 2019 so far

Seira Wilson on July 10, 2019

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like young adult books just keep getting better and better. This year we've seen a treasure trove of fantasy, historical fiction, and novels populated by characters as diverse as the world we live in, dealing with issues that are front page news.  If what we've seen published in the first half of the year is any indication, 2019 is going to be a year of young adult novels stacking up on the must-read pile.

The list of our top 20 favorites so far includes something for nearly every reader, whether your taste runs to thrillers, fantasy, nonfiction, or contemporary novels. Our number one pick is SHOUT, a follow-up to Laurie Halse Anderson's groundbreaking book Speak which twenty years ago raised the issue of consent and gave a voice to many who had been silent. SHOUT is Anderson's story, a free verse memoir about her experiences before and after Speak, and what the conversation about sexual assault looks today.  It is truly remarkable and inspiring.

Below is the complete list of the best of 2019 in young adult, and you can find more of the best books of the year so far across more than a dozen categories, including literature & fiction, nonfiction, mysteries & thrillers, biographies & memoirs, and more.

SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson
Ship of Smoke and Steel (The Wells of Sorcery Trilogy) by Django Wexler
In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton

The The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
The Wizenard Series: Training Camp by Wesley King
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
King of Scars (King of Scars Duology) by Leigh Bardugo
Enchantée by Gita Trelease

The Things She's Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black
Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Finale: A Caraval Novel by Stephanie Garber
Birthday by Meredith Russo

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