YA Wednesday: Best Young Adult Books of 2017

Seira Wilson on November 29, 2017

Turtles200This year in young adult we were treated to: the start of new series' that we're now hooked on; contemporary fiction that made us laugh, cry, and think about life; and books by a couple of authors we've been waiting on for a long time.

Our number one pick for the best young adult books of 2017 falls into the latter two categories. Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's newest novel--the one we've been waiting for since The Fault in Our Stars which feels like forever ago.  It has a mystery, honest friendships, a love story, OCD, and many, many beautiful lines.  I think current fans will love it, and those who are just finding Green with this one will (as so many are) be compelled to read everything else he's written.

Below is a handful of our top 20 picks--you can see the full list here.

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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Talk about long-awaited...Neither prequel nor sequel to His Dark Materials trilogy—Pullman calls this an “equel” and La Belle Sauvage is the first volume of a companion trio that can stand on its own.  Prepare for a glorious adventure that delivers heart-in-your-throat moments and much to think about as we wait (not so patiently) to see what will happen next.  Pullman's got us hooked again, contemplating the fantastic, the empirical, and the in-between.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Taylor's latest follows her unbeatable Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and it's the start of an incredible new fantasy world.  A young man's dreams become more than imagined, gods are murdered, and a city turned to darkness.  It's hard to describe the rich plotlines of Taylor's novel without giving away any of the surprises that are so breathtaking when you read them for the first time.  Suffice it to say that this is a book to start when you have no other plans... A fantasy novel with lavish world-building and creativity that surpasses any genre pigeon-hole.

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The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Truly clever and funny, this is a historical novel with a modern twist: a British lord nicknamed Monty who is having some challenges in the world of love.  The primary one being his affection for BFF and traveling companion, Percy--a definite no-no for a man of Monty's station.  Their final adventure is Monty's last hurrah before it's time for become a proper gentleman for real, and things do not go as planned... A historical novel that offsets intolerant attitudes with a big helping of laughter and adventure.  It's been a long 2017--treat yourself to something wild and fun.

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The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

The first of a new historical fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Winner's Curse or Rebel of the Sands. Fallon is a Celtic princess who wants to follow in her sister's footsteps and become a legendary warrior, but her father has other plans.  Thanks to the Romans, Fallon gets her wish to fight after all--only not as a Celtic warrior but as an enslaved gladiator.  Star-crossed love, danger, and a female character who kicks ass in and out of the arena. Watch for the sequel (yay!) The Defiant, releasing January 28th.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen year old Starr is straddling two worlds: the poor neighborhood she lives in and the suburban prep school she attends.  Starr doesn't quite fit in with the teens in either group, but she has friends in both places.  When one of her close friends from the neighborhood is killed in front of her by a policeman, a storm of racism, class inequity, inaccurate assumptions, and hate, starts swirling around.  And Starr is the only one who knows the truth about what really happened that night.  Timely and powerful, this is a book that makes you think about the world we live in, and what we want to do about it.

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