June is here! It’s the season for summer reading, and what make better beach reads than a handful of fun, swoon-filled Young Adult books? Pack two or three… and depending on the books, maybe a few boxes of tissues? This month’s roundup of YA novels pulls together a number of exciting, funny, action-packed novels, but many of them are going to bring the tears. A lot of tears.
1. Joyride by Anna Banks
Release Date: June 2nd from Feiwel & Friends
Why You’ll Love It: Joyride is a love story between two mismatched Florida teens, who grow closer together through a series of escalating dares and pranks. Both characters possess complex, engrossing backstories exploring mental illness, abuse and more, woven together with romance and wit.
Description: It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber’s mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.
All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic and sometimes harsh
2. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Release Date: June 2nd from Soho Teen
Why You’ll Love It: Full disclosure, Paste readers? I wrote a blurb inside this book talking about how much the novel made me cry. The story of a teen boy who wants to get a memory-deleting procedure to forget that he’s gay is a powerful, heart-wrenching tale—it’s unlike anything you’ve ever read.
Description: The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto—miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough. Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.
3. Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian
Release Date: June 2nd from Dial Books
Why You’ll Love It: Growing up, I think we all had that clique of best friends that promised never to compromise the group by dating one another. And chances are, you knew some theater kids. Well, this book is all about that—a clique that makes promises (which they aren’t going to keep) and the joys (and drama) of high school drama.
Description: When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca. Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on- and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything … even if some of it is just make believe.
4. Talker 25: Invisible Monsters by Joshua McCune
Release Date: June 2nd from Greenwillow Books
Why You’ll Love It: An exciting take on the YA dragon story, Talker 25 is set in the future with a totalitarian government … and lots of dragons that have emerged from the earth. It’s like Reign of Fire, if mankind actually beat the dragons back. And now, the sequel is out.
Description: Finally free after spending three months locked in a secret government facility where she was forced to torture and assassinate dragons for the popular television series Kissing Dragons, all Melissa Callahan wants is a quiet recovery. Hiding in an Alaskan cave with fellow escapee Allie (known as Talker 21), Melissa does her best to stay out of the dragon politics. However, when a group of rebels called the Diocletians discovers their hideout and captures Allie, Melissa soon realizes she must finally choose who she’s fighting for—the humans or the dragons.
5. The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Release Date: June 2nd from Little, Brown Books
Why You’ll Love It: In Boecker’s debut, a witch hunter is accused of being witch, and a wizard (who she should be hunting) is the one to save her. It’s a fun flip on the witch story, with a bold ass-kicking protagonist and some seriously high stakes. It’s the first in what’s going to be an amazing fantasy series.
Description: Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him. But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past—if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies and of love and hate.
6. Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen
Release Date: June 2nd from Philomel Books
Why You’ll Love It: This is one of the most unique novels on the list, as Jensen’s debut is a story told in verse. That’s right, the entire novel is a piece of poetry. It’s a great pick for fans of books by Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Impulse) and Lisa Schroeder ( I Heart You, You Haunt Me).
Description: Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world-and everything she thought she knew about her family-is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal and secrets that-unbeknownst to Mira-have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he’s kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family’s fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad-while there is still time.
7. The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst
Release Date: June 2nd from Sky Pony Press
Why You’ll Love It: Many time travel stories revolve around the idea that if you change something in the past, it can drastically alter the future. In the case of The Edge of Forever, a time traveling teen discovers his dead father traveling back in time—on a mission to stop a murder. Will it be possible to stop the murder, save his father and not alter history?
Description: In 2013: Sixteen-year-old Alora is having blackouts. Each time she wakes up in a different place with no idea of how she got there. The one thing she is certain of? Someone is following her. In 2146: Seventeen-year-old Bridger is one of a small number of people born with the ability to travel to the past. While on a routine school time trip, he sees the last person he expected—his dead father. The strangest part is that, according to the Department of Temporal Affairs, his father was never assigned to be in that time. Bridger’s even more stunned when he learns that his by-the-book father was there to break the most important rule of time travel—to prevent someone’s murder. And that someone is named Alora. Determined to discover why his father wanted to help a “ghost,” Bridger illegally shifts to 2013 and, along with Alora, races to solve the mystery surrounding her past and her connection to his father before the DTA finds him. If he can stop Alora’s death without altering the timeline, maybe he can save his father too.