The 10 Best New Young Adult Books in June 2016

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  • best-ya-june-16 ivory-and-bone-eshbaugh 1. Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

    Release Date: June 7th from HarperTeen

    Why You’ll Love It: Julie Eshbaugh’s Ivory and Bone is hands down the most unique debut YA novel of the year. Set in a land of warring tribes and forbidden love, the Pride and Prejudice-inspired prehistoric story is kicks off a stunning new series.

    Description: Hunting, gathering and keeping his family safe—that’s the life 17-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

    As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
  • best-ya-june-16 the-loose-ends-list-firestone 2. The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

    Release Date: June 7th from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Why You’ll Love It: I have a soft place in my heart for novels set on cruise ships. There’s something about a story set in a confined space promising adventure that just strikes the right chord. And Carrie Firestone’s debut novel does just that, dishing out a tale of loss, heartbreak and the love that holds families together. The Loose Ends List is a must-read for fans of Lauren Morrill or Sarah Dessen.

    Description: Seventeen-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine lives a charmed life and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie's closest confidante) tying up high school loose ends. But Maddie's plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret "death with dignity" cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way—and give the O'Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.

    Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss and the power of forgiveness
  • best-ya-june-16 rocks-fall-everyone-dies-ribar 3. Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

    Release Date: June 7th from Kathy Dawson Books

    Why You’ll Love It: If you’re not familiar with Lindsay Ribar, her duology The Art of Wishing is a delightful YA contemporary series sprinkled with magic. She returned to the literary scene this month with a paranormal standalone book, a tale that reads like Twin Peaks mixed with Gilmore Girls.

    Description: Aspen Quick can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love. But he’s never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. He’ll soon discover, however, just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.
  • best-ya-june-16 tumbling-carter 4. Tumbling by Caela Carter

    Release Date: June 7th from Viking Books for Young Readers

    Why You’ll Love It: A great read for fans of YA contemporary sports novels, including books by Miranda Kenneally and Kody Keplinger, Tumbling takes you through five gymnasts’ points of view. If you enjoy shifting perspectives and tons of drama, this narrative is for you.

    Description: Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.

    Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life…and a secret that could ruin everything.

    Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend and, most of all, wants to walk away.

    Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.

    Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?

    By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.
  • best-ya-june-16 autofocus-gibaldi 5. Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi

    Release Date: June 14th from HarperTeen

    Why You’ll Love It: Full disclosure, there’s a blurb from me on the back of this book. Why? Well, Autofocus was one of Paste’s most anticipated books of 2016, and Lauren Gibaldi’s debut, The Night We Said Yes, was one of Paste’s favorite YA books of 2015.

    Autofocus is a beautiful, contemporary novel about an adopted teen girl’s search for both her birth mother and her own identity. There aren’t many adoption stories out there, and I’m so happy to see this one on the shelves.

    Description: Family. It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

    So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

    Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.
  • best-ya-june-16 how-it-feels-to-fly 6. How it Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

    Release Date: June 14th from HarperTeen

    Why You’ll Love It: Here it is, this month’s big cry. Kathryn Holmes’ latest book introduces readers to a ballerina wrestling with body issues and anxiety, which send her into a downward spiral… and into the arms of Andrew, a camp counselor who adores her. If you haven’t read Holmes’ debut, be sure to check out The Distance Between Lost and Found as well.

    Description: For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

    The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.

    Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?
  • best-ya-june-16 the-king-slayer-boecker 7. The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker

    Release Date: June 14th from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Why You’ll Love It: The sequel to Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter has been at the top of my to-read lis, and at last, the book is here. The King Slayer picks up where the first book left off, and to avoid spoilers, I won’t dish much. But former witch hunter Elizabeth is preparing for an epic showdown. It’s an intense fantasy novel perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Susan Dennard.

    Description: Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He's readying for a war against those who would resist his rule—namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.

    Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth's strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves.
  • best-ya-june-16 look-both-ways-cherry 8. Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry

    Release Date: June 14th from Delacorte Press

    Why You’ll Love It: A love story between two teen girls, Alison Cherry’s Look Both Ways is both moving and hilarious. The novel explores what happens when a girl from a famous family wants to succeed on her own merits—and falls in love along the way. Check out Cherry’s debut, Red, or her last YA novel, For Real, for more narratives you’re sure to enjoy.

    Description: A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.

    Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?
  • best-ya-june-16 mirror-in-the-sky-aditi 9. Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana

    Release Date: June 21st from Razorbill

    Why You’ll Love It: I’m not sure where to begin with this book. Set in the not-so-distant-future, Aditi Khorana’s debut focuses on a teen girl wrestling with the usual complicated issues. Friends. Family. An alternate version of Earth discovered across the galaxy.

    You know, the usual stuff.

    The discovery of a mirror Earth changes everything, and the narrative delves into the battle of determining where you belong in the universe, both figuratively and literally. And it’s beautiful.

    Description: For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.

    The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.

    As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara's life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth—or for Tara—will ever be the same again.
  • best-ya-june-16 we-own-the-night-poston 10. We Own The Night by Ashley Poston

    Release Date: June 28th from Bloomsbury Spark

    Why You’ll Love It: The last (but certainly not least) book on the list is the companion novel to Ashley Poston’s music-filled debut, The Sound of Us. Readers meet a girl who leads quite the double life, as a popular DJ and as a reserved teen who takes care of her grandmother. She’ll have to figure out how to live without her microphone, in order to really be alive.

    Poston’s great at bringing the tears and penning heartwarming stories full of music, and We Own the Night promises both. And hey, it’s a digital-first book, so you can score a copy for less than a cup of coffee.

    Description: As a candy store employee by day and mysterious deejay "Niteowl" by night, 18-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock 'n’ roll and a hard place. She can't wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population 347) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can't abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer's or her best friend Micah—who she may or may not be in love with.

    But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn't timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She's the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy's manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular—Dark and Brooding—whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she's in love with Micah or anything. Cause she's not.

    As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rock stars, tabloid headlines and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.
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