There’s only one month left until we unveil the best Young Adult books of 2017, and November has some compelling novels in the running. From new hits (Renegades) to highly anticipated sequels (hello, Retribution Rails), this month is packed with a ton of enthralling reads. Let’s dig in.
1. The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves
Release Date: November 7th from HarperTeen
Why You’ll Love It: A debut that’s as stunning as it is powerful, Aceves’ novel is a story is a complex story about family and friendships. Don’t sleep on this one.
For Fans of:
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
Description: Marcos Rivas wants to find love. He’s sure as hell not getting it at home, where his mom’s racist boyfriend beats him up. Or from his boys, who aren’t exactly the “hug it out” type. Marcos yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood—which seems impossible.
When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program for troubled teens with potential, he meets Zach, a theater geek whose life seems great on the surface, and Amy, a punk girl who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. These new friendships inspire Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and along the way, Marcos starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.
2. Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
Release Date: November 7th from Balzer + Bray
Why You’ll Love It: We’ve been anxiously awaiting Warga’s follow up to My Heart and Other Black Holes, named on of Paste’s best YA books of 2015. A diverse novel of music and family, Here We Are Now is another sweeping, gorgeous story about figuring out who you are and what you want out of life—the sort of story Warga is just masterful at telling.
For Fans of: Road trip music novels like The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, and beautiful lyrical contemporary prose like Mosquitoland by David Arnold.
Description: Despite sending him letters ever since she was 13, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense—kinda—because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.
Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father—her grandfather—who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.
With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.
3. The November Girl by Lydia Kang
Release Date: November 7th with Entangled: Teen
Why You’ll Love It: First, can we talk about how Kang published three books this year? A nonfiction title about bad cures (Quackery), an adult novel (A Beautiful Poison) and now her latest YA Novel (The November Girl).
If you read and loved Kang’s Control duology, her dive into magical realism with The November Girl is an exciting genre leap featuring a character who is literally a storm. This book is so unique and utterly captivating.
For Fans of:
The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan and The Vicious Deep trilogy by Zoraida Cordova.
Description: I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.
Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there’s no one here but me. And now him.
Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I’m half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can’t protect him from the storms coming for us.
4. Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 7th from Feiwel & Friends
Why You’ll Love It: I mean, it’s a book by the writer of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series. Meyer is back with a new story that blends sci-fi and action like a Young Adult X-Men novel, asking what it means to be a hero and what it means to be a villain.
For Fans of:
Hero by Perry Moore and I’m Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee.
Description: The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
5. Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman
Release Date: November 7th from HMH for Young Readers
Why You’ll Love It: If you missed out on Bowman’s Vengeance Road last year, now is the perfect time to make up for it. Because the companion novel, Retribution Rails, is out in the world, and it’s just as gritty and raw as the first book. Written like a modern YA take on True Grit, this duology is not to be missed. (And it’s worth checking out the audiobook, because the narration is spectacular.)
For Fans of:
Walk the Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson and Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.
Description: When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist.
But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.