YA Fiction

Author photo by Marc J. Franklin

Broadway actor, musician and writer Andy Mientus has just written his debut novel, “The Backstagers and the Ghost Light,” the first book in a middle-grade series based on the award winning graphic novels. Featuring and inclusive cast of characters, the series follows a band of theater misfits as they go on a paranormal, action-packed adventure.

  Today's Book Picks list comes from Aubrey Restifo of The Northshire Bookstore.

When We Collided by Emery Lord
The Haters by Jesse Andrews
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Scar Girl by Len Vlahos
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Ruta Sepetys - Salt to the Sea

Mar 21, 2016

At the end of World War II, the worst maritime accident in history took place off the coast of Germany. In the deliberate torpedoing of the ship Wilhelm Gustloff, nine-thousand people perished, leaving only one-thousand survivors - the ship was only built to carry less than 15-hundred passengers.

In her historical novel, Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys takes us to the end of the second world war, and brings us the stories of four refugees from Prussia, Poland, Lithuania and Germany as they flee their homes and families, and begin their long treks to freedom that only becomes more dangerous as they walk on.

Marie Rutkoski - The Winner's Crime

Jan 21, 2016

Marie Rutkoski enthralled readers with the first book in The Winner’s Trilogy, The Winner’s Curse, where she created a world of secrets and lies, juxtaposed with the backdrop of a luxurious upper class that takes delight in war games and the servitude of the lower class and slaves.

The second book in the series, The Winner’s Crime, took us to the palace of the Emperor – where a royal wedding was to take place, and right when the reader thought they knew what was coming, they realized they didn’t – enter cliffhanger. So, now the third book in the series, The Winner’s Kiss, will hit the shelves in March, and we thought we’d catch up with Rutkoski in anticipation of its release.

Rick Yancey - The 5th Wave

Jan 15, 2016

Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave isn’t your usual aliens take over the world, humans fight back, and the survivors come out being smarter, more vigilant, and all around better people than they started book. Instead it looks at how we change when we have to make life or death decisions, and what we’ll do to find our loved ones – even if it means sacrificing the ones who have helped keep us alive.

Andrea Cremer - The Conjurer's Riddle

Jan 6, 2016

In The Inventor’s Secret, Andrea Cremer reinvented history with her steampunk version of America, as if the British had won the Revolutionary War. The novel was dark and twisted, and the setting was an intriguing mix of the industrialized floating city of New York with the wilds of the city’s outskirts.

Marissa Meyer - Winter

Jan 4, 2016

It’s been four years since Marissa Meyer turned the fairytale world upside down with her dystopian sci-fi novel Cinder – the first of The Lunar Chronicles -  where a young girl who is part android, must outwit her evil step mother, help find the cure to a pandemic, and make sure her 'one & only' doesn’t marry the evil queen.

Marisa Reichardt - Underwater

Dec 30, 2015

Many novels have tried to capture the fear and desperation that someone feels when there’s a mass shooting, and they also explore why - because how on earth can we make any sort of sense in such a senseless act of violence. But Marisa Reichardt’s novel Underwater is different. She doesn’t ask why, and she doesn’t focus on the act itself, instead to looks at the aftermath – the emotional toll that it takes on the young survivors, and the people who love them. It’s a novel so moving you’ll be brought to tears, feel the panic tightening in your chest, and sigh in relieve as it passes.

Leigh Bardugo - Six of Crows

Dec 29, 2015

Leigh Bardugo captivated the world with The New York Times best selling Grisha Trilogy. In the series she expertly weaved magical folklore with the historical inspiration of Czarist Russia, as she led her characters on adventures that enthralled readers.

John Feinstein is an award-winning columnist and one of the nation's most successful and prolific sports authors. He has written over two dozen books to date including the bestsellers A Good Walk Spoiled and A Season On The Brink.

In addition to hosting a radio show on CBS Sports Radio, he writes for the Washington Post, and is a regular commentator on the Golf Channel.

'Love Letters To The Dead' By Ava Dellaira

Sep 30, 2015

Ava Dellaira's debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead tugs at our heart strings at all the right moments, as we read Laurel’s thoughts about her sister’s sudden death, and experience her struggle to find out who she is without her sister’s very big, and loving presence. It’s novel of loss, but it’s also a novel of secrets, the kind that need to be shared, so Laurel can move on.

Ali Benjamin - The Thing About Jellyfish

Sep 23, 2015

Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish, is delightfully witty and heartbreakingly tragic as 12 year old Suzy looks for reason why her best friend has died. Even though Suzy has taken a vow of silence in the outside world, her mind is racing as recalls her friendship with Franny, why they began to grow apart, and her obsession with jellyfish that might give her the answers she’s looking for.

Readers can meet Ali Benjamin, along with author Rebecca Stead at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck NY this Saturday, September 26th, at 2PM. 

Libba Bray - Lair of Dreams

Sep 2, 2015

Libba Bray’s The Diviners took the world by storm, and readers of all ages have been eagerly awaiting the second novel, Lair of Dreams. Well, they no longer have to wait, and boy was it worth it. Set in the 1920’s, it’s a world privilege and racism, glamor and immigrant ghettos, and people living in the shadows with special abilities. 

John Green - Paper Towns

Jul 22, 2015

For the last decade John Green’s novels have engrossed readers as he explore the human condition, and wasn’t afraid to expose the raw feelings that make us who we are, and how we’re connected to those around us. His last novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was an instant success, and was subsequently made into a movie, that also tugged at the heart strings of everyone who read and watched it.

Sarah Dessen - Saint Anything

Jun 15, 2015

  Sarah Dessen is the queen of YA lit. She’s the Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank of summer reads for teens - and it’s for good reason. Every single novel brings you into a world you want to be a part of, to root for love and friendship, and cry over broken hearts and family hardships. Her newest novel, Saint Anything, does just that and so much more.

Nova Ren Suma - The Walls Around Us

Apr 22, 2015

When Nova Ren Suma’s debut young adult novel Imaginary Girls landed on the shelves in 2011, the world didn’t know what hit them - all they knew was that they wanted more. And Nova Ren Suma has complied. She followed up with 17 & Gone (another grab you by the heart & run story), and now her newest novel, The Walls Around Us is out, and she’s outdone herself again. The novel’s words tumble off the pages and fill our souls with secrets, guilt, and a whirlwind of emotions as we learn the stories of the living and the dead.

In the new post-apocalyptic literary epic, The Country of Ice Cream Star, fifteen year old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off the detritus of a crumbled civilization. In this world, before reaching the age of twenty, everyone dies of a mysterious disease which has persisted for generations. When her brother begins to show symptoms of the disease, Ice Cream sets off on a journey for the cure.

Sandra Newman is the author of several novels and works of non-fiction.

  Novelist Lauren Oliver has made her mark in Young Adult literature with such book as Before I Fall, Panic and the Delirium Trilogy. Oliver is making her first foray into Adult fiction with Rooms, a tale of two ghosts trapped in the walls of an old house and the family whose home and lives overlap with their own.

Morgan Rhodes - Gathering Darkness

Dec 12, 2014
Photo by Shanon Fujioka

Two years ago Morgan Rhodes took the world by storm with first novel in her Falling Kingdoms series. Now the third book, Gathering Darkness, has hit the shelves, and Rhodes is not holding back any punches. The new novel has the kingdoms under the iron fist of the King of Blood, and a all of its characters out for vengeance,  as they make a mad dash for the mythical Kindred. But with everyone fighting each other, who can you trust?

Katherine Howe - Conversion

Oct 31, 2014

In Katherine Howe’s historical fiction novel, Conversion, she explores how the 'hysteria' behind the Salem Witch Trials, can happen to modern day teens.  It's an interesting look at how anxiety and stress can affect the ones we love, and how easy it is for parents to place blame as long as it can protect their kids.

Atia Abawi - The Secret Sky

Oct 21, 2014

Atia Abawi spent five years in Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent, and during that time she immersed herself in the culture and daily life, not only in Kabul, but in the small villages as well. Her debut novel, The Secret Sky, is based on her experiences with the people she met during her work there - and it’s a heart wrenchingly hopeful look at those left behind as the country is ravaged by war.

Rachel DeWoskin - Blind

Sep 26, 2014

In Rachel DeWoskin’s new novel Blind, our 15 year old narrator Emma, must learn how to maneuver through life after losing her sight in a freak accident. The reader is brought into Emma’s world, as she learns to hear colors and textures, read braille, and discovers that she is more than her eyes. The book is brutally honest, delightfully funny, and by the time you get to the last page you want more.

Jandy Nelson - I'll Give You the Sun

Sep 16, 2014

Jandy Nelson’s debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere reduced its readers to tears and captured their minds with its beautiful language. Since then, readers have been eagerly awaiting her new novel, I’ll Give You the Sun - and they won’t be disappointed; it’s just as stunning. 

Gayle Forman - If I Stay

Aug 20, 2014

For 17 year old Mia, life can’t be the same, as her spirit is hanging in limbo after her family’s car crashes, leaving her the only potential survivor. So begins Gale Forman's young adult novel If I Stay.  Throughout the novel, and now the movie being released this Friday (8/22), we’re brought into a world no one should ever have to face – to choose to live or die - and we follow Mia as she makes this hard decision while in a coma.


Kat Rosenfield - Inland

Aug 19, 2014

Have you ever felt the pull to a particular place? In Kat Rosenfield’s novel Inland, our main character Callie, and all the women in her family, feel an unexplained pull to the ocean. We also learn that the further from the coast she travels, the sicker she becomes. The book is part fantasy, but with a sound foundation of realism, and Rosefield weaves a tragically beautiful tale that keeps the reader coming back for more.

Emmy Laybourne - Monument 14: Savage Drift

Jul 11, 2014

Three years ago, Emmy Laybourne debuted her heart pounding trilogy Monument 14, where 14 kids and teens sought refuge in a Big Box store as the world outside was being ripped apart by violent storms, and a release of chemicals that targeted their blood types – making some blood thirsty killers, while rendering others sterile, or severely paranoid.

Sally Green - Half Bad

Apr 18, 2014

  There are few things in life that are completely black and white, and completely good and bad. In Sally Green’s new novel, Half Bad, our main character Nathan is beginning to understand this first hand. His life is driven by people who don’t believe in grey areas, and want to make sure he’s designated either good or bad.

Lauren Oliver - Panic

Apr 15, 2014

Lauren Oliver is a powerhouse in the literary world. She brought readers to their knees with her debut novel Before I Fall, left us with heart pounding cliffhangers in her Delirium trilogy, and enchanted people of all ages with her novel Liesl and Po. Now Oliver has done it again with her newest book, Panic - and this time she’s gone back to her more realistic roots.

Andrew Smith - Grasshopper Jungle

Mar 19, 2014

Andrew Smith has captivated readers with his YA novels In the Path of Falling Objects, The Marbury Lens and Passenger - and his newest book is no different. Grasshopper Jungle doesn’t hold back any punches; it’s brutally honest narrator clinically recounts the beginning of the end of the world, as he and his friends try to figure out their own feelings for each other, which part of their families’ pasts can be connected to the present, and what caused their little Iowan town to turn so horrifying, so quickly.

Katie Cotugno - How to Love

Feb 28, 2014

In Katie Cotugno’s novel How to Love, we’re told an unconventional love story, about what happens when the love of your life disappears , and how that love is transferred and transformed into a new kind for the daughter that you’re left with. Cotugno beautifully weaves between the past and present as we find out how a single teenage parent tries to claim back her life and voice.