From great turmoil comes great writing. 2018 is going to be living proof of that. Some legendary YA is about to enter the world this year, and I’ve been dying to celebrate the YA book babies of some of the people I’ve connected with at one point or another during my writing journey. So here it goes. 2018’s WHO TO READ LIST by a very biased reviewer with acutely impeccable taste in YA literature. That’s me.
Dear Rachel Maddow
by Adrienne Kisner
coming June 5th
This emotion-packed YA by my writing group buddy and literary phenom Adrienne Kisner features a troubled teen named Brynn Harper who idolizes Rachel Maddow and drafts emails to her as an outlet when everything around her seems to be falling apart. Brynn’s correspondences help her find her voice and stand up to the people in her life that want to shame her rather than see her potential as a leader.
Tyler Johnson Was Here
by Jay Coles
coming March 20th
Oh man, this one. First, can we just talk about this cover? This YA by Jay Coles, a talented writer who signed and went out on submission with Dystel Gooderich & Bourret at about the same time I did, is a stunning and relevant piece about a boy named Tyler whose brother goes missing after a police raid on a party they attended. Tyler learns through a series of events that his brother was shot by police, and watches his mother unravel as he mourns. It’s a book about the real meaning of freedom and justice, and you need to read it.
Darius the Great is Not Okay
Cover art coming soon.
Coming fall 2018
I’m thrilled about this one. I was connected with Adib through my good friend Rena Olsen author of THE GIRL BEFORE and WITH YOU ALWAYS coming in August, and through Midwest Writers Workshop, a great yearly conference held in Munci, Indiana. I fell in love with the main character the minute I read the description on Adib’s twitter feed. DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY is about a 15-year-old, “tea-obsessed, clinically depressed, half-Iranian, Star Trek nerd whose sense of self is transformed after his first trip to Iran.” You had me at tea-obsessed. You had me at tea-obsessed. I CANNOT wait to get my hands on this one.
A Touch of Gold
Book by Annie Sullivan
Coming August 14
Annie is another Twitter acquaintance turned IRL acquaintance thanks to Midwest Writers. And she is as sparkling in person as the cover of her debut. A TOUCH OF GOLD, is the little-known tale of the daughter King Midas turned to gold. If you’re a sucker for retellings like CINDER and THE WRATH OF DAWN, A TOUCH OF GOLD is going to make you so, so, so happy.
The Deepest Roots
Cover art coming soon
Twitter is a magical place where you can meet the people that share your dreams. Miranda is one of those people, and I was SO thrilled when she announced her book deal for THE DEEPEST ROOTS. This book sounds so deliciously creepy! It’s about Cottonwood Hollow where girls have been born with various special abilities for the past century and three girls with similar abilities who discover that the truth behind Cottonwood Hollow has been under their feet the whole time.
There you have it friends: my YA list, for now. I’m so excited to celebrate these authors. I know they have put pieces of their soul into these works. I understand the passion felt for these projects. And it brings me such joy to watch their journeys unfold.