Book Recommendations

As a voracious reader, especially of teen/YA literature, I have many favorites to recommend! 💜 The linked lists constitute all the books I’ve enjoyed most within the past five years. For each entry, I’ve listed the title, author, genre, and any central marginalized representation.

(Some entries have been removed due to the hurtful behavior of the respective authors.)

2021 New Additions

OCTOBER 2021: The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke: teen paranormal fantasy series starter, lesbian main character, Asian-American bisexual central character, Black sapphic love interest

OCTOBER 2021: The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto: teen thriller standalone, Singaporean-American main character

OCTOBER 2021: The Cage by Megan Shepherd: teen sci-fi thriller series starter, characters of various racial backgrounds

OCTOBER 2021: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski: teen romantic fantasy series starter, lesbian non-white main character, sapphic romance

SEPTEMBER 2021: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger: teen contemporary fantasy standalone, asexual Lipan Apache main character

SEPTEMBER 2021: Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri: teen autobiography standalone, Iranian-American main character

SEPTEMBER 2021: The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden: adult historical fantasy trilogy, set in Russia

SEPTEMBER 2021: The Folk of the Air by Holly Black: teen dark fantasy trilogy

SEPTEMBER 2021: When All the Girls Are Sleeping by Emily Arsenault: teen mystery horror standalone

AUGUST 2021: The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore: teen magical realism standalone inspired by “The Snow Queen,” pansexual Latina main character

AUGUST 2021: Everless by Sara Holland: teen fantasy duology

AUGUST 2021: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: adult fantastical horror series starter, main character with mixed ethnic heritage

AUGUST 2021: Divided Fire by Jennifer San Filippo: teen fantasy standalone, sickly main character who speaks in sign language

AUGUST 2021: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross: teen fantasy duology

AUGUST 2021: The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur: teen historical thriller standalone, set in Joseon Korea, Korean characters

AUGUST 2021: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa: teen fantasy trilogy inspired by Japanese mythology, non-white characters, achillean romance

AUGUST 2021: Xenogenesis by Octavia Butler: teen post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy, Black main characters

AUGUST 2021: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: teen dark epic fantasy quartet, bisexual central character

JULY 2021: Dear Martin by Nic Stone: teen contemporary duology, Black characters

JULY 2021: Dark Caravan Cycle by Heather Demetrios: teen contemporary fantasy trilogy, Middle Eastern characters

JULY 2021: Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal: teen dark fantasy series starter, pansexual main character, central characters with various gender identities

JULY 2021: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland: teen fantastical horror standalone, bisexual main character, lesbian central character, central Asian-American character

JULY 2021: Cursebreakers by Brigid Kemmerer: teen romantic fantasy trilogy inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” main character with cerebral palsy

JULY 2021: Light It Up by Kekla Magoon: teen contemporary standalone, Black disabled main character, Black characters

JULY 2021: Grey Land by Peadar O Guilin: teen fantastical horror duology, set in Ireland, post-polio disabled main character, central characters with various disfigurements

JUNE 2021: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi: children’s contemporary fantasy series starter inspired by Hindu mythology, Indian-American characters

JUNE 2021: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: adult apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy series starter, Black main character, various diverse central characters

JUNE 2021: Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson: teen fantasy standalone inspired by The Phantom of the Opera, main character with facial disfigurement

JUNE 2021: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: teen thriller series starter, main character with anxiety

JUNE 2021: The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman: teen science fiction/fantasy series starter, Asian-American main character

JUNE 2021: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley: teen thriller standalone, Ojibwe characters, mixed-race Ojibwe main character, mixed-race Cherokee love interest

MAY 2021: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker: adult historical fantasy standalone, set partially in Poland and Syria, Jewish main character, Syrian main character

MAY 2021: The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos: teen dark contemporary standalone, neurodivergent mentally ill Afro-Latina main character, other neuroatypical characters of color

MAY 2021: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud: children’s fantastical horror series starter

MAY 2021: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He: teen apocalyptic science fiction standalone, Asian-heritage main character, neurodivergent Asian-heritage main character

MAY 2021: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: teen historical fantasy series starter inspired by Romeo and Juliet, set in China, Chinese main character

MAY 2021: Slay by Brittney Morris: teen contemporary standalone, Black characters

APRIL 2021: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown: teen fantasy series starter inspired by West African folklore, Black characters, main character with anxiety, main character with migraines

APRIL 2021: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: teen contemporary standalone, Black bisexual main character with anxiety, central character with sickle cell disease, sapphic romance

APRIL 2021: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn: teen fantasy series starter inspired by Arthurian legend, Black main character with grief disorder

APRIL 2021: The Art of Saving the World by Corinne Duyvis: teen science fiction/fantasy standalone, biromantic asexual main character with anxiety, central characters with endometriosis

MARCH 2021: One Way or Another by Kara McDowell: teen contemporary romance standalone, main character with anxiety

MARCH 2021: Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall: teen fantastical horror standalone, bisexual main character, sapphic romance

MARCH 2021: Girl on the Line by Faith Gardner: teen contemporary standalone, bipolar bisexual main character, sapphic romance

FEBRUARY 2021: Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry: teen contemporary standalone, bisexual Mormon main character with anxiety

JANUARY 2021: Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez: teen fantasy standalone inspired by Bolivia, non-white characters

JANUARY 2021: Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera: teen romantic fantasy standalone inspired by “Orpheus and Eurydice,” Afro-Latine characters, main character with traumatic symptoms