Hey, SFWAns! As the award nominations deadline draws near, do you still have blank spaces on your Andre Norton ballot? Here are some last-minute recommendations for YA books you should check out.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Probably the YA book with the most hype in adult fandom this year. In a fantasy world drawing from ancient India, Mayavati is cursed with an ill-starred horoscope. Magic, monsters, romance, and plenty of gorgeous prose! A good pick for fans of Novik’s Uprooted.
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Cartography magic! Time travel twistiness! Family, identity, colonialism! Nix is a girl whose father wants to go back to 1868 Honolulu to prevent her mother’s death. Will she help him, even if doing so jeopardizes her own timeline?
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
When an asteroid impact devastates Europe, who is worth saving? Denise, an autistic teen, struggles to find her sister in the aftermath, and to earn places for herself and her family aboard the last generation ship leaving Earth.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
A ruthless human girl and a gentle-hearted monster boy are thrown together in a gritty, magical, near-future metropolis. Schwab combines a fast-paced plot with masterful worldbuilding and deep characters.
And I Darken by Kiersten White
An alternate history re-imagining of Vlad Dracul as a girl. If you’re a fan of Griffith’s Hild, this is a must-read! Some might argue it’s more historical than speculative, but it’s awesome either way and worthy of consideration.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Fans of Older’s Shadowshaper should check out this new take on brujas in Brooklyn. Alejandra’s family expects her to embrace her heritage as a powerful bruja–instead she casts a canto to get rid of her powers. But the spell backfires, and she must travel to the underworld to save her family.
The Reader by Traci Chee
In an illiterate fantasy world, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, guided by a book she’s only beginning to understand. Thieves, pirates, assassins! But also the power of the written word, making this a delightful read for fellow writers.
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Another timey-wimey book, this one set against the backdrop of a steampunkish 1870’s London. Danny is a mechanical prodigy who repairs not just clock towers but time itself. His loyalties are tested when he falls for the mysterious boy who claims to be his new apprentice.