YA is such a special genre! There’s so much diversity and creativity making it engaging for all ages. You don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy young adult books. Actually, here are some of my favorites to add to your reading list if you haven’t read them yet.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali is a muslim love story that takes place over Spring Break. Zayneb and Adam meet at the airport in Doha, Qatar during Spring Break. Zayneb is getting away from an incident of Islamaphobia at school in the US and Adam from the UK is dealing with the lost of his mother and a newly diagnosed medical condition.
I really enjoyed the authentic portaryal of navigating romatic relationships for Muslim teens in a way that aligns with our religion. Plus, Adam's little sister is adorable!
Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas has the perfect spooky vibes and queer romance with trans rep and a loveable ghost.Yadriel wishes he could be accepted as a brujo, but he's family still hasn't accepted his transition to a man. When Yadriel attempts to summon the ghost of his missing cousin who they believe to be dead to prove himself to his family, he brings forth Julian Diaz instead, a boy from Yadriel's school who doesn't remember how he died.
This was a great reading experience. It gave me insight into one aspect of Latine culture and brujaria, as well as the experience of being transgender in a traditional Latine family.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is an afro-centric fantasy adventure with amazing characters you'll love deeply. It follows a young woman, Tarisai who is bound by a magical wish made by her mother, who has been a mysterious figure for some of her life. She has the power to see people's life stories with a single touch. However, her mother has sinister plans for her and Tarisai has to decide whether or not she's going to find her own path.
This novel has everything we love in a good fantasy adventure. Amazing world building immediately sucks you into this new, magical world. Rich characters that you feel and root for. Exciting storyline that keeps you hooked from page one. I especially liked that the romance subplot isn't your traditional one--I won't give it away; you'll just have to read it!
Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi is the prequel to Pet and tells the story of a Black teenage girl (Jam's mom in Pet) living in a city troubled by constant protests and violence. Living in a group home, Bitter, at first, wants to stay away from the trouble to stay safe. She discovers the power in her art and realizes that perhaps remaining neutral might cause more harm than good
This novel had such sophisticated storytelling and powerful themes with dynamic and complex characters. It's a great novel for rich discussion and the characters embed themselves into your heart long after you've closed the back cover.
** You can find all four titles at https://bookshop.org/shop/TumasBooks
What are your favorite young adult novels? Tell me in the comments below!