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13 young adult must-reads for this summer


Some of the best things in life are unrequired — summer reading, for instance. Here are a baker’s dozen suggestions for the long, lazy days and evenings ahead.

“The One Memory of Flora Banks,’’ Emily Barr (Philomel)

In this suspenseful YA debut, 17-year-old Flora Banks uncovers the true cause of her lack of short-term memory when she follows her first love to the Norwegian Arctic.

“The Whole Thing Together,’’ Ann Brashares (Delacorte)

From the author of the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series comes a new summer story about a divided family and a treasured Long Island beach house full of bittersweet memories, heartaches, and secrets.


“Caraval,’’ Stephanie Garber


Scarlett has long dreamed of seeing the infamous Caraval — a once-a-year, participatory performance — but when she and her younger sister finally get to attend the enchanted circus she finds herself caught in a high-stakes game of magic and manipulation. An addictive, dizzying fantasy.

“Be True to Me,’’ Adele Griffin


Wealthy Jean Custis and interloper Fritz O’Neill’s competition for the heart of newcomer Gil Burke and the 1976 Fire Island Junior Girls Singles Championship has tragic consequences.

“A Good Idea,’’ Cristina Moracho


Finley returns to the coastal Maine town where she grew up dead set on getting justice for her friend Betty’s murder — no matter what risks she has to take.

“Beck,’’ Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff (Candlewick)

Started by master storyteller Peet and finished posthumously by his friend Rosoff, this novel is about the hero’s journey of Beck, the orphaned child of a Liverpool prostitute and an African soldier, who hopes to find love despite the world’s indifference and abuses. An epic story set in the 1920s and ’30s for erudite, mature readers.

“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life,’’ Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Clarion)

This new work from the author of “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” centers on Sal, an adopted Mexican-American teen who struggles to reconcile his new tendency toward violent rages and the “good kid” he used to be.


“Scythe,’’ Neal Shusterman (Simon and Schuster)

“Humanity is innocent; humanity is guilty, and both states are undeniably true.” Shusterman’s 2017 Printz Honor book is set in a future where disease, war, and mortality itself have been eradicated, and “scythes” are charged with “gleaning” to control the population.

“Strange the Dreamer,’’ Laini Taylor (Little, Brown)

Taylor’s haunting new fantasy is a beautifully-crafted story about an imaginative librarian called Lazlo Strange, a half-god named Sarai, and the mythical lost city of Weep.

“The Hate U Give,’’ Angie Thomas (Balzer and Bray)

After she witnesses her childhood friend Khalil being fatally shot by a white police officer, 16-year-old Starr Carter is forced to make life-changing decisions that will upend her world. A wrenching exploration of race, violence, and loss.

“The Pearl Thief,’’ Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion)

Readers who loved Wein’s World War II spy drama, “Code Name Verity,” need to get their hands on this prequel, in which 15-year-old Lady Julia Beaufort-Stuart must unmask a thief to save her new friends.

“Spill Zone’’ by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland (First Second)

Artist Addison Merritt ventures into an apocalyptic wasteland to take photos of its horrors for a “collector” with dubious motives. This gripping graphic novel is the first in a series.

“The Sun Is Also a Star,’’ Nicola Yoon (Delacorte)


In Yoon’s romantic yet realistic sophomore novel, New York City teen Daniel has only a few hours to convince level-headed Natasha that their meetings are more than coincidence before she and her family are deported to Jamaica. A National Book Award finalist from the author of “Everything, Everything.”

Chelsey Philpot is the author of “Be Good Be Real Be Crazy” and “Even in Paradise.”