The last two months of 2016 are crawling into view and as the end of the year dawns upon us we’re taking a look back at some of the amazing YA titles we’ve had through our doors this year. From The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters to The Romantics by Leah Konen, 2016 has been a bumper year for A&CB YA.
Have you missed any? Here is a round-up of our favourite 2016 titles; ready for your Christmas Wishlist!
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
‘The book is a timely reminder that political equality of is hard fought for and hard fought against…’ – SFX Magazine
“With great imagination, an interesting twist, historical photographs, and a fresh voice, Cat Winters is a true talent to be celebrated. Whatever this author writes, I want!” – Kate Ormand
It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotise the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—those “afflicted” with the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, she realises how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn. An ideal next read for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners.
The Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
“Devil and the Bluebird is smart, quirky, beautifully written and full of wisdom.” Rhino Reads
“Soothing and lyrical, this might be the most optimistic book you’ll read this year.” SFX Magazine
Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass. Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself up to finding family in unexpected places. In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a captivating depiction of loss and hope.
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
“One Thing Stolen is a really beautiful and poignant book, with a great look at a rare neurological disorder. I loved it.” Once Upon a Bookcase Blog
Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she’s become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether?
Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is also a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.
The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch
The only thing sixteen-year-old Amelia Anderson loves more than movies is her older brother, Toby, a larger-than-life force, as popular with the cheerleaders as with the stoners. Amelia, on the other hand, is addicted to Netflix and afraid to drive. But she doesn’t mind. She’s happy playing the sidekick in the movie version of Toby’s life. But when a devastating event takes Toby out of the picture, Amelia’s left without a star. Ready or not, she has to step into her own spotlight. It’s time to get out of her head, get off of Netflix, and get behind the camera—and the wheel.
This whip-smart, heart-wrenching debut YA novel about first love, first loss, and filmmaking will delight fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven.
On The Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
“One of the best apocalyptic thrillers, and certainly one of the most character centred, in years.” Starburst Magazine
“Utterly superb” SFX magazine
“Read this book. Please. Because it’s brilliant, *and* you might learn something in the process.” Jax Blunt, Liveotherwise
A thrilling, thought-provoking novel from one of young-adult literature’s boldest new talents. January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time. A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter—a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister? When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
This is the Story of You by Beth Kephard
On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on-to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future. Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee & Susan McCleelland
“Lee’s story is beautiful, even though it’s hard-hitting and eye-opening.” - The Whispering of the Pages
“It’s a visceral and breathtaking account of hardship, injustice, violence, hunger and raw survival so extreme that readers in the UK (especially those already familiar with the dystopian landscapes imagined by James Dashner, Michael Grant et al) might find it barely credible … ultimately, this is not so much a story about suffering, as one that underlines the importance of hope, love, friendship and family for all of us as human beings.” - Teach Secondary
Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who was forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly recreates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, “his brothers,” to daily be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.
The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
“Cat is a master in creating strong heroines and Hanalee is no exception.” – The Daily Prophecy
“It was a beautiful book. With a beautiful story. I couldn’t have loved it more than I did. The Steep and Thorny Way is one of a kind.” – Carina Olsen
A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten. 1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather. The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow: A Novel of the Brontës by Lena Coakley
“This fantastic novel looks at the isolated lives of the Brontë children, cleverly combining fact with fiction. Each chapter is told from an alternate point of view, allowing insight into each character’s driving force, as well as exploring the creative beginnings of their literary masterpieces. It is a fascinating and heart-breaking read.” BookTrust
Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, transporting them into the glittering world of Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. As they grow older, the children realise that not only are they imagining these glorious places, they are also truly crossing over, as both inhabitants and creators. When one imagined character, the Earl of Northangerland, follows Emily back home, Emily becomes caught up in a tortured romance with him, and it is only when Anne disappears that Charlotte realises she and her siblings must get to the bottom of their abilities in order to save Anne and possibly themselves. Gorgeously written and meticulously researched, Worlds of Ink and Shadow brings to life the upbringing of one of history’s most celebrated literary families.
The Romantics by Leah Konen
Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.
“Seven Ways We Lie is a superb contemporary YA read, touching upon many different issues facing young people today and with a diverse cast of characters. It’s clever, gripping and hugely relatable, making it not only fun novel for today’s teens but also a very important one.” – Page to Stage Reviews
“I love the way their stories intertwined” – Snuggling on the Sofa, Blog
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view. The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper—obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend—is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can’t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.
Then rumors of a student–teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations—or be ruined by them.
Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humor, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.
What is your favourite A&CB YA from 2016? Vote for yours @ACBYA #ACBfavs.