YA Books That Made My Year (even if they didn’t come out in 2018, although a bunch of ’em did)

You know that feeling when you finish a book and you loved it so much that it almost makes you sad it’s over and you basically want to turn back to page 1 and read it again IMMEDIATELY? Yeah, me too. I’ve read some seriously epic books this year, but here are just a few of my absolute favorites:

The Hate U Give

  I mean, obviously this is one of my favorite books this year. Who didn’t love this book? Starr is such a compelling character, faced with so much heartache and life-altering decisions. Thomas does a fantastic job of bringing the reader into the situation, and makes it easy for us to love the characters. It was impossible not to root for Starr from the very beginning, but as things started to escalate, I literally could not put the book down. This book is not only well written, but so important. Captivating and eye opening. (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m dying to!)




Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Truly blown away by Jeff Zentner’s beautiful writing. The story pulls you in from the very first page, and only gets better as the story unfolds and you get to know the characters. My heart truly broke for Carver Briggs.




This page-turner is all about love, acceptance and friendship, and is a great companion for Dumplin’ (which is out on Netflix in a couple of weeks — yay!).





Monday’s Not Coming

Could not put it down. Tiffany Jackson has written an incredibly haunting, delicate and painful book with Monday’s Not Coming. I’ll admit that the change in tense and time was a bit confusing for me at times, but I was so captivated by the characters and desperate to find out what was happening in this incredible story, narrated by Claudia, probably one of my favorite YA voices ever.





Dear Martin

If you loved The Hate U Give and you want to keep reading along the same lines, DEFINITELY read Nic Stone’s novel, Dear Martin. It’s a quick read, but really packs a punch. Ugh, just thinking about the ending is making my heart hurt all over again. Martin is a beautiful and thoughtful character, and his story is heartbreaking.



Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda & The Upside of Unrequited

Becky Albertalli writes the best teen characters! I know Simon is not a new book, but I procrastinated and then devoured it! I had so much fun — not just watching this story unfold, but getting to know Simon and his little quirks and observations. So much angst! So many laughs! And the love story IS AMAZING. Sweet and perfect. So, of course, then I had to read more Becky Albertalli. The Upside of Unrequited may not be as perfect as Simon, but it is just as adorable, full of love and fun (and real) characters, and Albertalli’s signature way of making you wish they were your besties.


The Beauty That Remains

Ashley Woodfolk, I bow down to you! This book was beautiful. So poetic and stunning. My heart broke for the characters. I loved all 3 points of view, how each character speaks to the deceased. I loved watching them feel stuck, move forward, process their loss, their pain, watching them try to heal. Man, that was a sad book. But the writing was so on point and achingly beautiful that I never took a break from it.



Emergency Contact

I’ll admit these were some strange characters, and it took a while for them to grow on me. Ultimately, that was what was so great about them. They were a breath of fresh air, something you didn’t know you needed and then found yourself rooting for anyway.