Excited for Caragh M. O’Brien’s latest? Not only are we featuring her on the site - but we’re giving away a copy of The Vault of Dreamers as well!

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

Giveaway open to those in the U.S. only. (Sorry, international friends!)


Here’s a selection of some of the new YA novels hitting the shelves this week (September 16 - 22). For more on new releases and all things YA lit, visit our website, follow us here and on Twitter, and subscribe to our biweekly newsletter!

Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: September 16th
After Rennie’s death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: September 16th
Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she’s not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite. Soon she’s faced with choices that she would never imagine making – between who she’s become and who she once was.

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) by Anna Carey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 16th
A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

Color Song (Passion Blue #2) by Victoria Strauss
Publisher: Skyscape
Release date: September 16th
Giulia can hear the mysterious singing of the colors. But when a dying Humilita bequeaths Giulia the secret formula for a paint called Passion blue Giulia realizes she’s in danger from those who have long coveted the famous color, and disguises herself as a boy to escape to Venice and find work as an artist.

Day 21 (The Hundred #2) by Kass Morgan
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 16th
Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) by Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 16th
All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body with a second soul—is not tolerated past childhood. Now Eva and Addie, her sister soul, are constantly on the move, hiding from the officials who seek to capture them. But the tide is changing.

Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release date: September 16th
When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it is possibly true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 16th
Two hours after Cate Benson’s sister Violet’s funeral, the family picked up Violet’s replacement. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced. She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

Get Even (Don’t Get Mad #1) by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: September 16th
Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common but they’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies. But when their latest target ends up dead with a “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize they’re not as anonymous as they thought.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Dial
Release date: September 16th
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, used to be incredibly close, but now they are barely speaking. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: September 16th
Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Jackaby by William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release date: September 16th
In 1892, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary—including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant.

Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release date: September 16th
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt. Ellen must decide if she has enough courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him, or hold all her secrets inside.

Made For You by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: September 16th
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her.

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: September 16th
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny.

Predator by Janice Gable Bashman
Publisher: Month9Books
Release date: September 16th
The hunt is on! Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.

Sway by Kat Spears
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: September 16th
Jesse Alderman, or “Sway,” as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. But when Ken Foster hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things.

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release date: September 16th
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school.

Steven Gould, author of Jumper and Exo, is currently on tour and will be at the following locations through September:

Sara Raasch will celebrate her debut novel Snow Like Ashes by touring the U.S. this October. Several author friends will be at her stops, including Kiersten White and Bree Despain.

Leigh Bardugo ( lbardugo ) will be touring in November to celebrate the success of Ruin and Rising. She will also be reading from her upcoming novel The Dregs, which takes place in the same Grisha world.

Which author(s) will you be visiting on tour?

"If I were stuck on a desert island with nothing to write on I’d tell myself stories in my head and scratch them out in the sand with a stick, even knowing the tide was going to wash them away. I can’t not write.”

Tracy Barrett is an author who defines the word “cool.” She speaks Italian, has degrees in Classics-Archaeology and Medieval Italian Literature, and skydives for fun. All this, and she still finds time to write popular retellings of fairytales and myths. Her latest YA novel, The Stepsister’s Tale, has received rave reviews, including starred reviews from both PW and Kirkus. The Stepsister’s Tale is the classic Cinderella story, but with a twist: instead of focusing on Cinderella, Barrett brings the often misunderstood stepsisters to life, offering their side of things for a change.

“I just didn’t buy Cinderella’s version of events—it sounded all too familiar! If a teenager with a new stepmother and stepsisters told me that she had to do all the work, and that her stepmother was mean and her stepsisters were ugly and bossy, I’d suspect that maybe there was another side to the story,” said Barrett.

Read more.

Barry Lyga decided to do something pretty cool: every last cent of proceeds from his new novella Blood Boy will be donated to the Hemophilia Association of New York (HANY) and the Adam Lynch Award.

In Lyga’s I Hunt Killers series, character Howie suffers from hemophilia.

“When I first created Howie, I didn’t know much about hemophilia. In the five years I’ve been writing him, I’ve been fortunate enough to hear from people in the hemophilia community, who tell me how much Howie means to them,” said Lyga in a blog post.

HANY was founded in 1952 and focuses on promoting awareness and education for people with hemophilia and other blood clotting disorders. The Adam Lynch Award is a scholarship dedicated to the memory of Adam Lynch and gives money to college bound hemophiliacs interested in arts and media.

Blood Boy is currently available on Kindle, Nook and Kobo. For more, visit Barry Lyga’s website or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.

Delilah Dawson wants to creep you out. Abandoned amusement parts, the haunting Southern gothic and dead best friends are just the tip of her iceberg in her new novel Servants of the Storm. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s all about place, about this certain dark, old languor we have in the South that you don’t see in other places. Something about the heavy heat, the humidity, the age, the particular outline of live oaks dripping with moss and tombstones gone crooked in perpetually moist soil. Everything feels swaybacked and a little dusty, and I just love that,” said Dawson, reminiscing on the southern Gothic subset of fantasy.

Read more.

Love her or hate her, today is Bella Swan’s birthday. The vampire-loving brunette has made waves in the YA world and canonically captured the heart of Edward Cullen.

Do you like her?

For more on all things YA lit, visit our website, follow us here and on Twitter, and subscribe to our biweekly newsletter!

On September 19th, Megan McCafferty will interview debut author Cammie McGovern on Ask! Authors! Anything!.

McGovern’s debut Say What You Will came out in June of this year and was chosen as one of People magazine’s Summer’s Best Picks books. Amy, a girl born with cerebral palsy, meets and becomes friends with Matthew, a boy living with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The live Q&A will happen at 2 p.m. on the Ask! Authors! Anything! YouTube channel. For more, visit the Ask! Authors! Anything! Tumblr.

…They are proof, actual proof, that the other person wants to kiss us. We are desirable. We desire.

-David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing


Two Boys Kissing is so important to me because it’s one of the first queer narratives (well okay there are several narratives in the book) that I could really really believe in. I don’t really think knowing the events of the book will “spoil” much for people, but I’ll try to make this as spoiler-free as possible anyway. 

I don’t know a lot of people who are so relentless in their pursuit of trying to understand love as David Levithan is. He explores as many facets of love as there are characters in his books, yet all of these characters and all of the ways they love are so relatable. And I think that’s his biggest achievement: he manages to make us relate to all kinds of love, all kinds of people. 

I haven’t read/watched as many queer narratives as I have straight ones, but David Levithan writes about queer experiences (in particular gay experiences) in a more honest and generous way than a lot of other authors/scriptwriters I know. He doesn’t dramatise it or sexualise it. And he shows that there isn’t one gay narrative. Typical straight narratives often have the kiss as the climactic point, but David Levithan fucks that up and makes the whole storyline a kiss. How are your heteronormative expectations of romance going to help you now? Gay relationships can be just as complex as—even more so than—straight relationships, because, surprise, in the end it’s still about people learning how to love each other. He gives you all the corny ass romcom clichés. Some lines and scenes in the book give me secondhand embarrassment but in the best way possible. He also gives you a lot of heavy stuff, so heavy that sometimes I needed to put the book down and take a break. There is more to the fight for LGBTQ+ rights than equal marriage. There is illness and homelessness and violence. But all of it is real. All of it is very, very real and he makes sure you know this. 

Another thing I really enjoyed about Two Boys Kissing and that made it stand out from most books I’ve read is that it is aware that we are living in a digital age, and it’s aware that it’s changing how we view reality, love, and ourselves. In a lot of other books, the characters seem to live in this alternate universe where they only pick up a phone to call/text someone or they only get on the Internet to look something up, like, wtf. They seem completely detached from the technology they use. In Two Boys Kissing, characters tumble out of bed and go straight to their computer. They think of getting their phone before they think of getting food. They talk to ten strangers at once and don’t talk to their parents at all. The impact of the widespread use of technology isn’t the central theme to the book, but I think it’s so important that people recognise the impact at all, especially on young people, and that they portray it in an honest way. David Levithan does this and he’s probably the only YA writer I know who does.

He expresses so much hope and love for the future generation and it reminds me all over again what the point of YA fiction is. The future is so important, young people are so important. It is so important that we show young people that we believe in them and that we know they have the ability to be better than us. David Levithan does this. He’s not condescending and his narrators aren’t condescending. At a heartbreaking point in the book when a character seems on the edge of despair and wonders what the point of anything is, the narrators tell us, “We could tell him, but he has to figure it out for himself.” There is no easy break for anyone. There is no deus ex machina. He does not lead you to expect the unexpected, because he knows life isn’t easy. But he makes you continue hoping (and hoping is I think different from expecting the unexpected) because you love these people. 

Of course this is a book that predominantly features white men. I could wish that David Levithan didn’t make that “white girl” reference seeing that most of his characters are white guys anyway and that there was some kind of recognition for non-US people (including women!) who died of AIDS. But it is so passionate about the story of queer young men in America, and it is so relatable, so I think I’ll let it slide. I still love this book and I still think everyone should read it. 

I am so happy that a book like this exists on YA bookshelves. I aspire to have the same relentless hope and generosity and love David Levithan has for young people. Please go read it right now. Thank you. The end.