15 Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of 2015
There’s a lot to look forward to seeing on the young adult bookshelves in 2015. Though 2014 seemed to be the Big Bang that YA needed, with film adaptations (like John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1′), think pieces on the genre galore and movements such as the We Need Diverse Books campaign, don’t expect the tidal wave to slow in the coming year.
In addition to the amazing releases we’ve rounded up below, there are many other exciting things to mention in the world of YA. John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ is getting a special 10-year anniversary release just in time for its upcoming film adaption. Andrew Smith’s ‘Winger’ series may continue this year with ‘Stand-Off.’ Also, R.L. Stine will continue his ‘Fear Street’ novels after reviving the series last year with ‘Don’t Stay Up Late.’ Jenny Han’s followup to ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ (which made our Best of 2014 List!) — titled ‘P.S. I Still Love You’ — will be released in June, and the third and final book in Erin Bowman’s ‘Taken’ series, ‘Forged,’ will be released in April. And that’s simply the tip of the iceberg.
Check out some of the most exciting releases of 2015 below!
‘I Was Here’ by Gayle Forman
Gayle Forman stormed the New York Times’ Young Adult Best Sellers List in 2014 with ‘If I Stay’ and the follow-up ‘Where She Went.’ Her biggest competitor on the list? John Green. Don’t forget, ‘If I Stay’ also hit the big screen in 2014, starring Chloe Grace Moretz.
Although Forman’s upcoming story leaves behind Mia and Adam, and instead delves into a new story with new characters, she still manages to evoke the same ideas of tragedy, loss, and recovery that we all love.
‘Saint Anything’ by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is a great guilty pleasure for me. ‘Saint Anything’ will be her twelfth novel, so it’s safe to assume I’m not alone in this.
The story follows Sydney, who is feeling lost following her brother’s drunk driving accident. Soon after, her family comes in contact with the pizza-parlour owning Chatham family and Mac, the boy who finally sees her.
‘Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story’ by David Levithan
This companion novel to David Levithan and John Green’s best seller ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’ brings the fabulous and energetic Tiny Cooper into the spotlight, telling his story complete with his many, many ex-boyfriends.
The bad news: It isn’t the joint effort of Green and Levithan that ‘Will Grayson, Will Grayson’ was. The uber good news: The novel is told through a musical script. Yes, seriously.
‘Golden Son’ by Pierce Brown
The second book in Pierce Brown’s ‘Red Rising’ series will continue Darrow’s journey of taking down his world’s Society from the inside.
The story picks up two years later, post-Academy chaos, as the stakes are raised even higher for Darrow’s secret underground rebel life. If there is anything to learn from reading series similar to this (we’re looking at you, ‘The Hunger Games’), the first book will hook you in, and the second almost always breaks your heart and destroys everything you think you know. We’re expecting these intense moments to strike in ‘Golden Son.’
‘All the Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven
‘All the Bright Places’ tells a story from the alternating points of view of Violet and Finch, a girl who can’t wait to start living and a boy who only thinks about death, who cross paths unexpectedly.
This bittersweet story is also being described as “‘The Fault in Our Stars’ meets ‘Eleanor and Park,'” citing two of last year’s most popular YA books. Yes, please!
‘The Wicked Will Rise’ by Danielle Paige
The sequel to last year’s best seller ‘Dorothy Must Die’ is coming in 2015, picking back up with the pink-haired Kansas native Amy Gumm who was tasked with killing evil Oz dictator Dorothy in the previous book.
No spoilers, but the first book in this series ended on a somewhat cliffhanger that will most likely continue as an issue for the rest of this book. Either way, if you read the first, it seems almost required to read the second at this point.
‘Pretending to Be Erica’ by Michelle Painchaud
Another exciting debut novel that made its way onto the list is ‘Pretending to Be Erica.’ Similar to ‘All the Bright Places,’ the main character is also named Violet. But that’s where the similarities end.
Violet and her con-man father have been plotting the biggest con ever for as long as she can remember: She’s going to impersonate the kidnapped heiress Erica, who’s been missing since age five. Violet has prepped her whole life, learning everything she can, even going to the lengths of changing her appearance so that she may “return” to the family as Erica and steal a prized painting.
‘None of the Above’ by I.W. Gregorio
Though it’s been slow coming, diversity is coming through in YA, and ‘None of the Above’ is the perfect example.
Similar to Bailey De Young’s groundbreaking role as the recently-revealed-to-be-intersex Lauren on the MTV series ‘Faking It,’ Kristin is homecoming queen and a champion hurdler who seems to have her whole life figured out when she learns that she’s intersex. Then, soon after, the entire school learns her secret as well. This novel is not only a great introduction to what it means to be intersex and be anatomically “other,” but it also appears to have a central character with plenty of depth who struggles with actual issues of identity. And what is a good YA book if it doesn’t explore identity issues?
‘Another Day’ by David Levithan
I know what you’re thinking. Another novel by Levithan? But really, this and ‘Hold Me Closer’ are so different from each other that I don’t even feel bad. Plus, he’s one of the biggest YA authors in the game, so don’t expect remorse on this one.
‘Another Day’ is the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Every Day,’ though I’m not sure if it can technically be considered “anticipated” since almost no one expected Levithan to continue A’s story. Although, in a way, he isn’t.
‘Another Day’ will take place from Rhiannon’s point of view — as opposed to the body-hopping A, a teen who appears in a new person’s body every single day, just trying to coast along until meeting Rhiannon makes that too difficult.
‘Shadow Scale’ by Rachel Hartman
This sequel to Hartman’s best selling debut from 2012, ‘Seraphina’ — remniscent of ‘Eragon‘ — follows Seraphina the half-human half-dragon in a new thrilling adventure as she struggles with being part-dragon and the conflict that has risen in the world she inhabits.
What’s most interesting about this book is how it takes something like dragons, which has been done a lot and isn’t necessarily that striking anymore, and makes them striking again.
‘My Heart and Other Black Holes’ by Jasmine Warga
This book, about two teens — Aysel and Roman — who meet on a website called Suicide Partners is causing quite a stir, and surprisingly not in a bad way.
As the two plan their suicide pact together, they find themselves growing so close together that Aysel begins to doubt her choice and wants to convince Roman to live as well. It almost seems like a bit of a reverse Romeo and Juliet thing that’s going on.
‘Terminal’ by Kathy and Brendan Reichs
The final installment in the ‘Virals’ series, which began in 2010, is written by mother and son team Kathy and Brendan Reichs. The story brings back Tory Brennan (neice to Temperance Brennan in ‘Bones,’ whose character was based on Kathy Reichs’ bestselling book series) and the Morris Island gang for one final adventure.
‘Playlist for the Dead’ by Michelle Falkoff
Similar to Jay Asher’s ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ and arguably a modern take on the idea, ‘Playlist for the Dead’ follows Sam after the death of best friend, Hayden, who leaves behind a playlist of songs to help Sam understand why Haden committed suicide. Although, best friend or not, he may not be able to solve it on his own.
‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas
Since her ‘Throne of Glass’ series blew up last year in a big way with the release of ‘Heir of Fire,’ it only makes sense for Maas to deliver a switch-up and give us something different, but not too different.
Her upcoming novel explores a new fantasy world with a story loosely based on the classic tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Cool, right?
‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard
As the first of a trilogy and Aveyard’s debut novel, ‘Red Queen’ is already beginning to turn heads.
It follows 17-year-old Mare Barrow, who lives in a world divided by Silver and Red. Despite being a Red, Mare finds herself in the palace of the Silver with a power that gives her quite the unusual advantage. We’re sick of everything being divided by colors, too, but this still sounds really good. Don’t judge a book by its use of colors.