10 Best Young Adult Books Coming Out in May 2015
From Disney villain high school dramas to nerdy cross-country road trip adventures, May is simply bursting at the seams with amazing YA reads hitting the shelves that you won't want to miss.
Some of the biggest authors in the YA game, including Sarah Dessen and Sarah J. Maas, have chosen this month to publish new work, along with plenty of worthy debut authors as well.
In fact, there were just too many great books to choose from this time around. So, in addition to the list below, here are a few honorable mentions that nearly made the cut:
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh (May 12) A Thousand and One Nights retelling with a ton of buzz.
- P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (May 26) The first in this series made last year's 10 Best Young Adult Books Of 2014 list.
- Vanished by E.E. Cooper (May 12) This one originally made our 10 Best New YA Books That Explore Sexuality list.
And now, check out 10 of this month’s most exciting YA book releases below.
Carrie Ryan, known for The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, has given us a completely different, captivating world with Daughter of Deep Silence. Frances Mace lost her parents, her friend Libby and almost her own life as well when a brutal attack took out an entire cruise ship of people leaving only herself, Senator Wells and his son, Grey. The two survivors are lying about what (or rather who) took out the ship. The sharp thriller is a reminder that vengeance doesn't always equal fulfillment, and love can't be crushed as easily as we think. The protagonist exudes strength and yet, Ryan isn't afraid to shine a light on her weaknesses as well, giving us a commendable combo for a leading lady.
A prequel to the upcoming Disney Channel movie Descendants, this one's a must for hardcore Disney fans. All the great villains that have plagued Disney — Maleficent, Jafar, Cruella De Vil, Evil Queen and even Captain Hook — have been exiled to an island where magic is impossible and the coffee tastes like mud. The children of these Big Bads go on a journey seeking a treasure that would bring true darkness to their home, but along the way, they might find a little light too. The interactions in this warped high school environment will make you root for the bad guys...in the best way possible.
Technically, this is the fourth novel in Cass' Selection series, but really, it can be read as a standalone that anyone can pick up and start with if they so choose. (I sure did!) The Heir picks up with America and Prince Maxon's children — okay, that plot point is ruined, but really, did you expect anything different from the title? — particularly their heir Princess Eadlyn, a bright but headstrong girl who struggles with opening up to others. Suddenly, she has to open up quickly: to her parents, her siblings, her country and to the 35 suitors invited for her own Selection that she doesn't even want. Get ready to squeal along with all the adorably romantic moments, and go white-knuckled over the devastating twists.
This superb release originally made our 15 Most Anticipated Young Adult Books of 2015 list. It's Dessen's 12th novel, and clearly, she isn't slowing down from here. The story follows Sydney, a sister who has always been in her big brother's shadow, until he trades in his popularity for illegal activities and lands himself inside a court room for drunk driving. This mature read is some of Dessen's most impressive work yet and explores both the realities of a difficult home life, as well as fitting in with a family that isn't even your own.
This one also made our 15 Most Anticipated of 2015 list, and is Sarah J. Maas' first deviation from her Throne of Glass series, which has positioned her as one of YA's top authors This new series is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast (a tale that 2015 can't seem to shake), and follows a nineteen-year-old huntress in a magical land named Feyre who is kidnapped, leading to a grand, fantastical romance that'll have you begging for the next installment.
The ending to Ee's fiery Penryn & the End of Days trilogy begins with Penryn and Raffe post-escape from the Angels, running in desperate need of a doctor. As with all third books in a post-apocalyptic series, expect war (in this case a civil war brought on by the Angels to extinguish mankind), shifting allegiances and plenty of other massive resolutions to — fingers crossed! — tie up everything Ee has set up for the conclusion of this major series.
Prepare for a nerdy read with a heartwarming center: Ana and Zak, a Type A winner and a slacker, pair up to search for Ana's brother when he ditches a school trip to hang out at Washingcon. Along the way, you'll get swoon-worthy romance in an environment that breaks the norm of the usual YA love story, and will have you dreaming up a romantic fantasy at the preferred Con of your own.
Speaking of nerdy YA, this one's getting down with its dorky side too, as well as feeding into the Missing BFF mystery theme that's been cropping up in YA lit lately. Libby (Yes, another Libby!) and May created a webcomic based around their perfect superhero: the sword-wielding Princess X. But when Libby dies in a car accident, their purple-haired hero is soon forgotten. That is, until May starts seeing drawings of Princess X plastered all over her Seattle town and thinks that her best friend may not be gone after all. This YA debut from a seasoned science-fiction author is definitely going to be a home run for the genre this month.
Zappia made our 15 Authors to Watch in 2015 list earlier this year for this exciting debut about mental illness. The novel's main character, Alex, is a totally unreliable narrator due to her inability to distinguish real from the unreal. For help, she's got a Magic 8 ball and her little sister as she struggles with her own sanity during her senior year of high school — a year that's already plenty difficult to deal with on its own. If unreliable narrators aren't your thing, scroll away. However, if they are, this is one of the most thoughtful examinations of schizophrenia this year.
Bookish people, rejoice! This final selection supplies a main character who also happens to be a total bookie in sixteen-year-old Eva, a girl lost in love and romance novels. (She's already devoured 118 of them.) When she does finally fall in love, the boy of her dreams moves to California without any notice. As a grand romantic gesture, Eva decides to go after him, traveling across the country with her best friend Annie in a road trip tale that'll give you all the friendship and love (and kissing!) your summer needs.