Eight of the Best Young Adult Novels of November 2018

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Eight of the Best Young Adult Novels of November 2018

November is brimming with fantastic Young Adult books, from exciting sophomore novels (Rebecca Barrow’s This Is What It Feels Like) to highly-anticipated sequels (Julie C. Dao’s Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix). Start building that nest of pillows and snuggly blankets, because we predict that you’ll want to stay inside reading these books this winter.

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1. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: November 6th from Feiwel & Friends

Why You’ll Love It: From the author of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Archenemies is the latest installment in Meyer’s Renegades series. Set in a world of superheroes and supervillains, this thrilling saga is not to be missed!

For Fans of: Authors like Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

Description: Nova’s double life is about to get a lot more complicated. As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them most.

But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies and, unbeknownst to Nova, he has some dangerous secrets of his own. The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their city—and the world—as they know it.

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2. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Release Date: November 6th from Jimmy Patterson Books

Why You’ll Love It: How did we get this lucky, to have two Asian fantasy novels coming out on the same day? The latest book from the brilliant Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire is a shocking story full of incredible world-building. But oh, what a read! Don’t sleep on this one, especially since it’s the start of a fantastic series.

For Fans of: Authors like Victoria Schwab and Leigh Bardugo.

Description: Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel. But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after—the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable—she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

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3. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Release Date: November 6th from Philomel Books

Why You’ll Love It: Dao’s debut, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, was a gorgeous retelling of the Evil Queen legend with an East Asian fantasy twist. So it’s no surprise that we’ve been anxiously awaiting the second novel, which concludes this duology. Dao’s beautiful writing and imaginative storytelling will make you want to treat yourself and immediately buy both novels.

For Fans of: Danielle Paige’s Stealing Snow and Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn.

Description: Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress, and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right.

Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends and her empire?

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4. This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow

Release Date: November 6th from HarperTeen

Why You’ll Love It: Barrow’s debut, You Don’t Know Me But I Know You, was one of our favorites last year, and we’ve been waiting on her sophomore novel. A story about friendship, music and addiction, This Is What It Feels Like should be at the top of your reading list.

For Fans of: Authors like Ashley Woodfolk and Nic Stone.

Description: Who cares that the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is $15,000? Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Jules haven’t been in it. And because ever since Hanna left—well, there hasn’t been a band.

It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now—and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship.

But like the lyrics of a song you used to play on repeat, there’s no forgetting a best friend. And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge—to ignore the past, in order to jump start the future—will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.

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5. Four Three Two One by Courtney Stevens

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Release Date: November 13th from HarperTeen

Why You’ll Love It: Four Three Two One follows four teens who survived a bus bombing and reunite while wrestling with secrets and trauma. This promises to be a hard-hitting novel, which Stevens is brilliant at writing.

For Fans of: Authors who will break your heart and piece you back together again, like Jeff Zentner and Brandy Colbert.

Description: Golden “Go” Jennings wasn’t supposed to be on Bus 21 the day it blew up in New York City. Neither was her boyfriend, Chandler. But they were. And so was Rudy, a cute stranger whom Go shared a connection with the night before. And Caroline, a girl whose silence ended up costing 19 people their lives.

Though it’s been a year since the bombing, Go isn’t any closer to getting over what happened. Since Chan shuts down every time Go brings that day up, she decides to reach out to Rudy. Just like that, the two fall right back into their easy, deep connection. Facing the past head-on with Rudy has opened up a small window of healing Go never thought was possible. So she makes an impulsive decision: Round up the rest of the survivors and head to New York City. There they will board an art installation made of the charred remnants of Bus 21.

But things are never easy when it comes to rehashing the past. Uniting the four stirs up conflicting feelings of anger and forgiveness and shows them that, although they all survived, they may still need saving.

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6. Pulp by Robin Talley

Release Date: November 13th from Harlequin Teen

Why You’ll Love It: Jumping back and forth in time, Pulp is a moving story about one teen’s quest to connect with her favorite author and another teen’s passion for writing while living in a world that doesn’t want her. We promise that is will both break your heart and thrill you.

For Fans of: Authors like Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.

Description: In 1955, 18-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real.

Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject: classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.

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7. The Resolutions by Mia Garcia

Release Date: November 13th from Katherine Tegen Books

Why You’ll Love It: We love the premise behind this book, because it reminds us of Lauren Gibaldi’s YA contemporary novel The Night We Said Yes. Whenever a group of teens make a pact, you know hijinks are about to ensue. And in Garcia’s novel, it’s all about New Year’s resolutions characters make for each other.

For Fans of: Authors like Lauren Gibaldi and Amy Spalding.

Description: From hiking trips to four-person birthday parties to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan and Nora have always been inseparable—and unstoppable. But now, with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been splintering off and growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan.

Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them for each other—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, show your paintings, learn Spanish, say yes to everything.

But not even the best laid plans can take into account the uncertainties of life. As the year unfolds, Jess, Ryan, Nora and Lee each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.

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8. The Storyteller by Traci Chee

Release Date: November 13th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Why You’ll Love It: The third book in Chee’s brilliant Reader series, The Storyteller is set in an illiterate world. The first two books were just stunning, so we recommend binge-reading all three!

For Fans of: Fantasy authors like Jessica Cluess and Laini Taylor.

Description: Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard’s clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves.

But escaping the Guard and the Book’s prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart.