These are the top ten best young adult novels I read in 2020!
Xiomara Batista no longer knows where she belongs. She wants to date, to write poetry, to do all the things her Mami believes are wrong. But is it really so wrong to want to kiss a boy? Is wrong to want your voice to be heard? A powerful novel-in-verse about one girl’s heartbreaking search for identity.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Ever since Cinderella found her prince 200 years ago, the girls of the kingdom have been forced to attend the king’s annual ball, where men select their brides like cattle. Sixteen-year-old Sophia, however, would rather marry her best friend Erin. So, on the night of the ball, she makes a desperate escape, and finds Cinderella’s last living descendant. Could it be that the fairy tale is all a lie? A dark, feminist retelling perfect for readers who like their fairy tales to have an edge.
Daughter of a famous alchemist, Thea Hope longs to create the legendary Philosopher’s Stone with her mother. But when her mother destroys the Stone in a fit of madness, Thea finds herself shipped off to England to live with the father she has never met. She believes making the Stone could cure her mother–but others want the Stone and its power, as well. A fast-paced historical fantasy sure to enthrall readers.
Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
Renata Convida is one of the Moria, a person with magical abilities, and her talent is one of the rarest of all. She is a Robari, a memory thief, and for years she was raised in the palace as the weapon of the king. She is the reason hundreds of Moria have died. Now, rescued by a rebel group of Moria known as the Whispers, Renata seeks to atone for her past by trying to depose the king. But, to do so, she will have to return to the palace, and make everyone believe that she can still be trusted.
Thirty years ago, the gods tore each other apart. Now scavengers search the deep for pieces of their bodies to sell for technology. When fifteen-year-old Hark finds a still beating heart of a long-dead deity, he uses it to heal his best friend Jelt. But Jelt starts to change. Can Hark prevent him from becoming a monster? A highly original work of fantasy that will ensnare readers in its magic.
Founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century businessman, Ellingham Academy in Vermont is one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country. It also has a dark past. Ellingham’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and murdered years ago by a culprit who signed their letter, “Truly, Devious.” But now Truly Devious seems to be back. Can new student Stevie Bell crack the case when one of her own classmates is murdered? An atmospheric boarding school mystery perfect for readers looking for a twisty plot line with a dash of historical fiction.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The second book in the Raven Cycle follows Blue, Gansey, Ronan, and Adam as they continue to investigate Cabeswater and look for the hidden king. It is a magical, complex book that will draw readers in from the start. Nothing else on the market seems quite like it.
Seventeen-year-old competitive diver Ingrid froze on the board. Suffering from a concussion, she’s staying home on the doctor’s orders. All she can remember from before her injury is noticing her neighbor and crush Van sitting on the sidelines with his girlfriend. But what really caused her to mess up? She’s kept awake at night wondering.
It turns out Van is experiencing insomnia, too. He can’t remember the details of a weird night in which he fought with his best friends and caused his girlfriend to get angry with him. But no one will tell him what really happened. Now Van and Ingrid are staying awake together, trying to piece together the truth. But what if they don’t really want to know?
The Four Nations have finally accepted Kyoshi as the Avatar, but a new threat is rising. The Fire Nation is undergoing political turmoil as rival factions fight for power–and a threat from the Spirit World is taking advantage of the chaos. Can Kyoshi maintain balance in the world? And will she lose herself in the process? A gripping follow-up to The Rise of Kyoshi, accessible even to readers who have not seen the show.
Left years ago by her father on an island of thieves, seventeen-year-old Fable has had to fend for herself. But she has a plan. She is going to work her way off the island, find her father, and reclaim what is hers. But the Narrows is a dangerous place, full of traders who will do anything to destroy their competition. Making it off the island will only be her first fight to survive.