Nominees are the top titles of 2018 as chosen by teen book groups. Voting for the the top ten will open in August.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook. When she discovers slam poetry, it becomes a way to help her understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Zelie Adebola is a diviner, daughter of a powerful Maji. But magic died after the treacherous King Saran found out how to destroy it and killed every Maji in Orisha, including her mother. Now Zelie must fight through pain and hardship to get magic back for the sake of her people and Orisha itself.
Speak : The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll
Melinda has a terrible secret; she was raped at a party during the summer by a high school senior. When she starts high school in the fall, she is shunned by her classmates because she called the police to the party at which she was attacked. This graphic novel describes her imminent struggle to overcome the shame of being a victim and an outcast.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
A human raised in the world of faeries, 17-year-old Jude does whatever is necessary to rise to the top, even if it means going against her own values. As she cuts her path into the dangerous world of Faerie court, she also must make choices concerning not only her family, but also her heart .
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost after her friend, Hannah, accuses Owen, Mara’s twin, of rape. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie (Mara’s ex) navigate this terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her past and decide where and if Charlie fits in to her future.
The Unwanted : Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown
The Unwanted illustrates the refugee crisis in its beginning and its ongoing course of misery, bombings, and death that leave the refugees in constant fear. It explores the stories of refugees just searching for hope and a future, not only for themselves but for their children.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
17-year-old Taiwanese Mei is excited to finally be enjoying college life at MIT. What’s less exciting, though, is the family pressure to become a doctor despite being a major germaphobe with a passion for dancing rather than anything medical. Things don’t get any less complicated when Mei develops a forbidden crush on her Japanese classmate, Darren. Connecting with Darren against her parents’ wishes, Mei begins to realize her own individual cultural identity.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Lira is a siren who must kill princes and take their hearts to prove her brutality to her mother,the Sea Queen. When Lira disobeys her, the only way for her to redeem herself is to kill The Siren-Killer, Prince Elian. With Lira transformed into a human and powerless,they journey together to find the Crystal of Keto. Lira wants to use the crystal to defeat her mother and bring peace between sirens and humans, but Elian wants to use it to destroy all sirens. Will their love for each other compel them to a different ending?
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Camille Beauregard is a talented belle, working to become the queen’s favorite since she was born. When the queen asks her to do something that goes against all the rules she’s been taught her whole life, Camille must decide on the kind of person she wants to be .
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Enne Salta is a proper lady trained in dancing and etiquette. When her mother Lourdes disappears, Enne sets out to find her in New Reynes, the City of Sin, to find her,but is soon trapped in snares and plans set by the city’s mafia families. As Enne is forced to play a dangerous game, she reconciles newfound secrets of her past and new decisions influencing her future.
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
When Danny Cheng receives a scholarship from RISD, the school of his dreams, it seems as if his future is secured. This changes suddenly when he discovers a box in his father’s closet filled with information on a well-known Silicon Valley family. Danny begins to dig deeper into his family and the secrets his parents are hiding from him, while at the same time struggling with his friendships and the fast-approaching future.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
April May and her best friend Andy have fame thrust upon them after their video of a strange statue in New York goes viral. As the world discovers that there is far more to the statues than people initially suspected, April finds herself becoming the primary source of authority concerning the statues. At the heart of a viral marketing campaign and with her fame growing, April risks losing her relationships, her security, and her own identity.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Huthinson
16-year old Elena discovers that she has the ability to save people, but in the process, raptures others in a golden light. Now, the voices Elena has been hearing since she was little are telling her it’s the end of the world, and the people disappearing in a golden light are being saved. Elena must make the difficult choice whether to condemn humanity, or “save the world” like the voices are telling her to do.
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Darius doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere, not at home and definitely not at school. When his family decides to take a trip to Iran to visit his mom’s family, Darius is certain things will be even worse there than at home. Lonely and depressed, Darius feels utterly lost, until Sohrab shows up and changes everything.
Batman : Nightwalker by Marie Lu
Bruce Wayne is about to inherit his parents’ fortune and their company,but first must do community service and ends up volunteering at Arkham Asylum. There, he meets Madeline who is unlike any one he has ever seen. Bruce must uncover why Madeline is there in the first place to make sure the people he cares about don’t end up dead.
Wildcard by Marie Lu
After making it out of the Warcross Championships alive, Emika Chen is determined to stop Hideo’s NeuroLink algorithm that can control minds. As Emika bands with the Phoenix Riders,she finds herself under a bounty, one that makes her chances of survival depend on Zero and the Blackcoats. Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t what he seems -and that his protection comes at a price.
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier
Lord Elias of del Mar has never met his father, as he was presumably killed by spies from their neighboring kingdom Mondrago. When two copies of the same map are found, Elias recognizes it as his father’s work, and sees it as a sign that he is alive. With the help of his close friends, Elias must find out the true nature of these maps, and find out what really happened on the day of his father’s presumed death.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Based on a true story, Artemisia Gentileschi is one of Italy’s most talented painters, even though her father claims her artwork is his own. She had the choice when she lost her mother, to stay or to go. She chose to stay and apprentice with her father. Now,in the aftermath of a rape,she has the choice of living the rest of her life in peaceful silence or speaking up and facing the consequences of having a voice in a time dominated by men.
#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil
Dee has been wrongfully convicted and sent to an island dubbed Alcatraz 2.0., where the worst criminals are murdered in terrifyingly creative ways for an app called Postman. She refuses to go down when she knows she’s innocent. Can she make it out with her Death Row Breakfast Club before they’re all killed off one by one?
Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson
Kazi is one of the Queen’s premier guard, and Jase is the new head of an outlaw family. Together their paths are crossed as they play the game of deception. As they betray and are betrayed, Jase and Kazi battle through a roller coaster of deceit, accusations, and possibly even love.
Frat Girl by Kiley Roache
Cassandra Davis got a scholarship to a prestigious college by going undercover to uncover the dangers fraternities hold for women. As she rushes a frat that was recently put on probation for sexism, she thinks it will be easy to get them completely banned from the campus. But as she gets closer with her “brothers,” she sees different views of them.
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
At the age of six, Theodosia lost everything she ever cared about and was forced into a life of torture under the unmerciful Kaiser, surviving by pushing her true self down. One night, the Kaiser forces her to do something unthinkable, sparking a rebellion inside of her. She has one weapon: her mind and she is determined to use it.
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
In the future, the Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but its perfect world is starting to spiral out of control. Rowan is hunting down scythes that have abused their position, and Citra is challenging old ideas as Scythe Anastasia. When Citra’s life is put in danger, and other forces come into play, the Thunderhead is forced to watch as his world crashes down.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
After Lazlo and Sarai are transformed in their new selves, they struggle to determine their new limits and against both a familiar foe and an unfamiliar. In a world so filled with hate and vengeance, can peace, hope, and love be the answer?
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Prince Sebastian has a secret that he keeps from everyone else. At night, he puts on a dress and disguises as Lady Crystallia. Only his dressmaker Frances knows about it. This means that both the prince and Frances would have to keep this a secret. But can Frances continue to defer her dreams to protect a friend?
*Annotations from YALSA.