Staff Picks: Winter 2020 Young Adult

Staff Picks: Winter 2020 Young Adult

The School & Library team talks about some of our top Winter ’20 Young Adult reads here.

2020 Young Adult

LUCKY CALLER by Emma Mills
On Sale January 14, 2020

Katie Halata, Associate Director

If you aren’t reading Emma Mills’s books you are missing out. There is no one who does funny, heartfelt, contemporary YA better and her latest is no exception. While taking a radio broadcasting class high school senior Nina finds herself part of a mismatched radio team that has zero in common. To make matters worse this group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’s been avoiding ever since they shared an awkward kiss. Like all her books Lucky Caller perfectly balances themes of romance, friendship, and family and portrays them with wit and humor. Clean teen at its best.”–Katie Halata

On Sale January 14, 2020

Cierra Bland, Assistant

“In this beautiful debut novel, a young wizard discovers herself and her powers as she travels between worlds– the one she grew up in and the one that she’s introduced to that offers her opportunities that she didn’t know existed. Echo Brown has crafted a moving story about race, poverty, violence, and mental health. Anyone who has felt as though they were caught between two worlds, who has ever had to leave home, will find themselves in this story.”Cierra Bland

DARK AND DEEPEST RED by Anna-Marie McLemore
On Sale January 14, 2020

Kristen Luby, Manager

As they’ve done in their past work, Anna-Marie McLemore puts a modern twist on a classic tale in Dark and Deepest Red. Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Red Shoes” and the true medieval events that may have inspired it, the story begins in Strasbourg in 1518, when a strange sickness sweeps through the town, causing women to dance uncontrollably in the streets, some until they fall down dead. Suspicion falls on Lavinia and her family, who are hiding their Romani heritage, for fear that they will be seen as witches. They have also taken in a young boy, Alifair, who is hiding his transgender identity, for fear of persecution.  
Five centuries later, we are introduced to Rosella, whose family is known for creating beautiful red shoes that one day bind to her feet, forcing her to dance. They draw her into the arms of a boy, her childhood friend Emil, whose ancestors were originally blamed for the dancing sickness all those years ago. Together, they will have to uncover what happened in the past to save Rosella’s life. Anna-Marie seamlessly weaves together these two storylines with a thread of magic and enchanting descriptions, crafting a compelling story about the power of love, the power in defying those who persecute what they do not understand, and above all, the power in claiming your own identity without fear.”Kristen Luby

BENT HEAVENS by Daniel Kraus
On Sale February 25, 2020

Lucy Del Priore, Director

This is one C-R-E-E-P-Y read. Liv’s dad has been super militaristic ever since he reappeared after claiming that he was abducted by aliens. When he goes missing again, Liv just knows that he’s dead. Was it actually aliens or a sinister yet-human cause? Liv and Doug (her sometimes best friend) are on a mission to find out. But it becomes a mission that brings out bad (really bad) and questionable behavior from them both, with dark consequences for everyone. I’m not a sci-fi reader, but this dark thriller–with some serious human rights threads–kept me turning page after page after page!”Lucy Del Priore

On Sale April 21, 2020

Melissa Croce, Associate Manager

“Indentured servant Seol has the gruesome job of dealing with female witnesses and murder victims in gender-regimented, hierarchical 1800 Joseon (Korea). When a respected noblewoman has been found murdered, Seol finds herself assisting one of the police bureau’s most well-respected inspectors in solving the case. At first it seems like the noblewoman’s secret lover killed her, but as time goes on Seol learns that there’s more to this case than meets the eye, and it’s possible that the inspector who she’s forming a friendship with may be at the center of it all… Debut author June Hur seamlessly weaves cultural, historical, religious, and political facts alongside suspense and intrigue, giving readers a fascinating view of 1800s Joseon. Perfect for any fan of Historical K-Dramas and thriller movies.”Melissa Croce