YA Friday: August 2018 Monthly Wrap-Up
So because school now starts in August, I've had to round up some of the best new YA releases this month that are so distractingly good you'll want to read them despite being overwhelmed with new teachers, new classes, new clubs, new friends, and new homework.
Set in the world of The Remnant Chronicles, this new series stars Jase, new leader of the rebellious Ballenger Empire, and Kazi, a former street thief who’s now a Rahtan warrior. When Kazi is sent on a mission from Queen Zezelia, to investigate Jase’s notorious outlaw family, who doesn’t recognize the queen’s sovereignty, she’s surprised to learn Jase isn’t exactly what she expected. And certainly neither one expects to be kidnapped, or to have to work together to find their way to freedom, or how deeply they’ll fall for each other as they do.
Grant and Rose are two soon-to-be graduates experiencing the journey to the end in very different ways. Rose is ready to go. She’s tired of feeling ignored as a journalist (and so quits the paper) and tired of being overlooked by Grant (who happens to edit said paper). She is, however, ready to prom it up and kiss high school goodbye in all the right ways. Grant, in the meantime, is dreading leaving the paper behind, and utterly befuddled (and kind of upset) that Rose has already done so. And he’s not feeling all that great about the fact that she brought another guy to prom, either. So what to do when the only tool in your arsenal is the power of the pen? You lure a girl back to her journalism roots for the story of a lifetime…and hope it’s got one heck of a happy ending for its reporters.
Atheist teen Michael finds himself in his own version of hell when yet another move lands him in Catholic school. But he’s surprised to find a girl who makes it all seem worth it, and who just might share his (lack of) beliefs. Only it turns out she doesn't: Lucy wants to be a priest. And she isn’t the only religious outcast at St. Clare; there’s also Celtic Reconstructionist Polytheist Eden, Jewish (and gay) Avi, and unique Unitarian Max. Together, they’re Heretics Anonymous, and at Michael’s encouragement they attempt to dismantle their school’s hypocrisies, from an unbalanced dress code rules to a teacher being fired for marrying her wife. But when things go too far, and Michael’s own life threatens to blow up, he has to grapple with what he believes, what he wants, and the hope that Lucy takes the virtue of forgiveness very, very seriously.
Savannah’s about to start her senior year, and she is not looking forward to it. She’s not ready for a year of living at home without her big sister/best friend, especially since her mother’s obsession with weight loss is only growing. Tired of being watched and pressured, Savannah needs to get out of her house and find someone to fill the hole left by her sister’s absence. And it’s at school where she meets George, a new kid who has his own issues and needs emotional support every bit as much as she does.
Mischa knows something’s fishy when she’s rejected by every single school she applies to, including the safest of the safeties. She’s a killer student who works her butt off, just as her single mother did for her. She embarks on a quest to get to the bottom of what happened, and falls down a more messed-up rabbit hole than she ever imagined. But at least she isn’t doing it alone; she’s got her best friend, Nate, and a secret group of high school hackers helping her out, and they won’t rest until the truth comes to light.
Mari has worked hard to cultivate the perfect online persona, and she has the thousands of fans to prove it. But when she breaks down, confessing it’s all a lie and her life is nowhere near as perfect as the facade she’s been presenting, the backlash is fierce. In need of some space away from her following, she decides to hike the John Muir Trail, something she and her late cousin, Bri, had planned to do together for their eighteenth birthday. It also happens to be the perfect way to honor her cousin and make up for the fact that Mari pushed her away as her internet star rose. With Bri’s diary in hand and boots on her feet, Mari commences a journey both literal and metaphorical in the hopes of once again finding herself.