YA Summer Reading Recommendations 

Once Upon a Broken Heart (trilogy) by Stephanie Garber (13+)

Once Upon a Broken Heart is the first in a romantasy trilogy following Evangeline Fox, who was raised on legends about immortal beings such as the Prince of Hearts. When Evangeline learns the man she loves is about to marry another, she strikes a deal with the Prince of Hearts out of desperation in exchange for his help stopping the wedding. She later realises the Prince wants more from her than what he had promised in the deal. I loved the world and character building in this book and was hooked by the twists and turns in the storyline. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy or romance.
Review by Anna Parsons.

Powerless (trilogy) by Lauren Roberts (14+)

Powerless takes place in a world where a great plague has struck, granting supernatural powers to some individuals. Those who did not receive powers, known as Ordinaries, are seen as inferior and face persecution. When Paedyn, an intelligent thief from the slums hiding her Ordinary status saves the life of Prince Kai, she finds herself thrown into the Purging Trials – a deadly competition showcasing the elites’ powers. Powerless is fast-paced, with an engaging enemies-to-lovers trope and an abundance of action, emotion, and revelations. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian/fantasy novels with the addition of antagonistic romance.
Review by Anna Parsons.

One Of Us is Lying (trilogy) by Karen M. McManus (12+)

The first of a murder mystery trilogy turned Netflix TV show, One Of Us is Lying follows 5 students at Bayview High after one of them suddenly dies during detention. After realising that Simon’s death was indeed foul play, each of the 4 remaining students, all with motives leaked on a school gossip site run by Simon himself, become suspects in this high school murder. McManus has a collection of 6 more YA murder mysteries, all with unique, suspenseful plots that make them impossible to put down. I would recommend both this trilogy and McManus’ other novels to all lovers of murder mystery.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

Spellbound by FT. Lukens (13+)

In a world where some possess the ability to perform magic, and others don’t, non-magical Edison Rooker finds himself as an apprentice to one of the most powerful sorceresses, Antonia Hex. Nicknamed Rook by his new mentor, the protagonist meets and, after some hesitation, befriends her rival’s apprentice, Sun. With the consortium after Antonia upon the discovery of Rook’s illegal invention, he has no choice but to team up with Sun to save both their mentors. I absolutely loved the development of Sun and Rook’s relationship throughout their adventures together, and would definitely recommend this book to all who enjoy fantasy and romance.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey Mcquiston (14+)

Chloe Green is the only openly queer person at her Catholic high school and is determined to be valedictorian and beat her rival, Shara. However, one month before graduation the principal’s daughter, Shara, vanishes- that is after randomly kissing Chloe in an elevator. Chloe discovers that she isn’t the only one Shara kissed before disappearing and teams up with Rory and Smith to decipher the trail of clues Shara left for them on pink monogrammed stationery. I loved the quick pace and twists and turns in the plot of this novel and grew to love each of the characters as they went on this adventure and found love in the least expected places. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of romance and mystery.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (13+)

By the author and illustrator of the well-loved Heartstopper comics and TV show, this novel follows the story of academically driven high schooler Frances, who will do anything to reach her goals. After meeting and befriending the voice behind her favourite science-fiction podcast, Aled, she is finally unafraid to be herself. However, as tensions form between them and their trust is broken, Frances must confront her past and Aled his. One thing I loved about this book is the diversity and representation of both the characters, whom I love, and themes, exploring identity, academic pressure and mental health, platonic love, and abuse. I would recommend this to all fans of contemporary, coming-of-age YA fiction.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli (13+)

This novel follows Imogen Scott, the token ally amongst her queer best friends and little sister, who visits her friend Lili at college. However, upon arriving, Lili reveals that she may have told all her new, queer friends that the two dated in high school and that Imogen is bi. Playing the part Lili created for her, Imogen starts hanging out with Lili’s friends, including her very cute best friend Tessa, and questions how fictional this new identity really is. I thoroughly enjoyed following Imogen’s journey of self-discovery and would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and is a fan of Albertalli’s other well-acclaimed novels.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

Spilled Ink by Nadia Hashimi (13+)

Internationally acclaimed author Nadia Hashimi’s first YA novel follows the story of Afghan American teen Yalda and her twin brother Yusuf. A video of Yusuf giving a speech calling out ugly jokes at his band’s performance goes viral, causing tensions in their hometown in Virginia, a place that many Afghan Americans call home. People turn against the family’s restaurant business, and then Yusuf is injured in a tragic accident. Yalda is forced to navigate this newfound chaos and controversy that almost destroys her family whilst trying to figure out how to better the world around her. I would recommend this book to all readers because it shines a light on many important issues that are often overlooked in YA fiction, such as discrimination and racism, especially surrounding the Afghan immigrant and refugee experience.
Review by Rhea Lamba.

16-year-old Anna Parsons is an avid reader who loves reading YA fantasy and mystery novels. In her spare time, she also enjoys art and ice skating.

Rhea Lamba is a 16-year-old student who loves to read murder mysteries and a broad range of YA fiction. She is deeply passionate about visual arts, and her other hobbies include crocheting and listening to and playing music.

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