It’s International Youth Day today, and it’s got us reading teen fiction on Book Country. We’d like to share some of our finds with you, and tell you why they kept us turning the pages.
The Artists Circle by Chelsea Langford
About the book: During the hypercreative Renaissance era, famed artists Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci were the first to tap into a creative magic and harness it in their artwork. For many reasons, the world was not ready for this magic to be revealed, but it has been taught in secret for centuries. This story follows a girl, Rosie, as she comes to Florence, Italy, to study art and, under the guidance of a peculiar mentor and her new classmates, discovers her true potential as an artist and the magic that’s in her grasp, lying dormant in her imagination.
Why we love it: We’ve fallen for The Artists Circle’s protagonist, Rosie. Just picture her arriving at Villa Cielo, the school that she hopes will turn her into a true artist: “She’d be known as the late girl—or the girl of the night. The one who was stuck on a plane in stupid Norway—sorry, Norway—while everyone else was finding their new best friends and soul mates or, who knows, artistic nemeses. On the bright side, maybe people would find her mysterious, at least for a while. She could work with that.”
The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse
About the book: Being a teentager is hard enough, but things get even harder for Gwendolyn Hoffman when her goofy kid sister, Rosemary, disappears in the night. She seems lost forever, until Rosemary comes back accompanied by her abductor, Peter Pan. Gwen is soon whirlwinded away from math classes, texting, and all expectations of modern teenagers. She learns that Neverland is facing grave turmoil. Certain adults are actively attempting to find—and destroy—the enchanted island and repurpose its magic to fix national debt and cell reception problems. Now, a teenager caught between worlds, Gwen will have to pick sides, choose between boys, and decipher her conflicting desires to find out what really matters to her.
Why we love it: This modern-day sequel of the Peter Pan story has captured our fancy. There is a brilliant twist: while Peter is still defending his beloved Neverland, he has changed, too. Peter has aged. All the time he has spent in reality, ferrying children back and forth, has added up. It has left him at the same awkward age as The Neverland Wars’ heroine, Gwen…
Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks
About the book: Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.
In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness. With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?
Why we love it: We’re captivated by Aidan and his brooding personality. Young adult novels told from a male point of view are rare, and this one is exquisitely rendered.
Fate’s Exchange by Sasha Leigh
About the book: Death wants her. Fate has already claimed her. Angels protect her. When Alyssa Frank dies trying to save herself from a brutal attack, she finds that second chances do exist. Now, reliving the final week leading to her death, can she discover the right choices in a sea of wrong? Or will her circumstances never change? Death always makes its quota, and Alyssa has made its list. With new love brewing and friendships on the line, what happens when chances run out? Can she survive?
Why we love it: This story chilled us to the bone from page one. Just get a taste of the threat that the main heroine is facing in the first chapter:
“Five Elixir High School students—three boys and two girls—were following me. Their heavy footsteps had been masked by the sound of my heart as I ran across the field, and now I felt each step as it drummed a beat beneath me as though the earth was hollow. They blocked my way back to Royal Academy, leaving me one direction to flee: forwards, into the woods.”
Indomitus by Claire Garner
About the book: After the destruction of the American nation by bionic Frankenstein beast soldiers, seventeen-year-old Montana native Kody Ryan, accompanied by her nerdy cousin, Joel, finally captures the Indomitus solider who murdered her family. The monster soldier deserves to die, but during an interrogation he mutters the name of Kody’s dead boyfriend, Tripp Kelly. Kody finds herself torn between her duty to serve her nation and following her gut to find out the truth.
Why we love it: At Book Country, we’re suckers for a good teen dystopian tale. We were sold at “bionic Frankenstein beast soldiers,” but we also like that the story opens with a bang—we’re ushered right into the middle of the chaotic, militarized world.
Enjoy reading these, and tell us about your favorite teen reads on Book Country in the comments below.