Reading a book written in verse is an incredibly powerful experience. It takes reading to a whole other level, and we’re kind of obsessed with it. Check out these must-read books in verse!

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Spin by Rebecca Caprara

The Song of Achilles and Circe get a sapphic, young adult twist in this “exciting, richly textured, thought-provoking” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) retelling of the myth of Arachne spun in moving verse.

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Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle

This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the “inspiring and hopeful” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights.

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Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle

An inspiring coming-of-age story told in prose and “spare, lyrical” verse (The Horn Book Magazine) from award-winning author Margarita Engle about a girl falling in love for the first time while finding the courage to protest for women’s right to vote in 1920s Cuba.

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Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle

Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a “deeply felt and engrossing” (Horn Book Magazine) story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.

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Wild Dreamers by Margarita Engle

In this stirring young adult romance from award-winning author Margarita Engle, love and conservation intertwine as two teens fight to protect wildlife and heal from their troubled pasts.

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Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu

Perfect for fans of Deb Caletti, this “powerful, absorbing, and beautiful” (Booklist) coming-of-age novel in verse follows a teen girl who connects with the women of her maternal line through their journals and comes to better understand her fraught relationship with her mother.

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Crank by Ellen Hopkins

The #1 New York Times bestselling tale of addiction—the first in the Crank trilogy—from master poet Ellen Hopkins.

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People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

A compelling and complex novel about gun violence and white supremacy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

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Turtle under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

A teen navigates questions of grief, identity, and guilt in the wake of her sister’s mysterious disappearance in this breathtaking novel-in-verse from the author of 500 Words or Less—perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo.

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After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

This moment changes everything. Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.Too bad that new boy is Becca’s boyfriend, Alec. Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

One of the great things about books is how they help us understand one another and also empower us. There is real power in being a force of empathy and compassion. Here are a few books whose incredible stories can help us foster understanding, compassion, and empowerment.

22 Books That Will Help You Start a Conversation About Social Change

1. Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall

A powerful debut, Desmond Hall’s novel centers protagonist Frankie, who is desperate for a ticket out of Jamaica. And when Frankie is offered a college scholarship, he thinks he has that ticket. But when a series of violent events leads him to join a gang, Frankie is forced to question what is best for his family, and his future.


2. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Written by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, this book alternates perspectives between two teens: one Black, one white. Rashad just wanted to buy chips at the bodega, but he is beaten by a cop who accuses him of shoplifting. The cop’s adoptive son, Quinn, witnesses the beating, which is also caught on camera. Soon the whole town is taking sides, including Rashad and Quinn’s classmates. As simmering tensions threaten to explode, Rashad and Quinn must face decisions they never considered before, and the consequences of a single violent act. Quinn is also forced to interrogate his white privilege, and confront the truth about how the police—and the world—treat people who don’t look like him.


3. The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Set in Los Angeles, 1992 against the background of the Rodney King Riots, The Black Kids centers on the charmed life of Ashley Bennett. Ashley’s family is wealthy; she attends an expensive private school, lives in a fancy neighborhood of L.A., and now that it’s the end of senior year, she spends more time in the pool with her white friends than in the classroom. But when four police officers are acquitted after beating a Black man, Rodney King, half to death, she’s no longer just one of the girls—she’s one of the Black kids. Ashley tries to continue living as she always has, even as her sister gets dangerously involved in the riots and the model Black family façade her parents have constructed starts to crumble. But when a rumor Ashley starts threatens to derail the future of her classmate and fellow Black kid Lashawn, she’s forced to confront uncomfortable truths about the world, and about herself.


4. Enough is Enough by Michelle Roehm McCann

From award-winning author Michelle Roehm McCann comes a young activist’s handbook to joining the fight against gun violence—both in your community and on a national level—to make schools safer for everyone.


5. Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds.


6. SLAY by Brittney Morris

Kiera built her secret online role-playing game, SLAY, as a refuge for Black gamers everywhere. But when an anonymous troll infiltrates the game & threatens to destroy it, Kiera must fight to save the only world in which she feels that she can be herself.


7. Period Power by Nadya Okamoto

Throughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. And due to a crumbling or nonexistent national sex ed program, they are misunderstood. PERIOD founder and Harvard College student Nadya Okamoto offers a manifesto on menstruation and why we can no longer silence those who bleed—and how to engage in youth activism.


8. Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival.


9. People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins tackles gun violence and white supremacy in this compelling and complex novel.


10. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Each step on Annabelle’s 2,700 mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward.


11. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

Chessy Prout’s remarkable memoir is a story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the wake of sexual assault. It will surely change your life. Learn more about Chessy’s story at


12. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them.


13. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


If you aren’t already obsessed with Jason Reynolds, here’s a great place to start. This fiercely stunning novel takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. Long Way Down is also now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff.


14. Tweak by Nic Sheff

Tweak by Nic Sheff

By the time Nic was in early adolescence, he was already addicted to a number of heavy substances. This harrowing story is about recovery, relapse, and family.  Nic’s story is also now a major motion picture: Beautiful Boy starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic and Steve Carrell as his father, David.


15. Crank by Ellen Hopkins


This novel-in-verse is the first in the Crank trilogy deals with a teen who struggles with a meth addiction and struggles to keep hold of everything she’s worked so hard for.


16. The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be

This stunning novel focuses on Eden as her life gets turned upside down in the wake of her sexual assault by her brother’s best friend. This gripping and poignant story is heartbreaking, but still full of hope.


17. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Smith’s newest book deals with partner abuse and building a life from the wreckage. It also features a wonderful romance between two young women, Brooke and Dani.


18. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

A harrowing story about a girl who is kidnapped and held captive for years, her psychological trauma, and the fight she must wage to survive.


19. The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

The Weight of Our Sky is a beautiful and heart wrenching story that takes place during the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Beatles-loving Melati Ahmad is just like any other teenager at the movies when violence erupts between the Chinese and the Malay. Her entire world shifts as tensions escalate in this heart-pounding debut.


20. After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson

What does it mean when you thought you knew someone? What does it mean when that person is your new boyfriend? Courtney Summers meets Deb Caletti in this page-turning suspense story of what it is to face hard truths about yourself and others, and how to find strength when you need it most.


21. When Can We Go Back to America? by Susan H. Kamei

In this dramatic and page-turning narrative history of Japanese Americans before, during, and after their World War II incarceration, Susan H. Kamei weaves the voices of over 130 individuals who lived through this tragic episode, most of them as young adults.


22. The Other Talk by Brendan Kiely

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Brendan Kiely starts a conversation with white kids about race in this accessible introduction to white privilege and why allyship is so vital.

Looking for more? Check out these books by Asian and Pacific Islander authors!

My love for Jane Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice goes back a long way. I was one of those gangly, awkward preteens who had actual fancy-dress, big-hat, cucumber-sandwhich viewing parties for the 5 hour A&E mini series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (yes, on 6 VHS tapes). One of my final papers in college discussed the role of nature in the more recent film adaptation staring Keira Knightly (because yeah. I got college credit for fangirling. Dreams come true). So when I heard about a retelling with Sasquatch and a broody prep boy, this was my approximate reaction:


I think that if Jane Austen were to come back to life, she would love the how far her story has gone too! Here’s the list of retellings I would recommend to her.

3 Awesome Pride and Prejudice Retellings

1. The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim

This new release is a team favorite, and for good reason! A delightful romcom that perfectly mixes To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Pride and Prejudice, The Love Match follows a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else. A love triangle, matchmaking, and ADORABLE romance? SWOON!


2. Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh by Rachael Lippincott

This retelling isn’t out until the fall, but we are SO excited about this one that we had to share! Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh is a sapphic period romcom that combines Bridgerton and Freaky Friday and follows a girl sent 200 years in the past to regency England to find love. Be sure to add this one to your TBR for later this year!


3. Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things by Betsy Alderedge and Carrie DuBois-Shaw


In Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things, Samantha, like Lizzie Bennet, has an embarrassing family. Unlike Lizzie Bennet though, her family isn’t trying to catch husbands, they’re trying to catch Sasquatch. Amazing right?

P.S. the judgy prep school fellow is a great Darcy.


Want more romance reads? Check out these recs based on your fave classic romance tropes!


There’s nothing like getting so absorbed in a good book that you lose track of time. BUT, if you’re on TikTok, you may have also experienced that quick just-watching-for-a-minute-oh-wait-this-is-so-funny-oh-no-it’s-been-an-hour app check. Friends, allow us to bring your two favorite worlds together—books and hilarious TikToks—with these book recommendations   based on some of the top TikTok trends of this year.

What Book Should You Read Based on Your Favorite TikTok Trend?

1. #YourType – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The Your Type trend is fun because you never know fully who or what is being revealed as “Your Type” until the end. Sometimes they’re straightforward or flirty, and sometimes they’re funny—like ones describing a puppy or a pizza.


But if there was one book character who would be all over this trend, it’s Lara Jean Covey from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara Jean is a hopeless romantic who writes unsent love letters to all her crushes describing why they’d be perfect together. Let’s face it, Lara Jean basically invented the Your Type trend. She walked so this trend could run. If you haven’t read her story yet (where have you been?!), trust us, it’s your type.


2. #POV – All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick


Can’t get enough of the low-key chilling twists and turns of the ever-expanding Emily universe? Meet Amanda Kelly and Rosalie Bell. Their math teacher isn’t trying to make any moves on them (fortunately), but they are both receiving anonymous texts from a private number who wants to take down real estate heir Carter Shaw. AKA the boy they’ve both been dating without knowing the other girl exists. But being cheated on shapes up to be the least of their worries when their stalker, Private, threatens to turn their lives upside down.


Would come back tomorrow for another part of those #POVs.


3. #IDidABadThing – Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi


If you’ve ever assessed your life choices with a mild sense of hysteria, set to the tune of a jazzy audio meme and adorned with a shameless slew of hashtags (#fyp #foryou #foryoupage #trends #REGRET), do yourself a favor and read Mary H.K. Choi’s Permanent Record

Pablo Rind has done more than just one #BadThing. He has done a seemingly un-get-over-able string of #BadThings, including but not limited to: enrolling at a college he could not pay for, dropping out of said college, buying turntables on a Guitar Center credit card that are now collecting dust under his bed while he dodges calls from a debt collector because he never paid them off, and engaging in an unfathomable flirtation with a world-famous pop star he met while working the graveyard shift at a bodega. But maybe that last one isn’t so bad. Maybe that last one is a good thing and his life is finally turning around?

(We promise that both you and Pablo will feel infinitely better about your life choices by the time you hit the last page).


4. #WhatWouldYouDo – This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher


If you’re on Tik Tok, you may never have seen the TV show “What Would You Do?” but you will recognize the gentle “Excuse me Ma’am, I’m John Quiñones from the TV show What Would You Do?” with your ears plugged. This trend strikes fear into our hearts and makes us paranoid that John Q. could show up anywhere at any time and shine a televised light on any questionable choices. 


In the thriller This Lie Will Kill You, five teens receive an invitation to a mysterious contest in a mansion in the hills, and they realize the secrets of their past won’t stay hidden. I’m not saying John Q. invited them, but if this was a Tik Tok, he would definitely be popping in with an “Excuse me Ma’am” to all the characters throughout this twisty story.


5. #Area51 – Exile from Eden by Andrew Smith


Already nostalgic for the future that never came to pass because the promised hordes didn’t descend upon Area 51 to spring our could’ve-been alien besties from government captivity? First of all, SAME.

But it’s probably for the best given that the aliens most definitely would’ve usurped control of our planet and, if Andrew Smith’s Exile from Eden is any indication, sent us all scampering underground in a desperate play for survival where we would be forced to make our home until it was safe to emerge 16 years later. Granted, the unsuspecting humans in this delightfully bizarre post-apocalyptic romp were contending with horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises instead of aliens, but… same vibe, right?

Looking for more book recs? Check out what books you should read while listening to Harry Styles’ new album on repeat.

Wow am I a sucker for a misunderstood bad boy with a heart of gold. Literally walked out of the theater after watching Thor 2 and couldn’t recall anything about the movie that was not Loki-related. And while I’m absolutely not ok with the male lead being cruel or abusive, I’m definitely all about mystery, troubled pasts, and redemption.

YA Bad Boys You’ll Fall in Love With

1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Rowan is such a bad boy in the best way possible. Rowan has been trained to be the ultimate killer and everyone is trying to tell Citra he’s past redemption. But Citra knows that deep down the boy she fell in love with is still there.

2. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Christian Kane from The Summer of Chasing Mermaids may not be the stereotypical bad boy, but he is an insolent, arrogant playboy with a past (ok yeah, he’s so a bad boy). He also happens to be completely charming and totally won me over.

3. Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Illustrated by Frank Miller

Arthur is such a bad boy, but he also has a heart of gold. The first time Nimue meets him he’s literally flirting with her as he sings. But his tendency to run off without saying goodbye makes him very mysterious, especially since it’s all in the name of becoming an honorable knight.

4. Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

Chase Yu, is the new kid in school and after initial resistance, chemistry begins to spark between him and Ali over their mutual competitiveness at martial arts. He’s not the stereotypical bad boy, but he’s got those moody vibes that we totally love.

5. Wake by Lisa McMann

Cabel has dark, dangerous secrets, but he helps Janie when she needs it most. He is surrounded by rumors about what he’s done and where he’s been, but the things he’s survived don’t define him and when it counts, he’s still able to treat Janie with a delicate touch when she needs it most. 

6. The Diabolic by S.J. Kinkaid

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Tyrus is kind of a jerk sometimes, but he accepts Nemesis, despite what she is, and he helps her. He sees the best in Nemesis and isn’t afraid of her even though she could literally rip him to shreds. In fact, he applauds her strength while also showing her that she has the capability of being gentle and caring. He also has no qualms about killing people but they mostly deserve it. 

7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Will is infuriating in the best way: flirty and sometimes distant, has the obligatory troubled past, and is above all else fiercely loyal. Um…did I mention he’s also incredibly dreamy?

8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Jace might have a tendency to knock on trouble’s door, but he’s a fiercely loyal friend and an incredible Shadowhunter. It’s actually pretty easy to overlook his tendency to cause trouble when he loves so truly and learns to let his vulnerable side show. 


Looking for more? Check out this list of YA books with strong female protagonists.

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Try this!

Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

bad girls with perfect faces


Pretty Little Liars, or PLL as those of us who have spent the last seven years of their lives with it call it, is excellent at one thing: pulling you the heck into the mystery and never letting go. What starts with an anonymous cyber-bully morphs into massive conspiracies, murder, kidnapping, and secret identities. If you like me, can’t believe it’s over, do yourself a huge favor and check out the addicting, intoxicating thriller that is Bad Girls with Perfect Faces. Here too you will find secrets, lies, mystery and revenge. It will pull you in from the start and swallow you whole.  Get reading!

I am so SO excited about the City of Bones Tenth Anniversary Edition for a lot of reasons (have you seen the cover?!), but one of the top being that Clary is back! Clary definitely has earned her place among the most amazing YA Heroines. To celebrate the 10th Anniversary release, here are 10 reasons why Clary rules.

1. She is fiercely loyal. She will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves no matter what.

2. She gets stuff done. Clary doesn’t wait for someone else to tell her how to solve problems. She just goes for it.

3. She’s creative. Clary is an incredible artist, and she uses those skills to make change!

4. She’s independent. While Clary certainly has romantic relationships (TEAM JACE FOREVER), she’s still her own person.

5. She’s adaptable. If I were thrown into a world I didn’t know existed, I think I’d take a bit more time freaking out. But Clary doesn’t; she picks herself up and gets to work finding her mom.

6. She’s a good friend. Even when things get awkward or complicated, she’s still there for her friends.

7. She’s a good fighter. I’m not saying I want to learn to fight with Seraph blades myself, but it’s compelling to follow her getting better and better.

8. She lets herself be not okay sometimes. Clary experiences serious trauma and loss, and she doesn’t pretend like it hasn’t hurt her. She carries the emotional scars and lets them be a part of her.

9. She’s not perfect. Clary’s actions hurt other people unintentionally sometimes, and she has to deal with those consequences. It’s refreshing to see her grapple with that.

10. She’s a Shadowhunter. I mean come on!

Do you have other things you love about Clary Fray? Share in the comments!

Have you ever wanted so desperately to be different? I definitely have. In elementary school, I made everyone call me Anika for like a month because I wanted more than anything to be Anakin Skywalker’s twin sister (I’m talking signing-my-timestable-quiz-Anika serious). In The Odds of Lightin by Jocelyn Davies, four former best friends wish desperately to be different at exactly the wrong moment, and something incredible happens. To get you started, here are some of the reasons I loved it:

1. “Super”powers

The characters learn the hard way to be careful what you wish for when natural (maybe supernatural) forces intervene. I won’t give away more details, but the way each character changes is fascinating.

2. Split Narrative

The story flashes back between one night—the night before the SATs—and the past 3 years of high school that built up to it. As pieces click together of why the friends are the way they are, the tension mounts, like the ozone scent before a lightning strike.


I’m a HUGE fan of disaster movies, and the backdrop of this story is a massive superstorm. Transportation closing, crazies running around, people stocking up—sign me the heck up for (watching or reading) that!

4. NYC

As a relatively recent transplant to New York, I love reading books set in the city and matching up places to experiences. Even if you haven’t been to NYC though, many of the scenes they go will seem familiar—Central Park, the subway, Fifth Avenue. And the dynamism of the building storm mixed with the emptying city is the perfect backdrop for the story. It’s no secret that The Odds of Lightning is the PERFECT book for Riveted’s Summer of New York City!

5. Fresh Take on a Trope

With this Breakfast-Club-esque character make-up, this story could be really flat (and believe me I’ve read some cardboard-cut out versions). But though each of the four has distinct traits that set them apart from each other, they’re built out enough to make them three-dimensional. They’re struggles and reactions feel real and relatable.

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