There’s a chill in the air and that means it’s time for all things eerie! At this time of year, I love to dive into books about the occult, and specifically witches. As the nights grow longer, there’s just something that makes it feel as though something supernatural is possible.

As you prepare for Halloween, check out the below list of my favorite witchy YA reads! They’re filled with magic, spells, and the dangerous consequences that can only come with venturing on the dark side of this world.

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Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle
Emory might not technically be a witch, but after a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves with her classmates goes wrong, she's plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess. Plus, Aldryn College and this book's dark academia + fantasy vibes are PERFECT for fall reading and fans of all things witchy!
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Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell
Nothing says witches and Halloween like a little bit of necromancy. Catherine Daly has the power to wake the dead, but this magic comes with a price: for every hour that a ghost is brought back, Catherine loses an hour from her own life. When she's given the task of collecting a timepiece from a grave, what she finds instead is the body of a teenage boy, who slowly comes back to life—not as the pale imitation that Catherine can conjure, but as a living, breathing boy. A boy with no memory of his past.
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Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest. Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.
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Year of the Wicked by Jeff Mariotte
In the tradition of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale, this magical bind-up includes all four novels in the Witch Season series filled with spellbinding romance, revenge, and of course, witches!
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The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
While there are no witches in this book, there are quite a few demon-possessed girls. Inspired by the Medusa myth, this book will give you some serious Salem witch trial vibes. Plus with the addition of snakes growing out of the main character's head, you'll definitely find this book to be the perfect read for October.
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The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.
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Luminary by Kate Scelsa
A collection of mystical practices and exercises, Luminary is a one-of-a-kind guide to mindfulness and self-care for teens to support a life of empowerment, confidence, and, of course, magic!
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Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron
This book is the perfect October read! Evvie might not describe herself as a 'witch' but she is full of magical abilities. In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move. Evvie has magic abilities that her family calls jubilation. And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.
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Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. Once you've read Blood Like Magicpick up the sequel, Blood Like Fate!
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The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards. Once you've read The Witch Havenpick up the sequel, The Witch Hunt!
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Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Many people believe that the forest around Fir Haven is magical. Haunted, even. Nora Walker, rumored to be a witch, knows the truth as she and the other Walker women have a special connection to the woods. So when Nora finds herself trapped in the wicked woods during a snow storm with a mysterious boy named Oliver, who went missing weeks ago. Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place.
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Spells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch
Willow is convinced that the only way to find a true home is to travel the world, but her plans to act on her dream are put on hold when her mother drags her to Salem, Massachusetts, to wrap up the affairs of an aunt who may or may not have been a witch. There, she meets Mason, a loner who’s felt out of place his entire life. Naturally pulled to one another, Willow and Mason set out across Salem to discover the secret past of Willow’s family.
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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

In the 12 years since The Mortal Instruments series and the Shadowhunter world first began, there have been so many wonderful characters that have enriched my life. I will forever have a special spot for Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane. From their first meeting to their first kiss, and everything that comes after, I will forever be team Malec!

Now, Alec and Magnus have their own book series and I couldn’t be more excited! The series follows the two as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The newly-repackaged The Red Scrolls of Magic  is here and we’re already counting down the days until The Lost Book of the White comes out in September, so I thought this was the perfect time to share some of my favorite Malec fan art with you! 

Our Favorite Fan Art of Cassandra Clare’s Magnus and Alec from the Shadowhunter Books

Let’s start off with some ADORABLE Malec fanart:

Check out Angel-In-Imagination’s amazing deviantart page for more amazing Malec fan art!

Then, of course some kissing:

We love this picture from walkingnorth! Check out their deviantart page here for more fan art!

Alec and Magnus with the rest of the TMI gang:


SPOILER ALERT HEAD! Quick! Before we continue! If you have not finished the books and don’t wish to be spoiled, stop reading NOW!



Their family:

Gorgeous picture from MagnusRayne! Check out their deviantart page for more here!

Bonus! Just Max and Rafe:

Don’t stop there! Check out the top five fan-favorite Magnus and Alec moments!

We’ve been re-reading The Infernal Devices trilogy to help us get ready for the release of Chain of Gold, which means we couldn’t resist looking at some fan art. The fan art for this series is really incredible because it is set in 1878. The clothes of the time period really make these works of art special and set it apart from the fan art for the rest of the Shadowhunter books. Check ’em out!

Our Favorite Infernal Devices Fan Art!

Starting off strong with this stunning photo of Jem and Tessa.



created by taratjah

Jem and Will fighting side by side is everything. Honestly Tessa is so lucky to have both these men.



created by wasteddreams

LOVE this! So beautiful with London in the background.


Talk about the perfect family portrait.





created by emmilinne

Name a better trio. I’ll wait.



created by thewildestdreams

Oh man! The balcony scene! ?? BRB I have to get myself a glass of water.



created by NicoleCadet

This is so beautiful! Just look a Tessa in this watercolor. ?


created by kara-lija

Can we just talk about how adorable Will and Tessa are?! Totally #couplesgoals.

Looking for more? Check out this amazing Malec fan art!

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

There is nothing better than a good contemporary read. Sure, I sometimes love to whisk myself away to fantasy worlds or immerse myself in books that show us a glimpse of what life was like a few hundred years ago, but usually, it’s the contemporary books that strike me the most. I connect with them on a personal level because the stories feel like they could happen to someone I know. Check out some of my favorites below!

28 Engrossing Contemporary Novels to Read Right Now!

1. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they’ll go to save one of their lives—even if it means swapping identities.

2. SLAY by Brittney Morris

This book tells the story of Kiera Johnson, who builds a 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.

3. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Pablo Rind is a college dropout working the graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli and drowning in credit card debt. Leanna Smart is a pop juggernaut with enough social media followers to populate whole contents. When they meet at 5:00 a.m. at the deli, its certifiably insane to think they’d be A Thing. But one hashtag leads to another and as they start to piece together who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy all the deafening expectations bearing down on them, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get seriously complicated.

4. She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller

She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller follows April and Jenn as they spend spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer. The sisters haven’t been close in years, but with only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the secret that Jenn has been hiding will tear them apart for good.

5. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Can you love someone you can never touch?

In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Yet, as the two start to fall in love, distance is harder than it has ever been for either one of them. Now a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson!

6. Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

This is an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss, following two Muslim teens who marvelously and oddly meet during a spring break trip.

7. Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens tells the story of Nima, who’s a little bit awkward and working through family issues. But when she finds herself immersed in the drag scene, filled with macho kings and magical queens, she learns how to confidently express herself and accept the love that surrounds her.

8. The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmen Rodrigues

In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. This was his first spark. And then, at the end of that year, she disappeared, leaving without even saying why. And now in their senior year, Sally unexpectedly returns and Marco is shaken. Still, he holds tightly to his carefully choreographed life. A life that is full of reasons why first sparks don’t matter, the main reason? He has a girlfriend.

9. This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner

A grieving teen faces dangerous classmates, reckless friends, and the one-year anniversary of his sister’s devastating death in this poignant, quirky, often humorous novel that’s perfect for fans of Jeff Zentner and Brendan Kiely.

10. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes.  Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

11. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel.

12. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
A gorgeous and emotionally resonant debut novel about a half-Japanese teen who grapples with social anxiety and her narcissist mother in the wake of a crushing rejection from art school.

13. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Feminism + ice cream + friendship + romance = the perfect contemporary novel.

14. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

15. Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

“Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.” —Rainbow Rowell. Do you need a reason other than a Rainbow Rowell quote to pick up a book? I don’t think so.

16. Your Destination Is on the Left by Lauren Spieller

Seventeen-year-old Dessa Rhodes is torn between leaving her modern nomadic life and pursuing her dreams of becoming an artist.

17. From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true.

18. A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca

A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca

A mystery kiss during a blackout at a football game leads Macy on the hunt for the culprit she suspects is a guy who made her junior year of high school really difficult. When new transfer and bad boy, Noah, takes credit for the kiss, things get a little more complicated.

19. Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
The first novel in Abbie Glines’ Field Party series, about a small Southern town filled with cute boys in pickup trucks, Friday night football games, and crazy parties that stir up some major drama.

20. The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes

The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes
A shy, rule-following teen winds up joining a local rock band in this laugh-out-loud, heartfelt coming-of-age novel.

21. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

22. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel.

23. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

24. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

25. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected.

26.Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

27. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

28. The Place Between Breaths by An Na

From master storyteller and Printz Award–winning author An Na comes a dark, intensely moving story of a girl desperately determined to find a cure for the illness that swept her mother away, and could possibly destroy her own life as well.

Not in the mood for a contemporary book? Try one of these addicting fantasy novels!


The relationship between sisters is one of the most incredible relationships you can experience. There’s something about having someone who was by your side growing up and is not afraid to tell you like it is (for better or for worse). Sisters know your family history and what it means to grow up the same way you did. Sure, you can fight with your sisters unlike you would with anyone else, but that means you can also love each other in a way that is fiercer than with anyone else. Growing up with a sister was something I often took for granted, but now that we live five hours apart it’s easy to see just how much she means to me.

Relationships between sisters can come in all shapes and sizes, so thankfully there are plenty of YA books about it! Whether it’s dealing with the normal sister drama, or going through a serious illness, there’s something relatable and universal about the experience of having a sister. Check out theses books about sisters below and let us know if you have any favorites!

(Also, don’t tell my sister I said any of this because she’ll never let me live it down.)

10 Books About Sisters

1Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

From Mary H.K. Choi comes an emotional story about two estranged sisters and the circumstances that tangle their complicated relationship into an even messier web. Jayne is a struggling fashion student in New York City with poor taste in men. Her older sister June is the successful one, with an expensive apartment and a stable finance job. When June is diagnosed with cancer, the two sisters come crashing back into each others’ lives. Jayne and June Baek are forced to reevaluate their relationship, and just how far they would go to protect each other—even if it means swapping identities.


2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I know we’re all head-over-heels in love with Peter K, but the relationship between the three Song sisters is a huge part of what makes the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series so great. Sometimes they don’t always get along, but because each sister is flawed and unique their relationship feels incredibly real. Who wouldn’t want to be a Song sister?


3. She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller

She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller follows April and Jenn as they spend spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer. The sisters haven’t been close in years, but with only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the secret that Jenn has been hiding will tear them apart for good.


4. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

This book shows us what it can be like dealing with the unthinkable—the sudden loss of a beloved sister. When Rumi’s sister Lea dies in a car crash, she has to process all the emotions that come with losing a sister that meant so much to her. You’ll need plenty of tissues for this one, but it is a heart-breakingly beautiful read.


5. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon


Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. But when one twin tests positive and one negative for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind, they must deal with this life altering reality.


6. Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee

Sisters are definitely bonded for life no matter, but Gemini takes a look at what it means to be a conjoined twin. Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.


7. Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta

What happens when you need to risk everything to save your sister? Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.


8. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Stella has grown up with Cystic Fibrosis, and the one thing that always made her feel better were the drawings, gifts, and support from her older sister sister. Five Feet Apart really shows how a sister can support another when dealing with serious illness. Plus, the movie comes out March 15, 2019 so you’ll want to check it out right away!


9. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

There’s nothing to bond sisters together like a two century long quest to seek revenge for their untimely deaths sentences.  All joking aside, this is a seriously witchy tale that you need to check out.


10. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Veronyka is a war orphan and has spent almost her entire life with only her sister, Val, as a companion. But after Val betrays her, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Phoenix Riders, determined to join them by any means necessary—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

Everyone who has had a friend knows that things are not always easy. Often times, as we grow and change, so do our relationships. In YA, we see a lot of examples of female friendships that are nuanced and complicated. These books show the ups and downs you can have with your friends instead of just the happy times. Friendship can be a tricky thing, but it’s all worth it in the end to have someone who is there for you. Check out some examples of complicated female friendships below! 

13 Complicated Female Friendship Stories in YA Novels

1. Start Here by Trish Doller

Willa and Taylor spend the summer sailing from Ohio to Key West, following a list of clues left by their best friend, Finley, who recently passed away. Finley was always the glue that kept them all together now that she’s gone, Willa and Taylor’s friendship is hanging by a thread. They have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without their best friend—and decide if their own friendship is worth saving.


2. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

Remy was happy once. She had her boyfriend Jack and her best friend Elise who understood her better than anyone else in the world. But now that happiness is gone. Jack is dead, shot through the chest, and it was Elise who pulled the trigger. As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her. Told in alternating timelines, this twisted psychologically thriller explores the dark side of obsessive friendship.


3. Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend.  So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with their music teacher, Mr. Cohn. Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay.  But as the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend, and herself.


4. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Sixteen-year-old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew, Las Mal Criadasin Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but Nala quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Now for a chance out of the Mega City, Nalah must battle crews and her own doubts but the closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone—she cares about.


5. The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret and Milla must help to save her as she becomes possessed by a demon. Yet, as Milla ventures on the journey, she realizes she’s changing, into the something everyone fears.


6. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. Amelia has to figure out how this new responsibility affects her relationship with Cate—who wanted to be Head Girl just as much as she did.


7. 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. Though these three girls are all very different, they are united by a common cause.


8. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

When Penny leaves home to attend her first year of college, she becomes close with a boy named Sam. But it turns out he’s her new roommate’s shockingly young ex-uncle. Penny hides the fact that they’re talking but it’s only a matter of time before things blow up.


9. I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas

When Anna’s best friend Elise is found brutally murdered during their spring break trip to Aruba, the police look to Anna for answers. Even worse, accusations start flying that Anna might have somehow been involved in her death. Told in alternating past and present chapters, we learn about Anna and Elise’s complicated friendship.


10. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Twinkle and Maddie have been best friends since they were little. But when Maddie becomes friends with the girls in the popular crowd, Twinkle feels left out. Maddie will only talk to her when they’re alone and refuses to take a stand when her new friends are mean to Twinkle. Twinkle quickly learns that it can be hard when your best friend gets new best friends.


11. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

When a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, she is forced to stay home for the summer and take a job walking dogs. She’s happy that she at least has her three best friends, but as secrets come to light, it becomes clear that no one can love or hurt you quite like your best friend.

12. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In Tally’s world, everyone has an operation that will turn them from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.


13. See All The Stars by Kit Frick

Then: They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. (Venus. Earth. Moon. Sun.) Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system. Now: Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

There’s nothing as bone-chillingly terrifying as reading a book that seems to have been ripped straight from the headlines of a news story. Sure, they may be devoid of ghosts and other “scary” things, but there’s so much truth in the words and stories that the haunting tales stay long after you wish you could forget them. These are the stories that stay with you because they’re 100% possible. They make you question everything about yourself and your future. 

I’ve put together a list of my favorite books, fiction, and nonfiction, that have been or could have been inspired by things happening in the real world. Some of these books are frightening, with characters that are no doubt guilty of their crimes. Others are enlightening, delving into the complex problem of how our criminal justice system treats certain victims. But they all have one thing in common…they’re endlessly fascinating. 

13 Books Ripped Straight from the Headlines

1. 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.

2. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

The numbers are staggering: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen have been the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. This is the true story of one of those girls.

3. Dry by Jarrod Shusterman and Neal 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 from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.

4. Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realized he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel.

5. Lizzie by Dawn Ius

Lizzie is an edge-of-your-seat reimagining of one of the most chilling mysteries in modern history—Lizzie Borden.

6. Tradition by Brandon Kiely

Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

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

A girl tries to outrun her demons in this searing, universal novel about the impact of gun violence, everyday sexism, rape culture, and internalizing—and overcoming—guilt. Make sure you add this one to your Goodreads Shelf and get ready to read it in September!

8. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brandon Kiely

A bag of chips, that’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leaving the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

9. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

10. One Cut by Eve Porinchak

On May 22, 1995 at 7 p.m. sixteen-year-old Jimmy Farris and seventeen-year-old Mike McLoren were working out outside Mike’s backyard fort. Four boys hopped the fence, and a fight broke out inside the dark fort made of two-by-four planks and tarps. Within minutes, both Mike and Jimmy had been stabbed. Jimmy died a short time later.

11. I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas

 It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off on a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

12. Jazz Owls by Margarita Engle

In soaring images and powerful poems, this is the breathtaking story of what became known as the Zoot Suit Riots as only Margarita Engle could tell it.


13. The Other Talk by Brendan Kiely

The Other Talk is such a pertinent read in this day and age. The book begins a much-needed conversation about race for white kids. In an instantly relatable and deeply honest account of his own life, Brendan Kiely offers young readers a way to understand one’s own white privilege and why allyship is so vital, so that we can all start doing our part—today.


Have you ever thought about what the world would be like in 50 years? 100 years? More? One thing is usually clear in YA books set in the future—the world doesn’t have that great of an outcome. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily how it’s going to be, but it’s fun (and often frightening) to imagine what the world would be like if artificial intelligence takes over or if we figure out how to stop death. But these terrifying premises are what make the books exciting because let’s face it, if everything was great in the future, it would be a pretty boring read. 

9 Young Adult Books That Take Place in the Future

1. Want by Cindy Pon

Set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, Jason Zhou lives in a divided society split between the elite wealthy and poor trying to survive in a polluted world. Zhou and his friends must figure out how to infiltrate the wealthy in hopes of destroying Jin Corporation, which manufactures the suits that prolong the wealthy’s lives. Zhou falls for Daiyu, the daughter of the CEO of Jin Corp, but can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

2. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

In this fast-paced dystopian novel, Nalah leads the fiercest all-girls crew in Mega City, but she longs to get off the streets and into the exclusive Mega Towers. As she struggles to prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder, Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?

3. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

In this chilling sequel to Scythe, Citra and Rowan take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom. The Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but it has no control over the Scythedom. Old foes and new enemies converge, and as corruption within the Scythedom spreads, Rowan and Citra begin to lose hope. Will the Thunderhead intervene? Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

4.  Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

In the future, corporations rule the galaxy. The main character of Sanctuary is a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, and for her the company is everything. But she’s beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

5. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This future holds a world where people can change their bodies through an implant that recodes their DNA. At the same time, a horrifying plague is ravaging the world.

6. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

The Diabolic speculates about a future where Diabolics, or humanoid robots, are created to protect one person. They’re ruthless and deadly but will do anything to make sure they achieve this goal.  

7. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In the world of the Uglies series, when someone turns sixteen they can get a special surgery to turn them from “ugly” to “pretty.” But of course, being a Pretty has its problems.

8. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

9. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

In this future, artificial intelligence has taken over the world. If you are a world ruler, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

There is nothing sweeter than a first love. It comes in all shapes and sizes—whether it’s the person you’ve been best friends with for years or the new kid who just started at school—but it’s always exciting. I find books about first love to be hopeful and sometimes even painful, but it’s an experience that most people will go through during their lives so it helps to have company. YA books are full of stories like this, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites. 

11 Stories of First Love You Definitely Don’t Want To Miss

1. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson in March 2019!

In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.

2. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

After an awkward first encounter, Daniel and Birdie soon realize that they are now co-workers on the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel. Lovers of mysteries themselves, the two quickly embark on a hunt for clues as they begin to unravel the identity of a world-famous reclusive author who may be meeting someone at the hotel. Can they guess who he is before he stops visiting?

3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s love life gets complicated in this New York Times bestselling “lovely, lighthearted romance” (School Library Journal) from the bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?


4. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

When travel plans go awry, Addie suddenly finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with her brother Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan.


5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life and the condition has made her feel invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. 


6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. 


7. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

When a group camping trip goes south, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.


8. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

After she doesn’t get accepted to the art school of her dreams, Kiko takes a leap of faith and accepts an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west. 


9. Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

West Ashby and Maggie Carleton both have their secrets. As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.


10. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Tash’s amateur web series has been nominated for a Golden Tuba award, meaning her cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantically asexual.


11. The Last Words We Said by Leah Scheier

All the Bright Places meets If I Stay in this heart-wrenching, romantic novel about a tight-knit group of teen girls coping with a devastating loss and what happens when your best friend is also your first love…and your first heartbreak.


Looking for more YA love stories to root for? If you know what type of romance you like to read, this roundup of 6 romantic tropes we love will help you find your perfect match.

One of my favorite things in a book is romance. I’m a die-hard shipper and will endure not-so-great plots if there’s a strong enough romance. I love finding stories about two characters that connect with each other on a deep level, and a lot of the time these couples decide to take the next step in their relationship and have sex. I love it when authors embrace this step in a relationship in a way that does not shame the characters for making this decision together. These stories show sex in a positive light, showing people how they can be smart and safe without being shamed. Check out my favorite sex positive stories below! 

12 Sex Positive Stories You Need to Read 

1. Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson

Perfect for fans of Courtney Summers, this seductive and intense thriller unfolds in interwoven timelines of two summers as three friends are torn apart by buried secrets and star-crossed attraction…then pulled back together by tragedy.


2. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.


3. Fall into Me by Mila Gray

An unexpected and searing romance unfolds between a young recording artist and her ex-Marine bodyguard trying to outrun his difficult past in this wrenching novel from the author of Come Back to Me and Run Away with Me.


4. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett is a great author for realistic, sex positive stories. In Starry Eyes, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness alone. They are able to maturely handle discussions about where they’d like to take their relationship and protection. On top of that, Lennon’s moms’ even own a sex shop and it is not treated as anything particularly shameful.


5. Notes From a Former Virgin by Emma Chastain

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Mean Girls as lovably flawed high school student Chloe Snow chronicles her junior year as she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and losing her virginity.


6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi is about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage. Sandhya Menon allows this couple to decide what is best for them when it comes to their relationship, despite the pressures their parent’s place on them. 


7. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel.


8. Come Back to Me by Mila Gray 

Come Back to Me is a story about a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave. Though their romance is forbidden, they maturely navigate what it means to be together.


9. Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett

It’s no surprise that there is another Jenn Bennett book on this list, as she really writes some of the best sex positive romances. In Alex, Approximately Bailey has to deal with a hate to love romance, and secret aliases. But as the relationship develops, it stays away from any shame surrounding sex.


10. I Like Him, He Likes Her by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has never shied away from talking about sex in age-appropriate ways in her Alice series, starting with Alice in sixth grade. This first collection of Alice’s High School years is no exception.


11. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

In You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, eighteen-year-old twins deal with the life changing possibility of receiving a positive result from a genetic test for Huntington’s. This story delves deep into what this means for the girls, and also shows that it’s okay to be sexually confident and unapologetically act on your desires.


12. Four-Letter Word by Christa Desir

In Four-Letter Word eight friends engage in a high stakes game. At the heart of the story, a character thinks hard about risks and consequences of sex and ultimately embracing going after what she wants. 


Looking for more? Check out these swoonworthy reads!

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