While it’s not technically labeled as a young adult book, this mashup of fantasy and historical fiction will appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Charles Dickens alike. Set in England in the 1800s, this book is based on the premise that the pollution we associate with the Industrial Revolution comes not from machines, but from people—and when you think wicked thoughts, you emit “smoke” as a visible sign of your corruption. The story follows two upper-class teenage students who are taught to be good and thus to control their smoke. But then everything is called into question: it turns out smoke might not be a sign of being a bad seed after all. What could it possibly be?
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Movie Tie-In Edition)
You might’ve caught the movie adaptation already, but don’t sleep on the original trilogy. The books follow a group of children, each of whom has their own special talent. They live apart from the rest of the world in loops of repeated time. Our protagonist, Jacob, stumbles into one of these loops and discovers a whole new world that he’s strangely connected to. Alongside the story, Ransom Riggs includes vintage photography—images of sideshow entertainers and strange oddities—that inform the story and provide inspiration for the novel’s characters.
The book club that I’ve belonged to for the past five years tends to get a little more laissez-faire in the summer. Between varying vacation schedules and weekends spent outside, we make it a little easier on everyone by meeting every six weeks instead of monthly, and by picking titles that are a little shorter, lighter, and easier to read. One summer that meant reading a lineup of YA books: fast fiction, but no less poignant.
Whether you’re looking for a selection for your next book club meeting or you just want to intersperse some quick reads into your summer reading list, here are a few YA titles to consider.
Featured Image: Elisabeth Schmitt