Best Fiction For Teens, 2024 Edition!

I love a good best books list, and the blogging team who worked on this year’s Best Fiction For Young Adults has compiled a doozy! 67 titles published in the last 14 months encompassing the very best in YA fiction are included. A big shout-out to the the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) for continuing to compile such great lists year after year!

Most of this year’s picks are either in the CA Library collection already, or have been ordered and are on their way. Titles link to the CA Library catalog; if an eBook and/or audiobook are available, there are links for those, too (click here to browse the collection in Sora).

Titles marked with a star (🌟) are on the Top Ten Best Fiction For Young Adults list!

Always the almost : a novel Always the Almost by Edward Underhill — Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson’s New Year resolutions include winning back his ex-boyfriend and winning the Widewest’s biggest classical piano competition, but when a new, proudly queer boy moves to town, Miles reconsiders who is was and who he is now. Get the eBook

Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa — Nonbinary teen Ander is ready to leave their family’s taquerâia and focus on their art, but when Santi, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, begins to work at the restaurant, the two teens spark a romance made complicated by immigration police. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

As you walk on by As You Walk On By by Julian Winters — After a disastrous promposal at a party, seventeen-year-old Theo has an existential crisis in an empty bedroom, but as the night progresses, various classmates also seek refuge from the party, and Theo finds he is not as alone as he thinks he is. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 COMING SOON! Becoming a Queen by Dan Clay — Reeling from a family tragedy, seventeen-year-old Mark finds his escape in a purple, sequenced, puff-sleeved princess dress, which becomes an unexcepted outlet for his grief as well as a path towards love and self-expression.

Bianca Torre is afraid of everything Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything by Justine Pucella Winans — Grappling with an ever-growing list of fears, nonbinary teen Bianca Torre, an avid birder, finds herself investigating the murder of her neighbor with the help of their best friend, their crush, and a fellow birding aficionado. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Bittersweet in the Hollow by Kate Pearsall — When a girl goes missing in her secluded Appalachian town, seventeen-year-old Linden, who can taste other people’s emotions, recovers haunting memories of her own disappearance and explores the legend of the Moth-Wigned Man, leading her to wonder if there are some secrets best left buried. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

The buried and the bound The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan — Seventeen-year-old Aziza El-Amin, the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts, teams up with a cursed boy looking for answers and a young necromancer in order to eradicate a new threat in the woods and take back her hometown. Get the Audiobook

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordan — Percy Jackson’s hope for a normal senior year is shattered as the gods present him with three quests, beginning with the retrieval of Zeus’s goblet, in order to get the necessary three letters of recommendation for college. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Chaos theory Chaos Theory by Nic Stone — A senior at Windward Academy, Shelbi, who has a diagnosed mental illness, keeps to herself until she forms a connection with Andy Criddle, who is battling addiction, but the closer they get, the more the past threatens to pull them apart. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

City of Nightmares by Rebecca Schaeffer — After a con goes wrong, nineteen-year-old Ness finds herself at the center of a criminal syndicate conspiracy, in a city where dreaming means waking up as your worst nightmare. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

cover_imageCOMING SOON! Cruel Illusions by Margie Fuston — Eighteen-year-old Ava Perry leaves the safety of her foster care home and joins a troupe of vampire-hunting magicians, believing that she finally has her chance to discover the truth behind her mother’s death. Get the eBook

🌟 COMING SOON! Dear Medusa by Olivia Cole — This searing and intimate novel in verse follows a sixteen-year-old girl coping with sexual abuse as she grapples with how to reclaim her story, her anger, and her body in a world that seems determined to punish her for the sin of surviving. Get the Audiobook

Delicious monsters Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury — Told in alternating timelines, seventeen-year-old Daisy and her mother move into her deceased uncle’s mansion, only to find horrors waiting inside, and ten years later, Brittney investigates the mystery behind the Miracle Mansion that turned her mother’s life around.

🌟 Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross — When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

A door in the dark A Door in the Dark by Scott Reintgen — Follows six teenage wizards as they fight to make it home alive after a malfunctioning spell leaves them stranded in the wilderness. Get the eBook

The Do-Over by Lynn Painter — Sixteen-year-old Emilie, stuck in a Groundhog/Valentine’s Day nightmare where she discovers her family is splitting up and her boyfriend is cheating on her, decides to embark upon The Day of No Consequences, but when her repetitive day suddenly ends, she must face the consequences of her actions.

The dos and donuts of love The Dos and Donuts of Love by Adiba Jaigirdar — This pun-filled YA contemporary romance finds a teenage girl competing in a televised baking competition, with contestants including her ex-girlfriend and a potential new crush. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

The Fall of Whit Rivera by Crystal Maldonado — Seventeen-year-old Whit, a plus-sized Puerto-Rican girl, is forced to plan the school’s Fall Formal with her handsome ex. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 For Lamb For Lamb by Lesa Cline-Ransome — In 1930s Jackson, Mississippi, quiet, studious and naèive girl Lamb tentatively accepts the friendly overtures of a white girl, which sets in motion a series of events that end in tragedy. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Forever Is Now by Mariama Lockington — When sixteen-year-old Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears. Get the Audiobook

Forget me not Forget Me Not by Alyson Derrick — Fifteen-year-old Stevie and Nora’s plan to abandon their conservative small town for California so they can be together is shattered when a terrible fall steals every trace of Stevie’s relationship with Nora from her memory.

Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino — Seventeen-year-old Lilah, who wears hearing aids, returns to a summer camp for the Deaf and Blind as a counselor, eager to improve her ASL and find her place in the community, but she did not expect to also find romance along the way. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

cover_imageCOMING SOON! Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend by Brandon Hoàng — As one of only two Asian Americans in his school and often left out, Gary jumps at the chance of breaking into the school’s popular clique by befriending the most beautiful girl in school, but as he comes closer to achieving his goal, Gary also risks losing the only person who sees the real him. Get the Audiobook

Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler — Told in alternating timelines, Jewish seventeen-year-old Natalya spends one summer in New York with her dad, trying to muster the courage to talk to her girl crush, and the other in Los Angeles with her estranged mom, going for a guy she never saw coming. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

cover_imageGone Wolf by Amber McBride — A twelve-year-old African American girl deals with fear, grief, pain, and suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and America’s history of enslavement and racist violence. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

COMING SOON! Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng — Disgraced teen idol Sunny, comes face to face with Candie, her former bandmate, and the demons of their shared past when the two enter a K-pop competition that devolves into a deadly nightmare. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Heartbreak boys Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green — Taking to Instagram to prove to their exes they’re just fine, Jack and Nate take a road trip with Nate’s midlife crisis-bound parents and end up in one hilarious situation after another, leading to an unexpected realization for the pair. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert — To win the grand prize at the end of their survival course, ex-best friends Claire and Bradley trudge through mud, dirt and their messy past to find the adventure bringing them closer together, sparking a whole new kind of relationship. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

How to succeed in witchcraft How To Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy — Half-Black witch Shay Johnson is cast as the lead in her school musical and must decide between exposing her predatory drama teacher and getting the scholarship she desperately needs. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 I Kick and I Fly by Ruchira Gupta — Instead of being sold into Bihar, India’s sex trade, fourteen-year-old Heera stays at a local hostel for at-risk girls where she learns, through the practice of martial arts, that her body is a vessel through which she can protect herself and those around her.

cover_imageIf Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude — Nineteen-year-old Avery plans to end her life but changes her mind when she learns an asteroid is heading towards Earth, and with nine days left to live, long held secrets begin to come out and Avery finally begins to heal. Get the eBook

Invisible Son by Kim Johnson — After spending two months in a juvenile detention center for a crime he did not commit, seventeen-year-old Andre Jackson returns home and tries to adapt to a Covid-19 world and find his missing best friend. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

cover_imageIzzy at the End of the World by K. A. Reynolds — An autistic girl faced with disaster, Izzy Wilder and her dog Akka set out to discover the truth behind humanity’s disappearance, facing life’s greatest mysteries as they uncover the true endurance of the human spirit to save the world.

The Lake House by Sarah Beth Durst — Arriving at an off-the-grid summer camp with two other girls only to discover a blackened, burned husk of a lodge and a dead body in the woods, Claire soon realizes they are being hunted by something that refuses to let them leave. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Mascot Mascot by Charles Waters and Traci Sorrell — Told from several perspectives, this timely novel follows six middle-schoolers, all with different backgrounds and beliefs, as they learn about identity, tradition and what it means to stand up for real change when their school’s mascot is seen as racist. Get the eBook

Miles Morales: Suspended by Jason Reynolds — During Miles’ in-school suspension, he finds himself in a fierce battle with a classmate turned insidious termite who is determined to destroy books and the Black and Brown history they contain, and only Miles can stop him. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

The Minus-One Club The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon — Joining a secret group called the “Minus-One Club,” whose members have all suffered the tragic loss of someone they loved, fifteen-year-old Kermit finds his crush Matt’s headstrong approach to life helping to relieve his constant despair. Get the Audiobook

Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi — When her mother disappears, Nigeria Jones, the daughter of the leader of a Black liberation group, searches for her, uncovering a shocking truth which leads her to question everything she thought she knew about her life and her family. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 Plan A Plan A by Deb Caletti — Sixteen-year-old Ivy’s road trip across the country to get an abortion becomes a transformative journey of vulnerability, strength, and above all, choice. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 Promise Boys by Nick Brooks — J.B., Ramón, and Trey, students of the Urban Promise Prep School, must follow the school’s strict rules, but when their principal is murdered, the three boys must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

The queens of New York The Queens of New York by E.L. Shen — Seventeen-year-old inseparable best friends Jia, Ariel, and Everett navigate first love, grief, racism, and Asian American consciousness during one life-changing summer apart. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie — Thirteen-year-old Rain, who struggles with low self-esteem, must overcome sadness after her older brother Xander is severely beaten up at a frat party, but through the help of an after-school circle group, Rain finds the courage to help herself and her family heal. Get the Audiobook

Reggie and Delilah's year of falling Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant — Pretending to be someone they’re not, Delilah, who is unable to open up, and Reggie, a D&D Dungeon Master who is role-playing someone confident, fall for a version of each other that doesn’t really exist when fate keeps throwing them together. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Remind Me to Hate You Later by Lizzy Mason — Told in alternating timelines, as Natalie grieves her best friend Jules’s death by suicide, Jules’s influencer mother plans to release a book about it, which causes Natalie and Jules’s boyfriend to band together and expose the truth behind Jules’ tragic death.

Rhythm & muse Rhythm and Muse by India Hill Brown — Crushing on transfer student Delia, Darren, the host of the Dillie D in the Place to Be podcast, must make a decision when his anonymous submission for her theme song contest becomes the frontrunner. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

🌟 Saints of the Household by Ari Tison — When brothers Max and Jay help a classmate in trouble, they struggle with the consequences of their violent actions and worry they may be more like their abusive father than they thought, so the brothers turn to their Bribri roots to find their way forward. Get the Audiobook

The secrets we keep The Secrets We Keep by Cassie Gustafson — Told in flashbacks, dark fairytales, and present-day prose, fourteen-year-old Emma, whose best friend has accused her father of heinous crimes, must testify against her friend’s word, and her carefully constructed “truths” about what she may or may not have witnessed between father and friend start to crumble.

The Sharp Edge of Silence by Cameron Kelly Rosenblum — In one of the most elite private high schools in the nation, Quinn, Charlotte and Max question everything they thought they knew about themselves and the school when Quinn’s sexual assault becomes public, implicating one of the top-tier athletes on campus. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

She is a haunting She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran — Seventeen-year-old bisexual Jade Nguyrn is spending the summer in Vietnam at the French colonial house her estranged father is fixing up as a vacation rental, but unbeknownst to her family, the house and its ghosts have other plans. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

COMING SOON! A Spark in the Cinders by Jenny Elder Moke — In a kingdom on the brink of ruin, one wicked stepsister will use her wits, cunning and fortitude (plus a little help from her fairy godparent) to embark on a dangerous quest for a magical relic that will save her people. Get the Audiobook

Spell bound Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens — Rival teenage apprentice sorcerers, Rook and Sun, must team up to save their teachers or risk losing their magic forever. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White — Set in an alternate Victorian England where mediums control the dead, sixteen-year-old autistic transgender boy Silas must expose a power-hungry secret society while confined to a cruel finishing school designed to turn him into the perfect wife. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Star splitter Star Splitter by Matthew Kirby — In 2199, 17-year-old Jessica Mathers wakes up on a desolate, post-extinction planet 14 light years from Earth and must make sense of the bloody destruction around her, as well as the questionable intentions of a familiar stranger. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Stateless by Elizabeth Wein — Stella North is one of twelve young pilots competing in a 1937 air race meant to promote peace in Europe, but when one of her competitors is sabotaged, Stella races to determine who is capable of murder, and who might be the next victim.

🌟 Their vicious games Their Vicious Games by Joelle Wellington — Eighteen-year-old Adina Walker, a scholarship student at a prestigious academy, faces the consequences of a single mistake and competes in a high-stakes contest hosted by the wealthy Remington family, where she uncovers unsettling truths about the sponsors and the contest’s high stakes. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson — Mikira, a seventeen-year-old daughter of a famous horse breeder, takes part in a magical horserace to save her family, and enlists the help of Arielle, a talented, black-market enchanter, and Damien, a young lord involved in a succession battle, who both have their own motives for helping her.

cover_imageThis Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham — Ex-zombies living in Southern California, four best friends attend a musical festival in the desert, as a last hurrah before graduation, where they soon discover someone is drugging ghouls and reawakening their hunger for flesh and must work together to stop the carnage. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

This Time It’s Real by Ann Liang — When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s entirely fictional essay about meeting her perfect boyfriend goes viral at her international school in Beijing, she has to make a deal with the handsome and charming Caz Song to play the part–but when the relationship starts to feel real all her career plans are suddenly threatened. Get the eBook

Those pink mountain nights Those Pink Mountain Nights by Jen Ferguson — While working at Pink Mountain Pizza, three teens — overachiever Berlin, high school dropout Cameron and rich girl Jessie — find their weekend taking unexpected turns, forcing them all to acknowledge the various ways they’ve been hurt–and how much they need each other to hold it all together.

Unraveller by Frances Hardinge — Fifteen-year-old Kellen’s unique ability to unravel curses unfortunately does not protect him from becoming cursed, and unless he and his best friend and ally Nettle can remove his hex, Kellen is in danger of unravelling everything — and everyone — around him. Get the Audiobook

🌟 Warrior girl unearthed Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley — With the rising number of missing Indigenous women, her family’s involvement in a murder investigation, and grave robbers profiting off her Anishinaabe tribe, Perry takes matters into her own hands to solve the mystery and reclaim her people’s inheritance. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

We Are All So Good at Smiling by Amber McBride — When hospitalized for her clinical depression, Whimsy connects with a boy named Faerry, who also suffers from the traumatic loss of a sibling, and together they work to unearth buried memories and battle the fantastical physical embodiment of their depression.

We deserve monuments We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds — When seventeen-year-old Avery moves to rural Georgia to live with her ailing grandmother, she encounters decade-old family secrets and a mystery surrounding the town’s racist past. Get the Audiobook

What Happened to Rachel Riley? by Claire Swinarski — Thirteen-year-old new girl Anna Hunt decides to make an investigative podcast about how fellow classmate Rachel Riley went from being the most popular girl in school to the most hated.

What stalks among us What Stalks Among Us by Sarah Hollowell — Best friends and high school seniors Sadie and Logan make their first mistake when they ditch their end-of-year field trip to the amusement park in favor of exploring some old, forgotten backroads. The last thing they expect to come across is a giant, abandoned corn maze.

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb — When a young emigrant from their tiny village goes missing while heading to America, angel Uriel and demon Little Ash set off to find her and encounter many humans in need of their help as they face obstacles ahead of them as difficult as what they’ve left behind. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

Where you see yourself Where You See Yourself by Claire Forrest — Effie Galanos’ goals for her senior year include her navigating her way through her high school that is not really wheelchair-friendly, getting into the perfect college, and getting her crush Wilder to accompany her to the prom — but by spring she is beginning to see herself entirely differently. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

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