Hey YA Podcast: Black YA Books to Get Into

On a recent episode of the Hey YA Podcast From Book Riot, hosts Erica Ezeifedi and Vanessa Diaz discuss the latest YA book news and some great books they’ve read by Black authors. You can listen below (scroll down for older episodes), or visit the episode page — “Hotties, Hauntings, and Heists: Black YA Books to Get Into” (the books discussion begins around 16:00 into the episode)…

Books discussed:

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.

“An excellent choice for fans of sophisticated horror that includes both paranormal and real-life terrors” (School Library Journal).

Seven minutes in Candyland Seven Minutes in Candyland by Brian Wasson — When rumors fly that he’s not just the master of sweets, due to his underground candy-selling hustle, but hearts, too, Kalvin, the son of two famous therapists, revels in his newfound fame helping heartbroken teens. His ego, a client’s jealous boyfriend, and a vengeful competitor threaten his plans and force Kal to rethink everything he thought he knew about friendship, family, and love.

“Fun, relatable, and with a dash of romance, Wasson’s novel hits the mark” (Booklist).

The weight of blood The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson — When her classmates discover her biracial identity, Maddy, a white-passing senior, becomes the target of their bullying and discovers she possesses secret powers that pose a risk to all who wronged her. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

“Readers will be hooked from page one of Maddy’s intense journey that detonates on prom night” (School Library Journal).

Out of body Out of Body by Nia Davenport — When 17-year-old Megan Allen is betrayed by her best friend, LC, and targeted by LC’s enemies, she is plunged into a waking nightmare and must claim what makes her uniquely herself to get her life back–or die trying.

“This fast-paced sci-fi thriller will delight readers looking for a tightly plotted novel with a strong voice and a unique take on memory, identity, and what makes us who we are” (Booklist).

This poison heart This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron — Teenaged Briseis, who possesses a supernatural power over plants, even poisonous ones, inherits a dilapidated estate in rural New York and must protect herself and her family from centuries-old secrets that threaten their lives. Get the eBook

“Masterfully weaves a unique story grounded in the depths of Greek mythology and Black girlhood, ideal for lovers of folklore or those who enjoy the thrill of a well-paced and unanticipated adventure” (Booklist).

Infinity alchemist Infinity Alchemist by Kacen Callender — Discovered practicing alchemy by apprentice Ramsay Thorne, Ash must help her find a sacred text of extraordinary power - a journey that forces him to discover his own definition of true power and how far he will go to seize it. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

“A fascinating magic system and heart-pounding action propel the plot . . .  in a refreshingly affirming and tender standout fantasy” (Publishers Weekly).

The taking of Jake Livingston The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass — When a murderous ghost begins to haunt sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston, high school soon becomes a different kind of survival game. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

“Jake’s experiences supply crucial social commentary and insight into the ways discrimination can isolate and depress teens. Spooky, atmospheric, and layered” (Kirkus Reviews).

Thieves' gambit Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis — Seventeen-year-old Ross Quest, a master thief, enters the Thieves’ Gambit, a competition consisting of dangerous, international heists, in order to save her mother’s life. Get the eBook | Get the Audiobook

“The high-octane stakes will appeal to fans of Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Ally Carter, and the twisty plotting is reminiscent of Ocean’s 8. This new teen criminal will steal hearts” (Booklist).

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