13 upcoming young adult books that weren't written by Kendall and Kylie Jenner


Kendall and Kylie Jenner have a new book coming out, so mark your calendars for November 15. Or don’t! Let’s hear it for agency.

Time of the Twins, co-written with Elizabeth Killmond-Roman and Katherine Killmond for publisher Regan Arts, is the sequel to 2014’s Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia, ghostwritten by Maya Sloan. The second installment in the Jenner sisters’ series of dystopian young adult fiction ditches the first’s cumbersome title while continuing its plot concerning two sisters “in search of the mother they thought was dead.”

There’s no telling if Time of the Twins will be good or not. (Reviews for Rebels: City of Indra ranged from “not good” to “isn’t that bad.”) But one thing we can say is that the book has already received a hugely disproportionate amount of coverage since it was announced, which isn’t super surprising, given that the Jenner sisters are two of the most famous young women in America.

No knock against Kendall and Kylie’s entrepreneurial efforts, but there are plenty of YA novels that never get the kind of attention theirs has received in the past 24 hours alone—particularly those written by or about people of color, queer people, and trans people. (Check out Brooklyn Mag books editor Molly McArdle’s report on the “dismal” state of representation and diversity in publishing if you want to read more about this issue.) So instead of adding another word to the pile of PR Time of the Twins has already received, here are 13 upcoming YA novels worthy of a spot in your summer reading list that don’t have the Kardashian-Jenner publicity machine behind them.

1. Outrun the Moon, Stacey Lee

Release date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
From Amazon: “Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in [San Francisco’s] Chinatown [in 1906], and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.”

2. You Know Me Well: A Novel, Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Release date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
From Amazon: “Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken… That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.”

3. True Letters from a Fictional Life, Kenneth Logan

Release date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
From Amazon: “If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy. But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world—letters he never intends to send—he spills the truth… It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts. James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?”

4. The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores, Danielle Vega

Release date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
From Amazon: “Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else…until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish.”

5. Towers Falling, Jewell Parker Rhodes

Release date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
From Amazon: “From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes [comes] a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks. When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side.”

6. Shiny Broken Pieces: A Tiny Pretty Things Novel, Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Release date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
From Amazon: “June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?”

7. Enter Title Here, Rahul Kanakia

Release date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
From Amazon: “Reshma is a college counselor’s dream… But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all. What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course… But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend… Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)”

8. Vicarious, Paula Stokes

Release date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: For Teen
From Amazon: “Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be. Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs… When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her own life in the process.”

9. A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir

Release date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
From Amazon: “Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—and save her brother, whose knowledge of Serric steel is the key to the Scholars’ future. And Elias is determined to stay by Laia’s side…even if it means giving up his own chance at freedom. But Elias and Laia will have to fight every step of the way if they’re going to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.”

10. Into White, Randi Pink

Release date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Feiwell & Friends
From Amazon: “LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. It seems as if her only friend is her older brother, Alex. Toya doesn’t know where she fits in, but after a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were…different. And then a higher power answers her prayer: to be “anything but black.” Toya is suddenly white, blond, and popular. Now what? Randi Pink’s audacious fiction debut dares to explore a subject that will spark conversations about race, class, and gender.”

11. The Lovely Reckless, Kami Garcia

Release date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Imprint
From Amazon: “Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop… Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?”

12. Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity, Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Release date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
From Amazon: “The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy. Now she’s a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first she has some unfinished business with her dad. So she’s driving halfway across the country to his wedding… Along the way, Jess and [best friend Christophe, a.k.a. “Chunk”] learn a few things about themselves―and each other―which call their feelings about their relationship into question.”

13. Of Fire and Stars, Audrey Coulthurst

Release date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
From Amazon: “Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden… When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.”

Bad at filling out bios seeks same.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin