2019 Summer Book Bingo: Today’s Top 5 in YA
July 15, 2019
By Rachel Bachler
Something about adolescence is fleetingly romantic. Dystopian odds, unassuming heroes, nights that linger long after the mid-day sun has appeared; worlds that are often lost along the way to more seasoned-life literature. But every now and then, we allow ourselves a nostalgic indulgence in the Young Adult corner of Elliott Bay Book Company—only to find that our navigation of this section is no longer what it once was. To aid in the necessary indulgence: Today’s Top 5 in YA, bound to satisfy more than a few of those uninhabited Summer Book Bingo squares.
1) On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Best-selling author of The Hate U Give, Thomas pulls readers into the relentless coming-of-age story for a sixteen-year-old Brianna Jackson in low-income America. When DJ Hype finally gives Bri a spot in The Ring, she finds herself at the center of a viral controversy. Insightful and full of grit, On the Come Up summons heart and perseverance to tell a story of struggle, fight, and the cost of freedom.
2) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Exposed in an unforgiving Harlem neighborhood and unable to escape Mami’s tireless determination to conform her to the church, slam poetry becomes Xiomara’s only refuge. National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature, recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award and Pura Belpre Award, The Poet X reveals the undercurrents between identity and self-awareness. Confronting a culture of silence, Acevedo’s debut novel is a story about finding your voice.
3) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
At Williamson Prep, Starr is the latchkey kid. In Garden Heights, she is the prep school snob acknowledged only by the “Big Mav’s daughter” seemingly stamped on her birth certificate. Struggling to find a balance somewhere between the two, Starr’s reality is halted when her best friend is fatally shot by a police officer. Award-winning novel turned motion picture, The Hate U Give fearlessly exposes systemic racism in modern America, and the power of a single voice in the wake of injustice.
4) Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
Between the sterile white walls of Saint Grace’s and her daily treatment regimen, Stella Grant was calculated. Come within six feet of an infection, and her chances of a lung transplant drop to zero. Six feet had been easy, until a broody character of the Teen Vogue variety lands in room 315. #1 New York Times bestselling novel, Five Feet Apart humanizes the uncertainty of life, and love’s unyielding resolution.
5) Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Echo Ridge, Vermont: an unsuspecting backdrop for the murder and disappearance of two high school girls, and the new home for Ellery and Ezra Corcoran, at least for a little while. When the arrival of the Corcoran twins begins to unearth the town’s long-kept secrets however, Ellery finds herself a target for the killer. From the best-selling author of One of Us is Lying, Karen McManus delivers another irresistible thriller, Two Can Keep a Secret, with an addictively darkening plot.
Rachel Bachler is a Public Disclosure Officer with the City of Seattle, making strides in community relations and public transparency. An advocate for the arts, Rachel works on staff with the Seattle Symphony to promote consumer experience. Trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, she went on to earn her teaching certificate with American Ballet Theatre, later receiving their Affiliate Teacher Award. Rachel holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Hope International University.