HomeRecommendations & reviewsYoung adult → New Young Adult books for March 2018

New Young Adult books for March 2018

Written by · Published Feb 28, 2018

Children of Blood and Bone, The Exact Opposite of Okay, The Invasion

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

This highly-anticipated fantasy novel is already being made into a film.

“Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

“But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.”

Who Killed Darius Drake?, by W. R. Philbrick

In the new title from the author of Freak the Mighty and Lobster Boy:

“When genius orphan Darius employs school tough guy Arthur ‘Bash-Man’ to help him find out who sent a note asking ‘who killed Darius Drake?’, they get caught up in a mystery. Darius’s grandfather was imprisoned for forging evidence in the hunt for a diamond necklace, and it’s still missing. So they start searching - and find tons of trouble!”

Out of the Blue, by Sophie Cameron

In the debut from the Bath Children’s Novel Award shortlisted author:

“When angels start falling from the sky, it seems like the world is ending. For most people it doesn’t. But for Jaya the world ended when her mum died, two weeks before the first angel fell. Smashing down to Earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived and, as the world goes angel crazy, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh, intent on catching one alive.

“But Jaya can’t stand his obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mum’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it. Then something amazing happens: an angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive.”

State of Sorrow, by Melinda Salisbury

“Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she’s loved since childhood.

“But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or embark on a power struggle for a position she never really wanted.”

Ghosts & Jamal, by Bridget Blankley

“Waking up in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, 14-year-old Jamal tries to piece together what has happened whilst simultaneously trying to evade capture by the attackers.”

Jamal’s journey takes him out of the compound he lives in, around the city, to his grandparents’ and to hospital, plagued by ‘bad spirits’.

Blankley won the Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize in 2016.

The Exact Opposite of Okay, by Laura Steven

“Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by.

“Izzy never expected to be 18 and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off - but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay.”

Publisher Egmont describe this as ‘a no-holds-barred, unashamedly feminist firecracker of a novel.’

Boy 87, by Ele Fountain

A brave and powerful novel about a boy refugee.

“Shif is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves chess and playing with his best friend. But, one day, he is forced to leave home to avoid conscription into the army. He embarks on an epic journey, in which he encounters dangers and cruelties - and great acts of human kindness - as he bravely makes his way to a future he can only imagine.”

Big Bones, by Laura Dockrill

“Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones, is a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she’s perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself.”

The moving and hilarious new teen novel from writer and poet Dockrill has been described by author Joanne Owen as ‘quite simply, the best YA book about self-esteem and body image I’ve ever read.’

The Truth About Alice, by Jennifer Mathieu

“From the author of Moxie](/new-suggestions/young-adult/moxie-by-jennifer-mathieu/) comes a startling book about stereotypes, slut shaming and the battle for popularity.

“In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students - the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex best friend and the boy next door - tell all they know. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.”

The Invasion, by Peadar Ó Guilin

In the sequel to the Carnegie-longlisted The Call:

“In a world where teenagers are trained for the most horrific three minutes of their lives, Nessa and Anto have both survived their Call, but fate has a cruel way of rewarding them. Nessa is branded a traitor as no one believes that someone like her could survive the experience. She’s thrown in prison and eventually sent where all traitors are sent - back to the horrifying Greylands, but this time there’s no way home. Anto is packed off out of the way to join the militia.

“Ireland is being invaded and the enemy are building their army from the very people defending it. However, Anto can’t get Nessa off his mind, he knows in his heart that she’s innocent and he’ll go to any length to rescue her.”

Orphan Monster Spy, by Matt Killeen

“Sarah has played many roles. Dutiful daughter. Talented gymnast. Persecuted Jew. Lost orphan. But now she faces her most challenging role of all. Now she must become the very thing she hates. For the only way she can survive as a spy at a boarding school for the cream of Nazi society is to become a monster like them. A monster who can destroy them.”

Flame in the Mist, by Renee Ahdieh

Epic feminist story set in feudal Japan.

“Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored.

“When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan en route to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden - the emperor’s son - Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued - or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.”

More Than We Can Tell, by Brigid Kemmerer

This novel may particularly appeal to fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven.

“Rev works hard to keep the demons of the time before his adoption at bay until a letter from his father after his 18th birthday brings the trauma of his childhood hurtling back. Emma escapes real life by perfecting the online game she built from scratch. Coding is way easier than facing her parents’ nasty relationship or the growing distance with her best friend. But when an online troll’s harassment starts to escalate, she fears for her safety.

“When Rev and Emma meet, they’re buckling under the weight of their secrets. Though both of them find it hard to put their problems into words, they connect instantly and deeply. Rev and Emma’s problems might be worlds apart, but they promise to help each other no matter what. But promises are made to be tested and some things hurt more than we can tell.”

The Astonishing Colour of After, by Emily W. R. Pan

“Leigh Chen Sanders is sixteen when her mother commits suicide, leaving only a scribbled note: ‘I want you to remember’. Leigh doesn’t know what it means, but when a red bird appears with a message, she finds herself travelling to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time.

“Leigh is far away from home and far away from Axel, her best friend, who she stupidly kissed on the night her mother died - leaving her with a swell of guilt that she wasn’t home, and a heavy heart, thinking she may have destroyed the one good thing left in her life.

“Overwhelmed by grief and the burden of fulfilling her mother’s last wish, Leigh retreats into her art and into her memories, where colours collide and the rules of reality are broken. The only thing Leigh is certain about is that she must find out the truth.”

According to Kirkus Reviews, ‘the stigma of mental illness and the terrible loneliness of not being accepted form the heart of this emotionally honest tale.’

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.