There are some incredible young adult books coming out this fall! Today we’ll share a few quick reviews of YA books releasing in November that you’ll definitely need to add to your to-be-read list!
3 Quick YA Book Reviews for November Releases
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia
Description: “Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.”
The Diabolic is a science fiction/dystopian novel that has a lot of backbone: a human-ish girl is disguised as the girls he’s trying to protect and is sent to a sort of galactic court.
The idea of royalty and subterfuge is not a new one, but I enjoyed the new take on it with using genetically altered humans and the futuristic setting. The story is focused on political machinations and has many opportunities for twists and surprises.
Overall: The action and characterization was strong – enough to carry most of the story – but mosts twists I saw from a mile away. I wanted a little more from this story that had so much potential.
We Are Still Tornadoes
Author: Michael Kun and Susan Mullen
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Description: “Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it’s the 80’s after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they’ve graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.
During their first year apart, Scott and Cath’s letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that’s clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond.”
I adored everything about this book! It’s told in an epistolary style, meaning that the story is told through letters. The book is also set in the 80s (hence the letters and no texting!), which adds another element of whimsy and nostalgia.
My biggest concern with this story in the beginning was that some level of emotion or detail would be missing. The letters are written in first person, but are addressed to another person, so there are really no inner reflection opportunities.
What you get instead is actually more revealing: honest emotions, fun inside jokes and the innate confusion that comes with communicating any other way than in person.
Overall: Everythign about this story worked together to deliver something retro yet fresh and moving but still light. Read this one!
Author: Molly Booth
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Description: “Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.
One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater.
It’s London, 1601, and with her awesome new pixie cut, everyone thinks Emma’s a boy–even Will Shakespeare himself. With no clue how to get home, Emma gamely plays her role as backstage assistant to the original production of Hamlet, learning a thing or two about the theater, and meeting an incredibly hot actor named Alex who finds Emma as intriguing as she finds him. But once Emma starts traveling back and forth through time, things get really confusing. Which boy is the one for her? In which reality does she belong? Will Lulu ever forgive her? And can she possibly save two disastrous productions of Hamlet before time runs out?”
To me, this book epitomizes what young adult books are all about: expanding horizons. If you’re like me at all, Shakespeare was something I wanted to enjoy in high school but just felt like it was out of my reach.
This story not only makes Shakespeare and specifically Hamlet relatable but it also gives it incredible depth. The story is split between a high school production of Hamlet and the first real performance of Hamlet in London during the 1600s!
Time travel definitely takes place, along with one of the most authentically voiced main characters I’ve read in awhile.
Overall: While the book skews to a bit younger of a reader (14-15 years old), it also tackled big issues like gender roles in a really easy-to-read way. This is a very well-written story with realistic teen dialogue and fun romance – definitely recommended.
Hope you enjoyed these November young adult books – they’re all very much worth reading!