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YA Summer Reads to Escape Into

Published on 4 August, 2022

Perfect for readers of all kinds, these YA titles feature fantastical settings, lovable characters and gripping stories—so settle down, and escape to a new world this summer.

FABLE by Adrienne Young

Seventeen-year-old Fable is a dredger—a freediver who excavates rare gemstones from the coral reefs that fill The Narrows. For the last four years, she’s been trying to get off the island of Jeval, find the father who abandoned her there, and claim her mother’s place on his trading crew. But when she finally makes it off the island, she discovers it may have been the safest place for her.

TOGETHER WE BURN by Isabel Ibañez

Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragador in Hispalia. During their 500th anniversary show, a horrible accident occurs when the dragons escape causing death and destruction in the ring, and injuring Zarela's father. Now Zarela has to protect her ancestral home and inheritance—even if it means taking her father’s place as the Dragador of La Giralda. With someone out to ruin her family, Zarela must fight to survive.

THE DROWNING SUMMER by Christine Lynn Herman

Mina Zanetti is a fledgling medium, desperate to share in her mother’s world and speak with the dead. But Sand Dollar Cove is still reeling from the unsolved murders of three teenagers six years ago, found with sand dollars on their eyes. And Evelyn Mackenzie has felt every day of it, as the town blames her father for the deaths. When Mina and Evelyn conduct a ritual to speak to the dead they unwittingly draw the furies of the spirit realm. Mina and Evelyn must learn to rebuild their trust, and unearth all the buried mysteries of Sand Dollar Cove to lay the ghosts of The Drowning Summer to rest.


Ning is bereft after she unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her mother—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister. Her only hope is a competition to find the kingdom's greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning's only chance to save her sister's life. But between the backstabbing competitors and bloody court politics, Ning might be the one in more danger.

LAKESEDGE by Lyndall Clipstone

Violeta Graceling has spent her life trying to protect herself and her brother Arien from their adoptive mother’s twisted cruelty; a cruelty driven by the mysterious shadows that spill from Arien’s unwitting hands, and speak of dark magic. To escape, they take a position at the estate of Rowan Sylvanan—the so-called “Monster of Lakesedge”—who comes seeking Arien’s power. Rowan, it is whispered, stalks the halls of his manor and the shores of the blackened, cursed lake.


After the death of her girlfriend, Felicity Morrow returns to Dalloway School for a second chance at senior year. Subject to pity and whispers, she retreats into her studies and her obsession with the school’s dark and witchy past. Felicity’s only distraction is Ellis Haley, a prodigy working on a novel about what drives a person to kill. Ellis recruits her to help plot the perfect hypothetical murder for her book, which she swears will banish the guilt and ghosts of Felicity’s past. Their attraction and intense commitment to Ellis’ plan grows – but not everyone will make it out alive…


Tina Mains has always known that she's not an average teenager – she's also the hidden clone of legendary savior Captain Thaoh Argentian, disguised as a human to keep her safe from a terrible evil. But when her destiny arrives it isn't what she expected. Things are more dangerous than she assumed – and everyone is expecting her to actually be the brilliant tactician. But Tina is just Tina, the Royal Fleet is losing the war and they barely manage to escape Earth with the planet still intact. Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachel, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she'll have to save herself.


Louisa doesn’t believe in magic, until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.

With only three days before the market disappears, Lou must navigate the treacherous market, controlled by bloodthirsty goblins who crave vengeance against her family. She must learn the songs and tricks of the goblins to save Neela, or the market might just end up claiming her too.


Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her father is murdered, she's thrust into power. Determined to find her father's killer, Hesina enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act in Yan, where magic was outlawed centuries ago. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

DREAD NATION by Justina Ireland

Trained at Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls in both weaponry and etiquette, Jane McKeene is poised for a successful career protecting the wealthy from the encroaching plague of walking dead. But when families begin to go missing, Jane uncovers a conspiracy that pits her against some powerful enemies. Sent far from home, Jane will need all her resourcefulness, wit and strength of character to survive.


As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. As heir to the throne, she must master the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. But the kingdom holds more wonder and peril than Amora anticipated. A destructive magic is on the rise, and to conquer it, Amora must face legendary monsters, vengeful mermaids, and a stow-away she never expected…

WHAT BIG TEETH by Rose Szabo

When Eleanor Zarrin flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she returns to the wild family she left behind. But she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds. In order to save them all from a growing danger, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.


When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden in a secret tunnel beneath their school library, they accidentally release a devil from his book-bound prison. To stay free, he’ll manipulate, murder and bleed into every inch of Tess’s life until his freedom is permanent. Forced to work together, Tess and Eliot have to find a way to re-trap the devil before he kills everyone they know and love, including, increasingly, each other. And compared to what the devil has in store for them, school stress suddenly doesn’t seem so bad after all.

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