5 Future Classics for Young Adults
Each and every month, Hidden Gems subscribers get the opportunity to read and review dozens of new books from over fifteen different genres. As reflected in the publishing industry at large, Young Adult novels continue to be one of the more popular genres; and so we’ve compiled a list of a few of our subscriber favorites from the last few months.
The Fae & The Fallen by Brittni Chenelle
This book blew me away with its fresh, spicy new take of high school gossip and drama. The tale takes place at the mythical Gifted Fae Academy – a Hogwarts for fairies, I guess – and sees an un-magical girl find herself drawn intoxicatingly toward the most dangerous guy at school… literally.
In her 5-star review, Pinkwitch5 praised the author’s writing: “The author uses a unique way of story telling that had me immediately invested in the welfare of all the characters. She uses different points of views that invokes empathy in each situation.”
Reviewer Judi S shared my enthusiasm for reinventing a very overplayed genre: “Academy books have become such a *thing* that you would have to wonder, what can be done that’s new? Well, I’ll tell you. You can take the idea of an Academy for the powerful and make it yours. And Brittni did just this. Not only did she create an Academy that creates the Fae (nope, not telling you what I mean by that!), but one that just may not have the best interests of the students in mind. Ahhh…ulterior motives. Gotta love them!”
The Devil’s Tree by Susan McCauley
With an air of sinister mystery about it, you can’t help but be rapidly swept up in this creepy tale of teenage angst. Our protagonist is a 17-year-old girl desperate to escape her trailer park prison, who encounters a sinister, murderous evil haunting their tiny, dead-end town. Soon, tragedy and terror intermingle as Kaitlyn has to descend into darkness to free the souls of her lost friends.
Monica G wrote a 5-star review praising the chilling nature of the tale: “I wanted a scary story to read for Halloween and this was pretty darn good! I’m a Texan girl, like the author, and I could relate to the character and the ‘trapped’ feelings she had.”
S. R. Southard was impressed at how strong this author’s debut novel was: “Susan McCauley tells a gripping and enjoyable tale. She portrays her characters in a believable and vivid way, capturing Kaitlyn’s teenage angst and young love along with her strong yearning for a better life. The action moves along and McCauley’s adept scene descriptions put you right there with Kaitlyn as she struggles, at first unwillingly, against the dark forces of the Devil’s Tree and her own inner demons.”
Em by Shannon Greenland
As the cover suggests, you’ll be swept away by this tale of teenager Em – who is struggling to squeeze herself into her parents’ expectations, but whose heart secretly yearns to follow her own path in life. With a seamless blend of teenage angst, coming-of-age romance, and a good, old family mystery to solve, this first installment in Shannon Greenland’s The Summer My Life Began series is the perfect summer read.
“This story is a sweet journey of a high school graduate learning who she really is and how to stand up for herself,” writes JMcG in a 5-star review. “EM finds herself in a much more relatable lifestyle at her Aunt’s B&B by the sea then the one she left back in NY. She explores her passion for cooking and develops new relationships with some unlikely characters. I couldn’t put the book down as more and more secrets were resolved.”
Dedicated Book Enthusiast gave the book 5-stars, writing: “I found myself seeing a kindred spirit in Em. While my own teen and young adult years contained none of the same events, the feeling of them was altogether the same. This author is an expert in weaving story around lovable characters and making you want to know more about them. I truly loved this book and want more from this author.”
Flawed by Becky Bird
Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, this tale introduces us to two teens: Mia, who has humble roots, and Finn – who was born with a silver spoon. When they’re thrust together at an elite boarding school, there’s an instant connection neither of them can deny – if they can get over their own assumptions and insecurities first. In this brightly written tale of young love and self-discovery, author Becky Bird takes us on a journey that leaves every character changed by the end of it.
“Pride and Prejudice is literally my favorite Jane Austen novel,” Monica Khan writes in her 5-star review, “and I loved this modernization. Retellings can be difficult to tackle as they are always directly compared to the original, but this book, while paying homage to the original, is an incredibly unique retelling.”
In another 5-star review, Callen-wisdom outlined a list of the novel’s highlights: “I’ve always loved the book, Pride and Prejudice, and Flawed, this modern tale was wonderfully written to capture the essence of what that story is about. How our flaws can either hold us back or bring us strength when we learn to accept them and forgive others for their mistakes or flaws. I really enjoyed the characters, especially Mia, she is a little judging and a lot snarky. I liked the description of the world created in this book, set in a rich private school that Mia and her sister Jade had earned scholarships to attend. The mean girls are present and add to the mis-adventures the sisters get into as they navigate through this world of rich and spoiled. I loved the alternating pov from Mia and Finn. The social anxiety touch brought some real connections to the story.”
Gods of Merlin by Priya Ardis
I’m addicted to anything Arthurian, and in Gods of Merlin, author Priya Ardis weaves a wonderful tale of reluctant destiny, ancient evil, and timeless romance.
S.R. Cronin writes: “I’ve got a fond spot for females who get to be the chosen one (for once) and I found Eowlyn to be particularly likable. I rooted for her from the start. I’m also a life long fan of the many variations of the King Arthur tale and it was fun to see it given a new twist.”
“This book was an exciting, intriguing, adventurous read filled with magical, mystical, and paranormal elements!” Allykitten writes in her review. “I really enjoyed that this book was a modern day follow up to the classic Sword and the Stone fairy-tales and mythologies that many of us have grown up with. I liked that Miss Ardis made sure all the lore love was ever so present front and center as she made sure King Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, Lady of the Lake, Excalibur, and Camelot were all included and incorporated into the modernization story line. I love when authors can pull a time-honored story and put a decent spin on it that allows the reader to reconnect with a favorite pastime read and build on to the story with a fascinating, but fitting story line that even the original authors would approve of.”