For Readers

Young Adult Stories To Enjoy This Spring

By: Hidden Gems on April 16, 2024

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on April 16, 2024


If you have a young reader in your family, or even if it is just a guilty pleasure of yours, we’ve rounded up a collection that includes a variety of young adult stories that have been popular and well-liked by Hidden Gems ARC readers.

Dead Girl

Dead Girl by Kerrie Faye

Death has its advantages, or so Ember O’Neill discovers when a deadly prank transforms her from a bullied outcast to a school tyrant. Resurrected and secretly supernatural, she topples the reigning drama queen and wins the affections of the new heartthrob. But her newfound power attracts dangerous attention when an assassin from the heretical Order targets her. Ember faces a difficult choice about whether to reveal her abilities to protect herself and her friends, risking everything she’s gained, as her would-be killer draws near.

“The characterization is well done. Ember is imperfect and relatable as are her closest friends Erick and Hallee, her love interest Logan, as well as a mysterious friend she meets while dream walking,” Anonymous wrote in their 5-star review. “Other minor characters play interesting roles in rounding out the high school experience and making Ember’s experiences feel real to the reader.”

“All of us have known the Mean Girls [and guys] in our world. Whether they infested high school, college/grad school, or the business world, they possessed that one quality that made us feel like nothing, less than. This is why Dead Girl and its characters are relatable on a variety of levels—and make you want to stand up and cheer. So get ready for the ride of your life as you watch Ember and her two best friends form a bond that leads them on an adventure worthy of All American heroes,” Kathryn C. wrote in their 5-star review. “For a first novel, author Faye has done a terrific job, and we wait for the next in her Dead Girl adventures”

The Rogue Sea

The Rogue Sea by Christy Greenwood

When five girls go missing from five kingdoms, Celeste’s world falls apart as she learns her cousin is one of the girls. With two fire mages on her side, she must fulfill the destiny that only a girl with no magic could. With war looming on the horizon, is thirty days enough to find the lost girls?

“They will have just 30 days to find 5 missing girls. The council has met for the first time in 5 years and no one can agree but they know they need to solve the mystery. Who will they send to solve it? Can they find any clues? Will they find the answers they need? Where will it take you?” Tanya wrote in their 5-star review. “Follow them to find out.”

“This was a fun and interesting book,” wrote Angie H. in their 5-star review.

Blaze Union and the Puddin' Head Schools

Blaze Union and the Puddin’ Head Schools by W.T. Kosmos

Join Blaze Union, a rebellious fourteen-year-old guitarist, in her battle against a corrupted national education system. MegaCorp’s book-banning profits soar, Mega Gossip captivates screen-obsessed youth, and inept politicians turn schools into battlegrounds between the Puddin’ Heads and the Sweeties, and those with small hands and those with large hands. Expelled for defying “large hand” rules after her school was attacked with a cookie bomb, Blaze emerges as the Puddin’ Heads’ unlikely leader. She confronts the “supreme” prime minister, a divisive figure with tiny hands and a monstrous appetite for discord. Blaze’s struggle extends beyond restoring order to Island Nation Schools; it delves into profound existential questions. Will she spark an educational revolution or succumb to outlandish opposition? Prepare for an adventure challenging perceptions of schools, self-discovery, and the human spirit.

“Like all the best satire, this book works on multiple levels. On the surface, it’s a silly and entertaining romp through a Neverland of memorable characters and wild adventures in the vein of Roald Dahl’s imaginative and slightly irreverent style. At the same time, the book capitalizes on this diverting story to expose and critique the absurdities of modern education in the face of ever-widening political polarization,” Karen P. wrote in their 5-star review. “As both a mom and an educator, I’ve frequently encountered these absurdities head-on, often unsure whether to laugh, cry, or launch a revolution. This book manages to harness laughter to provoke critical thought and lead a rallying cry for change that challenges and transcends the nonsense on all sides of cultural extremism.”

“Fast-paced hilarious adventure for teens, although educators and adults might like it as much or more. A funny satire on the culture wars in schools, especially the absurd ones,” Anonymous wrote in their 5-star review.

The Tigers of Talighati

The Tigers of Talighati by Dave Ryan Haaiski

In the enchanted jungles of Asia, three tiger cubs—Dabbu, Vaayu, and Neela—live under the care of their devoted parents, Leela and Tej. Each cub possesses a distinct personality: Dabbu is fond of eating and sleeping, Neela is an adept learner who enjoys conversing with birds, and Vaayu is carefree and unconventional. Their idyllic life takes a drastic turn when an imminent threat looms over their homeland, Talighati. An evil monster, aided by malevolent advisors, spies, and a ruthless army of dholes, advances to seize territories and destroy everything in its path. With danger approaching, the family faces a daunting choice: stay and fight or flee. However, the odds seem insurmountable. As they embark on a perilous journey downriver, they encounter various challenges, uncertain allies, and potential betrayals. Their fate hangs in the balance as they confront the evil army and its monstrous leader.

“We start out with these adorable tiger cubs living their best lives in the jungle, and then things get flipped upside down. No spoilers, but let’s just say there’s danger, adventure, and a whole lot of learning about how animals survive. This book totally reminded me of those classic coming-of-age stories we all loved as kids, but with a fiercer twist. It had me on the edge of my seat and totally rooting for the cubs. Haaiski does a fantastic job of bringing the jungle to life, and you can practically feel the heat and smell the flowers,” Gabriella wrote in their 5-star review. “If you’re looking for an exciting animal adventure with a heart, this is definitely the book for you.”

“This story is loaded with action, enigma, and a mix of feelings. You’ll see yourself rooting for these tigers as they encounter challenges, make new mates, and fight the baddies. It’s excellent for anyone who values compelling stories with twisting, courage, a little bit of laughter, and spectacular moments,” Courtney wrote in their 5-star review.

I Hunt for Stars Alone

I Hunt for Stars Alone by Ricardo Quintana-Vallejo

Following the events of 9/11, a young Mexican boy moves with his mother and brother to an Indiana town. Amidst a society distrustful of outsiders, he grapples with issues of identity, sexuality, and bullying, supported by his loyal friends Ji-Hyeok and Emily Rossi. His journey unfolds through the lyrical lens of free verse, capturing the boundless potential of youth, while his older self reflects on his memories through the structured elegance of sonnets.

“I felt close to the characters in this story and like any great book, I’ll miss a few of them. They felt real to me like I could give them a call and pick up where the book left off. This is the skill of a gifted writer,” Marc V. wrote in their 5-star review.

“This is an amazing book. It’s written so beautifully and has a touching narrative. I’m a fan of both poetry and fiction, so it was a perfect gift,” Nick D. wrote in their 5-star review.

Hidden Gems readers got to read these books for free, so if you want more YA, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review once they’re done.

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