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Hidden Gems of YA – Part Two

Hello all, I hope you are all doing well. A couple of days ago I shared a post talking about some of the hidden gems in YA that I wish got more love. That post was part one of a two part series! you can read part one here. This post is part two of hidden gems of YA!

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Suguira

“Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.”

This book sat on my bookshelf for way too long. When I finally got round to reading it I fell in love with the story and its characters and the beautiful writing that surrounded it. It is such a wonderful book that I wish more people knew about! I really recommend this hidden gem!

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

“Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…”

This book is extremely sex positive and talks about HIV so openly. It also has musical theatre weaved throughout and I loved it. Full Disclosure is such a good book that I read so quickly and throughly enjoyed. It is a fast-paced, fun, real and informative read that I really feel needs more love!

The Sky is Mine by Amy Beashel

“No one has ever asked Izzy what she wants. She’s about to change all that…

In a house adept at sweeping problems under the carpet, seventeen-year-old Izzy feels silenced. As her safety grows uncertain, Izzy know three things for sure. She knows not to tell her mother that Jacob Mansfield has been threatening to spread those kinds of photos around college. She knows to quiet the grief that she’s been abandoned by her best friend Grace. And, seeing her mother conceal the truth of her stepdad’s control, Izzy also knows not to mention how her heart splinters and her stomach churns whenever he enters a room.

When the flimsy fabric of their life starts to unravel, Izzy and her mum must find their way out of the silence and use the power in their voices to rediscover their worth.”

I was lucky enough to get a proof of this book last year at YALC and I read it almost immediately. So many people just don’t know that this book exists when they really should do! It is insightful, heart-breaking and eye-opening and I was a huge fan of it. It is a real debut hidden gem of YA from an amazing author!

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

“It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.”

I feel like this is a book not many people know exists. But, it is a book that more people should know about and read! I can’t ignore the fact that this is a tough read but it is a necessary read and shows what can happen in America with school shootings. It is written incredibly. If you can get your hands on this book, it is well worth the read!

Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green

“In the town of Newsands, painfully shy Alex is abandoned by his two best friends for the summer. But he unexpectedly lands a part-time job at Wonderland, a run-down amusement arcade on the seafront, where he gets to know the other teen misfits who work there. Alex starts to come out of his shell, and even starts to develop feelings for co-worker Ben… who, as Alex’s bad luck would have it, has a girlfriend.

Then as debtors close in on Wonderland and mysterious, threatening notes start to appear, Alex and his new friends take it on themselves to save their declining employer. But, like everything in Wonderland, nothing is quite what it seems…”

This is the perfect summer book that just thinking about brings a smile to my face. Simon James Green has such a way with words and having the ability to make his readers laugh. I wish this book got more love because it really deserves it. Simon James Green is a joy and so are his books!

There you have it, part two of the little two part series all about hidden gems of YA. Be sure to check out part one here. What YA books would you recommend as an incredible hidden gem? Let me know in the comments below!

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