#QuietYA: Ten underrated August books to read

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I get asked often what, exactly, #quietYA is. The traditional definition is about books that aren’t very action packed and slower paced, but I use it to talk about books that are not bestsellers, not award winners, and that don’t have any kind of book or TV deal. So often, the same books are discussed over and over again and unfortunately, books fall through the cracks. But I believe that every book published is needed by someone and I want to create the best possible chance to get those books in hands.

#quietYA is my attempt to make that happen.

Here are ten #quietYA books that released this month that you might have missed.

beneath wandering stars ashlee cowlesBeneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles
Publisher: Merit Press
Release date: August 1
After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? 

cherry lindsey rosinCherry by Lindsey Rosin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: August 16
Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together… separately. Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months. Alex has already done it. Or so she says. Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot. And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles. Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.

vicarious paula stokesVicarious by Paula Stokes
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: August 16
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price. When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

unscripted joss byrd lygia day penaflorUnscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Penaflor
Publisher: Roaring Brook Pres
Release date: August 23
Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

100 days nicole mcinnes100 Days by Nicole McInnes
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Release date: August 23
Agnes doesn’t know it, but she only has one hundred days left to live. When she was just a baby, she was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare disease that causes her body to age at roughly ten times the normal rate. Now nearly sixteen years old, Agnes has already exceeded her life expectancy. Moira has been Agnes’s best friend and protector since elementary school. Due to her disorder, Agnes is still physically small, but Moira is big. Too big for her own liking. With her goth makeup and all-black clothes, Moira acts like she doesn’t care. But she does. Boone was friends with both girls in the past, but that was a long time ago—before he did the thing that turned Agnes and Moira against him.

thieving weasels billy taylorThieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: August 23
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron. “One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless and manipulative as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.

don't you trust me patricia kindlDon’t You Trust Me? by Patricia Kindl
Publisher: Atheneum
Release date: August 30
Don’t you trust me? I mean, look at me. Blond, blue-eyed, the very image of innocence. Pretty enough, if you care about that kind of thing. But would a normal person switch identities with some wet mess of a girl at the airport, just to get her to stop bawling about being separated from her loser boyfriend and sent to live with some distant relatives? Nope, she wouldn’t. Yet I did. I’m not as normal as you think. And you’ll just have to trust me on that.

just kill me adam selzerJust Kill Me by Adam Selzer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: August 30
Megan Henske isn’t one to heed warnings. When the last letters in her alphabet cereal are D, I, and E, she doesn’t crawl right back into bed. When her online girlfriend won’t text a photo, she just sends more of herself. And when she realizes that Cynthia, her boss at a Chicago ghost tour company, isn’t joking about making stops more haunted by killing people there, she doesn’t quit her job—she may even help. But who is responsible for the deaths of prominent figures in the murdermonger industry? Could it be the head of the rival tour company? Or could it be someone near and dear to Megan? Soon after she learns that she has an uncanny resemblance to a flapper who disappeared in 1922, Megan receives a warning she can’t ignore: the next ghost on the tour might be her.

the form of things unknown robin bridgesThe Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: August 30
Natalie Roman isn’t much for the spotlight. But performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a stately old theatre in Savannah, Georgia, beats sitting alone replaying mistakes made in Athens. Fairy queens and magic on stage, maybe a few scary stories backstage. And no one in the cast knows her backstory. Except for Lucas—he was in the psych ward, too. He won’t even meet her eye. But Nat doesn’t need him. She’s making friends with girls, girls who like horror movies and Ouija boards, who can hide their liquor in Coke bottles and laugh at the theater’s ghosts. Natalie can keep up. She can adapt. And if she skips her meds once or twice so they don’t interfere with her partying, it won’t be a problem. She just needs to keep her wits about her.

poppy mary hooperPoppy by Mary Hooper
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release date: August 30
England, 1914. Poppy is 15, beautiful, and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. She will become a servant to the aristocratic de Vere family . . . and bury her feelings for their youngest son, Freddie. He could never marry a girl like her. But the path for Poppy’s life changes when it becomes clear that the war isn’t going to end soon. England needs every able bodied person to serve in battle, which, for Poppy, means volunteering on the front lines as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. As she experiences what people are capable of–the best of humanity and the worst–Poppy will discover how to be her own person.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are always new YA readers who missed out on learning about the new titles, so older titles need love too! This month’s throwback pick is Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan.

love by the morning star laura l sullivanLove by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 3 2014
On the brink of World War II, two girls are sent to the grand English country estate of Starkers. Hannah, the half-Jewish daughter of a disgraced distant relative, has been living an artistic bohemian life in a cabaret in pre-war Germany and now is supposed to be welcomed into the family. Anna, the social-climbing daughter of working-class British fascists, is supposed to be hired as a maid so that she can spy for the Nazis. But there’s a mix-up, and nice Hannah is sent to the kitchen as a maid while arrogant Anna is welcomed as a relative. And then both girls fall for the same man, the handsome heir of the estate . . . or do they? In this saucy romance, nearly everything goes wrong for two girls who are sent to a grand English estate on the brink of World War II—until it goes so very, very right!

 

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About Author

Julie Daly

Julie Daly is sometimes known as Julianne. A recent college grad, when not job hunting, Julie is watching Netflix, talking about YA on twitter, or trying to make her cats play. In 2009, Julie joined a group blog called Bloggers[Heart]Books and her obsession with all things YA has grown exponentially. Though she no longer blogs, she did create #quietYA and is a cofounder of Blogbound Con. Julie has also interned at several publishers and sometimes plays bookseller. Follow her on Twitter at @DailyJulianne.

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