#QuietYA: 10 underrated February YA books to read

0

Time to expand your YA reading. Julianne Daly shares nine #quietYA books that released this month.

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.

of better blood susan mogerOf Better Blood by Susan Moger
Publisher: Aw Teen
Release date: February 1
Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against “the unfit.” State laws allow institutions to sterilize minorities, the “feeble-minded,” and the poor, while local eugenics councils set up exhibits at county fairs with “fitter family” contests and propaganda. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But when Dorchy befriends Rowan, the two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something horrific is happening to the children.

 

red ink julie mayhewRed Ink by Julie Mayhew
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release date: February 9
When her mother is knocked down and killed by a London bus, fifteen-year-old Melon Fouraki is left with no family worth mentioning. Her mother, Maria, never did introduce her to a living, breathing father. The indomitable Auntie Aphrodite, meanwhile, is hundreds of miles away on a farm in Crete, and she is not likely to jump on a plane to come to East Finchley anytime soon. But at least Melon has The Story. The Story is the Fouraki family fairy tale. A story is something. With tenderness and humor, this time-shifting novel offers a narrator by turns angry and vulnerable, hurt and defiant as she struggles with sudden grief—and the unfolding process of finding out who she really is.

bleeding earth kaitlin wardBleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Release date: February 9
Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, all over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones. Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father.

Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

peas and carrots tanita s davisPeas & Carrots by Tanita S. Davis
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 9
Dess knows that nothing good in life lasts: her mother’s sobriety will inevitably fade, her abusive father’s absence is never long enough, and her brother Austin—the one bright spot in their family—was put into foster care when he was still a baby. Disappointment is never far away, and that’s a truth that Dess has learned to live with. Dess’s mother’s arrest is just the latest in a long line of disappointments, but this one lands the teen with Austin’s foster family. Dess doesn’t exactly fit in with the Carters.  Dess and Hope couldn’t be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters, and at their core, they want the same thing: to belong.

some of the parts hannah barnabySome of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 16
For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she’s okay. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful façade she’s built around herself: ORGAN DONOR. Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.

the word for yes claire needellThe Word for Yes by Claire Needell
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: February 16
After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, aren’t exactly close. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes. Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence. And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.

longbow girl linda daviesLongbow Girl by Linda Davies
Publisher: Chicken House
Release date: February 23
A story set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, where the brave and beautiful Merry Owen, the Longbow Girl, travels back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry VIII to save her ancestors. Steeped in history, ancient lore and crackling with tension between the central characters Merry and James, Longbow Girl explores the themes of who we are and who we can become when fighting for those we love and for our very lives. Are we prisoners of our history or can we break free? Can we become all that we need to be to meet the ultimate challenge of life and death in the King’s Tournament and in the dungeons of the Black Castle?

the smell of other peoples houses bonnie sue hitchcockThe Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release date: February 23
In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Four very different lives are about to become entangled. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed.

the bitter side of sweet tara sullivanThe Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release date: February 23
Fifteen-year-old Amadou counts the things that matter. But Amadou doesn’t know how much he and his little brother Seydou owe, and the bosses at the cacao plantation won’t tell him. Tricked into forced labor in the Ivory Coast, they spend day after day living on little food and harvesting beans in the hot sun. With no hope of escape, all they can do is try their best to stay alive—until Khadija comes into their lives. She fights bravely every day, attempting escape again and again, reminding Amadou what it means to be free. The old impulse to run is suddenly awakened. The three band together as family and try to escape.

nora and kettle lauren nicolle taylorNora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release date: February 29
Seventeen-year-old Kettle is an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, but things are finally looking up. Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive Nora the daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister, Frankie, and wishing on the stars every night for things to change. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide.

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 Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little.

forbidden kimberly griffiths littleForbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: November 4 2014
In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart. Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying. With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Join our YA newsletter:

No spam guarantee.

Share.

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.

Comments are closed.