Twelve #quietYA books you may have missed in February


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 12 books that released in February that you might have missed.

American Panda by Gloria Chao
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: February 6
At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies. With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 6
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions-art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge-Brienna struggled to find hers. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true-the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron. Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana-the archrival kingdom of Valenia-and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne.

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: February 13
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell. Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan-a race of sentient alien ships-to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers. Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

Hamilton and Peggy!: An Unlikely Friendship by L.M. Elliott
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 13
Peggy Schuyler has always felt like she’s existed in the shadows of her beloved sisters: the fiery, intelligent Angelica and the beautiful, sweet Eliza. The three of them have a magnetic pull-they are stronger together than they are alone. But it’s in the throes of a chaotic war that Peggy finds herself a central figure amid Loyalists and Patriots, spies and traitors, and friends and family. Charming, quick-witted, and clever beyond compare, Peggy is determined to use her talents to make her own mark on the Revolutionary War. When Alexander Hamilton, writes an eloquent letter to Peggy asking for her help in wooing the earnest Eliza, Peggy finds herself unable to deny such an impassioned plea. A fast friendship forms, but Alexander is caught in the same war as her father and the danger to all their lives is real. Everything is a battlefield and Peggy must put herself in harm’s way to protect the people she loves. But will her bravery and intelligence be enough to keep them all safe?

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Release date: February 13
Darrian dreams of writing for the New York Times. To hone his skills and learn more about the power of words, he enrolls in Mr. Ward’s class, known for its open-mic poetry readings and boys vs. girls poetry slam. Everyone in class has something important to say, and in sharing their poetry, they learn that they all face challenges and have a story to tell–whether it’s about health problems, aging out of foster care, being bullied for religious beliefs, or having to take on too much responsibility because of an addicted parent. As Darrian and his classmates get to know one another through poetry, they bond over the shared experiences and truth that emerge from their writing, despite their private struggles and outward differences.

The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 13
Javan Najafai, crown prince of Akram, has spent the last ten years at an elite boarding school, far away from his kingdom. But his eagerly awaited return home is cut short when a mysterious imposter takes his place-and no one believes Javan is the true prince. After barely escaping the imposter’s assassins, Javan is thrown into Maqbara, the kingdom’s most dangerous prison. The only way to gain an audience with the king – and reveal Javan’s identity – is to fight in Maqbara’s yearly tournament. The only person who can help him is Sajda, who has been enslaved by Maqbara’s warden since she was a child, and whose guarded demeanor and powerful right hook keep the prisoners in check. Working with Sajda might be the only way Javan can escape alive – but she has dangerous secrets.

Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Eventide Press
Release date: February 13
Russalka is a proud empire, frozen and vast, protected for centuries by a royal family who works miracles from the saints. But rebellion stirs in the streets, and its war-hungry neighbors threaten to invade. The young princess Katza has been tormented by visions of her bloodied hands destroying Russalka-a clear message from the saints that she must never rule. When tragedy places her next in line to the throne, Katza fears their warnings are on the verge of coming true. Then she meets Ravin, a mysterious young prophet with visions of his own: visions of Katza as a regal empress with unimaginable power. All she has to do seize upon the holy magic of her bloodline. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza begins to wonder whether he has her best interests at heart.

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare
Publisher: Imprint
Release date: February 20
A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother―a noted scriptologist―constantly alters and expands their reality. But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology―and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 20
After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her Papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and onto living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 27
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

Where I Live by Brenda Rufener
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 27
Linden Rose has a big secret–she is homeless and living in the halls of her small-town high school. Her position as school blog editor, her best friends, Ham and Seung, and the promise of a future far away are what keep Linden under the radar and moving forward. But when cool-girl Bea comes to school with a bloody lip, the damage hits too close to home. Linden begins looking at Bea’s life, and soon her investigation prompts people to pay more attention. And attention is the last thing she needs. Linden knows the only way to put a stop to the violence is to tell Bea’s story and come to terms with her own painful past. Even if that means breaking her rules for survival and jeopardizing the secrets she’s worked so hard to keep.

"i stop somewhere" cover, with "i stop somewhere" in bold white text overlaid on a field of frosted vines and spotted with red flowersI Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: February 27
Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper. But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her. The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.


READ MORE: Read the first chapter of The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson!

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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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