#QuietYA: 12 underrated June 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 twelve #quietYA books that released this month that you might have missed.

american girls alison ummingerAmerican Girls by Alison Umminger
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release date: June 7
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined. As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present. A clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life.

the marked girl lindsey klingeleThe Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: June 7
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task.

the loose ends list carrie firestoneThe Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 7
Maddie O’Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie’s closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie’s plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret “death with dignity” cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way – and give the O’Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process. Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.

rocks fall everyone dies lindsay ribarRocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar
Publisher: Kathy Dawson
Release date: June 7
Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family’s secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing. Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he’ll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.

julia vanishes catherine eganJulia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 7
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses. It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays. Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding–though from what or whom? And she suspects that there’s a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city. The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she’d ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

lucky few kathryn ormsbeeLucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 7
Stevie Hart is homeschooled. Sure, she and her best (okay, only) friend, Sanger, will never be prom queens, but that’s just because the Central Austin Homeschool Cooperative doesn’t believe in proms. Or dancing. Still, Stevie and Sanger know how to create their own brand of fun. Enter Max Garza, the new boy next door. After a near-fatal accident, Max is determined to defy mortality with a checklist: 23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying. Dead set on carrying out fabricated demises ranging from impalement to spontaneous combustion, Max charms Stevie and Sanger into helping him with this two-month macabre mission. But as Stevie finds herself falling for Max, it becomes increasingly difficult to draw a line between his make-believe deaths and her real life.

life before michele baconLife Before by Michele Bacon
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release date: June 7
Seventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, so Xander Fife is very good at it: everyone believes he has a normal family. If he can just get through this summer, he’ll start his real life in college with a clean slate. Xander’s summer plans include pick-up soccer, regular hijinks with friends, an epic road trip, and—quite possibly— the company of his ideal girlfriend, the amazing Gretchen Taylor. Instead of kicking off what had promised to be an amazing summer, however, graduation day brings terror. His family’s secrets are thrust out into the open, forcing Xander to confront his greatest fear. Or run from it. Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. In danger hundreds of miles from home, one thing is clear: Xander’s real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn’t enough.

what happens now jennifer castleWhat Happens Now by Jennifer Castle
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: June 7
Ari Logan is battling to win her war against depression and the dark night she hurt herself on purpose. It’s not easy: her best friend is drifting away, her mom’s emotionally checked out, and she spends her days playing caregiver to her handful of a half-sister, Danielle. That’s when Camden Armstrong steps onto the beach of Ari’s local swimming lake. At first, Ari quietly longs for Camden from afar, seeing in him everything she wants to be. When the two discover a true connection the following summer, Ari lets herself fall not just for the quirky and self-assured Camden but also his friends, tumbling into their world of independence, adventure, and shared sci-fi fandom. As Ari’s romantic dreams come true, she must unlock the mysteries of the very real and troubled boy behind her infatuation, while also struggling with her own demons, obligations, and loyalties.

tumbling caela carterTumbling by Caela Carter
Publisher: Viking
Release date: June 7
Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but she can never be perfect enough. Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life…and a secret that could ruin everything. Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and wants to walk away. Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what. Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they? By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever

steeplejack a j hartleySteeplejack by A.J. Hartley
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: June 14
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, makes a living repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society; the native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated there generations ago and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges. When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice, Berrit, she finds him dead. That same night the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. The Beacon’s theft commands the headlines, yet no one seems to care about Berrit’s murder—except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician. When he offers Ang a job investigating the death, she plunges headlong into new and unexpected dangers. Meanwhile, crowds gather in protests over the city’s mounting troubles. Rumors surrounding the Beacon’s theft grow. More suspicious deaths occur. With no one to help Ang except Josiah’s haughty younger sister, a savvy newspaper girl, and a kindhearted herder, Ang must rely on her intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city descends into chaos.

a love that disturbs medeia sharif A Love That Disturbs by Medeia Sharif
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Release date: June 14
Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her because of her attraction to Haydee. Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily. Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.

mirror in the sky aditi khoranaMirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: June 21
For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–and for Tara–will ever be the same again.

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 The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

the fixer jennifer lynn barnesThe Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release date: July 7 2015
Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems. And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

 

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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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