#QuietYA: 11 underrated May books to read

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Time to expand your YA reading. Julianne Daly shares eleven #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.

wandering wild jessica taylorWandering Wild by Jessica Taylor
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release date: May 3
Raised by Wanderers, Tal travels the roads by day and camps in her tent trailer at night, hustling just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls. There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life. When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.

if i was your girl meredith russoIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release: May 3
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. All she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

traitor angels anne blankmanTraitor Angels by Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: May 3
The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Soon, the reason becomes clear: the king’s men arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford. There, Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

girl about town adam shankman laura l sullivanGirl About Town by Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 3
Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence. Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond.When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow.

this is my brain on boys sarah strohmeyerThis is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmayer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: May 10
Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love. With one year left of high school, she’s more interested in snagging a full scholarship to Harvard than a full-time boyfriend. That doesn’t mean she’s oblivious to the ways of the heart. Or, rather, the head. Because after months of research, Addie has discovered how to make anyone fall in love. All you need is the secret formula. But will her discovery be enough to win the coveted Athenian Award and all its perks? Or will she be undone by Dexter, her backstabbing lab partner, who is determined to deep-six her experiments at their exclusive private school?

devil and the bluebird jennifer mason blackDevil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
Publisher: Amulet
Release date: May 17
Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass. Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

gena finn hannah moskowitz kat helgesonGena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release date: May 17
Gena and Finn have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

silence is goldfish annabel pitcherSilence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 17
Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. When she discovers her dad isn’t her biological father, at first she’s just too shocked to speak. But quickly she begins to see the benefit of silence. She can protect herself from the questions she’s too afraid to ask. It frustrates the heck out of her parents. And it also gets the attention of her handsome Math teacher, Mr Holdsworth. Tess sets out to discover the identity of her real father. But when trouble strikes and everything spirals out of control, how can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

please don't tell laura timsPlease Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: May 24
Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it. What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice. Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other.

sing vivi greeneSing by Vivi Greene
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: May 31
After getting her heart shattered, multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross is taking herself out of the spotlight and heading to a small island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her closest friends. She has three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album. Anything but guys. That is . . . until Lily meets sweet, down-to-earth local Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly, Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But Noel isn’t interested in the limelight. She loves Noel-but she loves her fans, too. And come August, she may be forced to choose.

the inside of out jenn marie thorneThe Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: May 31
When her best friend Hannah comes out the day before junior year, Daisy is so ready to let her ally flag fly that even a second, way more blindsiding confession can’t derail her smiling determination to fight for gay rights. Before you can spell LGBTQIA, Daisy’s leading the charge to end their school’s antiquated ban on same-sex dates at dances. And if people assume Daisy herself is gay? Meh, so what. What Daisy doesn’t expect is for “the cause” to blow up—starting with Adam, the cute college journalist whose interview with Daisy for his university paper goes viral, catching fire in the national media. With the story spinning out of control, protesters gathering, Hannah left in the dust of Daisy’s good intentions, and Daisy’s mad attraction to Adam feeling like an inconvenient truth, Daisy finds herself caught between her bold plans, her bad decisions, and her big fat mouth.

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 Tracked by Jenny Martin.

tracked jenny martinTracked by Jenny Martin
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: May 5 2015
On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But can a street-rat destroy an empire?

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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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