Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Emo Kid Monster

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Jenn and guest Eric Smith discuss all things young adult in this week’s episode of Get Booked!

This episode is sponsored by Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson, The Golden House by Salman Rushdie, and A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS here, or via Apple Podcasts here.
The show can also be found on Stitcher here.



1. I have a feeling you guys are going to look down on me for this, but one of my favorite things to read about is rich people (mainly teenagers and young adults) and their problems. I’m not really sure why, but I really like that. I think I like looking at worlds that are supposed to be ‘perfect’ and glimpsing into all the terrible things going on beneath the surface. The Secret History for example, is my favorite book of all time, and I think that encapsulates what I love perfectly. Intellectual (and snooty), pretty rich kids, with LOTS of issues (and murder!). I tried reading We Were Liars, and I didn’t dislike it, but I just forgot about it and never finished it. Sometimes I have that problem with YA fiction, I can never say what I don’t like about a lot of the books, but I just can’t make myself finish them a lot of the time.


2. Hi there!

I am currently obsessing over the TV show “How To Get Away With Murder” and I was wondering if you had book recommendations for fans of the show? I’m particularly interested / looking for a book that has a diverse set of characters, smart/academic poc adults or young adults (of different ethnic backgrounds, sexualities, etc.) who share a professional and personal relationship. It doesn’t have to be murder related, but maybe a cool plot that brings them all together.
Thanks and keep doing whatcha doing, love this podcast! 🙂


3. I am in a YA book club for adults. I’ve loved many of the “1st in a series” books we’ve read, but the number of sequels on our TBR lists keep adding up as we move onto other selections. Can you recommend some stand-alone YA books for the group? We’ve already read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Darkest Part of the Forest, Ready Player One, We Were Liars, Paper Towns, and Imaginary Girls. Bonus points for male main character or POV. Thanks!


4. I’m looking for YA recommendations for my 13-year old daughter who is dealing with an anxiety disorder. She is a good reader with a strong feminist bent, and likes well-written realistic fiction with quirky characters. So many YA novels seem to deal with pretty heavy subjects, (suicide, a sibling or parent’s death, dystopian futures, etc.) and those are not great for her right now. Favorite authors have included Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson. Recently she has read Everything, Everything and Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda and enjoyed them both. Any suggestions? Thanks!


5. Dear Jenn and Amanda,
My younger sister (12) has never been much of a reader, and I’ve recently decided I wanted to try and find her some books to help her get into reading. She’s read and loved Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events when she was younger. Recently I gave her my old copy of Inkheart and she absolutely loved it. She’s reading the sequel right now, but when she finishes the series I’d love to have some books to recommend her right after, while she’s still in the spirit of reading.
I feel like 12 is a weird age because your not quite old enough for YA and a little too old for middle grade, and when I was her age I was reading Dickens. So as you can see I’m way out of my element here, as I don’t think giving Dickens to a reluctant reader is a good idea.
Please please please help!


6. I’m in my mid-twenties and read a lot of YA fiction. I tend to struggle with adult fiction as I feel I can’t relate to some of the characters. I’m always looking for books with characters closer to my age, though they seem to be few and far between. I’ve enjoyed books with characters in this age range such as Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (I love all her books), The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I’d like to start branching out into more adult fiction. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


7. Hi Amanda and Jenn!

I am working on my Master’s in Education and am currently in a class about students of diverse backgrounds.
You Book Riot ladies and Jeff must live in my head because every discussion the class has about how to make the curriculum more inclusive or your classroom more welcoming to all people, I always say, “Have books about people who are like them in your room”. I know you all understand the importance of showing kids that people like them did or are doing cool or important things so they believe that they can too. I plan to teach high school biology and I was wondering if you could give me some recommendations for books about biologists who are not already part of the science cannon a.k.a. the rich, white, sometimes Christian men. I am not 100% sure on the grade level I will be teaching and may teach 7th grade life science, so a mix of middle level, YA, and adult would be nice.

Thank you so much for helping me to add to my TBR list and I look forward to hearing your recommendations.



8. I have a friend with a 12-year-old daughter who fell in love with shapeshifter fantasy after reading Twilight. In her quest to find more shapeshifter novels (with a little romance), she’s ventured into some territory that’s a little more adult than her mom is comfortable with.

Can you recommend any YA shapeshifter novels for her? I read a lot of YA, but haven’t read many that fit the bill. Another friend recommended Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, but I’m sure there are others out there.




The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

Warcross by Marie Lu

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

The New Guy by Amy Spalding

Want by Cindy Pon

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Terrier by Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper)

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky by Summer Heacock

Headstrong by Rachel Swaby

Relativity by Cristin Bishara

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Firelight by Sophie Jordan