If you love rocking out and want to know what it would be like to be a part of a band—the camaraderie, the creativity, the drama!—then you’ve come to the right spot for some excellent YA books about teens in bands. There are four new releases in 2021 that are especially great, and they run the range from “oops, we need to quickly form a band to impress the girl I like” to “whoa, we’re actually famous, and it’s wreaking havoc with our friendship.” Let’s dive in!
It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
Once upon a time, Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph were middle school best friends who formed a band, never imagining the heights it would take them. Now, their friendship and their band is falling apart, along with Eva and Celeste’s romantic relationship. As the members go their separate ways, Eva finds herself lost and confused and unable to tear herself away from the good old days, uncertain of her future. But when a devastating storm hits their hometown and the members reunite for one last benefit concert, will it bring them to closure they need, or just drive them even further apart?
Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
It’s love at first sight for Sunny when he meets Cirrus, daughter of his parents’ friends. Cirrus is impossibly cool, and Sunny wants to impress her…so much so that when Cirrus mistakes his estranged older brother’s bedroom, filled with rock music and instruments, as his, he lies and says that he’s the front man of a band. He’s totally not. But Sunny commits to the lie, and rounds his friends up to form a real band, and book real gigs. But how far will he go before the truth comes out?
Battle of the Bands edited by Eric Smith and Lauren Gibaldi
Have you ever wanted to replicate the energy of attending a live show? Well, now you can with this anthology of interconnected short stories set at a high school’s battle of the bands concert! From lead singers and musicians to those working behind the scenes, fifteen YA authors tell the stories of a group of teens and one highly memorable night. As a bonus, this anthology includes a story from Justin Courtney Pierre, lead vocalist of Motion City Soundtrack!
If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
Out in December, this novel is about two members of one of the hottest boy bands in a decade. Ruben and Zach are at the top of the charts along with their bandmates, but years of pressure from their fans and their label have Ruben confiding in Zach about his sexuality. He can’t come out publicly, but he can’t keep going on like this either. As they lean on each other during a whirlwind European tour, their friendship deepens into romance, and they must decide what’s more important to them—being a part of the band, or finding the support they need.
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