Happy almost 2021! Since this is the last column of 2020, and because I know we are all eager to launch into a brand-new year, I thought I’d spend this time looking at three great YA novels that celebrate the changeover of one year to another. Although any time is a great opportunity to make a change or resolution, we tend to put a lot of stock in making January 1 feel special, and I think there is something refreshing about new calendar pages that help us clarify our intentions (and I personally love starting a new reading log). These books look at New Year’s traditions and resolutions in fun ways, and they’re a great way to pass the time until 2021!
Note: Only one of these books is by an author of color. As I mentioned earlier this month, we need more books about the holidays by authors of color!
New Year’s Kiss by Lee Matthews
This is a fun romance about Tess and her older sister Lauren, who are sent to their grandmother’s Vermont resort for the New Year’s holidays. Their grandmother isn’t exactly known to be warm and loving, so Tess throws herself into checking items off of her New Year’s bucket list…and enlists the help of Christopher, the cute boy she meets in the lobby. As they ski and and celebrate the season, Tess has no idea that Christopher is keeping a big secret, which could leave her alone when midnight strikes.
The Resolutions by Mia Garcia
Who here likes making New Year’s resolutions? Do you actually stick with them? In this novel, which starts at the beginning of the year, four Latinx best friends come together to make their annual New Year’s resolutions…but they decide to mix things up this year by assigning resolutions to each other! In the year that follows, they’ll see themselves challenged, supported, and surprised in a multitude of ways as they go about fulfilling their resolutions and facing a new year that will see them graduating and going in different directions.
A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
Sophie is an intern at a beautiful old hotel nestled in the Swiss mountains, where tradition and grandeur reign. Each year on New Year’s Eve, a grand party is thrown, attracting glamorous guests far and wide. This holiday season, Sophie is working hard to make certain that everything runs smoothly, but between unexpected guests, secret identities, and a few surprises that pop up along the way, Sophie is swept up in a high stakes adventure. I loved Gier’s time travel trilogy (start with Ruby Red), and this looks like a fantastic YA in translation!
See you next year, friends! Happy New Year!