2022 Staff Picks: Teens
Our expert staff members look back at the year and share some of their favorite titles.
Kiss & Tell2022 by Khorram, AdibGet this item
I love a boy band! This story of Hunter, who is navigating not only the weirdness of pop fame but also the process of coming out on a national stage, hit all the right notes. So. Many. Feelings. Suggested by Amy K.
The Weight of Blood2022 by Jackson, Tiffany D.Get this item
The Weight of Blood demonstrates why Tiffany D. Jackson is such a household name. Besides being an engaging retelling of Carrie, it addresses all common excuses for systemic racism and demonstrates how toxic tradition can be, which we love. We had a hard time putting this book down. Suggested by Amber H. and Rummanah.
A Magic Steeped in Poison2022 by Lin, Judy I.Get this item
This is one of the best fantasy books that I've read this year. It's fast paced, has a really unique magic system based on tea and court intrigue, but is also infused with Chinese mythology. The central mystery had me turning the pages quickly. Suggested by Rummanah.
The First Thing about You2022 by Hayden, ChazGet this item
In this debut realistic novel, Harris wants to be known for more than his visible disability and is ready to make a fresh start at a new school. It’s witty, honest, poignant, and thoughtful. Suggested by Sharon.
Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity2022 by Velez, AngelaGet this item
A funny, heartfelt story filled with unique and unforgettable characters, the strength of sisterhood and family, and a love for STEM and the arts. I love how both Lulu and Milagro go on their individual self-discovery journeys and explore their plans for life after high school. Suggested by Rummanah.
All My Rage2022 by Tahir, SabaaGet this item
Tahir's contemporary novel had my heart gripped in a vise with its complex emotions, messy characters, and the endless search for hope for the future. Memorable and heart-wrenching. Noor and Salahudin will stay with me for a very long time. Suggested by Rummanah.
How to Excavate a Heart2022 by Arlow, Jake MaiaGet this item
A hating to dating queer rom-com with Jewish main characters brought together by a cute corgi in need of dog walking over Christmas break. It’s a no-brainer choice for me, but I bet you’ll also catch the feelings and leave the book with a smile. Suggested by Sharon.
Only on the Weekends2022 by Atta, DeanGet this item
I found this book completely addictive. Dean poured so much heart and emotion into this story of a young, gay, Black teen trying to find himself in the world. These are characters that will stick with you for a while. Suggested by Amber H.
Monsters Born and Made2022 by Berwah, TanviGet this item
Hunger Games fans rejoice: a worthy successor to Katniss Everdeen has been found and her name is Koral Hunter. Koral tricks her way into the prestigious Glory Race to earn enough money to get her family out of debt and her sister the medicine she needs. Magical and ferocious creatures, exciting adventures, and a slow-burn possible romance makes this debut South Asian-inspired fantasy novel a winner. Suggested by Lynnanne.
Summer's Edge2022 by Mele, DanaGet this item
What started as a mystery quickly became a thriller and then horror--and, by the end, all my conceptions and guesses were twisted and turned inside out. It's about secrets and love and grief, but it's also an old-fashioned ghost story that reminds me of Mike Flanagan's expert balance of spookiness, outright terror, and sensitive exploration of the human experience. I was riveted. Suggested by Grace.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler2022 by McQuiston, CaseyGet this item
An LGBTQ+ romance in a high school setting that explores identity, friendship, expectations, academic rivalry, pride, and family, all in a very page-turning way. This debut young adult novel from one of our favorite authors is definitely another hit. Suggested by Becca and Sharon.
This Woven Kingdom2022 by Mafi, TaherehGet this item
I was mesmerized by the world building, the court intrigue, and the forbidden romance in this book. I also loved the blend of Islamic cultures and learning more about Persian mythology. I am anxiously awaiting the second book in this series. Suggested by Rummanah.
Once upon a K-Prom2022 by Cho, KatGet this item
I loved spending time with these characters. Mixing prom, activism, K-pop, reconnections, and shifting feelings, it ticked a lot of boxes for my rom-com heart. Suggested by Sharon.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea2022 by Oh, AxieGet this item
I really enjoyed that this book was similar to Spirited Away, one of my favorite Studio Ghibli films. Suggested by Amber I.
Private Label2022 by Yang, KellyGet this item
I am a big fan of Kelly Yang. I love how she explores the themes of gender, racism, class, and identity in this book. While Serene and Lian are dealing with heavier stuff in their lives, I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow. Suggested by Rummanah.
We Deserve Monuments2022 by Hammonds, JasGet this item
Jas Hammonds' debut is a stunner. I connected with the book's themes of generational trauma, the effects of racism, and self-discovery. Written from a place of love and healing, this one is a standout. Suggested by Amber H.
Love Radio2022 by LaDelle, EbonyGet this item
A love letter to Detroit and a celebration of Black joy and love in many forms: self, platonic, family, romantic, and community. This book left me with a huge grin on my face and a warm heart in my chest. Prince and Dani are wonderful characters and a great couple to root for. Suggested by Rummanah.
One for All2022 by Lainoff, LillieGet this item
I had such a fun time reading this feminist and engrossing retelling of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers. If you are looking for an action-packed story with affirmation, girl power, intrigue, self-love, and sisterhood, then you are in for a treat! Suggested by Rummanah.
The Sunbearer Trials2022 by Thomas, AidenGet this item
I love how being queer is normal in Thomas’s Mexican-inspired fantasy world. With captivating world building, earnest friendships, and electrifying adventure, this book had me completely hooked. This is a perfect choice for readers who love Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, and My Hero Academia. Suggested by Rummanah.
Whiteout2022 by Clayton, DhonielleGet this item
I just love that these awesome authors got together for a second time to create another collection of connected short stories involving friends and joy. In this, there's a grand gesture for a happily ever after, and the result is an uplifting romantic winter holiday read. Suggested by Sharon.
Lawless Spaces2022 by Haydu, Corey AnnGet this item
This novel in verse is candid, powerful, raw, and thought provoking. It takes a close look at toxic familial legacies and women’s experiences with stereotyping and internalizing their self-worth through the male gaze. I found the idea of writing letters and journals to themselves as a way to process their thoughts to be very interesting. Suggested by Rummanah.
See You Yesterday2022 by Solomon, Rachel LynnGet this item
I adored Barrett and Miles as individuals and as a couple. I liked their character development, and though they were on a time loop, their story didn't feel redundant to me. Suggested by Rummanah.
The Do-Over2022 by Painter, LynnGet this item
What would you do if you had to re-live your worst day over and over again? This is a clever twist on the time loop trope. By combining Emilie's personal issues of being invisible to those around her, Painter delivers a banter-filled, romantic, and thoughtful rom-com. Suggested by Rummanah.
All of Us Villains2021 by Foody, AmandaGet this item
I loved how this book gave me the inclusive, mature, and challenging read that I was missing in fantasy, along with a group of characters that I could both intensely hate and root for at the same time. Suggested by Grace.
Vespertine2021 by Rogerson, MargaretGet this item
Vespertine is beautifully creepy and bloody exciting. I love how Rogerson takes a demure stereotype and turns it on its head with dark magic, butt-kicking warrior women, and a nuanced coming-of-age journey. Suggested by Grace.
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