50 Must-Read Crime Novels on Shelves April–June 2019

We’re finally making it through this terrible, terrible winter, and thankfully, we have an enormous pile of crime novels waiting for us, just in time for summer reading! As you dream of warmer weather, take a look at these 50 spring 2019 crime novels coming out in the next several months and start planning your beach book list! All plot summaries come from Goodreads.

Note: ^ after the title indicates that a book is part of a series.

April

Bluff by Jane Stanton Hitchcock

“One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she shoots Sun Sunderland, the “Pope of Finance,” as he lunches with ‘accountant to the stars’ Burt Sklar – the man that she’s accused for years of stealing her mother’s fortune and leaving her family in ruins – she deals the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge. Her intimates in New York high society believe that ‘Mad Maud’ accidentally missed Sklar, her real target. But nothing is as it first appears as she weathers the unexpected while following her script. And while Maud is on the run, the dark secrets of men who believe their money and power place them above the law will be exposed. Betrayal, larceny, greed, sexual battery, and murder lurk beneath the surface of their glittering lives.”

Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel ^

“The Scottish Highlands, 1889…When a young heir receives a sinister death threat, Inspectors Frey and ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray answer a desperate plea to offer him protection. The detectives travel north to the remote and misty Loch Maree, site of an ancient burial ground. They must stay with the mysterious Koloman family – any one of whom might be a suspect. But Frey and McGray have little time to get their bearings. Even before they arrive the boy’s guardian is brutally murdered, and one thing becomes clear to the two detectives: Someone is willing to kill to protect the secrets of Loch Maree.”

Alice and Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story by Ron Franscell

“After Alice, a desperate young mother in a gritty Wyoming boomtown, kills her husband in 1974 and dumps his body where it will never be found, she slips away and starts a new life with a new love. But when her new love’s ex-wife and two kids start demanding more of him, Alice delivers an ultimatum: Fix the problem or lose her forever. With Alice’s help, he “fixes” the problem in an extraordinarily ghastly way … and they live happily ever after. That is, until 2013, almost forty years later, when somebody finds a dead man’s skeleton in a place where Alice thought he’d never be found.”

they_all_fall_downThey All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

“Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico, with six strangers—an ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, a young widow. Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses—and all seven strangers harbor a secret. Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keeps the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents keep them suspicious of each other, as one by one . . .They all fall down.”

The Last  by Hanna Jameson

“Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange. Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl. As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?”

Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer by Eve Lazarus

“When forty-year-old Esther Castellani died a slow and agonizing death in Vancouver in 1965, the official cause was at first undetermined. The day after Esther’s funeral, her husband, Rene, packed up his girlfriend, Lolly; his daughter, Jeannine; and Lolly’s son, Don, in the company car and took off for Disneyland. If not for the doggedness of the doctor who treated Esther, Rene, then a charismatic and handsome CKNW radio personality, would have been free to marry Lolly, who was the station’s pretty twentysomething receptionist. Instead, Rene was charged with capital murder for poisoning his wife with arsenic-laced milkshakes in one of British Columbia’s most sensational criminal cases of the century. Murder by Milkshake is the compelling story of the Castellanis, and of their daughter, Jeannine, who was eleven at the time of her mother’s murder and who clung to her father’s innocence, even committing perjury during his trial. Rigorously researched, and based on dozens of interviews with family, friends, and co-workers, Murder by Milkshake documents the sensational case that kept Vancouver spellbound, while providing a snapshot of the city’s Mad Men-esque social and political realities in the 1960s.”

Alice’s Island by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo (April 16, 2019, from Atria books)

“Alice Dupont’s perfect marriage was a perfect lie. When her husband, Chris, dies in a car accident, suspiciously far from where he should be, Alice’s life falls apart. After the police close the case, she is left with more questions than answers. While learning to cope with her loss and her new identity as a single mother of two, Alice becomes obsessed with unraveling the mystery surrounding her husband’s death and decides to start her own investigation. Retracing her husband’s last known whereabouts, she soon discovers clues that lead her to a small island near Nantucket. As she insinuates herself into the lives of the island’s inhabitants in an effort to discover what they knew about her husband, Alice finds herself increasingly involved in their private lives and comes to a disturbing realization: she has been transformed into a person she no longer recognizes.”

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim book coverMiracle Creek by Angie Kim (April 16, 2019, From Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

“In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic ‘dives’ with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.”

Diary of a Murderer and Other Stories by Young-Ha Kim; Translated by Krys Lee (April 16, 2019, From Mariner Books)

Diary of a Murderer captivates and provokes in equal measure, exploring what it means to be on the edge—between life and death, good and evil. In the titular novella, a former serial killer suffering from memory loss sets his sights on one final target: his daughter’s boyfriend, whom he suspects is also a serial killer. In other stories we witness an affair between two childhood friends that questions the limits of loyalty and love; a family’s disintegration after a baby son is kidnapped and recovered years later; and a wild, erotic ride about pursuing creativity at the expense of everything else.”

Flowers Over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti; Translated by Ekin Oklap (April 16, 2019, From Soho Press)

“In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders. Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise is hard-won from the battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is not ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year- old children to whom the killer seems to gravitate. As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over. ”

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney (April 23, 2019, From Flatiron Books)

I Know Who You Are is the brilliant tale of two stories. One is about Aimee Sinclair—well-known actress on the verge of being full-on famous. If you saw her, you’d think you knew her. One day towards the near-end of her shoot on her latest film, Aimee comes home from filming to find her husband’s cell phone and wallet on the dining room table. He never goes anywhere without them. But he’s nowhere to be found. She’s not too concerned—they had a huge fight the night before. They both said things they didn’t mean. He might have done things he didn’t mean, things she can’t forget. Even though she has a history of supposedly forgetting. After all, she’s a very good actress. The next morning she goes for her morning run and then goes to her favorite coffee shop. But her card is denied. When she calls the bank they say her account has been emptied of $10,000. She immediately suspects her husband. But they say no, it was Aimee herself who closed out the account. And thus begins a bizarre rabbit hole into which Aimee finds herself falling where nothing is at it seems.”

Her Fugitive Heart by Adi Tantimedh (April 23, 2019, From Atria/Leopoldo Co.) ^

“All Ravi wants is to marry his girlfriend Julia in peace, but events conspire to keep things anything but peaceful. An actress hires the agency to track down the source of a sex tape she never made, yet still appeared in. A weekend party in a deceased rock star’s country mansion where the investigators are charged with surveilling the rich guests for dirt goes way out of control. A terrorist leader goes missing in London before he can turn himself in to the CIA and the agency is hired on the hush-hush to help track him down. Ravi’s efforts to avoid getting involved backfire and he finds himself in worse trouble than he could have imagined. And finally, Ravi’s boss’ secret plans to make himself a major player in the world stage blows up in everyone’s face and the investigators have to go into hiding. Forced to flee to the United States, an old client comes calling with a job Ravi and Julia can’t afford to turn down while the future of Golden Sentinels hangs in the balance.”

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (April 30, 2019, From Crooked Lane Books)

“Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things. A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.”

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon (April 30, 2019, From Doubleday)

“In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home – wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks — she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of ‘Breckenridge women,’ each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day. ”

Like Lions by Brian Panowich (April 30, 2019, From Minotaur Books) ^

“Clayton Burroughs is sheriff of Bull Mountain and last surviving member of the brutal and blood-steeped Burroughs clan. It’s been a year since a rogue government agent systematically crippled the family’s criminal empire, leaving two of his brothers dead and Clayton broken and haunted by wounds that may never heal. Now Bull Mountain is vulnerable, ripe for predators wanting to re-establish the flow of dope and money through the town. And the death of a boy belonging to a rival clan brings the wolves straight to Clayton’s door. The only good son born of a crooked tree, Clayton wants to bury his bloody family legacy for good. But he’ll need to call on it if he wants to save his family, and his mountain, from the destruction that awaits.”

May

Broken Wings by Jia Pingwa (May 3, 2019, From ACA Publishing, LTd.)

“Despite her humble rural beginnings, Butterfly regards herself as a sophisticated young woman. So, when offered a lucrative job in the city, she jumps at the chance. But instead of being given work, she is trafficked and sold to Bright Black, a desperate man from a poor mountain village. Trapped in Bright’s cave home with her new “husband”, she plans her escape… not so easily done in this isolated and remote village where she is watched day and night. Will her tenacity and free spirit survive, or will she be broken?”

Westside by W.M. Akers (May 7, 2019, From Harper Voyage)

“A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman.”

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep (May 7, 2019, From Knopf Publishing Group)

“Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case. Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.”

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine (May 7, 2019, From Harper)

“Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy. But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment. That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. . .”

The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker (May 7, 2019, From Dey Street Books)

“The legendary FBI criminal profiler, number-one New York Times bestselling author, and inspiration for the hit Netflix show Mindhunter delves deep into the lives and crimes of four of the most disturbing and complex predatory killers, offering never-before-revealed details about his profiling process, and divulging the strategies used to crack some of America’s most challenging cases.”

The Woman in the Blue Cloak by Deon Meyer (May 7, 2019, From Atlantic Monthly Press) ^

“Early on a May morning in the depth of South Africa’s winter, a woman’s naked body, washed in bleach, is discovered on a stone wall beside the N2 highway at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, some thirty-five miles from Cape Town. The local investigation stalls, so the case is referred to Captain Benny Griessel and his colorful partner Vaughn Cupido of the Hawks—the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations. The woman proves to be Alicia Lewis, an expert in old Dutch Masters paintings specializing in the recovery of valuable lost art. Discovering the two men she had contacted before coming to South Africa reveals what she was seeking—a rare painting by Carel Fabritius, Rembrandt’s finest student, not seen since it disappeared from Delft in 1654. But how Lewis died, why, and at whose hand shocks even the two veteran detectives.”

If She Wakes by Michael Koryta (May 14, 2019, From Little, Brown and Company)

“Tara Beckley is a senior at idyllic Hammel College in Maine. As she drives to deliver a visiting professor to a conference, a horrific car accident kills the professor and leaves Tara in a vegetative state. At least, so her doctors think. In fact, she’s a prisoner of locked-in syndrome: fully alert but unable to move a muscle. Trapped in her body, she learns that someone powerful wants her dead–but why? And what can she do, lying in a hospital bed, to stop them? Abby Kaplan, an insurance investigator, is hired by the college to look in to Tara’s case. A former stunt driver, Abby returned home after a disaster in Hollywood left an actor dead and her own reputation–and nerves–shattered. Despite the fog of trauma, she can tell that Tara’s car crash was no accident. When she starts asking questions, things quickly spin out of control, leaving Abby on the run and a mysterious young hit man named Dax Blackwell hard on her heels.”

The Things She’s Seen by Ambelina Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina (May 14, 2019, From Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)

“Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died. Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living. Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth’s father has been sent to investigate–a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire? As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another…”

The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey (May 14, 2019, From Soho Crime) ^

“India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Sahyadri mountains, where the princely state of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur’s royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic hunting accident. The state is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur’s two maharanis, the dowager queen and her daughter-in-law. The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer’s counsel is required. However, the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince’s future, but she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace’s deadly curse?”

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan (May 14, 2019, From Penguin Books) ^

“When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend Emma stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, from sponsoring university research facilities to funding political parties to philanthropy – it has funded Emma’s own
ground-breaking research. The investigation into Carline’s death promises to be high profile and high pressure. As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and, increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her? After all, this isn’t the first time Emma’s been accused of murder… ”

Girl Gone Missing by Marcie Rendon (May 14, 2019, From Cinco Puntos Press) ^

“Her name is Renee Blackbear, but what most people call the 19-year-old Chippewa woman is Cash. She lived all her life in Fargo, sister city to Minnesota’s Moorhead, just downriver from the Cities. She has one friend, the sheriff Wheaton. He pulled her from her mother’s wrecked car when she was three. Since then, Cash navigated through foster homes, and at 13 was working farms, driving truck. Wheaton wants her to take hold of her life, signs her up for college. She gets an education there at Moorhead State all right: sees that people talk a lot but mostly about nothing, not like the men in the fields she’s known all her life who hold the rich topsoil in their hands, talk fertilizer and weather and prices on the Grain Exchange. In between classes and hauling beets, drinking beer and shooting pool, a man who claims he’s her brother shows up, and she begins to dream the Cities and blonde Scandinavian girls calling for help. ”

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (May 21, 2019, From Harper)

“All of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton, accused of the brutal double murder of her employers, renowned scientist George Benham and his eccentric French wife, Marguerite. Crowds pack the courtroom, eagerly following every twist, while the newspapers print lurid theories about the killings and the mysterious woman being held in the Old Bailey. The testimonies against Frannie are damning. She is a seductress, a witch, a master manipulator, a whore. But Frannie claims she cannot recall what happened that fateful evening, even if remembering could save her life. She doesn’t know how she came to be covered in the victims’ blood. But she does have a tale to tell: a story of her childhood on a Jamaican plantation, her apprenticeship under a debauched scientist who stretched all bounds of ethics, and the events that brought her into the Benhams’ London home—and into a passionate and forbidden relationship. Though her testimony may seal her conviction, the truth will unmask the perpetrators of crimes far beyond murder and indict the whole of English society itself.”

The Summer of Ellen by Agnete Friis; Translated by Sinead Quirke Kongerskov (May 21, 2019, From Soho Crime)

“Jacob, a middle-aged architect living in Copenhagen, is in the throes of a bitter divorce and the resulting alcoholic binge when he receives an unexpected call from his great-uncle Anton, who is in his nineties and still lives with his brother Anders on their rural Jutland farm—a place Jacob hasn’t visited since the summer of 1978. Anton asks Jacob to answer the question that has haunted them both for decades: What happened to Ellen? To find out, Jacob must revisit the farm and confront what took place that summer—one defined by his teenage obsession with Ellen, a beautiful young hippie from the local commune who came to stay with Anton and Anders, and the unsolved disappearance of Jacob’s best friend’s sister. What he finds is that none of these events were what they seemed, though they have affected the course of his entire life.”

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris (May 21, 2019, From Grand Central Publishing)

“Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men.  Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a wobbly Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. She works at many jobs to survive. Beautiful, marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.”

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth by Josh Levin (May 21, 2019, From Little, Brown and Company)

“On the South Side of Chicago in 1974, Linda Taylor reported a phony burglary, concocting a lie about stolen furs and jewelry. The detective who checked it out soon discovered she was a welfare cheat who drove a Cadillac to collect ill-gotten government checks. And that was just the beginning: Taylor, it turned out, was also a kidnapper, and possibly a murderer. A desperately ill teacher, a combat-traumatized Marine, an elderly woman hungry for companionship-after Taylor came into their lives, all three ended up dead under suspicious circumstances. But nobody-not the journalists who touted her story, not the police, and not presidential candidate Ronald Reagan-seemed to care about anything but her welfare thievery. Growing up in the Jim Crow South, Taylor was made an outcast because of the color of her skin. As she rose to infamy, the press and politicians manipulated her image to demonize poor black women. Part social history, part true-crime investigation, Josh Levin’s mesmerizing book, the product of six years of reporting and research, is a fascinating account of American racism, and an expose of the “welfare queen” myth, one that fueled political debates that reverberate to this day.”

Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols (May 21, 2019, From Atria/Emily Bestler Books/Alloy Entertainment)

“After Catherine Wells’s ship experiences a deadly incident in deep space and loses contact with NASA, the entire world believes her dead. Miraculously—and mysteriously—she survived, but with little memory of what happened. Her reentry after a decade away is a turbulent one: her husband has moved on with another woman and the young daughter she left behind has grown into a teenager she barely recognizes. Catherine, too, is different. The long years alone changed her, and as she readjusts to being home, sometimes she feels disconnected and even, at times, deep rage toward her family and colleagues. There are periods of time she can’t account for, too, and she begins waking up in increasingly strange and worrisome locations, like restricted areas of NASA. Suddenly she’s questioning everything that happened up in space: how her crewmates died, how she survived, and now, what’s happening to her back on Earth.”

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda (May 21, 2019, From Graydon House)

“Jane Harris lives in a sparkling home in an oceanfront gated community in Orange County. It’s a place that seems too beautiful to be touched by sadness. But exactly one year ago, Jane’s oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident and Jane has been grief-stricken ever since. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, she’s barely even left the house. Now that’s all about to change.It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary and three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days–and nights–at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl–dutiful and loving. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed? The bonds between mothers and daughters, and husbands and wives should never be broken. But you never know how far someone will go to keep a family together…”

June

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black (June 4, 2019, From Soho Crime) ^

“Aimée Leduc is about to go onstage to give the keynote address at a tech conference that is sure to secure Leduc Detective some much-needed business contracts when she gets an emergency phone call from her daughter’s playgroup: Aimée’s own mother, who was supposed to pick up Chloe, never showed. Abandoning her hard-won speaking gig, Aimée rushes to get Chloe, annoyed that, yet again, her mother has let her down. But as Aimée and Chloe are leaving the playground, Aimée witnesses the body of a homeless woman being wheeled away from the neighboring convent, where nuns run a soup kitchen. The last person seen talking to the dead woman talking to was Aimée’s mother—who has vanished. Trying to figure out what happened to Sydney Leduc, Aimee tracks down the dead woman’s possessions, which include a huge amount of cash. What did Sydney stumble into? Is she in trouble?”

The Shallows by Matt Goldman (June 4, 2019, From Forge Books) ^

“A prominent lawyer is found dead, tied to his own dock by a fishing stringer through his jaw, and everyone wants private detective Nils Shapiro to protect them from suspicion: The unfaithful widow. Her artist boyfriend. The lawyer’s firm. A polarizing congressional candidate. A rudderless suburban police department. Even the FBI. Nils and his investigative partners illuminate a sticky web of secrets and deceit that draws national attention. But finding the web doesn’t prevent Nils from getting caught in it. Just when his safety is most in peril, his personal life takes an unexpected twist, facing its own snarl of surprise and deception.”

The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz (June 4, 2019, From Harper) ^

“‘You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late… ’ These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise. Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed? Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business. But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…”

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (June 4, 2019, From William Morrow)

“It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.”

Those People by Louise Candlish (June 11, 2019, From Berkley Books)

“Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends. But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn’t take long for an all-out war to start brewing. Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying–and everyone has something to hide.”

Recursion by Blake Crouch (June 11, 2019, From Crown Publishing)

“‘My son has been erased.’ Those are the last words the woman tells Barry Sutton, before she leaps from the Manhattan rooftop. Deeply unnerved, Barry begins to investigate her death, only to learn that this wasn’t an isolated case. All across the country, people are waking up to lives different from the ones they fell asleep to. Are they suffering from False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious new disease that afflicts people with vivid memories of a life they never lived? Or is something far more sinister behind the fracturing of reality all around him? Miles away, neuroscientist Helena Smith is developing a technology that allows us to preserve our most intense memories and relive them. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. Barry’s search for the truth leads him on an impossible, astonishing journey as he discovers that Helena’s work has yielded a terrifying gift–the ability not just to preserve memories but to remake them . . . at the risk of destroying what it means to be human.”

Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime by Kate Fazzini (June 11, 2019, From St. Martin’s Press)

“A 19-year-old Romanian student stumbles into a criminal ransomware ring in her village. Soon she is extorting Silicon Valley billionaires for millions–without knowing the first thing about computers. A hotel doorman in China once served in the People’s Army, stealing intellectual property from American companies. Now he uses his skills to build up a private side-business selling the data he takes from travelers to Shanghai’s commercial center. Kingdom of Lies follows the intertwined stories of cybercriminals and ethical hackers as they jump from criminal trend to criminal trend, crisis to crisis. A cybersecurity professional turned journalist, Kate Fazzini illuminates the many lies companies and governments tell us about our security, the lies criminals tell to get ahead, and the lies security leaders tell to make us think they are better at their jobs than they are.”

Grab a Snake By the Tail by Leonardo Padura; translated by Peter Bush (June 11, 2019, From Bitter Lemon Press) ^

“Mario Conde investigates a murder in the Barrio Chino, the rundown
Chinatown of Havana. Not his usual beat, but when Conde was asked to take the case by his colleague, Lieutenant Patricia Chion, a frequent object, he couldn’t resist. The case proves to be unusual. Pedro Cuang, a lonely old man, is found hanging naked from a beam in the ceiling of his dingy room. One of his fingers has been amputated and a drawing of two arrows was engraved with a knife on his chest. Was this a ritual Santería killing or a just a sordid settling of accounts in a world of drug trafficking that began to infiltrate Cuban society in the 1980s? Soon Conde discovers unexpected connections, secret businesses and a history of misfortune, uprooting and loneliness that affected many immigrant families from China. As ever with
Padura, the story is soaked in atmosphere: the drinking of rum in deliciously smoke-filled bars, the friendships, the food and beautiful women.”

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (June 18, 2019, From Doubleday) ^

“Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network—and back across the path of his old friend Reggie.”

The Body Lies by Jo Baker (June 18, 2019, From Knopf Publishing Group)

“When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote countryside, it’s meant to be a fresh start, away from the big city and the scene of a violent assault she’s desperate to forget. But despite the distractions of a new life and single motherhood, her nerves continue to jangle. To make matters worse, a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions and mounting rivalries in her creative writing group. When a troubled student starts sending in chapters from his novel that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognises herself as the main character in his book – and he has written her a horrific fate. Will she be able to stop life imitating art before it’s too late?”

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda (June 18, 2019, From Simon Schuster)

“Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman. Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.”

The Black Jersey by Jorge Zepeda Patterson; translated by Achy Obejas (June 18, 2019, From Random House)

“Marc, a French-Colombian professional cyclist with a military past, is on an elite Tour de France team led by his best friend, Steve, an American star and a favorite to win this year’s Tour. But the competition takes a dark turn when someone begins eliminating racers in a series of violent “accidents,” and all the remaining athletes become suspects. Marc agrees to help the French police with their investigation from the inside, but as the days progress, the dangers grow, and the number of potential murderers–and potential winners–shrinks. In fact, if there’s any team that has been favored by the murderer’s actions, it’s Marc and Steve’s. Who can Marc trust? Who should he protect? As the finish line approaches, Marc must decide what he’s willing to risk for justice, victory, and friendship.”

The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz (June 25, 2019, From Ecco)

“Billie James’s inheritance isn’t much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day—and she hasn’t been back to the South since. Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father’s home is unnervingly secluded; her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.”

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson; Translated by Rachel Wilson-Broyles (June 25, 2019, From Celadon Books)

“Nineteen-year-old Stella stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him? Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?”

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean (June 25, 2019, From Algonquin Books)

“Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever.”


Want more? We also pulled together a list of crime novels that were released between January and March of this year!

50 Must-Read Books About Unicorns

I don’t know about you, but I went through a serious unicorn phase when I was a kid, which lasted well into high school not because of Lisa Frank, but rather thanks to Sue Dawe and her ability to make unicorns look like they were all stepping off of a heavy metal album cover. I’m not sure when dragons suddenly took over from unicorns as being “cooler” in my brain, but they never fully expunged these magical horses and their stab-a-guy-ready horns. And while I think dragons have taken over fantasy that involves magical creatures, unicorns are still gamely hanging onto the written word, just waiting for their chance to take over again. Here’s a list of 50 books about unicorns (not just unicorns as “also appearing”), both old and new, that are well worth reading.

I’ve separated these books about unicorns loosely by age group, but does age really matter to unicorns? I will note that this book list turned out very white, almost entirely so. I spent days sifting through unicorn books and failed pretty hard when it came to locating more written by authors of color; perhaps it’s an issue of the specificity of the topic. Here’s hoping for more unicorn books from a wider array of voices in the future—because unicorns are for everyone.

Are there any awesome unicorn books I missed, either favorites from your childhood or new releases? Let us know in the comments!

Picture Books About Unicorns

You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Liz Climo

“When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he’s in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess.”

The Secret World of Unicorns by Pat Perrin, illustrated by Ryan Hobson

“Have you ever seen a unicorn? Though rare, they’re out there. In China, if you’re very lucky, you might see the Kilin, a unicorn considered to bring great fortune. Mist and Rain Fader unicorns are said to love the waterfalls of South America. And, rumor has it that unicorns have even been glimpsed in New York’s Central Park.”

Not Quite a Narwhal by Jessie Sima

“Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him!”

Lily the Unicorn by Dallas Clayton

“Lily the unicorn loves making new friends and going on adventures! So when Lily meets her new pal, Roger the penguin, she plans all sorts of fun for them. But Roger is afraid of trying new things. What if he tries and fails?”

Beasts of Olympus: The Unicorn Emergency by Lucy Coats, illustrated by Brett Bean

“Demon has just returned from a trip to Asgard when a brand-new set of disasters fall into his lap. Not only does he have a groggy volcano monster to deal with, but something seems to be wrong with the unicorns, too. Demon’s only clue is a mysterious note saying “Unicorn Emergency!” left on his bed.”

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

“Ever since Unicorn moved into the neighborhood, Goat has been feeling out of sorts. Goat thought his bike was cool-until he saw that Unicorn could fly to school! Goat made marshmallow squares that almost came out right, but Unicorn made it rain cupcakes! Unicorn is such a show-off, how can Goat compete?”

Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman, illustrated by Justin Gerard

“Once upon a time, a king owned twelve enchanting unicorns that he locked up with golden chains. But every morning, he’d find the beautiful creatures peacefully asleep in their corral—with their chains shattered. Puzzled, he promised a reward to anyone who could reveal the unicorns’ secret. With the help of a magic cloak, a little girl sets out to discover the truth . . . and help the special unicorn that she loves the most.”

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

“Thelma dreams of being a glamorous unicorn. Then in a rare pink and glitter-filled moment of fate, Thelma’s wish comes true.”

The Unicorn and the Moon by Tomie dePaola

“When the moon gets stuck between two hills, the unicorn tries to free it with help from a griffin and an alchemist.”

Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

“Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! But no matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are REAL.”

The Baby Unicorn by Jean Marzollo

“Star, a baby unicorn and one of the last eight unicorns on earth, must find a way to help save her friends from the evil dragons.”

Where Have the Unicorns Gone? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

“Long ago unicorns lived in a haven of sun-dappled glades and flower-filled dells. But as civilization spread over the ages — with its fierce knights, its chugging trains, its thick smogs — unicorns had to find a new sanctuary. But where?”

The Unicorn and the Lake by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by Michael Hague

“When a serpent poisons the lake where all the animals drink, only the unicorn has the power to save them.”

Nobody Rides the Unicorn by Adrian Mitchell, illustrated by Stephen Lambert

“When the magic of Zoe’s soft, sweet singing draws a beautiful unicorn to her, everyone is delighted. But then Zoe finds that her unicorn is in terrible danger.”

Morgan Morning by Stephen Cosgrove, illustrated by Robin James

“When the young horse, Morgan, is swept over a waterfall and breaks his leg, he is rescued by a magical unicorn, who changes Morgan into a unicorn.”

When Unicorns Poop by Lexie Castle, illustrated by Christian Cornia

“Did you know that when a unicorn poops, rainbows arch across the sky? And when they toot, shiny bubbles float all around! What happens when a unicorn sneezes or spits or cries?”

Michael Hague’s Magical World of Unicorns by Michael Hague

“Classic unicorn illustrations are paired with excerpts from poems, stories, and songs that reflect our fascination with the mysterious and beautiful unicorn and its enchanted, mythical world.”

Never Let a Unicorn Scribble! by Diane Alber

“This story is about a little girl who keeps hearing, “Never let a unicorn scribble!” But in her heart believes that people just don’t understand how beautiful scribbling can be. She keeps trying to teach her unicorn to scribble but soon realizes this is more difficult then she anticipated.”

Sarah’s Unicorn by Bruce Coville and Katherine Coville

“Although she tries to keep her friendship with Oakhorn a secret, Sarah’s wicked aunt finds out and is determined to rob the unicorn of his magic.”

Goodnight Unicorn: A Magical Parody by Karla OceanakGoodnight Unicorn: A Magical Parody by Karla Oceanak, illustrated by Kendra Spanjer

“As night falls in the enchanted forest, the unicorns and their friends gather to get ready for bed. Say goodnight to all the types of unicorns — the pearly-whites, the foals, the oldens, the fluffies, the jet-blacks, the cuties, and more — as well as the wonderful beings who attend them, from rainbows and fairies to baby dragons and, of course, the full moon.”

Middle Grade Books About Unicorns

Here There Be Unicorns by Jane Yolen and David Wilgus

“A fabulous collection of unicorn stories and poems, with both medieval and modern settings, weaves the author’s imaginative perspective intotraditional unicorn lore about the fabled beast’s healing powers and quintessential goodness.”

The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

“Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor . . . until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.”

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Unicorn Training by Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce

“Some things Pip and Tomas will find when dealing with unicorns: Show-offs, stampedes, mystery, a unicorn who’s afraid of everything
Some things Pip and Tomas will not find when dealing with unicorns: peace and quiet”

Phoebe and Her UnicornPhoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

“It all started when Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and accidentally hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this led to Phoebe being granted one wish, and she used it to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her obligational best friend.”

Louie Lets Loose! by Rachel Hamilton

“Louie the Unicorn is a star! At least, he will be once he polishes his act at performing arts school. With a song in his heart, a spring in his step, and an unwaveringly sunny outlook, he’s about to take the big city by storm.”

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: The Unicorn’s Tale by R.L. LaFevers, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

“Is there no rest for the travel worn and weary? Not if you are Nathaniel Fludd, world’s youngest beastologist-in-training. All Nate really wants is to track down his missing parents, but when a unicorn falls mysteriously ill, Nate’s Aunt Phil makes it clear where beastologists’ duties lie: with the beasts who need them.”

Cover of Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power By Mariko TamakiLumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooke Allen

“When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.”

The Road to Balinor by Mary Stanton

“As Arianna recovers from a bad accident and loss of memory, she slowly recalls things about her past and learns that her “horse” Chase can speak thoughts to her, as can her dog. When Chase is threatened, Arianna tries to run away with Chase and Lincoln – only to find herself transported into the world of Balinor, where she must reclaim her birthright.”

A Glory of Unicorns edited by Bruce Coville, illustrated by Alix Berenzy

“An award-winning author compiles twelve stories from popular fantasy writers to demonstrate the importance of magic in everyday life and show how unicorns are a prime source of this power.”

Into the Land of Unicorns by Bruce Coville

“On a wintry night Cara and her grandmother are pursued into St. Christopher’s church by an unknown man. Clutching her grandmother’s mysterious amulet, Cara escapes into Luster, the Land of the Unicorns. Soon she is traveling across a beautiful but dangerous world to bring her grandmother’s message to the oldest unicorn of all.”

The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline Ogburn

“For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away. One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead.”

Young Adult Books About Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

“It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies.”

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle

“Fifteen-year-old Charles Wallace and the unicorn Gaudior undertake a perilous journey through time in a desperate attempt to stop the destruction of the world by the mad dictator Madog Branzillo.”

The Secret of the Unicorn Queen by Josepha Sherman and Gwen Hansen

“When her eccentric friend Dr. Reit invents an amazing transport into other worlds, Sheila McCarthy accidentally falls through the portal into the kingdom of Arren. There, Sheila finds herself part of a band of warrior-women. Astride unicorns, they gallop toward a dazzling city made of marble. But will they arrive in time to stop the evil king and his wicked wizard henchman from carrying out their deadly plans?”

Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce

“Jan, the prince of the unicorns, is high-spirited, reckless-and the despair of his mighty father, Korr. Reluctantly, Korr allows Jan to accompany the other initiate warriors on a pilgrimage. Soon Jan’s curiosity leads him, along with his friend Dagg, and their mentor, the female warrior Tek, into the greatest dangers-deadly gryphons, sly pans, wyverns, pards, and renegade unicorns.”

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

“Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they’ve been extinct for a hundred and fifty years. Or not. Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.”

The Twelve Kingdoms, Volume 1: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono

“Yoko Nakajima, a typical, obedient Japanese high school student, has a fairly ordinary life–that is until Keiki, a unicorn in the guise of a young blond-haired boy, tells her that she is his master and must return to their kingdom, but when the boy mysteriously vanishes, Yoko is left alone on a quest for survival and self-discovery.”

Last Unicorn Peter S BeagleThe Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. So she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction…”

The Transfigured Hart by Jane Yolen

“Richard, a lonely boy, enlists the help of the popular Heather in his quest to save a unicorn with magical powers from the hunters who descend upon Five Mile Wood.”

The Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee

“Nobody knew where it had come from, or what it wanted. Not even Jaive, the sorceress, could fathom the mystery of the fabled beast. But Tanaquil, Jaive’s completely unmagical daughter, understood it at once. She knew why the unicorn was there: It had come for her. It needed her.”

Adult Books About Unicorns

Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry

“Having magical powers makes you less than human, a resource to be exploited. Half-unicorn Gary Cobalt is sick of slavery, captivity, and his horn being ground down to power faster-than-light travel. When he’s finally free, all he wants is to run away in his ancestors’ stone ship. Instead, Captain Jenny Perata steals the ship out from under him, so she can make an urgent delivery. But Jenny held him captive for a decade, and then Gary murdered her best friend… who was also the wife of her co-pilot, Cowboy Jim. What could possibly go right?”

Song of Sorcery by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

“Hearthwitch Maggie Brown meets minstrel Colin Songsmith and a unicorn named Moonshine while saving both her sister and the kingdom.”

Acorna: The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball

“Three old space mining prospectors in their beat-up space ship discover a small pod floating in space. Inside is a tiny girl child, with funny little hooves, a wealth of silver hair growing on her body, and a lump in the middle of her forehead which, as time elapses, grows into a horn.”

Ariel by Steven R. Boyett

“Five years ago the lights went out, cars stopped in the streets, and magical creatures began roaming the towns and countrysides of Earth. Pete Garey, a young loner who survived the Change and the madness that followed, spent two years wandering and scavenging the near-deserted cities and towns alone — until the day he encountered an injured unicorn.”

Immortal Unicorn edited by Peter S. Beagle

“In a new anthology, the author of The Last Unicorn and other authors–including Charles de Lint, Nancy Willard, Tad Williams, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Eric Lustbader, and Katharine Kerr–contribute short stories about this legendary animal.”

Unicorns I edited by Jack Dann and Gardner R. Dozois

“Sixteen magical tales about the most wondrous of all creatures.”

Touched by Magic by Doranna Durgin

“Magic has never been a part of Reandn’s life. Until the people under his care start dying. Until the threat extends to his family-and then turns on him. Someone, somewhere, is trying to draw magic back into Keland, and they don’t care what-or who-is destroyed in the process. But Reandn does.”

The Unicorn Sonata by Peter S. Beagle

“A tomboy misfit and born musician, thirteen-year-old Josephine “Joey” Rivera encounters a mysterious young man named Indigo who changes her life, playing ghostly, haunting music that she follows down an ordinary street into the magical world of Shei’rah.”

The Natural History of Unicorns by Chris Lavers

“Where did the unicorn come from and how was it accepted for so long as a part of the animal kingdom? Chris Lavers argues that although the unicorn of our imagination isn’t real, traces of its character can be found in existing species.”

The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

“Kellen’s life changes almost faster than he can understand or accept. Rescued by a unicorn, healed by a female Wild Mage who knows more about Kellen than anyone outside the City should, meeting Elven royalty and Elven warriors, and plunged into a world where the magical beings he has learned about as abstract concepts are flesh and blood creatures-Kellen both revels in and fears his new freedom.”

50 Must-Read Completed YA Book Series

This collection of 50 must-read completed YA book series is sponsored by the Jackaby series by Will Ritter from Algonquin Young Readers.

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook begins working for R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary – including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. “Sherlock Holmes meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Chicago Tribune) in this series brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.


I’m not a big series reader. I prefer my books to be stand-alone, and that’s not because I think a story needs to begin and end with just one volume. Rather, I find myself wanting to read the next book in a series the minute I complete the first title, and if I’m reading early editions of books, that often means I can’t. I might end up waiting a year or more for the next book. What I can do, though, are dig into completed YA book series and not worry about the inevitable feeling of sadness. A completed YA book series ensures that I can grab an entire stack of titles and read them cover-to-cover and back-to-back.

50 must-read completed YA book series to devour one after another. Get your fill of a great story without waiting for the next book to hit shelves -- all of these books are available now! book lists | book series | completed book series | completed ya book series | ya book series | ya series books | ya series to read | ya book lists | ya duologies | ya triologies | long ya book series | #YALit

Completed YA book series span genres, as well as spanning lengths. I’ve pulled together 50 of the best series that you can read start to finish right now, ranging from duologies to books that have upwards of five, six, or seven titles. I’ve organized them by length so readers who are looking for a certain series length (i.e. they want a quick series or one that spans many volumes) can locate those titles quickly.

These must-read completed YA book series include some well-known and well-loved series, but they also leave out many of the best-known YA series. I’ve done this on purpose in order to offer as wide a range of voices, stories, perspectives, and adventures possible. Your favorite might not be here, but you’re always welcome to drop it into the comments. Again: these are completed series. I’ve not included books that, as of early 2019, are waiting for additional volumes. Likewise, I’ve limited to one book series per author, so some authors here might have additional completed YA book series to discover.

Descriptions are pulled for the first book in each series and are from Amazon. This’ll avoid spoilers. I’ve listed book series by the name of the series as listed in Goodreads, along with the book which launches the series. Note that many of the series here also include short stories or digital companion shorts worth seeking out as well. Those are not counted toward the series volume totals here, though, as these are bonus stories and not vital to the series itself. I have counted books that are continued series; that is, series that were added upon other series which are also complete (for example, Julie Kagawa’s “The Iron Fey” series also includes “The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten” books).

Plan your spring, summer, fall, and winter reading with the help of these great titles.

50 Must-Read Completed YA Book Series

 

Duologies

Adaptation by Malinda Lo (Begin with Adaptation)

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are–or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction–and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Begin with Akata Witch)

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them combat a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

Anna by Kendare Blake (Begin with Anna Dressed In Blood)

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Begin with The Girl From Everywhere)

As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all.

But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. Rae Carson meets Outlander in this epic debut fantasy.

If there is a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place and any time. But now that he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, the year before Nix’s mother died in childbirth—Nix’s life, her entire existence, is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years.

Half World by Hiromi Goto (Begin with Half World)

Melanie Tamaki is an outsider. As the unpopular and impoverished only child of a loving but neglectful mother, she is just barely coping with school and life. But everything changes on the day she returns home to find her mother is missing, lured back to Half World by a vile creature calling himself Mr. Glueskin. Soon Melanie embarks on an epic and darkly fantastical journey to Half World to save her mother. What she does not yet realize is that the state of the universe is at stake…. Award-winning author Hiromi Goto’s novel is an adventurous, genre-bending fantasy of shape-shifting characters, tortured half-lives, and redemption.

Moribito by Nahoko Uehashi (Begin with Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit)

Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river — and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy — the Prince Chagum — on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga . . . and the prince’s own father.

Proxy by Alex London (Begin with Proxy)

Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else’s crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.

This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (Begin with Seraphina)

Seraphina is a half-dragon, descended from a dragon mother who took human form and a father who has no particular fondness for Seraphina’s kind.

Not that anyone else does either. Hers is a world where dragons and humans live and work side by side—but below the surface, tensions and hostilities are on the rise. Seraphina guards her true self with all of her being, but when a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, she’s suddenly thrust into the spotlight, drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian.

As the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult . . . and its discovery could mean her very life.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Begin with The Star-Touched Queen)

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (Begin with The Wrath and the Dawn)

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

 

Trilogies

Across The Universe by Beth Revis (Begin with Across the Universe)

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES?

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends–and planet–behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.

Someone tried to murder her.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed‘s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (Begin with The Bone Witch)

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha―one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood (Begin with Born Wicked)

Everybody thinks Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave. Then Cate finds her mother’s diary, and uncovers a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe–not even from each other.

Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness (Begin with The Knife of Never Letting Go)

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White (Begin with And I Darken)

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Curse Workers by Holly Black (Begin with White Cat)

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers—people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, all by the slightest touch of their hands. Since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider—the straight kid in a crooked family—as long as you ignore one small detail: He killed his best friend, Lila. Now he is sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He also notices that his brothers are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of one huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Begin with The Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

The Dragon King Chronicles by Ellen Oh (Begin with Prophecy)

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and she’s also the prince’s bodyguard. A demon slayer and an outcast, she’s hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And she’s their only hope. . . .

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King’s prophecy, but the legendary lost ruby treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost, while raising a prince into a king.

Embassy Row by Ally Carter (Begin with All Fall Down)

This exciting new series from New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row. Now, at age 16, she’s come back to stay in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore (Begin with Graceling)

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa’s Grace is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa’s life begins to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Begin with The Hunger Games)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Still, if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Begin with Illuminae)

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Begin with Killer of Enemies)

Years ago, seventeen year old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lives in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones (people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human) and there was everyone else who served the Ones.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets — genetically engineered monsters — turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun… Lozen is meant to be a hero.

Legend by Marie Lu (Begin with Legend)

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

The Lumatere Series by Melina Marchetta (Begin with Finnikin of the Rock)

Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems — and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Begin with March)

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Precious Stone Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, translated by Anthea Bell (Begin with Ruby Red)

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Begin with Shadow and Bone)

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (Begin with The Vespertine)

It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova (Begin with The Vicious Deep)

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotions like never before? How can he explain he’s the heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods?

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

 

Quartets

The Agency by Y.S. Lee (Begin with The Agency)

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

Finishing School by Gail Carriger (Begin with Etiquette and Espionage)

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Begin with The Girl of Fire and Thorns)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Jackaby by William Ritter (Begin with Jackaby)

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–seem adamant to deny.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Begin with Cinder)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Begin with The Naturals)

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But, it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides-especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce (Begin with Alanna: The First Adventure)

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Begin with Tantalize)

Are you predator or prey?

CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS
SANGUINI’S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY.
APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM.

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses – or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Begin with To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before)

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Trouble by Stephanie Tromly (Begin with Trouble Is A Friend of Mine)

When Philip Digby first shows up on her doorstep, Zoe Webster is not impressed. He’s rude and he treats her like a book he’s already read and knows the ending to. But before she knows it, Digby—annoying, brilliant and somehow…attractive? Digby—has dragged her into a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all related to an investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that may be connected to the tragic disappearance of his own sister eight years ago.

When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can’t say no. Digby gets her, even though she barely gets herself. But is Digby a hero, or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exercise his own obsessive compulsive tendencies?

A romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a crime novel where catching the crook isn’t the only hook, a friendship story where they aren’t even sure they like each other—this is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic dynamic duo you’ve ever met.

Tyrell by Coe Booth (Begin with Tyrell)

Tyrell is a young African-American teen who can’t get a break. He’s living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father’s in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn’t feel good enough for her — and seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her. There’s another girl at the homeless shelter who is also after him, although the desires there are complicated. Tyrell feels he needs to score some money to make things better. Will he end up following in his father’s footsteps?

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Begin with Uglies)

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.

Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman (Begin with Unwind)

In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called “unwinding.” Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines complex moral issues that will keep readers turning the pages until the very end.

 

Long Series For A Long Marathon Reading Session

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (Begin with Bloody Jack)

Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.

There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life–if only she doesn’t get caught. . . .

The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa (Begin with The Iron King)

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth.

For Meghan is the daughter of a mythical faery king…and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (Begin with The Princess Diaries)

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

The Princess Diaries is the first book in the beloved, bestselling series that inspired the feature film starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.

Princesses of Myth by Esther M. Friesner (Begin with Nobody’s Princess)

Helen of Sparta wants to be more than a princess and a pretty face—she wants to be a hero.

The traditions of ancient Sparta would have Helen know her place: a beautiful princess, a loyal daughter, a perfect bride. But Helen wants adventure, and she’s not looking back. Not one to count on the gods to take care of her, she sets out to see the world and seek her own fate with steely determination. Her rebellious will makes Helen dangerous enemies—such as the self-proclaimed “son of Zeus” Theseus—but it also gains her true friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi. If she is strong enough, if she is cunning enough, if she is brave enough, Helen will find her destiny . . . but what does destiny have in store for her?

In Nobody’s Princess, author Esther Friesner deftly weaves together history and myth as she takes a new look at the girl who will become Helen of Troy. The back of the book includes further facts about Helen of Troy and Ancient Greece. Hand to readers who love Tamora Pierce and Leigh Bardugo, particularly if they just finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer and want to know more about Helen of Troy.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Begin with Throne of Glass)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck (Begin with Tiger’s Curse)

The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger’s curse, Kelsey’s life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.

 


Want more YA book series? Check out these YA book series to devour (there’s some crossover, but not a lot!) and take this fun quiz to discover your next perfect YA fantasy series