There is no denying that young adult books are one of the most popular genres in publishing today. Find out why with this list of our staff’s picks for the best of 2013.
Etiquette &Espionage | Gail Carriger
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited 14-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is surprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Strong female characters, spies, steampunk, thwarted parents. What more could one ask for in a read? – Ron
The Nightmare Affair | Mindee Arnett
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for “magickind,” 16-year-old Destiny Everhart feeds on the dreams of others, working with a handsome human student to find a killer.
The first book in an addictive new series, this book combines some of my favorite paranormal elements (dreams and magic) and gets under your skin. I can’t wait for the next book in the series (next year—hopefully)! – Carol
Born of Illusion | Teri J. Brown
Set in 1920s New York City, this is the story of budding magician Anna Van Housen, who has spent her whole life playing sidekick to her faux-medium mother—and trying to hide the fact the she actually possesses the very abilities her mother fakes.
Talking to ghosts. Harry Houdini. Early 20th-century obsession with the occult. What’s not to love? – Carol
Also Known As | Robin Benway
As the active-duty daughter of international spies, 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school. When she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, she is introduced to cliques, school lunches and dating.
Who didn’t dream of being a spy when they were a teen? Maggie is the kind of girl I always wanted to be: smart and quick on her feet. Oh, and she can pick locks like no one’s business. – Carol
A guide for teens about sex and related topics draws on the expertise of a psychologist and an OB/GYN to offer answers to questions on a wide range of subjects that teenagers may be reluctant to discuss with adults.
The questions are compiled from the author’s experience as a middle-school sex-education teacher and are answered frankly and accurately. – Theresa
A Girl’s Guide to Fitting in Fitness | Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters
Presents a fitness plan for teenage girls, covering exercise, relaxation, and diet, emphasizing how to incorporate physical fitness into a busy schedule.
Helpful illustrations for all of the workouts and quotes from teens about how they manage to fit fitness in offer encouragement to take a realistic approach to a more healthy lifestyle for busy teens. – Theresa
Doctor Who : Character Encyclopedia | Jason Loborik
Meet all the most important characters from the entire history of Doctor Who, including every Doctor and companion. Packed with fascinating facts and statistics for characters from the Abzorbaloff to the Zygons.
Colorful cut-out poses and stunning stills from the program invite browsing. – Theresa
DIY Nail Art: 75 Creative Nail Art Designs | Catherine Rodgers
Catherine Rodgers, creator of the popular nail art YouTube Channel Totally Cool Nails, shares her secrets in DIY Nail Art. Packed with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips for recreating Catherine’s stunning looks, you can create one-of-a-kind nail art designs without ever stepping inside a nail salon.
Add the basic tools she suggests and some colorful polish to make a gift basket for a favorite teen. – Theresa