Off the shelf: new and widely loved YA books to read in 2021

Trevor Stucker


Molly Henderson, Reporter

Welcome to 2021 Wildkats! A new year is always exciting and filled with new possibilities, as well as New Year’s resolutions. My goal for this year is to read more and I decided to share some of my favorite books that I’ve read in the past, as well as some new releases I can’t wait to dig into.

Books I’ve Read

All of these books have certainly earned my stamp of approval. 

  1. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston $9 on Amazon
    This is my current favorite contemporary romance and I’ve read it about three or four times. Red, White & Royal Blue follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, as he works through complicated relations with His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales during the 2020 Presidential election of an alternate timeline.
  2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han $6 on Amazon
    Anyone who has Netflix knows the story of Laura Jean and Peter Kavinsky. However, -hear me out- you get so much more when you read the books. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the movies. There’s just nothing like a book.
  3. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli $10 on Amazon
    The novel that inspired the 2018 movie Love, Simon, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda tells the story of sixteen year old Simon Spier as he falls in love for the first time -with someone he’s only ever met online.
  4. Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli $10 on Amazon
    Set in the same universe as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Leah On the Offbeat follows Leah Burke as she goes through the process of coming out and figuring out where she wants to go to college.
  5. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon $15 on Amazon
    The Sun is Also a Star explores the concept of love at first sight through the eyes of a skeptic and a romantic over the course of just twelve hours. I read it in one sitting.


Books I Can’t Wait to Read

I haven’t had the chance to read the following novels yet, but I may have a few already in my Amazon cart. 

  1. The Ivies by Alexa Donne Pre-order for $18
    The competition to get into Ivy League schools is cutthroat- quite literally in this novel.
  2. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus $19
    If a murder mystery and The Breakfast Club had a baby, it would be One of Us is Lying. Five students go into detention, only four leave.
  3. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas $16 on Amazon
    Set seventeen years before The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose follows the story of Starr’s father as he struggles to leave gang life behind.
  4. This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey Pre-order for $19
    The year is 1998, but something’s not quite right with the timeline. The description of the book is quite vague in order to preserve the intrigue of the plot, but either way, I’m hooked.
  5. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord $15
    A modern romance based in Twitter, meme culture, and mistaken identity? Sign me up! Tweet Cute is currently $5 with the purchase of any other book on Barnes & Noble.