These Are The Best YA Books Of March 2017

by Caitlin White

Winter is finally coming to an end, and you can rejuvenate your reading routine as the weather starts warming up. It's a perfect time to do so, too, because the best YA books of March are unique and memorable.

Some of these stories take you to a summer camp that is nothing like it seems, a magical 19th century Hungary, the fantasy desert land of Miraji (sound familiar to any of you young adult fans?), inside Russian folktales, to the halls of a boarding school and more. You'll follow the sister of a saint, a badass Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, a deaf graffiti artist, a necromancer, and other characters you won't soon forget.

If you've been waiting for sequels to some of 2016 and earlier breakout hit YA novels, this is the month you've been waiting for. Openly Straight, The Star-Touched Queen, and Rebel of the Sands all will continue in March, and it also marks the kickoff to your next addictive series.

Oh, and did I even mention that Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe author Benjamin Alire Sáenz has a new book this month?

Yeah, it's a pretty great time of year.

So whether you are headed to the beach for Spring Break, celebrating the beginning of spring, or just anticipating your favorite new stories, grab some of these young adult novels from the library or your favorite local bookstore and get lost.


'Camp So-and-So' by Mary McCoy (March 1, Carolrhoda Lab)

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This is a weird one, and I mean that in the best possible way. The experience reading Camp So-and-So is much like the experience of the girls who show up to attend Camp So-and-So: nothing is quite what you expected or what it seems. Sold by glossy brochures picturing a lakeside mountain retreat with theatre, rock climbing, and other camp-typical activities, 25 girls travel to Camp So-and-So. But what they find is something far more mysterious, and I'm not going to spoil any of it for you here!


'The Bone Witch' by Rin Chupeco (March 7, Sourcebooks Fire)

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Rin Chupeco already captivated and horrified us with The Girl from the Well, but she may have outdone herself on this one. The Bone Witch is the first in a new series about a young witch who realizes she has the dark gift of necromancy after she accidentally raises her brother from the dead. Now, an older bone witch has taken Tea under her wing to teach her the art. The story has been pitched as high fantasy meets Memoirs of a Geisha, so yes, you need your hands on it now.


'The Inexplicable Logic of My Life' by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (March 7, Clarion Books)

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Finally, after his incredible Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáenz is back! And this new novel has all the same qualities that made you fall in love before: deeply human protagonists, a gentle, warm manner of addressing difficult issues, and finding a sense of identity. Sal's adoptive father is gay, his adoptive family is Mexican-American, and his white biological father was a violent man he never knew. Through the story, Sal struggles with who is he is and whether he will adopt characteristics of his birth family or fit in with his adoptive.


'Traitor to the Throne' by Alwyn Hamilton (March 7, Viking Books for Young Readers)

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Rebel of the Sands was a breakout hit last year, and so duh, we are clamoring for its sequel — spoiler: it's worth the wait. Amani al'Hiza already achieved her own freedom, but she's at the center of the fight for the freedom of the entire desert nation of Miraji, under the sultan's vengeful watch. Except now that freedom is in question when she's captured and held prisoner by the sultan. She uses this opportunity to spy on her enemy, who she finds out he might not be everything he's been made out to be.


'Goodbye Days' by Jeff Zentner (March 7, Crown Books for Young Readers)

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Jeff Zentner follows up his critically and fan adored Serpent King with Goodbye Days. Carver is forever plagued with guilt after he feels a text message he sent caused his best friends to die in a car accident. Even while he's facing criminal prosecution in their deaths and panic attacks, he tries to help each family celebrate their lost son with "goodbye days." As expected with Zentner, Goodbye Days is poignant, raw, and human.


'You're Welcome, Universe' by Whitney Gardner (March 7, Knopf)

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Graffiti artist Julia is expelled from school when she uses her craft to cover up a racial slur written about one of her friends. Indian-American Julia is deaf and had previously only been surrounded by other deaf people, including her parents and her peers at her specialty school. Now she's sent to a "mainstream" school with an interpreter where she's treated like an outcast. Her only outlet for release is her art, even though it's illegal. Things really get interesting when Julia discovers there's another graffiti artist adding to her creations. You're going to love Julia and will welcome spending way more page with her.


'A Psalm for Lost Girls' by Katie Bayerl (March 14, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

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Culture, religion, socioeconomic background, and more all intertwine in this unique story about an abducted girl and a potential saint. Callie's older sister Tess de Costa was thought to be able to perform miracles, but she never could bring home the missing girl, Ava. In fact, she died trying. Still, the rumors of Tess's sainthood heat up again when Ava is found alive at the base of Tess's memorial. Callie? She doesn't believe all this, and instead she wants people to see her sister as a human being — a human being who was killed.


'Hunted' by Meagan Spooner (March 14, HarperTeen)

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It seems like the perfect time for a Beauty and the Beast story, but this one isn't the Disney movie you remember. Using Russian folktale influences, Meagan Spooner spins a vivid yarn about a young girl who goes hunting for her eccentric father, after she believes him driven mad in his focus to find and kill the mythical Beast. Now, it's up to Yeva to find him and the Beast, and she encounters a world that she thought was only in fairy tales.


'The Heartbeats of Wing Jones' by Katherine Webber (March 14, Delacorte Books for Young Readers)

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Wing's big brother was the king of the high school and a football star, so when he drives drunk, killing two people and sending himself into a coma, Wing is a complicated bundle of emotions. She can't find anywhere to just relax and think — her mother is grieving and being buried in medical bills and her classmates torment her in school for Marcus's actions. The only solace she can find is running at night on the track, where she encounter's her crush and Marcus's best friend Aaron, who notices her incredible running skill. Now, Wing has to find her place place outside of being Marcus' little sister in this honest story about identity and grief.


'Nemesis' by Brendan Reichs (March 21, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

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Every two years on her birthday, Min is murdered by a strange man. Perhaps even weirder, every time, Min wakes up unharmed in a clearing outside her Idaho town, and there's no evidence a crime ever happened. With an asteroid plummeting toward earth, Min decides this year, on her 16th birthday, she's going to figure out exactly what the fresh hell is going on here. Turns out, peer Noah is facing a similar deathly mystery, but you guys, that's not even the weirdest thing going on here. Brendan Reichs takes you on a twisty thrill-ride that will keep you guessing with characters you'll want to stay with.


'Strange the Dreamer' by Laini Taylor (March 28, Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

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I don't even need to tell you to read this because we're all already pre-ordering National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor's next fantasy series after The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, right? You'll love all of her carefully constructed, imaginative world-building in her new setting of Weep. Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep since it entered his dreams and 5 years old, and now finally he has the chance to visit and explore its mysteries.


'A Crown of Wishes' Roshani Chokshi (March 28, St. Martin's Griffin)

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Roshani Chokshi captivated us with The Star-Touched Queen and now she returns to her fantastical, India-inspired world with a new story and characters in A Crown of Wishes. This time, our three heroes (two women and one man) have to compete in the Tournament of Wishes where the winner will be granted (you guessed it) one wish. The tale is spellbinding, each character is well developed and interesting, and obvi we are so happy


'Just a Girl' by Carrie Mesrobian (March 28, HarperCollins)

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Slut shaming and the double standards between teenage boys and girls are explored in Carrie Mesrobian's latest. Rianne has a reputation of being "easy" in her small town, but she knows she's not doing anything that any of the boys in her school aren't. This is a story that feels incredibly authentic, and though not perfect, it will resonate with teen and adult women alike in this culture we live in.


'Honestly Ben' by Bill Konigsberg (March 28, Arthur A. Levine Books)

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Bill Konigsberg made us fall in love with Openly Straight, and this companion novel follows Ben some time after his romantic relationship with his friend Rafe. It has the same fresh charm and thoughtfulness that you know and love from Konigsberg earlier installment, but this time, turning the lens onto Ben allows readers to see a new take on coming out as gay and persuing a relationship in an all-boys boarding school where that may not be the norm.


'Things I Should Have Known' by Claire LaZebnik (March 28, HMH Books for Young Readers)

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Chloe aims to find a loving partner for her autistic sister Ivy, but along the way, she learns so much more about what it's like to live with autism and first love for herself, too. When Ivy starts questioning how Chloe conducts her dating life, Chloe decides to set up her sister with a peer at her specialty school, Ethan. That pairs Chloe up with Ethan's brother David, who happens to be Chloe's nemesis. More a love story about sisterhood than romantic, it's a story that will illuminate what it's like to live an ordinary teenage life when you have autism.


'Blood Rose Rebellion' by Rosalyn Eves (March 28, Knopf Books for Young Readers)

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Blood Rose Rebellion kicks off a new YA fantasy series set in a magical 19th century Hungary where power and social standing is determined based on three qualities: blood, money, and magic. Anna is in a low position because, while she was born to a powerful family, she cannot do magic. But, Anna learns she can break magic. The story is wide-sweeping, beautiful, romantic, and, of course, magical, so don't worry there are two more books to come.