See all of LJ’s 2013 Bests
Levithan, David. Two Boys Kissing. Knopf. ISBN 9780307931900. $16.99.
Exes Craig and Henry are inspired to break the World Record for longest kiss. During the 32-hour vigil, Ryan and Avery meet at a gay prom, longtime boyfriends Neil and Peter chafe at the ties that bind, and depressed Cooper runs away. These entwined stories of what it means to be young and gay today are lent gravitas by a chorus of AIDS victims, urging readers to “make more than dust.”
Lewis, Catherine. Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. ISBN 9781416957843. $16.99.
Three blind mice. See how they run—and how they take your writing to a new level. This clever review of literary terms will delight students and experts looking for a concise way to understand exposition and point-of-view or discern an epic from a bildungsroman.
Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl. Griffin: St. Martin’s. ISBN 9781250030955. $18.99.
Cath is a popular fan fiction author, more at home in the magical world of Simon Snow than in her freshman year at the University of Nebraska. The author of Eleanor and Park (2012) celebrates the magic of reading and fandom with a lovable (anti)heroine venturing out of her comfort zone.
Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. Putnam/Penguin Young Readers. ISBN 9780399162411. $18.99.
The first wave was an electromagnetic pulse; the second, disasters that destroy the world’s coasts; the third, an ebola-like plague; and the fourth, “Silencers” picking off those unlucky enough to remain. Now Cassie and Ben must survive the fifth assault by an alien species intent on eliminating the human race. This high-octane thriller by a Printz Honor winner famous for his ability to scare delivers apocalyptic thrills that will have you clamoring for the next installment.
Yang, Gene Luen. 2 vols. Boxers. ISBN 9781596433595. $18.99; Saints. ISBN 9781596436893. $15.99. First Second. boxed set ISBN 9781596439245. $34.99.
China’s Boxer Rebellion is the unlikely backdrop for this graphic treatment of young villagers on the opposite sides of history. Bao wants to drive out the white devils that poison his country with opium and Christianity. Four-Girl is an unwanted daughter who finds purpose in the missionary life. Their stories collide in a moment of grace that could only be penned by the Printz Award–winning author of American Born Chinese. (See Best Graphic Novels, p. 31.)