Two Great Fall Books

Josie Leavitt - July 21, 2015

I have been thoroughly enjoying reading a heap of young adult galleys this summer. Purely by luck, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with the very random stack of galleys I took home a few weeks ago.  I’ve found two more great ones to add to my list books to order more of for the fall season. One is a realistic teen novel and the other is a dystopian thriller. Both are set in high schools and have a cast of very compelling characters that will appeal to a broad range of readers.
Carolyn Mackler’s Infinite in Between, due out in September, is a fast read that captures all four infiniteyears of high school from the perspective of five very different teens who meet at freshman orientation. Each chapter is told in alternating voices and the book while seemingly just dips into a kid’s life- with a snapshot of what’s happening at any given time, it really does give the reader a well-rounded view of each person’s life. There is believable drama and romance and the book is peppered with humor and moments of sadness that had me reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion.
Mackler handles diversity well in this book. There is an out gay character (and how refreshing to have a gay kid in a book who is already out and comfortable with it) and a bi-racial student who grapples with issues of race as we get to know her through high school. This is not an “issue” book, so the characters exist in their school world first as themselves with their difference fully blended into their characters. This book is well written and really just keeps you reading until you’re done and the five students have graduated.
machiesWillful Machines by Tim Floreen is a riveting read. Set in an exclusive, very elite boarding school, we meet Lee, the closeted son of the President of the United States, who is championing The Human Values Party, which most decidedly doesn’t welcome gay people. Lee meets the very engaging new student, Nico, who is also gay. As Lee and Nico try to navigate their feelings they must grapple with attacks from Charlotte, a man-made artificial human who has a conscience of her own and who begins terrorizing the American public. And what better way to make a point than to start attacking the President’s son. As the attacks move to the school, Lee and Nico must find a way to stop Charlotte.
There are complex layers to this book. Lee is still mourning for his mother, killed by Charlotte when he was a boy. The reader is left wondering just who Nico really is, and of course, there is a rollicking mystery to solved lest all be lost. This book will appeal equally to boys and girls and fans of dystopian novels;  issues of sexuality are deftly handled.
Readers, what are some of the fall books you’re most excited about?

3 thoughts on “Two Great Fall Books

  1. Timothy Tocher

    Just read Louis Sachar’s new middle grade novel, FUZZY MUD and loved it. Scary and believable story skillfully told. Great fodder for classroom discussions.

  2. Sam

    I’m in the middle of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon right now.. and loving it. A teen with “bubble” syndrome that can’t leave her house befriends the new neighbor (who lives w/ an abusive father)… I don’t know yet where it’s going, but I predict I’ll need some tissues by the end! 🙂 (Delecorte, Sept. 15)

  3. Susanna Reich

    Just read an ARC of Pat Schmatz’s LIZARD RADIO, a dystopian fantasy set in a future society in which gender identity is fixed and rigidly enforced. Unusual and beautifully written. Also Alex Gino’s GEORGE, about which much has already been written. Suffice it so say it’s terrific to see a middle-grade novel about a transgender kid.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *