The 5 Absolute Best YA Books for Your Next Virtual Book Club

While we’re waiting for the world to open up again, there are some things we can do to keep ourselves and our minds busy, including starting a virtual book club with friends.

Here are five of the absolute best YA books to read and discuss with a group.

Admission

Admission

By Julie Buxbaum

In Admission, Chloe Wynn Berringer goes from having it all to having the entire world hate her after her mother is arrested by the FBI for a college admissions bribery scandal that Chloe herself was complicit in. Now an enraged public is out for her blood, and she’s about to lose everything that once made her life so seemingly perfect. This juicy, fascinating look into the lives of the wealthy and infamous raises tons of interesting questions for book clubbers, including:

How do you take accountability for something you’ve been complicit in, just as Chloe does in Admission? What do you do when people have a strong opinion of you that you want to change?

This Is My America

This Is My America

By Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson’s This Is My America is a profound and uplifting book that explores the racial injustices embedded within the American justice system and features an incredible teen protagonist. Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to the organization Innocence X asking them to help her father, an innocent man on death row whose time is running out.  Then one night, the police arrive at her house and arrest her brother, a bright, promising track star who is being falsely accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her family members, Tracy opens up her own investigation, raising important questions for readers, like:

What parts of your city’s or state’s history haunts its present and affects its current systems? What parallels can you draw between Tracy’s story and the lives of real-life teens?? What are some similar recent events in the media that remind you of this story?

Influence

Influence

By Lilia Buckingham

Influence takes you on a fascinating deep dive into the world of teenage influencers, and who better to cowrite the story than Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard and social media personality Lilia Buckingham? This twisty mystery features Delilah Rollins, a girl who’s just gone viral; Jasmine Walters, a girl who is publicly adored but whose private life is less ideal; Fiona Jacobs, a hilarious influencer who feels like a hot mess deep down; and Scarlet Leigh, a girl styled to perfection whose gorgeous boyfriend is perfect in every way . . . or is he? It’ll have you asking things like:

Would you want to be famous? If so, how do you think you’d handle it? If not, why? How does fame fundamentally change a person, especially a teenager? Think about your own social media accounts. Do they present the real you, or the version of you that you want the world to see?

The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish

By Trung Le Nguyen

In this absorbing graphic YA novel, we meet Tiến, a teen boy who adores his family and friends but is hiding something from them that could change their relationships forever. Tiến loves reading library books with his Vietnamese parents, who are both struggling to learn English. He can’t help but wonder: Is there a way to tell them he’s gay? Is there a word for what he’s going through in Vietnamese? This gorgeously illustrated story will have your book club asking things like:

What’s the best way to communicate feelings without words? If you wanted to share a secret part of your identity with your family, or if you have, how did it make you feel? How does storytelling help us bridge gaps in understanding, both linguistically and culturally?

Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country

By Safia Elhillo

This gorgeous novel-in-verse tackles identity, family, and finding yourself. It focuses on a teen girl named Nima, who feels like an outsider in her suburban American town and at home with her mother, who grew up in a foreign land. Luckily, Nima has her childhood friend Haitham, but when he’s ripped away from her, she’s left to grapple with loneliness as well as the phantom life she could’ve had. Her parents had a name for her they didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen. Author Safia Elhillo constructs a magical otherworld, prompting readers to ask important questions like:

If you had been born in a different country and culture, how would it have impacted who you are today? Do you ever feel isolated in your hometown or from your family, or both? How do you think your parents’ history and personal experiences affect who you are now?

Join the conversation

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Post a comment
0 Likes 0 Comments
Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.

By clicking Sign Up, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House's
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Underlined