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YA Books to Inspire You in the New Year

Looking for YA books to inspire you as we head into a brand-new year? Each of these four inspirational reads offers a thought-provoking look at some important, topical issues.

Are you hoping to welcome 2023 with an open mind and an open heart? The New Year can be a time to recharge and reflect, to refocus and reinspire yourself. Here are four issue-driven YA books that can offer you new insight into something you’ve never faced, encourage you to reflect on a challenging aspect of your own life, or offer solidarity and hope.

Chaos Theory by Nic Stone

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory

By Nic Stone

Coming 02.28.23

Chaos Theory, the latest book by bestselling YA author Nic Stone, is the story of the evolving relationship between two teens living with mental health issues. Shelbi is successfully managing her bipolar disorder but also understands that her brain chemistry might suddenly shift, and that some people will never understand or accept her neurodivergence. Andy, self-medicating after a devastating loss, is headed down a dark path of alcohol abuse. The two form a tentative friendship that could deepen into love or be destroyed by the obstacles they face. Chaos Theory offers a refreshingly open discussion of mental health and celebrates the courage and tenacity of those coping and even thriving despite mental health challenges.

Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee

Sun Keep Rising

Sun Keep Rising

Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee, the author of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman, is the story of B’onca, a teenager struggling under the weight of intergenerational poverty and income instability. B’onca is a devoted parent to her young daughter and dreams of owning her own business, but between the gentrification and rising rents in her Memphis neighborhood, the judgmental attitudes of others toward her as a teen parent, and a lack of family support, B’onca can barely make ends meet. Feeling desperate and out of options, she contemplates a course of action that could bring her much-needed money or cause her to lose everything. Sun Keep Rising is a gripping and impactful story that also raises important political and policy issues.

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

By Patricia Park

Coming 02.21.23

Award-winning author Patricia Park makes her young adult debut with Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim. As part of a family that is ethnically Korean, culturally Argentinian, and living in New York, Alejandra often wonders exactly where she fits in. She feels out of place, both in her Queens neighborhood and in her elite, largely white school. But a series of microaggressions opens her eyes to the fact that she can own and embrace all aspects of her background and learn to define her own identity, rather than choose between labels that don’t quite fit. Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim is a portrait of a girl who learns how to feel seen in the world.

Hidden Systems by Dan Nott

Hidden Systems

Hidden Systems

By Dan Nott

Coming 03.14.23

We use water, electricity, and the internet every day–but how do they actually work? And what’s the plan to keep them running for years to come? Hidden Systems by Dan Nott is a nonfiction science graphic novel that takes readers on a journey from how the most essential systems were developed to how they are implemented in our world today and how they will be used in the future. For every utility we use each day, there’s a hidden history–a story of intrigue, drama, humor, and inequity. This graphic novel provides a guided tour through the science of the past–and reveals how the decisions people made while inventing and constructing early technology still affect the way people use it today. Full of art, maps, and diagrams, Hidden Systems is a thoughtful, humorous exploration of the history of science and what needs to be done now to change the future.

Did you enjoy this list of YA books to inspire you in the new year? Find more book recommendations here and get social with us at @getunderlined!

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