YA Book Reviews from Amy: Space (Is My) Jam
Hello Everyone! This week I wanted to highlight the genre of Science Fiction for May the Fourth. If you did not know, May 4th is Star Wars Day: “May the fourth be with you.” While there are several Young Adult books that are about Star Wars or take place in that universe, I wanted to focus on the Science Fiction books I have enjoyed over the years.
One of the things I love about Sci-Fi is the imagination of the world building; many authors create new worlds in the form of different planets, space travel, aliens, and/ or Earth in a new light. Since Sci-Fi is a genre that can be out of this world… literally, I picked 8 outer space-themed Science Fiction YA books that you might enjoy.
Each title is available through our collection with the OverDrive or Libby App or at https://youngstown.overdrive.com/ Check it out or place a hold!
Give some of the space oddity reads a chance!
Illuminae- Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Kady and Ezra have picked an unfortunate time to break up because their planet has just been invaded by a deadly force. They leave their old lives behind and escape on an evacuating spacecraft. With the enemy following close behind, Kady is finding evidence of the invasion and sending it to Ezra. The spaceship might not be the safest to be in with an AI that seems to be too helpful to be true and a mutating sickness that leaves the ship ravaged by zombie-like beings. This novel is told through emails, files, schematics, interviews, maps, and more. It is interactive book that will keep you reading to find out what will happen to this society.
*This book does contain a plague storyline that could be triggering.
You can also check out the sequels: Gemina and Obsidio
The Final Six- Alexandra Monir
Twenty-four teens compete in the International Space Training Camp to become the final six. The final six will travel to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, to create a colony for future living. The competition is full of high risk challenges, tests both mental and physical, and “winning” might not actually be a good thing. The novel follows Leo and Naomi in their attempt to succeed; for Leo it is a new life after he lost everything and Naomi who is skeptical of the intensions of the future mission.
This is a very intense book that I enjoyed because I love reading books with competitions with high stakes. The second book just came out this year: The Life Below
Under the Never Sky- Veronica Rossi
The world that Aria has always known has been under a dome because the outside has been deemed to be deadly. When she is forced to leave the confines of her old world, she must survive the outside wasteland. Aria meets a native of the wasteland, Perry, who looks to her for answers and she hopes he can help her survive this ravaged land.
Veronica Rossi builds a fantastic futuristic Science Fiction world that seems to be filed with graphic scenery, relatable characters, and intriguing politics. Continue on with this trilogy by reading: Through the Ever Night and Into the Still Blue
Starflight- Melissa Landers
Solara has little choices for her future after receiving felony tattoos that are highlighted across her knuckles. She runs into rich and temperamental Doran; Solara and Doran end up on a rogue ship the Banshee and must conceal their identities after Doran is framed for a conspiracy he was not involved in. These two must work together if they are to solve the mystery surrounding them and evade arrest. This book has a fantastic group of side characters with complex backgrounds. It was a really fun read with a solid romance.
Companion book, Starfall, follows lovable side characters Cassia and Kane.
Heart of Iron- Ashly Poston
Ana is on a quest to recover secret coordinates that leads to a lost ship that could give her answers to save her only friend and android, D09. Robb is also searching for those same coordinates to find his missing father. Ana and Robb flee together to find the ship and find their answers while they both learn what happened years earlier when the rebellion broke out and the princess many assumed as dead– had really escaped. Could Ana’s lack of a past mean she is the lost princess? This is Sci-Fi retelling of the Anastasia myth.
Check out the sequel: Soul of Stars
The Disasters- M.K. England
Four teens are in the right place at the wrong time; all of them are about to go back to Earth after failing out of school. Just when they are about to leave, masked people enter to destroy the training spaceship. Nax- a pilot with a secret, Case- a teenage genius, Zee- a future doctor, and Rion- a diplomat’s son are forced to work together when they escape the clutches of these evildoers. They are a bunch of misfits that must warn Earth about this attack. Since they are unable to return to Earth, they crash into a new planet in the first universe, but they quickly realize they are on the run and are framed for atrocities.
This crew is diverse in culture and has great LGBTQ+ representation. I really enjoyed the interactions between our four main characters.
These Broken Stars- Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Lilac is a wealthy traveler aboard of the Icarus along with Tarver, a young captain with a past; they meet each other on one fateful night. On that quiet night, everything goes wrong when the luxury ship crashes and Lilac and Tarver escape together in an emergency life-pod. They crash land on a mysterious planet and they must travel through the treacherous landscape and must get over their own prejudices to work together. This story begins like a space version of Titanic and turns into a survival story.
You can continue with this series with reading: This Shattered World and Their Fractured Light
Across the Universe- Beth Revis
Amy and her parents have been frozen via cryogenics of the future. They are traveling on a spaceship that will reach their destination in 300 years. When Amy is woken up 50 years too soon, she has no idea who would sabotage her. She begins to learn the politics of this dystopian-like atmosphere on the Godspeed. Amy learns that the person that woke her up early was trying to kill her, but why? Are her parents at risk to the same fate as her or worse? Amy meets Elder, the future captain of the ship, and a romance blossoms, but can Amy trust him?
Read on with: A Million Suns and Shades of Earth
Hello everyone! I’m Amy and I am a Youth Services Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. When I’m not trying to reach my reading goal for the year, yes its 100 books, and yes I’m far ahead of that goal at the pace I’m going, I like to talk about what I’m reading to the 3 book clubs I am involved in. You could say I am a little obsessed with reading Young Adult books. I enjoy most genres, but my favorites include: Westerns (looking for a good YA Western… I’m your person), Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Dystopian, and Mystery. I am always looking for the next great book that makes me connect to its characters and hits me in the feels.