Library Blog

YA Reads to Match Your New Year’s Resolutions

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With the new year comes new year’s resolutions, and let’s be honest – we can all use a little bit of help sticking to resolutions.  And what better way to help you on your journey than book recommendations?!  No matter what your resolution is this year, there’s a book that will definitely motivate you to stay on track.  (And if you’ve already ditched your resolution, that’s okay!  You’re still doing great, and I’m proud of you.  These books are just plain good reads anyway, so by all means read them anyway!) 


If you’re resolution is to relax a little bit more or to start enjoying the little things, try My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows 

My Lady Jane - Hand, Cynthia

Yes, this is a thick book, but it is absolutely worth every page.  Told in three points of view, you’ll follow Jane, Edward, and Gifford as they navigate royal succession, assassination plots, arranged marriages, and spontaneously turning into animals.  Through it all, though, they learn that it’s okay to take a minute to breathe or take in a nice view or enjoy the feel of the wind as it flows through your mane hair.  And a good laugh never hurts to help relax the mind, and this book is one of the funniest I have ever read. 

BONUS: The audiobook is perfection.  Also, you might learn some history as the book is based on actual British royalty. 


If your resolution is to be a better friend, try The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

The Inheritance Games - Barnes, Jennifer

Technically, this isn’t a book about friendship, but the main character Avery has some significant revelations and discussions about what it means to be a good friend to others.  There’s also a few examples of how to be a bad friend, so just do the opposite of those things.  The main plot of the book, however, is centered around Avery’s sudden inheritance of a stranger’s multi-billion dollar estate and the stranger’s family who is more than little upset that they didn’t get it.  Also, this book had me texting an apology to a friend…for not listening to her sooner and reading it when she first asked me to! 

BONUS: The third book in the series is expected later this year! 


If your resolution is to do better at school, try Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe 

Charming as A Verb - Philippe, Ben

While Halti doesn’t necessarily apply himself in school, he learns a pretty hard lesson that maybe he should have done that instead of…other things.  He’s is all about the hustle – he even has a fake dog-walking business that earns him real cash to help him pay for his dream college of Columbia.  But his neighbor Corinne catches on to his scam, and she blackmails him to help her be “cool.”  And it’s not too long before Halti is faced with a choice to do what is right or what is easy, and Corinne may not be around to help him with the consequences. 

BONUS: Philippe’s other book, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, is also a good choice for the being-a-better-friend resolution. 


If your resolution is to be your authentic self, try Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas 

Cemetery Boys - Thomas, Aiden

Whether it’s finding confidence to proclaim your fandom or love who you love, this book will inspire you be to true to you.  Yadriel has always known that he’s a guy, but his family does not accept that.  With the help of his supportive cousin Maritza, Yadriel tries to help another cousin by casting a spell that only men can do…except it doesn’t quite go according to plan.  The spell works, but the ghost that’s summoned is the school bad boy.  Yadriel’s journey from uncertainty about his place in the world to standing proud in front of his family is truly inspiring. 

Hopefully these books will help you on the path to resolution success.  And if not, don’t stress!  No one is perfect.  You’re amazing as you are, just like these books! 

 Happy reading! 


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”