We're already into the third month of the new year and a lot of great new reads have been published and released this month. Here are 24 of the best new books to read before March is over. In honor of International Women's Day in March, a lot of the books are about girls overcoming difficulties and often having to disguise their identity in order to live a free life, but in the end, they almost always overcome their individual and societal issues. But, all in all, these stories will resonate with readers and keep you busy all month long.
All pictures of book covers were taken from Goodreads.com. Click on the pages to go directly to the Goodreads page of each book where you can find out more info on the book, read up on the author, check out reviews of the books, read a short preview, and perhaps even enter into a giveaway for it if the site is currently holding one for that particular book!
1. Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart
Sam knows she's incredibly lucky to be a part of the elite Edwards Academy and has big dreams of attending Harvard one day. She's willing to do anything to fit in and excel at Edwards, but when the worst thing ever happens to her, will she able to bury the truth in order to "keep the community sacred". As the line between truth and justice blurs, Sam must find out for herself what honor really means. (Trigger Warning: rape and intense bullying)
2. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu
In this lovely graphic novel, Penelope Bagieu profiles the lives of feisty female role models, some world famous, and others less known. The stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.
3. The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together, but death is about to tear them apart. Autumn has always been a talented artist and a loyal friend; Shay loves music and has a strong bond with her twin sister; and Logan loves writing love songs even when his love life isn't going so well. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend; Shay is a music blogger just struggling to keep it together; and Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered. Despite each character's issue, one band's music will help to reunite the three and prove to them that even after grief, there can be beauty in the people left behind.
4. Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
In her debut novel, renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo writes about a young girl in Harlem who discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Dealing with a forbidden crush and a refusal to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara Batista pours all her frustration into a leather notebook. Xiomara later struggles to decide whether she should join her high school slam poetry club and keep it a secret from her mother at the same time, because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. (Trigger Warning: slut-shaming, body-shaming, homophobia, parental abuse, bigotry)
5. In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira
This is the story of two 17-year-old girls: Marilyn, a white single mom, who recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path, and Angie, her biracial daughter, who is going on a search to find her unknown father. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.
6. Census by Jesse Ball
A retired surgeon finds out that he is dying and decides to sign up as a census taker for a government bureau so he can take one last trip with his son, who has Down syndrome. Traveling into the country, through towns named only by ascending letters of the alphabet, the man and his son encounter a wide range of human experience, while collecting the stories of the people living there, the man wonders how he will say goodbye to his son and who will care for him after his death.
7. Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
Based on the true story of the iconic painter, Artemisia Gentileschi. After her mother died when she was 12, Artemisia Gentileschi had to choose between living as a nun in a convent or to grind pigment for her father's paint; she chose the latter. By the time she was 17, Artemisia had become one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. In 1610, Rome was a city where men could take whatever they wanted from women and in the aftermath of rape, Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost. (Trigger Warning: sexual assault, misogyny, suicidal thoughts, violence, physical torture, victim-blaming, slut-shaming)
8. The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara
Based on the true story of a girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to sail with the infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Calico Jack. As a hired sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s profession — and her safety — depend on her ability to remain in disguise as a man. When pirates attack the ship, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate. In a split-second decision, Mary decides to join pirates’ crew, but when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything — her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her own life.
9. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
The town of Sparrow is cursed. Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for being witches. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so they can seek their revenge by luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like a lot of the locals, 17-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town, but this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a new boy named Bo Carter arrives into town and is completely unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Soon Penny will be forced to choose between saving Bo and saving herself.
10. Boomerang by Helene Dunbar
Five years ago, Michael Sterling disappeared from his Maine town. Everyone assumed he had been kidnapped, but they were wrong. Now at 17, he's known as Sean Woodhouse and he's come back "home", to the last place he wants to be, to claim the small inheritance his grandparents promised him when he graduated high school, all so he can save Trip, the boy he developed an intense and complicated relationship with while he was away. As his careful plans begin to crumble though, so does everything he’s believed about his idyllic other life. Told in gorgeous prose, this book is an honest, authentic exploration of coming to terms with who you are, what you want, and how vast the distance can be between the two.
11. Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace
Edie Kits has a learning disability. Well, not a learning disability exactly, but a disability that impacts her learning. It isn’t visible, it isn’t obvious, and it isn’t something she likes to advertise. Edie has been able to successfully hide it from her everyone around her and keep it under control, until she meets her match with her French 101 professor who is unwilling to hear her out. Edie finds herself caught between getting the help she needs and convincing her professor that she isn’t looking for an easy out. Luckily for her, Hudson, the adorable TA in her French class, comes to her rescue.
12. Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Planaria Price
This is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight. Barbara Reichmann was once known as Gucia Gomolinska. She was a Jew who grew up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s. Her blond hair and fair skin gave her an advantage and allowed her to hide her identity as a Jew, leaving behind everything and everyone she ever knew in order to claim a new life for herself.
13. The Falling Between Us by Ash Parsons
After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation. He is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career, but it's not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing Joshua down — there's his greedy managers, record execs, paparazzi, even his family and friends start wanting more and more from him. Then there's his staged romance and the unsettling fear of being stalked. It's all too much, until one day, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Narrated from the perspective of Joshua's girlfriend from home, Roxie, this book presents every wannabe teen heartthrob's dream come true — only to realize it’s a total nightmare.
14. Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau
Six teens from completely different backgrounds — a congressman's daughter who just wants to be perfect, a star quarterback with a secret, a guy who's tired of being invisible, a clarinet player done trying to fit in, an orphaned rebel who wants to teach a lesson, and a guy who just wants people to see him not his religion — are trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. To make matters worse, when they hear that the bomber is someone inside the school, they’ll be looking to one another for answers.
15. The Radical Element by Various Authors
In this anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines living on the margins and in the intersections. 12 of the most talented YA writers in literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs.
16. Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner
Cameron is into cosplay and hopes to get into the CalTech costume department for college. After winning a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans. When Cameron's family moves to a new town, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town is staffed by an owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop. So her twin brother suggests she dress up as a boy and that automatically gets her accepted into the tight circle. But as Cameron’s "secret identity" gets more and more entrenched, Cameron's portfolio falls by the wayside and her feelings for one of the guys, Lincoln, threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.
17. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
When Marvin Johnson's twin brother Tyler goes to a party, Marvin goes along to a keep an eye on his brother, but what started as harmless fun turns into a shooting followed by a police raid. When Tyler goes missing, Marvin sets out to find him, but then a video is leaked online and he finds that his brother has been shot and killed by a police officer. Mourning a brother who has now become a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. Inspired by actual events in Jay Coles' life and childhood.
18. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Leigh Chen Sanders is half Asian and half white and she is certain that when her mother killed herself, she turned into a bird. She travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time and search for her mother, the bird there. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents.
19. Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, 15-year-old Sarah, a blonde blue-eyed Jewish girl, finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man who turns her into a spy to pull of mission he can't attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe.
20. Along The Indigo by Elsie Chapman
Marsden is desperate to escape the “bed-and-breakfast” where her mother works as a prostitute and where her fate has already been decided, so she can give her little sister a better life. But escape means money, which leads Mars to search the bodies that show up along the Indigo River. There she meets Jude, who has secrets of his own and whose brother’s suicide may be linked to Mars’s own sordid family history. As they grow closer, the two unearth secrets that could allow them to move forward or chain them to the Indigo forever.
21. Miles Away from You by A.B. Rutledge
Three years ago Miles fell for Vivian who is talented, dazzling and transgender. But, a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support and left Miles trying to figure out how to say goodbye. As a way to move on, he books a solo trip to Iceland and decides to honor Vivian's life by photographing her treasured Doc Martens against surreal landscapes. With each step he takes, Miles finds his heart healing — even as learns to accept that he will never see Vivian again. Told through a series of instant messages to Vivian, this quirky novel explores love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on.
22. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Sam works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs, but he dreams of becoming a famous movie director one day. Penny can't wait to leave behind her high school life and head to college to become a writer. When the two cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch — via text — soon becoming digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of actually having to see each other.
23. The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman
A crazy mix-up in a hotel lobby brings three girls together causing them to form an unlikely friendship against a chaotic background of cosplay, competition, and carcasses! Drummer Phoebe is ready to prove her skills by winning the snare solo competition at the Indoor Percussion Association Convention; Writer Vanessa has been looking forward to the WTFcon for months, so she can meet her internet girlfriend, Soleil for the first time; and Taxidermy assistant Callie is assisting her father at the World Taxidermy and Fish-Carving Championship as a way to connect with him.
24. Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood
Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she's dangling 500 feet above the ground. As a post-WWI wing walker, Grace is determined to get into the World Aviation Expo. No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield comes along and joins her barnstorming team. After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future, but when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry- and her life- are worth risking for one final trick.