Four novels for young adults to discover ahead of the third season of “13 Reasons Why”

19 Aug 2019 / 12:40 H.

THE third season of “13 Reasons Why” is right around the corner, as the teen drama series will start streaming on Netflix on August 23. Here is a selection of four recently-published young adult novels to discover while counting the days before the season’s premiere.

Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson returns with a new poetry memoir, which expands on the themes she explored twenty years ago in her novel “Speak.”

The novel, adapted into a 2004 movie starring Kristen Stewart, tells the story of Melinda Sordino, a freshman in high school who stops speaking after a sexual assault.

In “Shout,“ Anderson reflects on the trauma caused by her own rape at the age of 13, through a series of short poems in free verse. “This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one,“ the book begins.

It took more than two decades before Anderson could find the words to talk about her sexual assault in “Shout,“ which she began writing in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Just like “13 Reasons Why,“ “Shout” is a harsh denoucement of our society’s failures to address sexual violence, prompting survivors to share their stories whether out loud or online.

“We have to do better by our teenagers, because they screw up- everybody screws up. Our next steps, now that we’ve heard so many survivors’ stories, are to help parents teach their kids about consent and seek restorative justice for victims,“ Anderson said in a recent interview to TIME magazine.

“Shout” is listed at US$17.99 (RM 74).

“Destroy All Monsters” by Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)

“Destroy All Monsters” marks Miller’s third novel, following his award-winning debut “The Act of Starving” and his adult sci-fi read “Blackfish City.”

This coming-of-age story follows the troubled friendship of Solomon and Ash, who both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.

Ash, who lost all memory of the event after falling from a treehouse, takes refuge in photography to investigate hate crimes in her hometown, while Solomon retreats in a world he calls “Darkside.”

As the teenager further insulates himself from reality, Ash is determined to discover the truth about what happened to them as kids to free her best friend from pain.

This genre-bending novel, described by Miller as “half gritty contemporary and half epic fantasy,“ is built around alternating chapters in which each character narrates from their own reality.

“Destroy All Monsters” explores several themes addressed in “13 Reasons Why,“ including the effects of trauma on individual lives and the healing virtues of friendship.

Miller’s novel is listed at US$17.99 (RM 74).

“We Told Six Lies” by Victoria Scott (Entangled Teen)

Victoria Scott is the critically acclaimed author of eight young adult novels, including the “Dante Walker” trilogy and “Titans.”

In “We Told Six Lies,“ Scott tells the story of 18-year-old Cobain as he investigates the sudden disappearance of his girlfriend Molly Bates.

While the police immediately identify the quick-tempered teenager as the primary suspect, Cobain questions the other people in Molly’s life to discover the truth of what happened to his mysterious and manipulative girlfriend.

“We Told Six Lies” is told from the points of view of both Molly and Cobain, constantly leaping between past and present-day events.

The novel is built around a cast of flawed, toxic characters, who will certainly remind readers of the troubled teens of “13 Reasons Why.”

Scott’s “We Told Six Lies” is listed at US$17.99 (RM 74).

“Monday’s Not Coming” by Tiffany D. Jackson (Katherine Tegen Books)

In “Monday’s Not Coming,“ Tiffany D. Jackson focuses on the unexplained and unquestioned disappearance of Monday Charles.

When the teenager does not show up to school for several weeks, her best friend Claudia starts to ask questions about her whereabouts.

When she finally finds someone to help her investigate Monday’s disappearance, Claudia unearths dark secrets about her friend’s life.

Although Monday’s story is fictional, Jackson was inspired by several real-life disappearances of African-American children across the US.

The phenomenon led to the creation of the hashtag #MissingDCGirls in 2017, to raise awareness about an issue often ignored by local authorities.

While the novel contains common elements of thrillers, “Monday’s Not Coming” explores community relationships and responsibility politics — two themes that will sound familiar to fans of “13 Reasons Why.”

Jackson’s “Monday’s Not Coming,“ which was first published in May 2018, is listed at US$17.99 (RM 74). — AFP Relaxnews

email blast