Adult Books for Teens 2021

Welcome to your one stop shop for all of Macmillan’s adult titles with teen appeal!

This page is ever-changing, so be sure to keep an eye out for new additions throughout the year!

Click here to view the Edelweiss catalog of these titles.

THE OTHER MOTHER by Matthew Dicks
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (1/12/21)

From the beloved author of MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND comes a novel about a teenage boy coping with the rupture of his family by viewing his mother in an unusual light.

“Easy reading, a touch of mystery, and a relatable teen protagonist make this an obvious choice for teens who like realistic fiction.” Booklist

REMOTE CONTROL by Nnedi Okorafor
Available now from Tordotcom (1/19/21)

An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death’s adopted daughter in this tale of community and female empowerment by BINTI‘s Nnedi Okorafor.

“Sankofa’s compelling mystery and exciting journey will appeal to young adult readers who enjoy an introspective main character.” Booklist

“Okorafor builds a stunning landscape of futuristic technology and African culture, with prose that will grab readers from the first sentence. Sankofa is at once innocent and experienced, facing a world forever changed for and by her. VERDICT This compelling novella is Africanfuturism sf at its best.” Library Journal, starred review

“Following a common trend in Okorafor’s work, this imaginative, thought-provoking story uses elements of the fantastic to investigate the complexities of gender and community outside of a European, colonial imagination. Readers will be blown away.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Available now from Forge Books (1/26/21)

A universal tale of family bonds and out-of-the-ordinary friendships, MY BRILLIANT LIFE interweaves the past and present of a tight-knit family, finding joy and happiness in even the most difficult times.

“Reminiscent of John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2012); the struggles of its YA characters will surely resonate.” Booklist

THE MASK FALLING by Samantha Shannon
Available now from Bloomsbury Publishing (1/26/21)

From the New York Times bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON and THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE, the stunning fourth novel set in the world of Scion.

“For YA fans of the series, though violence and Paige’s suffering are constants.” Booklist

“Shannon expertly blends genres to create a story that is at once a political thriller, a dystopian epic, and a paranormal adventure. This bold series installment will leave fans eager for more.” Publishers Weekly

WINTER’S ORBIT by Everina Maxwell
Available now from Tor Books (2/2/21)

ANCILLARY JUSTICE meets RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE in this exciting debut already made popular online. So begins a legendary love story amid the stars.

“Recommended for teens who enjoy exciting romantic adventures with some soft science fiction elements, especially those looking for LGBTQ representation.” Booklist

THE THREE MOTHERS by Anna Malaika Tubbs
Available now from Flatiron Books (2/2/21)

From Gates Scholar and First Lady of Stockton, CA, comes the first book to celebrate the three great women who raised and shaped America’s most pivotal heroes: MLK, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

“This heavily documented and unflinching look into the lives of early twentieth century African American women is an extraordinary resource [for YAs].” Booklist

Available now from Tordotcom (2/2/21)

Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller that blends a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1930s rocketry with the amorality of progress, and the nature of violence.

“Teens will identify with the 99th daughter’s struggle to accept her role and cheer for her loving bond with her girlfriend.” Booklist

CROSSING THE LINE by Kareem Rosser
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (2/9/21)

An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship.

“This stereotype-shattering memoir about a Black teenager from Philadelphia who became a polo champion will hook YA readers on many levels.” Booklist, starred review

ALL GIRLS by Emily Layden
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (2/16/21)

A keenly perceptive coming of age novel, ALL GIRLS follows nine young women as they navigate their ambitions and fears at a prestigious New England prep school, all pitched against the backdrop of a scandal the administration wants silenced.

“Give this to teen fans of Gossip Girl and other aspirational prep-school stories.” Booklist

THE HOUSE UPTOWN by Melissa Ginsburg
Available now from Flatiron Books (3/16/21)

An emotional coming-of-age novel about a young girl who goes to live with her eccentric grandmother in New Orleans after the death of her mother.

“The presence of a well-developed teen character will attract YA mystery fans.” Booklist

Available now from St. Martin’s Press (4/20/21)

A literary novel set on the coast of Maine during the 1960s, tracing the life of a family and its matriarch as they negotiate sharing a home.

“The young narrators’ perspectives on their coming-of-age experiences are compelling, though there are also disturbing events, explorations of sexuality, and adult turmoil.” Booklist

REBEL IDEAS by Matthew Syed
Available now from Flatiron Books (5/11/21)

From international bestselling author Matthew Syed comes a book about the power of teamwork and creative problem-solving, and how the best ideas are born.

“Teens interested in leadership will learn a lot about the importance of diverse mindsets and ideas.” Booklist

MADAM by Phoebe Wynne
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (5/18/21)

A riveting, modern gothic debut with shades of THE SECRET HISTORY, The Stepford Wives, and a dash of CIRCE, set at a secretive all girls’ boarding school perched on a craggy Scottish peninsula.

“Wynne’s writing is slow, steady, and suspenseful, with the novel’s twists built carefully into the text to highlight the overwhelming nature of systemic power and the helplessness and bleakness that lie at the core of the school’s system.” Booklist

LEGACY by Nora Roberts
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (5/25/21)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s new novel, a tale of family tragedy, healing love, and unnerving suspense.

“Roberts’ older teen fans will latch onto this story’s enterprising protagonists, one harnessing an adolescent vision, the other working in graphic novels.” Booklist

ONE LAST STOP by Casey McQuiston
Available now from St. Martin’s Griffin (6/1/21)

From the New York Times bestselling author of RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE comes a new romantic comedy that puts a queer spin on Kate & Leopold.

“With all the fun and camp of a drag show (of which this novel features more than one) but grounded in the tenderness of first love, this time-slip rom-com is an absolute delight. McQuiston brings the goods.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford
Available now from Flatiron Books (6/1/21)

One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the ever looming absence of her incarcerated father and the path we must take to both honor and overcome our origins.

“Sure to be one of the best memoirs of 2021.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Teens will identify with Ford’s struggles for independence and self-worth.” Booklist

Available now from Tor Books (6/1/21)

Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in this sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.

“A good fit for teen readers looking for urban fantasy that is not Eurocentric.” Booklist

“Expertly blending elements of Zimbabwean and Scottish culture, Huchu’s occult thriller is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

GAME ON: Why College Admission is Rigged and How to Beat the System by Susan F. Paterno
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (6/8/21)

Director of the Chapman journalism program and mother of four recent college grads, Paterno leads you through the admissions process to help you and your family make the best decision possible.

BIG VAPE: The Incendiary Rise of Juul by Jamie Ducharme
Available now from Henry Holt (6/8/21)

A propulsive, eye-opening work of reporting, chronicling the rise of Juul and the birth of a new addiction.

“Entrepreneurial-minded teens could learn from this cautionary tale about creating the ‘next big thing.'” Booklist

“Fast-paced and impressively researched, this detailed account sings.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

KIN by Shawna Kay Rodenberg
Available now from Bloomsbury (6/8/21)

A heart stopping memoir of a wrenching Appalachian girlhood and a multilayered portrait of a misrepresented people.

“Teens will appreciate Rodenberg’s vivid, touching account of her attempt to separate from her parents and extended family.”
Booklist, starred review

ONE TWO THREE by Laurie Frankel
Available now from Henry Holt (6/8/21)

From the New York Times bestselling author of THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS, a Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick, comes a timely, topical novel about love and family that will make you laugh and cry…and laugh again. How do you let go of the past when the past won’t let go of you?

“YAs will appreciate Frankel’s sensitivity to neurodiversity and family bonds.” Booklist

WHO THEY WAS by Gabriel Krauze
Available now from Bloomsbury (6/22/21)

An astonishing, visceral autobiographical novel about a young man straddling two cultures: the university where he is studying literature and the disregarded world of London gang warfare.

“Gabriel’s struggle to blend his aspirations for the future with the consequences of his past will resonate with older teen readers.”

Available now from MCD x FSG

An acclaimed career-spanning collection from a fiercely feminist and revered contemporary rock critic, reissued with new material.

“Older [YA] readers will salivate over Hopper’s front-row seat to culture, and her strong insistence that teens are the most important demographic in the music world.” Booklist, starred review

Available now from Tordotcom (7/13/21)

Just when the world needs it comes a story of kindness and hope from one of the masters of Hopepunk.

“Recommended for teens drawn to character development and LGBTQ rep, as well as those seeking cozy speculative fiction without violence.”
Booklist, starred review

“Chambers begins a delightful new series full of familiar themes: heart, hope, and purpose.” Library Journal, starred review

SECRETS OF THE FORCE: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (7/13/21)

The first and only comprehensive oral history of the Star Wars movie franchise.

“A trove for hardcore fans. If you’re obsessive about the films, there’s no end to the fun.” Kirkus Reviews

SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN by Shelley Parker-Chan
Available now from Tor Books (7/20/21)

Mulan meets The Song of Achilles; an accomplished, poetic debut of war and destiny, sweeping across an epic alternate China.

“Parker-Chan’s debut is forceful, immersive, and unforgettable. This inspired queer retelling of Chinese history is an exciting read.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Parker-Chan’s novel is an epic tale of the power of desire, the role of free will in deciding a person’s fate, and the twisting machinations of power.” Booklist, starred review

SWAN DIVE: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguin
Available now from Henry Holt (7/27/21)

Award-winning New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, aka the Rogue Ballerina, gives readers a backstage tour of the real world of elite ballet the gritty, hilarious, sometimes shocking truth you don’t see from the orchestra circle.

“Aspiring dancers and YAs concerned about bullying and body-shaming will find inspiration in Pazcoguin’s story.” Booklist

“A moving memoir that will resonate with readers who appreciate the exquisite form of ballet, as well as those hungry for a personal tale of darkness, passion, and euphoric triumph.” Library Journal, starred review

GET REAL AND GET IN: How to Get Into the College of Your Dreams by Being Your Authentic Self by Dr. Aviva Legatt
Available now from St. Martin’s Griffin (8/3/21)

An insider’s college admissions guide that teaches students to identify and harness their unique passions, stand out from the crowd, and achieve their dreams.

“Full of practical advice from an admissions insider, this work will appeal to high school students, their parents, and their guidance counselors.”
Library Journal

VALEDICTORIANS AT THE GATE: Standing Out, Getting In, and Staying Sane While Applying to College by Becky Munsterer Sabky
Available now from Henry Holt (8/3/21)

A former Ivy League admissions officer shares her stories from the frontlines of the admissions wars and offers advice on how to stand out, get in, and most importantly, stay true to yourself as you prepare for college.

“[Sabky’s] work is engaging, edifying, and even humorous at times. VERDICT: Recommended for students interested in applying to highly selective institutions.” Library Journal

THE SHOW GIRL by Nicola Harrison
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (8/10/21)

Take a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.

“Full of surprises and romance, Harrison’s novel keeps readers turning the pages awaiting Olive’s fateful future. Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s CITY OF GIRLS will drink this up.” Booklist

“Olive is a rebel worth rooting for and she’ll keep readers turning the pages.”
Publishers Weekly

MAIDEN VOYAGES: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them by Siân Evans
Available now from St. Martin’s Press (8/10/21)

In an engaging and anecdotal social history, MAIDEN VOYAGES explores how women’s lives were transformed by the Golden Age of ocean liner travel between Europe and North America.

“Teens looking for a fresh take on women’s history or doing research on the twentieth century will appreciate these interesting stories backed up by copious background material.” Booklist

NEVER SAY YOU CAN’T SURVIVE by Charlie Jane Anders
Available now from Tordotcom (8/17/21)

From the internationally bestselling and critically-acclaimed writer Charlie Jane Anders comes a nonfiction manual about writing and life.

“Let Anders introduce you to the imaginary friends whose stories need to be told; provide you with tools to defeat enemies like imposter syndrome; and show you the many varied lifelines writing can offer, no matter who you are and no matter what story you need to tell.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Anders can give both new and experienced writers questions, exercises, and encouragement that will spark ideas and keep them motivated to continue their work.”
Booklist, starred review

“Feel the wide cultural reverberations of the decade’s lyrical legend from those who felt, wrote, and listened.” Kirkus Reviews

HOW TO WRESTLE A GIRL: Stories by Venita Blackburn
Available now from MCD x FSG (9/7/21)

A rising star, Blackburn is a trailblazing stylist, and in HOW TO WRESTLE A GIRL she masterfully shakes loose a vision of girlhood that is raw, vulnerable, and never at ease.

“With brash humor and inventive energy, Blackburn sets her stories “on the edge of disorder” and sustains that tension throughout. Boldly styled and deeply original.” Kirkus Reviews

Available now from FSG (9/7/21)

Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

“As always, Rooney challenges and inspires.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A novel of capacious intelligence and plenty of page-turning emotional drama.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Available now from Minotaur Books (9/14/21)

A riveting standalone novel from award-winning author Julia Dahl confronts the aftermath of a campus rape and the lengths that some will go to keep the truth hidden.

“Dahl makes a dramatic break her from her acclaimed Rebekah Roberts series and takes on the conflicted lives of the arrogantly wealthy and the perils of social media. She is known for her fast-paced writing, but this one moves at breakneck speed and stays with you long after the last page.” Booklist

UNBOUND: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke
Available now from Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book (9/14/21)

From the founder and activist behind the largest movement of the 20th and 21st century, Tarana Burke shares her never before revealed life story of how she first came to say ‘me too’ and launch one of the largest cultural events in American history.

“Intensely moving and unapologetically frank, Burke’s fearless memoir will uplift and inspire the next generation of survivors, advocates, and truth-tellers.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An unforgettable page-turner of a life story rendered with endless grace and grit.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Available now from Tor Books (9/21/21)

A contemporary fantasy with New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune’s signature charm about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.

“The latest by Lambda Literary Award winner Klune is a winning story (slow-paced and heartwarming) about grief, loss, and moving on. Readers will cry and be charmed by his wonderful characters.” Library Journal

“Tenderness, wit, and skillful worldbuilding elevate this delightful tale. Fans of queer fantasy won’t want to miss this.” Publishers Weekly

PROMISE THAT YOU WILL SING ABOUT ME: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar by Miles Marshall Lewis
Available now from St. Martin’s Press

From pop culture critic and music journalist Miles Marshall Lewis comes a book about the power and poetry of Kendrick Lamar.

“Fans and hip-hop enthusiasts will relish this thought-provoking work.”
Publishers Weekly

Available now from Tor Books

This lyrical, delightful, queer SF novel is Good Omens with a Faustian bargain.

“Aoki’s novel is an exciting, wild web of an adventure, a unputdownable book about music, found family, and identity. Diving into the tough subjects, Aoki’s book emerges with a joyful, queer, radical ballad of a story that will appeal to fans of TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea.” Booklist, Starred Review

“Filled with mouthwatering descriptions of food and heart-swelling meditations on music, this novel is an unexpected gift.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Available now from Tor Nightfire

A gripping psychological horror novel that delivers twist after twist, THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET is a shocking exploration of the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves from dark truths.

“This masterful horror novel packs an emotional wallop that lingers.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Disguising itself as a straightforward serial killer story, this strikingly original work quickly evolves into a more special story. It will push readers to their limit, but also make them glad they stuck it out.” Library Journal, starred review

THE ORPHAN WITCH by Paige Crutcher
Available now from St. Martin’s Griffin

THE ORPHAN WITCH is about the sisterhood of magic, and how one woman’s quest to find her place in the world will ultimately be what saves her. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life. Answers. Family. Home. And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. Love might be the magic that saves them all.

“Crutcher’s first full-length novel is an intriguing fantasy about magic, family, and time travel . . . The novel’s intricate Western European–inspired worldbuilding and layered characters make it a fit for fans of Alice Hoffman and Deborah Harkness.”
Library Journal

Available now from St. Martin’s Griffin (10/5/21)

From New York Times bestselling author Gwenda Bond, NOT YOUR AVERAGE HOT GUY is a hilarious paranormal romantic comedy about two people falling in love, while the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

“Mature teens will enjoy the Hell mythology, adventure, and humor as well as the twentysomething characters who are still trying to live up to parental expectations.” Booklist

“Luke and Callie’s romance is more sweet than sultry, leaving plenty of room for crossover appeal to Bond’s YA fans . . . The paranormal elements are stronger than the love story, coupling familiar occult references with imaginative depictions of Hell. The result is fun, light, and funny.” Publishers Weekly

Available now from Tordotcom (10/5/21)

USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story, splicing the threads of the Sleeping Beauty stories.

“Best-selling author Harrow revives and rejuvenates the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale with a feminist twist in her latest . . . Harrow uses her excellent skill as a storyteller to give agency back to the passive princess.”

DESTROYER OF LIGHT by Jennifer Marie Brissett
Available now from Tor Books (10/12/21)

The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering.

“Richly developed and profound, able to serve both as a stand-alone and a surprising follow-up to the previous work.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Available now from Tordotcom (10/12/21)

For readers of Kelly Barnhill and Cat Valente’s Fairyland books, adventure and danger lurk Along the Saltwise Sea in this new book by Seanan McGuire’s latest open pseudonym, A. Deborah Baker.

“Teens with a craving for classic fairy tales will find a welcoming though complicated world in the Up-and-Under.” Booklist

CAREFREE BLACK GIRLS: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture by Zeba Blay
Available now from St. Martin’s Griffin (10/19/21)

An empowering and celebratory portrait of Black women from Josephine Baker to Aunt Viv to Cardi B. Blay celebrates the strength and fortitude of these Black women, while also examining the many stereotypes and rigid identities that have clung to them. In writing that is both luminous and sharp, expansive and intimate, Blay seeks a path forward to a culture and society in which Black women and their art are appreciated and celebrated.

“Drawing from pop culture and personal experience, this first book by journalist Blay (creator of the #carefreeblackgirl movement) is a powerful look at how Black women are treated and mistreated . . . Calling for Black women (in and out of the public eye) to be treated with empathy, Blay’s pivotal work will engage all readers.” Library Journal

“An insightful, provocative, heartfelt blend of memoir and social commentary that is as revelatory as it is celebratory.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

THE HOUSE OF RUST by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
Available now from Graywolf Press

The first Graywolf Press Africa Prize winner, a story of a girl’s fantastical sea voyage to rescue her father. Richly descriptive and written with an imaginative hand and sharp eye for unusual detail, THE HOUSE OF RUST is a memorable novel by a thrilling new voice.

“Bajaber’s depictions of Aisha’s daring episodes and her feminist personality consistently shimmer. Fans of modern fairy tales will find much to appreciate.” Publishers Weekly

Available now from St. Martin’s Press

From the Bram Stoker-nominated author, NINTH HOUSE meets MEXICAN GOTHIC in this gothic fantasy horror.

“Starling’s magic system is so spookily and fully realized, and the final twist so brilliantly turns the novel on its head, that even the most skeptical will be won over. This proves impossible to put down.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

MY BODY by Emily Ratajkowski
Available now from Metropolitan Books

A deeply honest investigation of what it means to be a woman and a commodity from Emily Ratajkowski, the archetypal, multi-hyphenate celebrity of our time.

“Enriched by Ratajkowski’s insider perspective on the modeling industry and her willingness to wrestle with the power of the male gaze rather than outright rejecting it, this is an astute and rewarding mix of the personal and the political.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Available now from Tordotcom

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE meets JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORRELL: Freya Marske’s debut unfolds in an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

“Marske debuts with a breathtaking queer romantic fantasy set in Edwardian England . . . Fans of C.L. Polk’s WITCHMARK, period queer novels, and creative fantasy will all clamor for more.” Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Marske’s debut is a delightful blend of Edwardian fantasy and romance, with enough twists and questions to have readers clamoring for the next in the planned series.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

THE UNINNOCENT by Katharine Blake
Available now from FSG

A harrowing intellectual reckoning with crime, mercy, justice and heartbreak through the lens of a murder.

“Teen readers will feel Blake’s compassion for her teenage cousin, and much validation in Blake’s writing so openly about heartbreak.” Booklist

THE BALLERINAS by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Available now from St. Martin’s Press

DARE ME meets Black Swan and LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

“Teens who are captivated by the world of ballet will dote on this highly readable, dramatic look behind the curtains.” Booklist

“Kapelke-Dale makes her fiction debut with a well-crafted thriller . . . [she] nicely explores the power of female friendship, a woman’s relationship with her body, and what it truly means to be seen.” Publishers Weekly

Find all of our 2021 YA titles here.

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