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Marie Lu’s New Favorite YA and Middle Grade Reads

by the Brightly Editors

Marie Lu knows what makes for a page-turning read. The author of the bestselling Legend series has just come out with The Midnight Star, the much-anticipated finale to her other blockbuster series, The Young Elites. So what books does she turn to to help her unwind, escape, and draw fresh inspiration? Here are some favorite new YA and middle grade releases that she’s loving and thinks readers will too!

  • Furthermore

    by Tahereh Mafi

    It's no secret that I love dark stories, but sometimes I find myself so knee-deep in them that I need escape. Furthermore offered that and so much more. This story is absolutely bursting with color and magic, heart and originality. I ended it feeling that delicious cozy satisfaction you get after you read a really great book. Can't recommend this enough.

  • Wintersong

    by S. Jae-Jones

    Wintersong doesn't come out until February 7, 2017 — but make sure you pre-order this one now, so you're ready to go on its release date. It's a retelling of “Labyrinth” in all the best ways; there's magic and darkness and music, a whip-smart protagonist named Liesl, an elegant and sexy Goblin King, and an intricately built fantasy realm. I can't wait for this one to be out in the world.

  • Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood

    by Ryan Graudin

    In the context of today, Ryan Graudin's work feels even more tense and gripping. Wolf by Wolf, the first book in this series, is set in an alternate history world where the Axis powers won in World War II. It follows a girl named Yael, a former death camp prisoner with unnatural powers, who must take on the task of assassinating Adolf Hitler. This is all set against a motorcycle race across continents — which is so meticulously researched and mapped out that I'm still in awe! Blood for Blood, the sequel, releases on Nov. 1 of this year.

  • The Wild Ones and Moonlight Brigade

    by C. Alexander London

    When I was a kid, I adored fantasy novels starring animals, and I was absolutely obsessed with Brian Jacques's Redwall series. Fast forward to today, and the series that brings back those happy memories the most is C. Alexander London's series, The Wild Ones. The story follows a young raccoon named Kit and his adventures in Ankle Snap Alley, where the Wild Ones and the Flealess (domesticated pets) are raging in a turf war. London's writing is effortlessly witty and full of heartpounding action — I always look forward to his next book.

  • Outrun the Moon

    by Stacey Lee

    I'm almost always immersed in fantasy and sci-fi novels, so when I say that I couldn't put down Outrun the Moon, Stacey Lee's gorgeous historical fiction book, you know exactly how much I loved this story. Outrun the Moon is set in 1906 and follows Mercy Wong as she fights to break out of life in Chinatown, San Francisco to attend an elite boarding school — and what happens when that is all derailed by the devastating 1906 earthquake. The sheer detail that Lee puts into her worldbuilding makes you feel like you're really walking through 1906 San Francisco. Such a treat.

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