Top 5 – YA Stand Alones

Today’s Theme: YA Stand Alone Titles

A good stand alone is hard to come by. It has to leave the reader fully satisfied but yet still be open-ended enough that the writer could comfortably revisit the world if it’s successful. So, in that spirit, I wanted to list my favorite YA standalone titles.

1. Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – it was a tough call between this book and The Shadows Between Us but, Warrior of the Wild was just perfection. If you’re looking for a quick read that’s fully satisfying, definitely try this book. It’s got vikings, romance, epic character growth, and an amazing plot twist.

How do you kill a god?  

As her father’s chosen heir, 18-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

2. Romanov by Nadine Brandes – where are all of my Anastasia lovers? This book is a masterfully retold story of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia with magic, romance, and an ending I never saw coming. The story gave me all kinds of Anastasia (the cartoon movie) vibes in all the best ways.

The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before. 

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her. 

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other. 

3. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – again, it was a hard choice between this book and The Vanishing Deep but, I had to go with the murder mystery. This standalone has multiple POVs, fantastic world building, and a really interesting mystery plot.

Four dead queens. Three days to catch a killer. Two forbidden romances. One shocking twist you won’t see coming. 

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

4. Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz – ok, this one isn’t out yet, but it was so amazing! If you are a fan of Little Women, American History, or witty banter, you absolutely must look this book up. Look out for my tour stop later this month for my full review.

1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a best seller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration – museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself! But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. 

When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever? 

5. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – I’d be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I left this book off my list. It was one of my first forays into the YA contemporary genre but it this book was so perfect. Enemies to lovers, grilled cheese, witty banter via a Twitter war. What more could you want?

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming – mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese – that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life – on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate – people on the internet are shipping them?? – their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

All of these books are available as physical books, e-books, or audiobooks and I can honestly say they’re all fantastic.

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