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YA Wednesday: September's Six Best Books

September is notoriously one of the biggest months for new books and this year it seemed like publishers outdid themselves with their releases.  Usually the Best Books of the Month for Teen & Young Adult list is four titles but this month that was just...well, impossible. And really, if the ALA can choose a different number of honor books from year to year, that's good enough precedent for me. So, here are September's top six:

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  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell:  In this contemporary YA novel, the first year of college is the catalyst for an identical twin to explore an untethered life, fall in love, and test the waters of adulthood.
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson: I didn't think this book was for me.  I was wrong. Steelheart has this great futuristic superhero thing going, and Sanderson's characters have depth, complexity, and surprising secrets. I can't wait for the next book!

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  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: It's tough to follow a big success like Code Name Verity (one of my favorites of 2012) but Wein brings her A-game with another well-researched WWII historical thriller that puts a young American pilot inside a women's concentration camp. Just saying that sounds like it will be depressing, but it's not--there is incredible bravery, friendship,  complex emotions, and raw hope that makes this story fascinating and moving.
  • The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer: Ten years after her multiple award winner, The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer picks up where that book left off, in a nation devoted to supplying the world its drugs regardless of the human cost.  The Lord of Opium is another beautifully layered novel of identity, politics, greed and compassion and I can only hope Famer will give us more before another decade passes.
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas: young female assassin, Celaena, is back, and so is the royal intrigue, shifting loyalties, and romance, in this follow-up to Throne of Glass.  If you haven't read the first book, now is a great time to start since you won't suffer the wait for book two.

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