YA Reads about Survivors

To go along with our theme of April Showers, this month's reading mutiny is all about survivors! Our crew has put together some fantastic recommendations of books about weathering both the literal and figurative "storms" of life.

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YA Reads About Survivors
  • The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes -- Written by our own Bonny Kitty Cutlass, this is a story about Hallelujah Calhoun finding her voice again after an incident with the preacher's son leaves her humiliated and the target of relentless bullying. When Hallelujah gets separated from the rest of her youth group during a retreat in the Smoky Mountains, she must figure out how to overcome both the physical storm raging around her and the one that's been stuck inside her if she has any hope of surviving the weekend.
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys -- In the winter of 1945, four teenagers with four secrets are fleeing to safety aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff when tragedy strikes. This harrowing World War II tale is told in multiple perspectives and shows the all-out destructiveness of war on innocent lives.
  • The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter -- Dumped in a mental institution by her own mother, eighteen-year-old Cassie O'Malley is finally able to reclaim the life that was stolen from her. But upon her release, Cassie struggles to adjust to her newfound freedom while coming to grips with the toxic role her mother played in her life.
  • Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens -- Alexi Littrell won't speak of what happened to her until the awkward boy next door gives her the strength to deal with the past and the courage to face the future. This book deals with difficult topics such as abuse, self-harm, and eventual recovery.
  • I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga -- As the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, Jasper Dent has seen more than his fair share of death, but when a new serial killer 'comes to town', Jasper has to wonder if he's more like his father than he thought. Billed as "Dexter for YA", I Hunt Killers is all about survival.
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray -- For a more humorous look at survival, check out Beauty Queens! A plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island. It's up to them to band together and find a way to get rescued in time for the competition.
  • Underwater by Marisa Reichardt -- When Morgan's kind act inadvertently ends in deadly tragedy, she locks her self away, unable to move beyond her apartment's four walls, but newcomer Evan might be just what she needs to reconnect with the outside world again.
  • How it Ends by Catherine Lo -- This upcoming novel by Catherine Lo is all about surviving the end of a friendship.
  • Torn Away by Jennifer Brown -- A town destroyed by a tornado. A girl who loses everything. Jersey Cameron struggles to overcome her grief and find hope in the rubble left behind.
  • Me Since You by Laura Wiess -- A random stranger's crime rips an irreparable hole through Rowan Areno's family, but a witness to the crime helps set her on the difficult path to healing.
  • You Were Here by Cori McCarthy -- On the anniversary of her brother's death, Jaycee discovers a map detailing his unfinished dares. With the help of four classmates, Jaycee vows to finish the dares no matter how dangerous they become. A unique look at grief, You Were Here is told in multiple perspectives in multiple formats - words, graffiti, graphic novel stylings.

Now it's your turn! Have you read a great book about survival? Jump to the comments and give us your recommendations. We love to hear what you're reading!


No-Beard the Gnarly