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Updated by Jen Blair on Jun 11, 2022
Headline for Summer Reading - Best So Far 2022 - High School
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Summer Reading - Best So Far 2022 - High School

Here is the list of the best books I’ve read (so far) this year. You can add them to your summer TBR right now. [Hint: you can click on the title to see more about each title on GoodReads.]
Summer Break and READING begin now! Welcome summer!

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow

The Agathas - Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

The perfect Agatha Christie-inspired mystery with snarky girl teen detectives. Alice and Iris think they hate each other but they have more in common than they thought… including their murdered friend Brooke.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage - Sabaa Tahir

If you are looking for a book to break your heart? Look no further. I read this months ago and I still haven’t recovered. Salahudin and Noor are somehow able to rise above all the ugliness and racism of their small, desert town and shine.

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett

Always Jane - Jenn Bennett

Jane falls in love with rich, handsome, charming Eddie. But after her head injury she finds she has trouble communicating. With Eddie on a business trip, Jane ends up spending a lot of time with his brother Fen, and realizes that only one brother truly “gets” her. With nods to Sabrina and While You Were Sleeping, this book has all the swoony romance you want, with an emotional resonance that will stick with you a long time after you finish reading.

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz

Anatomy: A Love Story - Dana Schwartz

Hazel wants to be a surgeon, but in 19th century Edinburgh this is not possible. She finds a way to practice medicine without the approval of the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, but going against society comes at a cost. Dead bodies, blood, gore, feminism, and romance. Really, do you need to know anything more?

Castles in Their Bones (Castles in Their Bones, #1)

Castles in Their Bones - Laura Sebastian

My kid and I are addicted to this new series. An evil, scheming empress who has groomed her daughters to take over all three of the neighboring kingdoms. But what Empress Margaux does not take into account: her daughters are not as evil as she is… and they have their own plans about what it means to be a good ruler. And the CLIFFHANGER. I’m still mad.

Cold by Mariko Tamaki

Cold - Mariko Tamaki

A fascinating murder mystery told from the perspectives of snarky, witty, compassionate Georgia and Todd, the ghost of the murder victim. As Georgia finds out more about Todd, she uncovers secrets about his murder and learns more about herself as well. One of my favorite mysteries of the year.

The Counselors by Jessica Goodman

The Counselors - Jessica Goodman

Is it summer if you aren’t reading a thriller from Jessica Goodman?

All year Goldie looks forward to being at camp with her best friends and trading in her life of invisibility in her small town. Camp is the place where she feels loved and safe. Until this year. Where secrets and murder threaten to break everything apart.

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Family of Liars - E. Lockhart

We are back on Beechwood Island. Still rich. Still dysfunctional. Still lying. Even better than We Were Liars? I think so. I loved every messed-up, messy second of it.

Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry

Gideon Green in Black and White - Katie Henry

Gideon Green is a very good middle school detective…until he isn’t. In the humiliating aftermath of a case gone wrong, he stops talking to his best friend. But now that same best friend needs his help. Gideon reluctantly joins the school newspaper as a cover for his sleuthing work. While investigating newspaper stories he finds out a lot about his friends and himself. Maybe he has finally found the place where he belongs.

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys | Goodreads

Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys and Andrew Weiner; illustrated by Brittney Williams

Lolo is dealing with the usual issues in her family, but one evening when her brother’s life is threatened, she finds she has unexpected superpowers. When the local dealer tries to strong-arm her into using her powers to help him, Lolo must prove herself to be stronger than him and his gang, and braver than she knew.

Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed | Goodreads

Hollow Fires - Samira Ahmed

A riveting look at our justice system and the power of one voice. Told through the dual perspectives of the ghost of Jawad, and budding journalist, Safiya, this is at once a murder mystery and an indictment of systematic racism in all its forms. Funnier than you would think, but depressing in how reflective of our current reality this is. Read. This. Book.

Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram

Kiss and Tell - Adib Khorram

Let’s all celebrate this boy band of terrific friends who love on each other and support each other and have meaningful, difficult conversations while doing so. May we all have friends as awesome as Hunter. This book will steal your heart.

Message Not Found by Dante Medema

Message Not Found - Dante Medema

Bailey and Vanessa are best friends who share everything. Closer than sisters. But when Vanessa dies suddenly, Bailey is left with unfathomable grief…and lots of questions. Part mystery, part romance, this novel will tear your heart out. In the best way. And if you haven’t already? You should read all the books by Dante Medema. You can thank me later.

Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk | Goodreads

Nothing Burns as Bright as You - Ashley Woodfolk

A novel in verse about two inseparable girls in love with each other…until they aren’t. These girls get into all kinds of trouble together - punching mean boys, talking back to teachers - but after the fire (!) they realize that maybe their relationship is more toxic than they realized. You can still love each other, but it might be better for everyone if you stay apart.

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert | Goodreads

Our Crooked Hearts - Melissa Albert

Teenagers and witchcraft. A twisty-turny mystery that will leave you breathless. Quirky and funny and scary and REAL. A world of magic and impossibility that explores power and love and generational trauma. This book truly has it all. One of the best of the year. By far.

Passport by Sophia Glock

Passport - Sophia Glock

In this autobiographical graphic memoir, Sophia is used to picking up and moving from country to country at a moment’s notice. One day she stumbles on a letter meant for her parents, uncovering the reasons behind these sudden moves… and what her parents really do for a living.

Private Label by Kelly Yang

Private Label - Kelly Yang

The yummiest of romances that will also make you cry - for both happy and sad reasons. A fantastic novel about belonging, mothers, and finding your inner strength to fight for what you believe in. All that and juicy high school drama PLUS lots of high fashion talk.

The Red Palace by June Hur | Goodreads

The Red Palace - June Hur

18th Century Korea has never felt more modern. Hyeon worked hard to attain her position as a palace nurse. But when four women are killed on the same night at her former school, she feels compelled to solve the mystery herself. Even when all of the evidence points to someone in the royal family.

The Righteous (The Beautiful, #3) by Renée Ahdieh

The Righteous - Renee Ahdieh

Did you read the first two books in The Beautiful series? Did you think the story was finished? Yeah. Me too. But guess what? It continues and it's even BETTER!!! Now the story focuses on Pippa Montrose and her entry into the world of fae where she will need to risk EVERYTHING for those she loves. #TeamPippaForever

See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon | Goodreads

See You Yesterday - Rachel Lynn Solomon

A rom-com version of Groundhog’s Day. Barrett Bloom keeps waking up on the same day. And if that wasn’t weird enough, she finds out the boy sitting next to her in physics class is locked in the same time loop with her. When they can’t science their way out of the loop, they embrace all the things you can do when there are no consequences: forbidden ball pits, commandeering ice cream trucks, flash mobs, dog adoptions… Hilarious, witty, with an emotional edge. You won’t regret reading this one.

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure by Lewis Hancox

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure - Lewis Hancox

Another graphic memoir that blew me away. This is Lewis’ story of his transition from Lois to Lewis. He (and his mom) always knew that he should have been born a boy. Now they just have to convince everyone else. Multi-dimensional characters, authentic Brit-speak vocabulary, honest, true and FUNNY. You need this book in your life.

I will tell you that Lewis draws all the naked body parts [all of them]...except feet. Because feet gross him out.