9 unputdownable YA novels by diverse authors that you need in your life

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Representation is essential, and though the publishing industry has got better in the last few years, there’s still a long way to go.

Marginalised voices still struggle to get their work out there, so when amazing novels from #ownvoices authors finally get into our hands, we’ve got to appreciate them. These authors worked darn hard to get their stories out into the world.

Lucky for us ravenous readers, these 9 incredible authors managed to get their books on shelves and we couldn’t be more pleased.

The Jungle‘ by Pooja Puri

Mico has left his family, his friends and his home in search of a better life. Instead he’s found himself in the wilds of the Calais Jungle – inhospitable and wild in it’s own way. Mico cannot afford to buy his way to the UK with the ‘Ghost Men’ who can cross the borders invisibly and he’s getting desperate. Then Leila arrives at camp and he begins to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Did you see us live from Pooja’s launch over the weekend?

‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’s debut inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement has swept the book world in the last year. Starr lives trapped between two worlds: her posh high school in the suburbs and the poor neighbourhood where she was raised. But the balance she’s found between them when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer.

Important, essential and moving – this isn’t a book you’ll forget about.

‘Everything Leads to You’ by Nina Lacour

Emi is newly graduated from high school and desperate to make a name for herself as a movie set designer in LA. She’s not nearly as at ease designing a love life, but when she finds a letter that sends her on a journey chasing down the loose ends of a movie icon’s life, she meets Ava and begins to bloom.

A gorgeous, sunny, warm and touching romance with some super cool glimpses into the LA movie world. And it’s not quite the side of LA you’ve seen before.

‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han

Lara Jean has written a love letter to every boy she has ever loved, though she’s never sent them. Instead they are kept in a beautiful hat box given to her by her mum. She can pour out her heart and her soul and let go of the boy because they’re for her and her alone, until her letters are suddenly sent out and Lara Jean’s love life spirals out of control.

Sweet, fun and the ideal read to curl up with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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‘If You Could Be Mine’ by Sara Farizan

Sahar has been in love with her best friend Nasrin for as long as she can remember, but Iran is a dangerous place for a girl to be in love with a girl. If their relationship was made public, Nasrin and Sahar could be beaten, imprisoned or even executed so they carry on in secret. Until Nasrin’s parents arrange for her to marry and Sahar must take drastic action – as a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. But is her love worth sacrificing her true self for?

A gorgeous, gorgeous read that will linger with you.

‘The Star-Touched Queen’ by Roshani Chokshi

Maya is cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, earning the fear of her father’s kingdom. When her father, the Raja, arranges for her to marry for politics, Maya becomes the Queen of Akram. Neither being a queen or a wife is what she expected and Akram is filled with secrets. Is Maya’s life in danger? Who can she trust?

Lush, rich and addictive, this fantasy draws on Indian mythology and folklore and it’s completely glorious.

‘Boy Meets Boy’ by David Levithan

Falling in love changes everything, even when you’ve been confident and openly gay for years. Paul doesn’t have to hide his sexuality like his friend Tony or deal with loving the wrong guy like his other friend Joni.

‘Boy Meets Boy’s is totally life-changing. For every one. Read it.

When Dimple Met Rishi’ by Sandhya Menon

Now, this one isn’t out until the end of May and we’re desperate to get our hands on it, but we’re pretty sure it’s going to be a good’un.

Dimple is ready to head to a summer program for aspiring web developers. Maybe it’ll stop her mamma going on about her finding a husband. Rishi is a total romantic so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same camp as him and he has to woo her – he’s game. Their families didn’t mean to suggest an arrangement so early, but why not?

‘The Wrath and the Dawn’ by Renee Ahdieh

Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride every night and has her executed at sunrise. Everyone is surprised when Shahrzad volunteers to marry him. She has a plan play alive and exact her revenge for the death of her best friend and countless other girls. She’ll survive to see morning, but will she survive falling in love with Khalid.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Share the love for your favourite #ownvoices book in the comments.

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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