Rad Reads

The book to give every bestie in your squad

If the plot is "giving the best presents ever," then you just became the main character.

Looking for books to give your squad this holiday szn? We've got you—from dreamy romances to magical quests, there's a read for every bestie on your list.

Emmett by L.C. Rosen (Little, Brown BFYR, $19)
In this retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, Emmett is a rich and handsome senior—and his school’s unofficial matchmaker. When his sometimes-more-than-friend Harrison reveals he’s looking for the perfect guy, Emmett jumps to help and soon discovers that he’s got a lot to learn about love.

Powerless by Lauren Roberts (Simon & Schuster BFYR, $20)
When the king sets out to banish all Ordinaries, Paedyn pretends she’s a psychic to stay alive. When she falls for Kai, a prince who hunts Ordinaries on the battlefield, she must keep the ruse up—or risk losing her life.

Eight Dates and Nights by Betsy Aldredge (Random House Children's Books, $11)
A trip to her grandma’s tiny Texas town is *not* what New Yorker Hannah had in mind for the holidays. Horses give her hives, and she misses latkes and reliable Wi-Fi. Then she meets Noah, the only other Jewish teen around. But he’s super into Hanukkah and Hannah’s…not. Will Noah win her over with his over-the-top holiday spirit? He’s got eight nights to try.

Betting on You by Lynn Painter (Simon & Schuster BFYR, $20)
Bailey’s got a summer job at the waterpark and can’t believe she’s stuck with annoyingly chatty Charlie—whom she met on her flight to Omaha last year—as her co-worker. They’re complete opposites, but is Charlie suddenly, um, kind of charming? Cue flirty banter, family drama and fake dating escapades in this enemies-to-lovers rom-com.

Duel by Jessixa Bagley and illustrator Aaron Bagley (Simon & Schuster BFYR, $25)
Junior high is rough for Lucy: She has zero classes with her BFF *and* has to deal with her queen bee older sister GiGi. When GiGi humiliates Lucy in front of the whole school, Lucy challenges her sis to a duel in fencing (the one interest they have in common). Will this battle divide their family forever? En grade!

So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole (Little, Brown BFYR, $20)
Faron already fought off the dragon-riding Langley Empire and saved her island. Five years later, her sister Elara befriends an enemy dragon. Now, the gods tell Faron she has to kill Elara…or the Langley Empire might rise again.

The Ruined by Renée Ahdieh (G.P. Putnam's Sons BFYR, $20)
In the final installment of The Beautiful series, Bastien rallies powerful friends in New Orleans to protect the weakened Winter Court. Meanwhile, in the Summer Court, Celine doesn’t know who to trust. Rivals realize Bastien has allies in the mortal world and resolve to take the fight to him. Will the vampires rise above in this BookTok obsession?

Tagging Freedom by Rhonda Roumani (Union Square Kids, $17)
Eager to fit in, Samira joins her school’s Spirit Squad despite her BFF’s protests. Meanwhile, Sam’s cousin, artist Kareem, arrives from Syria. When graffiti messages start showing up around town, everyone assumes Kareem did it—especially the Spirit Squad. Now, Sam needs to decide if she should stick by her new crew or stay loyal to her cousin.

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our December/January 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Top image: @bookishly.amber
Slider image: @cozypagesss


by GL | 12/4/2023