Hello again! We’re so excited to share some of our recent clean book finds with you! We have suggestions for teens as well as adults. Take a look. ⤵️
-Sara & Stacy
Clean Reads for Back-to-School
A note from Sara:
Good news! I’ve had the opportunity to read several clean YA books this summer, and I’m happy to share those with you!
It’s not difficult to find clean book ideas for older books and classics, but what if your teens and tweens want to read newer fiction? My kids do, and that’s why I began a broader search.
If you’re having a hard time finding books without all the language, sex, or mature situations for you and your teens, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for these books, and they ARE out there. You just have to know where to find them. The big publishing companies aren’t backing clean books as often right now, so I started searching in smaller publishing houses or from indie authors. I’ve found some great reads this way.
Because of this, some of these may not be at your local library, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them there. In fact, if you want your library to offer more clean books, you should request more clean books, so they’ll know what their community wants. You can request books at your library on their website, in person, or over the phone.
Also, I’d love your feedback and suggestions. You can reply to this email if you have recommendations. Keep in mind that I’m looking for more recent releases, books published in at least the last five years. (Or a series that finished up in that time, even if the first book is a bit older.)
Here are my book recommendations from this summer, what I’m reading now, the books I plan to read soon, and, as always, our review spotlight! (Keep scrolling to learn about a fun book genre for adults.)
Review of Stealing Embers by Julie Hall
Sometimes clean books can have a younger feel, but I think Julie Hall did a good job making this book read like and feel like other books in the paranormal genre. If your teen likes paranormal or fantasy romance, I highly recommend this one. Great for any teen, but I think older teens will like it, too.
Recent reads: Clean YA Recommendations
I’ve loved all the Brandon Sanderson books I’ve read, and this one was no different. This was the first YA and the first SciFi of his I’ve picked up. I really enjoyed it!
Synopsis from Amazon:
Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.
No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
I finally read The Selection and thought it was great. My 14-year-old daughter and I listened to most of this one together. It’s a dystopian romance, and she love, love, loved it. Warning: there’s a bit more kissing than I expected, but I was okay with the end.
Synopsis from Amazon:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
I wrote this one, but I did read it recently. 😬 Several of my kids’ friends are reading it now, and so far, four have approached me to ask when the next one will be out! (Hopefully soon!)
Synopsis from Amazon:
Watchers, Guardians, Strength Wielders, Water Movers, and, of course, THE DREAMER
Evie grows restless observing mortals from the safety of her desk in the Control Room. When a friend offers to smuggle her by portal into the human world, she jumps at the opportunity. Secretly, though, she also hopes to observe Adan, the human Dreamer. Only a glimpse, she promises herself.
But trouble awaits after her captivating adventure and delayed return. Not only did she take an unsanctioned trip to the ground, but the boy, the Dreamer, is missing. Worse still, her director believes she is to blame.
Evidence soon places Adan in another sector, where Gifted humans are forbidden.
Donning a human body and wielding a golden blade, Evie’s orders are to travel to this uncharted territory, find Adan, and take care of the problem.
As she attempts to keep the human emotions at bay, she discovers this intriguing boy was smuggled here for a reason, and perhaps the culprit—the Deceiver—is a threat to them all.
What I’m reading now:
Right now, I’m reading Vivid, book one in the Color Theory series. So far, so good on this YA fantasy by Ashley Bustamante. I’m enjoying it!
Synopsis from Amazon:
Ava Locke dives into the mysteries of forbidden Yellow magic and discovers a dark path filled with secrets and injustice.
When Ava Locke was five years old, she began a journey to join the Benefactors—the leaders of the magical continent of Magus. Twelve years later, she unwittingly started down the road to betray them.
On Magus where colors fuel magical abilities, yellow is banned in an effort to protect people from its mind-controlling capabilities. When a rogue Yellow magic-user named Elm escapes imprisonment Ava becomes innocently fascinated with his story. Once this mysterious Elm shows up at her school, Ava pushes her interest to the next level by helping him evade the Benefactors. Ava grows increasingly conflicted as her intrigue leads her down a dark road of secrets about her world. As she learns more about Yellow magic’s potential to control its victims, Ava now must question whether her rash decisions are all her own or if someone else is pulling the strings.
On my to-be-read pile:
Synopsis from Amazon:
Caroline George once again transports readers with lush, evocative prose, leading them to ask the question: what happens when we can’t even trust ourselves?
Some memories are better left forgotten.
Darby and Morgan haven’t spoken for two years, and their friend group has splintered. But when the body of their former science teacher is found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, they realize they have more questions than answers . . . and even fewer memories.
No one remembers—or no one is talking.
The group of reunited friends suspects that a murderer is stalking the coastal highway 30A, and they are desperate to recover their memories as quickly as possible . . . before their history they can’t remember repeats itself.
Everyone has a secret.
As tensions rise and time runs out, Darby and Morgan begin to wonder if they can believe one another . . . or if they can even trust themselves.
Synopsis from Amazon:
Solve the clues. Face your fears. Survive the Trials.
All Alice Liddell wants is to escape her Normal life in Oxford and find the parents who abandoned her ten years ago. But she gets more than she bargained for when her older sister Charlotte is arrested for having the infamous Wonder Gene—the key to unlocking the curious Wonderland Reality.
Soon, Alice receives a rather cryptic invitation to play for Team Heart in this year’s annual—and often deadly—Wonderland Trials. Now she has less than twenty-four hours to find her way into Wonderland where nothing is impossible . . . or what it seems.
The stakes are raised when she discovers players go missing during the Trials each year. Will she and her team solve the clues and find the missing players? Or will betrayal and distrust win, leaving Alice alone in a world of her own? Follow the White Rabbit into this topsy-turvy fantasy where players become prey, a sip of the wrong tea might as well be poison, and a queen’s ways do not always lead one where they ought to go.
Forging Darkness: Fallen Legacies #2
I won’t post the synopsis here. Possible spoilers for book one! If you want to read a synopsis, click the link below.
Synopsis from Amazon…
A new fav genre: Closed Door Rom-Com
Do you miss the good ol’ days of 2000s-era rom-com movies? We sure do. They were sweet, funny, romantic, and usually rated PG-13 or less. If you miss romantic comedies too, closed-door rom-com books might be an excellent alternative! Authors describe these books as having all the swoony feels, but bedroom scenes are either not present or are more of a “fade to black” moment.
Keep in mind these books are fun, lighthearted, and often silly. Remember all the goofy moments in those 2000s romcoms? You can expect the same from these books, meaning they might not be for everyone.
If you think you might be interested, below are a few suggestions, and you can see even more here on my author website. Some we’ve read, some are on our TBR, and most are part of a series. Notice, Engaging Mr. Darcy is inspired by Jane Austen! 😍
Click the photos below to read a synopsis on Amazon.
*Our site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases….hey, we had to upgrade our hosting due to our amazing number of readers…we’re just trying to pay for it! ;)*
See even more examples on my author website in a post called clean romcom books.
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Want to see what a contributor recap looks like? Check out this great recap of The Hunger Games by a regular contributor. We include a shout-out with a link to her blog at the beginning of the post and then links to her bookish social media accounts at the end.
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That’s all for now. We’ll write again soon, and thanks again for your valuable suggestions.
Until next time,
~ Sara and Stacy