It’s a brand new year, meaning it’s the perfect time to do something different and see if you like it. We know once you have a set genre, it can be hard to break out of it. However, there are so many awesome books that juuuuust might make you want to explore something you might not have before. Just TRY a different kind of read, you might surprise yourself and like it. And to help you out, we’re offering Free Reads in each of the below categories to inspire you to try something new. You never know what 2019 could have in store-y for you (ha, get it?). But seriously, happy reading! And happy 2019!
#ResolveToRead a New Kind of Book in 2019 with These 9 Free Reads
1. Read a diverse romance
Try Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman!
Ever feel like you don’t belong? Or that your reflection is just another stranger staring back at you? For Kiko Himura, life is a whirwind when she figures out she didn’t get into her dream art school. Then Kiko’s absusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. Will she go for it?
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of Must-Read Diverse YA Romances.
2. Read a book in verse
Check out Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Life was good
As New York Times Bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins sparks another masterpiece that explains what it’s like to be haunted by addiction.
3. Read a fantasy or science fiction novel with explicitly queer characters
Read At The Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town—and then Tommy vanished. More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 9 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Books with LGBTQIA+ Characters.
4. Start a new thrilling series
Start The Program series by Suzanne Young
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 12 Completed YA Series You Can Start Right Now.
5. Read a book (of any genre) starring a queer character of color
Try Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 15 YA LGBTQIA+ books you need to read ASAP
6. Read a sci-fi book written by a woman
Try The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 9 Sci-Fi Books You Need to Read ASAP
7. Try a YA anthology (fiction or nonfiction!)
Check out Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? This all-original anthology edited by Holly Black (Team Unicorn) and Justine Larbalestier (Team Zombie) makes strong arguments for both sides in the form of spectacular short stories.
8. Read a book with complicated friendships
Get hooked on Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten
Sasha does something to protect her best friend, however, what she does may haunt her for the rest of her life. Her best friend, Xavier, wants to help her but doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. Then there’s, Ivy, just as twisted as vines spiraling on a house. All three of their stories come together and start something that will change everything, even to the point where no one knows what is made up or true.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 8 Complicated Female Friendships Stories in YA Novels.
9. Read a book about a character who’s struggling with mental illness
Try Obsessed by Allison Britz
A brave teen recounts her debilitating struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder—and brings readers through every painful step as she finds her way to the other side—in this powerful and inspiring memoir. After awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality.
If you’re looking for even more, check out this list of 17 Important Books That Address Mental Health Topics.