This is Not a Test, by Courtney SummersRead about another entry on the list.
From the dark cover to the dark setting—the zombie apocalypse—this book might not seem like a natural fit on a list of hopeful YAs. But don’t underestimate the mystical powers of Courtney Summers, who can make a tale of sorrow, death, and depression a stunning examination of human connection and growth. Sloane Price is one of six students seeking shelter at the local high school after zombies attack. Though she’s surprised, Sloane doesn’t anticipate the attack will change her general state of mind much. Her world fell apart months ago, and this new change only gives her a better opportunity to give up. However, as anger, death, desperation, and surprising friendships collide, what happens inside the school will alter their lives more than the threat waiting outside.
The Page 69 Test: This Is Not a Test.
A Darkly Beating Heart, by Lindsay Smith
I can’t praise Smith’s latest enough. This time travel adventure with a glorious amount of bisexual representation follows Reiko, a depressed, angry girl sent to spend a summer in Japan with her family after a failed suicide attempt. When Reiko visits a historic village preserved as it stood in the Edo period, she discovers an object that allows her to slip into the life and era of nineteenth-century girl Miyu. Reiko discovers Miyu is as vengeful as herself, if not more so, and must decide if ultimate vengeance is the path for her—or if there’s a way to be happy again.