12 must-read new YA book releases to get us through April

Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller. Image Courtesy HarperCollins Publishing
Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller. Image Courtesy HarperCollins Publishing /
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The Best Laid Plans – Cameron Lund

A charming tale about friendship, love and the timeless teenage quest to lose one’s virginity The Best Laid Plans flips the script on many expected tropes by centering its story on a female lead.

Keely Collins has been friends with the same group of kids all in her life in her small Vermont town. mBut when she discovers she’s the last virgin left in her high school senior class, she’s determined to change that before graduation. Happily, her new coworker at the local video seems to be into her, so that means problem solved, right? Not entirely. See, Keely’s sure that sophisticated college student Dean will freak out when he finds out she’s a virgin, so she decides to ask Andrew, her BFF since childhood, to help her figure out the whole sex thing before she goes all the way with Dean.

If you’ve ever watched any romantic comedy ever, you’ll be able to predict exactly where this story’s headed, as the whole friends-to-lovers/right-there-all-along trope is screamingly obvious. But Lund’s story is full of surprising intimacy along the way.

The official synopsis describes the story in more detail.

"It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten. So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her. But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated."

The Best Laid Plans is available on April 7.