11 new YA book releases to kick off your spooky season right this October

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer. Image courtesy Penguin Random House
Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer. Image courtesy Penguin Random House /
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Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf – Hayley Krischer

A YA novel that will doubtless be difficult for many to read, but is likely to start many important conversations is Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf by Hayley Krischer. The novel tells the story of a girl who is raped at a high school party by the soccer team’s star athlete, and the complex way she finds her way back to her voice again.

Ali Greenleaf is not a popular girl herself, but she’s nice. Sweet, naive, and a little unsure of herself, she finally works up the nerve to talk to the popular boy – and her longtime crush – Sean Nissel at a party. But after Sean refuses to take no for an answer, things take a darker turn.

Blythe Jensen is a popular girl, and she knows how Sean Nissel treats the other girls at their school. But she’s his best friend and agrees to help him convince Ali to forget what happened between them. Blythe befriends her in an attempt to draw her into the ruthless world of the popular kids, but the two find a way to be honest with one another in a way no one has before.

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is a novel about consequences and rape culture, about the toxicity of high school and the complex nature of female relationships. A difficult read, but one to be sure, but one that’s unlike most everything else you’ll encounter this Fall.

The official synopsis describes the story as follows.

"Ali Greenleaf and Blythe Jensen couldn’t be more different. Ali is sweet, bitingly funny, and just a little naive. Blythe is beautiful, terrifying, and the most popular girl in school. They’ve never even talked to each other, until a party when Ali decides she’ll finally make her move on Sean Nessel, her longtime crush, and the soccer team’s superstar. But Sean pushes Ali farther than she wants to go. When she resists–he rapes her. Blythe sees Ali when she runs from the party, everyone sees her. And Blythe knows something happened with Sean, she knows how he treats girls. Even so, she’s his best friend, his confidant. When he begs her to help him, she can’t resist. So Blythe befriends Ali in her attempt to make things right with Sean, bringing Ali into a circle of ruthless popular girls, and sharing her own dark secrets. Despite the betrayal at the heart of their relationship, they see each other, in a way no one ever has before."

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf is available on October 6.