Dedication pages are the sort of small detail most people might gloss over, but not us book nerds, amiright? (JK, no book-shaming here—read as much or as little of a book as you want, you choose what to do with your time!) Let’s just say some of us do have an obsession with reading the entire book, cover-to-cover, which, yes, includes even the dedication and acknowledgement pages.
We can’t help it! And honestly? It’s worth it. Some dedication pages are funny, some are mysterious, some are sad. Most are serious, like dedicated to Mom and Dad and Long Lost Aunt Mary. But these ones differ from the rest in some pretty interesting ways…
Without further adieu, in no particular order, 17 of our recent fave YA book dedications:
17 Book Dedications
WORTH DEDICATING OUR TIME TO
1. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
DEDICATION: “To the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts”
When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan deep in the forbidden woods of Neverland, the two form an unbreakable bond. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. And yet, she is willing to risk everything—her family, her future—to be with him.
Then an English girl named Wendy Darling arrives on the island. With dangers tightening around them, Tiger Lily soon finds out how far she is willing to go to keep Peter with her in Neverland… and discovers that the deadliest enemies lurk inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
2. Like Water by Rebecca Podos
DEDICATION: “For Tom, and for the canteloupes”
In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him.
Now she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.
That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend.
But caring about another person threatens the walls Vanni has carefully constructed to protect herself and brings up the big questions she’s hidden from for so long.
3. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
DEDICATION: “For all the colored girls. I see you ♡”
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.
But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations. But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.
When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.
And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
4. Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
DEDICATION: “For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet… and who has stood up anyway”
In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.
Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
5. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
DEDICATION: “For my family, for always keeping the kettle on”
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming—especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.
Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.
Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.
6. Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman
DEDICATION: “This book is dedicated to all those struggling to undo the disastrous effects of climate change”
The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
7. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
DEDICATION: “For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door. And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”
In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind YA fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.
Like that could go wrong.
8. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
DEDICATION: “To the readers who look up at the stars and wish”
Hope warms the coldest night.
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.
Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
9. Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima
DEDICATION: “To the booklovers—teachers, librarians, booksellers, family, and friends who taught me that books are the gateway to dreams. Some of them even come true.”
Alyssa ana’Raisa, the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, feels more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, Lyss goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.
Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon is being sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
Lyss and Hal’s intricately linked fates become inseparable when they fall under the shadow of a new enemy—a force that threatens to extinguish the last rays of hope in the Shattered Realms.
10. Contagion by Erin Bowman
DEDICATION: “For those both awed and terrified by the incredible vastness of space”
Perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux, Jonathan Maberry, and horror films like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, this pulse-pounding, hair-raising, utterly terrifying novel is the first in a duology from the critically acclaimed author of the Taken trilogy.
After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.
When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.
11. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
DEDICATION: “To all the jars. You know who you are.”
Ginny Blackstone spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny’s backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how the adventure was supposed to end.
Now a mysterious boy has contacted Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure, and Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits… and her heart. This time there are no instructions.
12. The Selection by Kiera Cass
DEDICATION: “Hi, Dad! *waves*”
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.
13. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
DEDICATION: “For the ones who refuse to be silenced”
Mira has always been a symbol of hope for the Fallen Isles, perfect and beautiful—or at least that’s how she’s forced to appear. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret, Mira is betrayed by those closest to her and sentenced to the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles.
Except Mira is over being a pawn. Fighting to survive against outer threats and inner demons of mental illness, Mira must find her inner fire and the scorching truth about her own endangered magic—before her very world collapses.
And that’s all before she ignites.
14. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
DEDICATION: “For those who need a reminder to make every day count”
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”
15. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
DEDICATION: “For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding a body in the library”
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
16. Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
DEDICATION: “To the tall girls who wish they were dainty. To the short girls who wish they were elegant. To the girls who’ve always been too much. And the girls who are never enough. To those who persist. This is for you.”
Robin of Locksley is dead.
Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian’s fiancé.
Who is there to stop them?
Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.
And, of course, we saved what might be our most recent fave for last:
17. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
DEDICATION: “To my mother, Belzie. I would have made a terrible doctor, mom. People would have died.”
Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas.
Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.
Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making…
Think we missed any really amazing dedications? Let us know in the comments below!