The ampersand is my favorite punctuation mark. I love it because it’s so versatile, and I love the history behind the mark (if you look at ampersands from the past, it began as a way to write the Latin word “et,” and it eventually moved from being “et” to standing up and looking like it does now as “&”).
Over the last few years, more and more YA titles have featured the ampersand. And while I love how it looks aesthetically, it’s sometimes hard to search for book titles in a library catalog that feature an ampersand. The search operators can sometimes get caught up on it; often, though, a simple switch to a search by the author’s name or using “and” in place of the ampersand can solve the problem.
Because I love ampersands and because I think it’s become a trendy title punctuation in the last few years, here’s a look at YA titles featuring them. All of these are books published between 2010 and now, with a couple of books that will be out in 2014. I’d love other traditionally published YA titles featuring ampersands, and I’m totally open to older titles. I’ve limited it to one book per series, as well as one book per author. Also excluded are short story anthologies — a number of the ones out in the last year or two especially use ampersands.
All descriptions come from WorldCat.
Catch & Release by Blythe Woolston Eighteen-year-old Polly and impulsive, seventeen-year-old Odd survive a deadly outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria, but resulting wounds have destroyed their plans for the future and with little but their unlikely friendship and a shared affection for trout fishing, they set out on a road trip through the West.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, two sixteen-year-olds carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York, neither knowing quite what–or who–they will find.
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (the entire series carries on the ampersand titling): In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become a bounty hunter.
Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed: The intertwined lives of the prominent Averley family and the servants of Somerton Court are forever changed when an old secret comes to light.
Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy: Feeling betrayed, fifteen-year-old Enid follows her boyfriend, Wick, from Vermont to Maryland where he and six others they know from twin studies rent a yacht, but after she sneaks aboard a storm sets them adrift without food or water, fighting for survival.
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn: A lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy must either surrender his sanity to the wild wolves inside his mind or learn that surviving means more than not dying.
A & L Do Summer by Jan Blazanin: In Iowa farm country, sixteen-year-old Aspen and her friend Laurel plan to get noticed the summer before their senior year and are unwittingly aided by pig triplets, a skunk, a chicken, bullies, a rookie policeman, and potential boyfriends.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try”.
Flicker & Burn by T M Goeglein (second book in the “Cold Fury” series): Sara Jane Rispoli continues searching for her missing mafia family, now running from mysterious creatures.
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma: Seventeen-year-old Lauren has visions of girls her own age who are gone without a trace, but while she tries to understand why they are speaking to her and whether she is next, Lauren has a brush with death and a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones: Two teenagers who are living on the streets and barely getting by become involved in a complicated criminal plot, and make an unexpected connection with each other.
The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (all three books in the series carry out the ampersand in the title): Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (all books in this series so far follow this pattern): In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway: After their parents’ divorce, teenaged sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood and use them to cope with moving to a new home and high school, but wonder if the gifts have a greater purpose.
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin: Smart, occasionally insecure, and ambitious Brooklyn fourteen-year-old Kelsey Finkelstein embarks on her freshman year of high school in Manhattan with the intention of “rebranding” herself, but unfortunately everything she tries to do is a total disaster.
Between You & Me by Marisa Calin: Phyre, sixteen, narrates her life as if it were a film, capturing her crush on Mia, a student teacher of theater and film studies, as well as her fast friendship with a classmate referred to only as “you.”
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian: Sex has always come without consequences for Evan. Until the night when all the consequences land at once, leaving him scarred inside and out.
Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts: With an asteroid set to strike Earth in just one week, three teens on an island off the Atlantic Coast wrestle with love, friendship, family, and regret as they decide how to live their final days.
And coming in 2014 are at least two more books featuring the ampersand title:
House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple: Seventeen-year-old Josephine Hemlock has spent her life hiding the fact that she’s a witch–but when the mysterious Curse that killed her mother returns, she might not be able to keep her magical and normal lives separate.
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott: Tella’s brother Cody is sick and getting worse, so when she finds instructions on how to become a contender in the dangerous Brimstone Bleed race where she can win a cure for him, she jumps at the chance–but there is no guarantee that she will win, or even survive.