Back when they started high school, best friends Julia and Dave made
the Never List. In it, they outlined all of the clichéd teen activities
life-changing road trips, skinny dipping, hair dye experiments, and
running for prom king) that they'd never, ever do. Now, nearing the end
of senior year, they decide to break their own rules and see how many
"nevers" they can accomplish. The results are hilarious,
poignant, and surprising -- especially when Julia and Dave tackle number
ten on the list: never date your best friend. With "all the fun of a
classic teen movie" (Booklist),
Never Always Sometimes will
satisfy fans of Stephanie Perkins and John Green.
High school drama leads to secrets, intrigue, and murder in this
suspenseful new thriller. Sixteen-year-old Tess has just moved from
Montana to join
her older sister, Ivy, in Washington, DC. In the District, Ivy is famous
for her abilities as a political "fixer," and after enrolling at the
elite Hardwicke School, Tess discovers that she, too, has a knack for
solving sticky problems.
Tess discovers a shocking connection between a classmate and a
high-profile government scandal, and the sisters' worlds collide. If you
can't get enough of the tangled relationships and high-stakes power
plays in TV's Scandal
or Ally Carter's Embassy Row series, don't miss The Fixer.
Fiction. Walter has always been the kind of guy who
attract much attention. When he meets Naomi, who shares his awkwardness
as well his sense of humor and love of music, he's surprised to find
that she likes him just as much as he likes her. However, after Walter's
cop father is accused of racial profiling,
Walter (who's white) and Naomi (who's black) are thrown into the media
spotlight. Can their fledgling relationship stand up to the opinions and
prejudices of their community? Expressive illustrations skillfully
flesh out the urban setting of this thought-provoking
story. For another complex teen couple navigating the intersection of
race and romance, try Anna Banks' Joyride.
If they hadn't gone to the party, Matt and his friend John might never
have ended up stranded in the Atlantic. But when tourists Driana, Stef,
João invited the guys to a luxe party in the Hamptons, how could they
say no? And how could they guess that Stef's reckless windsurfing would
lead to a disastrous rescue attempt, leaving all five teens drifting on
the open sea? Now, far from help, they desperately
try to survive injuries, sharks, scorching heat, and rapidly mounting
psychological pressure. Similar to Matt de la Peña's The Living,
Adrift offers diverse characters
and riveting tension.
Ever since his dad announced that he was bankrupt, gay, and leaving,
Dan and his mom have been having a tough time. Struggling with finances,
into a smelly old Victorian house, and private school student Dan has to
transfer to public school, where most of his classmates see him as a
"complete nerd/loser." Thank goodness for Estelle, his dazzling new
next-door neighbor and fellow misfit. "Effervescent
and sweet" (Kirkus Reviews),
quirky tale from Australian author Fiona Wood will please romance
readers as well as those looking for authentic, guy-centric coming of
Fiction. Stifled and stuck in an Iowa suburb until he leaves for
college in the fall, Dade is weary of his bickering parents, his
pathetic job at Food
World, and most especially of pining after Pablo, his "friend" and (even
though Pablo has a girlfriend) regular hook-up. Then Dade meets
handsome, enigmatic, and somewhat dangerous Alex Kincaid -- and falls in
love. Fans of Brian Sloan's Tale
of Two Summers, Peter Cameron's Someday
This Pain Will Be Useful to You, and other novels with true-to-life, well-drawn characters won't want to miss this one.
Fiction. With nothing to do but loiter at the mall or work on her summer assignments (reading Moby-Dick
and writing a "how-to" essay), 15-year-old Kelleigh escapes the
oppressive boredom of her suburban life by stealing a car. Once she gets
away with it a few times -- after all, she tells herself, it's not like
boosting cars is any worse than her mom's drinking
or her dad's cheating -- it's hard to resist more, and riskier, thefts.
Though Kelleigh's voice is biting and bleak, readers who like angsty,
character-driven stories will want to follow her all the way through her
remorseless summer of crime.
Obscure music is the soundtrack to Skylark Martin's life, which is
hardly surprising, since she lives above her family's vintage record
her nostalgia-loving father and eccentric younger brother, Sky doesn't
have much of a social life until she starts hanging out with the store's
latest employees: Nancy, a wild older girl with connections to their
Melbourne suburb's shady underground scene,
and Luke, the brooding, attractive brother of a local girl whose tragic
death might not have been an accident. If you prefer realistic stories
packed with sharp observations and multi-layered characters, this
mysterious, music-infused story is for you.
Though she's just a sophomore when she starts at Suburban High, timid
15-year-old Celia is quickly befriended by the Rosary, a sophisticated
notorious for their morbid style. Even weirder than Celia's unexpected
new friends are the near-fatal accidents plaguing Suburban's female
students -- they only happen just before each girl turns 16. After
learning an eye-opening secret from her chemistry partner,
Celia is drawn into a dangerous paranormal mystery -- one she'll have to
unravel before her own 16th birthday. Find out in this dark, eerie
fantasy and its sequel, Pull
Down the Night.
"Fairy-tales happen, just not to me. Time to tell the prince he rescued
the wrong girl." Tough, tattooed skater girl Beth is sure that perfect
star Ryan won't stay interested in her once he understands how messed up
she is. After all, she wouldn't even have moved to Ryan's upscale
suburb if she hadn't gotten into trouble for protecting her
drug-addicted mom. But as their secret relationship gets more
serious -- and more steamy -- Beth starts to realize that she and Ryan
might be more alike than she suspected. If you like gritty, emotionally
intense reads, you'll fall for this gripping love story.
A chance meeting leads to unexpected consequences for two Florida teens
in this moving, realistic story. While Carly is responsible and devoted
family (especially her parents, who've been deported to Mexico), Arden
is reckless and loves causing trouble for his overbearing, racist father
(who happens to be the sheriff). After a dramatic encounter outside a
convenience store, Carly reluctantly becomes
Arden's pranking partner, and they strike up a fragile relationship --
one that might be too fragile
to withstand the harsh truth about Arden's dad's anti-immigrant activities. For another "relevant, risky, and romantic" (School Library Journal)
read, try Marie Marquardt's Dream Things True,
due out next month.
Born on the same day, best friends Emmy and Oliver were inseparable --
until second grade, when Oliver was kidnapped by his father. Even after
Oliver's influence shaped Emmy's life: her parents reacted by becoming
anxious and overprotective. Now, ten years later, as high school senior
Emmy sees freedom within her reach, Oliver suddenly returns home.
Similar to Sara Zarr's Sweethearts
(but more romantic), Emmy
& Oliver is a gripping look at reunited friends facing the emotional scars of the past and figuring out what they want from the future.
Cadie barely knows Matt and Noah, but when the cousins invite her along
on their road trip, she jumps at the chance for a break from her
life. At first, Cadie's passionate fling with sexy, troubled Noah
distracts her from the red flags. But eventually, the hints of past
violence pile up, and Cadie can't deny her suspicions that one of the
guys is a killer -- and that if she continues on their
journey into the wild Florida Everglades, she might not make it out
alive. Perfectly paced to build maximum terror, this steamy thriller
delivers a "swift and satisfying" (School
Library Journal) conclusion.
Fantasy. When a local mural mysteriously begins to weep, Brooklyn teen
Sierra Santiago is unsettled, but it's not until she's attacked by a
that she really gets scared -- and curious. Though her abuelo Lázaro
seems to have some answers, a stroke has left him unable to communicate
anything except cryptic messages about "shadowshapers." Stalked by a
merciless enemy, Sierra will have to uncover the
truth -- and tap into the spirit powers of her Caribbean ancestors -- in
order to protect everyone she loves. Filled with intriguing magic,
authentic dialogue, and a realistically multi-ethnic cast of characters,
is a must-read for fantasy fans.
Fiction. If you could erase your worst memories, would you do it? In
Aaron Soto's near-future Bronx neighborhood, the Leteo Institute offers
to do precisely
that in their "cutting-edge memory-relief" procedure. Though Aaron
certainly has awful memories (such as his father's bloody suicide), he's
also got the support of his family, friends, and girlfriend. But would
that support disappear if they knew about his
attraction to Thomas, a fellow fantasy geek from a neighboring housing
project? Would it be better to just forget that he might be gay? If you
like wrestling with the complex issues surrounding identity, memory, and
the cost of happiness, don't miss this gritty
and provocative debut.
Summer school is a far cry from the tennis camp that 14-year-old Alek
hoped to attend, but his straitlaced Armenian parents insist that he
grades up. As it turns out, though, summer school distracts Alek even
further from studying, because it's there that he meets Ethan, an
impossibly cool skater who shows Alek a world outside of his stifling
New Jersey community...and wins his heart. If you
like the funny, earnest tone and distinct cultural backdrop of this
coming of age (and coming out) story, you might also enjoy Sara
Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.
This year's summer vacation is bittersweet for 15-year-old Chelsea and
her family; it's their first visit to the cottage on Lake Michigan since
grandmother died. Still grappling with her grief, Chelsea is surprised
and elated by her quickly blossoming relationship with Josh, the cute
guy who works at the local bookstore. Yet as their connection deepens
into love, Chelsea can't help but wonder what
will happen when the summer ends. Just like the other books in author
Michelle Dalton's Sixteenth Summer series, this charming and sensitive
romance is a sure bet for fans of Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen.
As far as Gwen Castle is concerned, Cassidy Summers is just one of many
regrettable one-night stands. Since he's a wealthy mainlander and she's
a complicated, working-class island family, she never expects to spend
time with him again. So when Cass turns up on the island with a summer
job as a lawn boy, Gwen is annoyed. However, as she gets to know (maybe
even love?) Cass, Gwen is forced to re-examine
her assumptions, not only about Cass, but also about her family and
herself. Want another sweet yet substantial tale of love across class
boundaries? Pick up Kasie West's The
Distance Between Us.
Seventeen-year-old Cricket's sunny summer on Nantucket is not going as
planned. Her invitation to stay with BFF Jules' family is withdrawn
sudden death of Jules' mother, forcing Cricket to take a job as
chambermaid at an inn. Cricket tries to support her friend, but the
grieving Jules freezes her out, even as things start to heat up between
Cricket and Zack, Jules' brother. If you like well-developed
characters and sweet-but-not-cutesy love stories, don't miss this "lush
and moving" (Publishers Weekly)
debut and its sequel, Nantucket Red.
To distract themselves from their recent painful break-ups, reformed
"bad girl" Reagan and her best friend Lilah Dee (a rising country music
the road for Dee's summer concert tour. Complicating their plans for a
drama-free trip is Matt, the sweet boy-band refugee who's been hired as
Dee's opening act…and her fake boyfriend. Dee's publicists think Matt
might improve her image, but it's Reagan who's
drawn to him, despite her fear of trusting another guy. Readers who
relish road trip stories should definitely check out this "insightful
take on friendship, romance, and celebrity culture" (Booklist).
Despite knowing the dangers of the dark forest, apprentice woodwife
Rachelle strays from the path and pays the price: she is marked as
"bloodbound" to the wolfish,
forced to become a killer. As penance, Rachelle
pledges to use her deadly new powers to protect the kingdom from evil.
The king, however, orders her to guard his son, Armand, which not only
gets in the way of Rachelle's personal mission, but also kicks off an
angsty love triangle involving fellow bloodbound
Erec. This "unusual, intricately woven story" (Kirkus Reviews) based
on Red Riding Hood is sure to captivate fans of the author's previous fairy tale retelling, Cruel Beauty.
Overachiever Ana couldn't care less that this year's Washingcon sci-fi
convention conflicts with her quiz bowl team's championship, but geeky
Zak, a reluctant quiz bowl
alternate, is disappointed to miss the con. So when Ana's brother (and
teammate) Clayton ditches the quiz bowl for Washingcon, Ana enlists Zak
to help her find him. The two of them take turns narrating their wild
night-long search, which includes cosplayers,
gamers, card collectors, felons, a Star Wars/Star
Trek wedding...and a growing attraction that Zak and Ana can't ignore. Similar to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Nick
and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this opposites-attract romance offers both genuine emotions and pop culture-inspired humor.
Carson hasn't seen his alcoholic father in years, but now that the guy
is dying, 17-year-old Carson is forced to spend the summer with him in
Billings, Montana. There, Carson
meets Aisha, who's been sleeping at the local zoo since her
ultra-conservative father kicked her out for being a lesbian. The two
quickly become friends, and after they discover some surprising clues
regarding Carson's long-absent grandfather, they take off
on a road trip to learn the truth and bring Carson's dad some closure.
If you prefer realistic fiction that's both funny and unflinching, don't
miss this bittersweet story about prejudice, forgiveness, and family.
Mystery. At 16, talented sleuth Scarlett has already finished high
school and started her own detective agency. Though her latest job seems
normal enough, it leads to
an ancient supernatural conspiracy in Scarlett's family history; to
crack the case, Scarlett will have to re-examine not only her personal
beliefs, but also her father's unsolved murder. Told in a tough-talking,
hard-boiled style, this debut novel introduces
a memorable teen detective and a suspenseful, mythology-infused mystery.
Readers who want another smart Muslim American heroine may enjoy G.
Willow Wilson's Ms.
Marvel comics, while those looking for another teen gumshoe should try Sean Beaudoin's You
Killed Wesley Payne.
Fantasy. When exuberant, gleefully violent Nimona first offers to be
his sidekick, villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart turns her down. Once
she reveals that she's a shapeshifter,
however, Blackheart is intrigued. And Nimona does have some good
ideas for overthrowing Blackheart's archenemies, Sir Goldenloin and the
of Law Enforcement and Heroics... But does she really have her powers
under control? Adorably edgy cartoons provide the perfect visuals for
this witty and heartfelt fantasy that overturns stereotypes about good
and evil. Whether you're a new fan
or you've been following Nimona since its beginning as a webcomic,
you may find it hard to resist the adventures of this irrepressible anti-heroine.
If You Like: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Combining humor, profanity,
and insight, these unconventional reads about friendship, creativity,
and the things that change (or don't change) your life will appeal to
fans of Jesse Andrews' Me
and Earl and the Dying Girl. The movie of Me and Earl opened in U.S. theaters in June.
Outspoken, irreverent, and a little too quick with his fists,
17-year-old Cricket doesn't see a lot of options for himself once he
leaves the Naskeag Home for Boys. He might
survive on his boxing skills, or by taking over for a local drug dealer,
but with such a bleak future and an unthinkable past, Cricket's not
even sure that life is worth living anymore. Enter Wynona Bidaban, the
girl who offers Cricket unexpected new perspectives.
Like Me and Earl's Greg, Cricket confronts both the excitement and
the bitter unfairness of life with sarcasm, self-awareness, and lots of movie references.
Junior year is turning out to be eventful for Mitchell Wells: his best
friend has just come out to him (and only him); he's turned in a
somewhat obscene claymation short
film instead of a paper about The Grapes of Wrath
(didn't go over
so well); and one of the most popular girls at school suddenly likes him
(?!?!). Prom is coming up, and at this rate, there's no predicting what
will happen. If you liked Stephen Chbosky's The
Perks of Being a Wallflower, it's a pretty good bet that you'll like Two
Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath, a drily hilarious and painfully honest slice of high school life.
Recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin Singleton
falls in love easily. Since third grade, he's had a grand total of 19
girlfriends, all named Katherine,
who have all dumped him. Freshly rejected by Katherine XIX, Colin sets
off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan, a chubby, Judge
Judy-obsessed Muslim with dreams of becoming a stand-up comic. They make
it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they befriend
a girl who is NOT named Katherine, and where Colin works to perfect a
mathematical formula that can predict how long romantic relationships
will last. This offbeat male-bonding story should appeal to anyone who
thinks that math is fun, road trips have curative
powers, or that everyone's story matters.
Having been ditched one too many times by his flaky sort-of girlfriend,
Colleen, aspiring filmmaker Ben Bancroft wonders whether someone his
overbearing grandmother approves
of -- like popular, pretty, academically driven A.J., who is just as big
of a film nut as Ben -- might be a better match for him. But can A.J.
really see past Ben's cerebral palsy like Colleen does? Fans of the 1st
& Spaz (and other all-about-the-attiude novels like Barry Lyga's The
Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl), will be pleased to find the same sort of witty, electric banter in Now
Playing, and film buffs will appreciate the movies that are mentioned throughout.
Smart, cynical Tom Henderson is a typical high school loser whose
pastimes include coming up with band names (never mind the fact that
he's not in a band) and trying to
attract "semihot girls." Tom is baffled and annoyed by his teachers'
cultish allegiance to The Catcher in the Rye,
a book that changed their lives when they were teenagers. But Tom's own
life is about to be changed by a copy of the same book -- the copy that
his recently deceased father filled with cryptic notes that might
explain his mysterious death. Tom's sardonic humor
and esoteric musical references continue in the sequel, King Dork Approximately.