Teens

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick

This is the story of Amber Appleton, a relentlessly upbeat 17-year-old who engages daily in a strenuous and not always successful battle in the arena where "hope dukes it out with despair." Despair is wielding some pretty serious weapons, and for a while it seems like it might triumph, as a series of blows challenge Amber’s outlook. The story of how her friends try to bring her back to life is heart-aching and powerful (but not without humor!), and makes a wonderful, fresh and intense reading experience.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This moving memoir, written in free verse, follows Jacqueline Woodson through her childhood as a young, black girl growing up during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The use of poetic verse allows Woodson to capture poignant moments in her childhood and share them in a way that really resonates with the reader.  She talks of growing up with her mother, grandparents, and siblings, first in South Carolina and then in New York City.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Jennifer Niven’s debut novel is poignant and magical. Seventeen-year-old Violet Markey was once an enthusiastic cheerleader, member of Student Council, and a passionate writer. Now, after the death of her older sister, she is depressed, withdrawn, and counting down the days until she can escape from Indiana. Theodore “Freak” Finch, on the ledge of the high school bell tower for reasons that become clear later, meets Violet as she is also peering over the ledge. After helping each other down, Violet and Finch become partners on a school project that encourages them to “explore their great state”.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Macy has a long, hot, dreary summer ahead of her. Her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp and her days are filled with SAT prep and watching the clock at her boring library job. Time at home with her mom is tense and grief-filled after the traumatic loss of Macy's father. A new job opportunity with the catering company Wish introduces a fun-loving crew—and an artistic, compelling new guy—into Macy’s life. As Macy ventures into this colorful and chaotic new world she faces fears about what it means to leave behind her current bland but safe existence.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

This first book in a new series from the author of the Legend trilogy is an imaginative dystopian thriller. Years after a blood plague devastated the population of Kenettra, killing every adult and many of the children with the sickness, the surviving children and teenagers are known as malfettos. All of the malfettos carry scars from their illness, and some emerged with unusual powers.

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Fifteen year old Oscar Drai has a habit of sneaking out of his boarding school and exploring the city of Barcelona. During one of his excursions, he meets Marina and her eccentric father, Germán. Marina soon shows Oscar one of her favorite mysteries of the city: on the last Sunday each month, at exactly ten o’clock, a woman dressed all in black takes a carriage to a small graveyard and places a rose on an unmarked grave. Oscar and Marina decide to follow the woman and, in the process, make an odd and macabre discovery.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

It's almost always the case that how much I like a book depends on how much I like the MC, and high school senior Natalie Sterling is pretty hard to like. But Siobhan Vivian made me care about Natalie, even when I didn't especially like her, and make me feel protective of her, too, even when she was dead set on a foolish course of action with a preordained bad end. Natalie likes to have everything under control, but when she becomes attracted to one of the senior boys and her best friend starts keeping secrets from her, things get messy.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Noah and Jude form two parts of the same whole; they have always been inseparable and completely in sync. Both twins brim with artistic talent, inherited from their luminous, free-spirited mother. As they apply for admission into a prestigious art school, tragedy tears them apart, and their relationship is broken to pieces by grief, jealousy and misunderstandings. Told in alternating viewpoints that travel back and forth in time, this gorgeously written novel follows Jude and Noah as they try to find themselves and their way back to each other. 

Teen Fiction NELSON, J.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

The Wooden Barn is a last-resort boarding school where “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers” go to recover from personal trauma. Jam Gallahue is sent there by her parents after losing the boy she loved, and finds herself selected to be part of the elite class Special Topics in English with the beloved, soon-to-retire teacher Mrs. Quenell. The class focuses on a specific author – this time, Sylvia Plath – and as the students begin their assigned journal entries, they realize that writing in the journals brings unexpected transformation.

The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason

Beautiful and charming Evaline Stoker, sister of famous Bram, and intelligent, inventive Mina Holmes, niece of renowned Sherlock, team up for a second time in this steampunk mystery. London’s beloved princess calls upon Evaline and Mina for a personal request. One of her best friends, Miss Willa Ashton, is a seventeen-year-old beauty who is heir to a large fortune. Miss Ashton’s mother has passed away, and her ten-year-old brother has recently disappeared. Out of grief, Miss Ashton has been consulting spiritual mediums.

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