Every Exquisite Thing
by Matthew Quick
Ever feel like you have to live up to other people’s expectations - that you have to maintain a straight A average at all costs, that you have to be an athletic superstar even though you hate the sport, that you need to put on an act and be someone you’re not? This is exactly how Nanette O’Hare feels until her English teacher passes her a copy of a novel, The Bubblegum Reaper. Suddenly Nanette’s world turns upside down when her obsession with the book leads her to track down its reclusive author. Their unusual friendship makes her question her relationship with her family and friends, leads her to a boy poet obsessed with the same book, and a realization that she needs to make her own decisions about who she wants to be.
all american boys
by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Rashad Butler just wanted to get a bag of chips from the corner grocery but gets accused of shoplifting. Jumping to the conclusion that he must’ve done something wrong, Officer Paul Galluzzo handcuffs Rashad and roughs him up. This incident is caught on video and sends shockwaves through the community. Quinn is a witness to the beating but is torn about which side he should take. On the one hand, Rashad is a classmate and no one deserves to be that badly beaten when he is already handcuffed on the ground. On the other hand, Paul Galluzzo is a close family friend. Was he just doing his job? Was the violence justified in beating Rashad? These are questions that Quinn grapples with as he comes into his own understanding of what it means to be loyal to one’s friends and morals.
I'll Give You The Sun
by Jandy Nelson
Incredibly close, artistic twins Noah and Jude vie to get into a prestigious art school to impress their art critic mother. However, when their mother dies in a tragic car accident and Jude gets accepted into the school when Noah is not, the twins drift apart. Noah finds himself increasingly attracted to Brian, a neighbor and baseball star while Jude who used to be a popular life of the party withdraws into a more solitary existence. Told in alternating points of view with Noah telling the story leading up to the accident and Jude telling the story afterwards, the siblings share their halves of the story without realizing the effects their decisions have on each other and the secrets their mother has kept until her death.
Rani Patel in Full Effect
by Sonia Patel
Rap-loving Indian-Gujurati teen Rani tries to make her mark on the hip-hop scene on the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i. Her mom is exhausted trying to run a local grocery store and the only Indian food joint in town while her dad is off chasing another woman. Rani has two choices - being the obedient Indian daughter, swallowing her anger like her mom or rebelling and exposing her dad’s betrayal and the wounds she has suffered at his hands. As she pours her rage into raps, she attracts the attention of an older man, Mark, who offers her the opportunity to perform as MC Sutra at a local hip-hop festival. Her friends warn her against getting romantically involved with Mark. But ultimately it is this relationship and her father’s betrayal that finally helps Rani realize how strong, important, and necessary her voice is.
kids of appetite
by David Arnold
Vic Benucci suffers from Moebius syndrome which leaves his face partially paralyzed. He has never gotten over his father’s death but now his mother is about to get re-married. What was once a warm loving home is turning into hell with two younger step-brothers who are ready to make fun of his condition every chance they get. One night, Vic runs off with his dad’s ashes and into the “Kids of Appetite.” There’s Baz and Zuz, refugee brothers from the Congo, Coco, a constantly faux-swearing 11 year old, and Madeline Falco, a domestic abuse victim and the most beautiful girl who’s ever talked to Vic. The kids ‘adopt’ Vic into their group and decide to help him fulfill his dad’s coded last wishes to scatter his ashes in the special nostalgic places shared with his mother. This book is like a puzzle, told through alternating narratives - Vic’s, Mad’s, and the account of what happens in the interrogation room during a murder investigation. If you are a fan of diverse characters, a story told through different points of view, and light romance mixed with a murder mystery, this is a book for you.
highly illogical behavior
by John Corey Whaley
Smart and funny sixteen year old gay, agoraphobe Solomon Reed has not left his house for 3 years. His parents hope that one day Sol will venture out and make some friends but have supported his decision to stay home. Enter Lisa Praytor, an ambitious high school senior, who wants to turn Sol into her pet project so that she can write about him in a killer college entrance essay. As Lisa inserts herself and later, her handsome, athletic boyfriend, Clark, into Sol’s life, their relationships shift in unexpected ways. Sol starts to think that maybe he can leave the house and conquer his panic attacks. Lisa discovers that Sol is not the crazy person she thought he was and begins to wonder if Sol and Clark have developed deeper feelings for each other. Now Lisa, Clark and Sol must decide where their friendship is heading and who will end up being betrayed.
Lucy and linh
by Alice Pung
Lucy has just won the equivalent of a lottery - a scholarship to one of the most prestigious girls schools in Australia. Her Vietnamese-Chinese family is thrilled but Lucy is not so sure. For one, she is ashamed of her family’s financial circumstances compared with that of her more well-to-do classmates. Her parents work 24/7, with her mom running a one-woman sweatshop in their garage. Her parents’ inability to speak English means they don’t realize the challenging path Lucy needs to take in trying to fit in at her new school. Initially Lucy is taken under the wing of the most popular girls at school. But, Lucy slowly discovers that being and staying popular has a price - one that she may not be ready to pay.
the sun is also a star
by Nicola Yoon
In the course of one day, Natasha, who is about to be deported back to Jamaica, meets Daniel who is on his way to a supposedly life-changing college interview. Natasha believes in reason and science and definitely not love at first sight. Korean-American, Daniel, has always tried to be the good son, living up to his parent’s dream of him becoming a doctor, even though his passion lies in poetry. When the two meet on the streets of New York, neither expected that a simple conversation could lead to a day of deep connection and heartache. Told from multiple points of view, including those of the people whom Daniel and Natasha meet throughout the day, Yoon creates a tale of how interwoven all our lives are and how our everyday simple interactions can change the course of fate for better or worse.