Must Read Books

book cover
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin

Mara wakes up in the hospital, mostly unharmed after an accident that killed her best friend, boyfriend, and his sister.  She has no memory of the event but slowly disturbing images start coming back to her.  She starts having hallucinations (or maybe they are something more?) as she is trying to navigate a new school, new state, new life, new boyfriend.

You're never quite sure if Mara is going crazy or if there's something sinister and perhaps paranormal going on, which makes for a very exciting read.  This is the first in a series and you'll definitely be clamoring for the next book after you finish this one.

Feb 11, 2017
book cover
All American Boys
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Rashad is mistaken for a shoplifter and beaten by a cop outside a neighborhood store.  Quinn witness this, but can't believe that the cop, who he's known since childhood, could have done such a thing without serious provocation. 

All American Boys tells the story of this violent incident and the resulting fallout within in the community.  This is a very topical book that handles a difficult topic with care and complexity. 

Jan 15, 2017
book cover
The Selection
Kiera Cass

The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.

If you like your dystopias heavy on the romance and are ready for some pure escapism, this is for you.

Dec 13, 2016
book cover
Tell Me Three Things
Julie Buxbaum

It has barely been two years since Jessie's mom died, and all of a sudden she's stuck moving across the country to live with her new surprise stepfamily.  Jessie doesn't fit in at her fancy private school full of rich kids, but then she starts getting mysterious emails from "Somebody Nobody" offering to show her the ropes.  Jessie still misses Chicago, but she makes a few friends and starts really confiding in SN.  She's falling for him, but how can she fall for him when she doesn't even know who he is?

Nov 13, 2016
book cover
Holding Up The Universe
Jennifer Niven

Libby was once known as "America's Fattest Teen".  She's starting public school again after being homebound and homeschooled for years.

Jack is popular, confident, and more than a little cocky.  He's also hiding a secret - he can't recognize or remember people's faces.

Libby and Jack are thrown together during a cruel game and end up having to do community service together.  During that time they discover aspects of each other that most people miss.

A unique book that will definitely give you plenty to think about.

Oct 26, 2016
book cover
The Hired Girl
Laura Amy Schlitz

Joan is a fourteen year old girl who works on her controlling father's farm, while dreaming of a better life with education and adventure.  She keeps a secret diary where she details her escape from the farm and quest to become a hired girl in a city, cooking and cleaning for $6 per week.

If you liked Anne of Green Gables or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will love this book.  Joan is spirited, ambitious, and a very relatable character.

Sep 28, 2016
book cover
The Impossible Knife of Memory
Laurie Halse Anderson

Hayley is in a normal school for the first time in years, after spending most of her teen years traveling with her father, an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD.  Hayley has her own painful memories that she's avoiding as well, and her dad's PTSD just keeps getting worse.

This is Hayley's chance at a "normal" life, but is that even possible for her?  Or will terrible memories push her over the edge?

Compelling and impossible to put down.

Jan 16, 2014
book cover
Two Boys Kissing
David Levithan

Harry and Craig are two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. Their kiss becomes a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with long-term relationships, coming out, gender identity, and gay hookup sites.

This is all narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. It sounds kind of bizarre (morbid?  sentimental?) but New York Times bestselling author David Levithan makes it work.  This is a beautiful story with complex and well-developed characters.

Oct 2, 2013
book cover
Monument 14
Emmy Laybourne

Who hasn't fantasized about being locked in a superstore, mall, or other retail emporium?

For 14 kids in Monument, Colorado, this dream has become reality.  It's not all looting the electronics department and building a fantastic new wardrobe, though.  Their school bus crashed into the store during a hailstorm and now they are holed up, hiding from a dangerous chemical spill, while the world outside falls apart.

Sep 11, 2013
The Diviners
Libba Bray

Libba Bray has already proven herself with smart and funny teen lit.  With The Diviners, she begins another series that pulls you in and makes you anxious for the next release.  Evie is 17 and comes from Ohio to live with her uncle, curator for The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, in 1926 New York City for the summer.  When several murders with occult overtones start occurring, Evie and her uncle get deeply involved in the investigation.

Jul 10, 2013