Leah Westfall can sense the presence of gold. It sings to her, thrumming and tingling. This secret talent helps keep her family afloat in their fading mining town in 1849 Georgia. When news of boundless California gold reaches town, her best friend Jefferson dreams of joining the burgeoning gold rush.
Despite waking up with the mother of all hangovers, Kate Weston has it pretty good. Ben, the childhood friend who made sure she got home safe from last night’s party, may be ready to take their relationship into new territory. But when a photo from the party turns up online showing one of Ben’s basketball teammates carrying an unconscious and barely clothed girl over one shoulder, all hell breaks loose.
Every once in a while a book comes along that inspires readers to rethink everything they thought they knew about how fiction works. Given author A.S. King’s talent for writing boundary-pushing YA lit, it’s no surprise that her latest offering does exactly that.
Once described as “recklessly loyal,” Arden Huntley has always taken pride in putting her loved ones first. However, as junior year wears on, Arden begins to wonder why no one—not her fame-seeking boyfriend, her haphazard best friend nor her absent parents—seems to appreciate her loyalty. Then she discovers a blog written by a boy named Peter, a kindred spirit, and begins to feel as though she’s finally found someone who understands.
In an Orwellian society where the government promotes unity through conformity, 15-year-old Kivali Kerwin is at risk for being sent to Blight, a prison-like ghetto. Kivali is genderfluid, and she’s refused to transition to one gender. Unfortunately her government doesn’t allow that, and Kivali is sent to an agricultural camp to train for her adulthood as a young woman.
Small notebooks, black covers, Strathmore brand: For years, Jack Gantos wrote in journals with “no lines, so you could draw and write.” As he explains in a call from his Boston home, “When you finished one, you had a book. You could put a rubber band around it and put it on a shelf.”
In the town of Steeple Chase, Pennsylvania, there’s not much for a poor farm girl other than a life of looming drudgery. And this is why, in The Hired Girl, the farmer’s daughter wises up and escapes the farm toil, striking out on her own to push back against the societal, cultural and patriarchal confines that threaten the rest of her days.
Chloe was born a teenager and will always be one. Like her sisters, the middle-aged Serena and the elderly Xinot, she exists only to spin, measure and cut the threads of human lives. Chloe and her sisters are the Fates of Greek mythology, living and working on an island far from human entanglements—until a desperate teenage girl, Aglaia, seeks shelter in the Fates’ home.
Willowdean Dickson is fat and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it. But she’s growing up in Clover City, Texas, where the church, high school football and the annual beauty pageant are all equally revered. Will’s mom is a former pageant queen who begins to tune her out as the event draws near. But with two potential boyfriends, a shaky relationship with her BFF and the usual crap from bullies, Will has nowhere to turn for advice.
Madeline hasn’t left her house for 17 years and only comes in daily contact with her mother (who is, coincidentally, also her doctor) and her nurse Carla. Madeline suffers from SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease), making her essentially allergic to being outside. As a result, her home is sterile, with a special air filtration system, an air lock at the front door and a decontamination treatment for anyone who needs to visit her. She reads a lot of books and does all of her schooling via Skype. She has made peace with her life as she knows it—until a new family moves in next door.