Novels- and memoirs-in-verse are always welcome additions to the young adult canon, especially those that show world history through diverse voices. In Enchanted Air, poet Margarita Engle introduces readers to her “Two countries / Two families / Two sets of words” and her own “two selves.”
Post-divorce, Zoe Webster is moved from an “almost good part of Brooklyn” to “River Heights, a small city in the armpit of upstate New York.” She is friendless, unless the annoyingly enticing company of Digby can be counted. Digby’s modus operandi is to pop into Zoe’s life with a vaguely adventurous plan that could as easily end in assault charges as a faux drug deal.
Dave and Julia are best friends. They have feelings for one another, but neither has yet admitted it. When they find a list, written at the beginning of their freshman year, of “cliché” things they vowed never to do in high school, they decide to spend the remaining weeks of senior year checking items off the list. With this setup, Adi Alsaid’s novel Never Always Sometimes follows one of the most familiar high-school plotlines, luring young readers into familiar territory for a quick, satisfying and eventually surprising read.
Caught between her Patron father and her Commoner mother, Jessamy’s entire life is a balancing act, yet she yearns for the freedom to become whomever she wants. She relishes her secret sessions on the Fives court, where she trains for the intricate, dangerous athletic event that could someday bring her glory. But when Jes’ family is endangered by cruel Lord Gargaron, she must focus on saving them from a fate worse than death.
For as long as Cara can remember, the month of October has meant avoiding knives and wearing extra layers of clothing, not for warmth, but for protection against trips and falls. For Cara’s family, October is “accident season.” Sometimes those accidents are just burned fingers or stubbed toes; sometimes people die.
Set in the urban slice of fictional East Bridge, Bright Lights, Dark Nights is a charismatic tale of two teens wrapped up in the innocence of first love while reluctantly fighting racial tensions and parental overprotection.
Fifteen-year-old Miranda Allerdon and her older sister, Lander, are spending another summer at their parents' idyllic cottage on the Connecticut River. Miranda lazes about with the neighborhood kids while Lander focuses intensely on her medical studies, essentially ignoring her younger sister. After the Allerdons and their neighbors witness a frightening boating accident, Lander inexplicably begins dating one of the men involved in the accident—a man Miranda thinks is dangerous.
Early in Seeing Off the Johns, author Rene S. Perez II gives us the key word in the story: onus—a burden or responsibility, often an unpleasant one.
Decked out in the latest Parisian fashions for 1897, New York City debutantes and cousins Dacia and Lou are traveling on the Orient Express to their mothers’ native country, Romania. They should be thrilled, as everyone knows Bucharest is the vacation spot for wealthy Europeans. But why are there so many behind-closed-door arguments after the teens arrive?
Following the slow rise and eventual demise of the world’s first submachine gun, Tommy is the story of one man’s dream to help his country on the battlefield and the unfortunate ways his dream became a national nightmare.