Seventeen-year-old Lucille and her 10-year-old sister, Wren, have been abandoned by their father (who went crazy) and their mother (who left town, leaving no forwarding information). Lucille is left to pay the bills, maintain the house and care for her sister. She’s worried that if anyone finds out, she and her sister will be placed in foster care, so her best friend, Eden, is the only person she can count on. To complicate things, Lucille has been secretly lusting after Eden’s twin brother, Digby.
Do you have a teen on your gift list whose bookshelf holds their most prized possessions, who has crushes on fictional characters and who seems more interested in make-believe lands than the real world? You’re in luck: These three new books make ideal gifts for the book-obsessed teen.
Parker Grant has it all under control. She’s earned herself upwards of 100 gold stars—one for each day she hasn’t cried since her father’s death. She’s got the high-school scene down pat—so much so that she holds daily office hours for anyone seeking social advice. And even though she’s blind, she’s perfectly capable of taking solo morning runs.
Power couple Toni and Gretchen have been together for nearly two years when they leave for separate colleges. Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, finds a place at Harvard with a group of transgender upperclassmen who offer a new sense of belonging and an expanded language for discussing gender and nonbinary identities. Meanwhile at NYU, Gretchen struggles to understand their evolving long-distance relationship.
What We Left Behind is the second novel from Robin Talley, after her emotionally wrenching Lies We Tell Ourselves. We spoke with Talley about LGBTQIA+ literature, the college setting and much more.
Determining what's real and what's imagined is just part of 17-year-old Calvin’s everyday life. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Calvin believes his world is intrinsically linked with that of Bill Watterson’s iconic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes—he was, after all, born on the last day the strip was published. As he communicates daily with tiger Hobbes—knowing he must be a delusion—Calvin feels the only way he’ll ever be normal is to travel to meet Watterson and have him draw just one more comic.
Enter the glamorous (and not-so-glamorous) world of life in a band through Charlotte Huang's debut YA novel, For the Record. High school student Chelsea has just become the lead singer of the popular band Melbourne, and she's dealing with being on a bus tour with three guys, attracting the attention of heartthrob Lucas Rivers and coping with the sink-or-swim music industry. Huang shares the backstory of For the Record and explains how her music agent husband helped structure the story and provide authentic details of life on tour.
As senior year draws to a close and college looms, Andrew finds himself very much alone. He’s lost his two best friends to a car crash, and his parents are more distracted than ever following his football star brother’s return. Andrew is left with nothing but his obsessive crush on Laura, the prettiest girl in school. But as he begins spending more time with Laura and her fundamentalist Christian youth group, he starts to question everything he’d once held true.
Teen love, angst, secrets and lies make up a lot of realistic YA fiction. Fortunately, those topics can also add up to some of the best storylines, as in Courtney C. Stevens’ second novel.
Seventeen-year-old Cass is so bored. Her parents have rented a house in a tony Massachusetts community for the summer, and garden parties with snobby grown-ups are torture. One evening, Cass escapes to the beach behind her parents’ house, and she’s surprised to meet a mysterious, handsome young man.
Set in 1890s New York City, when social lines starkly divided the city, These Shallow Graves follows the urban adventure of a smart, independent and beautiful young woman from high society who’s willing to risk everything to solve the mystery of her father’s untimely death.