Overwhelmed by grief and guilt after his twin sister Grace’s accidental death, seventeen-year-old Mark Santos is persuaded by his best friend to complete the “bucket list” from Grace’s journal.
An unusual mystery, a heartrending love story, this is an exciting plot-driven new book from leading Canadian YA author William Bell. Fifteen-year-old Aidan has had more foster parents than he cares to remember. Careful to always keep his distance from those around him, and aided by a deep well of self-reliance and tenacity, he longs for the day that he’s old enough to strike out on his own. That day comes sooner than he could ever have imagined. On a miserable March afternoon, Aidan’s life is changed so radically as to become unrecognizable. Through a near-tragic event in which he saves the life of a young boy, Aidan earns the gratitude and unqualified support of the child’s grandfather, Mr. Bai, a man of wealth, great resources and shadowy influence. When asked how this man can help repay him, Aidan replies, “Can you make me disappear?” With a new identity, an apartment, a job and finally a sense that he’s crafting his own destiny, Aidan–now Julian Paladin–finds himself at the centre of forces he can’t begin to understand.
Theo is better now. She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction–and his abductor. Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse. Brandy Colbert dazzles in this heartbreaking yet hopeful debut novel about learning how to let go of even our most shameful secrets.
Donna D. Cooner
Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption. Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident — maybe because of Torrey and her videos — Torrey’s perfect world implodes. Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?
Lynn’s life is full — choir practice, school, shopping for the perfect jeans, and dealing with her free-spirited mother. Then one day her life is saved by a mysterious girl named Blossom, who introduces Lynn to her own world and family — both more bizarre, yet somehow more sane, than Lynn’s own. Blossom’s family is a small band of outcasts and eccentrics who live secretly in an ingenious bunker beneath a city reservoir. The Underlanders forage and trade for the things they need (“Is it useful or lovely?”), living off the things “Citizens” throw away. Lynn is enchanted and amazed. But when she inadvertently reveals their secret, she is forced to take measure of her own motives and lifestyle, as she figures out what it really means to be a family and a friend. This novel is smart, rich, engaging and insightful.
In her sixteen years of life, Starbird has never touched a dollar bill. She’s never been in a car. She’s never used a cell phone. That’s because Starbird has always lived on the Free Family Farm, a commune in the woods of Washington State. But all that is about to change. When Starbird gets her Calling to be a waitress at the Free Family’s restaurant in Seattle, she decides to leave behind the only home she’s ever known. Nothing could have prepared Starbird for the World Outside, or for what it would teach her about the Family – and herself. From the author of The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door comes this hilarious and poignant story about finding your true calling in life.
E. R. Frank
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America , which Booklist called “a piercing, unforgettable novel” and Kirkus Reviews deemed “a work of sublime humanity.” As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets–a daddy and two “wifeys.” So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love. Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn’t realize it was happening until it was too late. But when a new “wifey” joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn’t love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?
Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy’s unraveling allegiance to an insular cult. Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace’s sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob’s contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob’s faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Andrew has seen a flash of his future. (Dad: unfinished PhD. Mom: unfulfilling career. Their marriage: unsuccessful.) Based on what he’s seen, he’s uninspired to put a foot on the well-worn path to the adulthood everyone expects of him. There must be another way around. After a particularly disastrous Thanksgiving (his cousin wets Andrew’s bed; his parents were too chicken to tell him his grandmother died), Andrew accidentally (on purpose) runs away and joins the circus. Kind of. A guy can meet the most interesting people at the Greyhound station at dinnertime on Thanksgiving day. The Freegans are exactly the kinds of friends (living out of an ancient VW camper van, dumpster diving, dressing like clowns and busking for change) who would have Andrew’s mom reaching for a third glass of Chardonnay. To Andrew, five teenagers who seem like they’ve found another way to grow up are a dream come true. But as the VW winds its way across the USA, the future is anything but certain. The path of least resistance is a long, strange trip.
Spending the summers on her family’s private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer.
Destiny takes a detour in this heartbreakingly hilarious novel with five starred reviews, from the acclaimed author of Winger , which Kirkus Reviews called “smart” and “wickedly funny.” Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved. Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned–and learn how to write their own destiny.
John Corey, Whaley
A touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award-winning Where Things Come Back . Listen–Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. Now he’s alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too. Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars. Oh well, you only live twice.
Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed- and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come. But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for no reason. As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save as many memories as she can. Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her.
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be–sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. For fans of Silver Linings Playbook and Liar, this thought-provoking debut tells the story of Alex, a high school senior–and the ultimate unreliable narrator–unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion.
One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.