2021 Summer Reading Challenge Recommendations


Manticore

    

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: THE APOCALYPSE, DYSTOPIAN SOCIETIES, DISASTER, SUSPENSE

 

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

“In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.”

The Maze Runner – James Dashner 

“Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.”

The 5th Wave – Richard Yancey

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see.”

Divergent – Veronica Roth

“In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.”

Gone – Michael Grant

“In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.”

Matched – Allyson Condie

“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate–until Ky Markham’s face appears for an instant before the screen fades to black.”

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

“Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.”

Day Zero – Kelly Devos

“Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby. But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country”

Sanctuary – Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher

“In 2032 America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked. It is almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that is exactly what Vali is doing. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont. When Vali’s mother’s counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, they are forced to flee.”

Dealing in Dreams – Lilliam Rivera

“Sixteen year old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City, but when she sets her sights on giving this life up for a prestigious home in Mega Towers, she must decide if she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants”

Phoenix

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: DEATH, COMING OF AGE, UNLOCKING SECRET POWERS

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

“Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.”

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

“Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try”

Goddess in the Machine – Lora Beth Johnson

“Bound for humanity’s new colony planet, seventeen-year-old Andra wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than scheduled, forcing her to navigate an unfamiliar planet where technology is considered magic and its practitioners revered as deities.”

Ms. Marvel – G. Willow Wilson

“Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well”

Legendborn – Tracy Deonn

“After her mother dies in an accident, Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape– until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.”

Wicked Fox – Kat Cho

“After eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung, a nine-tailed fox surviving in modern-day Seoul by eating the souls of evil men, kills a murderous goblin to save Jihoon, she is forced to choose between her immortal life and his.”

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

“‘My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.’ So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.”

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

“Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.”

Everlost – Neal Shusterman

“When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing–even skinjacking–to break free”

The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

“Tea’s gift for death magic means that she is a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community, but when an older bone witch trains her to become an asha–one who can wield elemental magic–Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice in the face of danger as dark forces approach”

Dragon 

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: SCI-FI, NONFICTION, CHARACTERS THAT DON’T STAY DEAD

Hidden Figures – Margot Shetterly

“Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and the space race, [this book] follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes.”

The Feather Thief – Kirk Johnson

“On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them–and escaped into the darkness. ”

The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

“When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves.”

Eragon – Christopher Paolini

“In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.”

Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

“The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship’s artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all”

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland

“When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies”

Rebelwing – Andrea Tang

“At New Columbia Preparatory Academy in a near-future Washington, D.C., black market smuggler Prudence Wu and friends Anabel, Alex, and Cat become key players in a conflict with the United Continental Confederacy.”

Sky Hunter – Marie Lu

“The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death, transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara. The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop these monsters.”

The Disasters – M.K. England

“Nax and a handful of other space Academy washouts are the only surviving pilots after the school is hijacked by terrorists, but in order to spread the truth about the attack, Nax and his fellow failures must execute a dangerous heist.”

Talon – Julie Kagawa

“To take her rightful place in the powerful Talon organization, hatchling Ember Hill must prove she can hide her dragon nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of human teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she must also train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.”

Unicorn

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: LGBTQ+, TRANSFORMATION, FRIENDSHIP

Heartstopper – Alice Oseman

“Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.”

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli 

“Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity–and that of his pen pal–will be revealed”

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

“On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure–to live a lifetime in a single day.”

Jo & Laurie – Margaret Stohl 

“After the publication of her surprise bestseller LITTLE WOMEN, Jo March struggles to write its sequel, while also deciding her true feelings for her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence”

Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas

“When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.”

Faith: Taking Flight – Julie Murphy

“When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, Faith Herbert is volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove. So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. And there’s the small matter of recently discovering she can fly.”

The Extraordinaries – TJ Klune

“Nick would rather write fanfiction about the feats of heroism and romantic entaglements he imagines for the very real superheroes who inhabit his city. When he meets Nova City’s biggest hero (and his biggest crush), however, he resolves to become a superhero himself.”

Six Angry Girls – Adrienne Kisner

“Raina Petree is crushing her senior year, until her boyfriend dumps her, the drama club (basically) dumps her, the college of her dreams slips away, and her arch-nemesis triumphs. Things aren’t much better for Millie Goodwin. Her father treats her like a servant, and the all-boy Mock Trial team votes her out, even after she spent the last three years helping to build its success. But then, an advice columnist unexpectedly helps Raina find new purpose in a pair of knitting needles and a politically active local yarn store. This leads to an unlikely meeting in the girls’ bathroom, where Raina inspires Millie to start a rival team. ”

The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters

“Adulting is hard. Just ask Wes Hudson. An avid comic book geek, Wes excels at two things: slacking off and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ’90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local indie bookstore, is threatened when a coffeeshop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his family won’t stop pestering him about picking a college major. When all three problems converge, Wes must face with the one thing he’s been avoiding–adulthood”

The Prince and the Dressmaker – Jen Wang

“Prince Sebastian hides form his parents his secret life of dressing up as the the hottest fashion icon in Paris, the fabulous Lady Crystallia, while his friend Frances the dressmaker strives to keep her friend’s secret.”

Werewolf

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: COMING OF AGE, SECRETS, ACTION, TALKING ANIMALS

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black — black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster”

Flora and Ulysses – Kate DiCamillo

“Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.”

Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan

“After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods”

Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

“When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human”

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

“The tragic impact of conflict between the natural world and human civilization is the theme of two of London’s most famous tales of the wilderness.”

Watership Down – Richard Adams

“Set in the Hampshire Downs in Southern England, an idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale follows a band of rabbits in flight from the incursion of man and the destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they travel forth from their native Sandleford warren through harrowing trials to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.”

The Tea Dragon Society – Katie O’Neill

“After discovering a lost Tea Dragon in the marketplace, apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the dying art form of Tea Dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners”

Rain Reign – Ann M Martin

“Struggling with Asperger’s syndrome, Rose Howard shares a bond with her dog, Rain, but when the dog goes missing, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels to search for her pet.”

We Set the Dark On Fire – Tehlor Kay Meija

“At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.”

A Song Below Water – Bethany C Morrow

“In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers. Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year. But, everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.”

 

Sphinx

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: MYSTERIES, RIDDLES, TWIST ENDINGS

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

“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.”

Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

“Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her best and most fearless friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.”

Sadie – Courtney Summers

“Sadie’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated Colorado town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. When Mattie is found dead, and the police investigation is botched, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice. She hits the road following a few meager clues. ”

One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus

“When the creator of a high school gossip app mysteriously dies in front of four high-profile students, all four become suspects. It’s up to them to solve the case”

There’s Someone Inside Your House – Stephanie Perkins

“Hawaii-born Makani Young’s new life in Nebraska is thrown into chaos when a serial killer begins to target her fellow high school students”

Monday’s Not Coming – Tiffany Jackson

“Monday Charles is missing, and Claudia seems to be the one person who notices. They’ve always been inseparable, and when Monday doesn’t show up for school for two weeks, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and her sister April is even less help. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?”

The Good Girls – Claire Eliza Barlett

“After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates at Jefferson-Lorne High are at the top of the suspect list. There’s Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian. Emma was always known as a good girl– but appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight”

Now Entering Addamsville – Francesca Zappia

“Someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze. Everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora Novak, despite the fact she has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.”

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

“When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder’s wife and daughter shortly after the school opened.”

White Rabbit – Caleb Roehrig

“Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian-the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” Things couldn’t get worse, right? Then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. He and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.”

Cerberus

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: A STORY TOLD IN MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES, MAN’S BEST FRIEND, THE AFTERLIFE

Wonder – R.J. Palacio

“Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins

“It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him.”

Laika – Nick Abadzis 

“This is a fictionalized account of Laika, the Samoyed-husky who in November 1957 became the first sentient being to leave Earth’s orbit, on the Sputnik II satellite.  A dog who had survived on the streets of Russia, she was taken by scientists in order to further their space program, her life knowingly sacrificed.”

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo 

“Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first”

Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

“After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.”

Scythe – Neal Shusterman

“In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (gleaned) by professional reapers (scythes). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice.”

More Than This – Patrick Ness

“A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. ”

How It Went Down – Kekla Magoon

“When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson is shot to death, his community is thrown into an uproar because Tariq was black and the shooter, Jack Franklin, is white, and in the aftermath everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events agree.”

Rotten by Michael Northrop

“When troubled sixteen-year-old Jimmer “JD” Dobbs returns from a mysterious summer “upstate” he finds that his mother has adopted an abused Rottweiler that JD names Johnny Rotten, but soon his tenuous relationship with the dog is threatened.”

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

“When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family’s property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mystery”

 

Mandrake

LIKES BOOKS ABOUT: PRACTICAL JOKES, HUMOR, MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Dan Vs. Nature – Don Calame

“Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip to “bond.” Determined to trick Hank into showing his true flawed colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank?”

When Dimple Met Rishi – Sandhya Menon

“When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents’ obsession with “marriage prospects” but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting arranged marriage with him.”

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick – Joe Schreiber

“Perry’s parents insist that he take Gobi, their quiet, Lithuanian exchange student, to senior prom but after an incident at the dance he learns that Gobi is actually a trained assassin who needs him as a henchman, behind the wheel of his father’s precious Jaguar, on a mission in Manhattan”

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart

“Frankie knows she’s just as bold and clever as the school’s all-boys band of pranksters, and what better way to prove it than to wrap them up in her own string of pranks?”

The Year of Secret Assignments – Jaclyn Moriarty

“Three female students from Ashbury High write to three male students from rival Brookfield High as part of a pen pal program, leading to romance, humiliation, revenge plots, and war between the schools.”

This Will Be Funny Someday – Katie Henry

“Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself–in school, where her boyfriend does the talking for her, and at home, where it’s impossible to compete with her older siblings and high-powered parents. When she mistakenly walks into a stand-up comedy club and performs, the experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an aspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident, comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her group of friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene. The only problem? Her new friends are college students–and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. ”

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager – Ben Philippe

“When Norris, a Black French Canadian, starts his junior year at an Austin, Texas, high school, he views his fellow students as clichés from “a bad 90s teen movie.”

My Plain Jane – Cynthia Hand

“You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester–and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.”

Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

“Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming – mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. All’s fair in love and cheese – that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war.”

Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

“Nimona, a young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy, and Lord Ballister Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, set out to prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his friends are not the heroes everyone thinks they are, but Lord Blackheart soon realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past, and her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”