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Teen Book Recommendations
My Mechanical Romance
Opposites attract in this nerdy YA romance from the NYT best-selling author of The Atlas Six!
Bel doesn't want to think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. Joining a robotics club filled with boys who ignore her or--even worse--constantly ask if she needs help? Please, anything but that. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering in class, she has no choice.
Enter Mateo Luna, the handsome captain of the club, who instantly recognizes Bel's talent. He needs her on the team. And not just because he can't stop thinking about the tiny dusting of freckles around her eyes, or how she got him hooked on Taylor Swift--it's because Bel sees him. She challenges him. But when they seriously start butting heads, Bel wonders: Is there really room for a girl like her in STEM?
In her YA debut, Alexene Farol Follmuth, author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake), explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty. Told from dual points of view, My Mechanical Romance is not only swoonworthy--it's downright empowering.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860, African Town is a powerful and stunning novel-in-verse.
In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they'd been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.
Some Mistakes Were Made
Sarah Dessen meets Adam Silvera in the debut YA romance everyone is talking about!
"A breathtaking tour de force of angst and longing. Heartbreaking, painfully romantic, and deeply human." --STEPHANIE GARBER, #1 bestselling author of Caraval
"A novel you can make yourself at home in, with characters so real it feels like you've known them for ages." --JENNA EVANS WELCH, bestselling author of Love & Gelato
"This book comes with its own aching heartbeat. Be forewarned, it's stronger than it looks." --STACEY LEE, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl
Ellis and Easton have been inseparable since childhood. But when a rash decision throws Ellis's life--and her relationship with Easton--into chaos, she's forced to move halfway across the country, far from everything she's ever known.
Now Ellis hasn't spoken to Easton in a year, and maybe it's better that way; maybe eventually the Easton-shaped hole in her heart will heal.
But when Easton's mom invites her home for a visit, Ellis finds herself tangled up in the web of heartache, betrayal, and anger she left behind . . . and with the boy she never stopped loving.
Melt with You
From the author of Some Girls Do and Hot Dog Girl comes a sweet and salty queer YA rom-com about two girls on a summer road trip in an ice cream truck.
Fallon is Type A, looks before she leaps, and always has a plan (and a backup plan).
Chloe is happy-go-lucky, flies by the seat of her pants, and always follows her bliss.
The two girls used to be best friends, but last summer they hooked up right before Chloe left for college, and after a series of misunderstandings, they aren't even speaking to each other.
A year later, Chloe's back home from school, and Fallon is doing everything in her power to avoid her. Which is especially difficult because their moms own a business together--a gourmet ice cream truck where both girls work.
When a meeting with some promising potential investors calls their parents away at the last minute, it's up to Fallon to work a series of important food truck festivals across the country. But she can't do it alone, and Chloe is the only one available to help.
Tensions heat up again between the two girls as they face a few unexpected detours--and more than a little roadside attraction. But maybe, just maybe, the best things in life can't always be planned.
A high-stakes fantasy rom-com about twin princesses separated at birth--one raised as the crown princess, and the other taken as an infant and raised to kidnap her sister, steal the crown, and avenge the parents' murders--the first novel in a new YA duology from bestselling UK authors Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber. Perfect for fans of The Selection, My Lady Jane, and Caraval.
Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister's place in the palace. Trained from birth to return to the place of her parents' murder and usurp the only survivor, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves. Or she would, if only a certain palace guard wasn't quite so distractingly attractive, and if her reckless magic didn't have a habit of causing trouble...
Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility. Marriage into a brutal kingdom awaits, and she will not let a small matter like waking up in the middle of the desert in the company of an extremely impertinent (and handsome) kidnapper get in the way of her royal duty. But life outside the palace walls is wilder and more beautiful than she ever imagined, and the witches she has long feared might turn out to be the family she never knew she was missing.
Two sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other's lives a whole lot better. But as coronation day looms closer and they each strive to claim their birthright, the sinister Kingsbreath, Willem Rathborne, becomes increasingly determined that neither will succeed. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?
There’s only one way out
Belle Morte. One of five houses where vampires reside as celebrities and humans are paid to be their living donors. While others came here seeking fortune, I came in search of my sister who walked into Belle Morte five months ago . . . and never walked back out.
Now that I’m here, the secrets about this world have proven to be much bigger than I ever anticipated. And lurking around every corner are shocking insinuations of what happened to my sister.
There’s only one person who might have the answers I need, and the undeniable pull I feel toward him is terrifying: Edmond Dantès—a vampire, and my mortal enemy.
The harder I try to resist him, the further I fall under his spell. And in one instant my life is irrevocably changed. My past becomes prologue and my fate becomes sealed behind these doors.
Belle Morte has spoken. And it may never let me go.
Together We Burn
Isabel Ibañez's Together We Burn is a lush, enchanting standalone fantasy inspired by medieval Spain, filled with romance, adventure and just the right amount of danger.
An ancient city plagued by dragons
Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see him fight in their arena, which will one day be hers. But disaster strikes during one celebratory show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s life changes in an instant.
A flamenco dancer who must become a dragon hunter to save her family legacy
With the Dragon Guild trying to wrest control of her inheritance from her, Zarela has no choice but to train to become a Dragonador. But when the most talented dragon hunter left in the land -- the infuriatingly handsome Arturo Díaz de Montserrat -- withholds his help, Zarela cannot take no for an answer. Without him, her world will burn.
Once Upon a K-Prom
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
What would you do if the world's biggest K-pop star asked you to prom? Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon, this hilarious and heartfelt novel brings the glamour and drama of the K-pop world straight to high school.
Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing - she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that's always made her feel like she belonged.
So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.
Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants - even if she can't stop thinking about Robbie's smile...right?
A Forgery of Roses
"A deliciously twisted gothic fantasy you'll want to read again and again, with characters you'll adore, prose that'll spellbind you, romance you'll swoon over, and a mystery that'll keep you guessing until the last stunning twist."
--Diana Urban, author of These Deadly Games
From the author of Sing Me Forgotten comes a lush new fantasy novel with art-based magic, romance, and murder...
Myra has a gift many would kidnap, blackmail, and worse to control: she's a portrait artist whose paintings alter people's bodies. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. But one frigid night, the governor's wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor's dead son.
Once she arrives at the legendary stone mansion, however, it becomes clear the boy's death was no accident. A killer stalks these halls--one disturbingly obsessed with portrait magic. Desperate to get out of the manor as quickly as possible, Myra turns to the governor's older son for help completing the painting before the secret she spent her life concealing makes her the killer's next victim.
"A heady blend of the fantastical, the murderous, and the romantic." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
"Marvelously magical and steeping with mystery." --Adalyn Grace, author of All the Stars and Teeth
Also by Jessica S. Olson:
Sing Me Forgotten
The Silent Unseen
A mesmerizing historical novel of suspense and intrigue about a teenage girl who risks everything to save her missing brother.
Poland, July 1944. Sixteen-year-old Maria is making her way home after years of forced labor in Nazi Germany, only to find her village destroyed and her parents killed in a war between the Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationalists. To Maria’s shock, the local Resistance unit is commanded by her older brother, Tomek—who she thought was dead. He is now a “Silent Unseen,” a special-operations agent with an audacious plan to resist a new and even more dangerous enemy sweeping in from the East.
When Tomek disappears, Maria is determined to find him, but the only person who might be able to help is a young Ukrainian prisoner and the last person Maria trusts—even as she feels a growing connection to him that she can’t resist.
Tightly woven, relentlessly intense, The Silent Unseen depicts an explosive entanglement of loyalty, lies, and love during wartime, from Amanda McCrina, the acclaimed author of Traitor, a debut hailed by Elizabeth Wein as “Alive with detail and vivid with insight . . . a piercing and bittersweet story.”