general fiction

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This debut novel covers a host of serious topics that teens face every day in and out of school, with friends as well as bullies. The story begins with Clay Jensen returning home to find a box of 13 cassette tapes from Hannah Baker, his high school crush who had committed suicide just 2 week earlier. Clay learns that each tape is for someone who Hannah believes has played a part in her decision to commit suicide. Clay is told to listen to each tape to find out what his role was before passing them along onto the next person.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

In this creative follow-up to the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz, readers are introduced to a drastically different Oz. Dorothy has returned, but instead of the sweet girl who just wanted to go home to Auntie Em, she has become a ruthless dictator, set on stealing up all of Oz’s power for herself and Glinda, the not so good “Good Witch”. In comes Amy Gumm, whose life outside of Oz is very different than Dorothy’s life in Kansas when she is sucked up by her own tornado and dropped into the new Oz.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Sent to the therapeutic Wooden Barn school to deal with her depression, Jam Gallahue is chosen for the Selected Topics in English class. Only a select few get chosen and Jam is left wondering why she is there. All she wants is to be back home with her British boyfriend Reeve, watching old comedy sketches. However all of that changes when her teacher gives the class their own journals and with each entry Jam is transported to the Belzhar. Jam, and each of her classmates revisit the time and place they were before their tragedy struck.

100 sideways miles by Andrew Smith

Do not judge this book by its cover. Recommended by our new teen/young adult specialist, this was a fully engaging read with minimal horse action. Finn is a young man who starts the book towards of the end of his junior year in high school. He's not very sexually experienced but his best friend has a special arrangement with a German exchange student that involves money and out-of-the way places. Finn's father wrote a science fiction book that has attracted a fairly large cult following, and the protagonist of that book is also named Finn.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson has done it again, this time giving us a realistic portrayal of someone dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects those around them. Hayley Kincain has been taking care of her father after he comes home Iraq. Her father Andy, running from his demons, has been homeschooling her while they travel across the country for his job as a truck driver. After he returns to his childhood home to offer Hayley more stability, she is enrolled in public school while his PTSD gets worse.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Four friends who call themselves the liars, Cadence, Mirren, Johnny and Gat, live a very privileged life and are reunited every summer at their grandfather's estate on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Every summer they are inseparable and during their 15th year Cadence and Gat’s relationship goes from that of friends to a budding romance. As the summer nears the end, Cadence suffers a breakdown and is whisked home. Over the course of the next two years Cadence tries to reconnect with her friends to no avail and it isn’t until her 18th summer that she returns to the island.

Skink, No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

The former governor of Florida who one day disappeared and is now popularly thought to be dead, is introduced to a new audience. You’ve likely grown up on Hoot, Scat, and Hiaasen's other popular books for kids. The books he’s written for older audiences don’t feature any teens, although I imagine they could be popular (my favorite is Sick Puppy). This novel shares themes (and characters) from both. Set in Florida, Richard’s cousin runs off with someone who is clearly not who he represented himself to be when they met online.

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

This is a mysterious and strange tale of a boy who hears voices, a fearless girl, and the ghost of Jacob Grimm. In their seemingly sleepy town of Never Better, a harmless teenage prank sets off a chain reaction of life-changing events that might only be seen in fairy tales. Part mystery and part fairy tale, this book is whimsical, but also an edge-of-your-seat page turner. Check our catalog.

Are you Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick

Rich is fifteen and plays a mean guitar. One night he is magically transported back in time to the Woodstock Music Festival where he meets many of his idols, including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. More life shaking, he meets the young man who years later would become his father - and his father’s brother, who died before Rich was even conceived. This is a great book for fans of classic rock music, but its also good for anyone who’s trying to get some perspective on the complex lives that make our parents act the way they do.

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

This excellent, disturbing, debut novel really gets inside the experience of what it is like to have horrible secrets that influence your life in haunting ways. Andrew Winston Winters has at least two sides. One is lonely Win, a teenager who’s been exiled to a remote boarding school after a horrific family tragedy. Another is angry Drew who has serious violent impulses that he doesn’t understand or know how to control. Very real and accessible, this is also a book about mental illness that can help build empathy for people suffering from this affliction.

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