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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.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Good books are about everything, abbreviated. Austin (but his best friend calls him Porcupine) is in love with Shann. Robbie came out of the closet in seventh grade. Austin and Robbie have been friends forever, and Austin is realizing that he also has sexual feelings for Robbie - complicated! Wait, did I mention that this is a story about the end of the world, brought by unstoppable soldiers that are over six feet tall and look a lot like praying mantises? All the soldiers want to do is kill and have sex. Lots of sex.

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.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

After having embarrassed a prominent member of her small hometown, Evie O’Neill is sent off to New York City to live with her eccentric uncle Will, who is the head curator at a Museum for the Supernatural. With the background set in the vibrant times of the 1920’s, we learn that Evie has the ability to “see” the last thing that happened to any item she touches. When her uncle is called to a murder scene to investigate a cryptic symbol, Evie is suddenly thrown into a mysterious supernatural murder.

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.

Gone by Michael Grant

Imagine if all of a sudden everyone aged 15 and older simply disappeared. For the kids in this small town on the California coast, this is not the only challenge that they have to face. Some weird animal mutations have been noticed - weird feet on birds, flying snakes, and something’s definetly odd about the coyotes! By far the biggest challenge though is some of the kids have new powers - like the ability to throw fire from their hands, levitate objects, and more.

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