When she was 16, Cassie was wrongly admitted to a psychiatric hospital—by her mother. Now, at age 18, she struggles to find her true self and her independence at college, but her tormented relationship with her mother threatens to pull her under. For fans of R. J. Anderson's Ultraviolet. Published March 15, 2016.
- by Eileen Cook
The publisher says this is perfect for fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train, and after reading it myself I can't argue with that. Yale-bound student Jill wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of the last six weeks, only to discover that her best friend was killed on their Italian Adventures Abroad trip, and Jill is accused of her murder. There are definite echoes of Amanda Knox here. The real interest in this cinematic novel isn't the characters (a little thin) but the twisty plotting and Jill's frustrated attempts to unravel what happened, what people think happened, and what she remembers happening. Publication date June 7, 2016.
I feel like I've been holding out on you on this one because I read and loved this book months ago. (I DID recommend it on this episode of What Should I Read Next with Leigh Kramer.) A girl-next-door type suddenly finds herself in an elite California prep school, and has to figure out how to navigate this new privileged world while still grieving her mother's death. When she gets an email from an unidentified boy who calls himself "Somebody Nobody" offering to be her spirit guide to her new school, she doesn't want to say yes—but she really needs his help. A sweet and fun teen romance, but also a pitch-perfect portrayal of the grieving process. I couldn't stop myself from cheering for Jessie as she put her life together again. Published April 5 2016.
I love Morgan Matson books—I've chosen at least one of her books for previous Summer Reading Guides, and others have been strong contenders—and was absolutely delighted to stumble upon this brand-new release (May 3) at my local bookstore. Andie is a politician's daughter who has her life, and her summer, all planned out: she can't wait to flee town (and the ever-watchful eyes of her father's staff) for her perfect summer internship that's going to help her land her spot at the perfect college. But that was before the scandal. Now her summer plans are off ... and a girl who never does anything unexpected faces a whole summer full of just that. This isn't great literature or anything but Matson does what she does really well. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Smith or Jenny Han. Without giving too much away, I'll just say you writerly types have an extra reason to love this one.
I'm looking forward to this new release from the author of the critically acclaimed The List. Keeley's small working class town is literally sliding underwater, and it finally gets so bad that government officials order everyone to pack up and leave. Keeley and her friends decide to go out with a bang: to make the most of the time they have left, before they're all forced to scatter. And for Keeley, that means taking a shot at the boy she's always loved. Published April 26, 2016.
While not technically a YA book, it sure reads like one. (No wonder it won the Alex Award, which goes to adult books teens will love.) In a remote tumbledown hotel packed with hormone-fueled high school students gathered for a statewide music festival is the backdrop for this whodunit. Fifteen years after a wedding night murder-suicide, a teen prodigy disappears from the same hotel room. Strongly reminiscent of Greenglass House and Clue: The Movie. Essential reading for Rainbow Rowell fans.
This brand new release from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook is on my summer reading list. In this coming-of-age story, good girl Nanette is drifting through her quiet suburban life—until her teacher gives her a copy of the cult classic The Bubblegum Reaper . She obsesses over the book, and is challenged to confront the conformist way she's been living. But when she chooses a different path, she realizes every choice has a cost. Critics are praising this for its strong female lead and numerous Catcher in the Rye references. Published May 31, 2016.
This is Sophie Kinsella's 24th novel but her very first for younger teens and tweens. After a bullying incident at school that's never fully described, 14-year-old Audrey is practically crippled with anxiety. She's been making steady progress, but when her older brother brings home his friend Linus, she's pushed way out of her comfort zone. But maybe that's just what she needs. This engaging novel weaves together family, friendship, mental illness, and video games.
- by Jen Klein
Think When Harry Met Sally for the YA crowd. I read this in a day. Two teens who seem like total opposites are thrown together, not exactly happily, and each discover there's more to the other than meets the eye. The book unfolds in a series of rides to school, and comes complete with playlist. Perfect for Morgan Matson fans. Published May 3, 2016.
- by Ashley Blake
I enjoyed this, especially the literary references woven into the story. Sam and Hadley meet at high school and fall in love, but Sam soon discovers an unfortunate (think: Romeo and Juliet) connection between their parents. He can't bear to tell Hadley, which simplifies—and complicates—their relationship. This is a smart, well-executed teen romance that also does a good job of exploring the joy and pain of love, and the devastating ripple effect of a single decision. Published May 3, 2016.
Part historical romance, part time-travel adventure. 17-year-old Etta is a talented violinist about to make her debut in New York City. But her future changes in a moment when her mentor is killed and she suddenly finds herself aboard a sailing ship ... in 1776. She's soon indoctrinated into a whole new dimension, and a world family secrets. The book ends on a major cliffhanger: there's clearly more to come. (I'll be reading book 2.) Reminiscent of Outlander and Sara Zarr's The Lucy Variations.