At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David HutchinsonFantasy. Ozzie's boyfriend, Tommy, has been erased from existence and memory, and only Ozzie knows it. Though no else remembers Tommy, Ozzie is convinced that his disappearance is due to the universe shrinking. The problem of how to get him back, however, is just the most urgent of the many problems Ozzie faces: he's also dealing with his parents' divorce, his brother's decision to join the military, the small-town struggles of his friends, and his own confusing feelings for his physics partner, Calvin. Similar to Adam Silvera's inclusive speculative stories, At the Edge of the Universe asks painful yet intriguing questions about the nature of relationships and reality.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCourFiction. At the end of last summer, Marin left her home in San Francisco and boarded a plane with nothing but what she had in her pockets. Now, after her first semester of college in New York, she's facing a lonely winter break in an empty dorm. Holed up against the icy weather, Marin allows herself to remember the devastating events that led to her abrupt departure from California, and finally confronts their consequences during a visit with her estranged friend, Mabel. Written with pensive intensity, We Are Okay is a "poignant and affecting exploration of grief and betrayal" (Booklist).
Optimists Die First by Susin NielsenFiction. If you're curious about the stats for death via earthquakes, rare diseases, or other unusual causes, Petula de Wilde can tell you. Ever since her baby sister's accidental death, Petula can't stop preparing for the unexpected. To help her manage this anxiety, she attends an art therapy group filled with eccentric students, each grappling with their own issues. When Jacob -- an outgoing filmmaker with a prosthetic arm, a hidden past, and eyes for Petula -- joins the group, she begins opening up to unpredictability. If you like this sensitive, moving story of friendship and romance among misfit artists, you might also enjoy Tamara Ireland's Every Last Word.
The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasFiction. Sixteen-year-old Starr walks an uneasy line, with one foot in her poor, mostly-black neighborhood and the other in her rich, mostly-white school. After Starr sees her friend Khalil gunned down by a white cop, however, that line is obliterated. Amid the uproar, Starr knows she should speak out, but the pressure she's under from all sides makes it difficult -- and dangerous -- to raise her voice. With a movie already in the works, this "powerful, in-your-face novel" (Horn Book Magazine) is one of the year's most talked-about books. For further fiction about the personal cost of racial injustice, try All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
American Street by Ibi ZoboiFiction. In a crowded house on the corner of Joy Road and American Street, Fabiola Toussaint begins her life in the U.S. Since her mom was detained by U.S. Immigration when they arrived from Haiti, Fabiola has to live with her aunt and cousins in Detroit, a cold, rough city that's nothing like Fabiola's dreams of America. Fined for speaking Creole and sent to Catholic school despite her Vodou beliefs, Fabiola has a hard time adjusting, and just when she begins to forge new relationships, she's tempted to risk them to earn her mother's freedom. This gritty, lyrical debut offers richly drawn characters and a story you won't soon forget.
Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher BarzakParanormal Suspense. Jarrod's return to Temperance, Ohio, causes 17-year-old farm boy Aidan to re-evaluate everything he thought he knew. Jarrod claims that he and Aidan used to be best friends, and though Aidan can't remember at first, the memories soon resurface -- along with repressed psychic visions and dreams. Has Aidan's mother, who also has strange abilities, deliberately been keeping him in the dark? As his relationship with Jarrod deepens, Aidan digs into his cursed family history to uncover the truth. A moody, atmospheric tone -- carefully balanced by a heartfelt love story -- infuses this paranormal page-turner.
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. KingFiction. After a bizarre incident involving a mummified bat (don't ask), high school senior Glory O'Brien and her best frenemy Ellie suddenly develop the ability to see into a person's past and future. The shadow of her mother's suicide has always made Glory doubt her own fate, and as she's flooded with visions of an upcoming war in which women's rights are annihilated, Glory struggles to decide whether or not the future is worth fighting for. Smart, edgy, and darkly funny, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is a great pick for older readers who enjoy exploring provocative ideas.
Huntress by Malinda LoFantasy. Set in the same universe as author Malinda Lo's Ash but centuries earlier, this is the story of two girls at the Academy of Sages: emerging seer Taisin and apprentice huntress Kaede. Spring hasn't come to the kingdom in years, and the relentless winter threatens the survival of both humans and fey. When the Fairy Queen invites the human King to confer, he sends his son, along with Kaede and Taisin, to the fairies' city. On the journey, a tender yet bittersweet romance blossoms between the girls, despite the obstacles presented by Taisin's visions and Kaede's family. Readers who enjoy lush, leisurely writing punctuated by heated action and adventure will be captivated.
Crash by Lisa McMannParanormal Romance. As if being a teenager with a family-owned restaurant that requires her to drive a double-meatball-shaped food truck to school wasn't weird enough, Jules Demarco has begun seeing visions of a crash that results in the deaths of numerous people -- including her forbidden crush, Sawyer. As the visions escalate, Jules races to stop the deadly crash from occurring without making everyone around her think she's inherited her family's tendency to mental illness. Veteran author Lisa McMann's 1st entry in her Visions series is sure to appeal to fans of fun paranormal mysteries such as Kim Harrington's Clarity series.
Poison by Bridget ZinnFantasy. Following a botched attempt to poison Princess Ariana, 16-year-old Master Potioner Kyra is on the run. Once, she was Ariana's best friend, but Kyra's pesky (not to mention terrifying) visions seem to indicate that Ariana will be the kingdom's downfall. So now, with an adorable tracking pig named Rosie for company and an annoyingly attractive rogue named Fred on her trail, Kyra's got to elude the army (not to mention witches, goblins, and her ex-fiance) long enough to stop Ariana and save the kingdom. Featuring a feisty and resourceful heroine, this frothy, fast-paced fantasy is a perfect pick for fans of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted.
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